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Road spike

Written By: - Date published: 5:02 pm, July 3rd, 2008 - 116 comments
Categories: activism - Tags:

The truck companies are going to blockade our motorways tomorrow morning to protest being forced to pay a levy to cover the damage their trucks do to the roads. They expect us to pick up the tab instead.

Well, hey, we all like a free-ride, don’t we?

So, click on the image below and print off your own “I want a free ride too” poster that you can wave to the trucks from the side of the road or while you’re stuck in the traffic-jams they cause. Ask the drivers if you can get aboard – fair’s fair, they’re asking for a free-ride from you, the taxpayer. 

The Herald is keen to get your pics here . Get on TV with a poster and win a Standardista bus pass.

116 comments on “Road spike”

  1. higherstandard 1

    SP

    Might be just me ….. but I would have thought many truckies would be heartland Labour supporters over many elections.

    Perhaps rather than a vast right wing conspiracy they are justifiably pissed off and to accuse them wanting a free ride is unfair – after all they do I believe currently pay their taxes, levies etc etc.

    This could probably all have been avoided if the Minister had given them notice.

  2. burt 2

    I heard the reason that advance warning wasmn’t published for the RUC increase was because last time RUC was increased people went and purchased lots of RUC between the warning and the increase.

    Makes a mockery of the govt saying petrol price increases should be signaled a day in advance to give people time to fill their tanks eh…

    Do as we say, not as we do… what an arrogant govt we have.

  3. Blar 3

    I’ll have to make a similar one next time cleaners gone on strike.

    Let me in!

    I want free money too!

  4. Spanishbride 4

    A free ride?

    get real. They are not union members or paid employees expecting their employer to give them free super or a pay increase.

    They are small businessmen who take the risk and pay their own way.

    They have taken a huge hit with the fuel increases.
    Their margins are very tight as it is and govt must take these things into consideration unless they actually are deliberately trying to destroy these peoples business.

    I suspect that they are actually doing all they can to undermine those who are now their competition now that Cullen has wasted our tax payers money buying a silly train set.Govt has no place in private enterprise especially when run by academics who have no business experience whatsover.

    The plan is to make it financially not viable to send freight by truck so that the lemon that is rail can pick up the business and lose a little less each month.

    Why on earth should the truckies roll over and let this govt destroy their business?

    I realise you all have the union mentality but this is patently a PROTEST not a STRIKE duh!

  5. ants 5

    All this is going to do is be inflationary to all items that are trucked – i.e. every single item we buy. This won’t hurt truckies, it will hurt ALL kiwis.

    Congrats to the Labour government for yet again driving up that inflation rate. And all this for a cynical tax to fund LameRail Inc.

  6. outofbed 6

    Why on earth should the truckies roll over and let this govt destroy their business?
    If you take that line of thought one should blame those who have increased truckdrivers costs the most ie : fuel costs
    And if I were to take the gigantic leap of logic that you allow yourself, I would say increased fuel costs are caused by speculators
    You don’t know any could harangue do you ?

  7. Oliver 7

    Steve Pierson,

    If you’d paid any attention to the debate surrounding this issue you’d have noticed that they key issue is that Annette King promised that she’d give one months notice before introducing an increases to the Road User Charge and then broke that promise by introducing the increase with one days notice.

    The second issue at the same time is that the Road Users Lobby believes that vast amounts could be saved by using a diferent collection method but the govt refuses to even consider changing the method.

  8. Scribe 8

    SP,

    Ask the drivers if you can get abroad

    I’m not one to pick up on typos, poor grammar/punctuation etc, but given all the discussion around emigration/immigration, I found this slip a tad amusing

  9. Draco TB 9

    A free ride?

    Why should other road users continue subsidising the truckies?

  10. Can’t wait myself, as I will be supporting the action. I have fueled up the Batmobile and I will drop rubber outside Barnett’s electorate office .

    Edit – I mean Burns’s electorate office as Tim and Ramon are going to live in England.

  11. Jarvis Pink 11

    Are the truckies going to offer us Hard Working Kiwis compensation for the time and money they cost us tomorrow by stopping us going about our business? I think at least one free ride is only fair.

  12. Hi Mr Pink, do you stink?

  13. coge 13

    It’s very clear that most of the NZ public are behind the truckers 100%. Frankly it’s heartening to see the spirit of solidarity & people power among non-unionised workers. I’d imagine it would be necessary for Wellington’s public servants to rise quite early tomorrow morning, or risk a tardy arrival at work.

  14. higherstandard 14

    Indeed coge

    God forbid that the public service in Wellington couldn’t make it into work tomorrow the country would fall apart.

  15. T-rex 15

    King should have given the notice she’d promised, but that’s clearly not the motivation for the protest considering it’s been planned for weeks.

    Truckers are obviously facing rising costs through fuel.

    So what? They should be subsidised by not facing the other very real costs?

    They should charge more for the service they’re providing to cover their increased costs. If this means that rail becomes more cost effective… umm… what exactly is wrong with that? Why should either public or private enterprise be forced to choose a less cost effective option?

  16. T-rex 16

    Dear christ, do you people just knock back stupid pills by the bottle?

    You’re complaining that Labour is REFUSING to subsidise a special interest group?

    You’re pathetic. You couldn’t give a damn about their cause, you support them purely because they’re protesting Labour. Give yourselves a big group pat on the back.

    I don’t direct this at EVERYONE above, but you know who you are.

    Oliver – I agree with both your points in principle. King should have known an ambush would cause a reaction like this, and if a more efficient system exists and would be both 1) cost effective to switch to and 2) not be outmoded in the short term by a long term solution (as will be required when EV’s become commonplace) then it should be considered.

    Personally I think we should remove fuel excise completely and have /km RUC proportional to vehicle weight for all vehicles.

  17. T-rex 17

    I like the poster by the way Steve. Might at least make people think a moment before the jump onside against the mean old govt.

    Some people anyway.

  18. coge 18

    Overall the truckies are unhappy are the same reasons that they protested in Europe. No one can say this situation happened overnight. They and their businesses have been pushed too far. Every NZer benefits from their services. Any increase in their overheads effects us all. The general public supports this action, & I’m very pleased that they have the guts to carry it out.

