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Rent freezes in disaster zones

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, December 10th, 2013 - 80 comments
Categories: disaster, families, housing - Tags:

You need little more evidence of how Gerry Brownlee’s lazy-faire approach to the Christchurch rebuild has failed than the story of the (working) single mother forced to live in a tent with her 3 kids because there’s no affordable rentals. One of the automatic moves in a large scale disaster should be to freeze rents in the disaster zone. The Human Rights Commission agrees.

80 comments on “Rent freezes in disaster zones”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Good pick Zetetic. I really wonder why none of the political parties put this forward with 12 months of the original earthquakes, when it was clear rents (and surviving house prices) were starting to spiral. What it tells me: they weren’t in touch with what was happening on the ground and/or they still use free market theory as an underlying rationale for proposed policies.

    • bad12 1.1

      CV, from memory Grant Robertson during the ‘leadership debates’ was voicing that very proposal of ‘freezing rents’ in Christchurch,

      Also from memory i think David Cunliffe put forward the ‘idea’ recently of the State ‘taking over’ Red Zoned properties that had little damage for use as State Housing,

      Two very practical solutions that along with the Green Party candidate for the Christchurch East by-election proposing villages of pre-built housing be urgently put in place would go a long way to ‘fixing’ the problem in Christchurch,

      Face it tho, Slippery’s National Government have no intention of doing anything about the dire housing situation building in Christchurch, except if it grows, to send in the Cops to bust up any ‘tent town’ that develops from such a cluster-f**k of Government inaction…

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Yes the idea of a rent freeze was mooted by Grant Robertson during the leadership debates. In Sept 2013.

        The big Christchurch earthquake was early 2011. So well after the majority of harmful rent increases had already occurred – freezing rents at the current higher level is a nice gesture but meaningless.

        • Ake ake ake 1.1.1.1

          From memory and Google, the Labour Party was led by someone who would have had a better fit with ACT’s ideology, going back to the 1980s. And then from 13 Dec 2011, the person he parachuted into the former PM’s electorate seat was engineered to lead the party.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        Face it tho, Slippery’s National Government have no intention of doing anything about the dire housing situation building in Christchurch

        Of course they don’t – their constituents are making massive windfall profits out of it.

        • BrucetheMoose 1.1.2.1

          Since most of the local National representatives and their hangers on are heavily invested in property in Christchurch, it is no great surprise that they have absolutely no interest in dealing with the upward spiralling rents and housing prices. The worst offender, is the man himself, Lord Fool of Canterbury, Gerry Brownlee. He has for the last three years completely ignored concerns and warnings from various community factions and experts about the seriousness of the housing shortage, yet he did nothing, when he himself owns multiple properties in Christchurch. Through his deliberate negligence, he has benefited from the situation. He should be held accountable for abusing his position, deliberately causing a crisis for which he can benefit from. A clear case of conflict of interest.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    What? Freeze rents? Affect the income of rentiers and landlords? ARE YOU INSANE?????????

  3. Tracey 3

    Especially as the fear of escalating rents was mooted VERY EARLY ON

    April 2012

    “The rental housing shortage in Christchurch is at breaking point, agencies say. … Christchurch Earthquake 2011 … Children are unsettled, parents are becoming unwell and the elderly are losing themselves with worry and fear. … to live in the city, students and young adults were struggling with high rents”

  4. miravox 4

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9496170/Hunt-family-fights-on-in-Waltham-Park/

    Four hundred people are on the HNZ waiting list in Canterbury and 148 are listed as priority A.

    Priority A means they are “at risk” with a severe housing need that must be addressed immediately. They may be living in cars, tents or garages.

    The Press understands Hunt sits at number 40 on the list.

    While her two-bedroom tent was being pitched yesterday, people facing similar housing woes wandered into the park to share their stories.

    One man said he was on the brink of homelessness with his wife and 86-year-old mother.

    “He said he might pitch a tent alongside ours. We may have neighbours already,” Hunt said.

    Another elderly woman’s daughter was squatting in an abandoned house with her boyfriend.

    There are no words to describe the contempt I have for this government and the people who knowingly support this shit.

  5. infused 5

    What is capping rents going to do for that mother?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Would have done something good 18 months ago. But you’re right, fuck all good now.

