web analytics
The Standard

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

      @kiwigunner..

      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?

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ee/New_Zealand_electorates_2011_election_%28insets%29.svg

    • 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 4.2.1.1

          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 4.2.1.2

          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 4.2.1.2.1

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

            https://www.national.org.nz/news/news/media-releases/detail/2011/10/30/new-future-fund-for-modern-infrastructure

            “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 4.2.1.2.1.1

              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 4.2.1.3

          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 4.2.1.4

          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 6.1.1.1

          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 6.1.1.1.1

            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 6.1.1.1.1.1

              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 6.1.1.1.2

            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 6.1.1.1.3

            “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.
            http://i.imgur.com/WcrJgGR.jpg

            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 6.1.1.1.4

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

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.4.1

              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 6.1.2.1

          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 6.1.2.2

          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 6.1.3.1

          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 7.2.1.1

          Have you been to Christchurch?

          Brisbane a few months after the floods?

          Christchurch is being re-built. Yeah right!

          • infused 7.2.1.1.1

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

          • Andrew 7.2.1.1.2

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

            • KJT 7.2.1.1.2.1

              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.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%9311_Queensland_floods
                  “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 7.4.1.1

          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%?

        http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21580531-asias-emerging-welfare-states-spread-themselves-thinly-widefare

        “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 10.1.1.1

          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 10.2.1.1

          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 10.2.1.1.1

            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.

        https://rogerkerr.wordpress.com/category/series-the-truth-about-privatisation/

        • dv 10.2.2.1

          So how much has the private sector GFC cost the world?
          And
          BNZ
          Transrail
          SFC
          Comalco
          etc

        • bad12 10.2.2.2

          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 10.2.2.2.1

            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 10.2.2.2.1.1

              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 10.2.2.2.1.2

              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.

                    http://www.tribunemagazine.org/2013/11/now-we-see-the-true-cost-of-privatisation/
                    “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 10.2.2.3

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

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

          • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2.2.3.1

            😆

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

            • srylands 10.2.2.3.1.1

              “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 10.2.2.4

          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 10.2.2.5

          ” 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 10.2.2.6

          “excellent work of Roger Kerr (RIP)”

          Surely you jest?

        • Draco T Bastard 10.2.2.7

          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

      srylands
      “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 10.3.1.1

          why not?

        • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.2

          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 10.3.1.2.1

            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 10.3.1.2.1.1

              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 10.3.1.3

          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 11.1.2.1

          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.

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/2850079/KiwiRail-mired-in-Labour-ideology

          • Tracey 11.1.2.1.1

            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

            http://www.converge.org.nz/watchdog/31/09.html

          • KJT 11.1.2.1.2

            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

        @fisiani

        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 13.1.3.1

          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 13.1.5.1

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

          • Tracey 13.1.5.1.1

            “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

    Oops
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10215096/Govt-fixes-bridge-then-replaces-it

    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.

    Really

    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

    xox
    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.” :)

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 hours ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 hours ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    8 hours ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    1 day ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 day ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    1 day ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    1 day ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    1 day ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    2 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    2 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    2 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    3 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    3 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    3 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    3 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    5 days ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    6 days ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    6 days ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    6 days ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    6 days ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    6 days ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    6 days ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    1 week ago
  • Disconnect between rates and income must be fixed
    Local Government New Zealand’s 10 Point Plan is a chance to stop the widening chasm between the rates some households are charged and their ability to pay, Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “There is a huge disconnect… ...
    1 week ago
  • Parole and ‘surviving the first year’
    “Intensive psychological treatment and early release to parole is far more effective at reducing reoffending among high risk prisoners than serving out the full prison sentence.” That’s reportedly the finding of Surviving the First Year, a recently-released study into Corrections’… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • Parole and ‘surviving the first year’
    “Intensive psychological treatment and early release to parole is far more effective at reducing reoffending among high risk prisoners than serving out the full prison sentence.” That’s reportedly the finding of Surviving the First Year, a recently-released study into Corrections’… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • If it’s good enough for Lake Taupō…
    Nick Smith supports helping farmers transition away from dairying and agrees we must set nitrogen caps that limit the number of animals on farms. He says this strategy is “world leading”. However we need action and pressure from him, on to… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • The importance of swamp kauri for climate research
    As early as 2010, international climate scientists were expressing concern at the rate of ancient swamp kauri extraction in Northland. Swamp kauri provides one of the best sources in the world for measuring climate fluctuations over the last 30,000 years.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Govt needs to heed warnings on med students
    The Government is being urged to act on advice it has received about the negative impact its seven year study cap will have on hundreds of medical students, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The 7EFTS lifetime limit unfairly disadvantages… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere