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Pokies: the crack cocaine of gambling

Written By: - Date published: 10:09 am, April 21st, 2012 - 111 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, crime - Tags: , ,

A sad story in the Herald today of a man who got hooked on pokies. He spent all his money on them at pubs and SkyCity. Started borrowing from family and partners. Destroyed those relationships. Now lives in a car despite his large income. Started taking deposits from clients and not doing the work.

Don’t listen to the shills* who say ‘what’s the harm in the few more machines’? SkyCity wouldn’t want more machines if it wouldn’t get more business because of them. SkyCity’s boss wants more pokies because “if you come here on a Wednesday night [pay day] or a Friday night, the property is full… We clearly want to expand our business. There is clearly demand for it”

Key wants to let these scumbags addict more people to their gambling machines. They want to profit from destroying more lives, fueling more crime, and we get some shitty convention centre that won’t even pay for itself in return.

What’s next? An opera house built by drug dealers in exchange for our very own Hamsterdam?

This shit can still be stopped. The Government only has a one vote majority on this. John Banks, who is known to oppose gambling having seen what crime did to his family growing up, can vote against this dirty deal and save families from the experience he went through.

And the opposition needs to get stuck in too. They need to make clear that any legislative favours that National gives SkyCity will be reversed as a matter of priority in 2014/15. They also should take a leaf from the South Australian Treasurer, who responded to SkyCity’s ‘convention centre for law changes’ offer there by telling them they were “dreaming” and threatening to repeal their gambling licence.

The Greens and Labour need to not just oppose SkyCity’s expansion but to ask themselves why SkyCity’s cancer should be allowed to exist at all in the heart of our cities.

*(and how many of those shills are being paid by SkyCity, like Mike Hosking, or given special treatment as VIPs, or have other conflicts of interest, like Paul Holmes?)

PS. it turns out the 800 jobs promised by SkyCity from the white elephant convention centre is grossly inflated – twice what the larger centre in Melbourne employs and four times what other bidders said they would employ.

111 comments on “Pokies: the crack cocaine of gambling”

  1. Kevin 1

    Just another example of Herald tabloidism… This story has obviously been written by someone interviewing their keyboard. Not a single fact anywhere – a figment of someone’s imagination!

    [are you really claiming that the whole story was invented? If so, you should back up your talk and complain to the Press Council. Eddie]

  2. freedom 2

    “John Banks, who is known to oppose gambling having seen what crime did to his family growing up, can vote against this dirty deal and save families from the experience he went through.”

    see that’s what the world needs, optimism !!

    (w/respect to the Zet )

  3. aerobubble 3

    Just to be clear here, John Key has been rewarded by past law that removed the pollution of communities caused by pokies, and he is now setting the precedent that he can repollute by selling the option to pollute (pokies to Sky Cty).

    Every activist who wins a cause be warned, its not the first time Key has gone back on good faith understandings (e.g. mining). Key must be made to understand that increasing pokies and redirecting pokey profits to private investors, is directly opposed to the will of the people who want less pokies and money that does come from them directed to community causes.

    With National they will go back on what the community decides, often directly targeting those aims of communities, because there is ‘value’ accrued by virtue of the efforts of those communities. National take grassroots democracy and destroy their effectiveness by monetizing the benefit those grass roots groups have created.

    Welcome to the vulture capitalism party. e.g. Farmers grow the best of the best dairying industry in the world, Key and National target this profitable center and open the doors right up and down the dairy industry chain, from foreigners owning farmland, to lock stock and fully take over of Fonterra where rich land owners (some foriegn) who can buy debt of other Fonterra farmers.

    National represent the people who make profits from others labour by raiding companies, and nations, and stripping the assets to sell to the market, they represent the 100% investor party who never have to worry about pollution, debt, global warming, etc, because they just shift their fat weight over to the next hole in the dyke and wait to sell off the leak for a profit.

  4. Ed 4

    There have been comments about a lower proportion of amounts bet going towards taxes or community charities from casino pokie machines than from other pokie machines in local communities. Does anyone have a reference for that? Simple fairness suggests that the percentages should be the same; and that those community trusts also be totally independent of the operators of the machines.

    If Sky do not comply with their side of the deal regarding the creation of the promised jobs perhaps it would be reasonable for the number of licences to then be reduced.

    The discrepancy in staffing levels should have rung alarm bells with the public servants assessing the bids – or are lies able to be bought off for them as well?

    • freedom 4.1

      off the top of my head community trusts have to pay 37%, casino pays only 2.7 % ?

      • Treetop 4.1.1

        I have not once heard from Key’s mouth that the 2.5% that Sky City pay in community grants will be increaded to 37% which all bars with pokie machines payout in community grants.

        Pokie machines are the P (methamphetamine) of gambling, crack cocaine is not as addictive as P.

        Key’s policy is pushing P in the community.

        Will Banks have the backbone to stand up to Key when it comes to creating more hardened pokie addicts?

        Note: It is my view that pokie machines in casinos create more hardened pokie addicts as in a local bar the max bet is $2.50 a spin and the max spin limit is much higher in a casino.

        Does anyone know what the max spin bet on a casino pokie machine is?

      • The Baron 4.1.2

        This keeps coming up. My understanding, and I have no references, is that SkYCity pays the same 37% off pokie machines as everyone else; but because pokies are a small part of their business, the percentage drops against the entire gambling revenues SC brings in.
        On that basis, this could well be apples for apples – just that charities see nothing from the Blackjack/Roulette/Poker tables etc. Someone could probably check all this rather easily – I simply can’t be assed.
        For clarity, this isn’t any apologise from me. Casinos are more trouble than they’re worth, AFAIC.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1

          Casinos are more trouble than they’re worth, AFAIC.

          Well, that’s something we agree about.

