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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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    Pundit | 18-09
  • Teflon Man No More
    . . On 26 August, as Nicky Hager’s expose on New Zealand’s right wing politics hit public consciousness and confirmed our worst fears, I wrote, “Dirty Politics” has achieved more than simply revealing  unwholesome machinations between National party apparatchiks, ministers,...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-09
  • Teflon Man No More
    . . On 26 August, as Nicky Hager’s expose on New Zealand’s right wing politics hit public consciousness and confirmed our worst fears, I wrote, “Dirty Politics” has achieved more than simply revealing  unwholesome machinations between National party apparatchiks, ministers,...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-09
  • It’s official: ACT’s Jamie Whyte is several-sandwiches-and-a-salad sho...
    .   . There aren’t very many times I agree wholeheartedly with our Dear Leader – but on this occassion I believe he spoke for those 99% of New Zealanders for whom common sense is as natural as breathing air....
    Frankly Speaking | 18-09
  • It’s official: ACT’s Jamie Whyte is several-sandwiches-and-a-salad sho...
    .   . There aren’t very many times I agree wholeheartedly with our Dear Leader – but on this occassion I believe he spoke for those 99% of New Zealanders for whom common sense is as natural as breathing air....
    Frankly Speaking | 18-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a S...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a S...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-09
  • Bringing your voice to Ban Ki-moon
    It has been a fantastic summer. Greenpeace has been in the Arctic for months, bearing witness to its extraordinarily shifting landscape, while challenging short-sighted attempts to find oil and explain to decision-makers that fundamental changes need to happen to the...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 18-09
  • Our love affair with personal mobility
    We often hear that New Zealanders have a love affair with their cars. Some people argue that driving is an essential element of our national psyche: even if we succeeded in providing good walking, cycling, and public transport options, Kiwis...
    Transport Blog | 18-09
  • Shameful, innumerate reporting of Herald poll
    The reporting of this morning’s final New Zealand Herald poll is nothing short of a disgrace. First, here’s the report: Moment of Truth gifts Team Key a late bounce in polls Last voter survey before election day shows jump in...
    Polity | 18-09
  • The Mail – merely mad, or essentially evil?
    I think the Mail has actually gone clinically insane over Independence.It's running a story titled "Salmond's bullies hit a blind man in the face - just for saying NO!" and referring to yes voters as 'separatists' who are likely to...
    Left hand palm | 18-09
  • Slater unrepentant for feral comment
    We all know that Cameron Slater is a bit of an idiot at the best of times, but once in a while he really outdoes even his very low standards. That was the case when the National party attack blogger...
    The Jackal | 18-09
  • Gordon Campbell on a campaign that is ending as it began
    This election campaign is getting no less strange as it heads on down to the wire. Winston Peters is still refusing to say whether a vote for New Zealand First is a vote for changing the current government and its...
    Gordon Campbell | 18-09
  • Suffrage Day Book Launch
    Filed under: Uncategorized...
    ALRANZ | 18-09
  • Poll of Polls update – 18 September 2014
    We’ve had the final pre-election One News Colmar Brunton poll tonight, so it’s the second to last Poll of Polls update before the election, with the Herald Digipoll and Fairfax Ipsos polls due out tomorrow (although you can already find...
    Occasionally erudite | 18-09
  • List of 2014 Electorate Candidates
    Electorate Surname First name Party 1 Auckland Central  ARDERN Jacinda Labour Party KAYE Nikki National Party KOVALENKO Dasha ACT New Zealand MONAHAN Regan Conservative OSMASTON Jordan Money Free Party PIERARD Miriam Internet Party ROCHE Denise Green Party WHITMORE Peter Climate...
    The Jackal | 18-09
  • Frank Macskasy: Who I voted for…
    .   . On the road today, this news story caught my attention; .   . I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This is a deliberate attempt by NZ First and elements within the Labour Party to undermine and...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-09
  • Frank Macskasy: Who I voted for…
    .   . On the road today, this news story caught my attention; .   . I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This is a deliberate attempt by NZ First and elements within the Labour Party to undermine and...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-09
  • We need to talk about Colin (Craig)
    Colin Craig has stolen the headlines at the business end of the campaign for all the wrong reasons; the mystery of the disappearing press secretary adds to the stress he must be under when he looks at the polls. While he's had...
