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Resource optimisation

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, July 6th, 2012 - 84 comments
Categories: housing, tv - Tags:

You might have heard of this new TV series called The Block, where they get 4 couples to compete to do up dilapidated houses. It’s the most expensive non-fiction programme ever made in New Zealand. It’s vacuous, contentless garbage. But what gets my goat is they took 4 perfectly OK, not flash but OK houses, and munted them so that they could be done up on TV.

Here’s the pictures of how the houses looked at the start of the series from the series website and, to the right, Google Street View pictures dated November 2009.

 

We have a housing crisis in this country. There aren’t enough modest but decent houses for low and middle income families. And we have a crisis of crap TV in this country. So, what does Mediaworks (a company itself in deep financial trouble) do? It splurges a fortune on taking four perfectly fine houses, bashing the shit out of them, and then getting some amateurs to do a half-arse job doing them up (you can bet ever corner will be but – no in-wall insulation or double-glazing).

It’s just so bloody stupid.

84 comments on “Resource optimisation”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Is it taxpayer funded ?

    • Dv 1.1

      HS – yes it is taxpayer funded.

      • shorts 1.1.1

        searching the NZ ON Air site it doesn’t show any funding for The Block

        http://www.nzonair.govt.nz/funding/fundingsearchpages/fundingsearchtvprograms.aspx

        not defending the show… nor about to waste my time watching it either

        • Dv 1.1.1.1

          Mediaworks got a 43m subsidy from the Nacts.
          Not directly funded, but we are paying as Taxpayers for Mediaworks.

          • shorts 1.1.1.1.1

            weak

            • Dv 1.1.1.1.1.1

              $43million is not weak!!

              • Fortran

                It’s a loan at a good rate of interest.

                • McFlock

                  That’s nice.
                         
                  Given that we’re so wonderfully in debt, it was a loan we lent out with borrowed money. Money we borrowed at interest.
                     
                  So we’d be lucky to break even on a deal that enables a supposed going concern to continue operating even though it failed to budget for a regularly-incurred and predictable operating expense.
                           
                  But it’s not like the government is helping out a media company at all.
                     
                  Query: if it’s such a good rate of interest, why didn’t mediaworks borrow from someone else at a cheaper rate? Or can’t they sort out  borrowing money for themselves, as well as being unable to budget for a mission-critical operating expense? 

                  • vto

                    Well McFlock, it has to be one of two things;

                    Either a facility available to all businesses

                    Or a related party loan.

                • mike e

                  Fartrain how many other businesses are given loans by the govt
                  Then Add Steven Joyce into mixture former Media works CEO share holder.
                  Crony-ism corruption!

          • higherstandard 1.1.1.1.2

            Isn’t that ‘subsidy’ actually a deferred payment which they’re paying back to the government and being charged high interest rate on ?

            • shorts 1.1.1.1.2.1

              subsidy loan call it what you want but it has no real bearing on the show in question…

              or is every single piece of content on mediaworks directly subsidised by the govt loan – of course not, its a silly argument

              I don’t agree with the handout/loan/subsidy the govt gave mediaworks in case you’re wondering

              • higherstandard

                If this show is government subsidised it is yet another waste of taxpayer money along with other shite such as shortland street, outrageous fortune etc etc

                • mike e

                  GC etc. Joyce has handed over programs that were developed by TVNZ to media works for free, more Crony-ism!

                  • higherstandard

                    There is a long sad history of mindless shit being funded by NZ on air under the red team and the blue team along with a whole heap of attendant troughers at TVNZ and within the acting and entertainment community …………a pox on all their houses.

                  • Vicky32

                    Joyce has handed over programs that were developed by TVNZ to media works for free,

                    Even if they’re rubbish, and they probably are, that sucks..

            • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1.2.2

              I think the point is that they weren’t paying market interest.

              • I thought they were paying market interest, at a far higher rate than the government can borrow for.

                It’s believed the loan is being made at 11% interest.

