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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

      @kiwigunner..

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

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

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

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

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

    • You_Fool 1.2

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

      • blue leopard 1.2.1

        +1 You_Fool

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

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

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

    • Tracey 1.3

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

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

  2. mickysavage 2

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

  3. Jono 3

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

  4. BM 4

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

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

    • mickysavage 4.1

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

      • BM 4.1.1

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

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

    • lprent 4.2

      Did you notice the word marginal around there somewhere?

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

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

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

      • BM 4.2.1

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

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

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

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

        • framu 4.2.1.1

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

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

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

        • Tracey 4.2.1.2

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

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

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

          • srylands 4.2.1.2.1

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

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

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

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

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.2.1.1

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

              Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance) :

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

              Hansard. Volume:691;Page:11416

              Lying trash Prime Minister:

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

              Hansard. Volume:673;Page:19724

              Press releases count for nothing.

        • lprent 4.2.1.3

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

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

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

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.4

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

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

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

  5. dv 5

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

  6. hoom 6

    Spending like they are drunk.

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

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

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

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

    • BM 6.1

      I never got this revenue generating assets angle.

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

      • hoom 6.1.1

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

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

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

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

        • BM 6.1.1.1

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

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

          • Hayden 6.1.1.1.1

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

            • BM 6.1.1.1.1.1

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

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

              • KJT

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

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

          • hoom 6.1.1.1.2

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

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

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

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

          • freedom 6.1.1.1.3

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

            Except for the fact that 49 % of the revenue which came from those earnings, which is now going to the private shareholders, is no longer available for the Government to tax.
            http://i.imgur.com/WcrJgGR.jpg

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

          • Tracey 6.1.1.1.4

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

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.4.1

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

      • KJT 6.1.2

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

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

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

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

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

        • Tracey 6.1.2.1

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

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.2

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

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

      • framu 6.1.3

        “all the other taxes are assets as well.”

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

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

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.3.1

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

  7. fisiani 7

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

    • vto 7.1

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

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

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

    • hoom 7.2

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

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

      • fisiani 7.2.1

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

        • KJT 7.2.1.1

          Have you been to Christchurch?

          Brisbane a few months after the floods?

          Christchurch is being re-built. Yeah right!

          • infused 7.2.1.1.1

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

          • Andrew 7.2.1.1.2

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

            • KJT 7.2.1.1.2.1

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

              Christchurch. Well?

              • Andrew

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

                • KJT

                  I am saying how they did it.

                  Instead of National waiting for, whatever.

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

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010%E2%80%9311_Queensland_floods
                  “Three-quarters of the state of Queensland was declared a disaster zone.[5] Communities along the Fitzroy and Burnett Rivers were particularly hard hit, while the Condamine, Ballone and Mary Rivers recorded substantial flooding. An unexpected flash flood caused by a thunder storm raced through Toowoomba’s central business district. Water from the same storm devastated communities in the Lockyer Valley. A few days later thousands of houses in Ipswich and Brisbane were inundated as the Brisbane River rose and Wivenhoe Dam used a considerable proportion of its flood mitigation capacity”.

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

                  • hoom

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

    • cogito 7.3

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

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

      Doesn’t get much worse :(

    • Tracey 7.4

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

      • srylands 7.4.1

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

        • Tracey 7.4.1.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Shrubbery 7.5

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

    • Draco T Bastard 7.6

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

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

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

  8. Linz 8

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

  9. cogito 9

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

    What a scam.

  10. srylands 10

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

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

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

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

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

    • KJT 10.1

      “Government has no business owning commercial businesses”.

      A typical right wing nut job slogan unsupported by facts.

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

      Ask why Singapore is able to have such low taxes?
      .

      • srylands 10.1.1

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

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

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

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

        Can you provide any empirical evidence for this?

        • KJT 10.1.1.1

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

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

    • bad12 10.2

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

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

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

      • srylands 10.2.1

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

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

        Do you mean Fonterra? Something about milk funding government?