        • Treetop 4.1.2.2

          I cannot find a link to support my statement but I wrote this down the other day when I heard it on the 6 pm news. Sky City give 2.5% profit back to the community or 0.8% of revenue. Gaming trusts give 37% of revenue back to the community. Sky City have a sweetheart tax deal and there are a number of links to support this statement.

          • The Baron 4.1.2.2.1

            If you’re referring to the discrepancy between 2.5 and 37% as a sweetheart deal, then as I’ve pointed out above you may be incorrect.
            There’s plenty not to like about this. Don’t do the argument a disservice by being lazy and jumping at things that may not stack up. Outrage only really works when you’re solid on your facts.

            • freedom 4.1.2.2.1.1

              here is the very first google search result for “skycity 2.5%”
              http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1204/S00212/deeply-unpopular-skycity-deal-may-involve-425-new-pokies.htm

              ” while other New Zealander providers of pokie machines are required to give approximately 37% of their takings to the government’s New Zealand Lotteries Commission to be given to charity, SKYCITY pays just 2.5% of its net profit to the private Sky City Auckland Charitable Trust.”

              Scoop’s integrity in reporting facts can hardly be questioned.

              Since it came up, What does SkyCity Auckland Charitable Trust do with all that money?

              since the opening date, February 2, 1996, the trust has donated the approximately $25 Million to 1300-1550 different charities and organisations. I say approximately because based on the Trust’s own website they themselves seem a bit confused.
              http://www.skycityauckland.co.nz/About-Us/Community.html
              http://www.skycityauckland.co.nz/About-Us/Community.html

              [$25 million] is certainly a lot of money over fifteen years, almost $2million per annum. Put against their paltry annual revenue of roughly $400 million we can see why they can only afford to pay 2.5%.

              • The Baron

                You’re missing the point. It’s really not that complicated.
                SC can still be paying the same 37% on pokies AND 2.5% on their overall. This is because their business is far more diversified than pokies.
                Do you know that that isn’t the case?

                • Treetop

                  I have not misunderstood your question. I rewatched part of The Nation this morning and Garner referred to the 2.5 and 37% being a tax. Then he made a comment that Sky City could be asked to pay the same. I am assuming that Sky City pay 2.5% tax on pokie machines and community trusts pay 37% on pokie machines as the profit Sky City makes appears to be coming from pokie machines.

                  May be Key can clarify “SC can still be paying the same 37% on pokies AND 2.5% on their overall.”

                  I would also like to ask Key how much the max spin bet will be on just one extra Sky City pokie machine?

                  A non casino pokie machine max spin bet is $2.50 and a casino pokie machine max spin bet is $100 (possibly more) or 40 non casino machines make $100 per max spin compared to 1 casino machine makes $100 per max spin.

                  I agree with you on how important the actual facts are and that they need to be known.

            • seeker 4.1.2.2.1.2

              @The Baron

              Try this link to back up Treetop’s comment concerning the 2.5% v 37%. Skycity does not pay the same as others as it is not a charity. It is its own “charity” and it’s profits go to it’s
              beneficiary shareholders apparently.

              http://ondemand.tv3.co.nz/Campbell-Live-Thursday-April-19-2012/tabid/119/articleID/6232/MCat/73/Default.aspx

              • seeker

                Sorry Baron, didn’t add to my above TV3 Campbell Live link that the section concerning the pokies starts at about 7mins 20secs.. in.

              • Treetop

                Thank you for posting the link. I am on dial up so I did not check this as a source even though I knew I heard the info on the link.

                Everyone is entitled to have an opinion and to debate it or have it challenged.

        • lprent 4.1.2.3

          Casinos are more trouble than they’re worth, AFAIC.

          That is a first – we agree on something :twisted:

    • bad12 4.2

      ”The discrepancy in staffing levels should have rung alarm bells with the public servants assessing the bids-or are lies able to be bought off for them as well”?,

      Ed, good question,the answer= our Prime Minister Slippery by His own admission told the ‘public servants’ tasked to assess the efficacy of a ‘convention center’ to cease work upon the project,

      So,the ‘public servant’ at the center of all of this then became the Prime Minister and His office,I have forgotten the name of the particular individual,a close member of the Prime Ministers 9th floor staff who also has close and deep personal links to those who manage the Skycity New Zealand casino,but, it is obvious that between Him and our Slippery Prime Minister the present ‘deal’ was concocted,

      As to being ‘bought’ off over the lies so far told, I have no evidence of anyone having as yet discovered the money trail and could hardly comment until such time as that money trail is found…

  5. Rodel 5

    Is JK’s attitude..’Nuthing wrong wif gamblin’ is there? i’m r’laxed ’bout it an’ i got rich doin’ it di’nt I?
    Wassa problim?

    • Johnm 5.1

      Rodel
      Key made his dinero pile gambling as a currency speculator for the Ponzi outfit Merrill Lynch in the completely financially unregulated London office.
      London, The City, is infamous for its lack of any control over shady , insider, manipulative scam finance.

  6. RedLogix 6

    The booze barons, the ciggy killers, the money-men and gambling goons.. despicable parasites all of them. Why mince around ‘legalities’… these people get fat off the misery of others. Scum.

    As is our Prime Minister who cuts fat insider deals with them.

    • DH 6.1

      Yep. Our gambling laws were put there for a reason and unless the reasons are no longer valid then there’s no justification in changing them. It’s noticeable that Key & his corrupt mob haven’t even addressed the law & why it’s there.

      Much of Sky City’s restrictions revolved around their monopoly casino right which is also entrenched in our law. This is just giving them more monopoly rights to fleece people.

      This particular Convention centre is all about benefiting Sky City, they’re the ones who plan to rake in most of this promised extra tourist spending. It’s not just the pokies, everything in the design of their centre will be aimed at channeling convention business into the casino. They’ll incorporate easy access walkways to the casino in the building design, big windows facing the casino where neon signs catch the attention, signs & promotions everywhere, the usual marketing tricks that subtly nudge people towards their den of iniquity.

