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Reasons to vote against CERA

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 14th, 2011 - 77 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, Gerry Brownlee, same old national - Tags:

1) the powers given to Gerry Brownlee are excessive and unchecked. Dean Knight wrote the, so far, definitive critique of the CERA law in an amazingly short period of time after the Bill was finally released to the public on Tuesday. It is damning reading: the purposes clause is so wide and vague that it is effectively unlimited, the powers that can be exercised for those vaguely defined purposes are too extensive, there’s no effective ability for people to contest Brownlee’s decisions in court because the law so limits the jurisdiction of the courts that all they can do is check that those excessive powers have been exercised in pursuit of those vague, broad purposes.

Even if Brownlee doesn’t abuse his powers (and that is an ‘if’ that citizens of a democracy should never have to rely on) CERA won’t do what is needed.

Now, Lianne Dalziel has commented that CERA is needed because the council has failed to come up with a rebuilding plan. I disagree. It has always been clear that the rebuilding plan would have to be government-led. The fact that Bob Parker is a vainglorious, preening arsehole is no reason to condemn Christhchurch and the country to the virtual dictatorship of Gerry Brownlee. The CERA bill as drafted is simply not the answer to the problems that no-one denies Christchurch is facing.

2) with such huge powers being entrusted to the government, and one minister in particular, we must be able to have complete trust in them. Has anything Brownlee has ever done instill confidence in you? He is perhaps the most high-handed and arrogant of Key’s ministers. He has shown absolutely no compunction in using his powers to their fullest extent and ignoring public opposition in the past.

Brownlee’s tendency towards secrecy was illustrated by the fact that he gave the Christchurch City Council CEO a copy of the CERA bill last week but with orders that it be kept from the elected councilors and the general public. Not to mention the insult of a select committee process we’ve just seen, where only Brownlee’s mates were invited and Christchurch councilors only found out it was happening from the media.

And look at what happened when Clayton Cosgrove commented that it looked like Brownlee was just doing the select committee for appearances and had no interest in listening to suggestions:

“The only conclusion I can draw is you’re going to do this your way. That you’re not going to take amendments seriously. “What’s the game? I would have thought you wanted detailed advice from key stakeholders.”

Mr Brownlee replied: “I don’t have a response to that. It’s an opinion. I’m not here to argue about an opinion.”

So what was he there for? A bit of PR cover so he can get on doing whatever he wants to do. Who can trust him to do the right thing?

3) Brownlee is going to make a mess of this. He is a disastrous minister. He fucks up everything he touches. He is a member of a popular government, yet he managed to raise the largest protest in a generation against his last big policy – Schedule 4 mining.

CERA is already a mess. The first guy that was tapped to lead it refused to work with Brownlee.

The progress on the ground has been rated a D by a New Zealand expert who has been involved in 17 major disaster responses. There still aren’t enough toilets. The government has twice missed its own deadlines just to announce who will build the temporary emergency housing. The Japanese have thousands of houses built already.

The word from inside National is that they expect to lose a lot of votes in Christchurch. It’s not just that people have high expectations today that are hard to meet, Brownlee is failing to meet even basic expectations. His majority will be slashed. Is the Opposition going to pick up more votes by jumping on Gerry Brownlee’s wagon as it heads for the cliff-edge or by raising principled opposition to the excesses of the CERA legislation and then offering valid criticism and alternatives as he fucks up again and again?

77 comments on “Reasons to vote against CERA”

  1. Armchair Critic 1

    1. Gerry Brownlee – Disaster Minister
    2. Go the Greens – oppose this Bill, in order to make it more workable.
    3. Fingers crossed that Labour won’t fall into the same trap they did with CERRA.  Sure, something needs to be done, but this is not good enough, and their role, as the major opposition party, is to make this Bill better.

  2. Can I urge Labour MPs to vote against this legislation.
     
    Promise to work for the rebuilding of Christchurch and to put the resources that are required.
     
    But tell the People of Christchurch that you do not have to establish a dictatorship to do so.

  3. rd 3

    What happens if the govt have a reshuffle and make Anne Tolley the CERA minister!!!

  4. Steve Withers 4

    Gerry Brownlee was made Minister of Energy and one of the first things he SAID he was going to do was look at electricity pricing.

    Today, my electricity costs me 25% more than it did a year ago. I now pay 26c a unit instead of 20c a unit…and it isn’t even winter yet. 