        Sorry no idea how that is relevant to my post.

        • srylands 10.2.1.1

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

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

          • Tracey 10.2.1.1.1

            Banking panics and systemic banking crises
            18th century

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

            19th century

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

            20th century

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

            21st century

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

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

            Venezuelan banking crisis of 2009–10

      • srylands 10.2.2

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

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

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

        • dv 10.2.2.1

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

        • bad12 10.2.2.2

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

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

          • srylands 10.2.2.2.1

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

            You should be ashamed.

            And who is “SSlands”?

            • bad12 10.2.2.2.1.1

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

              It is obvious to all even you who SSLands is,

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

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

              • srylands

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

                • bad12

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

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

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

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

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

            • framu 10.2.2.2.1.2

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

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

              • One Anonymous Bloke

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

              • srylands

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

                • One Anonymous Bloke

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

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

                • srylands

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

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

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

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

                  • KJT

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

                    http://www.tribunemagazine.org/2013/11/now-we-see-the-true-cost-of-privatisation/
                    “The annual energy price rises are appalling. Three of the Big Six energy companies have already announced price hikes of around 10 per cent, with the other three expected to follow shortly. However, we cannot sell off vital public assets and then complain when private companies act like private companies. The popular capitalism of the 1980s has turned into a nightmare for the vast majority of ordinary families”.

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

                  • framu

                    its your attitude dick head – not the words used

        • framu 10.2.2.3

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

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

          • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2.2.3.1

            :lol:

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

            • srylands 10.2.2.3.1.1

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

              Really? on what basis do you conclude that?

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

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

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

        • Tracey 10.2.2.4

          systemic banking crises

          Banking panics and systemic banking crises
          18th century

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

          19th century

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

          20th century

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

          21st century

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

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

          Venezuelan banking crisis of 2009–10

        • Tracey 10.2.2.5

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

          But free trade does not lead to greater prosperity…

          ” Trade does not raise income inequality.
          Ian Fletcher

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

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

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

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

        • thatguynz 10.2.2.6

          “excellent work of Roger Kerr (RIP)”

          Surely you jest?

        • Draco T Bastard 10.2.2.7

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

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

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

    • vto 10.3

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

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

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

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

      Your thinking is truly shocking in its shallowness.

      • srylands 10.3.1

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

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

        • dimebag russell 10.3.1.1

          why not?

        • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.2

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

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

          • srylands 10.3.1.2.1

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

            • vto 10.3.1.2.1.1

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

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

              Are you ignorant in that assessment or just being obtuse?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Are you ignorant in that assessment or just being obtuse?

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

        • vto 10.3.1.3

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

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

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

          You sound like gosman and john with your simpleton ideas

    • hoom 10.4

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

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

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

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

      • freedom 10.4.1

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

        btw, that popping sound is srylands’s braincell exploding

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.5

      Commercial businesses, no. Public utilities, yes.

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

    • framu 10.6

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

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

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

    • Draco T Bastard 10.7

      Government has no business owning commercial businesses.

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

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

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

  11. Brendon Harre 11

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

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

    • BM 11.1

      I do agree in a way.

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

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

      Clever politics.

      • KJT 11.1.1

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

      • Tracey 11.1.2

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

        • BM 11.1.2.1

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

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

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

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

          • Tracey 11.1.2.1.1

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

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

          • KJT 11.1.2.1.2

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

            Considerably more than 300 million dollars.

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

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

  12. Delia 12

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

  13. dimebag russell 13

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

    • fisiani 13.1

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

      • joe90 13.1.1

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

      • blue leopard 13.1.2

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

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

        It certainly looks that way from where I am sitting.

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

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

      • cogito 13.1.3

        @fisiani

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

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.3.1

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

          A study in irrelevance and vacuity.

