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Power to the people

Written By: - Date published: 5:35 am, May 22nd, 2009 - 52 comments
Categories: economy - Tags:

This just in – the electricity market isn’t working.

Well, plenty of people were saying that would happen back in the 1990s when National insisted on giving it a go. They split up the ECNZ into four bite size pieces to compete against each other. They planned to sell them all and create a totally private electricity market but only had time to flog off Contact before they lost power.

Since then we’ve had to deal with this dumb monopolistic system that’s mostly public-owned but doesn’t act in the public interest. Labour’s best effort to fix it was the Electricity Commission – a half-hearted effort to stop the generator/retailers from taking super-profits by regulating the market.

It didn’t work. We didn’t get enough generation and transmission as we needed put in. The government couldn’t get its own SOEs to follow its climate change policies; they act like profit-maximising corporates instead. Trying to use price to destroy demand during dry years just led to politically untenable profits flowing to Contact’s shareholders and the government.

National is now acting all angry at the electricity companies and warning them not to increase prices any further. This just months after they demanded bigger profits from those same SOEs.

National’s solution is to get rid of the Electricity Commission and break up the SOEs into smaller SOEs ready for selling. That wouldn’t create a better market. You don’t get good markets in natural monopolies. It wouldn’t lead to cheaper power having more companies trying to sell you an identical product just leads to them spending more on advertising. It would leave one huge company, Contact, to play NZ’s version of Enron in California. You might think that we would have learned that unregulated capitalists don’t always act in the public interest over the last couple of years but it seems National hasn’t.

The real solution is to get rid of this whole sham. Buy back Contact (work out a fair share price and do it through legislation). Put the whole thing back into one and set it some simple goals: reliable supply at a steady, low price and phasing out fossil fuels. Don’t worry about profits. Even now, profits are basically just an electricity tax.

Forget the neoliberal daydream of a real electricity market. Get back to having an electricity system that’s just about giving us cheap, green power when we want it.

52 comments on “Power to the people”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    Forget the neoliberal daydream of a real electricity market. Get back to having an electricity system that’s just about giving us cheap, green power when we want it.

    Gasp.

    Just because it makes sense, might work, and would be heaps better doesn’t mean it isn’t sacrilege Eddie.

  2. cocamc 2

    Now lets blame the Electricity Sector – and of course it’s all Nationals fault. Yesterday this blog blamed the the CEO’s and businesses.
    Whose next to blame? You’re running out of targets.

    Buying back Contact Energy is not the answer, firstly we’ve got no money to do that at the moment. Adjust the system maybe the answer – allow the lines companies to retail and generate and create more competition in the network for consumers

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      Yeah because the generation/retailers wouldn’t just buy the lines co’s. But good to see you are keeping with the sacrilege theme and running the faith based solution.

    • lprent 2.2

      did you read the post. He said that the electricity generators were acting like semi monopolistic corporates. Same thought. But I guess you just wanted to spin a line.

      • bilbo 2.2.1

        How much do the SO power companies return to the government ?

        If it’s small enough figure why not direct them to run at cost leading and move customers from Contact to the SOEs thereby driving down their revenue and share price and pick them up cheap ?

        Often makes me wonder why the govt hasn’t done something similar with the banking sector ……. why does all the IRD business still go through Westpac rather than Kiwibank ?

        • Clarke 2.2.1.1

          Often makes me wonder why the govt hasn’t done something similar with the banking sector . why does all the IRD business still go through Westpac rather than Kiwibank ?

          Because Treasury is still worshipping the neo-liberal demi-god of “Efficiency”. If you discount all of the externalities to zero, then it’s more “efficient” for IRD to save 0.1 cents per transaction by going with Westpac’s lower contract price.

          In Treasury’s world, keeping jobs in New Zealand, not exporting the bank profits, building New Zealand’s capital base and all the other benefits that would come from keeping government business on-shore aren’t actually counted. Hence the Westpac decision.

          If you go and have a look around the Chief Executive positions in the public sector, you’ll discover that a non-trivial percentage of the incumbents are ex-Treasury, which is why this anti-logic seems so pervasive.