    Now Gerry Brownlee is looking at Christchurch. Good luck to them.

  5. Steve Withers 5

    Lanthanide: I’m with PowerShop already. Check their forward pricing. It heads North of 27 cents / unit.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      Most expensive rate for pre-purchase for me is 25.40c or there-abouts. Current rates are about 23.10c.
       
      Instead of purchasing units for set periods in advance, you can actually purchase cheap power now for use later. It does have expiry dates on it, but you can buy lots of everyday power now at a cheap rate for use into the next couple of months. The strategy reverses coming out of winter – buy as little power as possible until the lower spring-time rates kick in.

  6. Rob 6

    Unfortunately my hopes are not high for people voting against. Not just because if they voted for it last time then why not this time? It means they have to admit they were wrong.

    • Carol 6.1

      Cosgrove just did a great case of exposing the shoddiness of Brownlee’s process, the lack of consultations, the unduly rushed process, the breaking of promises and meetings for consultation with Labour and others, and the unprecendented dictatorial powers the law gives him…. then said Labour would vote for the Bill…. WTF?  He qualified by saying they are keeping careful records of the process and promises by National, and will hold them to account that they do the best for the people of Christchurch.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        If Labour vote for this bill then they will lose a lot of voters trust and deservedly so. I suspect even a number of their core voters will not be voting for them this year if they support this bill.

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1

          It’s definitely another impetus for me to vote Green.

        • Swampy 6.1.1.2

          If Labour votes against they lose a lot of votes, is how it would turn out in the minds of Goff and his political advisers.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.2.1

            Pah, not many votes left to lose, might as well stand by your principles.

      • Swampy 6.1.2

        In other words Labour would do the same if they were in  office. Afterall they did in 1941 – and got the election postponed by two years.

        • Marty G 6.1.2.1

          yeah, because World War 2 is equal to an earthquake.

          And it was a National/Labour coalition in 1941 that decided to delay the election.

    • Bright Red 6.2

      The Greens, at least, aren’t too proud to admit they were wrong last time. And this bill does go further, giving a point difference for less brave parties to point to.

  7. Bill 7

    If we had a society that incorporated effective modes of organisation, then there would be no need for CERA type proposals.
    To move beyond the dictatorial aspects of CERA for a moment, the fundamental problem would seem to be that we are a society with ineffective organisational structures.
    It strikes me that our organisations are weighted towards promoting a particular managerial perspective – one that is very good at having meetings and generating bureaucratic systems and ‘safeguards’ – that falls over when the question is one of action.
    I’m not suggesting that theoretical systems of management shouldn’t be in place. But what we have are management systems that are inadequate in situations where practical application is required.
    So for example, we get portaloos distributed on the back of phone calls received instead of on the back of the real situation. Ie, we had people tasked to deal with reality acting from an abstracted perspective. It seems obvious that our organisations promote people with more abstract or theoretical abilities; people who can operate well in a ‘talking heads’ environment, or an abstracted systems environment but who lack in areas of practical knowledge and know how.
    It’s like the office people in the Twin Towers (this may or may not have been true, but is believable) who thought they were trapped and who escaped because some guy who just happened to be there doing repairs or whatever, simply kicked through the insubstantial internal walls. The office workers, smart and intelligent as they were, didn’t have the knowledge that would allow them to consider kicking a wall in. To them, a wall was an impenetrable fact.
    So anyway, back to the point. What will Gerry do? He’ll fuck it up. He will surround himself with the same type of person who would have been promoted through the existing inadequate managerial or organisational structures. The only difference will be that him and his team will fuck it up faster ’cause they won’t have to wade through the same piles of ‘paper checks’ that the organisations already in place would have to wade through.
    The question we aren’t asking is the more fundamental one of whether our organisations are capable of serving our needs. And if they can’t, then what we can do to ensure that they do.
    I acknowledge that the consequences of the earthquakes would be difficult to deal with, regardless of the people tasked with dealing with them. But it seems we have the wrong type of person in charge, no matter whether we are looking at Gerry with his CERRA structure or bureaucrats and managers in pre-existing organisational structures.
     
     
     

  8. ChrisH 8

    The politician’s syllogism:
    1) Something Must Be Done.
    2) This is Something.
    3) Therefore This Must be Done.

  9. Samuel Hill 9

    New Zealand becoming the new Argentina?

    http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DrH6_i8zuffs&h=9083c

    I don’t have a Ph.D in Economics but there are some very interesting similarities.

