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Polity: ROPS – Roads of Political Significance

Written By: - Date published: 8:51 am, June 30th, 2014 - 130 comments
Categories: Environment, john key, national, same old national, transport - Tags: , , , ,

polity_square_for_lynnReposted from Polity.

National’s announcement yesterday of $212 million for 14 roading projects around regional New Zealand hits a lot of bad notes. I think it is a strategic mistake.

First, New Zealanders value their environment, take climate change seriously, and worry that National are reluctant environmental stewards at best. This announcement of roads, roads, and more roads does not help that impression one bit.

Second, New Zealanders are not used to pork-barreling as naked as this. All but two of the projects are in National-held areas, and those other two are on National’s target list in September. Also, many of them are in areas where the Labour campaign is a threat (for example Hawkes Bay, Rotorua). This is as cynical of an election bribe as we’ve seen in some time, and the media called it that straight away:

  • NZ Herald: “Prime Minister John Key has announced a $212 million roading and construction package in a bid to shoreup National’s vote in regional New Zealand for the September 20 election.”
  • Fairfax: “National is defending a new $212 million road transport package, saying the party is not trying to buy votes in the regions.”

Third, some of the projects are complete clunkers. For example, the new State Highway in Nelson has been a pet project of Nick Smith’s for years. It re-routes SH 6 away from rich houses near the coast, and instead ploughs through more modest neighbourhoods, including backing a State Highway onto multiple schools. Here is what the Environment Court concluded about the proposal:

We see the proximity of two major schools and kindergarten to such a State Highway as undesirable and disabling to both the pupils and the teachers. We are unable to see the significant benefits from switching State Highway 6 from its existing route to the Southern Link, especially if heavy diesel vehicles were to be banned… Our key concerns relate to the proximity of the schools to the route, potential effects on pedestrian safety, and issues of social coherence… Fundamentally this is the wrong place to put a State Highway.

Ouch. And yet the National Party is ploughing on with this unsafe, unnecessary, expensive roading project. I sure hope the other roads have more evidence to support them than this one.


lprent: Also see Matt L at  TransportBlog looking at some of these projects. His take on many of them in response to some of the twittering from John Key is that 

It’s completely disingenuous to say that good roads are good for public transport. None of the roading projects pushed by the government over the last 6 years have had any benefit to public transport and many (like those in Wellington) will actually work against the PT system. What all of the projects have primarily been about is moving bigger and heavier trucks.

130 comments on “Polity: ROPS – Roads of Political Significance”

  1. kiwigunner 1

    So we sold our assets for … new roads (and to provide money for the governments electioneering).

    • Chooky 1.1


      yes and to provide money for NACT mates huge private property development dreams and planning for a massive immigration population increase…( from where?…China, Israel, USA?)

      …Gisborne a super city anyone?…Auckland another Shanghai?

      …these politicians need to get a grip and listen to what New Zealanders want….and it is not massive amounts of money spent on new motorways!

      ….doesnt do much for New Zealand’s tourist industry ( a multi billion dollar earner?)…this does not seem to have been factored in…tourists love NZ the way it is ( just the way they love the Greek Islands) …they come here to get away from motorways and population and meet real New Zealanders and real New Zealand culture…….German and French tourists love NZ’s rustic roads and say they are in good repair if you drive within the speed limit

      ….money should be spent on public transport, rail, and making our roads safe for cyclists all around New Zealand

    • You_Fool 1.2

      and here I was thinking we sold them to pay down government debt… I guess that goes on the list of porkies

      • blue leopard 1.2.1

        +1 You_Fool

        Whilst roads are technically ‘assets’ they are not revenue generating assets – nor do they provide strong social benefits such as schools or hospitals (which are some of the many other things Nats said they were going to spend the proceeds of asset sales on – more lies).

        I can’t think of anything much more irresponsible and foolish than selling revenue generating assets for ones that neither provide revenue nor direct social benefits and require continual upkeep to boot.

        Selling revenue generating assets to build roads is like selling a business to buy a car – and ending up with no income and jobless – which is where increasing amounts of people in this country are heading if National get into government again.

    • Tracey 1.3

      I recall that Key said he had a mandate for asset sales because he campaigned on it. He also campaigned that money from those assets would go to Health, Schools and reducing debt. Do roads count int hat because you need them to get rushed to hospital or actually get to school?

      So, to clarify. The mandate to sell overrides the referendum, but the mandate to put it into education and health and debt reduction was optional?

  2. mickysavage 2

    Another aspect is that the Government has been running down local road spend share of the NLTF and the financial assistance rate for local roads for years. More Local Authority money has been needed to pay for local roads. This is a partial return but in a hand picked number of projects that are remarkably evenly spread around the country. The sense of political game playing is strong here …

  3. Jono 3

    I did some environmental planning work on one if these projects three years ago. There is no way it wasn’t being built until 2020; I am usually involved about three to four years before the machines start, not a decade. The idea that these projects are being brought forward for the good of the community is an absolute crock.

  4. BM 4

    Pork barreling?, that’s ridiculous, as is shown by this map.
    Notice the color?


    • mickysavage 4.1

      MMP BM. Every vote is worth the same no matter what electorate they are cast in.

      • BM 4.1.1

        But the argument is that these roading projects are outrageous pork barrel operations because the vast majority of the projects are in National held regional areas.

        As shown by the maps there’s very few areas outside the main cities where labour hold an electoral seat.

    • lprent 4.2

      Did you notice the word marginal around there somewhere?

      National doesn’t have as good a grip on some of those provincial electorates as they’d like. Have a look at the 2002 one in particular.

      1. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8b/NewZealandElectorates1999-Labeled.png
      2. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/97/NewZealandElectorates2002-Labeled.png
      3. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a0/New_Zealand_general_election%2C_2005_-_electorate_results.png
      4. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/28/New_Zealand_election_2008_electorate_results.svg/778px-New_Zealand_election_2008_electorate_results.svg.png

      It is a standard Muldoon trick to spread roading money into the marginals when National is on the downward spiral. He did it in 1981 and 1984 to make a lot of gravel roads get their tarseal. Of course afterwards the tarseal wasn’t maintained all that well….

      • BM 4.2.1

        Good point, there were a few more regional seats held by labour when Helen was in power and they may one day swing back.

        The thing is though roading is very popular with the average voter, people love driving their cars.
        You go out on the weekend and and amount of traffic is unreal, I’d say Saturday, Sunday are some of the busiest days on road

        I realize a lot on here consider cars evil and everyone should be using public transport but the vast majority of people like their cars and like good roads to drive on.

        Population want new fancy roads and as a politician you’d be mad not to tap into that.