    • bad12 5.2

      Can you not see the ‘upside-down shit’ that is occurring in Christchurch, while the State pours massive resources into building new Courts, Cop-shops, Fire-stations etc etc etc 5000 State Houses sit idle with boarded up windows awaiting repair,

      How many of them have been fixed in the past 2 years, f**k-all is the number…

      • infused 5.2.1

        Isn’t the problem a labour shortage? That’s what I keep hearing.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1

          That’s what the RWNJs keep saying but it’s actually BS. Thousands of NZers could have been trained and moved to Canterbury to help out. The only thing that stopped that from happening was that neither the government nor the capitalists were willing to pay for it. The capitalists were, of course, also quite happy with their super profits from massively increased rentals. The government were more concerned with cutting taxes for those same capitalists.

          The result is massive social dysfunction.

    • Lightly 5.3

      she can’t afford a private rental because they’re all too expensive

  6. tricledrown 6

    Brownlee allows landlords to make windfall profits out of disaster ..
    Dickensian days a here again.
    This miserable dickhead is also making it difficult for rebuild .
    Trademen can ‘t find reasonablepriced accommodation.
    Putting off many tradesman helping woth the rebuild.

    • KJT 6.1

      Fletchers, and the Government have effectively “frozen” builders wages in Christchurch at the same time. A little stitch up to ensure Fletcher’s profits.

      Which is why they have had to import thousands of Filipinos to rebuild Christchurch. They don’t want to pay enough to get good NZ builders.

      Remember the fuss when a plumber tried to charge, “market rates”.

      Watch out for another leaky building scandal in a few years, as the houses rebuilt by cheap, poorly skilled labourers, in Christchurch, fall apart.

      The “free market” advocates soon try and remove the “free market” when it suits them.

      Of course too many politicians and their mates own rentals…………….

      • vto 6.1.1

        “Watch out for another leaky building scandal in a few years, as the houses rebuilt by cheap, poorly skilled labourers, in Christchurch, fall apart.”

        this

        for other reasons too

        there is some very shoddy work going on. mostly by our government-owned eqc in fact.

  7. vto 7

    Land prices in the central city were in freefall post-earthquake and rather than let the free market run its course this National government intervened to “shore up” property prices in the central city by taking out huge chunks of land for the green frames around the CBD (bought with your money btw). Complete and total nanny state intervention to stop free market forces from having a detrimental effect on landowners in the CBD.

    In contrast………… out in the wild east red and other zones ………..

    the free market has been left completely and totally untouched with collosal detrimental effects on the people who are unable to afford these post-earthquake effects.

    Brownlee is a cunt. So is John Key. And all the other national party goons. Witness shithead MP Nicky Wagner whining that her electorate has become unwinnable for National.

    They don’t even deserve to be pissed on.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Great visual there mate.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      But I bet you could sell a lot of tickets for $10 apiece.

    • thatguynz 7.3

      I had guests on the weekend who are involved in the rebuild and who have accordingly worked extensively with Fletchers and CERA et al. They made two comments which were quite disturbing (which in fairness I haven’t tried to validate elsewhere so take them as you will).

      The first was that there was a strong directive to ensure that Cashmere residential properties were to be remedied prior to any of the other areas, and secondly that the residential reconstruction was due to end in Dec 2014 – irrespective of whether all houses/areas were done…

      • Colonial Viper 7.3.1

        This information should be fed to the good Mayor of Christchurch for further follow up. Looking at the work plan for the next 3 months should make it quite clear what is happening.

  8. TightyRighty 8

    she works full time, gets WFF and child support? she doesn’t need a rent freeze, she needs to be told to respect other peoples property

    • geoff 8.1

      Gerry, is that you?

    • Lightly 8.2

      jesus christ. you really are scum. you see a single mother, working nights on the minimum wage, unable to afford a rental in a disaster zone, reduced to living in a tent, and your response is to sneer. you’re just an awful person.

      • vto 8.2.1

        tightyrighty is your typical national party member, yep

      • Intrinsicvalue 8.2.2

        Lightly she can afford a rental. The only reason she’s living in a tent is because she chooses to.