          • insider 2.2.1.1.1

            Primarily they go with Westpac because it has the computing and transactional power to process the massive volume of payments government makes. Kiwibank doesn’t or didn;t have that when last tendered.

        • cocamc 2.2.1.2

          Ok Bilbo
          The dividends that are received from the SOE’s go back into the Govt coffers for other programs (Police, roading, social spending). You take that away and the shortfall has to come from somewhere else. Oh that’s right, just tax the “Rich” to make up the difference.

          • Clarke 2.2.1.2.1

            cocamc –

            Are you serious? If the electricity companies hadn’t been systematically raping their customers, there would be another $4 billion in income sloshing around inside NZ. And remember, one of the biggest players is Contact, which is predominantly owned by offshore investors – pray tell how the investors who have been banking the dividend cheques into overseas bank accounts help pay for the Police, roading and social spending.

          • cocamc 2.2.1.2.2

            Clarke
            Read my response, I said SOE’s send money to the Govt.

            Contact is a public company so different situation. But they invest money building generation facilities, that contibutes to the economy with jobs, etc.

          • Clarke 2.2.1.2.3

            Contact is a public company so different situation. But they invest money building generation facilities, that contibutes to the economy with jobs, etc.

            That’s a truly lame response.

            Contact have 24% of the generating market, according to MED. If the gaming of the market has been happening on a pro-rata basis, this means that Contact are guilty of pulling an additional $960 million out of New Zealand, which has benefited predominantly overseas shareholders.

            We could have used a public project to build the same generation facilities and created the same number of jobs as Contact did, and the only effect would be that New Zealanders would be $960 million richer!

        • Swampy 2.2.1.3

          Lots. probably most of the amount alleged to be overcharged found its way into the Labour Government’s coffers. It’s certainly on record they got more than a billion out of Meridian for the last two election year budgets.

          It’s rather unlikely that National is going to engage in such a draconian anti business course of action, they have no political constituency like Labour does with the leftist unionists.

    • Clarke 2.3

      The very definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome each time.

      So your solution to market failure is … more markets?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.4

      You can’t have competition in electricity supply. You can only have one network because it’s far too expensive to have more than one. Having multiple suppliers increases costs because of the increased bureaucracy and laws. The cost of setting up the competition prevents the competition even trying.

      Do what you say and we will end up with a privately owned monopoly gouging society and not enough power generation. Exactly why Milton Friedman said in Capitalism & Freedom that if you have to have a monopoly then it should be state owned.

      Power is an infrastructural component of society like roads and as such it needs to be state owned. Without it society would be worse off. If the generation and reticulation of power loses money then it can easily be, and should be, regarded as an investment in our society.

      • Swampy 2.4.1

        We have more or less the same in the past because of the state monopoly. A monopoly is a monopoly regardless. That’s why we have laws against monopolies, except of course government ones, and that’s where you have made a huge mistake in your post. The electrical supply network is owned by an independent public entity and that’s the only monopoly that should be tolerated. There’s no case for generation monopoly because it happens at multiple sites. There’s no case at all that going back to an NZED scenario with the local distribution monopolised by MEDs is going to produce an improvement over the current situation. There’s plenty of case that limiting the monopoly power of major players is going to produce real improvement. The situation is that the government owns most of the generation capacity and thus has substantial market power, Further, the government can buy political power as a result. Going back to the past NZED-MED type model will simply cement in the most negative aspects of the current situation.

  3. Chris 3

    Good post.

  4. Chris 4

    Good post – and bang on the nail.

    Getting competition in a small monopolistic market is a false dream. Better to concentrate on real world issues.

  5. Yes very good post Eddie. I was listening to Gerry Brownlee being interviewed on National Radio yesterday evening and I could feel his pain in having to admit that the market solution – Max Bradford’s baby – had been a complete failure.

    It was a great moment hearing him squirm.