                Maybe they should make some more loans at that rate.

                http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/prime-minister-defends-loan-mediaworks-4109116

                • Lanthanide

                  Ahh, but then it comes down to what “market interest” means, doesn’t it?

                  If MediaWorks had to go to the government to get the loan, at the 11% rate, it means no other commercial lender was willing to lend at that rate on the terms that MediaWorks wanted.

                  Say a commercial lender was willing to lend to MediaWorks at 23%, then the “market rate” for their loan would have been 23%. If the government then charged 11%, they wouldn’t be charging the “market rate”.

                  Of course that is a bit of semantic word play: if the government was making a profit at 11% (and it appears they were), then in and of itself it isn’t a huge problem.

                  Except of course that the question must then be asked why the government is giving MediaWorks special treatment: what if Bob’s Butchery was going under, but a loan of $1m at 11% would prevent that?

  2. vto 2

    for fucking fucks sake they could have come to christchurch and not had to do that.

    and they could have helped some folk down here.

    it’s what you get in a society replete with wealth. another indicator of this is when society obsesses over food – see all the food shows. we are at a peak, that much is clear.

    • Vicky32 2.1

      see all the food shows

      I started watching Masterchef as a friend/colleague of my son was in it (she was eliminated about halfway through, sadly, – though IMO from paediatric nurse to chef is a huge step down… ) I kept watching, and was shocked at the huge wastefulness of it!
      It’s all about a certain type of cuisine that I find quite repellent… rare meat is sickening, and the expensive ingredients, tiny portions and emphasis on appearance speaks to a certain self-indulgent kind of ‘lifestyle’.
      A tiny point which is more a matter of my personal opinion – they’re such carnivores! A vegie dish or two would not have gone amiss…

  3. Chris 3

    Not sure this will make you feel better or not but there was an article the other day the other day saying that it is likely they will all be knocked down after the show anyway.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/residential-property/news/article.cfm?c_id=76&objectid=10815056

    Actually scratch that it makes it obviously makes it worse.

    • Deano 3.1

      that makes me how angry.

      and vto is right,. why the hell didn’t they do this in christchurch?

      • shorts 3.1.1

        do we really need reality shows taking advantage of the devastation of property and people in CHCH?

        these sorts of shows are insulting enough in themselves imo but no need to add insult to injury

        • Deano 3.1.1.1

          How would it be ‘taking advantage’?

          If you want to make a show about repairing broken houses, don’t go and break some houses and then do a crap job of fixing them – go to where there are lot of broken houses and fix them up properly, improving the lives of the people who live there.

          You could make it competition-based if you want and it would actually have some soul to it as well, much better TV.

          • shorts 3.1.1.1.1

            Christchurch residents need and deserve our collective help… not reality TV making light of their hardship in pursuit of advertising dollars

  4. It’s just so bloody stupid.

    Unfortunately that just about sums up much of commercial television in New Zealand now, including half the ‘news’ coverage.

    Commercial TV probably does cater well for the MacImbecilic demographic, which seems to be a sizable group. The rest are out of luck – it’s hard to even pick much decent pay to view TV.

    • Kevin Welsh 4.1

      Agree 100% PG.

    • bbfloyd 4.2

      still havn’t worked out how sky gets away with putting ad breaks on every channel bar the movie channel…. I thought double dipping was illegal….. or have the laws been quietly changed?

      Don’t have sky btw… Don’t enjoy being fleeced…..

    • mike e 4.3

      That’s your party included PG what happened to Tvnz7 !
      Handed over to the private sector for Free.
      Pathetic git still defending bad govt at all costs.
      Like the banking sector needed competition from Kiwibank.
      WE need a private broadcaster to give them a hurry up.
      But alas the worm helped turn of the last bastion of public broad casting.
      Pathetic Grovelar how did you get your ban lifted

    • mac1 4.4

      MacImbecilic? Oy!

