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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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    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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