  6. Tom Semmens 6

    Surely though one of the lessons of this is that the constant right wing screeching for personal tax cuts will lead to politically driven and undesirable distortions of the tax system. Make no mistake – the government cannot dare raise personal taxation given the way the cheerleaders of the business elites react to such a thing, so instead it is forced to indulge in this sort of unfair and distorting taxation in order to maintain the revenue streams that pay for everything. Right wingers don’t understand there is no such as a free lunch. Or rather, they seem happy to accept that they may have to step over begging old ladies on wintry streets on their way to collect their tax cut.

    The sooner we up the top personal tax rates to the top tiers of earners – and corporates – and cut these sort of unfair and hidden tax burdens on the poorest New Zealanders the better.

    • jagilby 6.1

      “constant right wing screeching for personal tax cuts will lead to politically driven and undesirable distortions of the tax system.”

      I don’t think you could have got it any more wrong if you tried.

      Substitute “right-wing” for ‘left-wing’ and “personal tax cuts” for ‘state welfare’ and you’re starting to get closer to the truth.

      Having the highest personal tax bracket not consistent with that of companies, trusts and other corporate bodies has led to massive undesirable distortions in the tax system.

      Seriously, get a clue.

      • Clarke 6.1.1

        Having the highest personal tax bracket not consistent with that of companies, trusts and other corporate bodies has led to massive undesirable distortions in the tax system.

        Yes, you’re entirely correct – if you can game the tax system by running your income through a company or a trust, then you can pay significantly less tax than anyone stuck on PAYE.

        However this is not normally an option for families on the minimum wage in South Auckland, so effectively provides a mechanism for richer folk to pay less tax than is equitable.

        The solution to this problem is to normalise the tax system, by making all top rates the same. This can just as easily be done by raising trust and company taxes as lowering personal taxes. No prizes for guessing which one will result in a lower deficit.

        • jagilby 6.1.1.1

          Fantastic idea… increase taxes on companies right in the middle of a severe recession.

          Where was your invitation to the jobs summit… that idea would have eradicated unemployment for sure.

      • ak 6.1.2

        Seriously, get a life. And catch up with the new tory lines.

        Repeating the hackneyed pre-election drivel and screeches for “tax cuts” puts you way behind even your own sunny leader. So last year.

        The vote-buying “north of $50/wk” bribe won the election but is now old hat: the reality-forced chewing gum for the rich and zip for the majority (morphing into zip for all henceforth) has taken it off the Keyspeak register for good.

        Ditto your tired”state welfare” refrain. Smell the roses, petal: Sunny has expanded the dole, is pouring hard-earned taxpayers millions into a bike track, and is currently ramming “big government” onto our biggest city. Socialist bastard.

        Take the pills, Gills: you’ve still a sad case of pre-election dysfunction.

        • jagilby 6.1.2.1

          I’m not “screeching” for a cut in taxation revenue at all and never said anything close to that dickhead.

          If anything I would look to rebalance to tax take through capital gains on investment property (aside from the primary home of residence) and those who think they are so smart clipping the property ticket. That would include capital gains on all goods – including Art and collectables memorabilia. And one you’ll all love, I’m sure, I would remove subjective references to “traders” when it comes to taxing capital gains on shares – all trading of shares would be subject to capital gains.

          It’s my belief that a capital gains isn’t quite as tough a pill to swallow politically as it’s made out to be and it would align us with most other developed nations…. even those without “Tory” leaders.

          Yes, I would also increase GST also (so start preparing your vitriol now). Increasing the cost of consumption will encourage an increase savings (the great panacea to our current account deficit according to Labour).

          These two measures would help us lower personal taxes to a level consistent with that of companies and trusts and remove the distortion currently. I trust that the current tax think tank appointed will do justice to these suggestions… thank heavens they have a bit more knowledge and sense when it comes to taxation than you lot.

          ANOTHER POINT…
          “so effectively provides a mechanism for richer folk to pay less tax than is equitable”

          Who is you to decide what is “equitable”…. Is it “equitable” that those who provide the jobs and risk the capital be summarily punished for doing so?

