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Rio Tinto ups the ante

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, April 2nd, 2013 - 166 comments
Categories: capitalism, economy, energy, national, privatisation - Tags: , , ,

All over the news this morning:

Rio Tinto rejects Tiwai subsidy offer

Rio Tinto has rejected the Government’s offer to subsidise the Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter power bill.

The smelter needs help to survive – it has been shedding staff and could close if it can not get an agreement with hydroelectricity generator Meridian Energy, possibly throwing the Southland region into economic crisis.

Last week, the Government opened discussions with the smelter’s ultimate owners, global mining giant Rio Tinto, in a bid to broker a deal over a variation to the existing electricity contract.

But Prime Minister John Key told Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking that the company came back over the weekend to turn down the offer made by the Government, saying they wanted a longer term deal than the Government was prepared to offer.

I have some sympathy for the Nats on this one, they are between a rock and a hard place. While most of the country will be worried about the effect on Southland, however, I suspect the Nats’ concerns will be a little closer to home:

Should the smelter – which uses one seventh of New Zealand’s electricity output – close, wholesale power prices are likely to fall, affecting the earnings potential of all power companies including Mighty River which the Government is now the process of partially privatising.

Caveat emptor.

166 comments on “Rio Tinto ups the ante”

  1. freedom 1

    “Caveat emptor.”
    Opposition parties should be making that the opening line of every press release on Asset Sales.

    If, that is, they have any intention of getting them back

  2. Kevin Welsh 2

    That is the market.

    So, why is it that that Government insisted that it had to be at ‘arms length’ when it came to the $4 million Kiwirail required to repair the Napier-Gisborne rail link, yet it is all over the Tiwai crisis to the tune of ‘god-only-knows’ how much taxpayer money?

  3. The effects are profound.

    Meridian loses its largest customer.

    The electricity market is thrown out of kilter.

    The expensive generators are shut down first including Huntly’s Coal generator. Solid Energy then loses one of its best supply contracts.

    Maybe right now is not the best time to be hocking off the crown jewels.

    And maybe Meridian should think about buying the smelter?

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      “And maybe Meridian should think about buying the smelter?”

      Um, why? No one is going to want it, except possibly for parts / land. Even that seems unlikely.

      It’s old technology that for the last 20 years or so has only been profitable due to the price of electricity, and in recent years hasn’t been making a loss.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        I was wondering what Meridian was going to do with all that extra power and at the same time what we were going to do with Invercargill if the smelter was closed because the effects on the local area would be horrendous. And I don’t trust Rio Tinto’s claims.

        If the figures stack up then I am philosophically fine with such a proposal. Otherwise NZ Inc will need to do a fair bit of job creation in the deep south.

        And the price I was thinking of was in the vicinity of $10.

        • cricklewood 3.1.1.1

          Rio Tinto is looking for a way out or a way of delaying the inevitable for another 10 or so years by cutting imput costs as far as possible.
          The market for high grade aluminium is ever decreasing as the aircraft manufactorers use increasing amounts of carbon fibre and similar compsite materials. (The Boeing Dreamliner being the ground breaker)

          I say we bite the bullit make Rio Tinto adhere to the exisitng contract and start working on developing some sort of alternate power hungry industial type complex on or near the site to use some of the capacity. Say server farms, tech institue/labs that could conduct experiments test using a large supply of very cheap power. Perhaps it could even be made availble to start up business with a clever idea that would benifit from the cheap power for a time to get up and running.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            We could just use the freed up power to drive the trains around the country. It’ll take awhile to put in place but well worth it. Just think of the millions we’d save every year from not having to import so much diesel.

            • cricklewood 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Whatever it is we should start now so when Tiwai inevitably closes we arn’t wringing our hands wondering what to do.
              Although I do beleive industry of some type must be retained on the site to provide jobs for the population down there before we start looking at moving the capacity up country.

            • freedom 3.1.1.1.1.2

              we could use the electrified main trunk line that was built back in the 1990’s oh that’s right, National canned it before we even got as far as Waikanae :)

            • RobertM 3.1.1.1.1.3

              Rail electrification would be enormously expensive. But surely in the early 1980s during Rob’s think big the West Coast coal line and the whole NIMT including Auckland-Hamilton should have been electrified.

              • One Tāne Huna

                “Enormously expensive” – but it’s the cost/benefit ratio that counts.

                We should widen the gauge while we’re at it ;)

              • Draco T Bastard

                Rail electrification would be enormously expensive.

                It’d take a bit of work but, again, think of the savings that we’d have forever by not having to import diesel to run the trains.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.2

            The Boeing Dreamliner being the ground breaker

            The results of that experiment are still very much, uh, up in the air…

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2

      Not so fast. You need a generator close to the biggest demand.
      This is because two types of power, are required and the one to maintain a magnetic field for electric motors does need to be fairly closeby.

      Manapouri was ideal for Rio Tinto as the power required is merely resistive, and didnt need to be close by

  4. Pete 4

    Meridian is not going to buy a failing smelter.

    In terms of the politics of this, here are the outcomes in order of desirability:

    1. The smelter remains in operation, the government halts the asset sales.
    2. The government halts the asset sales, the smelter ceases operations.
    3. The smelter remains operating, the government continues its asset sales programme
    4. The smelter ceases operating and asset sales go ahead.

    Of course, the right will claim the left is being hypocritical if we argue for anything but the optimal outcome, but politics is the art of the possible and option 2 is probably the best in this environment. The government is hoping for option 3, but it looks like outcome 4 will happen if Key doesn’t blink first.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      I’d probably put option 2 as the best option anyway – unless we develop our own bauxite mines, buy the smelter and close down most of it.

    • The answer is to Nationalize the smelter and buy back the assets at the price paid for them/
      Labour needs to announce this now. I would suggest that all LP members write to caucus asking that this be done . Now!

  5. infused 5

    Looks like they are going to let it fail – a good thing, but not good for the workers.

    • One Tāne Huna 5.1

      It will be a good thing if electricity prices drop, especially as that would also undermine the theft of Mighty River Power.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        What’s the market incentive to let power prices drop?

        • prism 5.1.1.1

          Molly Meljuish I think said that electricity prices couldn’t be expected to drop because of the framing of the legislation that sets getting the highest market price achievable as the goal for the SOE’s. And the privately owned interests would be expected to go for the profit too.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.2

          There probably isn’t any. In fact, I think we’d more likely see a price increase.

          The plant has fixed running costs.
          The more that the companies sell means that those fixed costs can be spread a lot thinner over each unit
          By taking so much demand offline that means that those fixed running costs are going to have to be spread over less units which will push the price up per unit

          The only way we’d see price drops would be if we still had a state monopoly and the expensive coal fired stations were shut down as the smelter was.

          Generally speaking, the supply/demand curve fails as well.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.2.1

            Generally speaking, the supply/demand curve fails as well.

            It absolutely fails. Steve Keen has demonstrated it. It’s based on assumptions of market player behaviour which is absolutely not borne out in real life. For starters, mathematically, a supply/demand curve can be any polynomial shape (or combination of polynomial shapes) whatsoever. Not that they ever teach you that in economics – too complex and ruins their nice orderly economic theories.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.2.1.1

              If the supply/demand curve worked we wouldn’t have seen record inflation after the GFC and the collapse of demand – we would have seen deflation instead. We didn’t see that deflation because costs have to be covered and with falling demand that means that price per unit has to go up – especially when the costs are going up as well.

              Thing is, all the expectations of electricity prices falling are based upon the supply/demand curve propagated by the mainstream economists and it just doesn’t friggen work.

              • One Tāne Huna

                Collapse of demand

                [citation needed]

                With respect, how can you know this? “Demand” depends on so many things these days. I agree that the model looks broken, but it can be argued that the breakage is entirely a consequence of politics, or more precisely corruption.

                Economics needs better models.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  [citation needed]

                  Here.

                  As I said, after the GFC people stopped spending as much. Generally speaking, that’s what a recession is.

                  With respect, how can you know this?

                  By reading the news and the stats.

                  • One Tāne Huna

                    Demand for electricity? Productivity is (more or less) increasing, a crude measure, to be sure…

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Good job I wasn’t talking about electricity then. That said, if the smelter is taken offline then we’ll see a collapse in demand for electricity – a drop of ~15% in fact.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      Indeed. So according to market theory the price should fall, no?

                      I’m not saying it will but if it didn’t that’d be a pretty strong case for major sector reform, yes?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      So according to market theory the price should fall, no?

                      That is correct.

                      I’m not saying it will but if it didn’t that’d be a pretty strong case for major sector reform, yes?

                      No, it would be proof that the economic theory that the politicians used to put in place the present system doesn’t work and that we need to look at the economic theory. This would then probably instigate change within the sector but also change across the whole of society.

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      “the economic theory that the politicians used to put in place the present system”

                      We’re talking about Max Bradford, right? Are you saying he had a theory other than “my wingnut mates said I should do this”?

                • Colonial Viper

                  “Demand” depends on so many things these days. I agree that the model looks broken, but it can be argued that the breakage is entirely a consequence of politics

                  No such thing as ‘just politics’ in a corporate driven plutocracy. At the minimum it’s what it always has been – political economic choices.

      • Sorry Tane Huna but if you think power price are going to be reduced you are living in coockoo land. Plus is it worth gaining a few cents by putting hundreds of worker out of work. Not for me.

        • One Tāne Huna 5.1.2.1

          Increasing supply leads to reduced prices, doesn’t it?

          Is this simply more evidence that we need to drag the Electricity Industry Reform Act behind the barn and kill it with an axe?

        • freedom 5.1.2.2

          dear Pink Postman, have you heard of a little place called Hillside? what were your views on those few cents?

          • freedom 5.1.2.2.1

            Dear PP, ignore the above, the ol’ grey matter seems to have gotten all turned around, I thought you said ‘it is worth’. you have my sincere apologies.

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    Have Shearer and Cosgrove climbed off the fence yet and made a stance on this issue?

    Now is the time to show leadership and an alternative.

    It is moments like these when an opposition can show they are a real alternative.

    • prism 6.1

      Cosgrove spoke on Morning Report radionz this a.m.

    • Richard 6.2

      The point Shearer and Cosgrove have made, and should continue to make, is that if it weren’t for the asset sales programme, Rio Tinto wouldn’t have the bargaining position that they currently have. Therefore an issue of Key’s own making.

      • Both Shearer and Cosgrove have been in top form over this. Cosgrove has really got stuck into the bastards. Keep it up Clayton I for one am enjoying the pasting the Tories are getting this week.

    • alwyn 6.3

      The main problem they have is that they can’t work out what to say.
      If the smelter does accept a short term subsidy, as Key appears to be offering, they have to rant and rave that he shouldn’t do it and that the smelter should be closed down.
      If on the other hand the smelter is going to be closed down, because the Government won’t provide a subsidy they want to rant and rave that Key doesn’t care about New Zealander’s jobs.
      They don’t dare come out with any opinion until they can be sure it is the opposite of what National are going to do.
      Thinking about the matter a bit further of course it would be safe to let Shearer speak. By the time he um’s and ha’s in his usual way nobody will know what he is advocating anyway.
      In terms of what Meridian could do with the energy the best thing for them would be to close down the horribly inefficient power generation from the wind turbines at Makara, near Wellington.

  7. ianmac 7

    Rod Oram (and Tim) discussed the smelter situation in his cool credible way with Katherine this morning. The smelter is in dire straits esp since China is developing huge aluminium resources.

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  8. Murray Olsen 8

    This suits NAct because “circumstances beyond their control” will mean they will be able to sell Meridian to their mates for an even cheaper price. They’d give it away if they could. They don’t give a stuff about paying down debt, or anything else besides shifting the resources of the country into private hands. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they’d known this would happen with the smelter and chose this as the optimum time to go ahead with the sales.
    I just wish Labour would try to look after the people it claims to represent in the same way that NAct look after their mates, but instead we see a bunch of seat warmers whose vision for the country doesn’t extend past a safe seat or a job in Parliamentary Services for themselves and a few hangers on.

  9. Matthew 9

    Rio Tinto is contracted to buy power for a while yet. A wise govt would tell them ‘Ok close down if you want, but keep paying for the power, & clean up the site, as stated in your contract’.
    The govt actually holds all the cards here, they just dont know how to play their hand.

    • lprent 9.1

      Exactly. There will get opt-outs in the contract. But basically this government are somewhat craven when it comes to dealing with corporates.

    • infused 9.2

      Pretty sure they do, and that’s what they are doing.

    • Foreign Waka 9.3

      Unless they play us. These strategic plans are years in the making and no amount of negotiation will change this (read second sentence below). I agree with you Matthew- just have them close and pay up.

      “On January 20, 2009 Rio Tinto Alcan announced plans to close the Beauharnois smelter and reduce output from the Vaudreuil refinery; both facilities are in Quebec. It is part of a larger plan to reduce aluminum output by a further 6% (following a cut of 5% in late 2008), while cutting 1,100 jobs worldwide. The company will also sell its half-interest in the Chinese Alcan Ningxia joint venture.[4]

      Rio Tinto sold assets from Alcan, including Alcan Packaging, in 2009, and Alcan Engineered Products in 2011. Alcan Packaging was acquired by Australian packaging giant Amcor.[5]

      After the union’s contract expired on December 31, 2011 the company has locked out nearly 800 employees at its smelter plant in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec since midnight of the end of the year. The action was following nearly 3 months of unsuccessful bargaining and the further plant operations will be handled by the staff.[6]
      Alcan owns or has an interest in 22 smelters in 11 countries and regions.”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rio_Tinto_Alcan

  10. millsy 10

    There is an elegant solution to all of this. Retro and un-PC, but elegant.