    Pundit | 18-09
  • Deciding who should pay to publish peer-reviewed scientific research
    There is an important discussion to be had about the future of scientific publications. As a practicing and publishing scientist, I am judged by the quality and quantity of my contributions to the scientific community. Traditionally, this comes down to...
    Skeptical Science | 18-09
  • Stuart’s 1000 #29 Billboards over Buildings
    29: Billboards over Buildings What if there were no billboards on beautiful buildings? This is one of these aspects of city life that on one hand is covered by regulation and compliance monitoring and on the other seems to require...
    Transport Blog | 18-09
  • David Cameron – Worst PM ever?
    That is the question being asked at the top of the Independent's web site.  It links to a sterling blog post by Jean Paul Fauget, which is worth a read.  Fauget does, however, make one mistake in his ruminations.  He...
    Left hand palm | 18-09
  • Parties measured on commitment to tertiary funding and governance
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 31 A comparison of each political party’s tertiary education policies to TEU’s blueprint for tertiary education, Te Kaupapa Whaioranga, shows some parties are committed to the same principles that TEU members endorsed as solutions to...
    Tertiary Education Union | 18-09
  • Voting to end insecure work
    Jobs should work for everyone, but they increasingly serve the needs of employers, not employees, according to the Council of Trade Unions. In the lead up to general election the CTU says the results of opening up the economy, cutting...
    Tertiary Education Union | 18-09
  • Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies
    Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus on dirty politics, spies and conspiracies, and tragically way too little on policy. Those stories will no doubt continue to be discussed long after the vote...
    Gareth’s World | 18-09
  • Academic board asked to challenge Māori business school closure
    Staff at Victoria University are hoping that their Academic Board will reconsider a senior leadership decision to close its business school’s Māori Business programme. VUW’s Senior Leadership Team is proposing to close the Māori Business programme with a likely loss...
    Tertiary Education Union | 18-09
  • Scotland decides
    The polls open in Scotland's independence referendum in a little over two hours. The British establishment has pulled out all the stops in an effort to terrorise and bully the Scots into staying part of the UK, even threatening that...
    No Right Turn | 18-09
  • Allowance restrictions force debt up
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) is concerned at a jump in average student loan debt. NZUSA has released findings from its longitudinal Income and Expenditure Survey of 5000 students from universities and polytechnics conducted in August of...
    Tertiary Education Union | 18-09
  • TEU elections
    Elections opened this week for TEU’s 2015-2016 National President Te Tumu Whakarae. Both candidates, Current national president Lesley Francey and former national president Sandra Grey are answering questions from union members and members of the public and sharing information about...
    Tertiary Education Union | 18-09
  • Labour candidates’ destiny out of their hands
    Consider the Super 15 (or whatever name the competition is currently going by), as the final round of the regular season arrives. Most teams don’t have a chance at qualifying top of their conference, but there’s still a chance of...
    Occasionally erudite | 18-09
  • I’m praying
    In which I call for divine assistance. Please do not abandon us in our hour of need, oh Lord!...
    Imperator Fish | 18-09
  • Speaker: Things I have learned running RockEnrol
    1)  Politics makes people weird.2)   Artists and activists are some of the most generous people on the planet.3)   Good funding is hard to find.4)   Young people are awesome and often political, they just don’t realise it yet.I...
    Public Address | 18-09
  • Falling economic growth – wage rises overdue
    “The lower GDP growth in the three months to June is further evidence that growth has peaked. New Zealand’s economy is on the way down to mediocre growth rates,” says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 18-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • REVIEW: Royals of Kihikihi
    What an absolutely stunning show.  I had to ask twice to check I’d heard right that this is the first staged production for Samuel Christopher, who also played a raw, real, but vulnerable, Wolf Royal, home from London for his...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • 800 Cops to detain 15 ‘terrorists’ – why Australia’s hysterical Isl...
