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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 | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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