  7. ianmac 7

    Two things.
    1. If the pokie machines were off the table would there still be the huge concern?

    2. The Key interview with John Campbell last night on Campbell Live was a big surprise to me. Key dropped all pretence of mumbling, mis-speaking, dissembling and put his position forcefully and persistently. (He pointed to the same case being laid out in 2009 and no one had even noticed.)

    I am confused but adamantly against selling the law and against pokies.

    • Treetop 7.1

      I watched The Nation this morning on TV 3, (repeated at 8 am tomorrow). I also saw the Key Campbell interview last night. Key did not front on The Nation (the Sky City deal and how implicated Key is was discussed at length). Shearer also was interviewed and the best by far I have seen of him in front of the camera.

      1. The huge concern is increasing pokie addicts and any cost to the government for the build of the convention centre, (never mind the cost of new much more hardened addicts). Shearer does not want a change in the casino laws, he wants a retendering process of a national convention centre and for pokie machines to be decreased further in the community.

      2. In 2009 I doubt that Key let slip that Sky City has been to the District Court and High Court over 80 times due to restrictions in the Gambling Act. I need to check if 500 pokie machines were mentioned in 2009 and not just tweaking the law. Key says that pokie machines have been reduced in the community by several thousand but he does not say that the max spin bet on a casino pokie machine is $100 and possibly more.

      I wonder how many times Sky City have been to the District Court or High Court regarding restrictions in the Gaming Act since their meetings with Key?

      • DH 7.1.1

        Re 2. It was reported that Sky City haven’t taken any more court action from the day National got into power. Not sure how true that is but it would be very interesting to see a timeline graph of their court actions.

        • deuto 7.1.1.1

          Treetop and DH, I have just searched out the Herald article on this aspect that I recalled seeing earlier in the week, as IMO this is an important aspect to this whole dirty deal. As DH says, according to the Herald, Sky City have taken no court action since 2009 – ”

          Sky City wooed government after court failures”

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=10799633

          • DH 7.1.1.1.1

            Ta. This bit tells it all….

            “But the courts found the casino’s argument went against the intent of the law, which forbade any increase in opportunities for gambling.”

            Like all of our laws it has an intent and Key has thrown that intent out the window for a few pieces of silver. This really is dangerous territory for NZ IMO.

          • Treetop 7.1.1.1.2

            “SkyCity has not filed a court challenge since the National Government came to power in 2008.”

            Source link in 7.1.1.1 above

            I have to ask myself why not?

            It would not be in the interest of Sky City to bring attention to itself when meeting with politicians to negotiate/influence changes in the Gambling Act.

            For every pokie machine that is taken out of the community and added to Sky City, the damage of a Sky City pokie machine is 40 machines to one in the community.

            Community machine max bet is $2.50.
            Sky City machine max is $100. (Possibly even more).
            100 Sky City machines = 4000 community machines.
            You do the math on 200, 300, 400, 500 Sky City machines.

            Profit going back to the community is reduced by 34.5% if the 2.5 and 37% figures are used which community trusts get.

            Key has commented about Labour being soft on gambling. Drongo talk.

      • Treetop 7.1.2

        Correction in 7.1 paragraph 3 required on line 1. Sky City has been to the NZ Gambling Commission and not the District or High Court 86 times due to restrictions in the Gambling Act.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      2. The Key interview with John Campbell last night on Campbell Live was a big surprise to me. Key dropped all pretence of mumbling, mis-speaking, dissembling and put his position forcefully and persistently.

      When you’ve got your line memorised then it’s easy to say them forcefully and persistently. The thing that I noticed about that interview is that he didn’t have a single argument in favour of his position.

      • ianmac 7.2.1

        DTB.I guess on top of the Casino thing, there is the difference of persona. Sure Key had his lines memorised but his fluency was a huge change from those awful deliveries of set speeches and the fuzzy rambling of previous so called interviews. Wolf in sheep’s clothing by his previous deliveries?
        It does present him as a ruthless personality rather than an amiable friendly guy next door. Dunno.

        • seeker 7.2.1.1

          I think Cambell got the full -frontal -Forex trader/sales man treatment. Horrible to watch in it’s mesmerising, caught like a possum in the head lights, mind stunning while being manipulated by a horrendous and probably corrupting seduction effect. Even you were confused Ianmac.

          http://www.3news.co.nz/John-Key-on-the-Crafar-farm-and-Sky-City-deals/tabid/367/articleID/251223/Default.asp

          Campbell did try to fight back early on in the interview when Key tried to say that Kiwis did not want the Crafar deal because they didn’t like the Chinese. Campbell tried to stop Key on this saying this was not true, it was foreign ownership Kiwis did not like and to say otherwise was “underhand and disingenuous” . Key stopped for a second to say he wasn’t being underhand and disingenuous and than carried on, in his well rehearsed reasonable, “trader/dealer tone “, to be ……..underhand and disingenuous, by repeating his scripted mantra that Kiwis did not like the Chinese. After that it was full steam ahead on the “get them to believe you and trust you at any cost, then exploit them ” Key express.

          Campbell had tried to stop Key earlier when key tried to obfusticate and imply that if his Government had not taken the Crafar deal they would have been breaking the law! BUT,Cambell missed a beat, tried to head him off at the “underhand” point above and failed! It was down hill all the way after that. The ‘pokie’ questions gathered no moss.

          Moral of this sad tale of ‘the dealer that got away’- don’t let them get away with even the tiniest detail- question, pursue, question,follow up, pursue, and demand answers and don’t let them get away with a script. (Mike Hosking did this well once – ironic, considering his links to SkyCity!)
          Slippery people need to be impaled on a truth stick.