  19. T-rex 19

    Coge. It’s like you get halfway and then just stop.

    The increase is to pay for roads.

    You correctly state that any increase in their overheads affects us all.

    The roads aren’t going to pay for themselves though.

    So either
    1) They pay directly, and pass the cost onto us,
    Or
    2) The “general public” you refer to pay for the roads and let the trucks use them for free.

    Either way the cost to the general public is the same, it’s just the 1st solution allows a transition to a more cost effective alternative, while the second doesn’t.

    I think what you’re really pissed off about is that these FAIR CHARGES show just how good rail transport is, and you’re dreading the day (which will come well soon) when you’re going to have to admit that the rail buyback was a brilliant strategic decision by any fair and reasonable standard.

    God I just hope that the smart people in this country outnumber the stupid smallminded tunnelthinkers come october.

  20. T-Rex – are you using ‘Sod’s “pig-f**ker” logic here with the story about this having been planned for weeks? You know, keep repeating the lie, and it eventually gains traction.

  21. Swampy 21

    The trucking companies’ demands are simple:

    For the government to remember we live in a democratic country and that dictatorial behaviour is unacceptable. Therefore to honour their promise and give a reasonable amount of notice of the intended price rise.

    The second part of it would be a protest against being made to pay for the rail network. The only time a trucking firm should be paying for rail is if they choose to transport goods by that means.

    I see a lot of comments about subsidies. There is not any political commitment from Labour to any system where there is not some sort of subsidy whether it is direct from government or cross subsidy from other users. There has been no policy announcement that I am aware of any initiatives.

    The only time that a government has proposed such a thing is National in the late 1990s. It was opposed tooth and nail by local councils the same as it was shut down by Labour on election to office in 1999, because none of these institutions wants to hand over the political control that they exercise by running their particular roading networks.

  22. Swampy 22

    I’d like for the people saying “Truckers get a free ride” to justify their comments.

    The fact is that even when rail had a monopoly in freight, exemptions had to be granted because there were so many instances where road transport could, and did, provide a better service even though the rail network was a government department that routinely lost large sums of money.

    This was how many of NZ’s once much greater network of branch lines was largely shut down in the second half of the 20th century. An accepted fact under State monopoly control.

    The government just pushing the line that private business is evil as they did when Cullen said that one of the big things of this deal was to avoid paying subsidies to a private Australian company, doesn’t wash here. The government gets most of its income from the private sector by way of taxation and levies. As history shows, communism doesn’t work.

  23. What’s hard to understand, Swampy? Truckers are protesting because they think it’s unfair to be charged for maintenance of the roads they use. Not only is that a crap reason to protest at first glance, it’s even crapper at a second glance, when you consider they’ll just pass the road user charges onto us anyway.

    If anybody’s going to justify anything here, you might want to think of a justification for your bizarre claim that road user charges are being directed to maintenance of rail infrastructure.

  24. fitzyp 24

    If I see any trucks loitering in Newmarket tomorrow I’ll be sure to whip it out.
    cheers

  25. I can justify my comments.

    “There is an exponential relationship between axle load and pavement damage (i.e., as axle weight increases, pavement damage increases exponentially)”. Large vehicles with small numbers of axles do huge damage. A 40 tonne truck causes 1000 times the road wear of a 2 tonne large car.

    Yet they’re complaining about a 10% rise in the RUC, the first in 19 years.

    Whingers the lot of them.

  26. mike 26

    Heck SP I thought this direct action by the battlers trying to make a living thing was hard core leftwing.

    Obviously not when its another nail in Labours coffin eh? How shallow.

  27. scroll 27

    Go the Truckers! Yeeeeahhh! Woohoo.
    But seriously, do you think these owner-operators are going to survive much longer financially? No they will not even if they do pass on their costs. Even Tranzlink have owner drivers. I guess the government better start buying up trucking companies before we run out of operators. Either that our start layingtracks everywhere.

  28. T-rex 28

    inventory – as far as I’m aware it’s fact, but it’s not my line. Steve linked to an mp3 earlier of who’shisface saying as much. You can go looking, I can’t be bothered.

  29. burt 29

    T-rex

    You said a while back: Man, this is like David vs Goliath.

    Which was very funny, I laughed at myself quite heartily when I read that.

  30. At this rate, next poll Labour will be lucky to hit double digits.

  31. jbc 31

    scroll: LOL :)

  32. andy 32

    So let me get this straight, swampy and scroll are happy to pay twice for the wear and tear on roads for products they get delivered to them. Once via the direct costs of overheads for example a supermarket, then once again through GST or general taxation which will have to be diverted to roading because RUC and petrol tax will fall short.

    I thought that it was Nat policy in the past, petrol tax for roading only. Labour took that on board but know you effectively want to reverse it?

    But in the mean time truckies will raise prices and pass on costs anyway, fuel surcharge anyone?

    Damm this free market economics is hard to get the head around. Can someone clarify why user pays is bad in this instance?

    /snark

  33. T-rex 33

    Andy – I’m pretty sure user pays is actually quite good in this instance.

    I can’t see any merit to long haul trucking.

    The free market will work well here, because it is a very transparent system with good information. Market forces typically make bad decisions when it’s difficult to accurately assign or forecast costs. The full costs are easy to estimate and impose.

    If trucks are cheaper, including all costs, people will use trucks.

    If rail is cheaper, people will use rail, and trucks will be used for point-to-depot services.

    The latter point to depot short-haul role, interestingly, is within the capacity of high-power electric trucks to fulfill.

    Pleased it made you laugh Burt – D4J didn’t like it much from memory, accused me of being a religious zealot…

  34. burt 34

    mike

    Heck SP I thought this direct action by the battlers trying to make a living thing was hard core leftwing.

    No mike, Labour’s new supporters pay little or no tax, and that is why Labour need to increase the burden on the ‘not so special friends of Labour’ – the tax payers. We don’t know how much the govt are paying for KiwiRail, the Govt seems to have no idea either, so it’s easy to see why the hand of taxation has just clawed back the business tax cut from the companies that don’t need to be internationally competitive.

    This reminds me of the Goose that laid the golden egg. Those who want too much lose everything.

  35. burt 35

    T-Rex

    You never know who’s behind the D4J handle. Sometimes it says some profound things, other times it’s just asking for a bite – don’t.