      • Puckish Rogue 8.2.3

        Thats simply not true, on trademe searching for anything up to $400 per week for 4 or less bedrooms there were 344 listings

        • Rob A 8.2.3.1

          I notice you were very careful in your wording of 4 or less bedrooms. SO I’ve decided to have a look

          On trademe there are currently 8 4 bedroom homes under $400 a week, 24 3 bedroom homes and 149 2 bedroom homes (hardly ideal for 3 kids) and even worse 83 single rooms available

          I don’t know where you’ve got the 344 number from. But I’m calling bullshit

    • NZ Femme 8.3

      She needs to be told to respect other people’s property? Where on earth did you get the idea she wasn’t? She was given notice because the house was put on the market. She lived there for four years, in pretty shitty conditions too.

      “… The family have lived in their Waltham rental home for the past four years, paying $220 a week despite its poor condition.

      The earthquakes left the lounge yellow-stickered as part of the roof fell away.

      The front door opens in the wind, the floor has fallen away from the walls in areas, and the windows are rotten…”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/9492116/Family-fallen-through-the-gaps

      • TightyRighty 8.3.1

        I read that. it hasn’t been verified either. so it could be bollocks. probably is bollocks acutally, if the house has been sold. it’s unlikely a developer is going to go the trouble of purchasing land in waltham., so i doubt it’s going to be bowled over. therefore it can’t be as bad as she is making out. better believe only her side of the story though. wouldn’t want to question the facts while she is crying.

        • McFlock 8.3.1.1

          So many words just to say “lalalalalala not listening”.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.3.1.1.1

            +1

            It’s truly amazing the lengths that these RWNJs will go to to deny reality.

        • Chris 8.3.1.2

          Where does it say the land was bought by a developer???

          It is more likely to have been purchased by a family for next to nics as a do up home to live in.

          There are some truly nasty people creeping around the net these days.

        • NZFemme 8.3.1.3

          Bollocks? Yeah Nah. The tenancy tribunal found otherwise.

          “…A landlord has an obligation to repair and maintain the premises in a reasonable state of repair and to complete any necessary repairs within a reasonable time. A breach of this obligation entitles the tenant to compensation. Ms Blair was unable to give evidence of why no attempt whatsoever has been made to improve the condition of the premises for over two and a half years because she said this was entirely in the hands of Ms Stewart. However, whatever the reasons, both Kennard’s and Ms Stewart were aware of the damage and simply doing nothing about it because Ms Hunt was an uncomplaining tenant is unacceptable and a clear breach of the obligation to maintain and repair the premises in a reasonable state of repair…”

          “…In the circumstances I consider that Ms Hunt is entitled to considerable compensation for the substantial inconvenience and stress the breach has caused. I order compensation to be
          payable to Ms Hunt in the sum of $4000. In assessing the amount of compensation I have
          taken into account that Ms Hunt and her children have not had a livingroom for over two and a
          half years and that she has incurred substantial electricity bills in her attempts to heat a house
          that is not weathertight because of the damage…”

          https://forms.justice.govt.nz/search/TT/Documents/56042070.pdf

    • Macro 8.4

      She needs to be paid more – ie a decent wage you idiot
      AND the govt needs to pull its finger out and get some housing in there pronto. Tere are heaps of affordable options but Gerry hasn’t a clue.

  9. Intrinsicvalue 9

    This lady is NOT being forced to live in a tent; this is entirely of her own choice. There are over 50 houses for rent in Christchurch listed on Trade Me between $250 and $300 per week, and this lady is drawing almost $1,000 per week in paid work and welfare benefits.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      More bull shit up the arm from IV.

    • Policy Parrot 9.2

      IV – how many of those houses are for 3 or more bedrooms?

      Just remembering that this woman has her kids removed at one stage – so the family has a history of CYFS involvement. And that CYFS does not look kindly on any type of room sharing, let alone parents sharing with children, or 2+ kids in one room.

      Research is fine, but you do have usually make the next step yourself.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    The Human Rights Commission fails economics 101 in recommending price controls for rents.

    The commonly cited example to demonstrate the effects of price controls on the speed of recovery after a disaster is hurricane Hugo. The evidence was that price controls caused a mis-allocation of resources that slowed the recovery down.