          • Uturn 7.2.1.1.1

            Key’s best argument seemed to be that because Campbell and the media in general was crap at their job and didn’t pull him up in 2009, it was ok for Key to do as he pleased now. Classic Godwin stuff.

  8. Nick K 8

    Zetetic thinks the convention centre will be a white elephant. So what? It’s Sky City’s money, and its shareholders. If you think it’s gonna lose money hand over fist then don’t buy shares in Sky City and don’t use it. I’ll tell you what is a white elephant – Kiwi Rail. Purchased by Michael Cullen for an grossly inflated amount. The convention centre is using no public money. Why are you against a shark like Sky City losing money? If it loses money it might go out of business and then there are no pokies.

    [Another damaged RWNJ fuckwit who doesn't understand the difference between book value and market value. ..RL]

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      The convention centre is using no public money.

      The taxpayers will be the ones paying to clean up the mess that SkyCity creates so, yes, it will be using public money – just not directly.

    • infused 8.2

      Fuckwit… such good manners there RL. Leading by example again.

      • RedLogix 8.2.1

        The “Cullen paid too much for Kiwirail’ is a perenial RWNJ fuckwit argument that has been trashed over and again. I feel no need to waste good manners on it.

        • infused 8.2.1.1

          Maybe, but at the same time, you are trashing this place too. I don’t understand why a considerable number of mods/admins/whatever here feel the need to do this, when they tell people not to do it.

          Case of do what I say, not what I do.

          [ Your concern is duely noted...RL]

          [lprent: You still haven't read the policy yet have you? Here, I will help your hapless arse out..

          We encourage robust debate and we’re tolerant of dissenting views. But this site run for reasonably rational debate between dissenting viewpoints and we intend to keep it operating that way.

          What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others.

          Where in there does it say that we want to conform to your twee manners? Just because you are a fool who wants to hide behind some kind of fake politeness does not mean that the rest of us are required to follow your dickhead ways.

          And that is for commentators. Moderators are explicitly told to be quite immoderate if they have to expend effort on someone. That especially applies for arguments that are raised that have been endlessly raised before, refuted, and are generally used by morons who are too dumb to realize that repetition is not the answer to everything. They just cause flamewars and the standard way to fight any fire is to firebreak it. In a blog setting that is pointing out that it isn't tolerated. ]

  9. Treetop

    I agree with you on Shearer’s performance on TV.

    But if that’s the best he can do somebody should get hold of him and show him how to handle it.
    He can do better I’m sure.
    Please, he has got to, to show himself as the next New Zealand Prime Minister.

  10. infused 10

    Key murdered Campbell last night.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Because he knew he was fighting for his political life.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      He failed to make any valid points while talking over Campbell. In fact, he brought up the false argument of racism again despite that this has been proven wrong several times.

      • seeker 10.2.1

        @Infused

        “Key murdered Campbell last night”

        Not just Campbell but the entire country with his profligacy. He has to go -or go and be treated for
        his ‘Prime Ministerial dysfunctional behaviour’ condition.

  11. Dave G 11

    It seems suddenly, readers and the Journo’s want the Government to BAN anything that MIGHT cause personal harm through the choices one makes.

    This gentleman could have simply sought help, turned off the internet, stayed home, and stopped. Hard yes, but achievable, compared to those with cancer, and heart disease etc etc.

    There is something called personal responsibility, its about taking care of ones own destiny, something the bleeding lefties seem to forget. Lets look at the overall benefit to NZ and the community froth convention centre and a few more Pokies, remembering there care still LESS than under the Clark led Labour government- its bloody massive, 1000 Jobs under construction, almost $100 mill every year, international exposure, and many more benefits for the hundreds of small businesses than supply goods and services to the Convention centre in construction, tourism, hospitality, services, food, cleaning etc etc………. The list goes on and on.

    If the Standard and left leaning Journo’s take this to the extreme, we would ban all cars, as someone might get hurt, someone might suffer. We would be far better spending the effort over this person, on helping a cancer sufferer, or the elderly. No one has complained yet, this convention centre is likely to serve alcohol, and MY GOD, there could be a car crash from that, someone might be injured. Yes, its a possibility.

    Please – find the guy, offer him a hand, and others like them. Move him to Ruatoria, or Nightcaps, no internet, mobile phone etc, and give him a crossword to do every day. Might improve his grasp of the english language as well.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      Like all right wingers you’re big on personal repsonsibility when your talking about other people’s problems.

      The casino makes money ultimately off the loss and misery of others. They happily take big big bucks off these people… but as always are very silent on taking responsibility for the consequences of their own actions.

      • Dave G 11.1.1

        No, they DO NOT take the money of them, these people GIVE their money readily, as they take a calculated risk.

        FYI I am not right wing, i actually have supported labour in the past, but can’t abide by either poor leadership (which labour have suffered from for years) or those who want a nanny state to look after anything and everything while they drink smoke and gamble themselves to deaths door. Illness is one thing, addiction is another.

        • RedLogix 11.1.1.1

          Well I’ll take your word about not being a rightie then. In my world if you make money off doing something, then you are responsible for the consequences… intended or otherwise.

          Many years ago I dated a woman who was a perfectly responsible and capable person, with her own home, family and professional career. By no stretch could you describe her as a ‘weak-willed loser’… quite the opposite I dare say.

          But one evening out she as we entered a pub she told me quite clearly that if I found that later that she was in front of one of the pokie machines in the side-room… I was to absolutely strong-arm her out of the place. Fortunately it didn’t come to it that evening, but for her it was a risk she was going to have to live with the rest of her life. She loathed the sodding things and everything to do with them.

          And yes, like almost all addicts, she hadn’t gotten to that point of responsibility without hitting rock-bottom first.

          But of course the owners and operators of these vile machines NEVER take any effective responsibility for the consequences of what THEY are doing. They hide behind the exact same argument you are using Dave.