    I’m sorry but I can’t take this current Australian terror threat seriously. 800 cops to detain 15 people and arrest one of them? A week after Abbot decides to send in Australian forces to the cluster fuck of Iraq, suddenly...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Unbelievable corruption inside Government to attack Kim Dotcom
    The corruption inside this Government just more and more filthy – we now have an ex-Customs Lawyer quitting  after being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government, specifically to do with Kim Dotcom… Curtis Gregorash said he was told...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Everyone Loves A Win-Win That Keeps G...
      Permit me to quote some figures at you… -68% of New Zealanders think political news on television focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on real issues. This is the key result of a recent UMR survey commissioned by...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of being the most in demand broadcaster in the country...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Te Tai Tokerau independent poll (44% Hone-27% Kelvin) vs Maori T...
    The Te Tai Tokerau Maori TV poll on Monday this week painted a bleak picture for Internet MANA supporters, and it’s results have been seized upon by Labour, NZ First and even the Maori Party (who seem set once again...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The time for TPPA weasel words is over
    Almost every day of the election campaign there has been a policy announcement that would potentially run foul of what I understand is currently in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA):  more constraints on foreign investment or investors … regulation of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • MELTDOWN – Maori Party turns on their own Te Tai Tokerau candidate – ag...
    The tensions are building in Te Tai Tokerau with the Maori Party on the verge of meltdown. Days out from the election, the Maori Party Executive has tried to heavy their own Te Tai Tokerau Electoral Committee and their own candidate, Te Hira Paenga,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • We Can Change this Government
    We Can Change this Government – Mike Treen at the First Union stop work election meeting...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Election 2014: For and Against
    With the general election tomorrow, we have had a very noisy campaign but little sign that the electorate wishes for a fundamental change of governmental direction. This reflects in part the fact that the economic cycle is close to its decadal...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eye To Eye Uploaded: Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury
    This interview was filmed a couple of weeks ago between Willie Jackson and myself, I was a tad off with my prediction of NZ First....
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair – The Players Revealed
      . . – Special investigation by Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules‘ Speculation that the Beehive office of Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, was behind the release of a letter linking Labour leader, David Cunliffe, with controversial Chinese businessman, Donghua Liu, is...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold NZ d...
    It should read ‘never stop spying’. As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold us down the river to the US by allowing the Southern Cross cable to be tapped… The ability for US intelligence agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work
    The final days of the campaign are ticking down and Labour and NZ First are manoeuvring to kill off the Internet MANA Party by both backing Kelvin Davis for Te Tai Tokerau. It’s a risky gambit that they better pray to Christ...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Bill English’s latest insult to beneficiaries – apparently they are lik...
    National’s hatred towards the poor continues unabated as National desperately try to throw raw meat to their reactionary voter base in the hope to inspire enough hate and loathing to win back their redneck voters from the Conservative Party and from...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eminem ain’t happy with John Key
    Eminem ain’t happy with John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Key claims he did not inhale
    Key claims he did not inhale...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Final prediction on election result 2014
    What an election campaign. The character assassination of David Cunliffe kicked things off with the Herald on Sunday falsely claiming $100 00 bottles of wine, $15 000 books and $150 000 in donations  from a donor that turned out to be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Live blog: Bainamarama takes commanding lead in Fiji elections
      Interview with Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris and Pacific Scoop’s Mads Anneberg. PACIFIC SCOOP TEAM By Ricardo Morris, Mads Anneberg, Alistar Kata and Biutoka Kacimaiwai in Suva WHILE the results are provisional at this stage, it is clear today that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ Elections Two Days To Go! + Edward Snowden + Julian Assan...
    Recorded live on 18/09/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd 5AA Australia’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin: Across The Ditch. This week, they discuss the latest news as New Zealanders go to the polls on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What has Colin Craig done for his Press Secretary to quit 2 days before ele...
    This is VERY strange.  Colin Craig’s Press Secretary Rachel McGregor, has quit 2 days before the election, allegedly telling ZB that Colin Craig was a “very manipulative man”. I’ve met Rachel many times in the past as Colin’s Press Secretary, she is...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” – A brief w...