  10. Carol 10

    Unbelievable!  The government is witholding the last minute changes from public and opposition view to the CERA Bill that is currently being rushed through parliament under urgency.  Is there no end to the contempt this government shows for democracy?!  How can anyone consider ever voting for these charlatans, let alone for CERA, if they value democracy?

    Labour this morning asked to suspend consideration of the bill because the Government had not produced the formal details of changes it was proposing. The request was denied by the chair.
    Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said it was not essential that the formal details for changes were before Parliament while the bill was in its final stages. Brownlee said parties had been given an informal summary of the changes that would be put forward in a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP).
    Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove acknowledged the summary paper but said the formal SOP was needed, so that the details were clear.
    Brownlee’s office has declined to release the summary paper, saying media would have to wait for the SOP to be tabled. Brownlee’s office has so far not explained why the summary paper will not be released and not said when the SOP will be tabled.
     
     
     

  11. Big Bruv 11

    Labour’s opposition to CERA is the most cynical and sickening thing I have ever seen in our Parliament.
    It has nothing to do with excessive powers, it has nothing to do with submitters not having the chance to be heard, this is all about Labour attempting to slow down the Christchurch recovery so they (Labour) can then attack the government about the slow pace of the Christchurch rebuild.
    Labour have done some nasty things in the last twelve years, however this would be the dirtiest, it just proves that the left in NZ has no morals, no heart and no shame.

    • r0b 11.1

      Sorry BB, no takers. Looks like you’re not going to get your trolling fix here today.

      • Pascal's bookie 11.1.1

        Heh, he sounds more like Gaddaffi everyday.

        These so called pro-democracy forces are all criminals and misanthropes, They’re all high on drugs! They’ve kids I tells ya, tricked by al-qaeda!

        • Luxated 11.1.1.1

          I would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids.
          Actually that is probably something Brownlee would say following an electoral defeat.

    • Bright Red 11.2

      Labour is supporting CERA, dumbarse.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      No, the passage of the bill proves that the right, which includes Labour, have no morals.

  12. Gareth 12

    Well there’s only one party voting against this law – the Green Party

    • Big Bruv 12.1

      Yes Gareth, and we all know why the Green party moonbats are against it.

      • Bright Red 12.1.1

        because they believe in democracy?

        • higherstandard 12.1.1.1

          What like the repeal of S59 of the crimes act ?

          • Bright Red 12.1.1.1.1

            s59 went through our democratic process, including select committee and itwas support by over 100 MPs, including both major parties.
            Brownlee is avout to get the power to override our democratic process at the flick of a pen.
            If you think s59 was an outrage against democracy, what do you think of law by decree?

            • higherstandard 12.1.1.1.1.1

              BR just pointing out that people will bleat that something is an outrage against democracy whenever it suits them and take an opposite position within the space of a breath.

              For the record I can scarcely give a fuck about either case.

              Brownlee’s a lazy slug without the nouse to do much apart from talk talk talk and eat eat eat.

              • Bright Red

                “just pointing out that people will bleat that something is an outrage against democracy whenever it suits them and take an opposite position within the space of a breath”
                There’s nothing logically inconsistant about that when the two cases are substantially different.
                CERA is an outrage against demcoracy and s59 isn’t.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Brownlee’s a lazy slug without the nouse to do much apart from talk talk talk and eat eat eat.

                If that’s true then you should be terrified of this bill as it won’t be Brownlee pulling the strings.

                • higherstandard

                  yes it’ll be the end of the world as we know it…….. snore

                  • Tigger

                    The Greens have the luxury of being the only party in Parliament with no electorate MPs.  Means they can stand on principle the whole time.  I agree with their stance here but I can’t blame Labour for their position also…

                    • Carol

                      Electorate MP Hone Harawira (and Chris Carter) voted with the Greens on this bill & it’s amendments too.

                    • wtl

                      I accept that Labour was probably in a lose-lose position on this… either risk being portayed as anti-Christchurch, or voting for a bill which they don’t really agree with. They chose the latter option.
                      But I don’t really understand the logic of your statement… Why does having electorate MPs make any differences as to whether or not to take a stand?

                  • Marty G

                    enabling act? snore
                    kristallnacht? snore
                    anschluss? snore
                    lebensraum? snore
                    Will it come to that? probably not. But in 1933 who would have thought that giving the government emergency powers after the reichstag fire would come to what it did?
                    At least the SPD had the sense to vote against it. Our SPD rolled over.