        • joe90 11.1.1.2

          these people GIVE their money readily,

          Oh really, their money?.

    • Colonial Viper 11.2

      There is something called personal responsibility, its about taking care of ones own destiny, something the bleeding lefties seem to forget.

      I’d like to see the Board and senior management of SkyCity take some personal responsibility for the den of misery they run.

      When’s that going to happen, buddy?

    • Treetop 11.3

      Dave G you are correct in saying that there are now less pokie machines about than when Clark was PM. May be this is part of the plan to dupe the public in order for Key to get a national convention centre paid for by Sky City. In my above post 7.1.1.1.2 I point out that one casino pokie machine is = to 40 non casino pokie machines. I am left thinking how far back the Sky City deal with the government may have been raised as Sky City have not filed any court action to increase gambling at Sky City since the National Government were elected in 2008.

  12. unpcnzcougar 12

    Out of the tens of thousands of people who go through the casino every year, exactly how many are addicts? Can someone answer this. And will 500 more machines create more or will the number of addicts remain the same?

    The benefit of having SkyCity build a convention centre which costs the tax payer nothing will result in a massive benefit to tourism and the Auckland economy.

    • r0b 12.1

      upc – this stuff is well known:

      However, Problem Gambling Foundation chief executive Graeme Ramsey said research showed for every gaming machine, there was 0.8 of a problem gambler.

      “So it’s almost one for one. There’s a very clear correlation between availability of machines and the number of machines, and the number of problems.”

      Forty per cent of the money lost in machines came from people with gambling problems.

      “The harm from gambling is all about pokie machines. For over 70 per cent of people who come to us, it’s about pokies.”

      THe benefits look good – but only if you don’t count the costs.

      • unpcnzcougar 12.1.1

        Thanks Rob. I like numbers – research not so much. I do gamble myself. We peaked at 25221 machines in 2003, during 2008 – 2011 they declined from 19739 to 18001 so if they go to the max of an extra 500 which I don’t believe they will due to public pressure then that is 18501 below what they were when Key came to power and well below the peak of 25221 in 2003.

        So if the research is correct then the addicts would have decreased since 2003 – yes?

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 12.1.1.1

          Specious arguments to defend the indefensible.

          There is no argument that says that selling New Zealand legislation (ie: sovereignty) is anything other than rank treachery. There is no argument that says that an increase in misery is a good thing.

          There is no rock for this corrupt Prime Minister to hide under.

        • Treetop 12.1.1.2

          It is not just about bums on pokie machine seats, it is about how quick the money is taken. Government will not restrict Sky City to have the same bet per spin as played on a non casino pokie machine as pokie player/addicts can do the rounds else where.

      • Dave G 12.1.2

        And, of course that is properly researched and the research is audited, not just the ramblings of the CE pushing his organization.

        Please think carefully. Lets establish the Problem drivers foundation, and the Problem Smokers Foundation and take the same tact.

        “So it’s almost one for one. There’s a very clear correlation between driving and crashes. Every 10 km travelled by a drunk driver results in an injury accident. We propose to ban all cars and make people walk everywhere so there can’t be accidents from drunks driving cars….

        Better still, It’s almost one for one. There is an undeniable correlation between smoking and Cancer. 80% of Smokers suffer cancer at some point in their lives, and this not only destroys their lives, it severely effects the lives of those around them, and costs the country billions a year in health and other costs. Let’s BAN all smoking.

        Get real people, fix the cause, not the effect – I challenge all the smokers to admit is is bad for them, and give up prior to commenting on the gambling issue. its not nearly as serious as smoking!!

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      In other words, having a few casualties from Key’s gambling plans, most of whom are from the poorer part of town, is no problem.

      • unpcnzcougar 12.2.1

        Originating from the poorer part of town myself and now living in a “nicer” part of town I can say one thing for certain. People do what they’re going to do anyway. Adding more machines is not going to create a traffic jam on the southern motorway. The machines are never full. You saw my stats – yet you chose not to comment on those. Why not? The peak of machines was under a Labour Government. Auckland needs a convention centre. Sometimes roads need to be built and houses have to go. People drink and drive. People do what they’re going to do.

        • DH 12.2.1.1

          You seem a little confused here. Auckland doesn’t need a convention centre, it wants one. Just like Auckland wants another harbour crossing, more roads, better public transport… etc etc. Want & need have very different definitions.

          In terms of economic benefits to Auckland a Convention Centre doesn’t even show on the radar, it simply isn’t important to the Auckland economy whether we get it or not. So it might bring in a few million dollars more. Whoopee, big fucking deal. GDP in NZ is some $170billion and Auckland accounts for a large part of that so lets get some scale here.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.3

      The benefit of having SkyCity build a convention centre which costs the tax payer nothing…

      It won’t cost nothing – it will cost the destruction of the lives of several hundred people.

      • unpcnzcougar 12.3.1

        Please explain.

      • DH 12.3.2

        It will cost taxpayers and/or ratepayers a fortune. What the glib-talking salesmen have forgotten to tell people is that the centre will run at a substantial loss in at least the first 3-5 years of operation… if it ever does make a profit.

        The report by MED on the convention centre mentioned that the big conventions that will make us all rich beyond our wildest dreams are normally booked 4-5years in advance. Auckland won’t get many big booking confirmations until the centre is near completion so we’ll have a good 3-4years of big operating losses to pay for before we start seeing the promised thousands of conventioners and their big spending antics. Guess who’ll be paying for that.

        • higherstandard 12.3.2.1

          “Guess who’ll be paying for that.”

          Sky city and their shareholders ?

          • DH 12.3.2.1.1

            Don’t be stupid. Sky City are only paying for the building, they’re not funding the operating costs.

            • higherstandard 12.3.2.1.1.1

              I think you’re mistaken, have you got a link to confirm your comment ?