      • dimebag russell 13.1.4

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

      • Tracey 13.1.5

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

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

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

        • fender 13.1.5.1

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

          • Tracey 13.1.5.1.1

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

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

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

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

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

  14. dv 14

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

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

  15. mickysavage 15

    And the details are starting to come through.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • fender 15.1

      Like “Average as” says in the comments:

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

  16. Sabine 16

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

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

    Really

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

  17. philj 17

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

  18. Gosman 18

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

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

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

  19. Craig 19

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

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    Transport Blog
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    frogblog
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    frogblog
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    frogblog
  • Counterproductive
    Since June, the US has been bombing Iraq. Since September, they've been bombing Syria. In both cases, the aim is ostensibly to stop ISIS. So how's it working out?About as badly as you'd expect:US air strikes in Syria are encouraging...
    No Right Turn
  • No justice in America
    On August 9, police officer Darren Wilson shot and murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.. The shooting of unarmed black men by American police is so routine that they don't even bother to keep statistics on it. And of course,...
    No Right Turn
  • The Andrew Little experiment has failed
    It’s time to admit that the Andrew Little leadership experiment has been a failure. A terrible failure....
    Imperator Fish
  • Abuse of power: The OIA / public records dimension
    One of the things to emerge from the "dirty politics" report is that the SIS pissed all over the OIA:The NZSIS also made a significant error in considering information requests by the news media. Such requests were, from 25 July...
    No Right Turn
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    frogblog
  • A further thought on the Gwyn report
    The report itself is here. The main issues have been well covered by the media. Here’s what struck me. One of Key’s big achievements as Prime Minister has been the expansion of the size and powers of the state security...
    DimPost
  • A further thought on the Gwyn report
    The report itself is here. The main issues have been well covered by the media. Here’s what struck me. One of Key’s big achievements as Prime Minister has been the expansion of the size and powers of the state security...
    DimPost
  • Thin Ice edit for US TV funded in full
    The Thin Ice Kickstarter campaign was resounding success, with the total pledged reaching NZ$34,448 from 228 backers. The extra funds are likely to be used in a PR effort to get the newly-edited film shown on as many TV stations...
    Hot Topic
  • The City Unbound
    The current Metro Magazine has has an article by me on Auckland, its new urban nature, and surprise!: Why we need a change in transport infrastructure investment to unlock its true value. Most here won’t be unfamiliar with the arguments but the...
    Transport Blog
  • The City Unbound
    The current Metro Magazine has has an article by me on Auckland, its new urban nature, and surprise!: Why we need a change in transport infrastructure investment to unlock its true value. Most here won’t be unfamiliar with the arguments but the...
    Transport Blog
  • Cover up in the PM’s office
    Here's an extract from a very good post by Russell Brown this morning: But there’s more. The inspector, Cheryl Gwyn, has this to say: Witnesses appearing before this inquiry also produced documents. Documents were provided voluntarily by Mr Hager and...
    Polity
  • An abuse of power
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has released her report into the release of information to Cameron Slater by the SIS. Its a lot to digest, but it looks like the core allegation of Dirty Politics - that the Prime...
    No Right Turn
  • Media Link: The Slater/SIS/PM’s Office OIA debacle.
    Sometimes one has to speak bluntly but honestly about unethical behaviour within the NZ intelligence community. The revelations about the way an OIA request from a notorious right wing blogger was  handled by the then Director of Security and Intelligence...
    Kiwipolitico
  • The buck stops on level 9
    The IGIS report has come out, saying the SIS failed to maintain political neutrality, smearing Phil Goff, and finding that senior Prime Ministerial staff were complicit in channeling security agency information to Cameron Slater. In response, the SIS has apologised...