  13. Samuel Hill 13

    Clayton Cosgrove just announced that Labour will support the CERA legislation.

  14. William Joyce 14

    Check out Photostream
    Feel free to copy, use and distribute.

  15. James 15

    Well. Can’t vote Labour after this. Better get back to my latte and hand-wringing huh?

  16. MrSmith 16

    Isn’t Brownlee the guy with the plan, remember this http://thestandard.org.nz/confirmed-brownlee-made-it-up/
     
    This Guy just makes shit up when it suits, so CHCH could end up looking like a great big pudding.

  17. MrSmith 17

    Maybe this is part of the plan .
    “Statistics New Zealand figures show that in the month of February, 3908 New Zealanders left for Australia on a long-term or permanent basis. That’s 139 Kiwis leaving every day. Even when you take into account arrivals from Australia, we lost a net 3136 New Zealanders across the Tasman that month.”
     
    This should sort out the housing shortage for King Gerry, Hey and maybe Wonkey meant a brighter future in Ozzy.

  18. Reasons to vote against CERA Labour

    Yet another sterling performance from an already consistently stunning Labour team.
    Supporting National by voting for CERA.
    Supporting National by voting for Internet Copyright Law.
    What utter fucktard sellouts.
    Now I know for sure I’m not voting Labour this year.

    • Fat Uncle 18.1

      Not keen on voting for Norman either….leaving us with the serious option of?

      where are those dudes with the video that were standing for the Christchurch council? could be worse right?

  19. Ummm

    I am aware that I am a passionate supporter of the Labour Party but guys …

    FFS

    The legislation is an abomination.  In constitutional terms it is appalling.

    By voting for it you have made Brownlee more powerful.

    I appreciate that behind the scenes  much discussion was had and some improvements were made.

    But occasionally you should just say no to the bastards. 

    Be brave, stand up for your principles.

    Here endeth rant.

    • Armchair Critic 19.1

      FFS micky this is appalling.  I listened with a bit of pride as Clayton Cosgrove demolished Gerry Brownlee, the legislation and the processes used to create it, and then recoiled in horror when he said “..but we will vote for it anyway.”
      The legislation is not good enough, Labour and the Greens know it, Labour and the Greens said it, Labour and the Greens put up a whole lot of amendments, but only the Greens (and a couple of independents) acted like an opposition.  I may as well have voted National in 2008.
      I’m just hoping that someone has the courage to post about it at RA, so I can give them a bollocking.  Very disappointed.

      • mickysavage 19.1.1

        Aye, the speech was great but when it came time to say “sorry we will do our utmost to help in the rebuild of Christchurch but this legislation will not help and we cannot support the concentration of power in Gerry Brownlee’s hands without some sort of democratic control by the people of Christchurch” they went silent.

        Uuuuuuuurrrrrrrrgggggggg.  Be brave ….

        • Swampy 19.1.1.1
          Because Labour don’t control the council as well. So they vote for the CERA because it undermines the council.
    • the sprout 19.2

      i’m impressed ms – that says a hell of a lot coming from a very loyal supporter like yourself

  20. wtl 20

    But just look at the MSM reporting on this bill – a little about this here and there, but no real analysis of the contents of the bill or any expert opinions on it. And people here are pissed off with Labour for voting for it. I can’t say I blame people for being upset, although I would say that MAYBE this decision by Labour was pragmatic. Anyone who is pissed off enough to change their votes will give their votes to the Greens. This won’t affect the chances of a Labour-Green government next term. But these are people who know enough about the content of the bill to form an opinion. What about the general public, which make up a bulk of the voters? Thanks to the wonderful media in this country, they probably have no clue. This issue will be forgotten about in a few days. I doubt it will have much affect on their voting.
     
    On the flipside, if Labour had voted against the bill, I’m sure the MSM would have seized the opportunity to make it seem like Labour was anti-Christchurch. And I don’t think Labour would have stood a chance winning the battle of spin that would have ensued. Nact have proven to be experts at media manipulation. Of course one might argue that Labour just need to lift their game. But I’m not sure it would have been a good idea to try to do that with this issue. The opinion of others may vary.
     