              • DH

                Give it some thought mate. If Sky City run the centre then they control the downstream business; all this wonderful tourist spending they’re yapping about. The convention space is the first thing that gets booked. The organisers of conventions like having a package offered to them to save hunting around for accommodation, dining & all that goes with conventions.

                Hand control over to Sky City and the conventioners would stay in Sky City hotels, eat at Sky City Restaurants, entertain at Sky City Casino…. yada yada yada. Auckland would really benefit from all that wouldn’t it.

                • higherstandard

                  Well most large conferences I have attended overseas have a range of accommodation choices along with various add on options for excursions the vast amount of which have little or nothing to do with the convention centre or convention itself.

                  As I enquired before, do you have any reliable information to back on your assertion that Sky City is only paying for the building and not funding the operating costs ?

                  If so this would be a poor deal for Auckland ratepayers.

                  • DH

                    I worded that wrong. I meant Sky City wouldn’t be funding *all* the operating costs, there will be Govt subsidies in various forms. Eddie has another post covering it.

                    It goes without saying that the Govt will want some measure of influence over the operation of the centre. Sky City aren’t building just a convention centre, to them it’s also a regular supply of fresh meat for their casino & other operations. The 500 pokies is likely the amount of new casino business they predict the centre will bring in.

                    Only way the Govt can exert some influence is by ponying up some of the running costs.

  13. seeker 13

    @Dave G. 2.18pm.

    “these people GIVE their money readily, as they take a calculated risk.”
    No Dave, gambling is addictive and as such can become fully blown destructive addiction just like heroin, alcohol or smoking. For an addiction to become fully blown – where all reasonable control, thought, calculation and volition flies out of the window – it needs to be introduced to the addict in the first place and then fed.

    Places like SkyCity introduce it purely for profit, and then they feed it, with more and more machines-had they been allowed by the law. Pokies have been called the “meth amphetamine” of the gambling world in today’s Herald.

    Now SkyCity, aided and abetted by John Key, Stephen Joyce and all who support this deal are about to give an extra large feed, via many more pokies and a law change,to further fuel the ghastly, destructive, rabid addiction of many more poor souls (and I do mean poor in both the economic and mentally vulnerable sense).

    Stilll tempted by a $350 million dollar convention centre and a few hundred possible jobs Dave G.et al ( or should I say other ‘blind’ als) at the expense of the lives of others?

    Friedman,Joseph, Thatcher, Reagan, Douglas etc.did their evil work well by mutating and corrupting many minds of a generation, a generation who now has no problem putting profit, lust and self service ahead of human lives. The new all pervasive morality of the moneyworshippers is productivity and competitiveness at all cost (so said PhilO’reilly on Close up tvnz,29..2.12). Harden your heart forget you are human, sell your souls -you won’t notice they are gone after a while.

  14. Dave G 14

    Colonial Viper…… Why is it a problem. Is smoking a problem created by the government. Are car crashes created by the government. No, not at all.

    So why is any gambling the problem of the government, no matter how many Pokies are in existence.

    Gambling has been around long before Pokies were a feature of pubs and clubs in NZ. I can recall the illegal bookies in pubs many years ago, and the TAB’s taking punters money of them, often they had to go home to their families to tell them there was no money for the week.

    Was that the Governments fault, should they have banned all breeding of Horses for racing to stop Gambling? No. No matter what you do some fool will be stripped of their money via some form of gambling – its about working with the gamblers not restricting any choice they and others have.

    As you see so concerned and genuine about problem gambling, you volunteer to help the problem gamblers ?? if yes, I salute you, well done. If not, your another hypocrite!!

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      As you see so concerned and genuine about problem gambling, you volunteer to help the problem gamblers ?? if yes, I salute you, well done. If not, your another hypocrite!!

      Yeah I am concerned, very concerned.

      My bit to help in this is to make sure that National die in a ditch over SkyCity.

      Satisfied?

      Colonial Viper…… Why is it a problem. Is smoking a problem created by the government. Are car crashes created by the government. No, not at all.

      You’re sorta thick, right? You know, ignoring the role of Government in reducing access and desirability of things like smokes. Of ensuring the safety and maintenance of cars.

      Of limiting gambling activities.

  15. sdm 15

    Explain how a non problem gambler, who wasnt a problem when we had 25000 machines, suddenly goes and becomes a problem, because of these extra 500 machines

    • unpcnzcougar 15.1

      @sdm Thank you. That was my point. Let’s stick to the facts and the hard numbers rather than the shrilling which is making my ears hurt.

    • higherstandard 15.2

      Well if they were not at a site which already had a surfeit of pokies people may have a case that more gambling addiction may occur however the vast majority of wailing is politically motivated, which is understandable.

      • unpcnzcougar 15.2.1

        Yes, think it is a classic case of minority squeaky wheels. Build it, everyone will forget it about and the majority won’t have a problem with it, especially the businesses and tourism industry that benefit.

    • Uturn 15.3

      Uh, it’s called progression of time. Are there more people in NZ since then? Yes. Is gambling more popular? Yes. Is there a drive to promote gambling by Sky City? Yes. Do people’s life situations change? Yes.

      Lets start out easy. Explain how many P addicts there were before P turned up here. Now how many after a few P labs were busted. Now how many after a few more P labs opened.

      Explain how you won’t get sick in the future because you aren’t sick now, despite their being more, or less, diseases and more, or less, doctors to an earlier point.

      Explain how you won’t ever have a car accident because you haven’t in the past, despite car ownership fluctuating.

      Explain how it is that your brain thinks that because something didn’t happen to someone in the past, that it will never happen to anyone again, despite irrelevant indicators.

      • felix 15.3.1

        Right wingers who post here never seem to be able to factor time into their equations. Their faith in a static universe is laughably cute.