    Polity
  • Hard News: Incomplete, inaccurate and misleading
    The reporter of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of information by the SIS is now public, and it turns out to be largely about a democratic problem we've discussed plenty this year: the growing contempt in which New...
    Public Address
  • I’m not ALWAYS wrong …
    I'm presently acting as a "parent helper" at school camp in the backblocks outside of Cromwell, so my capacity to comment on recent events is limited (to put it mildly). So I'll simply reproduce this part of this post from...
    Pundit
  • Coal Action Network Aotearoa Newsletter November 2014
    What’s in this newsletter?  1.  Upcoming Events 2.  Heads in the Sand! Join us on December 7 3.  The Elections – analysis from Jeanette Fitzsimons 4.  The IPCC – and New Zealand’s response 5.  Honey I shrunk the Board!  Bathurst...
    Coal Action
  • Is New Zealand heading up shit creek? [infographic]
    Should we be able to swim in our rivers? Water quality has been in the news a lot this year – in particular the impact of dairy farming on nitrogen levels (and algae) in our rivers. But if we want...
    Gareth’s World
  • Reaction to Labour reshuffle
    The commentators have digested Andrew Little's reshuffle overnight, and their verdict is predictably positive. Even if the Herald can't agree on whether the reshuffle was a big deal or not (the editorial says "largely cautious" while John Armstrong says "radical...
    Polity
  • SIS report due out today
    The Gwyn Report into allegations the NZ SIS were used for political purposes to smear Phil Goff, via Cameron Slater, is due for release at 10 am. Radio NZ reports: The report by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn,...
    On the Left
  • Nothing Wrong With John Key’s History.
    Done Deal: The Prime Minister's comments regarding the peaceful settlement of New Zealand have been ridiculed by his detractors, but they were considerably less controversial than the Waitangi Tribunal's assertion that Maori never ceded sovereignty to the British crown. (Image...
    Bowalley Road
  • Hibiscus Coast New Network confirmed
    Back in July and August, Auckland Transport consulted on changes to the bus network on the Hibiscus Coast as part of the region wide new network. The main driver for consulting on the changes now is that AT want to...
    Transport Blog
  • Hibiscus Coast New Network confirmed
    Back in July and August, Auckland Transport consulted on changes to the bus network on the Hibiscus Coast as part of the region wide new network. The main driver for consulting on the changes now is that AT want to...
    Transport Blog
  • (Not) changing the climate on climate change
    Here’s a foreign policy issue the government wishes would go away: climate change. Most other governments wish it would go away, too. They will nonetheless send emissaries to Lima in Peru for 12 days of talks from next Monday. Lima...
    Colin James
  • Accelerating Over the Cliff in our Latest Roadster
    Article – Paul Martin The Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change earlier this year noted if action is not taken soon the resultant 2C increase in global temperatures will have severe, and irreversible impacts on human habitation and economic activity.Accelerating Over...
    Its our future
  • Will New Climate Treaty Be a Thriller, or Shaggy Dog Story?
    The following article is reprinted by permission of its author, Stephen Leahy, who writes for the Inter Press Service (IPS) News Agency. To access the article as posted on the IPS website, click here. The as-yet unfinished exhibit area which forms part...
    Skeptical Science
  • Will New Climate Treaty Be a Thriller, or Shaggy Dog Story?
    The following article is reprinted by permission of its author, Stephen Leahy, who writes for the Inter Press Service (IPS) News Agency. To access the article as posted on the IPS website, click here. The as-yet unfinished exhibit area which forms part...
    Skeptical Science
  • Ruins of our present future
    A friend of mine used to own a house in an abandoned village. It was a symbolic kind of ownership: he paid no rates nor taxes, because there were no services and the place had no value. He just had...
    Bat bean beam
  • Hard News: Prague
    There are always candles at the memorial to Jan Palach and Jan Zajic, who immolated themselves in protest at the forcible ending of the Prague Spring in 1968, but there were more there than usual last Thursday when I walked to...
    Public Address
  • The Gwyn Report
    This is the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security’s inquiry into how Cameron Slater obtained classified SIS documents that embarrassed then-Labour leader Phil Goff. It gets released tomorrow but some media have been briefed on some of the contents, presumably by Goff. So the...
    DimPost
  • The Gwyn Report
    This is the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security’s inquiry into how Cameron Slater obtained classified SIS documents that embarrassed then-Labour leader Phil Goff. It gets released tomorrow but some media have been briefed on some of the contents, presumably by Goff. So the...
    DimPost
  • Carbon News 24/11/14: penny-pinching on climate funding