  36. andy 36

    T-Rex

    Sorry was bad attempt at sarcasm.

    Sort of on topic, can anyone who supports truckies tell me what the base material for asphalt (black stuff roads are made of) is and by how much that has increased in the last year?

  37. burt 37

    andy

    I’ll ask a parallel question to that. Because I’ve been involved in the running of a trucking company, all be it a small one with only 5 trucks and a few trailers, a few years ago now.

    Can anyone who supports the way it was introduced tell me how a trucking company typically buys its RUC? What sort of distances are purchased and how often that occurs? How many licenses/hubbo’s might be in use and the implications of not having time to check soon to expire or recently expired licenses?

  38. andy 38

    Here is the transit NZ Auckland Motorway cameras.

    Will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow regardless.

    http://traffic.transit.govt.nz/Traffic.do?view=cctv

    Click on the picture S1CJM and you get a pop up window of the Nth western and southern at spaghetti junction, this is my pick for a choke point.

  39. Cousin Bruce has given me a cattle truck and trailer unit to join the convoy. I am so excited.

  40. andy 40

    burt

    It was introduced terribly, no argument. As I said up thread King wants to change mechanism.

    Don’t know don’t own a trucking firm. Its a compliance cost, it may suck but we all have to check our warrants and rego’s and take time out to sort them out. I am sure a small company would be able to to have some process in place to try to mitigate problems, well a smart operator should like all businesses.

    BTW its a shit system, its all we got at present.

    I noticed that King said (on Campbell live) there was about $40 million in outstanding RUC’s at present, sounded a bit throw away to me but still if that is true that is a massive cost to the honest truckies and other road users.

    Gotta go, got early start to beat the madness. Have been warned, so mustn’t grumble.

    night.

  41. vto 41

    ha ha d4j, make sure its full of cattle that can escape!

    I like the spikes idea, not that you would ever get away with it (unless you’re sneaky)

  42. Luke C 42

    would all the truckies and the righties on this blog prefer it if we had Maurice Williamsons privatised roads as he wanted to do in the last National govt. The RUC’s couldnt be called a tax anymore, they would be required to cover costs and a commercial return would have to made on any dollar spent. I’m sure roads would be cheaper then? Yeah right.

  43. vto 43

    maurice williamson is a dick who when we lived in wellington had time only for my friend’s girl and mine. And he failed. big small time. is he as much of a dick as i got a glimpse of?

  44. sophie 44

    No comment on the truckies but the captcha was “socialist worship” – couldn’t let that one go by!

  45. outofbed 45

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7486764.stm
    Oil up to $146 per barrel Bloody labour government

  46. burt 46

    andy

    BTW its a shit system, its all we got at present.

    If you don’t know much about it, as you admitted above when you said;

    “Don’t know don’t own a trucking firm. Its a compliance cost, it may suck but we all have to check our warrants and rego’s and take time out to sort them out.”

    Then you might want to read this;

    Road user charges: 1-6 tonne vehicles and that’s just the details for the small trucks. Boring I know, but will inform that opinion of it being something like warrants and rego’s.

    The system is sound, it’s costs are it’s costs but if it’s being used as a revenue stream to build new roads rather than a maintenance fund then that’s wrong, but also another issue.

    If you think the system sucks then how would you suggest electric powered vehicles are taxed to use the roads? Perhaps I could guess, private cars wouldn’t be so it’s not your problem.

  47. j 47

    “ha ha d4j, make sure its full of cattle that can escape!”

    How about loading it up with bees rubber ducky. Convoy!

  48. Ari 48

    Swampy: Truckers are vastly subsidised compared to road users for the amount of road damage/degradation they cause per vehicle without even factoring in the fact that trucks are likely to travel more than most other vehicles, increase congestion (and thus pollution and time inefficiency) more than other traffic, and are a larger safety hazard even when under the control of an expert driver simply due to their size. That you pay a little for the maintenance of the railway tracks in order to make up for cost-free externalities like cleaner public transport through electrified railways is not too unfair given the circumstances, I think, especially as passenger services by rail usually run at a loss in New Zealand in order to make keeping the environment healthy, allowing travellers more reading time, and reducing road congestion a viable reality.

    What exactly stops you from passing this cost on to the consumer anyway? I support the right to protest, but frankly I don’t see how it will kill the business if the charges go up, especially as this keeps larger companies from buying up large amounts of road user charges in advance and out-competing independent truckers or ones that don’t get in bed with a speculator.

  49. Ari 49

    I should perhaps also mention that I appreciate the irony of my previous comment given that my blog is named Still Truckin’ :P

  50. Kiwi in permanent exile 50

    Labour just doesn’t get it. It looks like it wants to be the Limbo party. How low can it go?

    It’s fun watching Labour self destruct. How many more people can they annoy for no gain before election day?

  51. El_Pinko 51

    God you right-wingers are morons: You claim to know economics but you show a serious lack of aptitude when it comes to anything other than…

    “Tax cuts give me more money?!”

    This process is called internalising an external cost i.e making truckies pay more for costs that the public currently bear.

    “A 2005 Transport Ministry report showed trucks only paid 56 percent of the costs they caused to the economy whereas rail freight paid 82 percent.”

    “Road user charges had only been raised once since 1989″

    “Last time there was a rise truckies purchased an extra $17 million in charge vouchers in the two-day period before the rise took effect, defeating the purpose”

    All pretty straight forward to me!

    Perhaps with further taxation we may be gently coerced to more sustainable methods of transport and won’t suffer so much from the next oil shock…just one of the thoughts I used to have whilst driving a B-Train from Christchurch to Nelson in my uni holidays.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/greens-say-truckies-should-not-hold-country-ransom-32752#Scene_1

  52. Kevyn 52

    El Pinko, You’re not very well informed.

    The STCC found that if roads had to pay a return on capital like railways did at the time and if you excluded GST then trucks only covered 56% of their costs. If you exclude the return on capital because the railways aren’t being run for a profit anymore and include GST because truckies actually pay it then trucks actually pay 130% of the costs they impose on the economy.

    RUCs weren’t raised during the 90s because road maintenance costs didn’t increase during the 90s. The OECD’s DIVINE study explains why costs hadn’t increased. Did you B-train have road friendly suspension?