          “However this is not normally an option for families on the minimum wage in South Auckland”… If they had the access to the knowledge why would a family on the minimum wage need to exercise that option anyway?… presumably their marginal tax rate is less than that of a company or trust in any case.

          • jagilby 6.1.2.1.1

            As an aside how can discussion about the structure of the tax system be “so last year” when the government has only just appointed a think tank, that includes New Zealand’s foremost experts on taxation (including members from each of the Big 4 accounting firms) to provide suggestions for reform?

            How can you be so sure this won’t radically change the current structure and that parties will change their stance given these recommendations?

            Pretty ballsy of you I would suggest… or is it just another example of the supreme arrogance of the left again thinking they know better than the experts?

        • jagilby 6.1.2.2

          Forgive me if I don’t see how socialist the Supercity is when all the other socialists in the land are united against it and the proposal will almost certainly result in staff “efficiency” gains.

  7. LawGeek 7

    Labour’s best effort to fix it was the Electricity Commission – a half-hearted effort to stop the generator/retailers from taking super-profits by regulating the market.

    It didn’t work. We didn’t get enough generation and transmission as we needed put in.

    These two statements are mutually contradictory. Transmission price rises are justified as the recovery of costs spent on transmission investment. The EC approval system for investment is designed to STOP unnecessary investment that will drive up cost. Similar logic applies to generation investment.

    Now you can agree or disagree with whether or not more investment than is current approved is needed (althought the NZ transmission system is actually fairly reliable by international standards, I might add), but more investment will = higher electricity prices. Either that, or direct subsidy of the electricity companies from the general tax base. Again, you might think that’s a good idea. But more investment = more costs. It’s very difficult to rationally demand BOTH more investment AND lower prices.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Actually, it’s not all that difficult at all but it doesn’t work for private investors as they are looking for the return of the original investment plus profit. Works fine for state ownership though as the cost of setting up new generation is taken out taxes as a sunk cost with no direct return needed or even looked for. The price of power would then be the cost of supply and maintenance. The returns that we would get would be the increased efficiencies and living standards of our society which are almost impossible to quantify but would be greater than zero.

      • LawGeek 7.1.1

        The cost isn’t zero either though. You either have to pay back the cost of the investment (paying for it is independent of the profit motive) through electricity charges or out of general taxes.

        Generation and transmission capacity costs money. You might pay less for it in the long run in public ownership (I think that is likely), but you still have to pay for it. I’m not arguing that private ownership is more efficient than public in the electricity sector, I’m arguing that you have to pay for investment somehow, and therefore Eddie’s point doesn’t really make sense. I wouldn’ve thought that’s relatively uncontroversial.

        • insider 7.1.1.1

          LawGeek is exactly right. More investment equals higher charges. Fundamentally becasue there is no game changing technology that lowers the cost base. Most of the green energy is more expensive not less, so you are contradicting yourself.

          What you are arguing for is short run marginal cost. Possibly fine if you have static supply and demand. Alternatively a highly competitive market with very low barriers to entry would get close.

          But how would you incentivise the building of supplementary new plant to meet rising demand unless you do that by ministerial direction or some other centralised planner where the taxpayer wears the risk if it is wrong (and we have plenty of excruciatingly bad examples of that in the recent and distant past – wanna buy a railway anyone? A synfuel plant?). Your proposal to hide it in general taxes is frankly scary and likely to lead to overbuilding due to lack of accountability for decisions. I’d suggest it would be the least efficient.

          Having a market shifts the risk from taxpayers to investors. It also means that we are not subject to the whim of central planners and politicians who decide what is best for us. They will use that power to steamroller over communities because it looks good in an engineering sense but probably only from that perspective, or politically good, which usually means expensive for you and me. What we need is more market not less, and more scrutiny of that market

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1

            But how would you incentivise the building of supplementary new plant to meet rising demand unless you do that by ministerial direction or some other centralised planner where the taxpayer wears the risk if it is wrong (and we have plenty of excruciatingly bad examples of that in the recent and distant past – wanna buy a railway anyone? A synfuel plant?).

            Having a market shifts the risk from taxpayers to investors.