        • framu

          Do you consider any ulterior motives when a mate whos refused to help, in fact made it harder for you all of a sudden hands you the exact same thing?

          its not about the roads in and of themselves – the roads down west coast are quite likely in need of some major upgrading – its about the roads in COMBINATION with the timing of the spending – announced just before an election, slated to start just after

          it doesnt have to be an impractical or un-needed investment in order to be pork barreling

        • Tracey

          There you go again speaking for the average voter BM. BUT can you address the following for me;

          I recall that Key said he had a mandate for asset sales because he campaigned on it. He also campaigned that money from those assets would go to Health, Schools and reducing debt.

          So, to clarify. The mandate to sell overrides the referendum, but the mandate to put it into education and health and debt reduction was optional?

          • srylands

            Tracey you are completely mistaken. The intent was made quite clear in 2011.


            “National will use the proceeds from the mixed-ownership model to set up a Future Investment Fund of up to $7 billion to pay for new infrastructure without extra borrowing, National Party finance spokesman Bill English says.”

            “”Through the Fund the public can be assured the proceeds of mixed ownership are not being lost. They will be used to buy new assets for New Zealanders, and to upgrade and modernise our existing assets, reducing the Government’s borrowing from foreign lenders by $5-$7 billion.”

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              S Rylands, are you ignorant, mendacious, blinded by feeble failed ideology or a combination of all three?

              Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance) :

              The Government has been clear that the proceeds of the share offer programme will be used to buy a variety of new public assets and will help the Government avoid having to borrow to procure those assets. The Future Investment Fund was outlined in Budget 2012 and further details were provided in Budget 2013. The purpose of that fund is to ensure complete transparency about the spending of the proceeds from asset sales. The Budget confirmed another $1.5 billion of these proceeds will be invested in schools, Christchurch hospitals, KiwiRail, and irrigation projects. However, the share offer proceeds are only a proportion of the Government’s overall new capital spending.

              Hansard. Volume:691;Page:11416

              Lying trash Prime Minister:

              They are to free up capital on behalf of taxpayers to fund public assets like schools and hospitals and growth-promoting investments such as infrastructure and broadband;

              Hansard. Volume:673;Page:19724

              Press releases count for nothing.

        • lprent

          Have a look at my new post. The underlying problem is that most of the roads in most rural areas are economic roads. However National have been pulling money from those to fund what appear to be land speculator roads.

          Meanwhile in urban places like Auckland we’re starved of the economic benefits that good public transport brings (like massively reducing congestion) because National is building roads that a small minority of people use to get away to their rapidly appreciating beach batches on long weekends.

          It is no wonder that they’re trying to make it look like they build things other than “Roads of Significance to National MP’s investments”

        • Draco T Bastard

          Population want new fancy roads and as a politician you’d be mad not to tap into that.

          Part of a politicians job is to inform people when they can’t have what they want.

          And, yes, putting in more roads in the face of the evidence of Climate Change is mad – completely fucken insane in fact.

  5. dv 5

    So in 2030 the Natconserves are campaigning to sell the nz road.
    So that they can build more power stations.

  6. hoom 6

    Spending like they are drunk.

    Hell no we can’t afford $250 mil to avoid causing unnecessary harm to the kids of beneficiaries if their benefit is cut…

    And not a dollar to spare for Auckland public transport until 2020 except the stuff Labour funded when they were in Govt.

    On RNZ this morning Espiner pinged Key on the fact they sold revenue generating assets to pay for non-revenue stuff like bridges.
    Donkey responded with BS that if they didn’t use that money they’d need to borrow.
    Espiner failed to follow that up with the point that the loss of revenue from sold assets is higher than the interest on the same amount of borrowing X-/

    Also Labor made the very valid point that Joyce had stripped over 300 Mil out of regional roading funding previously due to funding the hell out of the Roads of Significance to National.

    • BM 6.1

      I never got this revenue generating assets angle.

      If you consider a power generation plant a asset because of the “revenue” it produces then income tax,gst and all the other taxes are assets as well.

      • hoom 6.1.1

        Its really simple: If you own shares in a profit making company, when it pays Dividends you get money you can spend on stuff.

        If you sell your shares then you don’t get the dividends anymore.

        The State owned assets that have been sold off have been paying out Dividends higher than what you’d pay for the Interest on the equivalent value loan.

        After loss of Dividends the Govt is poorer & has to cut more spending to balance the books than if it’d kept the assets & been paying some more interest on loans while still spending the same amount.

        • BM

          Yeah but NZ owned the power generators so the revenue gained is just another tax.
          If we were getting free power, sure I would consider the power generators an asset but in the reality they’re just another way the government taxes the population.

          You could easily introduce some other tax somewhere else to compensate the the “revenue” lost

          • Hayden

            So now we’re still getting taxed, except 49% of that “tax” goes to the private owners. I don’t see how that’s an improvement.

            • BM

              But you could pay off loans quicker with the money raised(Less tax revenue spent paying off interest) or you could use the money raised to promote growth and increase the tax take because the economy is grown.

              Also the government receives tax on the dividends of the other 49%

              • KJT

                Except we now have to borrow offshore to pay for the profits of the private owners.

                Less money in the economy overall, but that doesn’t matter because Nationals bribers/sorry, funders are getting rich at new Zealanders expense.

          • hoom

            If we were getting free power, sure I would consider the power generators an asset

            Well the sensibleness of the Market model for electricity generation/retail is a completely different topic.

            Back in the pre-market days we had amongst the very cheapest electricity, highest % renewable & most reliable in the world.

            Certainly selling off those assets does 0 to help fix the broken electricity Market.

          • freedom

            “You could easily introduce some other tax somewhere else to compensate the the “revenue” lost”

            Except for the fact that 49 % of the revenue which came from those earnings, which is now going to the private shareholders, is no longer available for the Government to tax.

            edit: hang on, there is another option and then BM can be correct. The Government creates a Power Company Private Shareholders Tax of 99% based on gross turnover. I have a sneaking suspicion he won’t like the idea though.

          • Tracey

            so you favour an increase in taxation to recoup the lost dividends?

            • Draco T Bastard

              I’m all for it. I suggest raising taxes on shares paid out as dividends from power generators to 100%.

      • KJT 6.1.2

        This is how I know BM is not “rich”.

        The “rich” know that you stay rich by owning income earning assets.

        Selling of positive income earning assets to pay the grocery bill, is not a strategy to stay wealthy, for countries as well as individuals.

        The benefits of State power to all the businesses/people in the country, either as cheaper power, or as an offset to taxes that would otherwise be required, is infinitely more than the money made from a one off privatisation.

        RWNJ’s never seem to realise that a ledger has two sides. Despite their obsession with money.

        • Tracey

          BM is like many National voters. He is not rich, he wants to be rich. He is the proverbial donkey with the carrot dangling in front. National has convinced he and many others that if they keep being donkeys for long enough they will reach the carrot. he is being duped, and not only duped, he is a willing mouthpiece disseminating their myths to get the other donkeys in line. Sad really.