    Truckies pay an average $1.5m per day for RUC distance licenses. Purchasing two weeks worth in two days would hardly have defeated the point of the increase.

  53. Carol 53

    I I don’t support the truckkie protest. Like others have said above, they’re looking for others to subsidise their use of roads. I support their right to protest, but am not impressed by their use of macho bullying tactics for this protest – using their size compared with other road users to push their point. This is too similar to the behaviour I see by quite a lot of truckies. These are the ones who disregard pedestrian rights by continually running red lights and driving across crossings where pedestrians have the right of way: dangerous, scary for pedestrians and disregards the rights of others.

    And how clever is it to use these bullying protest tactics to drive road users onto public transport? This is already a much better option for those of us who regularly travel to work by train: cheaper and less stress.

    And ultimately, given the current conditions regarding fuel and pressures internationally, more people and goods are going to travel by rail in the future. No amount of truckie protests will change that.

  54. andy 54

    Perhaps I could guess, private cars wouldn’t be so it’s not your problem.

    nope, they should pay a similar RUC to the equivalent weight Diesel vehicle.

    IMO Diesel vehicles should have tax on diesel at the pump like petrol. Off road and marine diesel should stay the same.

    just like a V8 driver pays way more tax than a 1.2l vehicle.

    Had to laugh, this morning ARC indicates it will raise petrol tax in Auckland by 1c a litre, sneaked that under the news radar.

    Was that pushed through under the same legislation as the RUC rise?

    captcha: cabinet engine

  55. lprent 55

    Damn my homepage is down. As a good aucklander that is
    http://traffic.transit.govt.nz/
    I usually have a look at the traffic before deciding when to leave for work. Looks like the site has a bit of traffic this morning.

  56. vto 56

    A truckie in the paper this morning reckoned he paid an average 52c per kilometre in RUC. Seems like quite a lot to pass over one kilometre of road. Exactly like a toll road – in fact probably more!

  57. [lprent: bye bye Andrew. I consider that to be a troll. Take a week. You could argue if you like but it wouldn't be wise]

  58. bill brown 58

    God I just hope that the smart people in this country outnumber the stupid smallminded tunnelthinkers come october.

    Unfortunately, looking at this morning’s performance, I think your prayers will go unnoticed.
    It never fails to surprise me the lack of thought that the general population gives to their own circumstances.

  59. andy 59

    Looks like the ‘Protest’ is a ‘success’.

    Gridlock achieved, what next?

    BB

    I would love to know the cost to rate/tax payers extra police etc. Also in NZ herald St Johns and Fire Dept had to forward stage appliances to make sure they were not stuck.

    No courier fees paid from my work today, poor buggers.

  60. T-rex 60

    Bill – Tell me about it. I can’t remember the name of the idiot on ‘Breakfast’ today, but he had the following to say (paraphrased):

    “This is ridiculous, what was normally a 7 minute taxi ride took me 45 minutes! On the other hand I do support the truckers, direct action does get results and petrol prices are far too high, real people are hurting, it’s time the government listened and did something about it”.

    Well congratulations on TOTALLY failing to grasp the issue there mate.

    Most people I know would rather b*tch about the status quo than put some effort into understanding it. Usually if you pin them down you can spell it out and they usually end up quite happy, but GOD it takes some effort! It’d be SO much easier if people used their brains without having to be compelled to.

    Paul Henry is the enemy of free thought.

  61. higherstandard 61

    T-Rex

    Why would anyone take a seven minute taxi ride at rush hour ?

    Walk or get on a bike you twat !

  62. andy 62

    Why would anyone take a seven minute taxi ride at rush hour ?

    I think it was OPM (other peoples money), possibly yours and mine if it was TVNZ!

    Oh the Irony of Paul Henry railing against Govt waste while getting perks on the tax payer.

  63. Pascal's bookie 63

    T-rex and Bill.

    My dear old dad used to tell me , quoting his father,

    “I’d love to argue with you son, but I’ll have to educate you first”

  64. Phil 64

    It’s 9.31am, and from my office window, I’ve got a ringside seat to the carnage – pun intended – on Wellingtons Urban Motorway. I’m seeing waves and toots of support, but no angry fist’s as cars crawl by trucks. Oh, and on the way to work, one solitary “free ride” poster placed, ironically, on the side of a rubbish bin outside the train station.

    So, why are guys/gals like Steve, Tane, ‘rex, Draco, et al on the wrong side of the public on this?

    It sure isn’t internalised costs or environmental concern. Most people, truckies included, are fine with that, I suspect. It’s simply that the move was made unannounced, at a time when the industry is quite clearly hurting. No more, no less.

  65. jaymam 65

    vto: “A truckie in the paper this morning reckoned he paid an average 52c per kilometre in RUC.”

    That would be 5.2 cents per km. The truckie doesn’t know how to divide by 1000.

  66. Tane 66

    I don’t know about you fullas, but all I can hear is honk honk honk and stupid helicopters flying above. Time for another coffee I think, my productivity’s gonna take a hit today.

  67. Phil et al, get real do you really think that thousands of truckies would waste a whole morning on a protest merely over the timing of the announcement of a RUC increase?

    This strike was planned ahead of the annoucement of the increase. And the public is interpretting it as a protest against fuel prices driven by taxation – that’s based on the false premise that taxation on fuel is increasing when it’s actually falling but the Nats knew that this false impression would be given when they planned the strike.

    This is nothing more than politicking.

  68. Nice to see thousands of Wellingtonians out there waving your banners guys – not! Newstalk ZB is reporting that hundreds of be-suited public servants are out on the streets cheering and waving in support to the truckers, in what they describe as a huge blow to the government.

  69. andy 69

    National attacked the Government yesterday over increased road-user charges and a law passed last night allowing regional fuel taxes to fund large capital projects - but won’t say it would undo them.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10519903

    Nothing to see here move on…

  70. insider 70

    Looks like another one the Standard and Labour have called wrong. People are laughing and applauding the truckers. The SHell Jervois Quay staff were particularly supportive.

  71. Carol 71

    Well said, Steve.

    And when are we gonna get a mainstream media that educates rather than just salivates over a challenge to the government and big spectacle for macho trucks to get excited about and report on?