    Govt slammed for weak climate fund contribution The Government is under fire for the size of its contribution to a global fund to help developing countries to combat climate change. New Zealand last week agreed to donate $3 million to...
    Hot Topic
  • Are New Zealand Economists Going in the Right Direction?
    In a speech to economics teachers  earlier this month, the Secretary of the Treasury, Gabriel Makhlouf, argued for a different approach to economics from the one which dominates the profession in New Zealand....
    Pundit
  • Stuart’s 100 #58: Four Seasons in One Year
    58: Four Seasons in One Year What if we made more of seasonal change in Auckland? Auckland does not, despite what many of us say, have a tropical, or sub-tropical climate, but a temperate maritime one. All the palm trees...
    Transport Blog
  • Stuart’s 100 #58: Four Seasons in One Year
    58: Four Seasons in One Year What if we made more of seasonal change in Auckland? Auckland does not, despite what many of us say, have a tropical, or sub-tropical climate, but a temperate maritime one. All the palm trees...
    Transport Blog
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    Greens
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    Greens
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    Greens
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    Greens
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter referring to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    ...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
  • Liam Butler interviews Hon Richard Prebble CBE,
    Out of the Red $29.95 The untold story of NZ's biggest business turn around....
    Scoop politics
  • Submissions called for two herbicide applications
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on the reassessment of the herbicide Firebird and an application for release of the herbicide Sakura....
    Scoop politics
  • Collins Inquiry – Statement from Mr Adam Feeley
    "I am pleased that the inquiry was undertaken and with the outcome announced today, especially given the unprecedented level of speculation, criticism and comment around investigations into the collapse of finance companies - much of which bore little...
    Scoop politics
  • #GivingTuesday focuses on charitable giving in Xmas lead-up
    More than 100 New Zealand charities are taking part in the inaugural #GivingTuesday being held on Tuesday 2 December....
    Scoop politics
  • Carrick Graham: Inquiry Shows New Media PR Here to Stay
    Facilitate Communications welcomes the Prime Minister’s release of the Inquiry report into allegations regarding the Honourable Judith Collins and a former Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley....
    Scoop politics
  • Carrick Graham: Inquiry Shows New Media PR Here to Stay
    Facilitate Communications welcomes the Prime Minister’s release of the Inquiry report into allegations regarding the Honourable Judith Collins and a former Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley....
    Scoop politics
  • Importance of employer support of victims of family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has welcomed a new report, Intimate partner violence and the workplace, published today by the NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse at the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Importance of employer support of victims of family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has welcomed a new report, Intimate partner violence and the workplace, published today by the NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse at the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Activists celebrate success in ‘Roast Busters’ campaign
    Activist community ActionStation is today celebrating the success of their campaign to force a review into the lack of charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ case, after the Minister of Justice announced the re-opening of work to improve the justice system...
    Scoop politics
  • Activists celebrate success in ‘Roast Busters’ campaign
    Activist community ActionStation is today celebrating the success of their campaign to force a review into the lack of charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ case, after the Minister of Justice announced the re-opening of work to improve the justice system...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Day: A lot of work to do
    White Ribbon Day is a timely reminder to all New Zealanders that when it comes to sexual violence there is a lot of work to do says Human Rights Commissioner Jackie Blue. “Many victims of sexual violence are failed by...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Day: A lot of work to do
    White Ribbon Day is a timely reminder to all New Zealanders that when it comes to sexual violence there is a lot of work to do says Human Rights Commissioner Jackie Blue. “Many victims of sexual violence are failed by...
    Scoop politics
  • MBIE acts against Queenstown breaches of employment laws
    Enforcement action has been taken against 15 employers in the hospitality, retail and service industries following an operation in August by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)....
    Scoop politics
  • MBIE acts against Queenstown breaches of employment laws