        In other news, the question of whether more people will develop spending problems is moot anyway. The only definite outcome which can be predicted with absolute certainty is that there will be more spending.

        Whether this is via more people developing problems or via people with existing problems spending more is irrelevant to this particular argument. We know for certain that the result will be more money sucked out of our communities and into pokie machines.

        How do we know this? Because if it weren’t true, SkyCity wouldn’t want them. Doh.

  16. seeker 16

    @higherstandard 4.27pm

    “vast majority of wailing is politically motivated, ”

    Wrong!!! It is morally motivated.

    Surely with the name you have given yourself you should be able to recognise this.

    • higherstandard 16.1

      If that were the case I would’ve expected far more of a debate about the banning of pokies and restricting the activities of the TAB and Lotto – unfortunately the debate has centred on the political ramifications and political prejudices as demonstrated by your earlier post.

      • McFlock 16.1.1

        You want a discussion on gambling? Go to a gambling blog site.
        You’re disappointed because people who comment on a political site discuss political ramifications of things.

        • higherstandard 16.1.1.1

          I was replying to seeker above making the point that the vast majority of faux moral concern is politically motivated.

  17. Uturn 17

    This is what it comes down to: no one can predict the future with accuracy.

    Some people tend to notice events creating trends, resulting in general outcomes.

    People who prefer to err on the side of caution, in most things, realise that money is nothing compared to the source of real wealth – actual resources. If the result of a decision is that five hundred people will die, but $50 million will be made, these people empathise with the loss, calculate and note the significance of social costs. If they can’t find an alternative, they decline the action and say we probably don’t need the money anyway.

    Other people use basic numbers to measure dynamic situations that cannot be measured with static rules. They don’t care if 500 people die if $50 million is produced and as long as they are not one of those who die. Because they confuse increase of money as an increase of wealth and general social health, they think that making money will solve all problems, thus anything that makes money is good and need not be questioned.

    In NZ, one group asks: What’s good for people in general and how can social costs be reduced? Another group asks: What’s good for me and how much money can be made?

    I hope you have enjoyed this brief outlilne of why things are the way they are.

  18. marsman 18

    Just saw a cartoon from the NZ Herald on Facebook.
    Key’s proposition to SkyCity:-
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/news-cartoons/news/article.cfm?c_id=500814&objectid=10799641

  19. xtasy 19

    When the Sky Tower was built and opened to the public, I could not believe what was going on in NZ. Yes, it was casino money paying for it, and now we have that same international corporation about to press the government to accept a deal to increase their pokie machines by about a third. John Key is warm for the idea, he even invited them to present their “offer” and conditions, looking at it very favourably.

    Change the law a bit, so Sky City gets about a third more in one armed bandit machines, the proved most addictive form of gambling, generating at least 40 per cent of revenue through problem gamblers, and this government wants to sign this off!

    Where do we live? This is unbelievable. I understand that casinos overseas face stricter controls and higher levies than in NZ. We expect other operators to contribute over 30 per cent of revenue to the community to address gambling and other problems. Yet Sky City already gets let off with a mere 2 or 2 and a half percent on profit.

    John Key is showing his true colours here. He is in with the big players in business, bad or not so bad. As long as there are “economic gains”, which means nothing but “profits” for the operators, it is considered healthy and justified.

    So Sky City wants to build and operate a convention centre that some feel NZ and Auckland needs. Fair enough, but what were the terms others (e.g. Infratil) offered, to give us as the public a fair view on this?

    Well, the government and Council may hav e to pay a bit towards other deals, but that may also mean saving millions in addressing social and health costs that will result from increased pokies at Sky City. Does anybody give that a thought? No, and it is the same with other issues. NZ is behind in thinking pro actively in many areas. OK plain packaged cigarettes may be a solution, but what about addressing gambling and alcoholism, drug addiction, poor dietary solutions and so forth also?

    It is ignored, due to lobby companies putting the pressures on. That is the bloody truth. Stop this damned rot and send a clear message to your MP, perhaps make submissions and protest, to stop this rotten government selling this country short. Throw J. Key out next election, that is the minimum to be expected now.

  20. Anthony Bull 20

    Do you guys realise that there are now 7,000 less pokie machines in the country than when Labour was running the country?

    It kind of makes you guys look like a bunch of hypocrites – or of rather small intelligence, that you are getting your knickers all worked up about this.

    As a related point – watch John Key completely take John Campbell to pieces over this – absolutely brilliant……

    http://ondemand.tv3.co.nz/Campbell-Live-Friday-April-20-2012/tabid/119/articleID/6262/MCat/73/Default.aspx

    • felix 20.1

      I think you’ve posted the wrong link, Mr Bull.

      • Anthony Bull 20.1.1

        That link shows Campbell being made to look like a hack – whats so wrong about it?

    • KJT 20.2

      What makes you think we all support Labour?

    • bad12 20.3

      I will refrain here from offering any critique of what i see as any of your personal short-comings, but, as you have in fact indicated that the reduction in the number of ‘pokie machines’ has only happened as a consequence of there being a National Government I can only suggest you take a long deep look at yourself in the mirror,(looking for any traces of a liar lurking within),

      The ‘sinking lid’ policy governing the number of ‘pokie machines’ was operating under the previous 9 years of Labour/NZFirst/Green Government, so we fail to see any hypocrisy inherent to the opposition to Slippery and Nationals current shady dealings with SkyCity,

      I would suggest that you re-view the Campbell Live interview with Slippery over His dealings with Skycity and take note of the points in the interview where the Prime Minister found Himself squeaking in a voice more fitting of a teenage girl in answer to a couple of Campbells more pointed queries,

      A forensic psychologist would tell you that such dramatic fluctuations in voice usually indicate either lying or someone under pressure attempting to inject an emotional plea of ‘believe me’ in answer to a given question where they know that their answer is of questionable veracity and a lot rides upon those seeing,viewing,or hearing the answer placing ‘trust’ in the person answering which is not based upon the actual facts of the answer as given,

      Sounds pretty Slippery to me…

      • McFlock 20.3.1

        The ‘sinking lid’ policy governing the number of ‘pokie machines’ was operating under the previous 9 years of Labour/NZFirst/Green Government

         
        What? Key claiming credit for initiatives introduced by labour?! I’m shocked, shocked I tells ya…
         
        Nah, not really. Par for the course from that slimey jerk.