    Agree on Paul Henry T-Rex.

  72. Pascal's bookie 72

    Andy, you obviously havn’t being paying attention to I2’s awesomeness. The opposition’s job is to oppose. Full stop. etc. That is what we pay them for.

    Should the govt pass a resolution saying that children are to be cared for and not eaten, the opposition has a duty to oppose it see, lest our democracy collapse.

    Foolish ideas about opposition parties actually needing to have a platform for voters to vote for, are tantamount to treason.

    Goverments govern, oppositions oppose and voters are supposed to flip coins.

  73. spector 73

    “This strike was planned ahead of the annoucement of the increase. And the public is interpretting it as a protest against fuel prices driven by taxation”

    I think your looking for a conspiricy in all this SP but what we saw this morning was something a lot simpler then that. This wasn’t a protest like the springbok tour where one section of the population clashed with another. This wasn’t division. This was overwhelming unity. And I can’t remember a time when the population of NZ was this unified. You’re right that this is about more then road user charges. Its an anti government protest pure and simple.

  74. Carol 74

    Unified? Doesn’t seem like that from where I am. Could it be that those of us that don’t support the protest have stayed well away, got on with our business, and/or expressed our opposition without going out of our way to stage a media spectacle?

  75. andy 75

    spector

    Protests supporters, feels like rage against petrol price rises in general. There is no other outlet for that type of pain. Lots of comments reflect that and that the government should “do something about it”.

    Not quite sure what can be done, building and maintaining roads is heavily dependent on price of petrol and oil based products.

    Someone has to pay for it!

  76. andy 76

    “I supported the planned protest today. I was right behind their right to protest and I was right behind the reason for the protest. But it was supposed to be a protest and it was stated it was definitely not a blockade.
    “I left home at 6.30am and arrived at work at 9am because the protest started far earlier than the 7.30am time stated, and because truck drivers were deliberately blockading the motorway. On the southern motorway, heading into the city, I saw drivers deliberately travelling at 5-10km/h with clear road in front of them. I saw drivers stop their trucks on the motorway and get out. I saw drivers deliberately blockading south bound traffic also. Where was this part of the protest?
    They forget that we car drivers have paid our tax at the pump, so while truck drivers stop their trucks and incur no miles (and so pay no tax) we sit there with our engines running and are paying that tax.
    While I supported the protest you can believe that I have no sympathy for them any longer.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10519785

  77. Matthew Pilott 77

    Heh… someone got onto it!

    Photo

    And from the herald! :

    One truck driver in the Capital told nzherald.co.nz the protest was “bigger than Ben Hur”.

    The gates at Parliament had been closed and a number of anti-truck posters were pasted up around the complex in on trees and lamp posts.

    They bear the words: “Let me on, I want a free-ride too.”

    However, nzherald.co.nz has received reports of bystanders around New Zealand clapping, cheering and encouraging drivers to toot their horns.

  78. spector 78

    Carol – well those of you did a good job of staying away. You stayed away from all the talkback stations, all the on-the-spot news grabs for TV news, all the television polls and all the online polls!

    Andy – cheers for posting your link from the herald trucking protest blog. But going through the 48 pages of peoples comments those against todays protest are few and far between.

    Seriously, you have to admit that the one sidedness of this whole thing is amazing.

  79. Matthew Pilott 79

    Spector:

    Stuff:
    For (5794 votes, 72.6%)
    Against (1093 votes, 13.7%)
    Sympathetic, but this is not the way (1096 votes, 13.7%)

    A lot of cheesy online poll support, but far from unified. Comparing their polls to proper polls on a topic, that would actually be less than half.

  80. andy 80

    spector

    One sidedness yes, totally.

    mentioned it up thread, I have also said good luck to them. I think blocking motorway is bad form, protest away.

    The ‘protest’ has been a ‘success’, but what has it achieved.

    National attacked the Government yesterday over increased road-user charges and a law passed last night allowing regional fuel taxes to fund large capital projects - but won’t say it would undo them.

    National finance spokesman Bill English said last night his party had not yet decided whether to revoke the tax if it leads the next Government

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10519903

    So regardless of protest they will be ignored by Parliament, does not matter which team is in! Oil hit US$145bbl last night, sigh.

  81. burt 81

    Hey don’t forget that if you want to move your house contents from one place to another, unless you have a railway station next door at both ends you will need trucks. So the cost of moving just went up. Road user costs hit us all – only a muppet would think this cost will not be passed on quicker than Labour can say “We don’t know hom much KiwiRail will cost”.

    Thanks Labour!

    captcha: “repulsion is” – Labour!

  82. Matthew Pilott 82

    burt, there will always be a need for trucks. You’re not so stupid as to believe anyone thinks otherwise, why pretend? No one thinks rail can replace it all.

    RUC pays for roads. Everyone applauds when the govt announces big roading projects, but then expects the funding from the road fairy.

    So we’re paying the cost of roading, and it’s more than it was. Big deal. A lot of things cost more, because oil supply can’t meet demand.

    Thanks Capitalism!

  83. Lipper 83

    Oh Dear,

    Have a look at the reaction to the Truckers Protest.

    Looks like Annette King has completely stuffed up!

    Will result in an election result for Labour of less than 19% of the

    complete vote in the forthcoming election.

    Which is nice!

    Labour Acolytes, time to renew the CV!

  84. spector 84

    “Comparing their polls to proper polls on a topic, that would actually be less than half.”

    With all due respect MP, there’s nothing to back up that statement apart from your own personal opinion.

    The stuff poll, the herald feedback, the talkback feedback, trade-me feedback, the TV3 text poll etc may be cheezy but their combined figures all point to a similiar result which is no where near “less than half”

    Andy – I think you might be missing my point on my original post. What I was trying to say was that I thought the road user charges were the catalyst for todays protest not the reason for it. I think today was about a lot more then petrol/diesel prices.

  85. burt 85

    Matthew Pilott

    RUC pays for roads. Everyone applauds when the govt announces big roading projects, but then expects the funding from the road fairy.

    New roads or road maintenance? Which is RUC paying for?