        • Draco T Bastard

          RWNJ’s never seem to realise that a ledger has two sides. Despite their obsession with money.

          The ones at the top, like Blinglish and John key, do. The ones at the bottom like BM are too stupid to realise anything.

      • framu 6.1.3

        “all the other taxes are assets as well.”

        ahh – not really – using your analogy they would be revenue – the tax payer would be the asset.

        If nat could sell us to a private company to ‘manage’ our tax paying ability im sure they would

        • Draco T Bastard

          They are. That’s what selling our power generating assets was about. It has the same effect of selling the NZ taxpayers to the rich.

  7. fisiani 7

    If National do or don’t spend money on vital infrastructure they will be abused here routinely.
    Would you rather own a dam or 14 safe roads plus schools and hospitals? Every time National spends the money raised from mixed ownership sales there will be cries of grief on here. Typical kneejerk attempts to cry foul.
    National is working for New Zealand.

    • vto 7.1

      National would have had more money for spending on these things if they had not sold the power companies you stupid egg. Typical far-right thinking – backwards conservatives trying to look forwards – useless.

      And combine that with looming 19% power rises? 19%? Eh? When the costs have not risen at all? Fisi-shit-for-brains.

      National and the cult of Key – sucking the life out of New Zealanders.

    • hoom 7.2

      National is working for its rich buddies & big overseas companies.

      If you own a profitable dam you can use the profits to pay for roads, schools & hospitals.
      If you sell a profitable dam you can one-off pay for some roads, schools & hospitals but your rich buddy that you gave a tax cut to gets to bank the profits.

      • fisiani 7.2.1

        Actually we still own half the dams. Actually 51%. We get the dividends and the roads hospitals and schools. Christchurch is being rebuilt.

        • KJT

          Have you been to Christchurch?

          Brisbane a few months after the floods?

          Christchurch is being re-built. Yeah right!

          • infused

            It’s a 10 year build, at least. This ain’t happening over night son.

          • Andrew

            Wow, Brisbane got flooded, Christchurch got flattened by 2 large earthquakes. Yip pretty much the same thing really. Seriously!

            • KJT

              Tax levy for Brisbane. Happened about the same time. No sign of it now.

              Christchurch. Well?

              • Andrew

                Are you seriously suggesting that Christchurch would have been cleaned up at the same rate (or even faster than it is now) as Brisbane if there had been a tax levy imposed?

                • KJT

                  I am saying how they did it.

                  Instead of National waiting for, whatever.

                  The parts of Brisbane that were flooded were rather a mess actually.

                  “Three-quarters of the state of Queensland was declared a disaster zone.[5] Communities along the Fitzroy and Burnett Rivers were particularly hard hit, while the Condamine, Ballone and Mary Rivers recorded substantial flooding. An unexpected flash flood caused by a thunder storm raced through Toowoomba’s central business district. Water from the same storm devastated communities in the Lockyer Valley. A few days later thousands of houses in Ipswich and Brisbane were inundated as the Brisbane River rose and Wivenhoe Dam used a considerable proportion of its flood mitigation capacity”.

                  “Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that the government would impose a flood levy on people across Australia, to fund reconstruction works”.[150]

                  • hoom

                    I would happily have paid a bit of extra tax via an Earthquake levy to help out.

    • cogito 7.3

      The only thing National is working for is National, to get National…. more specifically National’s Idol Key back into power.

      Kiwis would do well to reflect on what Key has actually done over the last six years feathering the nests of the rich, rather than allow themselves to be bought off by the half-promise of some small tainted sugar lump down the track…..

      Doesn’t get much worse :(

    • Tracey 7.4

      what happened tot he mandate for asset sales that stated the money goes to Health, Education and Debt repayment Fisi?

      • srylands 7.4.1

        Can you provide the reference from 2011 campaign that precluded all use of the proceeds of MOM for any purposes other than those you state? It was always to buy assets consistent with the proper role of Government which is why the FIF was set up.

        • Tracey

          You have a point Slylands. He did change it from education, health and debt pay down to infrastructure investment. BUT he used the phrase “asset sales” before and after the election publically, a phrase which never actually appeared in their manifesto. tricky aye?

          “Although asset sales have been one of the most controversial and polarising political issues over the past three years, the term appears nowhere in the National Party’s 2011 election manifesto.Instead of asset sales, National’s 2011 manifesto talks of extending the “successful mixed-ownership model” in order to provide capital for the Future Investment Fund. ”

          It’s quite heard to keep up with his lies, even for such an ardent supporter as you I suspect.. For example in 2008 he said

          ““Now they’re highly profitable companies, the Crown’s dividend stream from Mighty River and Genesis are large so on both motivations we don’t have a debt problem and they’re acting highly effectively as companies. There is no motivation to sell assets; actually we’re about creating assets not selling assets.”

          He also promised no job cuts from the public service and then oversaw 2500 job cuts.

          And no tax rises. And put GST up. So what he says and what he does aren’t always the same making the former unreliable and a bit of a crapshoot (as his American friends would say)

          Perhaps you could do the electorate a BIG favour during this campaign and keep a note of the things he says publicly and which ones the voters can trust will happen after the election and which ones won’t.

    • Shrubbery 7.5

      Well, that’s a ridiculous false dichotomy – why can’t we own both a dam and 14 safe roads and hospitals and schools? We certainly would have had the money for it if National hadn’t cut taxes for the wealthy.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.6

      Would you rather own a dam or 14 safe roads plus schools and hospitals?

      It’s not an either/or question you duplicitous arsehole.

      The option that most of us wanted and that we could afford was to have both the power generators and better roads and schools.

  8. Linz 8

    Nothing new. The 1981 Springbok tour was a trip through all the provincial marginal seats.

  9. cogito 9

    Aren’t Road User Charges and fuel excise going up tomorrow? Coincidence? Take from the many now and promise to give back to a selected few down the track?

    What a scam.

  10. srylands 10

    “On RNZ this morning Espiner pinged Key on the fact they sold revenue generating assets to pay for non-revenue stuff like bridges.”

    That is what Governments are supposed to do. Government has no business owning commercial businesses.

    But if you have a problem with the bridges generating no revenue the answer is to sell the bridges to commercial owners and charge tolls. That would deal with your objection?

    Privatise all transport infrastructure and fit all vehicles with GPS devices to enable charging for all roads. New roads can then be built according to demand. If some roads do require a subsidy, that can be done transparently. And most of that would be in the regions.

    BTW your point about returns on the powercos being greater than borrowing costs is unlikely to be true over the long term when adjusted for risk. Did you max out your home equity facility over the last two years to invest in the NZ stockmarket? Your returns would have exceeded your borrowing costs. No? Exactly because you are risk adverse. But you are happy for the Government to take risks with taxpayers money, especially when most of the taxes are paid by higher income earners.

