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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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    Labour campaign | 22-08
  • Key’s pathetic excuses
    Aug 15, 2014Aug 18, 2014Aug 18, 2014Aug 19, 2014Aug 20, 2014...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Ancient ocean currents may have changed pace and intensity of ice ages
    This is a re-post from the National Science Foundation Climate scientists have long tried to explain why ice-age cycles became longer and more intense some 900,000 years ago, switching from 41,000-year cycles to 100,000-year cycles. In a paper published this...
    Skeptical Science | 22-08
  • Is Whale Oil a journalist (2)?
    Some time ago, I wrote about Cameron Slater’s claim to be a journalist, which he is invoking for the purposes of protecting his confidential sources. The District Court ordered him to turn over his sources in a defamation case brought...
    Media Law Journal | 22-08
  • Government considering starting CRL on time
    I’ve long suspected the realities surrounding the City Rail Link and its close relationship to some of the biggest development projects in Auckland would in some ways force the governments hand and require an earlier start than 2020. Yesterday the...
    Transport Blog | 22-08
  • Poll of polls
    Polity's poll of polls is up to date, over at the Poll of Polls page. The short version, good to use as a more-or-less pre-Dirty Politics baseline, is: National: 50.4% Labour: 26.4% Greens: 12.0% NZF: 4.6% InternetMANA: 2.3% Conservative: 2.1%...
    Polity | 22-08
  • Primary Teachers Rise Up!
    I have been a primary teacher for 35 years and for over half of that time I have been an active member of the New Zealand Educational Institute, New Zealand's largest education union. NZEI Te Riu Roa represents 50,000 members, including...
    Local Bodies | 22-08
  • Friday melts, weird weather and whales (it’s been a long time…)
    It’s been a long time since my last post: apologies for that. You may blame a bad cold, an urgent need for root canal work, the peak of the truffle season (and truffle tours for culinary heroes1 ), the start...
    Hot Topic | 22-08
  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies – Today No. 29: It’s a left-wing smear campaig...
     Key: 'Left wing smear campaign'   Key continues to back Collins    John Key is wrong. He is not the victim of a smear campaign, and here's why: First, let's define "smear campaign". Wikipedia: A smear campaign, smear tactic or simply smear is...
    Arch Rival | 22-08
  • How Many National MPs are Corrupt?
    Reading through the ‘dumps’ of information allegedly showing Scumbag Adulterer Cameron Slater’s messages with National Party Hacks, there is a lot of discussions about money changing hands, Tobacco Companies making ‘donations’, and so on. Not only has Key’s Office and...
    An average kiwi | 22-08
  • Tolley feeds Slater too
    Because of Nicky Hager's excellent book, Dirty Politics, we know that a number of senior National party officials and Ministers have been caught out supplying information and content to the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blogsite, information that Cameron Slater uses...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Unsurprising
    No bloggers have signed up to join the Online Media Standards Authority. This isn't really surprising. For a start, membership costs $500 a year (and ten times that if too many people complain) - well beyond the means of most...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Nelson fishing museum satire or not?
    Apparently, unless Fairfax is now taking on The Civilian in the field of satirical news, the Minister of Conservation Nick Smith and fishing magnate Peter Talley are planning a fishing museum in Nelson. And the Minister considers this "ambitious new...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter Responds To Paul Buchanan.
    Uncharacteristically Idealistic: Normally a cool-headed realist (as befits an expert in international relations) Dr Paul Buchanan has taken issue with Chris Trotter's "cynical" Bowalley Road posting Dirty Politics - Is There Any Other Kind? by offering a passionately idealistic defence of...
    Bowalley Road | 22-08
  • This should not have taken five years
    Back in 2009, after the Herald was given information showing that National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi was suspected by the Immigration Service of paying off a woman at the centre of allegations he had made bogus job offers, Immigration Minister...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Poll of Polls update – 22 August 2014
    The latest Herald Digipoll has just been released, and with a polling window running from 14 August to 20 August, the entirety of the polling was completed following the release of Dirty Politics. The results show a sharp fall of 4.9% for National. However,...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-08
  • Hard News: In The Green Room
    Next Thursday, John Key and David Cunliffe will meet in the first TVNZ leaders' debate. At the same time, Green Party co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman will appear in The Green Room, a "companion" debate streamed live online.I'll be...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • Walking in Manukau
    Just over a month ago I was out at Manukau City, at the open day of the new MIT, which doubles as Manukau station. This is a brilliant facility, with world class integration of land use and transport. If you...