    1) Pacific Aluminum (PA) buys the Manapouri Power Station (MPS) (and the tranmission lines between it and the smelter). This has the advantage of bringing its power generation in house, without the need for these shady deals. PA will have complete control over its power supply, and will be able to sell surplus electricity into the grid from time to time.

    2) RT’s share is sold to local interests. Not too sure what the Japanese want to do with their share, but they seem to be happy enough to hang on, and nothing wrong with some Japanese expertise. They seem to have a long term view about things…

    3) Tiwai Point alumiumum is marketed around the world as a product that is produced using environmentally friendly hydro generation, as opposed by Chinese aluminium which is produced by dirty filthy coal.

  11. prism 11

    Rod Oram said, I thought, that losing the smelter wouldn’t mean a great loss to NZ income which is not so high after the costs of material, inputs etc were taken out. He seemed to think that the cheap electricity would be better used in other businesses. Haven’t had time to listen again on ianmac’s link, thanks. But this is surprising to me as I thought that the smelter and the exports were vital to our earnings.

    Another speaker earlier in Radionz 9tonoon said that the smelter was very effective with the machinery that it has, made such pure aluminium it had a niche market supplying special interests, I think for scientific needs was mentioned.

    • Ennui 11.1

      Oram is right, the price of aluminium is set to crash, and longer term it will yoyo. Interestingly aluminium is hugely energy intensive to smelt: fast forward to a post carbon age hydro will be the only way of smelting this. Which should change our negotiating stance with Rio Tinto.

      On the issue today the whole affair definitely has the potential to crash the price of electricity proving that artificially created markets in a small country are ridiculous ideological nonsense. The sale of Mighty River is decidedly compromised as a way of generating cash to pay government debt, but conversely the “rentiers” lining up will be onto a bargain. The whole affair reeks of incompetence and venality.

      • Colonial Weka 11.1.1

        “Interestingly aluminium is hugely energy intensive to smelt: fast forward to a post carbon age hydro will be the only way of smelting this. Which should change our negotiating stance with Rio Tinto.”

        In the post-carbon age we will need hydro generation for far more important things that aluminium smelting. Hydro is a limited resource.

    • lprent 11.2

      But this is surprising to me as I thought that the smelter and the exports were vital to our earnings.

      Nope, it never has been. The bauxite comes from aussie and as far as I can tell the ingots go back there at a level carefully designed to ensure that very little of the nett revenue – nett costs winds up as taxable profit. Mostly when people talk about NZAS they’re talking about $1 billion revenue – not taxable profits.

      As far as I am aware we don’t use aluminium from the smelter in any local industries except at a token level. Instead we mostly import rolled aluminium from aussie.

      Meanwhile it sucks up considerable amounts of power at a rate that barely covers the cost of producing it, let alone the capital that is tired up in the power generating plant. Which is what the current debate is about. As far as I can tell NZAS wants NZ Inc to sell it at below the cost of production.

      They seldom buy products from NZ locally produced suppliers. Part of that is because we don’t have the industrial infrastructure these days to provide anything much, and partially because they can freight heavy gear directly to their own port.

      About the only contribution that NZAS provides to NZ is the taxes on Invercargill wages bill. The effective level of subsidy on those workers salaries is exorbitant. Since the plant is old and rapidly heading to obsolescence it really is only a matter of time before it gets shut by economic competition from more advanced and efficient plants elsewhere closer to their primary markets.

      Basically they are wasting a valuable resource as far as the NZ economy is concerned. Time to shut it down was when the contract was last negotiated with Meridian. Now will do.

      As it is, even ignoring greenhouse gas issues, we could pay every current worker at the smelter a direct payment for a few decades after shutting the smelter and still make money on the deal.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1

        As far as I am aware we don’t use aluminium from the smelter in any local industries except at a token level. Instead we mostly import rolled aluminium from aussie.

        According to the NZAS website 90% of the aluminium they produce is exported and the other 10% is used here. How much we import isn’t listed.

      • Ennui 11.2.2

        You are so right: shut the buggers down. They will be back in a few years when they cant get smelting at a cost effective rate due to fossil fuel depletion anyway.

        There is an unspoken concept in your comment that is long out of vogue: balance of payments….for those too young to remember our imports before Roger had to be paid forso the government took a strong hand in ensuring we were unable to go far into the red. It also meant that our currency was pegged to production and sales value of exports…not some nebulous idea on a forex traders floor. These things too are set to return.

        • Colonial Weka 11.2.2.1

          “You are so right: shut the buggers down. They will be back in a few years when they cant get smelting at a cost effective rate due to fossil fuel depletion anyway.”

          I was under the impression that once you shut the potlines down, it’s never going to be economical to get them up and running again (not sure what the physics/economics is there, nor if the equation changes in the face of climate change/peak oil).

          • Draco T Bastard 11.2.2.1.1

            I keep hearing that and yet it doesn’t make sense. They’d need to shut them down every now and then for maintenance.

          • lprent 11.2.2.1.2

            An orderly shutdown is fine. They actually do that at least every few years because otherwise they can’t do maintenance on some of the refractories nor do upgrades.

            The reality is that there are ?what? 3 potlines. The best plan would be to progressively shut down the potlines over time to reduce the impacts for both NZAS (they have forward contracts to supply as well as forward contracts for electricity) and for invercargill. Not to mention that plant would have to be decommissioned, which is going to be a lot easier and cheaper to do progressively over a decade than any kind of abrupt stoppage.

            • Colonial Weka 11.2.2.1.2.1

              4 I think. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiwai_Point#Aluminium_smelter

              “They actually do that at least every few years because otherwise they can’t do maintenance on some of the refractories nor do upgrades.”

              But presumably that’s not all 4 at once, or even several of them at once.

              • lprent

                Nope – one potline at a time last time I looked. Used to be a pretty major event decades ago when I was working at Kamo Green Refractories.

                • Colonial Weka

                  That makes sense. It was Ennui’s suggestion that RT could come back later if the smelter was shut down now that didn’t make sense. If all 4 lines were shut down, it would be uneconomic to restart the smelter as a whole. Would be interesting to see the actual explanation of that though, and how much power it would take.

                  • lprent

                    They could (apart from the mothballing issues – which are significant) progressively shut down the potlines. They can also progressively restart them.

                    The real problem is that once they lay off their skilled workforce, then that is a damn sight harder to get restarted because they move away. That is what could make the case for relatively short-term subsidy to get over a hump in the commodity prices.

                    The real issue about the smelter is on timescale. What gives anyone any idea that there is a brighter future for the smelter commercially? Because I can’t see one. The plant is getting older and progressively less economic and has been doing so for decades.

                    I think that if we start to subsidize it further it simply adds a non-productive anchor on the economy for decades to come. But if we move the current corporate subsidy money and the power to other purposes we’re more likely to find better and more productive uses for them.

                    BTW: I think it is 3 potlines unless they added something when I wasn’t looking.. It is interesting looking at the varying measure of employment around. For instance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Aluminium_Smelters_Limited has

                    In 2009, approximately 750 full time personnel were employed, and 120 contractors

                    And yet the page that they references was re-picked up in 2011 with a definition of

                    2,400 full time equivalent jobs

                    And the current front page for NZAS says

                    3,200 full time equivalent jobs

                    Ummm must have been a hell of lot of hiring over the last 3 or 4 years or there is a awful lot of overtime being done or someone has been doing a bit of fanciful jobs inflation

                    Idiots… BTW: I understand that the actual number of people actually employed is closer to a thousand

                    • Colonial Weka

                      hmm, ok but those are labour issues not physics ones. Are you saying that you think that there is no economic/physics issue with later restarting 4 potlines (even progressively). I thought the issue was the amount of power needed to get them up and running again, but could also believe that is an urban myth.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      Although thinking about it, it was about sudden shutdowns, which is what you are meaning I think.

                    • lprent

                      Yeah – if you have a sudden shutdown then you wind up with cold aluminium in the pots..

                      It is really really difficult to get that going again. In fact I suspect is usually easier to dump the pots contents with a jackhammer and put in new refractories and electrodes whilst tossing the pots that got warped. Call it at least 3 months work.

                      That is why aluminium plants are so paranoid about their power supply reliability.

  12. Ad 12

    Not sure why Eddie has any sympathy for National on this one. The choice was Intervene, or Not Intervene. Both options seriously damage the asset sales process. Boo fucking hoo.

    Since Key is now a fabulous neo-interventionist on behalf of Hollywood, Solid Energy, South Canterbury Finance, Sky City, and Rio Tinto, I am sure his next intervention will be an actual plan for the Southland economy as it braces to see its smelter shut down. If Labour had such a plan right now they could speak with leadership on what a really “hands on” economic manager Labour should be. Although they would need someone who could actually talk like they could put a deal together.

    I also wish everyone would stop thinking retail electricity prices would go down once the Meridian load is not wanted. They won’t. A massive new cable and DC link from Manapouri to over Cook Strait will require shifting the whole AMP of Transpower for a few years. The Electricity Commission will see immediately that the price has to deal with that network build.

    And shutting Huntly Power Station down is in reality shutting Huntly the town down. Pretty glorious the way people want to change to something more sustainable, when Huntly station is glaringly not. But Huntly’s workers deserve an economic recovery and development plan, just like Invercargill and Westport – apparently the only areas that need shots in the arm are Canterbury (SCF and rebuild, Auckland central (Sky City), and Wellington (Wingnut).

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      I also wish everyone would stop thinking retail electricity prices would go down once the Meridian load is not wanted. They won’t. A massive new cable and DC link from Manapouri to over Cook Strait will require shifting the whole AMP of Transpower for a few years. The Electricity Commission will see immediately that the price has to deal with that network build.

      For those of us in the South Island they likely will. The thing with hydro stations is that the water is in the dam anyway – either you run the water through the turbines and make power, or you send it down a spillway and don’t make power.

      In CHCH I have a 3-way meter (courtesy of Powershop) where I get night rates at about 55% of the normal day rate, and also a cheaper weekend-day rate that is 85% of the normal day rate. With the smelter using 1/6th of all NZ’s power, and that power “having to go somewhere”, it seems likely my electricity prices could drop by quite a bit with the excess capacity. Similarly you can bet that if the smelter does have to close, that southland will be saying “well we should get lower power prices to help build our businesses up”, and obviously if the rest of the network in the SI can’t cope with the new distribution load, then it would need to be used locally.

      • Ad 12.1.1

        The bet is on.

      • Foreign Waka 12.1.2

        And with that the plan to have no wood fired but electrical heating and perhaps even electrical trains can become reality. A win win for the environment and the people. Imagine….

    • lprent 12.2

      A massive new cable and DC link from Manapouri to over Cook Strait…

      Bullshit.

      Transpower are already in the throes of finally upgrading the HVDC lines over the Cook Strait on pole 3 and due for completion “early 2013″.

      See https://www.transpower.co.nz/projects/hvdc-inter-island-link-project#zoom=7&lat=-41.1513&lon=174.982&layers=TB

      Assuming that NZAS decided to shut down now, they are responsible and liable for decommissioning of the smelter. That means the pot lines probably won’t even shut down before we finally get the upgraded capacity on line.

      It may push the proposed pole 4 to done on time in 2016. But that would be for security of supply rather than actual current requirements.

      The only work that I’m aware of that would have to be done is to connect Manapouri to the grid. That would largely go to supply the SI while allowing power generated further north to go further north.

      And why would anyone go for gold-plated engineering like running a DC line the length of the SI

      • Ad 12.2.1

        Would be good to see if Pole 4 could take the anticipated extra load if Tiwai Point does shut down and redirects it all north where the demand is.

        The “gold plating” is to ensure that the 30-40% of generation is not lost sending this unused power from Manapouri to Auckland/Hamilton/Tauranga. The point isn’t to just attach Manapouri to the grid, and generate electricity for New Zealand and see it wasted in transmission. The point is for a buyer to buy it and pay for it.

        • lprent 12.2.1.1

          You wouldn’t send power all the way north from Manapouri. You’d use it to replace power currently used in the SI – especially in ChCh and the southland/Canterbury plains.

          The generation capacity further north in the SI would be what was going over the Cook Strait. You have to remember that at present the flows of power over the Cook strait are bidirectional, and at present we are frequently sending power from the lower NI to the upper SI.

          Ummm can’t dig out figures at present (at work). However you should have a deeper look at the reasons behind the North Canturbury tap http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HVDC_Inter-Island#North_Canterbury_tap

          If the increase in irrigation in the SI keep increasing at the rate that they have been, then having a large source of power in the lower SI is going to get pretty useful. If only to reduce the flow of power from the NI to the SI (for some reason many people seem to still think that we are in the power position we were a few decades ago)

          • Ennui 12.2.1.1.1

            We might do well to utilise the extra capacity prevent capital investments in power generation elsewhere… this capital could be better spent converting the network grid to carry power less wastefully (i.e lowering the loss in transmission over distance).