    • KJT 10.1

      “Government has no business owning commercial businesses”.

      A typical right wing nut job slogan unsupported by facts.

      What is supported by facts, is that privatised essential infrastructure always costs more in the long term, as NZ, UK and USA have found out the hard way.

      Ask why Singapore is able to have such low taxes?

      • srylands 10.1.1

        “Ask why Singapore is able to have such low taxes?”

        For a start, Singapore spends about 8% of GDP per person on each welfare recipient. i.e there is a tiny social welfare net. You want to cut benefits here by 80%?


        “What is supported by facts, is that privatised essential infrastructure always costs more in the long term”,

        Can you provide any empirical evidence for this?

        • KJT

          Have provided ample evidence, on here and elsewhere, as have many others, but as you are incapable of comprehending anything which conflicts with your religious beliefs…………….

          Singapore is run as a giant SOE. See below on Temesek.

    • bad12 10.2

      SSlands, stop stating as fact that ”Governments have no business owning commercial businesses” that is simply your opinion and a fucked up bullshit opinion at that,

      Consider this for a moment, in a magic wonderland that doesn’t include dull wankers like you exhibit as, A Government owned, Lock ,Stock, and River Polluting Pipes the whole of Fonterror the Dairy Production Company the profits of which it used instead of the taxation of your wages or salary to fund Government services, so instead of looking at a tax rate of 36% you would be looking at one of 10 or 15%,

      That of course is putting aside your ability to rort the tax system for the moment…

      • srylands 10.2.1

        Sorry that was too convoluted for me to understand what you mean.

        Except the last sentence which is a rude, false, and baseless smear.

        Do you mean Fonterra? Something about milk funding government?

        Sorry no idea how that is relevant to my post.

        • srylands

          OK I see where you are going. The Government should own most of the economy (farmers, banks, supermarkets, tourism?, airlines,) and extract dividends that would fund most of the Government.

          Nice. Can you point to any global success stories using that model? Britain in the 1970s? Argentina in the 1980s? France in the 1980s?

          • Tracey

            Banking panics and systemic banking crises
            18th century

            Crisis of 1763, started in Amsterdam, begun by the collapse of Leendert Pieter de Neufville, spread to Germany and Scandinavia
            Crisis of 1772–1773 in London and Amsterdam, begun by the collapse of the bankers Neal, James, Fordyce and Down.
            Panic of 1792, New York
            Panic of 1796–1797, Britain and United States

            19th century

            Panic of 1819, a U.S. recession with bank failures; culmination of U.S.'s first boom-to-bust economic cycle
            Panic of 1825, a pervasive British recession in which many banks failed, nearly including the Bank of England
            Panic of 1837, a U.S. recession with bank failures, followed by a 5-year depression
            Panic of 1847, United Kingdom
            Panic of 1857, a U.S. recession with bank failures
            Panic of 1866, Europe
            Panic of 1873, a U.S. recession with bank failures, followed by a 4-year depression
            Panic of 1884, United States and Europe
            Panic of 1890, mainly affecting the United Kingdom and Argentina
            Panic of 1893, a U.S. recession with bank failures
            Australian banking crisis of 1893
            Panic of 1896, acute U.S. recession

            20th century

            Panic of 1901, a U.S. economic recession that started a fight for financial control of the Northern Pacific Railway
            Panic of 1907, a U.S. economic recession with bank failures
            Shōwa Financial Crisis, a 1927 Japanese financial panic that resulted in mass bank failures across the Empire of Japan.
            Great Depression, the worst systemic banking crisis of the 20th century
            Secondary banking crisis of 1973–1975 in the UK
            Japanese asset price bubble (1986–2003)
            Savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s in the U.S.
            Finnish banking crisis of 1990s
            Swedish banking crisis (1990s)
            Venezuelan banking crisis of 1994
            1997 Asian financial crisis
            1998 collapse of Long-Term Capital Management
            1998 Russian financial crisis
            Argentine economic crisis (1999–2002)
            1998–99 Ecuador banking crisis

            21st century

            2002 Uruguay banking crisis
            Late-2000s financial crisis, including:

            Subprime mortgage crisis in the U.S. starting in 2007
            2008 United Kingdom bank rescue package
            2009 United Kingdom bank rescue package
            2008–2009 Belgian financial crisis
            2008–2012 Icelandic financial crisis
            2008–2009 Russian financial crisis
            2008–2009 Ukrainian financial crisis
            2008–2012 Spanish financial crisis
            2008–2011 Irish banking crisis

            Venezuelan banking crisis of 2009–10

      • srylands 10.2.2

        “stop stating as fact that ”Governments have no business owning commercial businesses” that is simply your opinion and a fucked up bullshit opinion at that,”

        and BTW you are well aware that this is not simply my opinion. Privatisaion on a large scale leads to prosperity, and more so for the poor. I suggest you revisit the excellent work of Roger Kerr (RIP) and Bill Megginson.


        • dv

          So how much has the private sector GFC cost the world?

        • bad12

          i suggest you fuck off SSlands, preferably a quick pass out of this world into the one now occupied by Roger(spit)Kerr,

          Despite years of ”privatization” the poor in this country are arguably as poor as they were prior to those privatizations and most here at the Standard considering benefit cuts etc would have a more than valid argument that the poor are worse off now than prior to those acts of privatization…

          • srylands

            You are just totally rude. So what passes for intelligent debate here is wishing death on commentators you disagree with?

            You should be ashamed.

            And who is “SSlands”?

            • bad12

              No, No, SSLands, not ”commentors”, just ”A” commentor in the form of you, i have just checked in the mirror and there is no shame evident, you score a fail as usual,

              It is obvious to all even you who SSLands is,

              And, to get back to the debate, your and Cur’s view of the Government being involved in business is ”opinion” said opinion around here, as if you havn’t noticed having all the value of spit,

              Your further assertion that a Government selling its businesses leads to reduced poverty is patently untrue and thus deserving only of my and other’s spit…

              • srylands

                Wishing death on political opponents has now come to New Zealand in the form of you. I’ll make sure I spread the word.

                • bad12

                  Stop it SSLands, too many Laugh out Loud moments which you are providing loads of this morning are just not good for my heart health,

                  Ah the ”inflation model” is now not only being applied to the economy by the ”Wing-nuts” it appears now that the ”inflation model” will be applied to speech/comment as well,

                  Scer–atch ”opponents” from your current whining SSLands, my previous comment was entirely personal-centric, as in applying to You as the ”opponent”,

                  You do understand the singular and the plural SSLands, i would hate to have to sit here wasting my pixels in an effort at educating that which is not able to be,

                  The above short paragraph is your hint for the day as to why you are treated here with such derision, spat at in other words…

            • framu

              your pretty fucking rude too mate – you just hide behind language to do it

              your a text book example of the passive aggressive..
              “im going to keep saying dumb and offensive things and avoid anything i cant answer till everyones gotten so annoyed that they start telling me to get fucked so i can call them rude” routine – you do it all the time

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Not to mention when S Rylands’ mask slips completely off and he reveals his feral hatreds and foul yap.