      On behalf of the Macs/Mcs of this world.

      Mac1.

      I do agree with your view of commercial TV, though.

  5. Uturn 5

    It’s the most expensive non-fiction programme ever made in New Zealand.

    All “Reality” TV is fiction. I’ve seen five minutes of three renovation shows. There was a re-run of one recently, with Terry Serepisos. Some “teams” were trying to increase the rental value of viaduct appartments by seeing who could make theirs the most banal. I thought I was literally going to implode. Then there was an Aussie version, complete with bickering ego-toddler tradesmen, arguing over where to stack gib board, causing a similar reaction. Another where Aucklanders go round the country telling Hotelliers how to run and present their rooms and business. The only reality TV I like is Police ten 7. The way the old guy takes it all so personally. Hilarious.

    • McFlock 5.1

      I do recall watching one of those “Auckland business advisor teaches rull nuzilurs how to pay their bills” shows – one of the grateful average kiwis receiving his advice was in Alexandra.
         
      The suit told her to rent her garage out as a sleepout – okaay. However, the two had a disagreement because the suit wanted the garage just lined with gib, carpet down and bob’s your uncle. The owner refused to rent out as accommodation an uninsulated shell, on the grounds of general decency and a typical Alexandra winter (for the JAFA business folk here, the phrase is “life threatening”).
          
      The smart lady took some of his advice on bill management, and knew exactly when to tell him to stick his asocial amoral greed. The suit was talking to camera about being disappointed that she wasn’t doing everything she could to help herself, but I was most impressed. 

  6. Newt 6

    I agree. We are doing up our ex-state house at the moment… I was yelling and screaming at the TV because of what they did before and the morons they chose to do it.

    Unfortunately I will still watch it to see what happens and get ideas for our ex-state house…

  7. just saying 7

    Just as an aside,
    I’m sick to death of the competition format for a large number of “reality” TV programmes. As if we weren’t already soaking in cultural social darwinism. Competition in all things. Winner take all. Rardy rardy rah.

  8. Rupert 8

    Now come on – trashing those houses would have also done wonders for the affordability of the surrounding neighbourhood…

  9. RJL 9

    I fail to see a problem here.

    Sure, it might not be TV you want to watch — in which case don’t watch it.

    And while it might cost a lot of money, it is the sponsor’s money, and the money is mostly going into our economy. Presumably, the sponsors have calculated (correctly or not) that the programme will earn them a net profit (in terms of increased business or similar).

    • Deano 9.1

      So, we’re not allwoed to criticise anything as long as it doesn’t invovle public money and is profitable?

      Ethics and sensible use of our society’s limited resources don’t enter into it?

      • RJL 9.1.1

        You can criticise whatever you like, but I can’t see why this particular programme is so problematic.

        It costs someone a lot money, and likely seems dreadful if you are not part of the demographic it appeals to. However, it is no worse than any other TV programme made for entertainment (and the sponsor’s benefit). At least it’s made in NZ, so most of the money spent on it is spent in NZ.

        I would personally much rather watch The Block than say the Olympics, but I don’t begrudge (too much) the fact that the Olympics will be on our TV.

        • bbfloyd 9.1.1.1

          I have to admire your faith rj….. Can you point to the company(s) in new zealand that will make the most profits?

          Or are we looking at a crass misuse of adverising revenue that would have been spent anyway?

          This looks more like defending “broken window” economics, rather than any meaningful action that would, or could benefit businesses in auckland any more than any other form of advertising would have…..

          Indeed, it could damage the reputations of sponsors if this does turn out to be the turkey it’s looking like becoming……
          Verrrry clever…….

          • RJL 9.1.1.1.1

            bbfloyd,

            If you are interested in who the sponsors are, you can read the relevant press releases for yourself. I have no idea which sponsor will recieve the biggest payback on their investment, or whether this form of advertising is more effective for the companies involved than alternatives. Presumably the companies involved thought it was a good idea, and believe it can be justified to their shareholders.