          • erentz 12.2.1.1.2

            You wouldn’t send power all the way north from Manapouri. You’d use it to replace power currently used in the SI – especially in ChCh and the southland/Canterbury plains. The generation capacity further north in the SI would be what was going over the Cook Strait.

            Grids don’t really work like that though. Power isn’t directed, if Transpower tells a power generator to start generating, that power is fed into the grid it goes everywhere. There are two semi-separate grids in New Zealand. The North Island Grid and the South Island Grid. These are connected by the HVDC link.

            So what would likely happen is that the peak prices will continue to be high, but we might end up having periods, e.g. night time where power is nearly free. If we reverted to a system where we had an “ECNZ” replacement manage the power system planning, and buying from generators to meet demand in line with their plan, we could probably lower that peak price quite a bit too. This would make a good time for Labour/Greens to announce such a plan for removing the “electricity market” and re consolidating remaining assets into a new “ECNZ” which will buy all electricity from generators on contracts.

            • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1.1.2.1

              This would make a good time for Labour/Greens to announce such a plan for removing the “electricity market” and re consolidating remaining assets into a new “ECNZ” which will buy all electricity from generators on contracts.

              That’s sounds confusing and thus expensive. Just have the new ECNZ own all the lines and all the generators and then they get to intelligently utilise those assets for our benefit.

              • erentz

                Not sure if it was unclear that I meant the existing govt generators go into new “ECNZ”. I don’t think it’s worth it to buy back the private generators at this time though that could be explored. Buying their power on contract, which will net them a much lower price than they’re currently getting because they won’t have a flawed market to abuse, isn’t at all complicated. Over time the new “ECNZ” will build most if not all of the major new generation in NZ as this will probably be cheaper over the long run than contracting it from private builders. These new generators (wind, tidal, solar, geothermal) will supplant much of the private generation in terms of proportion. Many existing private ones will lose their contracts as they’re no longer needed. In the future buy back any that are interesting at a discounted rate.

                Also, we still want to allow small microgrid style private generation — people who put solar on their roof selling back into the grid. Small scale hydro or wind on the farm. Etc. At the moment this is/can be accomplished by the local lines companies doing the paying. They sit in between the grid and houses and are currently metered by Transpower. But in a smart grid future who knows what kind of control the “ECNZ” might want to have so the “ECNZ” to small generator relationship may get closer. We may see an interest in buying back the local lines at some point too as it becomes apparent that pubic ownership works better for such things. (Hopefully we haven’t gone the other direction and also sold our water by then, few more years of NAct and that wouldn’t surprise me).

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Ah, so, have ECNZ own all the present government owned ones and to trash the privately owned ones through market dominance.

                  Sounds fair – they’ve been doing the same thing to government for the last 40 odd years.

          • Peter 12.2.1.1.3

            Manapouri is on the grid. Two double circuit 220kV lines heading to separate substations in Invercargill, with lines then going from there to Tiwai. There are two 220kV lines heading out of Invercargill to Roxburgh, and another one heading to Dunedin. So, there’s a bit of work in reconfiguring the grid to cope with the change in flow, but it’s not beyond possibility, and Transpower say that they can have it done in a few years (which is about the time that Rio Tinto have left anyway, on their current contract).

            • Ad 12.2.1.1.3.1

              I don’t like the idea of simply redistributing unneeded electricity to the first idea New Zealand can come up with.

              I think it is simply cruel to the people of Huntly, Invercargill and Bluff to say “don’t worry there’s a few projects out there – it’ll all fix itself in a few years.” That’s just dumb laissez-faire economics. This is too big for that.

              Labour used to be a party that put workers and employment number 1 on its reason for existing. Cosgrove is certainly right to say that National should have seen this coming and in particular how it will damage the asset sale process. But this situation needs more than schadenfreude.

              I certainly don’t buy that just because one version of government intervention is likely to fail, then we may as well not do anything to soften the impact of major power generation on New Zealand workers.

              Saying that there may/may not be a price benefit is like saying there may/may not be a benefit to you of a tax cut. Hey great, but the economic price of that minor reduction is simply massive economic damage. Why aren’t the interests of workers and regions, rather than consumers, put front and centre in this debate?

              • Lanthanide

                “Why aren’t the interests of workers and regions, rather than consumers, put front and centre in this debate?”

                Where has anyone on this site suggested that we shouldn’t put the workers and the region front and centre?

                • Ad

                  Checked out the number of people on who say “Just shut it down”. And the number who say “Just shut Huntly down as well”? Did you check out the entire discussion from LPrent yesterday which just couldn’t wait for the shut down and the price rises to come?

                  Where have you been?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    How many said “shut it down” and “leave the workers and towns with no options and no help”?

                    • Ad

                      So tell me CV, where are the columns here about defending the rights of workers to a job? The EPMU says 2,000 Southland families have their economic futures at stake.

                      Anyone checked out the state of Huntly recently? Its prospects for employment, community opportunities for a young people, its Deprivation Index? Clearly the people commenting here advocating to shut it down don’t have jobs in Southland or Huntly. And on another debate, same site, we get to complain about Fonterra wanting its own reliable coal-fired boiler generation. Westport and Hokitika got an economic development plan when Labour shut down native milling. What’s so different here?

                      Huntly and Bluff, together the worst real estate value decreases in the country.

                      So no, instead we get happy thoughts about converting us all to electric cars, or bringing the price of electricity down generally. Seriously is that what passes for an economic development plan these days?

                      We’re not changing to electric cars, we’re not inventing any massive electricity-using replacements fast, and the growth industry in Southland isn’t anything except dairy. We need to face the risk squarely as if we were a country not a random bunch of atomised comsumers, and do what any pre-1984 Labour government would have done: get a plan for the short, medium and long term, and be held to delivering it. Jim Anderton or Bill Sutch would.

                    • lprent []

                      Jim Anderton or Bill Sutch would.

                      Bullshit. Both were interested in economic development.

                      Neither were into permanent economic dependence on subsidies from taxpayers from the rest of the country. They wanted to put subsidies in to raise industries. Neither were particularly into propping up dead ones. I suggest you spend more time reading what they wrote rather than indulging in fantasies about what you thought they should have said.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Well, I’d put in place policies that support the workers:

                      1.) Government housing loans at 0% interest and charged as a percentage of household income. This ensures that they won’t lose their house or their ability to feed and cloth their family.

                      2.) Secondly I’d put in place policies that allow them to easily retrain if needed such as: a) removal of student fees b) payment of a universal income c) building more formal tertiary institutes and d) building my suggested Learning Centres.

                      3.) I’d probably buy the smelter but, as I said, I’d close most of it down and only keep enough of it going to produce the aluminium that NZ uses. On top of that I’d develop NZs own bauxite extraction and a strict recycling regime.

                      4.) I’d put in place a lot of R&D and build factories so that we can produce a lot more of what we need from our own resources.

                      I’ve been saying these sorts of things for a long time and they’re not area specific. Just things that need to be done to stop the rot that neo-liberalism has brought with it.

                  • lprent

                    :-?. I didn’t leave any comments yesterday. In fact I didn’t even leave any notes as moderator yesterday.

                    Yep. Just checked.. http://thestandard.org.nz/?s=lprent&isopen=block&search_comments=true&search_sortby=date

                    You must have had a hard day – your time sense is dead. Perhaps you should look to your own grasp of the spatial :grin:

                    Now you were saying….

              • lprent

                That’s just dumb laissez-faire economics. This is too big for that.

                Personally I’d be all in favour of providing a centralised plan for power generation and distribution – the current system sucks in any economic basis. Since the flogging off of parts of the system it has proved to be even worse at efficiency of matching up supply and demand compared to the previous system, and a damn sight more expensive as well. Just look at how long it took for Transpower to do anything effective on the Cook strai

                However if we have a “market” system even with all of the effective natural monopolies in it, then the only effective way that the government has of influencing the market is by not subsidising waste. The best way of doing that is to be very cautious about providing corporate welfare.

                Now the thing is that directly subsidising the workers in those places will be at least an order of magnitude cheaper than maintaining people in jobs purely to subsidise corporates. And in the end the subsidies will eventually be removed for purely economic reasons at some point because those subsidies will always wind up increasing.

                Hey great, but the economic price of that minor reduction is simply massive economic damage. Why aren’t the interests of workers and regions, rather than consumers, put front and centre in this debate?

                Which essentially means that you still haven’t bothered to think it through.

                Here is a question? Tell me how long we as a country stop paying corporate welfare for these two uneconomic enterprises. What is the route out of it. Because I cannot see one. The economic problem for both of them isn’t transient – it is structural. Neither the smelter nor huntly are economic. So should we carry on training people to be dependent on a completely uneconomic behaviour that will always require propping up? According to you we should….

                I don’t think that we should. I think we should use the money to do something more productive with those regions and workers.

                • RedLogix

                  Lynn,

                  I know this has been brought up before, but why not just nationalise the smelter for $1, turn it into a division of Meridian?

                  The cost of the electricity would effectively be zero making it one of the most competitive smelter’s in the world.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Vertical integration is verboten! Verboten I say!

                    • My choice for an alternative use of the power and the smelters?

                      Rail.

                      Reopen the Hillside workshops. Get a modern smelter happening somewhere in the bluff where the steel can be produced and then keep your fingers crossed.

                      As for Huntly, I am not sure what to propose …

                  • lprent

                    The real question is why would we need it? It is uncompetitive compared to alternative closer suppliers to the Japanese market which takes most of it. Reducing the cost of the power would help. But basically it has been steadily becoming more and more uncompetitive for decades because of the relative transport costs. Effectively we’d be competing with new suppliers that are a lot closer to the markets as long distance transport costs (bauxite from aussie, ingots to Japan) keep slowly rising. And against competitors with much better scales of economy.

                    Looking at it as a basis of a local industry is even worse. The plant is optimized to produce a high purity grade of primary aluminium (ie ingot) that is used for industries that we simply don’t have here. That is why we import most of the aluminium for this country from Austrailia in the forms that we need – ie rolled, extruded, drawn, or whatever along with a alloying plant. We’d have to add all of that plant to the existing complex to be useable. And NZ can only take a 5% at the very best of a single potline (and that’d be a hell of a growth in aluminium usage here).

                    We’d be better off looking at the steelworks and figuring out how to make build industries around that. That at least isn’t built around a failing export market.`

                    • geoff

                      Yes I agree.

                    • RedLogix

                      Energy represents about one-third of the total production cost of primary aluminum.

                      I’m certain that if Rio got their power for zero the smelter would stay open.

                      Especially if you consider that at some stage in the future competitive plants run on coal-powered electricity are going to be legislated/taxed out of the market by compelling climate change considerations.

                    • Arfamo

                      Can Tiwai be converted to steelworks?

                    • lprent []

                      The plant? No. Completely different setups.

                      The port yes. Power – depends on what parts of the steel making process are done. Electric arc furnaces are used for producing secondary process of steel making but are of little use for producing basic steel from pig iron or the pig iron from ore.

                      But there is a reason that steel mills are situated very close to their sources of ore. Iron ores are usually at least double the density of bauxite. I really don’t think that shipping the northern iron sands accumulated from the northern volcanics down the west coast from somewhere like taranaki to a plant at bluff is going to be economic. And I’m unaware of any other concentrated large iron deposits suitable for making steel in NZ. Ummm some smallish deposits of limonite in nelson…

                      And then shipping the products northward or offshore… Transport is always a killer with smelting

                    • lprent

                      I’m certain that if Rio got their power for zero the smelter would stay open.

                      Yes it would.

                      But reputably the power is already down at ~4.5c/kW which I suspect makes it about the cheapest reliable power source available to any aluminium plant worldwide

                      Energy represents about one-third of the total production cost of primary aluminum.

                      What they don’t mention in there is that is an average across the industry. NZAS is not your average smelter. It’s main constraint isn’t the cheap power, it is the susceptibility to transport costs.

                      The problem is that Tiwai is about 4000km+ to its source of raw materials in WA and 9000km+ from its major market in Japan. The cost and energy in that is significant bearing in mind the rapid rise in fuel costs. Furthermore the emissions aren’t exactly light either. What would you bet on the costs of transport fuel in the future? Or the emission costs of burning fuel oil or coal from transport? And I think you’d be pushing your luck to build large sailing transport with megatonnes of ingots in their holds.

                      And of course the Chinese along with their production of coal and gas powered stations are also busy building sources of hydro, wind and geothermal power both in their own country and in those of their neighbours at a furious rate.

                      It is just that hydrocarbon plants take a lot less time to put in place than the dams, geothermal fields, and above all – the grid that supports them. You can site hydrocarbon plants close to need without a large grid and they take a lot less initial capital.So they go online first. This is a familiar development pattern during a economic bootstrap.

                      I’d expect that the composition of chinese electricity will change markedly over the coming decades

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I really don’t think that shipping the northern iron sands accumulated from the northern volcanics down the west coast from somewhere like taranaki to a plant at bluff is going to be economic.

                      New Zealand Steel Ironsand Export Shiploading

                      Almost 80 million tonnes of sand has been mined and 43 million tonnes of titanomagnetite exported to date.