    In the case of rent controls after a disaster, the effect would be to make it less attractive for investors to build housing for rent, and also make landlords much more fussy about prospective tenants.

    Spiraling prices after a disaster indicate a shortage. The way to fix a shortage problem is to address the supply side of the equation. This is where I think the government has dropped the ball.

    For instance, the government has purchased a large amount red-zoned properties. A large number of these are still satisfactory for habitation. Rather than demolishing all these houses, the suitable ones could be rented back to the community until the rebuild addresses the housing shortage on a more permanent basis.

    • Policy Parrot 10.1

      The problem with your assertion, is that:

      1. There was little building activity for 12 to 15 months because of the fear of repeated seismic events. This has caused a huge backlog in supplying the extra rentals.
      2. Meanwhile those who don’t have damaged properties but sufficient capital have little incentive to pursue moves (like helping to increase supply) that would ultimately reduce the windfall amount they receive in the short to medium term.

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        Agreed. However, price controls don’t address the problems you describe. There needs to be an increase in emergency supply one way or another until the market has time to address the problem.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.1.1.1

          “Needs.”

          No, “needed”. Back in 2010.

          Go on, tell us that the useless government you make excuses for is now, after three years, going to break the mould and do something competent. I could use a laugh.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.2

          The market won’t address the problem – which is kinda the point. The government could but it’s not as it wedded to the delusional market ideology.

          So, what should happen is rent controls to prevent the gouging that we’re seeing now and the government should build thousands of homes there – ideally to just over full supply. Rent controls can come off after that.

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Duh. “Fails Economics 101″ is a pass in real life.

      Spiraling prices after a disaster indicate a shortage.

      It indicates rentier capitalism profiteering from a disaster. In war time, such people were sent to prison for good reason.

  11. Bill 11

    Rent freeze…yeah, nah, maybe. Then again, legislate for squatter’s rights and be done with it. Don’t want people to squat? Keep rents affordable.

    • miravox 11.1

      or legislate that a person can only own one house – trusts and businesses can own none.

      Housing is a perfect example of a the failure of the market in providing a social good/right.

      • tsmithfield 11.1.1

        That is one of the most stupid comments I have ever seen in print. So, if people can only own one house and trusts and businesses none, then where does the rental housing come from?

        • miravox 11.1.1.1

          How many people would need to rent? The housing bubble is burst so housing is affordable. For those that do need to rent, or if the developers feel they can make enough excess profit, so won’t build, the state can build and manage rentals.

          As for where does the rental housing come from?
          Can’t be any worse than tent and holiday park cities that are sprouting up now.

          I am quite happy to go with the rent cap and squatters rights if landlords and developers don’t play ball. You choose… just don’t expect me to believe that the rental ‘market’ we have now is the best option for providing housing.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2

          Existing ownership is not affected. The government provides all new rentals, not rentier capitalists. In other words, exclude a large chunk of demand from the Christchurch market.

          This is a more socially responsible form of capitalism.

          • tsmithfield 11.1.1.2.1

            You don’t actually believe the shit you type do you? :smile:

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2.1.1

              I’m serious. And serious options need to be considered, because the current political economy is not working for far too many people.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.2.1.2

              The Great Depression and the GFC proved that market capitalism doesn’t work. So; You don’t actually believe the shit you type do you?

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.3

          Government.

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.3.1

            Central and local. Preferably more local, even down to the level of community boards.

  12. captain hook 12

    no rent freeze.
    the rugged individualists need proof that there are losers and winners and they are winners because they can stand over people.
    what do you people think the main psychological benefits of capitalism are?

  13. KJT 13

    I don’t see a rent freeze as being useful.

    Increasing the supply of State houses, at reasonable rents, would be.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      ATM, need both.

    • Colonial Viper 13.2

      It would take 12-18 months to substantially increase the number of rent controlled state houses. Assuming a major programme which was competently managed and led (haha). As DTB says – need both ASAP.

  14. aerobubble 14

    Immediate action is required. Look, take the example of a company, a socialist entity if there ever was one, where collective action is owned in common, and profits are divided up equally. A company will freeze prices to keep its brand value. Now you may not buy into brand Christchurch, and landlords that don’t should be shamed, but most people get that capitalism sometimes means delayed gratification. Oh, wait, you’re not a capitalist, go back to N.Korea where the singular of one individual right to rule is enshrined. Bad socialism or bad capitalism, much the same, greed allowed with impunity.