    Enforcement action has been taken against 15 employers in the hospitality, retail and service industries following an operation in August by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)....
    Scoop politics
  • E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call
    E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call for Māori Tikanga to Battle Domestic Violence...
    Scoop politics
  • E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call
    E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call for Māori Tikanga to Battle Domestic Violence...
    Scoop politics
  • Link between inequality and teen births studied
    A University of Canterbury economics and finance postgraduate student’s research project has been unable to find a strong link between teen birth rates and socio-economic inequality....
    Scoop politics
  • Link between inequality and teen births studied
    A University of Canterbury economics and finance postgraduate student’s research project has been unable to find a strong link between teen birth rates and socio-economic inequality....
    Scoop politics
  • On White Ribbon Day, and every day, Plunket is here to help
    On White Ribbon Day, Plunket says the impact family violence has on children is not OK, but it is OK to ask for help, and is encouraging parents in violent or abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and their...
    Scoop politics
  • On White Ribbon Day, and every day, Plunket is here to help
    On White Ribbon Day, Plunket says the impact family violence has on children is not OK, but it is OK to ask for help, and is encouraging parents in violent or abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and their...
    Scoop politics
  • Dr Warren Tucker accepts findings of IGIS report
    I accept the findings of the Inspector-General's thorough and careful report and take full responsibility not only for my decisions but for the systemic errors made by NZSIS at the time....
    Scoop politics
  • Dr Warren Tucker accepts findings of IGIS report
    I accept the findings of the Inspector-General's thorough and careful report and take full responsibility not only for my decisions but for the systemic errors made by NZSIS at the time....
    Scoop politics
  • NZSIS accepts Inspector-General’s recommendations
    The Director of Security, Rebecca Kitteridge says she accepts all of the recommendations from an inquiry into the release of NZSIS information in July and August 2011. “We are implementing all of the recommendations as soon as possible,” Ms Kitteridge...
    Scoop politics
  • NZSIS accepts Inspector-General’s recommendations
    The Director of Security, Rebecca Kitteridge says she accepts all of the recommendations from an inquiry into the release of NZSIS information in July and August 2011. “We are implementing all of the recommendations as soon as possible,” Ms Kitteridge...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwis Embrace the Spirit of Giving This Christmas
    Auckland, New Zealand – November 25, 2014 – Kiwis are embracing the spirit of giving this Christmas, with new figures revealing that a majority of us will be looking to purchase gifts for six or more people this festive season....
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwis Embrace the Spirit of Giving This Christmas
    Auckland, New Zealand – November 25, 2014 – Kiwis are embracing the spirit of giving this Christmas, with new figures revealing that a majority of us will be looking to purchase gifts for six or more people this festive season....
    Scoop politics
  • The writing’s on the wall in aged care
    The writing’s on the wall in aged care, so let’s get on with it....
    Scoop politics
  • The writing’s on the wall in aged care
    The writing’s on the wall in aged care, so let’s get on with it....
    Scoop politics
  • Report on release of NZSIS information to Cameron Slater
    The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office....
    Scoop politics
  • Report on release of NZSIS information to Cameron Slater
    The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office....
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand a world leader in animal welfare
    The Animal Protection Index , which ranks 50countries across the world on their animal welfare standards, places New Zealand (along with the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland)in first place....
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand a world leader in animal welfare
    The Animal Protection Index , which ranks 50countries across the world on their animal welfare standards, places New Zealand (along with the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland)in first place....
    Scoop politics
  • Corrections Review of Phillip Smith’s Illegal Departure
    Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith has made public a summary of the findings of the review into the illegal departure from New Zealand of prisoner Phillip Smith during a temporary release....
    Scoop politics
  • Corrections Review of Phillip Smith’s Illegal Departure
    Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith has made public a summary of the findings of the review into the illegal departure from New Zealand of prisoner Phillip Smith during a temporary release....
    Scoop politics
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics
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