                      According to that article some 2 million tonnes per year is exported.

                    • lprent []

                      Yeah but… note what it is being used for.

                      Ironsand concentrate (titanomagnetite) is a low grade iron ore (~57% Fe) and thus it is inherently of low value. Also because of its chemical characteristics the market is small (less than 2M t pa) and currently confined to Japan/China/Taiwan where it is used as an additive to blast furnace sinter feed.

                      Additives for the much larger main iron feed and presumably for producing specialised types of titanium steels. NZ just happens to have some of the best deposits in the world of this type of sand and that one sand dune area at Tahora damn near supplies the world with its annual demand.

                      http://www.nzsteel.co.nz/about-new-zealand-steel/operations/taharoa-mine-site

                      We also ship certain types of coal from the west coast of the SI to Japan for much the same reason. It is used as an expensive part of the mix to produce high grade steels.

                      The actual production of iron at Glenbrook uses a much cheaper transport – the slurry is pumped 18km from North Head to the mill.

                      http://www.nzsteel.co.nz/about-new-zealand-steel/operations-/waikato-north-head-mine-site

                      But also consider this. The 1.2 million tonnes of iron sand ore (ie after separation) sent down that pipe is married up with coal from less than 80kms away to produce ~650k tonnes of rolled and/or galvanised products. The cost structure for that is a hell of a lot easier than shipping all the way down the islands and getting coal from a damn sight further away (the local lignites are pretty useless for steel).

                      http://www.nzsteel.co.nz/about-new-zealand-steel/operations-/glenbrook-steel-site

                      Then consider that Glenbrook currently provides 90% of the local steel market (Pacific Steel with its scrap operations provides most of the rest) – of which most goes to a city that the plant is on the outskirts of. And they still export something like 60% of their production as pretty high value product from a port that is a thousand or more kilometres closer to the markets. The production exported from Glenbrook doesn’t have that much profit margin, it is the local consumption that tends to make the money.

                      There are bugger all imports of steel into NZ apart from finished speciality products. So the market is pretty well catered for.

                      So tell me, what natural advantages would a Bluff site offer. Cheaper power for secondary steel production isn’t that big a part of the process. Labour costs isn’t a major component. And how are they going to grow a local steel market that can’t consume the existing local production to offset transport costs to export markets? Their cost structure would never be able to compete against Glenbrook even if you removed the capital costs from consideration.

                      It really isn’t that feasible.

                    • RedLogix

                      But reputably the power is already down at ~4.5c/kW

                      But Manapouri produces power for far less than that. The marginal cost of running it is almost zero, and the capital must have been written down to almost nothing as well by now.

                      If Meridian owned Tiwai it would have the opportunity to turn zero cost electricity into very competitively priced aluminium. If nothing else it may well extend the life of the plant several more decades.

                    • lprent []

                      …the capital must have been written down to almost nothing as well…

                      Unlikely. They only put it in 40 years ago and the money on those kinds of developments is amortised/paid back over periods that usually start at about 50 years. Because the plants once constructed are so long-running it makes sense to fund them on very long terms.

                      From memory it was upgraded it in the late 90’s with the second tunnel that opened in 2003 (?). Since then they have done an expensive upgrade on the generators. Those will also have been treated as a capital expense because they won’t have paid the original capital at that point.

                      They will have to do another generator overhaul in another couple of decades. Ideally that would be factored into the current costs of power generation so as not to require such a large capital injection (but I’ll bet that it isn’t). And of course there will always be the lines maintenance away from the plant.

                      The running costs are low, but not nil. There will be fairly extensive engineering staff that work on the site for maintenance and clearance and of course the subsidiary equipment and plant will forever being repaired and upgraded. The cost of capital costs are still there for decades.

                      I’d guesstimate that the effective running and capital costs over next few decades to be on the order of at least 2c/kW at their 4500+GW annual generation depending on how you accounted for things. It should be closer to 3c.

                    • Tim

                      “As for Huntly, I am not sure what to propose …”

                      … a railway workshop perhaps?

            • lprent 12.2.1.1.3.2

              I wasn’t sure if they’d put it in as DC lines. The distance is short enough and that is what is required at the cathodes and anodes. So they must rectify the current near the smelter instead..

              Yeah. It’d take time to shutdown the plant anyway. I probably need to refresh my geography and topography of the area so I can have a think about transmission distances. I was just trying to figure out if there’d be any advantages heading lines north east and cutting the corner.

              • Peter

                Lynn, I know the area well, having worked on the upgrade project for Manapouri some years back.

                They do rectify the current at the smelter, using thyristors. Transpower supply the smelter directly – there is no electricity retailer present.

                You can’t cut the corner easily, due to the topography (mountains and a large scenic lake) – the best way out of Fiordland is the current transmission corridor, up the Grebe Valley and down to the Southland plains via the Borland Valley. From there, yeah, you could go straight across and up, but that would only save at best about 100km of line, and would need new substations etc.

                I’ve argued before about converting one of the existing lines to DC, but you would run into trouble further north around Roxburgh. There’s no way but to build new capacity, most likely duplexing or triplexing existing lines.

    • Jenny 12.3

      And shutting Huntly Power Station down is in reality shutting Huntly the town down.

      Huntly is a wreck because of the coal mines and the power station.

      Apart from some bribes to sports clubs and Marae these industries give nothing to Huntly.

      Huntly is one of listed WINZ black spots where because of the lack of jobs beneficiaries are not allowed to move there on pain of having their benefit cut off.

      Coal mining, particularly open cast is (relatively) not labour intensive.

      Wind technology however is very labour intensive. That is why it is so much more expensive.

      Huntly would be a good place to set up Wind generation manufacturing.

  13. freedom 13

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10874850
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8496789/Smelter-firm-subsidy-talks-stall

    which story is true?
    did Key call their bluff or did Rio Tinto walk away ?

    then right on cue this morning, almost as if it was designed to dampen the growing expectations of fairness in electricity prices, there is this
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8495520/More-power-price-hikes-tipped

    • freedom 13.1

      can someone point us to a clear explanantion of what contract Key thinks is being discussed?
      According to the latest piece by Stuff, Key says “They were locked into a three-year contract, with a further two-and-a-half year winding down provision,”

      yet, not so long ago, didn’t they just spend three years negotiating an eighteen year contract?
      from the NBR ” The smelter’s majority owner, Anglo-Australian minerals giant Rio Tinto, is locked into the first three years of an new 18-year contract which took effect from January 1, took three years to negotiate and had been agreed in 2007.

      have i got mixed up or is our MSM (not renowned for its fact checking) simply spinning a high stakes hank suitable only for the emperor’s new robes

      • Lanthanide 13.1.1

        I think the 18 year contract applies to Australia.

      • Wisdumb 13.1.2

        Key said clearly on Campbell Live tonight (2 April) that the contract was renewed on 1 January this year to run until 2030 i.e. 17-18 years. He also said that there was a take or pay period until 2016. This means that if Rio Rinto pulled out before the take or pay period they had to pay for the unused electricity anyway. He also said that if they pulled out now this take or pay sum would be a huge penalty.

        He also referred to period of 2 ½ years in which the production would be run down if /when Rio decided to pull out. This certainly allows time for Transpower to connect the Manapouri system to the national grid fully including the HVDC link. They have allowed $170 million for this and the work is well in hand, all as LPrent has indicated.

        So there is a grace period until 2016 at minimum when a government could bring in transitional supports for the declining workforce at the smelter and in all the other businesses in Southland dependent on the smelter.

        If Key was prepared to offer a short term subsidy to prolong the life of the smelter I suggest that he could use the same amount of money to support the workers around Southland that are inevitably going to be laid off or lose contracts. For a subsidy to be meaningful even if Rio Tinto rebuffed it, and remembering it was intended to be bridge the next few years until apparently the aluminium market turned around – I can’t see anything less than $50 million ever having been considered, more like $100 million I think.

        $50 – $100 million is not a bad sum to apply to developing alternative jobs, mortgage support, support new industries, as DTB mentioned in his 9.33 pm comment.

        Last time I looked NZ imports of aluminium products were $193 million (sorry can’t find the link but not far away). Not only is the alumina imported, which is an energy and technology intensive product so high value, but so are the synthetic cryolite (NaAlF6) as an essential flux and the petroleum coke or high grade carbon for the consumable anodes – say another $100 – 200 million. So when Rod Oram on Morning Report this morning said that the net export benefit from the so-called billion dollar exports is only around $200 million he is not far from the truth. Not to forget the devious transfer pricing that this criss-crossing of trade under one hat facilitates – Rio can generate a loss at the drop of a hat, wherever it thinks will help it most politically .

        For mine, Labour should devise a programme for job replacement, housing support, industry development, retraining, agricultural research, IT something – extremely difficult to find the jobs and industries I know, but smooth the pillow of a dying smelter in a dying industry.

        • Foreign Waka 13.1.2.1

          Absolutely agree. Rio Tinto tries to get some mileage out of this and by 2016 just before “deadline” will drop the ball. By that time all the “Ma’s and Dad’s” have overpaid on shares that will then be worth next to nothing. And so another fleecing of the general populace with another wealth transfer would successfully be finalized. Besides the economic argument of 200 mil of net export benefit there is of cause some bigger fish that gets fried.

  14. aerobubble 14

    Its a win-win for National, on the one hand Tinto may get a sweet deal and tax payers subsidizing the now partially govt owned energy company – i.e. sweet for buyers, crap for taxpayers.paying 100% of the subsidy to Tinto, but 49% of shareholders getting the benefit.

    And on the other hand, Tinto bails, Southland goes Labour and energy dividends from government other energy entities suddenly have cheap power pumping across from the south Island.

    Whichever way, the government loses money, locks itself in to losses, either subsidies.

    And it could have been so different, if they had not open the pandora’s box of privatization.

    As we know only Labour has the competence to support films, sell assets, and manage state owned companies, along with keeping govt debt down and an economy with on a path to a brighter future.

  15. Peter 15

    Let it fail, and use the power for something that really benefits NZ – electrify our transport, and mothball Huntly.

    And get a decent plan in place to retain most of those skilled jobs.

    • infused 15.1

      Keen to see how the left is going to spin this now.

      Donno why this comment went under yours.

      • aerobubble 15.1.1

        Key once again jumps before having work through the consequences of his policies.

        Education.

        Solid Energy.

        50% for land in CHCH

        Not managing the deposit guarentee and SCF…

        the list goes on…

        now the head of the spy agency is a under qualified old mate from school days….

  16. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 16

    Hey QoT and CV, you’ll love this from the erstwhile Sams and Tobys of the Labour Party:

    The Government is completely mismanaging the Tiwai Point negotiations and putting the jobs of 3000 people at risk, said Labour Leader David Shearer and SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

    David Shearer said: “The Government was warned months ago about the looming problems with Rio Tinto and Tiwai Point. They were told to sort the issue out before putting Mighty River Power on the market. They ignored those warnings and charged ahead to sell the assets.

    “Rio Tinto simply waited and now holds all the cards in its negotiation. The National Government is desperate to sort out the mess and is all over the place.

    “National’s initial plan was to shut their eyes and wish the problem away. Then they jumped into negotiations without telling Meridian’s Board what they were doing. Their final move was to make an offer and give up after a weekend of negotiations.

    “This is shambolic and toys with the economy.

    “The Government can’t just walk away. John Key must be upfront and honest with New Zealanders so we know what’s required to keep Tiwai Point open. Transparency is needed.”

    Clayton Cosgrove said: “John Key is playing his currency trader tricks but it’s putting jobs at risk. This isn’t Merrill Lynch; this is a country’s economy we are dealing with.

    “One day the Government is negotiating, the next it is not. Rio Tinto’s bosses are licking their lips and look forward to laughing all the way to the bank.

    “These are not cunning tactics by the Government. It’s financial mismanagement.

    “With Tiwai Point accounting for 15 per cent of the electricity market there is far too much uncertainty. The Mighty River sale must be stopped or it risks turning into a fire sale,” said Clayton Cosgrove.
    http://www.labour.org.nz/news/tiwai-negotiations-totally-mismanaged

    Poetry.

    • Ad 16.1

      Mere schadenfreude that exposes Labour’s own policy vacuum.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Not so much a vacuum, as a neutron star.

        • xtasy 16.1.1.1

          CV: Where now are Labour’s much pre announced “policies”, that I am still awaiting?/?

          We had the repeated comments and statements, and speeches by Shearer and others, last year, that bit by bit, the policies would be announced soon, and we would see how Labour would lead the way to form the next government.

          Now we had the Kiwi Build plan, which was partly taken to pieces re lack of land, lack of sections, wrong calculations and so forth, Len Brown in the end being asked to make the sections available, but what the bloody hell else has been presented?

          What about welfare, we are waiting on clarifications from Ardern and others, what about health, where Annette is now challenging Ryall, but delivering NO policies, what about all other areas of policies?

          Now, we are in April now, we are almost half way through another term and we are WAITING desperately to hear what Labour actually want to do as an alternative.

          What the f*** is going on, please??

          This is no criticism of you CV, it is just to reconnect and remind you, that you must also be waiting, like so damned many of us. Hey, Labour, where are you???