    Transport Blog | 21-08
  • World News Brief, Friday August 22
    Top of the AgendaThai Junta Leader Appointed PM...
    Pundit | 21-08
  • Review finds community water fluoridation safe and effective
    A press release from the Royal Society of NZ today. I think the “take home message is: “The panel concluded that the concerns raised by those opposed to fluoridation are not supported by the scientific evidence” A review of the...
    Open Parachute | 21-08
  • Seismic testing stopped in Norway but coming soon to Northland
    Seismic testing for oil in the Arctic Barents Sea, commissioned by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has been stopped four days after it began and one month ahead of schedule after Greenpeace exposed it to the media. But off the coast...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 21-08
  • Hard News: Friday Music: A Strange Road
    It was one thing when the Electoral Commission declared Darren Watson's 'Planet Key' song and video to be an "election programme" under the Broadcasting Act. But quite another for it to then find it to also be an "election advertisement"...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • More proof
    Adam Bennet in the Herald reports: New evidence has emerged appearing to contradict Prime Minister John Key's claim he was never told by the SIS it intended to release politically sensitive secret documents to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater. But...
    Polity | 21-08
  • Up Front: Oh, God
    I'm not a militant atheist. I've always been grateful that I was raised by a good Christian woman; one who believed in kindness, and giving, and generally not being a judgemental homophobic arsehole. Those people's voices are largely missing from...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • New Fisk
    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script...
    No Right Turn | 21-08
  • Key fails to keep his lies straight
    When evidence emerged yesterday that John Key had been briefed on Cameron Slater's expedited OIA to the SIS, he was quick to deny it. Apparently when the SIS director and the Ombudsman referred explicitly to "discussions with the Prime Minister",...
    No Right Turn | 21-08
  • Enter the Mad Butcher
    One aspect of the disgusting messages between National party propagandist Cameron Slater and his accomplice Aaron Bhatnagar that hasn't been picked up on by the mainstream media yet is their discussion about Peter Leitch AKA the Mad Butcher.This part of...
    The Jackal | 21-08
  • NEWSFLASH: John Key Clone Used to Fake News Conference
    Incredibly “Left Wing Smear” Campaigners have used a time machine, travelled back to August 8th 2011, with a Clone of John Key (That they made days before, using number eight wire and Oravida Milk Powder), and held a News Conference...
    An average kiwi | 21-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • TDB Political Diary for 2014 Election
    Here are the political events TDB will be covering this election. I will be live tweeting these events and  blog reviews will follow the next day. Internet MANA launch – August – Sunday 24th – 1pm, Western Springs School Green...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • One man’s struggle to find a copy of Dirty Politics
    I’m typing this on top of Dirty Politics.  I got the last copy yesterday morning at the local branch of a chain bookshop.  I was really in to get the paper.  I know it sold out – everyone knows - but the first thing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • From Tucker to Key – while you were out
      From Tucker to Key – while you were out...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Amnesty International – Justice is not Blind in Ferguson
    When a US cop pulls a gun on an unarmed man, he could be acting upon a series of impulses that have been formed since before he or she could talk. What does that police officer see in front of...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • “Even though my hours are being cut, my rent doesn’t get cut to compens...