              • srylands

                Really? I say the same dumb things in other fora. Nobody at Kiwiblog has wished death on me.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I’d just like to take this opportunity to state that I do not wish death on you, S Rylands.

                  The destruction of your entire life’s work will be just fine.

                • srylands

                  and BTW stating (the obvious) that privatisation is a sensible policy, pursued the world over, is hardly a cause for death threats. Get a grip.

                  As for Roger Kerr, I suggest you read some of his obituaries. I could link to dozens, many of them from some of the world’s most respected economists. He was much admired.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Inhabitants of echo chamber in self-serving circle-jerk.

                  • KJT

                    A policy that has failed to give the promised reductions in costs, and gain in efficiency the world over.

                    “The annual energy price rises are appalling. Three of the Big Six energy companies have already announced price hikes of around 10 per cent, with the other three expected to follow shortly. However, we cannot sell off vital public assets and then complain when private companies act like private companies. The popular capitalism of the 1980s has turned into a nightmare for the vast majority of ordinary families”.

                    Of course, following overseas fuckups is SOP for RWNJ’s.

                  • framu

                    its your attitude dick head – not the words used

        • framu

          HA HA HA – you linked to roger kerr!!!!!!!

          yeah hes TOTALLY trustworthy and not biased at all on the subject

          • One Anonymous Bloke


            S Rylands the “policy” merchant, sucking on the public teat, quotes a cadaver who rotted while he was alive.

            • srylands

              “S Rylands [sic] the “policy” merchant, sucking on the public teat, [cut]”

              Really? on what basis do you conclude that?

              According to your mate Bad12 I am a tax accountant. No public teat there.

              According to your other mate Colonial Viper, I have never even been to New Zealand. So definitely no public teat there.

              I suggest you go consult your cabal to get your insults consistent.

        • Tracey

          systemic banking crises

          Banking panics and systemic banking crises
          18th century

          Crisis of 1763, started in Amsterdam, begun by the collapse of Leendert Pieter de Neufville, spread to Germany and Scandinavia
          Crisis of 1772–1773 in London and Amsterdam, begun by the collapse of the bankers Neal, James, Fordyce and Down.
          Panic of 1792, New York
          Panic of 1796–1797, Britain and United States

          19th century

          Panic of 1819, a U.S. recession with bank failures; culmination of U.S.'s first boom-to-bust economic cycle
          Panic of 1825, a pervasive British recession in which many banks failed, nearly including the Bank of England
          Panic of 1837, a U.S. recession with bank failures, followed by a 5-year depression
          Panic of 1847, United Kingdom
          Panic of 1857, a U.S. recession with bank failures
          Panic of 1866, Europe
          Panic of 1873, a U.S. recession with bank failures, followed by a 4-year depression
          Panic of 1884, United States and Europe
          Panic of 1890, mainly affecting the United Kingdom and Argentina
          Panic of 1893, a U.S. recession with bank failures
          Australian banking crisis of 1893
          Panic of 1896, acute U.S. recession

          20th century

          Panic of 1901, a U.S. economic recession that started a fight for financial control of the Northern Pacific Railway
          Panic of 1907, a U.S. economic recession with bank failures
          Shōwa Financial Crisis, a 1927 Japanese financial panic that resulted in mass bank failures across the Empire of Japan.
          Great Depression, the worst systemic banking crisis of the 20th century
          Secondary banking crisis of 1973–1975 in the UK
          Japanese asset price bubble (1986–2003)
          Savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s in the U.S.
          Finnish banking crisis of 1990s
          Swedish banking crisis (1990s)
          Venezuelan banking crisis of 1994
          1997 Asian financial crisis
          1998 collapse of Long-Term Capital Management
          1998 Russian financial crisis
          Argentine economic crisis (1999–2002)
          1998–99 Ecuador banking crisis

          21st century

          2002 Uruguay banking crisis
          Late-2000s financial crisis, including:

          Subprime mortgage crisis in the U.S. starting in 2007
          2008 United Kingdom bank rescue package
          2009 United Kingdom bank rescue package
          2008–2009 Belgian financial crisis
          2008–2012 Icelandic financial crisis
          2008–2009 Russian financial crisis
          2008–2009 Ukrainian financial crisis
          2008–2012 Spanish financial crisis
          2008–2011 Irish banking crisis

          Venezuelan banking crisis of 2009–10

        • Tracey

          ” Privatisaion on a large scale leads to prosperity, and more so for the poor.”

          But free trade does not lead to greater prosperity…

          ” Trade does not raise income inequality.
          Ian Fletcher

          When the theory of comparative advantage promises gains from free trade, these gains are only promised to the economy as a whole, not to any particular individuals or groups thereof. So it is entirely possible that even if the economy as a whole gets bigger thanks to freer trade, many (or even most) of the people in it may lose income. This is not a trivial problem: it has been estimated that freeing up trade reshuffles five dollars of income between different groups of people domestically for every one dollar of net gain it brings to the economy as a whole.xvii Free trade squeezes the wages of ordinary Americans largely because it expands the world’s effective supply of labor, which can move from rice paddy to factory overnight, faster than its supply of capital, which takes decades to accumulate at prevailing savings rates. As a result, free trade strengthens the bargaining position of capital relative to labor. This is especially true when combined with growing global capital mobility and the entry into capitalism of large formerly socialist nations such as India and China.

          As a result, people who draw most of their income from returns on capital (the rich) gain, while people who get most of their income from labor (the rest of us) lose. The underlying mechanism of this analysis has long been part of mainstream economics in the form of the so-called Stolper-Samuelson theorem.xviii This theorem says that freer trade raises returns to the abundant input to production (in America, capital) and lowers returns to the scarce one (in America, labor). Because America has more capital per person, and fewer workers per dollar of capital, than the rest of the world, free trade tends to hurt American workers. For extremely skilled jobs, like investment banking, it may be easy to substitute a foreigner, but foreign labor (some yuppie in London) is just as expensive as American labor, so there is no impact on American wages. For jobs that cannot be performed remotely, such as waiting tables, it is impossible to substitute a foreign worker, so again there is no direct impact. The occupations that suffer most are those whose products are easily tradable and can be produced by cheap labor abroad. This is why unskilled manufacturing jobs were the first to get hurt in the U.S.: there is a huge pool of labor abroad capable of doing this work, and manufactured goods can be packed up and shipped around the globe. Because low-paid workers are concentrated in these occupations, free trade hurts them more.xx

          There is another problem. Suppose that opening up a nation to freer trade means that it starts exporting more airplanes and importing more clothes than before. (This is roughly the situation the U.S. has been in.) Because the nation gets to expand an industry better suited to its comparative advantage and contract one less suited, it becomes more productive, and its GDP goes up, just like the theory says. So far, so good. But here is the rub: suppose that a million dollars’ worth of clothes production requires one white-collar worker and nine blue-collar workers, while a million dollars of airplane production requires three whitecollar workers and seven blue-collar workers. This means that for every million dollars’ change in what gets produced, there is a demand for two more white-collar workers and two fewer blue-collar workers. Because demand for white-collar workers goes up and demand for blue-collar workers goes down, the wages of white-collar workers will go up and those of blue-collar workers will go down. But most workers are blue-collar workers – so free trade has lowered wages for most workers in the economy!