    Another point is this just goes to show the whole point of the use of urgency by this government – to get controversial legislation passed with little analysis. Introduce the bill, pass it in a few days, and hope the media attention dies down before anyone can properly digest what’s going on. And time and time again it’s been proven to work. The media just don’t pick up on it or care. I can see no other reason to use urgency. They have had months to come up with legislation and certainly did not need to have it passed in a few days. With something this important, we need to make sure we do it right, not do it quickly. But the only people thinking that are are tiny percentage of the population who read blogs like this and are actually informed enough to make a decision. Everyone else is clueless.

    • Aye WTL

      All very good points.

      It makes you despair about democracy though …

      IMHO the best thing the Labour Party (and Green party) could do is get its activists onto the street and just talk to people.  There really is a need to bypass the MSM.

    • the sprout 20.2

      I would say that MAYBE this decision by Labour was pragmatic

      oh i’m sure it was, and that pragmatism is serving Labour soooo well
      can you remember the last time Labour voted on principle?

      • wtl 20.2.1

        can you remember the last time Labour voted on principle?

        No I can’t. Though one good thing to emerge from this fiasco is the Greens did vote on principle, and it seems that them voting for CERRA last time was just a blip. So if we want principle, we still have the choice to vote Green. Of course it is very sad that NZ politics is like this but one choice is better than none.

        • Marty G 20.2.1.1

          the Greens were sideswiped by CERRA and voted for it without having a chance to properly consider it. They readily admit that was a mistake. In voting against CERA, they’ve upheld the principles of democracy.

      • Marty G 20.2.2

        “can you remember the last time Labour voted on principle”
        probably some time in 2008.
        I think the saddest thing, sprout, is that you and I both believe to our core in what Labour is supposed to stand for. But the party failed us, again.
        It’s like loving someone and then discovering they don’t love you anymore. It makes you realise that the dream who thought you shared has only existed in your head for some time.
        It’s made a Green voter of me.

        • the sprout 20.2.2.1

          Well said Marty, that’s exactly how I feel.
          I want to vote Labour, and I don’t want to vote how I now intend to vote this election, but I can’t bring myself to enable the NZLP in its current form. I also think voting for another party will have a better likelihood of achieving the sort of government I want for this country. That feels very odd indeed for someone who’s only ever campaigned for Labour.
          Canceling my monthly donations this week too.

          • Armchair Critic 20.2.2.1.1

            I will find it very difficult to vote Labour this year, too. So I’ll probably vote Green.  Here’s how I see it:

            National, for all their faults, have acted like a government.  Not a good government, and they done a lot of really bad stuff that I detest, but government-like, none-the-less.
            The Greens have acted like an opposition.  I heard Gareth Hughes on the Copyright Bill, and saw the final votes for the CERA Bill.  The Greens did the job I expected Labour to do.
            Labour seem lost – torn between being National-lite and a proper left-wing party.  Once they find their way I’ll reconsider my voting intentions – I hope they can do it by the end of this winter.

            Specifically regarding CERA, a promise to replace or amend the Act with something that will work would partially ameliorate my revulsion at Labour’s failure to be The Opposition this term.

          • Jim Nald 20.2.2.1.2

            Suggest you move your monthly donation to The Standard.
            I’m waiting to be emailed The Standard’s bank account number so that I can make a cash donation.

            • lprent 20.2.2.1.2.1

              Have a look at the donations page. You reminded me and I finally delivered after checking with the other trustee of the trust.

              • Jim Nald

                Thanks very much, Handsome.
                 
                That gives me a good reason to step away from the computer before Kiwibank shuts today.
                 
                captcha: income  (yes, a wee bit coming in)

              • Colonial Viper

                Just gave my monthly pint of Guinness to The Standard. Well worth it :)

                Now, how much more a month will be needed to open the satellite TV channel of The Standard? 😀

                • lprent

                  Thank you…

                  After having a vague look at the struggle to keep Triangle alive, I’m not sure I’d want to. Finding the content would be a bugger.

                  • the sprout

                    If we had a TV channel most of us would have to wear hoods over our faces – it’d look like the broadcasting wing of the Al Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade 😆

                    • lprent

                      But just think – requiring hoods would probably improve the appearance quality of the current affairs presenters (fill in the name of your candidate for the presenter that you’d least want to have in front of you..).

                      Sure I know it is shallow, but a radio format would be better for political reporting/opinionating.

                    • marg

                      I know I’d prefer Paul Holmes with a hood.

    • wtl 20.3

      Another point regarding urgency. It not only deprives the public of a chance to be informed and form a view, but it also deprives MPs of the same. Labour and the Greens would have had very little time to consider the legislation and make a decision what to do. FFS, they didn’t even know the contents of the final bill until a few hours before the vote. When rushed into a decision, the decision made often isn’t the best one. Something really has to be done to stop this abuse of the process. It is getting very serious.