      • ropata 20.3.2

        i wonder how much of this wondrous decline in pokies occurred as a result of destroyed pubs in Christchurch…

        • McFlock 20.3.2.1

          That would be a revealing stat – how quick the pokies were back as opposed to accommodation.

        • prism 20.3.2.2

          Good point ropata. It’s the sort of fortunate fact that would prove the old saying that ‘There’s a silver lining to every cloud’ that is manna to a politician.

    • Carol 20.4

      Erm…. it looks to me like Campbell puts it to Key….especially on Crafar farms. Dead, cold eyes their, Jonkey.

      So has the PM been to visit Betty Ford on one of his trips overseas? Otherwise, how the explain the startling verbal transformation?

    • xtasy 20.5

      Bull, that was agreed pliy for years, under the last and present government, to reduce over all gambling machines. Now suddenly, Mr Key and consorts want to have Sky City exempted from this, by allowing them a 30 or more per cent increase in pokies offered, while others have to cut down on them. Do you not get it, or are you such a brain washed Natiional Party supporter?

      Tonight I learn that even the supposed “anti gambling” John (hollow) Banks may support the deal. What a rotten state of affairs is NZ in?

    • Treetop 20.6

      Councils control the sinking lid policy on the reduction of pokie machines not the government.

  21. Roger 21

    Given the damage that problem gambling causes it’s not enough to say that there are less pokie machines now than there used to be. Also if supporters of the project believed in the laissez-faire approach then wouldn’t this be seen as a cost of business to be funded by the businesses that want to use the Convention Centre? Alternatively, if its not economic for businesses to fund, and its really a matter of national strategic importance, then it should compete with other government priorities for full public funding. There might be a case for PPP’s under certain circumstances to help build socially useful infrastructure. Whether pokies and a Convention Centre qualify is another question altogether.

  22. bad12 22

    Hell how can anyone discuss ‘pokie machines’ in terms of economics, such things are the anti-thesis of economy,

    Pokie machines simply remove capital from the economy while providing no productive basis for having done so,(unless of course anyone can consider a few flashing lights and a musical jingle as production)…

  23. prism 23

    Key says it is fiscally neutral. We taxpayers haven’t had to pay anything. Those addicted to chasing impossible dreams only live in the poorer part of town and in a sort of virtual apartheid so will not visit Sky City. Wrong on all counts.

    The taxpayers will pay for each gambling addict’s treatment. Their families suffer and pay as they are deprived of money needed to service the family’s needs and any unexpected windfalls will be sucked up till they come up empty. Gamblers will steal (embezzle) from their workplace, their clubs, their charitable connections or borrow from gullible family. Humans in general find it hard to say ‘enough’ to the promise of hopeful gains from gambling, and it is not just the low income people.

    Lastly embracing this type of gambling demonstrates the amoral attitude of free market business people and their fellow travellers. They will take from vulnerable people till they have nothing then disdain them when they have insufficient left to manage their lives.

    Pokies were introduced in 1991 – they had not been part of the mix before. The politicians who did so are money-machine-men who will take money from anyone, making a profit is a moral act to them, and the less restrictions on asset stripping either companies, their shareholders, the nation and its people, or the individuals who can be tapped is fair game. They are ‘smiling assassins’ except they tend to look grave and wise and act like reliable people with broad knowledge and high integrity. Whatever they say or do, look for their ulterior motives.

  24. ochocinco 24

    Even if the extra pokies caused zero harm, the issue would be this: Key sold NZ to corporate/capitalist interests. Which he should not do.

    • felix 24.1

      Too right. The pokies themselves are a side issue, a small dirty piece of a much bigger dirty puzzle.

  25. henry olongo 25

    Dave G your posts on this topic are absolute drivel. You are in denial- the reality is that addictive gambling on pokie machines is a new feature in our society. It requires eradication through regulation.

  26. lynette 26

    John key selling the law is just ridiculous. and in favour of machines that take jobs, unbelievable. Profits going goodness knows where. Whats the country comming to.
    Pokies are addictive hypnotic devices that rob people blind while giving them deception and adrendalin. they are programmed to take your money whilst you are in a hypnotic state. It isnt ‘gaming’ it isnt ‘entertainment’
    It is a real social issue. How the government has got it this far is beyond me. Please wake up democratic NZ and stand up.
    I wrote a book called ‘pokies, even when i win’ order it from a bookshop and read it. Its good and honest and took a lot for me to put it out there.Lynette Whale. published by Steele Roberts.

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  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Government’s ‘rock star economy’ throws hospital staff ou...
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star...
    PSA | 16-04
  • Lip service: it’s all climate action ever gets from Key & Co
    As expected, the New Zealand government’s response to the IPCC’s Working Group 3 report on mitigating climate change pays lip service to the science, while maintaining that NZ is doing all that can be expected. Climate change minister Tim Groser’s...
    Hot Topic | 16-04
  • Progress of FCV “slave ships” Bill is good news – but much work remai...
    The Maritime Union of New Zealand says the progress of the “slave ships” Bill in the New Zealand Parliament is good news – but much work remains to be done....
    MUNZ | 16-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
    Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
    The Smokefree Coalition is disappointed Imperial Tobacco did not win the Roger Award for Worst Trans-national Company operating in New Zealand, despite manufacturing products that kill 5000 New Zealanders every year....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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