            Some of the sponsors expecting a return (Kiwibank, say) are NZ owned, while others (Mazda, say) are international companies, but it is hardly the fault of Mediaworks that some of the companies willing and large enough to sponsor this sort of programme are foreign owned.

            “The Block” also employs NZ crew and the production expenses occurred largely in NZ, etc. I know that the production company Eyeworks is now foreign owned, but most of the production cost has been spent within NZ paying NZ crew, NZ builders, etc.

            You don’t have to like the programme, and you don’t have to watch it, but that just speaks to your own good/poor taste.

        • QoT 9.1.1.2

          “You can criticise whatever you like …”

          but

          “Sure, it might not be TV you want to watch — in which case don’t watch it.”

          Danger, Will Robinson! Paradox incoming!

          (And yes, dear critic, the paradox does involve recognising the hidden “and shut up” on the end of the second statement. It’s only clear as day.)

  10. DH 10

    I feel a bit sorry for the mugs who buy the properties. A rushed job is a crap job. The handyman skill of the average person is pretty low even when they take their time, bodging a quick do-up is guaranteed to cause grief & more bills for the new owners.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1

      They use licensed tradesman for all the serious stuff, they just get to choose the paint and clean up

      Plus there is a site foreman on hand to check the tradesmen.

      This is how the real world works too – without the cameras

      • RJL 10.1.1

        Yes.

        The “mug who buys” one of these properties is actually getting a much better “guarantee” of quality work than somebody who buys a normal property.

        Most normal properties have been subject to numerous iterations of DIY of various skill-levels. The pseudo-demo work on these properties is actually a good thing from that perspective, as it resets the house to its basic structure. The damage done was actually pretty feeble and cosmetic and done to things like decking, gib board, windows, and toilet and kitchen fixtures. This would all be replaced anyway.

        The biggest risk (for a buyer) with these properties is that some of the design decisions will be tragically fashionable, and therefore date really quickly.

  11. Kevin 11

    The viewing public loves it, call it vacuous, a waste of taxpayer money etc, but it has been tipped as the biggest show of the year for TV3:
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/CU1205/S00200/tv3-breaks-new-ground-with-the-block-nz-partnerships.htm.

    • MAgnus McManus 11.1

      Doesn’t say too much about the viewing public then does it?

    • Vicky32 11.2

      The viewing public loves it,

      They know that how?
      I recall my son doing a study of ratings and how they’re determined, in media studies at school. Ratings households have to be homeowners, so that lets out a huge proportion of the population – and have to actually be blood families, no flatmates allowed.
      Apparently, old widows and/or widowers are allowed, as I heard of one nutty old besom who always tuned the TV to sport, so that any sport would rate highly, even when she was out! (In memory of the late Mr who was a sport-obsessive, apparently). This one old dear represented 400 people and so any piece of rubbish can rate highly, “The viewing public loves it” if one to ten ratings households can be induced to have it switched on, on the TV with the device attached. Let’s see, what would a yuppie house-buying couple want to watch? Oh, The Block, maybe?

  12. mike e 13

    If these brain dead producers had any grey matter up stairs they would be rebuilding houses in Christchurch instead of wrecking homes to get viewer ratings.

  13. Populuxe1 14

    So basically your big whinge is that the Government may have made a sensible loan to a NZ business to make NZ television programming that if other reality TV show of it’s kind are any guide to go by, will no doubt be enormously popular – but you think it’s beneath you. So really you’re just exhibiting pretentious snobbery for the tastes of the common Joe. Really nice.

  14. Jenny 15

    It’s tragic

    The concept of a staged competition pitting desperate combatants against each other for the entertainment, was a perversion 2000 years ago when it was first dreamed up.

    Everyone of these houses looks like an ex state rental. The first two definitely are.

    In both a litteral and allegorical drama on the privatisation of state assets – perfectly good state assets end up in the hands of private “investors” to do with as they wish. They proceed to wreck them, to squeeze maximum profit out of them, while those who these assets were built for go without.