          It follows from the above problems that free trade, even if it performs as free traders say in other respects (it does not), could still leave most Americans with lower incomes. And even if it expands our economy overall, it could still increase poverty. Taking an approximate mean of available estimates, we can attribute perhaps twenty-five percent of America’s three-decade rise in income inequality to freer trade.xxi It was estimated in 2006 that the increase in inequality due to freer trade cost the average household earning the median income more than $2,000.xxii”

        • thatguynz

          “excellent work of Roger Kerr (RIP)”

          Surely you jest?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Privatisaion on a large scale leads to prosperity, and more so for the poor.

          No it doesn’t – it leads to feudalism and then bloody revolution. Piketty with his data spanning across centuries has just proved that’s exactly where we’re going as the many get poorer while the rich get richer.

          The prosperity that we had last century was because the government stepped in and prevented the exploitation that is inherent in pure privatisation. One of those steps was by the simple expedient of owning a hell of a lot such as telecommunications and power and hospitals. Another step was by funding huge blue sky research tat the private sector wouldn’t, and still doesn’t, do.

    • vto 10.3

      “That is what Governments are supposed to do. Government has no business owning commercial businesses”

      You still have your head in the Warehouse clouds don’t you. You still think all manner of human activity can be treated the same as the manufacture of plastic buckets ffs.

      These baseline thoughts of yours are extreme and lack a great deal of understanding of human community and its history.

      On the particular point – the provision of electricity is NOT a commercial business. Given that people need it to warm themselves in winter and cook food, and are banned by law from burning wood to do the same thing, it is far from a commercial business. It is an item of infrastructure required for base human survival.

      Your thinking is truly shocking in its shallowness.

      • srylands 10.3.1

        “the provision of electricity is NOT a commercial business.”

        You may wish it was not but the reality is it is (mostly) supplied by commercial companies. That is not going to change.

        • dimebag russell

          why not?

        • Colonial Viper

          You may wish it was not but the reality is it is (mostly) supplied by commercial companies. That is not going to change.

          Time to rebuild the culture of public, non profit utilities.

          • srylands

            You seem stuck in the 1970s. It is NOT going to happen. In fact I can’t think of anywhere in the world you could go to find it. You could go back to China and have a look?

            • vto

              Oh you mean the 1970s when there was full employment and easy access to the necessities of life like electricity and affordable housing?

              The 1970s before the 80s, 90s and 2000’s, when it has just become harder and harder to provide for oneself and family?

              Are you ignorant in that assessment or just being obtuse?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Are you ignorant in that assessment or just being obtuse?

                SSLands, like all RWNJs, is being willfully blind to the real outcomes of his preferred policies.

        • vto

          Srylands “You may wish it was not but the reality is it is (mostly) supplied by commercial companies. That is not going to change.”

          You posted that in response to my detailed reasons why power companies should not be commercial companies. I never said that they aren’t commercial companies, I said they should not be commercial companies, like plastic bucket makers are.

          Now srylands, see if you can answer the true point – namely the reasons why power supply should be treated as a base human survival infrastructure item rather than a commercial company, and stop being such an unclever dick.

          You sound like gosman and john with your simpleton ideas

    • hoom 10.4

      That is what Governments are supposed to do. Government has no business owning commercial businesses.

      Tell that to Singapore.
      Hint: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temasek_Holdings & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_Singapore_Investment_Corporation
      The ownership of commercial businesses is absolutely key to the success of Singapore.

      returns on the powercos being greater than borrowing costs is unlikely to be true over the long term when adjusted for risk

      What risk? The NZ Powercos have pre-built, mostly renewable generation for which they don’t need to pay for fuel & a Market designed to generate competition in who can raise prices fastest.

      • freedom 10.4.1

        Singapore…mmm….sounds vaguely familiar
        Is that not the very country that John Key has repeatedly said he wants NZ to emulate?

        btw, that popping sound is srylands’s braincell exploding

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.5

      Commercial businesses, no. Public utilities, yes.

      Trash the SOE model, it was ideologically driven garbage from the beginning.

    • framu 10.6

      ok – ive asked you this before – now im challenging you to provide an answer –

      thats right, “glove slap in the face i will see you on the morrow at dawn with the pistols”

      If all the roads were privatised – how do you change suppliers if you dont like the service you receive from the company that own the road outside your house?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.7

      Government has no business owning commercial businesses.

      Why? They’re better at it than private businesses and the society is better off because of it. Seems that having the government own commercial businesses is a great idea.

      But you are happy for the Government to take risks with taxpayers money,

      But there was no risk in the power generating assets as the government cannot let them fail. Same as the government couldn’t let rail fail and so had to buy it back after private businesses ran it into the ground.

  11. Brendon Harre 11

    I have a different take on this roads announcement. I think Key spent $200 million on regional roads strategically spread across the country so he could scare regional voters that if they do not vote National then they would not get any new roads because the Green party hates roads. He knows that some of those projects do not make sense and the ones that do make sense NZTA would have completed quickly anyway.

    What this adds up to is John Key spent $200 million to pick a fight with the Greens….

    • BM 11.1

      I do agree in a way.

      Wouldn’t say it’s picking a fight but starting a fight between Labour and the Greens.

      Greens are going to no doubt come out say these roading projects are shit and they wouldn’t happen if the greens are in power.
      Labour has to either act neutral where Key can play the tail wagging the dog card or Labour has to disagree with the greens and then Key can play the dysfunctional/infighting card.

      Clever politics.

      • KJT 11.1.1

        Actually, the Greens have been saying that upgrading local roads is more helpful than more highways for giant trucks. Which are economically and environmentally inefficient, compared to the alternatives..

      • Tracey 11.1.2

        which would be fine if it were a game instead of our money and our children’s futures

        • BM

          At least we end up with something useful that every one gets to use, unlike that POS train set that Cullen brought at a grossly inflated price.

          KiwiRail was bought for $665 million. That figure then turned out to be $690m, plus other spending commitments, and ongoing preferential treatment for Toll’s trucking business at the expense of New Zealand- owned competitors (so much for supporting local business). This failed policy has already cost the taxpayer about a billion dollars.