  21. Descendant Of Smith 21

    I’m slightly stunned as well but only slightly as I still see Labour as not being the party it once was – right wing antidemocratic pricks.
    In the era of cut benefit rates et al I oft said that National had infiltrated the Labour Party – looks like they are still there.
    Fuckwits – I thought nothing had pissed me off more with the recent Labour Party than not putting the $20-00 back on benefits but this does.
    Action speaks louder than words – don’t they get that simple premise.
    They better come out with some decent policy soon cause the only thing that is saving them in any way at present is that the other bastards are worse.
     
     

  22. Colonial Viper 22

    ***SIGH*** :(

  23. Sookie 23

    I am sure Labour decided to hold their noses and vote for this clusterf*ck because the average munter in the street would believe the hysterical spin if they didn’t, but I still think they’re a bunch of sellouts. I’ve been thinking of voting Green all year, and this along with the stupidass internet piracy bill sells it for me. Congrats Greenies, you just picked up a shitload of pissed off lefties. Kudos to Harawira and Carter as well. Independents in parliament are a good thing.

  24. Key selling off NZ 24

    If Labour will vote in favour of Brownlee, the Green will stand up to him.
     
    There is community resistance to National and their sell it all agenda http://beyondresistance.wordpress.com/ Brownlee wanted to mine national parks, now national want to mine Southland, drill off the East Coast and sell off energy assets. Rich supporting the mega rich.
     
    If labour won’t stand up to Brownlee and neoliberalism, others will. Roger Douglas is leaving parliament this year, his ideas can leave with him.
     
     

  25. Carol 25

    There were some really good pieces of critique in the CERA debates yesterday in the House from Labour and Green MPs (especially Clayton Cosgrove & Ruth Dyson from Labour).  They exposed the duplicity of Bronwlee & the Nats, who promised cross-party consultation and then blatantly broke their promise and did not listen to any alternative views – they pretty much just included what Brownlee wanted in the Bill, with one or two teeks in response to some submissions.
     
    But after the great critiques and exposes, and showing they were wanting the best for the people in Christchurch based on what the people wanted, I was dumbfounded to see Labour vote for this Bill.  It has done nothing to convince me o change my vote from Green to Labour.  The Greens stand has made me feel continuing to vote for them is the correct choice.

  26. Jim Nald 26

    Hehe. Just watched the video.
     
    May I be pedantic and ask what is (what I thought I saw) “Se la vis”?
     
    Might that be “C’est la vie” ?

    I’m thinking of a “funraising” karaoke night for The Standard that includes this video.

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    Dan Taipua, Dave Bell and Lucy Zee review some of the designs submitted for the for the new New Zealand flag. Check out the full gallery of designs here. ...
    10 hours ago
  • World News Brief, Friday May 22
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    11 hours ago
  • A hard rain is a’gonna fall.
    Although I am loathe to prognosticate on fluid situations and current events, I have been thinking about how the conflict in Iraq has been going. Although I do not believe that the Islamic State (IS) is anywhere close to being… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    11 hours ago
  • Got business out of town? Need a hire car?
    Whether you are heading of town for a conference or taking a break and need a hire car, your TEU Member Advantage program has you covered.  Use your member benefits to access either reduced car hire rates or excess on… ...
    11 hours ago
  • An abuse of the OIA
    In the wake of revelations that Prime Minister John Key had systematically and repeatedly bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted a cafe waitress, the New Zealand Herald published a piece exposing the victim. It seemed like retribution, and the involvement of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    12 hours ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
    There’s often a lot of discussion around the future of transport – particularly in cities. We’ve talked many times before about how transport trends are changing, how we’re seeing people drive less and catch PT more, how changing preferences amongst younger people in… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
    The prohibition against torture is one of the cast-iron features of international law. You're not allowed to torture people, and you're not allowed to return or extradite people to a country where there are substantial grounds to believe they will… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    13 hours ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    13 hours ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    13 hours ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    14 hours ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    15 hours ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    16 hours ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    17 hours ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    18 hours ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    20 hours ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    20 hours ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    1 day ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    1 day ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    1 day ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    9 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    9 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    10 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    12 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    13 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    15 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    1 day ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    1 day ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    3 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    3 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    1 week ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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