    • Wayne 16.2

      Actually Labour sounds pretty confused on this issue. It is not enough to say “Stop the sale of Mighty River Power”. The sale is going to happen.

      Clayton sounds he is totally focused on the short term hit, using slogans (well sometimes thats what you have to do, but is it enough beyond say next week).

      And does it sound good enough against John Key. Whether Standardnistas like or not most New Zealanders will think John Key has more economic nous than Clayton Cosgrove. And Clayton cannot bridge that gap by slogans.

      Frankly I have no idea what Labour would do, except they would not sell 49% of the SOE’s, but that is going to happen. Labour essentially lost that battle by virtue of the election result. Whether you think the Nats have a mandate or not they won the election and this was a key manifesto commitment.

      So would they negotiate or would they let the smelter close in 3 to 5 years. Different spokespeople seem to be saying different things. Do they think the smelter will close in say 10 years anyway, and is it worth stretching the closure from 5 years to 10 years?

      Now I know in Opposition you do not necessarily have to say what you do on all issues that come up, but on this issue Labour will be pressed for their alternative. It is simply too big an issue with too many jobs at stake.

    • infused 16.3

      Sounds like more of the same crap to be honest. You could replace those words if National had decided to throw money at it and it would read the same.

      Mumblefuck. Describes Labour, not just Shearer.

  17. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 17

    No, simple jealousy that me no good words enough to paint a picture of National charging ahead and jumping in all over the place and toying with its eyes closed as it walks away while Rio Tinto licks its lips on the way to the bank for a fire sale.

  18. RedBaronCV 18

    And with respect to the sale of Mighty River, are the brokers now whispering not the “likely to be fully priced ” message of last week but the “highly risky – too many unknown factors”

  19. ianmac 19

    An interesting John Campbell – John Key program.
    I am surprised at “no comment” here after Mr Key actually fronted for an interview with John Campbell tonight. Mr Key had a particularly wooden face tonight??? He avoided any questions about the possible effect of the smelter problem having an affect on the Asset sales. Totally lacking his bon hommie.sp?
    Not up on replay yet.

    • karol 19.1

      It’s here. Yes, I thought Key looked especially serious and ducked some significant questions.

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        It would seem he has worse information than is generally known at the moment.

        • Alanz 19.1.1.1

          Yup. My Southland contacts say there is worse news that the Government is sitting on.

          • Arfamo 19.1.1.1.1

            Oh well, yet another indication of the dangers of letting the private sector and markets dominate economies.

          • trickldrown 19.1.1.1.2

            Blinglishs majority will drop significantly.
            Given solid energies big talk on lignite has gone as badly

        • karol 19.1.1.2

          That’s what Key’s face seem to indicate, in spite of the steely eyes throughout. The final grimace by Key at the end of the video was a kind of “well, it’s pretty grim, and we can only give it our best shot, but… not looking good” kind of face.

          A couple of diversionary tacks in the middle of the interview by Key as well.

  20. infused 20

    I do love though, with all these topics, how now everyone is an aluminium smelter expert.

    30 seconds of reading Wikipedia and you’re off.

    • felix 20.1

      Ha yes. Reminds me of the football world cup when everyone suddenly became lifelong soccer fans and experts.

    • Foreign Waka 20.2

      But it gives for the most part factual info that is sometimes lacking – besides the enormous insight by lprent. How many people toy with aluminum day in and day out? Non the less, any economic argument can still be based on sound principles. It is also fact that these plans from Rio Tinto are not new and they need to be discussed as in conjunction with it the value of the asset sale shares are affected. How this will be perceived by the wider market (not NZ) is still in the open. One thing is for sure, NZ is not seen as being under particular clever economic stewardship at the moment. The way this plays out with all the news coming to air – it’s not a complimentary reflection.

      • lprent 20.2.1

        I don’t have great expertise working smelting aluminium. Few do except those working at the smelter because we get almost all of our aluminium from aussie in more workable forms than pure ingots.

        But I did have a close look at the smelter when the 3rd pot line was put in because the company I was working for was trying to get into the supply chain. The economics haven’t changed since then except the plant has gotten older (apart from the half-potline that was added ~15 years ago), and the competition closer to the market and the transport costs have increased.

        But most of the stuff is obvious to anyone with access to the net and some basic understanding of business.

        • Foreign Waka 20.2.1.1

          Well, I think you do. I have no idea about smelters but I know a thing or two about business. Hence my response. Enjoyed your detailed description though.

  21. Tiger Mountain 21

    CAFCA http://canterbury.cyberplace.org.nz/community/CAFCA/OIC.html
    has been caning the smelter issue for decades, their rather clunky site has heaps of info. Get real, it is another corporate do over of the citizens of NZ however ShonKey might squiggle around.

    The smelter nowadays is bizarrely almost like some left over import substitution enterprise like the car assembly industry.

  22. Lloyd 22

    If the main trunk line between Hamilton and Auckland was electrified and a decent inter-city train schedule was run between the two cities, the town of Huntly would become an attractive dormitory town for workers in both cities looking for a cheap house.

  23. xtasy 23

    Rio Tinto could well lead this government to lay down on its death bed. No matter what will come out if it, Key did on Campbell Live tonight rather reluctantly admit, the only hope for the smelter to keep going is to have the company owning it accept they cannot agree to a punitive early exit, and that they will thus simply keep it running a few more years (until 2016 or so).

    He also had to admit, the smelter will go, most likely, there is little chance of it to stay operational in NZ. It was once up to top standards, but despite of delivering good quality aluminium, it will not be able to compete with newer plants in Mainland China and so.

    Here we go again, NZ is part of the supposed “western” and “developed” world, but it is a country and society that has its days NUMBERED!

    It is the outsourcing, diversification by multinationals like Rio Tinto and others, and their global “free market” dealings, that play off workers in different countries and sell them out to the lowest bidder. This whole agenda to “open markets” may by some have been viewed as creating more of a level playing field and social justice, but instead of improving working and liv ing conditions in poorer countries, the operating businesses will of course settle for the lowest common denominator.

    There is only ONE solution to solve this, and that is to have workers of different countries join together and put an end to the sell-out of cheap labour and poor other (environmental) conditions. Yet can we see this? No, I regret, it is a world very divided. The average Kiwi is ill informed as a conveniently thinking modern consumerist “idiot” (like the ones in other countries), going with the flow, being told, there is no alternative, and that it will be in their best interest.

    Sell yet more milk powder, logs and raw fish, to pay for increasingly more expensive consumer and capital investment goods. The race to the bottom has just started, and Key and NatACT are experts in running this agenda, few will benefit, but most are too damned dumb, ill informed ore plain scared, to take any action.

    The destruction of NZ society and its remaining primitive post colonial economy continues. Pretend you are still 1st world, on borrowed money from Australian banks, financing ever increasing hosing costs.

    Brain or brain dead, you have the choice. Few make it!

    • Draco T Bastard 23.1

      The race to the bottom has just started,

      No, the race to the bottom started in the 1980s and we’re pretty much there now.

  24. Jenny 24

    The question Rob, is should the government throw good money after bad?

    That Tiwai will close there can be very little doubt.

    The government has agreed to look into subsidising the future of the plant, but only for a short term. (remember This, is to one of the richest companies in the world)

    What for?

    To delay the inevitable?

    The Prime Minister on Tiwai:

    Rio Tinto was locked into a three-year electricity contract, with a further two-and-a-half-year winding-down provision, and it would cost it a sizeable amount to break the contract, Mr Key said.

    “They could do things faster. That means people would lose their jobs quicker, but it will cost them an awful lot of money.”

    So the government is looking at supplying the costs accruing to Rio Tinto of closing the plant down?

    Are they crazy?

    Is not climate change the most important existential issue humanity has ever faced?

    Isn’t this a God sent opportunity to cut our emissions?

    (Though no mention of the danger of climate change in this post. Following the Green Party lead here Rob?)

    The closure of the Tiwai smelter is not a tragedy, but an opportunity. And should be treated as such by all serious thinkers.

    Climate change is a terrible danger hanging over all our heads. Tiwai is finished.

    We should not be arguing about subsidising Rio Tinto’s profits over the closure period.

    Instead we should be demanding that taxpayers money needs to be spent on building the infrastructure and the jobs needed to connect all that electricity to the grid. To retire our coal fired power generator, massively reducing our CO emissions. To become the world’s first fully renewable electricity supplier. And an example to the world.

    Surely Rob a far more sensible strategy than bailing out the rich owners of a failing plant, don’t you agree?

    The representative of these workers should also be demanding that the money on the table should go to his members instead of Rio Tinto. Either directly as redundancy payouts, or retraining in the generating and construction sector.

    Instead we get this:

    Government needed to give Southlanders an assurance it would continue to fight for the smelter’s future.

    Red – Ged O’Connell National Secretary of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union,

    With this sort of short term blinkered thinking, Red Ged’s members and their families will be left in the lurch. The country will be left without the infrastructure needed to meet our carbon reduction obligations. And Rio Tinto and Sumitomo will walk away with $millions in tax payers money to cover their losses as a nice little parting gift.

    The union movement as a whole needs to have a reappraisal of danger and the response needed to meet the challenge of climate change and societal collapse.

    Thousands of jobs at stake at Tiwai

    O’Connell should realise that the smelter has no future, and make provision for his members based on that.

    After all the workers know it:

    A Tiwai smelter worker, who did not want to be named, said most workers were unhappy and felt the situation was bleak.

    Many felt more was happening than was being told and they wanted to know the truth.

    Some workers were putting their houses on the market and were looking for new jobs, the source said.

    • Peter 24.1

      A progressive government would remploy those workers, most of whom have substantial engineering experience, on electrifying our transport.

    • Unionist 24.2

      Jenny, a trade union has to represent the democratically expressed interests of its members. The Tiwai workers have been very clear that they want to keep the smelter and keep their jobs. So has the whole community in Southland. Unions can’t operate as some debating society removed from the material conditions of the workers they represent. After all, what kind of union would call for its members to be laid off in a provincial area with few employment options? And who in their right mind would put any faith in this right-wing austerity government offering a retraining package and alternative employment for the 3000+ people whose jobs are at risk? Sometimes you have to defend actually existing jobs.

      • Colonial Weka 24.2.1

        “So has the whole community in Southland.”

        I think that should be “So has the general community in Southland.” (I assume that is true).

        I take your point about what a union is for and how it should work, but am curious about what this particular union or unions are doing re the impending closure (either now or later). everyone seems to think it’s just a matter of time, what how do the unions operate given that?

        • Unionist 24.2.1.1

          There’d be very few people in Southland who want the smelter to close. You could probably count them on one hand.

          Unions respond to their members, but they also play a leadership role. Unions will usually push for redundancy provisions wherever they have collective agreements so that the impact is softened. That works quite well in areas where there’s similar alternative employment and a buoyant economy.

          If you’re in a provincial town with skills that aren’t in demand anywhere else locally you’re pretty much stuffed – redundancy or not, your house is going to lose a lot of value and you’re going to have to move town to find work, and increasingly that means Australia. In these cases unions will push for retraining and a regional economic development package like the West Coast got with the end of native logging. That’s still far from a guarantee that the workers who lose their jobs will end up in similar paying skilled employment. Many will lose out terribly. Many more will simply take the hit, pack up their families and leave. And under this government I doubt a job creation scheme is even a likely option.

          Given Tiwai workers are highly skilled and well paid it’ll be hard to find similar work. And the impacts will affect workplaces beyond Tiwai too. The port will be stuffed, as will local engineering firms and others in the supply chain. You can imagine why the union and the community are choosing to campaign to save these actually existing jobs and have little time for those sitting comfortably in Wellington or Auckland who tell them they’ll just have to diversify and adapt. The consequences of a closure are unthinkable.

          • Draco T Bastard 24.2.1.1.1

            The consequences of a closure are unthinkable.

            Bollocks.

            Yes, there will be a time of change, probably stress and possibly even some pain but life goes on.

            • Foreign Waka 24.2.1.1.1.1

              bit harsh isn’t it? It is difficult to ask for visualizing the “bigger picture” when your livelihood is at risk. I would suggest to the Union to make a deal that worker get 80% of there wages til 2016 unless finding another job. This would be fair as the Government is willing to put a lot more money into the smelter. And Rio Tinto will be closing it, no doubt.

          • Jenny 24.2.1.1.2

            The consequences of a closure are unthinkable.

            Unionist

            Correction: The consequences of climate change are unthinkable.

            The union movement would know this if they had had a reappraisal of danger of climate change that we all face.

            Capitalism is a system of exploitation, of both the human world and the natural world. The drive to maximise profit in competition with other manufacturers means that the human resources and the natural resources are both exploited to their limits and often to beyond them. This is what is happening to the climate. It has been pushed past its limits.

            It is our grandchildren and generations yet unborn that will pay.

            Unionist look at the world around you, record breaking drought, the smallest Northern icecap for millions of years. Superstorms the destroy all before them. Deadly heatwaves like humans have not experienced in their time on this earth.

            If we don’t act our selfishness and cowardice will condemn our grandchildren to a world that is a living hell.
            This is not child abuse, it is worse than child abuse.

            Closing Tiwai will see a huge reduction in our green house gas emissions.

            Possibly allowing New Zealand, in a world first to become completely free of fossil fuels for our power generation.