    Compare the side by side photos of the first Labour MPs proudly carrying furniture into the first state rental, with these private sector wreckers. I imagine that these old Labour MPs would be shaking their heads in grief and shame that their great project to address poverty and end homelessness has ended up as a decadent television spectacle where people desperate for are home are pitted against each other in a sort of gladitorial contest for the entertainment of the masses.

    Whlle the cynical and jaded media Caesars who dreamed up this spectacle gaze over their bloodless but no less serious contest.
    The losers in these modern games will be condemned, not to death but to debt. While we cheer. (That is, if they can swallow their pride to take out a huge mortgage, to live in the purposely ruined and then horridly rushed patched up house, that they desperately tried to win, but instead will always be a bitter reminder of their loss.)

  15. Rusty Shackleford 16

    What a whiny tosser. They are a private company. They can do what ever the fuck they want as long as they act within the law. If it was paid for with govt funding, then sure. It was a stupid waste of money. But, it wasn’t so stop whining like a little baby, Eddie.

  16. mike e 17

    RS if it weren’t for Steven Joyce’s CronyismsTV3 would be bankrupt its relying on Gvt hand outs and glamorising of alcohol add’s

    • Rusty Shackleford 17.1

      They’re are behind on their licensing fees. The govt lent them money to cover the fees. That’s basically like the school bully who steal your lunch money giving you a line of credit for the arrears you owe him.

      I think the bigger issue here is the infringement on free speech caused by huge licensing fees. 

      • lprent 17.1.1

        Radio spectrum is a very limited resource. That is especially for analogue systems like radio and TV stations which broadcast over wide segments of the bandwidth. Personally as a programmer, I’d prefer that the waste of bandwidth is curtailed to a single plus backup channel with a fully digital broadcast for ALL broadcast media to multiplex in.

        I think the license fees are too low for broadcast media in comparision to alternate uses.

        • Rusty Shackleford 17.1.1.1

          It’s impossible to know whether the radio spectrum is priced too high or too low because it is monopolised by the state. 

          • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1.1

            Not quite: the real question is whether the current pricing is achieving the social good required.

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.2

        I think the bigger issue here is the infringement on free speech caused by huge licensing fees.

        Which is why its important that parts of the spectrum are provided free to public broadcasting and non-profits, don’t you think?

        Sounds like you would agree.

        • Rusty Shackleford 17.1.2.1

          Provided for free by whom? 

          Public broadcasters and non-profits (as if that is some huge virtue) can easily broadcast from other avenues. Or they could buy broadcasting rights at the market rate (which is currently impossible). 

          • Colonial Viper 17.1.2.1.1

            So you disagree, even though it would greatly aid freedom of speech?

            I thought you were interested in increasing the freedom of speech of NZ citizens.

            • Rusty Shackleford 17.1.2.1.1.1

              Nobodies freedom of speech is being infringed under a system where broadcasting is not govt owned. 

              • Colonial Viper

                So why are you not for giving ordinary citizens easy ways to get airtime?

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  Ordinary citizens have easy ways to get airtime under the current regime?

                  Actually they do. It’s called youtube.  

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Its got to be TV time and radio time, that’s really valuable stuff for ordinary citizens to have access to so their voices and everyday stories can be heard.

                    Would you hinder their free speech and deny them that, Rusty?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “Its got to be TV time and radio time…”

                      Why?  

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Because its VALUABLE that’s why. Even the corporates realise its VALUABLE. Are you denying the value of TV and radio time in promulgating free speech?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Buggy whips were valuable once as well.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I thought you would be supporting ways to give ordinary citizens access to TV and radio broadcast time, and instead you’re trying to tap dance away from it.

                      you’re really not much of a free speech proponent are you?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I’ll ask you again. 