  86. Gustavo Trellis 86

    I know the Standard is pro-Labour, I just think it’s a bit rude of the government to lump the increase suddenly on a crucial element of our economic supply chain. Until rail is up to strength, we have to make do. Perhaps the government could have handled it better – laid down a schedule, legislated out advance RUC purchses and allowed companies to plan around it. Everyone could have done better here.

  87. RUC pays for new roads and maintenance, based upon a cost allocation model that allocates transport spending to different categories of vehicles including through fuel tax, motor vehicle registration and RUC.

  88. Draco TB 88

    IMO Diesel vehicles should have tax on diesel at the pump like petrol. Off road and marine diesel should stay the same.

    Do that and the people selling marine diesel will find a way to sell it to the truckies.

    The STCC found that if roads had to pay a return on capital like railways did at the time and if you excluded GST then trucks only covered 56% of their costs. If you exclude the return on capital because the railways aren’t being run for a profit anymore and include GST because truckies actually pay it then trucks actually pay 130% of the costs they impose on the economy.

    Got any facts to back up that statement?

  89. Matthew Pilott 89

    Burt – I found a very handy summary. Have a look at this.

    In answer to your question, I think it’s like saying does your tax pay for education, TPK, mothballed Skyhawk storage, health, police, or any other specific item – you just can’t say. Some you agree with, some you don’t. I’d like to think that my tax pays the dole for all my mates who haven’t got jobs – keeping it in the neighbourhood, so to speak (I have no idea if I’m being ironic).

    But if RUC is $897m, and maintenance for local and state roads are $923m, you can happily say that it’s purely for maintenance if you want.

    Sorry for the tone of my initial comment, by the way, it wasn’t called for. But you did seem to be complaining that you’d have to pay for something that’s more expensive, and blaming Labour…

  90. Matthew Pilott 90

    Gustavo – I agree it could have been done better, fair comment. The cost of giving notice is immaterial in the grand scheme (the govt would have lost 7% (the increase) for, say, a few months of RUC), but I have to ask – doesn’t that just allow the rich firms to buy ahead, while the owner/operrators who don’t have the extra cash would be in much the same position as now?

    While I’m ambivalent about the need for massive road spending, that’s the way the cookie’s crumbling at the moment though, and I’m not sure it’s practical to limit road development and maintenance while prices are up. I hold this view, by and large, because I don’t expect to see prices come down!

  91. bill brown 91

    This wasn’t division. This was overwhelming unity.

    Well, speaking only for myself I believe that this was a self serving display that was more a political stunt than a protest against the RUC. I also do not believe that it could have been organised in the couple of days since the announcement of the fee increase.

    It may have looked to you like overwhelming unity, but as someone who did not agree there would be no way I’d stand on the side of the road shaking my fist at a line of large trucks tooting their horns. Instead I kept my head down and my mouth shut.

  92. Pascal's bookie 92

    Bandwagon alert!

    FFS

    Protest action by truckies has gained the support of the Sensible Sentencing Trust who says if effective crime policies were put in place the savings could be spent on road maintenance instead of increasing road user charges to truckies.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0807/S00058.htm

  93. T-rex 93

    lol!!!!

    McVicar really is a witless f*ckstick (1).

    What a pathetic hijack attempt. “Do what I say and crime will reduce, and we’ll put the money into roads… rather than tax cuts like I was saying the other day. So yeah… basically I’m saying you should all be subsidising the damage trucks do to roads… but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”.

    (1)Sorry Lynn, but come on, it’s Garth McVicar!

  94. Matthew Pilott 94

    dracoTB – nice comment in The Herald!

    Pascal’s Bookie – so they do want our taxes to subsidise trucking. Tops. I might shoot off and have a cry over humanity’s lost intelligence.

    t-rex – your apology to Lynn is offensive, please retract it.

  95. burt 95

    Matthew Pilott

    OK, I disagree that taxing current users is how capital investments should be funded but that’s really an accounting principle issue and I already think principles and Labour govt’s have never been good friends. Therefore I doubt you and I will agree on this, but lets just see how much we actually agree/disagree on the principles of separating capital expenditure vs operational/maintenance expenditure or how much of your support for this is because it was done by labour.

    Will you support increasing train fares to fund investment in rail service upgrades? IE: Should we pay more to ride on old trains today because one day we might get new trains or more services? Would you accept a $2 increase on the train fare from Tawa to Wellington today so that one day KiwiRail can afford new trains for you to ride in? If you would accept it from a state owned rail system, then would you also accept it from a privately owned rail system?

    However you make a good point, we all applaud when new road projects are announced, but you guys are bagging the truckies who are paying for them via RUC why is that?

  96. burt 96

    Matthew Pilott

    But if RUC is $897m, and maintenance for local and state roads are $923m, you can happily say that it’s purely for maintenance if you want.

    And how much tax is taken on Petrol? I’m picking it’s just ever so slightly more than $26m/year

    I’m seeing more money being taken from current road users than is required for maintenance why is that? Are new roads simply spending on requirements for today (maintenance) or are they investment for the future (capital)?

    Hint: Maintenance is required for today, to keep the roads operational, maintenance maintains the value of the capital already invested, it is not increasing it.

  97. bill brown 97

    Would you accept a $2 increase on the train fare from Tawa to Wellington today so that one day KiwiRail can afford new trains for you to ride in?

    Train fares are going up in September to pay for this AND for the diesel buses.

    How ’bout you blockade the tracks (preferably with your head).

  98. Matthew Pilott 98

    And how much tax is taken on Petrol? I’m picking it’s just ever so slightly more than $26m/year

    burt, did you look at the link? There’s (from memory) around a billion for new roads, and safety, and research. Does that help? Seriously, it’s all in there, I thought it was a great graphic (yep, the picture down the bottom has it all).

    However you make a good point, we all applaud when new road projects are announced, but you guys are bagging the truckies who are paying for them via RUC why is that?

    I guess you think I’m a pretty stupid… rough.

    The ‘bagging’ is against those who don’t want to pay their share any more. Don’t be tricksy burt, you’re wasting our time!

    My general outlook for transport is user pays, with heavy centralisation where practical. I take a strong view towards the environment as well – sustainable practices should be subsidised, unststainable practices should be penalised. (bring on the emmissions tax!)

    I’d support increasing rail fares to raise capital, but I would expect that to be supported by a subsidy raised from a non-sustainable equivalent.