            And we have even more proving that the market doesn’t move the risks from the public to the private. If the infrastructure isn’t built then the public pays in lost living standards, lost earnings and other ways.

            The market will never over build but doing so isn’t actually a failure – it just means you can put off further investment longer but the profits will either be low or non-existent. So, the market is incentivised to under invest to keep prices and profits high in the short term while the state is incentivised to over invest to keep costs down in the long term. Central planning for a single service that is so integral for the wellbeing of society is a massive improvement over market supply of the same service.

            Your proposal to hide it in general taxes…

            Don’t put words in my mouth. I never said to hide it in the taxes and there’s no way I would support any sort of black project that funded through taxes. Pay for it through taxes as an investment in society is what I said and what it actually is.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2

          I didn’t say it would cost nothing. I said that the difference is that private investors want their money back and that government can regard the investment as a sunk cost and not expect it back at all. This will lower electricity prices because all that they are covering is maintenance.

          • insider 7.1.1.2.1

            Actually no, the Government requires a return on its assets and are pretty harsh in demanding it – and there are good reasons for this. It needs to know when investment is efficient or inefficient just as much as any private business or else the costs could spiral – they would only feel like they are small because they are hidden and you can’t blame some fat cat.

            Re the above (system won’t let me reply to it directly for some reason)

            “And we have even more proving that the market doesn’t move the risks from the public to the private. If the infrastructure isn’t built then the public pays in lost living standards, lost earnings and other ways.”

            Actually we don’t have that proof. Firstly we have over 4000MW of generation planned – that is 50% of total installed capacity and we are only growing demand at ~2%pa. There have been significant investments since the market was developed.

            Secondly, we have had fewer actual power cuts due to energy shortages than we did under centralised planning. Centralised planning leads to pork barreling IMO o

          • LawGeek 7.1.1.2.2

            Let me put it another way, Draco.

            Power plants cost millions to build. That’s millions of tax dollars that can’t go somewhere else. Either that, or the power company has to cover the costs of its investment through electricity charges. I agree that if the power company is state-owned, there is the possibility for including a lower profit component in those charges. But even if you’re going for break even, which we surely want our Government to do, new investment = new cost = higher charges.

            What are you disputing out of that statement?

  8. burt 8

    Eddie

    Are you are saying that the price gouging over the last 6 years is the fault of National from the 90’s rather than Labour who were in charge over the last 6 years?

    Following this logic Fyffe is indemnified for the Zear360 situation as the problems stem back to the govt when they set up Air NZ in the first place. Going right back to NAC would follow the same logic as blaming National for this.

    Come on Eddie, the directors, shareholders and management team are responsible for stuff that happens on their watch. You cannot continue to blame the National govt of the 90’s for ever Eddie

    • Clarke 8.1

      I agree – Labour should have had the courage to bin a failed market system.

      By the same token, however, Brownlee has just come out and said that the power companies won’t have to pay back the $4 billion they’ve looted from consumers – in effect, he’s endorsed their cynical overcharging.

      Now that’s definitely happening on National’s watch.

      • The Baron 8.1.1

        Did you read why he isn’t clawing it back, or did you not get past the headline?

        I really am worried about the level of reading comprehension on this site.

        • Clarke 8.1.1.1

          You mean Brownlee’s in-depth analysis:

          Speaking on Radio New Zealand Mr Brownlee said refunds were not an option. He pointed out the report looked at the wholesale not the retail market, but also it was too difficult.

          “Most of this happened in the past, it happened over the seven years up to 2007,” he said.

          “The 2008 year hasn’t been part of the assessment. . .you’ve got to remember to that the household sector is just on a third of all electricity use so it becomes very, very difficult to work out who actually has paid for what.”

          So let’s get this straight. The electricity companies have the billing systems that allow them to buy and sell through individual transactions in the wholesale and retail markets, and a regulatory obligations to keep those records for a decade. But it’s “too difficult” to go back through those same records and correct the over-charging, despite the fact that the Commerce Commission has forced exactly the same process on other large-scale corporates that have been guilty of over-charging on transaction fees, such as the recent example of the banks with credit card transactions.