                      How does the current regime give ordinary citizens easy access to free airtime. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m sure between the two of us we can think up some ways, right? Public broadcasting which gives people the opportunity to hear each others views, hear each others personal stories, etc.

  17. prism 18

    Actually it’s not just freedom of speech we ordinary citizens need, it’s also freedom of information as unskewed as possible, and without commercial influences, on matters affecting citizens and the whole country.

  18. prism 19

    CV
    I think there are large numbers supporting radionz and we’ll get back TV7 or similar I am sure as soon as we get these nation killing nasties out. Did you hear the discussion on Singapore’s methods and true situation on Radionz this a.m. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jokey Hen didn’t see them as a good template.

    and
    Rusty
    Buggy whips were valuable once as well.
    Used for whipping horses asses on occasions – still of value when so many h.as around.

    • Rusty Shackleford 19.1

      I think you failed to grasp the point prism. CV is lamenting that ordinary people don’t have enough access to broadcasting time. Which is about as dumb as someone in 1950 lamenting that people don’t have enough access to transport because the horse and buggy industry is in decline.

  19. prism 20

    Rusy S
    I got the idea that CV was concerned about the public getting quality broadcasting time, probably as opposed to the delivery of the sweepings from the minds of popular DJs. There needs to be solid informed stuff for the people who want to listen and learn something on how the country is running, could run and why the difference. I may be wrong, but I don’t think so!

    CV talks about hearing each others’ stories. I don’t know if he is referring to private station talkback but I hope not. Listening to the half-formed ideas of the populace doesn’t provide much light on their subject. It would be different if talkback callers had thought through the problem and had some positive suggestion to make. If this is the access to broadcasting time you endorse I think it’s time to call in the horses again, and follow up with a shovel.

    • Rusty Shackleford 20.1

      That’s the problem. Most people don’t want quality broadcasting. They want to watch trash television. Which is fine. If you want to learn something, read a book or download something decent off the internet. 

      • prism 20.1.1

        Rusty S
        No wonder our little nation is going down the gurglers with people as dismissive as you about being informed and the government ensuring that we are through providing full information and support to our culture’s self-expression freely to the nation.

        Get yourself a book what a suggestion. Reading any old book might be something for you to aspire to. Me I want a national broadcaster to inform us all, who have the interest and desire to hear, and see.

        And the internet is like a library without shelves and without a critical buying system. I do find some of it very good for information but much is unreliable, and much of what is there is from overseas, and I want to hear some overseas but more of what is happening here.

        • Rusty Shackleford 20.1.1.1

          Govt backed broadcaster does not automatically equal an informed populace. More likely the govt would spend a ton of cash and nobody would watch it. Lefties would be able to act smug and decry the lack of interest from the general populace and how the country is going down the gurgler. Meanwhile life would go on.

          • prism 20.1.1.1.1

            Rusty S Good reply from a don’t care about an informed democracy and responsibility of government to be nearly transparent to voters and taxpayers. I guessed this final comment so won’t bother to argue any more points.

            • Rusty Shackleford 20.1.1.1.1.1

              haha, you are a giant baby. Get in a huff, commit a straw man then take the ball and go home. Intellectually lazy (at best) in the extreme.

               

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    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #57: Grow your own
    57: Grow your own What if supermarkets could grow their own? Supermarkets, like service stations, are in that category of activities that are of such necessity and ubiquity to our daily life that they cumulatively have a very large footprint...
    Transport Blog | 21-11
  • The best of Neetflux (so far)
    A selection of our favourite Neetflux posters to date. Here’s to more awesome political satire to come! (Click through for full-size on Neetflux’s Tumblr)...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Chipping away at police unaccountability
    Traditionally, our police have enjoyed a wide discretion over who to prosecute and how. Sometimes, this is a good thing - it means that the time of the courts is not wasted on minor crimes. In other cases, its use...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • 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...
    frogblog | 21-11
  • CTU disappointed by poor government advice to workers on petrol station dri...
    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. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    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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