    No problem with a privately owner rail firm, as long as their environmenal practices are up to scratch. And they don’t trash my rail, take the money and run…

    As for funding – I don’t think I have a strong enough grasp of the principles to be able to properly debate the idea of funding capital investment via debt. But you can try me, you never know. Depends on how technical you want to get… But yes – money is baing taken from users today, so they can enjoy improved services tomorrow. Just as they’ve enjoyed roads paid for by previous users.

  99. Kevyn 99

    Matthew, The increase is 10% not 7%. It only calculates to an average 7% increase when you include the 50% reduction in RUCs for light trailers in the RUC rate tables. Although light trailers are exempt from paying RUCs they are included in the tables in the RUC rates order issued by the Governor in Council, hence officially a 7% increase but in the real world a 10% increase. Also the the 3% increase only apples to trucks operating at the legal axle weight limit. Only a fool would buy a truck that operates all the time at the legal limit. It is much cheaper to buy a 3 axle truck to carry the same weight.

    Frieght transport is a buyers market. Truckies can’t demand that the Warehouse or NZ Post immediately pay the added RUCs. In fact owner-operators are going to have to wait till they renegotiate their contracts before they can pass on any cost increases.

  100. Matthew Pilott 100

    kevyn, I’ll accept that, no worries. 10%.

    So everyone’s in the same position, but my proposition stands – giving a length of time to allow RUC purchases would advantage larger firms.

    What you said reinforces this – the bigger firms would be at an advantage over smaller ones that couldn’t afford to load up on the cheaper miles. They could negitiate a contract knowing their RUC was cheaper.

    Burt, have a comment in moderation for you. I wonder if it’s because I said “bottom”.

  101. burt 101

    Matthew Pilott

    But yes – money is being taken from users today, so they can enjoy improved services tomorrow. Just as they’ve enjoyed roads paid for by previous users.

    Without being technical, you have hit the nail on the head here.

    Users are paying for the maintenance on roads built in the past. This is exactly as it should be because their current usage is doing damage and they need to be maintained or they get to a point where nobody can use them. So they pay to maintain somebody else’s investment AND users are paying for future roads, that they don’t have yet and they will also pay to maintain when they do.

    Simplistically: Wind it back a bit Imagine there are no roads yet, now how about we collect road user tax to pay for them? Not much fun in that, could take a while Capital is needed, can’t extract it from the road users when there are no roads. So Building new roads matches this scenario exactly from a capital perspective. Hope that helps.

  102. Matthew Pilott 102

    Also simplistically: Current (increasing) demand is the cause of the requirement for new roads. I understand your point, but contend that BAU isn’t a reflection of start-up. You can’t charge users for something that they can’t use, so you charge everyone, to kick it off (fund from general taxes). Once it’s up and running, you charge users for maintenance, and for improvements, to increase the level of service provided.

    To have a bash at the alternative to the present model (user-funding for maintenance and future development), rasisng capital through debt incurs interest charges. The current method doesn’t do that. I don’t see the PPP scenario improving the current model.

    What would happen? Taxes and RUC would decrease, but some other form of user-pays would need to be put in place once the road (I’ll pretend there’s a shiny new tunnel to the North Shore) is completed, 10 years down the track. So, we have had reduced taxes for the duration of the construction, and now users have to pay tolls (heavy ones, since it’s only funded by a fraction of the country’s motorists). They’ll pay a greater sum overall, because the capital was borrowed, than if it was funded by taxes.

    Also, as we’re currently driving on roads that have been funded by a model that doesn’t involve borrowing, changing to a debt-funded model just gives us a few years’ holiday from taxes, which will have to be paid in full (and then some) by future road users.

    I’d prefer to stump up, up front, and pay less overall.

  103. burt 103

    Steve P.

    Matthew Pilott and I have established that the current users of the roads are paying sufficient road taxes to fund all maintenance and also provide for future road building. We have established that RUC already contributes 97% of the money required for state highway improvements.

    Can you explain the “Let me on! – I want a free ride too” thing going on here?

  104. burt 104

    Matthew Pilott

    A well build road lasts a very long time, a lot longer than you and I or our children, their children and probably their children as well, will be using it.

    Picture if you will. Lets say I have a two bedroom house I rent out to a couple, they pay $200 week rent and from that I maintain the house and keep it up to standard so it’s usable. I have two interests in keeping it well maintained;

    1) To stop my asset falling to bits and becoming a liability as I pay demolition/rebuild costs.
    2) Keep it in a state fit for use so I can continue to collect rent from it.

    Anyway, one day the chap rings me up and tells me his wife is pregnant, they will need to move as they need an extra bedroom because the home office is essential for their income. I go.. Hey I was planning to build a third room when you moved out, I have plans, I already have the approvals and the plans. I can get it done before you need it in 6 months time. He is happy because they love living in the house, just they needed another room.

    It’s going to cost me only $20k as the house is a sitter for adding a third room and when it’s build I can charge $300 in rent (maintenance costs).

    Do I use my own money/borrow it from somewhere then when it’s build put the rent up to $300, or do I charge the tenants an additional $769 a week in rent during the six months it’s being built, then put it up to $300/week. Remembering they are the current tenants and they can’t take it with them, the room is only useful to them while they are in that house.

  105. burt 105

    Matthew

    BTW: If I put the best interests of my tenants first I would borrow the $20K over 20 years costing (calculated at todays high rates…) $43.59/week, add on an a few extra bucks for maintenance and arrive at at rent of $250/week. Just because the tenants can afford $300, if I’m looking after their best interests I won’t take it from them.

    Likewise, the tenants don’t want to fund the building of the room, but are happy to pay ‘a bit’ more rent than it cost to finance and maintain because they need it at this time.

  106. Robinsod 106

    Burt. Retard. Must try harder.

    [lprent: 'sod that was uncalled for. Do you want more time for your blog?]

  107. Swampy 107

    LukeC,

    There has never been any National Party proposal to privatise roads. There was a National Party policy late 1990s to introduce full user charging on all public roads, which would be held in SOEs. This would probably end up being the most open system of apportioning true costs of operating roads that has been proposed up to date.