          The only sense in which this is “difficult” is that it would cost pro-privatisation Brownlee some political capital.

          • insider 8.1.1.1.1

            The real reason IMO is the $4b is a bit of a fiction…

            What has happened is that a theoretical model has been built that says in an ideal market if all the conditions in the model were fully conformed with, prices should have been at level X most of teh time, but when he looked at the actual prices they were X+. That gap has been considered an “overcharge” but there is significant debate over whether the model can ever be “true” ie can that ideal ever be achieved in any market ever, meaning the theoretical base could be just that, a theory.

            There are also people questioning whether the model actually effectively replicates the NZ market.

          • Maynard J 8.1.1.1.2

            Insider, if I understand correctly, it would be very easy to figure out who creamed what from whom when.

            The key point is that the highest spot price determines the overall market wholesale price.

            The easiest example to use is that during a dry year, there is not enough hydro, so we burn diesel. This means we are paying for hydro power as if it were diesel. To find out the overcharging, merely determine when the spot prices are for each generation type and unit, and then if the price was ever above that.

  9. The Baron 9

    Far better than your usual partisan hacking, Eddie – good discussion and points.

    Lets consider your premise of repurchasing Contact Energy, so that ECNZ can be reconstituted. Right now, Contact Energy has a market capitalisation of $3.4 billion (source: http://www.nzx.com/markets/NZSX/CEN). This would have to be the starting price of any fair value for the business (a lot more than Cullen’s woefully overpaid train set – my god, I would hate to see him negotiate this deal!)

    Would the reorganisation of the market produce $3.4b in benefit? Arguably, it would have prevented the $4b in overcharging that has just occurred… but nevertheless, it is a hell of a cost.

    • Clarke 9.1

      … which by your own figures would produce a return of $600 million in net economic welfare for New Zealand. To do the numbers, that’s a 17% ROI, not allowing for the time value of the money invested. There’s clearly a very good prima facie business case for doing an immediate re-purchase; I’d suggest a full NPV assessment as a good beginning point, but it seems like a very workable deal.

  10. Natpicker 10

    Theres not much needs to be said after Pascals missive, its right on the money. The whole market concept for utilities is totally flawed, and an exercise in the gathering of safe returns for those that have the money to invest. Which in itself means that the rest of us will have to return a “rental” to these shareholders. They in turn will demand more and more. Time to nationalise.

    In terms of shareholders and investment capital I would encourage high returns if the risk is commensurate, but in the case of existant captive markets there is no real risk. And that is what is so bloody sick, no one with money is inclined to risk it, they only want safe returns from you and me. Its a form of parasitism and it aims at the capture of the common good for the private gain.

  11. Quoth the Raven 11

    I think this is an argument for much more decentralised electricity generation. That way you can get the power companies off your back.

  12. insider 12

    Maynard

    for some reason I can’t reply directly to your post.

    You are almost correct, it is the supply bid that clears the demand that sets teh price. So like an auction people will offer generation at various prices for a set demand. Those offers are stacked on top of each other from lowest to highest. When you get to the point that meets demand, the market is cleared and it is that marginal offer that sets the price that everyone receives even if their offer was lower. So the highest offer is not necessarily accepted. That would only happen when the generation offered exactly matches demand, which is almost never.

    The problem with your solution is that it disincentivses me to offer my generation at near marginal cost, because if I get paid more – which I have no control over – you might sting me down the track. That is absurd and unfair. The only person who should wear that is the marginal generator, but how are they to know they are going to be at the margin? No-one has perfect information and no-one could accurately guess when they were at the margin. It also requires anyone reviewing the market to be perfectly informed about what was bid and why, and what the marginal costs were. And that is really really hard I suspect.

    Like I said, a theoretical view has become reality and it may not actually be so.

  13. Rich 13

    What we need to have is a computer model that optimises which power stations run to minimise CO2 emissions over an annual cycle, while maintaining a reserve of water in case of dry or calm weather.