            Tiwai must close.

            There can be no question about this.

            The changing climate demands it, if nothing else does.

            The only question is, will Tiwai be closed on the bosses terms, or the workers?

            Will the workers go cap in hand on behalf of their obscenely rich employer, to beg the government to give tax payers money to their employer to keep the plant open another ten years or so?

            When what we need instead is a militant union fight back?

            The union should be mounting the biggest redundancy campaign for these workers since the Mangere Bridge dispute.

            The union should be demanding that the $millions on offer to Rio Tinto from the government should be diverted to payout the workforce.

            If these workers and their union decide to fight, they should demand and get the full support of the whole union movement.

            Any redundancies, for any worker from Tiwai from now on, without full and adequate compensation and/or retraining with guaranteed jobs at the end of it. Should be met with a sit down strike and occupation of the worksite.

            No equipment or plant should be allowed to leave site or the country until the workers get full compensation. 18 and 8 js a fair and reasonable redundancy package, with all the millions the government is prepared to waste on Corporate Welfare.

            Nothing in, nothing out.

            The copper, in the plant as scrap metal alone is worth $millions.

            No piece of equipment or plant or product should be allowed to be moved off site, while the workers are on sit down strike and occupation. The sit down strike and occupation only to be lifted when the demands for fair compensation are met.

            If you are not advocating something like this. Then you are not a Unionist.

            • Unionist 24.2.1.1.2.1

              Jenny, you can’t get past the fact that you’re advocating a union campaign against its members’ clearly expressed wishes. It’s a deeply undemocratic approach that I thought we’d consigned to the 1970s. You can talk big all you like about sit down strikes and occupations, but you’re looking at a workforce who I understand have only started to re-organise in the last year or so after the union was driven out in the 1990s. It’s possible they’ll be willing to take radical action, but in my experience that’s unlikely in the current circumstances. You strike me as having a very naive and idealistic view of the union movement, both in terms of its capacity and its day-to-day reality.

              • Jenny

                You are right the capacity and day to day reality of the union movement has decreased markedly since the heigh day of the ’70s.

                Something you seem to celebrate.

                It’s a deeply undemocratic approach that I thought we’d consigned to the 1970s

                Unionist

                You attack the union movement of the ’70s.

                You have swallowed the propaganda of the bosses who hate powerful democratic trade unions and who at the time mounted a massive propaganda campaign against them.

                (pretty successful by the look of it, if someone who claims to be a unionist is now parroting it).

                And what would you know of the union members clearly expressed interests?

                Tiwai is finished. it is a dirty and polluting industry that is bad for the climate and the country.

                Something that even the workers realise:

                Tiwai smelter worker, who did not want to be named, said most workers were unhappy and felt the situation was bleak.

                Many felt more was happening than was being told and they wanted to know the truth.

                Some workers were putting their houses on the market and were looking for new jobs, the source said.

                But you yourself Unionist are not prepared to face this fact.

                Why is that?

                Is it because you have no will or stomach, to wage an active union campaign to defend these workers interests?

                Is it because you are not prepared to face up to the danger we all face from climate change and argue this case before union members?

                Listen to what this workers says.

                Many felt more was happening than was being told and they wanted to know the truth.

                Have any of the wider issues ever been openly discussed anywhere in the union movement?

                Have any of the members (even at Tiwai) been polled on their views of danger of climate change, about what role their plant plays in it, and what we should do about it?

                You give no clear reason why the workers would oppose a campaign for a decent redundancy settlement. A settlement that would let them leave Tiwai with some dignity. Rather than at Rio Tinto’s pleasure at some time in the future.

                No, you would rather kick the can down the road and advocate for government subsidies to keep this failing plant open for a little bit longer.

                What you don’t understand about the unions of the ’70s is that they had real leaders, ones who could argue their case and win workers into supporting it.

                You talk about democracy, but it is just that, talk. Without open discussion of all the issues you are abrogating leadership to just follow the uninformed herd.

                • KJT

                  You are forgetting that the Union movement in the 70’s could take industrial action.

                  Now, the movement is toothless.

                  Union leaders can be arrested for even suggesting industrial action, over anything but a recently expired contract with one firm.

                  In case you havn’t noticed the right to strike no longer exists in NZ, except in one narrowly defined circumstance.

                  • Jenny

                    Union leaders can be arrested for even suggesting industrial action, over anything but a recently expired contract with one firm.

                    KJT

                    Maybe they should start earning their pay then, by getting arrested.

                    Why not? When it came to principle, fear of getting arrested didn’t stop anti-apartheid protesters.

                    ……it was very fast, the crowd on the bank pulled away from us and a flood of people went through and onto the ground. We ran under the goal posts into the middle. I remember the priests struggling with a bloody big cross.

                    Police formed a cordon around this group, which had linked arms to form a solid block in the middle of the pitch. Police arrested about 50 of them over a period of an hour

                    http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/video/game-cancelled-in-hamilton

                    Fear of getting arrested didn’t stop MP Hone Harawira in Glen Innes opposing State House demolitions and removal.

                    Harawira told TV ONE’s Breakfast he had “no intention of getting involved” in the protest last night but was inspired by some of the young people trying to prevent the removal of a state house in Glen Innes.

                    “There were these three young women sat on top of the house in the middle of a cold night and I thought to myself ‘that’s bloody awesome’ – that they would do that to try and protect their community, and I thought the least I could do was just sit in my car and support them,” he said….

                    ….”It’s kind of embarrassing, it’s not a serious charge, I don’t even know if it’s a real charge, it’s called ‘failure to remove a vehicle from a road’ which I’ve never heard of before,” Harawira said.

                    Fear of getting arrested didn’t stop Bastion Point land protesters.

                    On 25 May 1978 the Government sent in a massive force of police and army to evict them. Two hundred and twenty two protesters were arrested for trespass on Bastion Point.

                    The eviction came on 25 May 1978 when some 600 policemen, army person­nel in a fleet of army vehicles, buses, bulldozers and overhead helicopters arrived at Bastion Point. The protestors were surrounded. In the glare of full media coverage 222 people (108 Maori, 104 European and 10 Polynesian) were spectacularly but passively arrested, escorted to vans and buses and charged with wilful trespass under section 3 of the Trespass Act 1968.

                    Twenty one of those convicted appealed to the High Court where their convictions were upheld. Some of those went further again to the Court of Appeal where their convictions were quashed. It was held any finding that the land was Crown land in the civil proceedings (the application for injunction), could not be relied upon to prove title in criminal proceedings, as it had been.

                    So it was, some were convicted and discharged, some were not charged at all and others had their convictions quashed. It may have seemed to the casual observer a confused end to a confused situation but for Ngāti Whātua of Orakei, for whom things could not have been worse, the period marked a new beginning on a pathway to a better future.

                    http://www.waitangidayfestival.co.nz/bastion-point/

                    Fear of getting arrested didn’t stop Elvis Teddy the captain of the San Pietro.

                    When a local Maori fisherman, Elvis Teddy, steered his own vessel, the San Pietro, across the Orient Explorer’s path, dropping buoys and long-lines, the National-led Government authorised the Police and New Zealand Defence Force naval units to move in and arrest him.

                    To the Government’s dismay, the charges against Mr Teddy were later dropped. The Court declined jurisdiction because the protest action took place outside New Zealand’s twelve nautical miles territorial limit.

                    Earlier this year, on 13 January, Petrobras announced it was pulling out of New Zealand.

                    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/the-paradox-of-free-market.html

                    And fear didn’t stop trade union leader Bill Anderson from spending a night in jail when the ferry workers went on strike.

                    The whole workforce of the city walked out of their jobs. 20,000 marched up Queen Street and government had to release Anderson. Which they did with some alacrity.

                    Anderson on spent one night in a cell and the government of Robert Muldoon learnt a very sharp lesson.

                    What is wrong with our modern trade Union leaders?

                    Have they gone too soft to risk a couple of nights in a cell for a principle?

                    Maybe they need to re-examine the partnership model that they have been following for the last two decades.

                    Then they might stop losing members faster than they can recruit them.

                    ….the Seamen’s Union was in dispute and held up the ferries from Auckland to Waiheke Island. The seamen had asked the drivers not to deliver oil to the boats and they duly obliged. This action led the late Justice Mahon to issue a court order for the ban to be lifted. The Drivers Union refused to lift the ban so Mahon had Bill arrested by court order and he got locked up in Mount Eden Prison. His arrest caused outrage and many unions around the country were mobilising for a national day of strike action.

                    In fact 20,000 workers marched up Queen Street in Auckland in protest at his arrest. The (Labour) Government eventually got involved and Tom Skinner (FOL President) was sent to see Bill in prison and it was in Mount Eden that the Seamen‘s claims were met. The settlement was presented to a stop work meeting by Tom Skinner and, once endorsed, a court hearing was held and Bill was let out.

                    http://www.converge.org.nz/watchdog/08/09.htm

  25. does everyone know that the queen/windsors are major shareholders in rio tinto..?

    ..(and that lizzie is part of a consortium that controls some 12% of the worlds’ natural resources/mines etc..

    ..she not only loots the british taxpayer..she also loots/fucks over the planet..)

    ..kinda puts a few things in a slightly different light..eh..?

    ..is this a milestone on the road to a republic..?

    ..phillip ure..

    • felix 25.1

      Hope Key’s translucent trust doesn’t own any shares in it, but how would we ever know?

  26. Plan B 26

    Has the whole
    “New Zealand has the most expensive electricity in the world (almost)” thing been covered yet?

    Rio Tinto , you could argue is looking to pay a world price for electricity but we regular folk in NZ are stuck paying a rentier – price- way above the cost of production- we are paying the marginal price plus profit plus distribution costs for the most expensive generation rather than paying the costs associated with the acual electricity we use- the rentier profits flow to the companies- when that monet used to go to the government I guess we could all kind of ignore the fact that we are paying way above the odds for our electricity and think of it as a tax. But now it is moving into private hands there is no way we should allow ourselves to be ripped off.