          KiwiRail has been subsequently valued at $369m. This was an upfront loss to the taxpayer of $321m – a loss of almost a million dollars a day for a year after the purchase. Put another way, $320m of taxpayers’ money was spent for value that never existed.


          • Tracey

            Yet you conveniently leave out Prebble the Mastermind of ACT who remembers the very day he began thinking and which was, unfortunately a long time after he sold our rail so cheaply and so badly


          • KJT

            Leaving out the cost to NZ business, including farming, mining and forestry of, Not having rail, of course.

            Considerably more than 300 million dollars.

            Another RWNJ who cannot conceive of two sides to a ledger.

            Though I may agree that Labour should have just let the share value collapse and nationalised the rails.

  12. Delia 12

    I am glad you raised the issue of the Southern Link road in Nelson which I have been actively opposing for 14 years now. Nick Smith is happy to roll a nasty road through the only Labour area in Nelson. Well that figures. Nick Smith only represents the blue areas of Nelson.

  13. dimebag russell 13

    oh well.
    the national party is on the road to nowhere so their desperate floundering is indicative of the lack of substance and proper planning in everything they do except lining their own pockets.

    • fisiani 13.1

      Do you really believe that the National party is floundering? Lining their own pockets…..do you realise how ridiculous that is? The National party is aiming for 50% support. That would be the highest vote ever recorded under MMP. If that is floundering then give me more. Labour is aiming for 30% ie more than it got last time.
      These roading improvements are popular and provide employment. They are opposed by the Greens. The Greens hate roads. Labour are tied to the hip with the Greens. The Greens are unpopular in the regions. The Greens actually get their support in the very ungreen centres of cities. Aro Valley is a good example. If the Greens get in then the roads will not be built. If you want roads then you need to Vote National to stop the Greens..Current support for National is approximately 50% but the goal is to raise it well above 50% by getting the complacent supporters to turn out. This roading announcement is almost as popular as giving free doctors visits and prescriptions to under 13’s.

      • joe90 13.1.1

        Promising faster pron was a fizzer so they had to do something fizzy.

      • blue leopard 13.1.2

        National + their friends are on something under 50% and the Labour + their friends are on something over 42+% support – you know it, we all know it so why spread untruths on the matter by comparing National’s results to only one left wing party?

        Do you feel the need to deceive people to shore up National’s floundering support?

        It certainly looks that way from where I am sitting.

        As for the Greens – it might be difficult for you to grasp – but the Greens have policies that think ahead – i.e. they don’t hate roads they want to move toward more sustainable forms of transport which tends to make them less supportive of pouring money into roads because we need that money for developing other ways of moving about and transporting things.

        As for attitudes toward Greens in the regions – I really don’t know whether what you say is true or not – probably it is a stretch of the truth. But whether support exists or not in the regions for the Greens says nothing about how valid/advantageous Green policies are, it says more about how long it takes for perceptions/attitudes to shift. It takes a lot of time for people to shift their attitudes – in this case it is about shifting one’s thinking to incorporate environmental concerns into political/financial decisions. One thing is for sure – the Greens support is increasing – so it would seem that this shift is finally starting to take effect. How scary that must be for people who make a living by externalizing the costs of the environmental damage they create.

      • cogito 13.1.3


        What utter rubbish. If you actually believe what you wrote, you are a very sad and brainwashed specimen who hasn’t developed beyond parrot status.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Fisiani is a recidivist tr*ll who authors fire-and-forget flame bait commingled with blatant lies, then makes no attempt to engage in anything resembling reasoned debate.

          A study in irrelevance and vacuity.

      • dimebag russell 13.1.4

        they just like you fishy.
        you think because you can get in your car and turn on the throb that you are free and you are going somewhere.
        nuh you just going back to where you cane from.
        under a a rock.

      • Tracey 13.1.5

        I agree support for National is high but you are misreading the polls if you think they say 50% would vote for national tomorrow, or even today. It is only 50% if you discount undecideds which are pretty high right now.

        Colin Craig, Hairdo and Unclecousin will be on national’s hip… we know hairdo will go to highest bidder, and stay even when he is shafted. Unclecousin is really just the bastard son of national so that’s a shoe-in… and then there is

        I want to legally hit my children, make my wife have a child, stop gay people getting married or having civil unions, halt chemtrails from planes, find out if the moon landing was a conspiracy, have no sex education or anti rape education in schools, ….

        • fender

          ….and make every school a charter school, as Unclecousin insisted over the weekend,…

          • Tracey

            “School boards should be allowed to opt out of control by the Ministry of Education, and be bulk-funded according to the number of students they can attract, he said.

            School boards that wished to stay under Ministry of Education direction could choose to do so, Mr Whyte said.

            “However, I expect that a large portion would choose to be free. And that we would see dramatic improvements in the performance of schools, especially those teaching children from poor families.”

            The party also wanted to slash the number of bureaucrats working in the Ministry of Education, and give the saved money to schools.”

            The problem is they want to take taxpayer money but not be accountable for it. Teachers without training in teaching, and no obligation to publish their annual test results… Private schools do not have to post its annual test/exam results in tables as public schools do.

  14. dv 14


    bridge undergoing $100,000 repairs will be replaced as part of the government’s roading package.

  15. mickysavage 15

    And the details are starting to come through.

    The Government has just finished spending $100k to strengthen and “future proof” the Motu Bridge between Gisborne and Opotiki and now it is going to tear it down and replace it with a new bridge.

    According to Stuff and local councillor Manu Caddie (http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10215096/Govt-fixes-bridge-then-replaces-it)

    “The project should not have been a priority, he said.

    The bridge had only 900 vehicle movements a day and its being one-way was not a major inconvenience.

    “They’ve just spent 100 grand to future proof it for 25 years,” Caddie said.

    “Even the local industry people here are saying that it’s not an issue for them, they don’t ever have to wait on that bridge and there’s never been an accident on it so they’d rather see the money going into other priorities.”

    The $3m to $5m cost to replace the bridge, with construction due to start next year, was a “massive investment while there’s other more pressing priorities in the region”.

    “I’d be surprised if it gets many votes because I think locals would say that SH35 [around the East Cape], the condition of that road is a much higher priority.”

    Projects on that road, which the Government also announced it would build more slow vehicle bays on, had been under way for 10 years, Caddie said.

    Gisborne District Council and the NZ Transport Agency were in the process of identifying which local projects should be prioritised before putting those decisions out for consultation.

    “And this decision has undermined that process,” he said.”

    • fender 15.1

      Like “Average as” says in the comments:

      “This wont be an issue as its National wasting money. #60billionborrowed”

  16. Sabine 16

    Gerry Brownlee…..would that be the same Brownlee of the We are not going to re-build CHCH unless we are forced to?