    The cost of (state-generated) electricity then becomes the cost of generators (fuel, capital, maintenance, overheads) plus a reasonable surplus. Contact and any other privately-held generators can either be paid on the same basis, or can sell power through their own distribution network to any private customers that want to contract with them.

    As well as this, it would make sense to turn the state generators from SOEs into worker/consumer owned cooperatives, so that any profits flow straight back to the customers and workers.

    • The Baron 13.1

      what on earth is a worker/consumer cooperative going to give that an SOE isnt? both return money to the public – just that the former introduces a whole pile of CRAZY along the way.

      I assure you, as a tax payer, i am not going to let one shred of my publicly owned power generation fall into the private hands of the “workers”. i thought you lot hated privatisation – what the hell is this?

      • Quoth the Raven 13.1.1

        The Baron – What is your particular problem with consumer or worker cooperatives? Merely saying something is crazy is not a substative argument. Are you capable of providing a good argument against these models? What is the crazy you talk of? Is it merely that it smells of leftism to you so ipso facto it must be bad – no argument needed.
        I don’t hate privatisation. It is how privatisation is carried out that is the problem. There are many different ways to privatise. Most people don’t have such a black and white picture of the world as you. Market – anti-market, privatisation – state ownership, black – white…

        I assure you, as a tax payer, i am not going to let one shred of my publicly owned power generation fall into the private hands of the “workers’.
        …so you have a problem with it being in the private hands of workers, but you have no problem with it being in the private hands of corporates, or not?

        • The Baron 13.1.1.1

          Fair enough on the first part, QoR – good challenge.

          And on the second, you caught a fair error of mine. I absolutely have no problem with worker ownership of anything – so long as they purchase the asset at fair market value. In fact, I think it would be a beautiful model if more workers did get the capital together and do just that, and actually demonstrate the model to the country.

          I suspect that Rich had something wholly different in mind however, in that he wanted the Government to give the power assets over to worker/consumer control as an alternative to SOE structures. It was that concept that i was railing against, as it privatises the asset without fair recourse to the owners – the collective taxpayers.

          as for your last sentence, i think you have wholly made that up. i don’t think i have ever made any statement for or against privatisation? i share however your own sentiments that you express earlier.

    • insider 13.2

      Rich

      Problem is that could mean more expensive power…

      What you describe is similar to what we have. The system runs on best price first. The ETS or carbon tax was supposed to penalise carbon so pushing carbon dioxide production down the bidding order. But we can’t meet demand with just renewables so need fossil fuels. So any increase to FF costs is a direct cost increase to power purchasers. Not only that, wind tends to be more expensive than gas at present so there is a double whammy.

      I’m not going near debating the wisdom of SOEs becoming co-ops :-)

  14. Swampy 14

    The period under review happens to be entirely a period when Labour was in government and therefore received the control of the billions of dollars into government coffers which they were then able to spend on scratching their usual itches.

    It was most noticeable that Labour ministers at the time when these electricity price rises were taking place, kept very quiet on the subject of where the money was going to. Labour of course did almost nothing to change the electricity marketplace during that time.

    Hardly surprising is it? In 2005, Labour makes certain spending promises in the election campaign. Michael Cullen contrives to extract about a billion dollars from Meridian to pay for some of those promises. That amount being in addition to the normal dividends that are paid out each year to the government as shareholders.

    Just tell us whether you still believe that the billions in overcharging was bad, that Labour should have given that money back in rebates.

  15. Swampy 15

    I don’t know why anyone thinks there is some sort of “good old days” when power was not being overcharged. Before Bradford came along and did his bit, things were pretty much the same, the main difference being that the NZED was run like a typical government department rather than the SOE model.

    There was no choice for the public who they could buy power from, the MEDs used to transfer large sums of money to local government coffers each year such that special legislation was put through by Muldoon to limit the amounts. These things happen when you have a government monopoly.

    What you have missed out here is that the government still owns most of the SOEs implicated in this cartel and therefore has substantial market power. All you need is an SOE minister to tell all three to behave the same way and there is that cartel at work with the resulting outcome.

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    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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