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    Key – it’s time to resign! .   .   John Key is no longer fit to lead this country. Sign the petition. Tell him it’s time to go! Sign Here . . = fs =Filed under: The Body Politic...
    Frankly Speaking | 16-09
  • Think of these things: whence you came; where you are going; and to whom yo...
    I gave the ODT my thoughts on "The Moment of Truth" event last night - the tl;dr of which is that there are some important questions about the issue of data collection and surveillance to be addressed, but that the...
    Pundit | 16-09
  • Political joke of the week…
    . NEWSFLASH: Dotcom email almost certainly a fake, says handwriting expert hired by the National party!   . . = fs =Filed under: On A Lighter Note, The Body Politic Tagged: Dear Leader lies through his teeth, GCSB, Hollywood, Kim...
    Frankly Speaking | 16-09
  • Political joke of the week…
    . NEWSFLASH: Dotcom email almost certainly a fake, says handwriting expert hired by the National party!   . . = fs =Filed under: On A Lighter Note, The Body Politic Tagged: Dear Leader lies through his teeth, GCSB, Hollywood, Kim...
    Frankly Speaking | 16-09
  • A Working Majority
    Constitutional Guardian: Only the person who can assure the Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae, that he or she commands a majority on the floor of the House of Representatives has the right to assume the office of Prime Minister. If John...
    Bowalley Road | 16-09
  • Stuart’s 100 #27 Civic Uses for a Civic Asset
    27: Civic Uses for a Civic Asset What if we found better uses for the old Beach Road Rail Station? Continuing the series on forgotten and under-utilised spaces in the city, some of them, like the former Beach Road Railway...
    Transport Blog | 16-09
  • A Matter of Simple Logic
    One of the few journalists to do his job properly over the course of the dirty politics scandal has been Guyon Espiner. He has, without in any way breaching his duty of impartiality, seen it as his responsibility on Morning...
    Bryan Gould | 16-09
  • Eminem Publishers Sue New Zealand National Party
    Ha! Those of us who thought, Gee, that sounds pretty close to Eminem … Will the real Slim Shady please stand up? - P h/t: Radio NZ’s Chris Bramwell...
    The Paepae | 16-09
  • I am so sick of this obvious lie, pt 2
    Another obvious lie too many National supporters believe is that Labour are bad for employment (because they raise the minimum wage too fast), and National have “solved unemployment” (because they’ve made it harder to maintain benefits): Now, it is true that Labour raise the minimum wage much...
    Cut your hair | 16-09
  • Advance voting again
    Another day, more incredible advance voting statistics: 287,735 of us have already voted. And with four days to go, I think we can safely assume that it will reach 650,000. Which on current enrolment figures, means almost 20% of the...
    No Right Turn | 16-09
  • Maritime Union backs change of Government to put workers first
    A change of Government is required to deliver secure jobs and decent wages for New Zealand workers....
    MUNZ | 16-09
  • A solid policy
    While National is teasing people with promises of tax cuts maybe sometime, the Greens have introduced another small but solid policy: a maternity box. Based on the Finnish maternity box (which reduced their infant mortality and is one of the...
    No Right Turn | 16-09
  • “Hello, David Cunliffe calling!”
    It’s a familiar campaign scene at Fraser House, Labour’s HQ. Around 30 volunteers are staffing the phone canvassing banks. There’s lots of familiar faces - Rama, Paul, Jessie, David, to name but a few. David, coffee cup in hand, has...
    Labour campaign | 16-09
  • Just because I can….
    "Listen, we have to stop doing these tobacco sponsored modelling jobs - we're starting to look like cadavers.""I tell you, my corset's so tight I can't breathe and I think my stomach just emptied into my lungs."Woman thinks: "Lord I'm...
    Te Whare Whero | 16-09
  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies: Today no. 4: New Zealanders have never been subje...
     Without a doubt - Key  Snowden: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Isn’t Telling the Truth About Mass Surveillance   Derek Cheng: Guest star leaves it all out there     ...
    Arch Rival | 16-09
  • Who’s Running The Show & In Whose Interests?
    A video of the CAFCA (Campaign Against Foreign Control – Aotearoa) pre-election tour presentation....
    Watchblog Aotearoa | 16-09
  • Getting out the vote!
      It’s a lovely sunny morning in Hamilton as we pull up with the big red bus at Wintec, the local polytechnic. Early polling booths had officially opened today at Wintec, and I was excited to see how long the...
    Labour campaign | 16-09
  • One of the more populist catch phrases of the Left in this election has been to ‘feed the kids’. With both the Greens and Internet Mana backing the policy, it seems to be a vote winner for politicians. But is...
    Gareth’s World | 16-09
  • The difference between Traffic Engineers and Planners
    We often deride traffic engineers for the road dominant nature of Auckland. Sometimes this can be a bit unfair as we know not all engineers are bad and the term is often be a bit of a catch all phrase for those involved in...
    Transport Blog | 16-09
  • With enemies like these…
    An analysis of Kim Dotcom's big event....
    Imperator Fish | 16-09
  • NZ Inc: Frightening the invisible horses of the market
    Today’s anonymous Herald editorial is scathing of Labour’s NZ Inc policy, which defies all logic and reason by assuming that there are better ways to build our economy than flogging off profitable assets, built by New Zealanders, to foreign investors....
    Boots Theory | 16-09
  • Speaker: In Tribute: Peter Gutteridge and the Hypnotic Groove
    Peter Gutteridge changed my life. In December 1988 I came to Dunedin on holiday for a week from my hometown of Gisborne. I was eager to see some of the fabled Dunedin bands live and I couldn’t have timed it...
    Public Address | 16-09
  • Wendyl Nissen leaves NewstalkZB
    Despite the Prime Minister attempting to downplay the serious issues raised by Dirty Politics, a month on from Nicky Hager's book release and we're still learning more about those who were adversely effected by the numerous Whale Oil smear campaigns...
    The Jackal | 15-09
  • The big picture: Who precisely is monitoring us, and is the GCSB in cahoots...
    The destruction of Dotcom’s credibility last night is a real shame, not because I have any great sympathy for the man (I don’t), but because the wrecking ball that just swung back and collected him will now distract for the very important questions...
    Occasionally erudite | 15-09
  • Thumbs up for the Green Party’s water policy
    At the weekend the Green Party  announced a policy about irrigation – they would charge farmers for the water they use. They’re going to be criticised for saying it, but my word, we all owe them a word of thanks...
    Gareth’s World | 15-09
  • The Chewbacca defence
    People may remember this old South Park classic. Faced with a case he cannot win, a lawyer attempts to distract the jury by introducing irrelevant material and claiming it's a defence. That's pretty much what John Key has done over...
    No Right Turn | 15-09
  • Hard News: Vision and dumbassery
    Part way through last night, the Moment of Truth event at the Auckland Town Hall felt history-making. Journalist Glenn Greenwald had presented documentary evidence -- not a lot, and it was more blasted Powerpoint slides, but easily enough to be...
    Public Address | 15-09
  • The small picture: Dotcom blows it
    For what seems like the longest time, Kim Dotcom has sworn black and blue that he has documentary evidence that categorically proves John Key a liar. John Key has repeated time and again that he had no knowledge of Dotcom...
    Occasionally erudite | 15-09
  • The Moment of Truth
    ...
    The Jackal | 15-09
  • Key left holding the SPEARGUN
    What was by far the most important revelation to come out of the Moment of Truth was Edward Snowden's information about SPEARGUN, which was a project completed in mid 2013 to tap the Southern Cross cable. There is no doubt...
    The Jackal | 15-09
  • Arrest the NSA
    Last night's "Moment of Truth" produced only one big revelation: according to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the NSA have two bases in New Zealand: one in Auckland and in the north. Lets be clear: if the NSA are intercepting communications...
    No Right Turn | 15-09
  • Allegations re mass surveillance by NZ’s GCSB
    Here are the articles published by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden about mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens by spy agencies that form part of the FIVE EYES intelligence alliance. These were released in the lead up to the anyway-you-look-at-it...
    The Paepae | 15-09
  • The smoking SPEARGUN
    To me the big reveal yesterday wasn’t in the ‘Moment of Truth’ event, it was in Glen Greenwald’s column on The Intercept, and it was this excerpt from an NSA planning document: So during the huge, bitter debate about the new...
    DimPost | 15-09
  • The smoking SPEARGUN
    To me the big reveal yesterday wasn’t in the ‘Moment of Truth’ event, it was in Glen Greenwald’s column on The Intercept, and it was this excerpt from an NSA planning document: So during the huge, bitter debate about the new...
    DimPost | 15-09
  • The cost of a bowl of Weet-Bix
    One of the most dishonest arguments the right ever put forward on the subject of poverty is around one of the simplest things in life: a bowl of Weet-Bix. Yesterday Nikki Kaye approvingly re-posted a letter to the editor which...
    Boots Theory | 15-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: The OIA Gambit
    . . - Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules’ What appears to be an orchestrated  Beehive plot to dig dirt for throwing at Labour leader, David Cunliffe, ahead of a crucial parliamentary debate is revealed in a paper trail linking Immigration Minister,...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s commitment to public broadcasting
    A Labour Government will set up a working group to re-establish a public service television station as part of our commitment to ensuring New Zealand has high quality free-to-air local content. “We will set up a working group to report...
    Labour | 31-08
  • A new deal for the conservation estate
    The health of our economy depends on New Zealand preserving and restoring our land, air, water and indigenous wildlife, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. Announcing Labours Conservation policy, she said that there will be a comprehensive plan to restore...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Bad luck National
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • The incredible changing John Key story on mass spying – why the Moment of...
    While the mainstream media continue to try and make the Moment of Truth about Kim’s last minute decision to prolong his battle against John Key past the election into the Privileges Committee, the reality is that the Moment of Truth...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Themes of the Campaign
    There’s one area of a political campaign that just about everyone, at some point, falls afoul of. The campaign song. I’m not sure quite why it is, but it seems to be almost impossible for political parties to come up...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Denis Tegg – The NSA slides that prove mass surveillance
    The evidence presented by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden on The Intercept of mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB is undeniable, and can stand on its own. But when you place this fresh evidence in the context of...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland
    The Ukrainian civil war discomforts me. It seems to me the most dangerous political crisis since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. And it’s because of our unwillingness to examine the issues in a holistic way. We innately prefer to...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man – the relationship intensifies
    John Key’s love affair with the straw man is now a fully-committed relationship. It’s now the first love of his life. Sorry Bronagh. Yesterday I pointed to Key’s constant assurances that there is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • A brief word on why Wendyl Nissen is a hero
    Wendyl Nissen is a hero. The sleazy black ops attack on her by Slater and Odgers on behalf of Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich is sick. All Nissen is doing in her column is point out the filth and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
    . . NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once. In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Eminem sues National Party for unlawful use of ‘Lose yourself’ bhahahah...
    …ahahahahahahahaha. Oh Christ this is hilarious… National Party sued over Eminem copyright infringment US rapper Eminem is suing the National Party for allegedly breaching copyright by using his song Lose Yourself in its campaign advertisements. The Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Are the Greens about to be snookered by a Labour-NZ First Government?
    I wrote last week that it was smart politics that the Greens pointed out they could work with National, the soft blue vote that’s looking for a home in the wake of Dirty Politics isn’t going to Labour, so the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Fonterra join 2Degrees and boycott Whaleoil
    In the wake of Dirty Politics, advertisers are pulling their advertising out of Whaleoil. PaknSave, Evo Cycles Pukekohe, Localist, 2 Degrees, Fertility Associates, iSentia, NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Maori TV, Bookme.co.nz, Dobetter.co.nz and the Sound are now joined by Fonterra...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • PM Key accused of allowing secret ‘spook’ cable sensors to spy on citiz...
    Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald (left) and Kim Dotcom at the “moment of truth” political surveillance meeting in Auckland last night. Image: PMW By ANNA MAJAVU of Pacific Media Watch NEW ZEALAND Prime Minister John Key has been accused of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Fiji pre-election ‘politics’ blackout stirs media protests, frustration
    BLACKOUT DAY – Monday, day one of the “silence window” in Fiji leading up to the close of polling in the general election at 6pm on Wednesday. And this is under the draconian threat of a $10,000 fine or five...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • “Now the work of movements begins”: government corruption, media bias, ...
    I am so tired of the dirty politics of the National government, aren’t you? I am tired of John Key and his pathetic attacks on award-winning journalists who have spent their careers fighting and digging for truth and good. The...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Moment of Truth review, smoking guns and the awful coverage by the NZ msm
      There were queues unlike any the Town Hall has seen, 1000 were turned away once it became full…     …full to the rafters. The energy and atmosphere within the room was extraordinary, and it begun…   …Glenn Greenwald...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Why Maori TV’s Te Tai Tokeraou Poll will be proved wrong
    If Hone Harawira had a dollar every time the media wrote off his chance of winning Te Tai Tokeraou, he would have more money than Kim Dotcom. Remember the by-election? Hone was 1 point ahead of Kelvin in an exact...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • September 15 RNZ interviews – and then the Moment of Truth
    . Acknowledgement: Emmerson . 15 September – Leading up to the Moment of Truth public meeting this evening, these Radio NZ interviews are worth listening to; . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Live Stream: Moment of Truth Tonight 7pm
    Live Video Stream by eCast: The Daily Blog will Live Stream the Moment of Trust public meeting from 7pm. The meeting will feature Glenn Greenwald, Kim Dotcom, Robert Amsterdam, and a very special guest…...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The proof Key lied about GCSB mass surveillance
    And we start getting to the evidence that proves Key has lied about mass surveillance. The article by Glenn Greenwald is out and it is beyond damning… Documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the government worked in...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • A brief word on the Ede-Slater emails
    Every day I have rushed to read the paper to see if a breaking story on the Ede-Slater emails had broken yet. They haven’t. Day after day, where are these emails? We know Rawshark sent the emails to David Fisher...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The email that proves Key is a liar
    This is the Email proving Key knew about Kim Dotcom before he claims he did… “We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He’s a fan and we’re getting what we came for. Your groundwork in New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Henchmen
    Henchmen...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why it simply isn’t credible that Key stepped in and shut down the mass s...
    Key’s staggering admission that yes there was a year long business model by the GCSB to mass spy on all of NZ but  that he stepped in and shut it down after Cabinet had signed it off just sounds like make...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man
    Politicians like putting up straw men for the purpose of self-righteously knocking them over. Prime Minister John Key has a particular straw man he loves to punch over. He raises it whenever he’s asked about mass surveillance of New Zealanders...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Armstrong turns on Glenn Greenwald
    Where does a mediocre journalist like John Armstrong get off attacking a journalist with the credibility of Glenn Greenwald as he has in his ridiculous column today? Armstrong has the audacity to try and play the terrorism card to justify why...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – Which of John Key’s many statements on the GC...
    We already have Glenn Greenwald’s assertion on The Nation that John Key has misled New Zealanders as to whether the GCSB has engaged in mass surveillance of Kiwis. But Key has made many other statements about the GCSB’s powers and...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Election 2014: Numbers and Faces
    Democratic politics is a game of numbers and faces. How can we translate the numbers into the 120 or more faces that will be in the next Parliament? Below is my prediction of a likely result: 120 people, divided by...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Scotland the brave
    The possibility that Scotland will vote for independence this Thursday has panicked the British establishment. An unholy alliance of Tory, Labour, Liberal and corporate leaders has resorted to fear-mongering and bullying on grand scale in a last ditch effort to...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why Key’s denials sound so off and why Dotcom’s fight is all our fight
    The shrillness of Key is the issue. His denials just too forced and rehearsed. Key has gone from Hollow Man to Shallow Man with his lashing out at Pulitzer Price winning Journalist Glenn Greenwald by calling him a ‘henchman’. This...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a S...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a Su...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • As TDB predicted, Labour to use universal super fund to buy back assets and...
    Greens about to be snookered again?   As The Daily Blog has pointed out several times now, Labour will use a universal super fund to buy back NZs assets in a bid to offer Winston a legacy project… Labour plans...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • A lesson in caring for our most vulnerable