    Recent examples, Fonterra froze milk prices.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Not so much any ordinary company, but particularly a partnership. And especially common amongst usual the 3-4 start up founders of many a new tech company. It’s as democratic socialist as you can get.

      • aerobubble 14.1.1

        Its essential, as a good neo-liberal, to ignore all cooperative endeavors, which have implied delay gratification, and reward immediately long term self-destructive policies with your consent.

  15. Poission 15

    The Australian political response to ”white collar looting ” certainly shows that attitudes are different.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-24/nsw-bushfires-sydney-rents-arson-anthony-roberts/5042350

  16. Steve Wrathall 16

    Lots of Kiwis enjoy tenting this time of year. Must be a slow news week

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 16.1

      Probably explains why ACT never got far above the margin of error in the polls: no-one likes voting for odious sociopaths.

    • Te Reo Putake 16.2

      The thought of the poor and displaced forced to live outdoors leads to a tiny tent in Steve’s trousers.

      • infused 16.2.1

        Only she wasn’t forced. Many people offered her assistance, which she turned down.

        • Te Reo Putake 16.2.1.1

          Yeah, read that on the sewer or WO didya?

          The people actually trying to help her (as opposed to the people trying to put her down) couldn’t do much, but at least they tried:

          “The best option social workers could find was to pitch a tent in Waltham Park, and roster Maori wardens for protection.”

          The earthquake didn’t cause this situation, neo liberalism did. But as long as Steve and you get your rocks off, that’s cool.

  17. Rob A 17

    My story may be an example of how people in Christchurch have been affected by the increases since the earthquakes. It’s frustrating seeing some of the shit posted by those in Wellington based on there 2 day visit to the ‘disaster zone’

    My wife and I have four kids. We both work, I’m a supervisor in a factory and she’s a nurse.
    We lost our own home in the February earthquake and were lucky enough to find a suitable rental soon after. Although our own house was red stickered we didn’t get an insurance payout for 18 months forcing us to rent during the waiting period. By the time we did get the money buying another house is virtually out of the question. What we paid for a 4 room, 2 bathroom, 2 living area home before the quakes barely get us a 3 bedroom house now.

    The rental we were in was sold and we had to move out at the end of the lease, getting another place was a nightmare. Some houses seemed to have 50 odd applicants. There’s tales of desperate people giving kickbacks to the agents to ensure getting somewhere to live. I was starting to consider trying it but luckily we ended up getting a house before we too ended up homeless but that was a few months of the worst stress I’ve ever been through. On top of that we are paying over $450 a week for a pretty modest house with no working heating. The landlord has been promising a heatpump ever since we moved in but has done nothing. He did shell out for insulation on the condition I put it in myself!

    It’s easy to say there’s x amount on trademe but people have to consider the amount of people wanting them. What I’ve seen and heard it’s only getting worse with all the tradeys moving into town. Also that many rentals are barely livable, certainly not for raising kids.

    Sorry I don’t write very well, I’m just a factory supervisor afterall :)

    • Arfamo 17.1

      You write well enough and you communicate superbly.

      • Rob A 17.1.1

        Thanks, but there was much that went unsaid. I guess the biggest thing is how powerless I can feel dealing with EQC, banks, the insurance company, property managers and real estate agents. Having a family in limbo almost while my wife and I were trying to get it all sorted. We still are in limbo really until we can get back into our own home. I didn’t mention the day we gave the dog away because the new landlord wouldn’t allow him and how my kids handled that. They’ve changed schools twice now since the earthquakes, I’d love it if they don’t do so again but can’t promise them anything if the lease on this house gets too expensive.

        I guess it’s all a part of living in Christchurch nowadays and we’ve all got a story down here but it’s frustrating when you get some prat from Wellington going ‘ but there’s a 100 houses on trademe!’

        • Arfamo 17.1.1.1

          No shortage of well off prats in this country dispensing worthless platitudes to those in difficulty. Yet. But their numbers are shrinking as some of them inexplicably find themselves in difficulty when they’re “let go”.

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    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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