    Because if it is, we need not worry about roads of any significance anywhere, the man so far has got nothing to show for.


    However anyone talking up the fact that Taxes are up under National? Fuel Tax going up from 1st of July….maybe all this road talk is just to drown out the moans from the peeps at the gaspump.

  17. philj 17

    I see corners smoothed out on some main roads on North Island highways at significant costs. Its like we can’t drive around a bend? A lot of what I see looks like a cosy deal between the Road Transport Association( Ken Shirley) ,
    Downers construction, Fulton Hogan and The NZTA. A grandiose make work scheme for the Governments corporate backers. Corporate Fascism , the corporates tell the government what to do. Sky Convention centre, Rio Tinto, Warner Bros, Fletchers, Fonterra etc. The Bankers are the worst. Keep our banking profits in NZ by boosting Kiwibank and tell the bankers in Oz that we have woken up.

  18. Gosman 18

    Not used to pork barrel politics of this size??? Is this because they normally expect it to be bigger like interest free student loans?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      No, Gosman, that’s just a clue, a little reality-hint nagging at the low-quality right wing brain, that students loans must be scrapped completely because they’re yet another example of low-quality right wing policy failure, just like building the same bridge twice.

  19. Craig 19

    Popped into a Russell Norman election meeting last night. He suggested a better name might be “roads of National Party significance.” :)

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    Occasionally erudite | 22-10
  • Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 – what really happened?
    Three months after the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine the world is no wiser about what, and who, caused this crash. Well, we have the preliminary report but this only confirmed the bleeding obvious (“the aircraft was penetrated by a...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • It’s about history… & votes & elephants
    I think I'll start at the end. Andrew ended his recent post like this:...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More than 20 jobs saved at Auckland faculty of education
    The union and TEU members at the University of Auckland have managed to reduce proposed compulsory job cuts at the faculty of education from 35 down to just two. Local TEU organiser Enzo Giordani said feisty staff with a staunch...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the tokenism of New Zealand‘s role against Islamic Sta...
    Was John Key born lucky or what? Political performance tends to be judged on three things – the unemployment rate, the petrol price at the pump, and the market value of your house. This year, Key was lucky enough to...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-10
  • MIT chaos following job cut announcement
    Chaos reigns at MIT following last week’s announcement that the polytechnic will cut 68 full time equivalent jobs, according to local TEU organiser Chan Dixon. Over a thousand people have signed a petition opposing job cuts at the polytechnic. Staff are...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Auckland staff call for Living Wage
    The Living Wage Network held a rally and barbecue this week calling on the University of Auckland to become first New Zealand’s Living Wage university, by paying all staff, both directly employed and contracted staff, a living wage of $18.80...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Otago debates one off lump sum
    The University of Otago has not offered its staff a pay rise on their rates at collective agreement negotiations, opting instead to offer a one-off lump sum of $1000, which will not go ‘on the rates’. TEU members at the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Speaker: David Fisher: The OIA arms race
    Good afternoon everyone. I am David Fisher, a reporter with the New Zealand Herald. I have worked as a journalist for 25 years, mainly in New Zealand but across a number of other countries.I think there's some value before I...
    Public Address | 22-10
  • Employment law first act of new government
    As the prime minister promised, his government has rushed to push through its Employment Relations Amendment Bill as one of its very first actions this week. The bill, which union members and workers have actively opposed for the last year,...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • 7 inspiring stories of communities taking action for climate
    Stories of communities taking action for the climate and refusing to accept the plans of polluting fossil fuel companies are happening more and more. Here are just a few inspiring climate acts of courage taken by doctors, villagers, students, farmers,...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Blowin’ in the wind
    Wind power has a pivotal role to play in the world's energy supply over the next few years. By providing huge amounts of clean, affordable power, it can buy us time in the fight against global warming while revolutions in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Wanted: more fertiliser and horse manure
    Equality enriches the soil, just like manure, but a lot less stinky (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the...
    On the Left | 22-10
  • PM gets it right about Auckland, mostly
    Prime Minister John Key is dead right when he said: First home buyers in Auckland might have to consider an apartment in order to get onto the property ladder, Prime Minister John Key says. After all, the locational efficiencies of...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 23
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk Economic ProgrammePolicies 1. JAMI-LEE ROSS (NationalBotany) to the Minister of Finance : What measures is the Government taking to help the New Zealand economy become more productive and competitive?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS Economic Programme—Policies...
    Its our future | 22-10
  • John Key’s Multiple Identities
    Question to the Prime MinisterRussel Norman: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he txted him?Prime Minister: None in my capacity as Prime Minister.John Key...
    Local Bodies | 22-10
  • Where is the Middle?
    When Labour decides who will be the next leader, it is of interest to all of us involved in politics. After all the person chosen could be New Zealand's next Prime Minister. So the debate on the nature of the...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • Labour Needs A Civil Union With The Greens
    Much has been written about where Labour needs to go from here. One issue which doesn’t seem to have generated much interest is what do they do with the Greens?...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Lau...
    The People's Flag Is ... Mint Green? Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern (whom Twitter immediately dubbed Gracinda) pose in Mint Green for one of the glossy women's magazines. In a non-revolutionary era, superficial is about as deep as it gets. BIKERS?...
    Bowalley Road | 22-10
  • Auckland’s disturbing panopticon
    Earlier in the month, we learned that Auckland was planning to install a creepy panopticon, complete with ANPR and facial recognition, for vague and undefinied purposes. This produced a flurry of OIA requests via FYI, and one of them (for...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • How to Sell a House: Free Advice from a couple of experts. (Self-Described!...
      In the 32 years that Judy and I have been together we have bought and sold quite a few houses. Six years is the longest we  lived in any one of those houses.  Our friends regard us as gypsies. The...
    Brian Edwards | 22-10
  • Judith Collins’ two-tier OIA service
    Back in August, we learned that sewerblogger Cameron Slater was receiving extraordinary OIA service from then-Minister of Justice Judith Collins, in one case receiving a response to a request within 37 minutes. But it wasn't just extraordinary for its speed;...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Fluoridation – a racist conspiracy?
    Political activists campaigning on health issues often resort to scaremongering. This can be dangerous – especially when their stories have no real basis but rely on selective and distorted information. Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network (FAN) often resorts to this sort of scaremongering. Now...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • Unbelieveable
    This week we've seen the Prime Minister desperately trying to cover up his war plans by pretending that Obama's war-planning meeting was just a "regular" meeting of defence partners which we just happened to be attending. Over on Kiwipolitico Pablo...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Are the police using ANPR to target the disabled?
    The media this morning is full of stories of the paralysed man caught driving using a walking stick to reach the pedals. Its good that he's off the road, but there's one point in the story which raises questions:The driver...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
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