    Some of the comments on this article make me sick. Because I am so very much over people who think they are better than others because things have gone their way in life and think those who aren’t as functional...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Please vote positive
    One of the features of campaigning is the meet-the-candidates event.  As an opportunity to present policies to the voter, they aren’t the best vehicle but still serve a useful purpose.  The problem is that there are too many candidates and...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • For this who don’t vote this election
    For this who don’t vote this election...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Where does Key get off abusing a Pulitzer prize winning Journalist like Gle...
    We are seeing the Dirty Politics PM today when Key decided the best way to counter the Glenn Greenwald claims of GCSB mass surveillance was to denigrate Greenwald… Prime Minister John Key says he will prove Glenn Greenwald’s claims by the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Teflon Man No More
    . .   On 26 August, as Nicky Hager’s expose on New Zealand’s right wing politics hit public consciousness and confirmed our worst fears, I wrote, “Dirty Politics” has achieved more than simply revealing  unwholesome machinations between National party apparatchiks,...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Dear mainstream media – regarding Key’s promise to resign if GCSB expos...
    Dear Mainstream media. How’s it all going? I would like to acknowledge the deep depression many members of the Press Gallery are going through as their boy Key looks less and less likely to win. I appreciate how a loss...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • It’s official: ACT’s Jamie Whyte is several-sandwiches-and-a-salad sho...
    .   . There aren’t very many times I agree wholeheartedly with our Dear Leader – but on this occassion I believe he spoke for those 99% of New Zealanders for whom common sense is as natural as breathing air....
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • ‘I’ll not be intimidated … by cowards’, says Fiji death threat jour...
    Fiji Sun’s Jyoti Pratibha … death threats via fake Facebook profiles. Image: Pacific Scoop THE PARIS-based media freedom advocacy organisation Reporters Sans Frontières and the Pacific Media Centre have condemned threats and intimidation against political reporters this week covering Fiji’s...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Glenn Greenwald on TV3s ‘The Nation’ – Everyone remember when Key pro...
    Glenn Greenwald has just given his first NZ interview on TV3s ‘The Nation’ and what he had to say was incredibly damaging. Glenn is here for Kim Dotcom’s Moment of Truth on Monday and what he has just had to...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • What will soft National vote do, why Colin Craig will be a focus in final w...
    In what has been the most unpredictable elections of our time, the final week promises more shocks and bombshells than World War One trench warfare. We have the media who still have the Rawshark emails that detail the Ede-Slater exchanges....
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Would a National-Conservative Party reduce rights to an abortion? Legalise ...
    With the possibility of a Conservative-National Party coalition looming, let’s consider the impact of this new hard right religious Government on social policy. We know Conservative Party candidate Edward Saafi, believes the inability to legally bash your kids is responsible for teenage prostitution, teenage pregnancy and...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • ACTs solution to crime – more guns?
    How insane are the ACT Party? Honestly? Their solution to crime is to arm every shop keeper with a sawn off shotgun??? “Criminals are well aware that shopkeepers are defenceless and are taking advantage of this in brutal robberies. What...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • John Key’s gift to teenage girls…
    Yesterday I was at the MANA Movement policy release on “Predators on Poverty” in the Otahuhu Shopping Centre. Successive Labour and National governments have left vulnerable communities on their own to face these merciless thieves who prey on the poor...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Poverty denial – Where does National get its advice from?
    National is displaying a quite inadequate understanding of their own policies and worrying inability to respond to criticism. When John Key trots out his old, tired example of how ‘work pays’ on Morning Report this week to justify leaving 260,000...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Education reformers mean well, so what’s the problem?
    The thing about education reformers is that, mostly, they mean well. Whether it’s charter schools, National Standards, Teach First, or another reform, many people involved have good intentions.  They want to improve things, try something new and innovate, they say. The thing...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • My brain hurts
    My brain hurts.  This election year has been a really long nine months.  The lies, the headlines, the spin, the policy, the chat, I am literally overloaded with information.  At times it’s been exhausting trying to keep up.  However I...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Slater loses Blomfield defamation case – has to pays costs & must dis...
    Great victory for Journalism today. The Defamation case Matt Blomfield took against Slater has jumped its first hurdle, Slater has been told he might be a ‘Journalist’, but he has no right to journalistic protection of his sources because there was no...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Seeing an Economic Vision
    It has been some time since my last post to TDB. I was fortunate to recently come back to NZ briefly for a bit of a break from my work in Pakistan. While my visit was super short, I took...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Parties sent home with report cards
    More than 2000 New Zealanders came together to run a full page ad in the Herald today asking all Parties what they will commit to do to clean up politics. The answers are in, and ActionStation has graded Parties on...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • One in 10 Kiwis want Winston Peters to Run the Country -Poll
    New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters has seen his personal popularity reach a three-year high in the final 3News/Reid Research poll ahead of Election Day....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Shut Down This Govt Not Kaiti WINZ
    "I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can" is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • New methods needed to reach non-voters
    Non-voters are much heavier users of the internet than those who do vote, while 43 per cent of non-voters say they never read a newspaper according to research released today by the Election Data Consortium....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Conservatives Break Through 5% Threshold
    Reports in today’s Dominion Post that the Conservative Party is polling at 6% in Nationals internal polling are not surprising says the Conservative Napier candidate Garth McVicar....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • IGIS: No Indiscriminate Interception of NZers’ Data Found
    “As part of my role as Inspector-General, I review whether the GCSB complies with the restrictions upon interception of New Zealanders’ communications and with the requirement to intercept communications only for authorised purposes. That review...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Conservatives Break through 5% Threshold
    Reports in today’s Dominion Post that the Conservative Party is polling at 6% in Nationals internal polling are not surprising says the Conservative Napier candidate Garth McVicar....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Hundreds of Students Turn Out for Political Debate
    With only a few days left before the general election, over 500 Victoria students packed the central Hub space on campus today to listen to a political debate on student issues organised by the Students’ Association. Victoria University of Wellington...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Ex-prisoners make most of mentoring to make most of life
    It’s not every day that an organisation triples a programme in size, but PARS Inc (formerly known as the Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation Society of the Auckland District Inc) has managed to do just that with their Community Mentoring Scheme,...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Unscrupulous worker highlights why 90-days works
    Federated Farmers believes the experience of a husband and wife farming team in Taranaki underscores why the 90-days provision is so important to small businesses. “Yesterday a member called 0800 FARMING to alert us to a guy doing the rounds...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eye to Eye Uploaded
    Leading Maori broadcaster and political commentator Willie Jackson previews Eye to Eye Uploaded, a multi-platform series of interviews that he’s aiming to put in front of media radars next year....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Party Rankings against Inequality
    Revealed: which party will do the most to reduce New Zealand’s growing inequality crisis...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Maritime Union backs change of Government
    The Maritime Union says a change of Government is required to deliver secure jobs and decent wages for New Zealand workers....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Green Party package for newborns welcomed
    16 September 2014 Media Release The New Zealand College of Midwives has welcomed a policy announced today by the Green Party which would provide a package of essential items for every newborn baby. The College is a non partisan organisation...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • ALCP Release Election Manifesto
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has released its manifesto in the lead up to the election on Saturday....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Election Daily Update #9
    John Key’s National Party appears to have received a major boost from last night’s “Moment of Truth” event, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Despite no major changes...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eminem Publishers Sue New Zealand National Party
    Detroit-based music publishing companies sue National Party for damages for unauthorised use of song in election campaign advertising...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws
    Overwhelming Majority of Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws. Press release- Fifty Fifty Campaign, 16 September 2014 National is the only political party willing to defend the way WINZ treats separated parents who share their kids...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parents Smacking Down Prime Minister
    "John Keys failure to deliver on his promise to change the anti-smacking law is costing National votes, and helping the Conservative Party," says Colin Craig....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Political Debate on Family Violence – Video & Audio
    The Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence was happy to host a political debate on Family Violence chaired by Professor Nicola Atwool of the University of Otago. Family Violence is a huge problem in our community and we invited representatives...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Greens Take Nanny State To A New Level
    Family First NZ is labelling the Green’s ‘welcome package’ for newborns policy as wasteful and misdirected. “This policy is taking ‘nanny state’ to a new level but indicates just how much the Greens want to intervene in family life,”...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • 2,100 people send message about dirty politics
    2,100 people have signed their name to a full-page open letter featuring in the New Zealand Herald this Wednesday. The letter is designed to send a message to politicians that dirty politics is an important election issue....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Are DoC manipulating Rat Numbers?
    Ban 1080 Political Party co-leader Bill Wallace says there are serious rumours DoC has changed their rat counting technique to cover up the lack of the mythical “Rat Plague” claimed by the Department in Kahurangi National Park, and also that...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Average Full time Student Is in Financial Distress
    A new survey has found that nearly half of all full time students are in significant financial distress....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Key and Cunliffe, research revealed by Ancestry.com.au
    Contrasting family histories of John Key and David Cunliffe, revealed by research from Ancestry.com.au....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Revelations a Damning Indictment of Key’s Honesty
    The Prime Minister’s honesty is now central to the election, says Internet Party Leader Laila Harré, following the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden that there is mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens by the GCSB....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Organisations Have ‘Duty of Care’ for Players says Law Firm
    Concussion injuries in amateur and professional sporting arenas are currently highly topical. Concussion potentially appears to have been implicit in the recent death of a young player in Northland....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Media Release from Closing the Gap on Health and Housing
    “Inequality is the biggest problem facing New Zealand at the present time” says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Closing the Gap. It underlies many of our social ills, poverty, lack of trust, an economy that could do much better, and...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Expanding Whānau Ora – a bottom line for Māori Party
    Leaving the best to last, the Māori Party has launched its Whānau Ora policy today following a fun family event at Te Ore Ore Marae in Masterton last night. “When we change what happens in our homes, we change what...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Colin Craig’s Incredible Claims Continue
    Hot on the heels of a Conservative Party candidate proposing to double the price of a bottle of wine, Colin Craig has come up with an even more fantastic idea to buttress his uncosted tax policy....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • The Letter: Jamie Whyte is going to Parliament
    Friday night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts Jamie Whyte in Parliament. TVNZ rounded down the poll result (ACT was on 1.2%). With the high wasted Conservative vote, just 1.2% makes Jamie an MP. It is ACT, not NZ First that...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Why are we letting Dotcom steal our election?
    Why are we letting a convicted German fraudster and his American polemicists steal our election?...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan
    ACT has a five point plan to grow the economy by a third. To lift economic growth from the Treasury's long term forecast of just two percent to three....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Christchurch rebuild cost sharing plan must be improved
    “The agreement between the government and the Christchurch City Council about sharing costs of the rebuild is due to be revised in December, as some costs are more accurately known now than they were originally,“ says Warren Voight, Local...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ‘Key vs. Cunliffe’ Final Live NZ Election Reactor
    ohn Key and David Cunliffe go head to head for the final time on TV One on Wednesday as Election Day looms. Roy Morgan wants to know what you think about their performance as the leaders try one last time...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Chamber welcomes Business Growth Agenda priorities
    Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce welcomes the National Government’s 10 highest priorities for its Business Growth Agenda as essential to continuing strong business performance and economic growth....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • #SafeSource NZ – A secure way to share the truth
    Dirty politics and a dirty environment go hand in hand. Our country’s future as a fairer, cleaner, more prosperous place is being threatened by backroom deals, corporate cronyism and a lack of transparency....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Last vid to encourage youth vote
    Here's the third and final in our series to boost the youth vote. It's called CINDER and it's a play on the popular dating app....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fee hikes restrict student choices
    A survey of 5000 students from across the tertiary sector shows that tuition fees have increased at the maximum level permitted. Fees are constraining students’ choices more than ever before. Although tuition fees are only permitted to increase...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan to grow the economy
    ACT has a five point plan to double the rate of economic growth. The Treasury long term forecast for growth is 2% a year. We can lift it to 4%....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • iPredict Daily Election Update
    National’s forecast party vote has risen to 45.3% over the last day, at the expense of Labour and the Greens, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. A National/Act/UnitedFuture/Maori...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • National’s economic strategy attack workers’ rights
    The National Party’s ‘Workplaces’ policy confirms that their economic growth strategy relies on attacks on workers rights, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Questions Raised Over Cow Deaths
    The death of 200 cows after eating a new variety of PGG Wrightsons HT swedes [1] is a disaster for New Zealand farmers....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Final decision on Ruakura Development Plan Change
    The independent Board of Inquiry considering the Ruakura Development Plan Change has released its final report and decision. The Board has approved the plan change request but with amendments....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Confirmed – Smacking Law Needs Correction
    Family First NZ says that the ONE News Vote Compass survey showing only 23% support the anti-smacking law is no surprise, and confirms that it’s time the politicians listened to New Zealand families....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Kiwi voters urged to heed warnings
    Kiwi voters would do well to note the advice given this week to Queensland people by retired judge and renowned corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman David Tranter....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fisheries policy analysis produces surprising results
    Nine political party policies were analysed to determine which party had the most public friendly fisheries policy and the results surprised LegaSea, an apolitical fisheries lobby group. “For the first time, recreational fishers have been offered...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • $3m to help keep Hutt families healthy
    National Party candidate for Hutt South, Chris Bishop, welcomes news Hutt City Council has been selected to lead a $3 million anti-obesity initiative in Lower Hutt which will help families improve their health. “Healthy Families NZ is National’s new...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Community organisations struggling
    The survey, conducted by community sector network ComVoices, highlights the high level of frustration and urgency being felt by those who deliver services, says group Chairperson, Peter Glensor. 311 organisations completed the survey....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
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