    There was a whole lot of rubbish about SOEs being a step to privatising, well since the rail operations now are going to be in SOEs, that must mean Labour are planning to reprivatise sometime in the future? That is where the often repeated falsehood about privatising the roads comes from, nowhere else.

    Getting back to roading, the policy was shot down in flames by local government and politicians who wanted to keep running all the roading expenditure in their own hands for maximum political benefit, if roads were actually being built according to need instead of political favours etc then this would be a far better system for NZ as anything that reduces the politicisation usually is.

  108. Swampy 108

    Ari, T-Rex,

    if you expect the trucking industry to recover increased costs are you prepared to accept the negative fallout of increased inflation and prices to consumers. I just went into my supermarket the other day and noticed, they have held off the price increase of a 400 gram pizza for a long time, it was sitting around $2.50 for ages while other shops were nearly twice as dear. Finally, the normal price for that pizza has gone up a dollar or more.

    The fact is that there is no debate at all as to whether these new roads are even needed. Constructing a new highway is a high cost item just as it is for a new railway line. The years of planning and consultation and buying the land all suck in millions of dollars
    before even the ground breaking ceremony can take place. Maintaining an existing road, or congestion controls are piffling by comparison.

    The debate over congestion is driven not by trucks but by private cars. In spite of the frequent references to public train services (which only really applies to Auckland and Wellington) there is not much consideration to the impact of private vehicle transport as such to date. The policy of pouring billions of dollars into new roads with no thought as to consequences is, let’s face it, highly inflationary, and has helped drive the massive increases in construction costs over the last decade.

  109. Swampy 109

    T-Rex,

    I think you’re just reinforcing the impression that RUC increases are linked with the rail renationalisation deal which was announced the same day. Labour has a pattern of giving with one hand and taking away with the other, in Budget 07 they agreed to the publicised business tax cuts and snuck in the imposition of compulsory kiwisaver contributions without prior notice or debate.

    Toll Holdings is now NZ’s biggest trucking operator and there is no love lost between them and Labour, particularly its rail and Australian union affiliates.

  110. Swampy 110

    Psycho,
    Road transport charges (fuel taxes etc) are now being used to subsidise coastal shipping and with the passage of legislation which, by a curious set of coincidences, passed through the House a day or two back, ARTA can take a fuel tax to pay for rail electrification.

    There is therefore ample precedence – apart from the fact that road transport charges have gone into general government coffers for a long time.

  111. Swampy 111

    andy,

    the best system is the one National proposed back in 1998, charge everyone for the roads according to costs, so that all users pay some sort of RUC type of charge. At the same time take the spending out of direct government hands by putting the roads into SOEs.

    This system would very quickly sort out whether everyone does pay their fair costs, including the private cars that are responsible for most congestion and demand for new road building.

    At the moment there is no attempt to link the need for new roads with the needs of the commercial transport sector, the demand is not driven by that sector except for the overcoming of congestion which could be achieved by other means.

  112. Swampy 112

    Road and rail infrastructures are funded and built very differently and this will not change.

    At present large sums of money are being injected into rail so it is much more subsidised than roads. This appears to be the likely trend over the next X number of years. The government will use its monopoly control of rail to squeeze the private trucking competition in a way not seen in almost thirty years in NZ.

    Rail is only carrying about the same amount of freight overall as it was prior to removing their long distance monopoly. This is the primary reason why it has not attracted investment except on certain high density routes.

    There is no free market when the government has monopoly control over one sector and there is no transparency in how it is funded since the government runs both the operations and infrastructure side of things.

  113. Ari 113

    Swampy- I have no problem with increased inflation. Sometimes inflation has to happen because keeping it down at a certain level stifles economic growth for no good reason. I’d rather have truckers pass on the costs if they’re worried about them, (the coverage suggests they’re not) as that makes it clear how uncompetitive trucks are for moving freight in the first place.

    New roads are not needed. There most certainly is debate. Just because you’d like to ignore it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. ;)

    I agree that congestion is driven by private cars. But given that trucks synergise that congestion by slowing down private cars, it makes sense that we factor them into the congestion problem. A natural way to do that is to stop subsidising them- but of course, these increased charges come nowhere near doing that anyway, so I don’t really see the point of protesting.

  114. burt 114

    Robinsod

    Burt. Retard. Must try harder.

    Excellent work, you have modified the language and references in the personal attacks so that using them won’t get you banned. lprent hasn’t even had to warn you this time, you are showing remarkable adaptability. Good progress. (Achieved)

  115. lprent 115

    burt: To tell the truth, I hadn’t seen it. As you may have noticed there are rather a large number of comments on the site. While we try to scan them all, we do like having a life occasionally as well.

    In this case, I was probably somewhat asleep at 0217 this morning and I must have missed it on scan this morning.

  116. Swampy 116

    “I can’t see any merit to long haul trucking”

    Well I can, because it’s competition and competition is what makes our economy work.

    There’s all those places where trains don’t go as well.

    In some cases it is more worthwhile to use rail than road, for example the West Coast coal mines sending their output by rail because the road links to Christchurch aren’t that good. Bulk commodities that aren’t time sensitive can move effectively this way.

    That is what the railways should stick to, and forget about any return to “common carrier” status. Such notions are just policitian’s dreams and will simply lead this country back down the political quagmire than led to the privatisation in the first place.

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  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
    It's Halloween! Time for a jolly pumpkin to remind everyone that there is chocolate nearby The weather is terrible, and while it can't rain all the time, I suspect there may be an absence of ghosts and ghouls. Whatever shall...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Indistinguishable from totalitarianism
    SF author Charles Stross has a lovely alternate-history thought experiment which demonstrates quite neatly how British surveillance is indistinguishable in practice from totalitarianism. And if you're in any doubt, you've only got to read today's news:The Government is facing calls...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Rate my minister
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce wants to introduce a new ranking system, Rate My Qualification, where employers rate tertiary education courses and then students can look up the results. Well perhaps employers should be able rate other things too, such as their ministers....
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-10
  • To the field experiments!
    In the wake of the Stanford / Dartmouth schnozzle this week, this political science article caught my eye: The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or...
    Polity | 30-10
  • NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s ...
    You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, it seems — certainly not if they’re gnawing a much loved old bone at the time. The lads from the NZ Climate Science Coalition — yes, the same boys who tried to sue...
    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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