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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 | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • 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
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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