    Fast Food = Slow Pay   Lola is a manager at a major fast food chain. Last year her employer arbitrarily cut her hours from 32 hours to anywhere between 18 and 26 hours each week. “I said I can’t...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Hate Politics has no place in NZ Politics
    I wasn’t going to write about Nicky Hagar’s ‘Dirty Politics’.  There are plenty of policy issues to discuss. Then I read the book, and what it reveals strikes at the very heart of our democracy. My overwhelming feeling is one...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Pak’nSave pull adverts from Whaleoil
    Pak n Save have replied to complaints that their adverts were appearing on hate speech site Whaleoil by deciding to block their adverts from appearing on the site. Their reply… Congratulations for Pak’NSave on making this type of ethical stand. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Herald Poll – Why the Greens will hit 15%
    The biggest problem for John Key is that there are swathes of National Party voters who are educated and decent people whom will be forced to read Dirty Politics out of intellectual curiosity and will be horrified by what National...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media
    The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly. When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • “You just have to keep on fighting” – an interview with Metiria Turei
    We’re meeting in her office. It’s austere, though she does have a nice teapot. The view is startling. One can map the Bowen Triangle, though the teapot is still more interesting. A group of pink faced men are running across...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Taxation and Real Estate – turning housing debate on its head
    The debate about property prices in New Zealand is disingenuous. It is clear that there is a global process in which speculators are using massive amounts of unspent and borrowed money to blow bubbles in the world’s major asset markets....
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Faith and politics
    In a week which has seen our collective focus shift to those who see politics as a great game to be manipulated for their own ends, it is timely to reflect on the fact that many people are in fact...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Test Stream
    width="600" height="400"> archive="http://theora.org/cortado.jar [3]" width="600" height="401">...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • The Nation: Debate Between Amy Adams And Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen Hosts an Environment Debate Between National’s Amy Adams And Russel Norman From the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Travel And Accommodation Determination for MPs Released
    The Remuneration Authority today released its determination covering Members of Parliament New Zealand accommodation, travel services for family members, and travel services for former Prime Ministers and their spouses....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Te Kuiti man imprisoned for images of young children
    A Te Kuiti man caught with pictures of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Sickness beneficiary Daniel James Parry, 35, appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Japan Maritime Training Squadron visit – Open Day, Band
    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron will make port in Auckland from Wednesday 3 September to Saturday 6 September...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • MP Perk Transparency Needed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the increase in taxpayer-funded entitlements for MPs and their families published on the legislation website this afternoon . Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Debating the future of Auckland’s housing
    With only weeks until the General Election, Auckland’s mounting housing crisis will be put under the spotlight in an Election Debate hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. The debate’s topic “Market forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Let’s sort this out – Human Rights Commission
    A Whangarei woman allegedly censured for greeting customers with Kia ora can get in touch with the Human Rights Commission says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “We really need to resolve these kinds of issues. I had thought that...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Aged Care Association welcomes Labour’s wages policy
    The New Zealand Aged Care Association welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement that if elected, it will raise the minimum wage for aged care workers within its first 100 days in Government....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN
    An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya
    The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Bob Parker, China State Media and Tibet Forum
    Former Christchurch mayor was signed up to position statement without his knowledge; observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • “Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap”
    There’s just a few weeks left to convince the candidates of all political parties that reducing the wage gaps makes good sense....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Digital Currency on the Drawing Board
    Government policies and digital currency ideas and issues will come together at three public workshops next week....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • NZ Cycle Trail welcomes $8 million fund
    Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT)....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Judges Comments Bonkers – McVicar
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar is accusing a Judge of forgetting that he is the gate-keeper for the community and not a benevolent caregiver for law breakers. "The comments by this Judge are not just alarming, they're completely...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians
    As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Degrees in Picking up Rubbish
    Responding to the Fairfax media report of a University of Otago survey of Wellington’s street-connected walkways, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Another Union row
    “ The teachers union the NZEA is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Whyte: Speech to Grey Power
    National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Local Govt should not go into business
    “No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Join the hikoi to end child poverty in New Zealand
    CPAG is calling on people across society to join a march from Britomart to Aotea Square in Auckland to demand action on child poverty in Aotearoa....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Ngapuhi Chair Says Enough of the Political Sideshow
    Time for side-shows to end so we can focus on future of our nation – Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • “Bromance” Marriage Stunt Insulting Says LegaliseLove
    A promotional competition asking two best mates to get married in order to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup is insulting, marriage equality campaign LegaliseLove Aotearoa claims....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
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