    “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” said Key in the final leaders debate. Problem of course is that the 250 000 – 285 000 children living in poverty can not afford steak, milk, butter, eggs...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • National’s final bash of beneficiaries before the election
    On cue, whenever National feel threatened, they roll out a little bennie bash just to keep their redneck voter base happy. Nothing like a bit of raw meat policy to keep National voters focused on the evil threat solo parents...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • With All Of This In Mind, I Vote
    This is my last blog before the election and I really just want to speak from the heart. Right now in this country it seems to me that a lot of people consider the “essentials” in life to be simply...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Left has to vote strategically this election
    The dedication, loyalty, and tribalism of party politics means that sometimes the left lets itself down by not voting strategically. We all want our favoured party to get maximum votes, naturally, but the winner-takes-all approach doesn’t always suit multi-party left...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Dear NZ – as you enter the polling booth, stand up for your rights
    The last days before a NZ general election are a busy time as politicians make their pitch and party activists prepare to get out the vote. It is sort of weird watching from the distance of Europe the strangest election...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What is Waihopai, John, if it isn’t a facility for “mass surveillance...
    John Key assured us on RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme yesterday that “In terms of the Fives Eyes data bases… yes New Zealand will contribute some information but not mass wholesale surveillance.” How does this square with the operation of the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Mass Surveillance and the Banality of E...
    Renowned journalist and intellectual Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the normalisation of genocide in Nazi Germany. I thought of her phrase when I was listening to Glenn Greenwald and other international whistle-blowers talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Election. Down. To. The. Wire
    Funny how last week it was John Key winning by 50%, now it’s neck and neck. I have always believed this election would be down to the wire and it is proving so. The flawed landline opinion polls the mainstream...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 3rd Degree uses Whaleoil for story ideas as if Dirty Politics never happene...
    TV3s 3rd Degrees smear job on Kim Dotcom last night doesn’t bear much repeating. It was pretty pathetic journalism from a team who have brought us some great journalism in the past. It is sad to see 3rd Degree stooping...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Live blog: Bainimarama takes early lead in Fiji’s election
    Pacific Scoop’s Alistar Kata reports from yesterday’s voting. By Alistar Kata of Pacific Scoop in Suva Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama took an early lead in provisional results in the Fiji general election last night. With provisional results from 170 out...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Has The NSA Constructed The Perfect PPP?
    Former intelligence analyst and whistleblower, Edward Snowden – speaking live to those gathered at the Auckland Town Hall on Monday September 17, 2014. Investigation by Selwyn Manning. THE PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY’s admission on Wednesday that whistleblower Edward Snowden “may...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • No way – Key admits Snowden is right
    After claiming there was no middle ground. After claiming there was no mass surveillance. After calling Glenn Greenwald a henchman and a loser. After all the mainstream media pundits screamed at Kim’s decision to take his evidence to Parliamentary Privileges...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Bad luck National
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • The incredible changing John Key story on mass spying – why the Moment of...
    While the mainstream media continue to try and make the Moment of Truth about Kim’s last minute decision to prolong his battle against John Key past the election into the Privileges Committee, the reality is that the Moment of Truth...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Themes of the Campaign
    There’s one area of a political campaign that just about everyone, at some point, falls afoul of. The campaign song. I’m not sure quite why it is, but it seems to be almost impossible for political parties to come up...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Denis Tegg – The NSA slides that prove mass surveillance
    The evidence presented by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden on The Intercept of mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB is undeniable, and can stand on its own. But when you place this fresh evidence in the context of...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland
    The Ukrainian civil war discomforts me. It seems to me the most dangerous political crisis since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. And it’s because of our unwillingness to examine the issues in a holistic way. We innately prefer to...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man – the relationship intensifies
    John Key’s love affair with the straw man is now a fully-committed relationship. It’s now the first love of his life. Sorry Bronagh. Yesterday I pointed to Key’s constant assurances that there is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • A brief word on why Wendyl Nissen is a hero
    Wendyl Nissen is a hero. The sleazy black ops attack on her by Slater and Odgers on behalf of Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich is sick. All Nissen is doing in her column is point out the filth and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
    . . NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once. In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Eminem sues National Party for unlawful use of ‘Lose yourself’ bhahahah...
    …ahahahahahahahaha. Oh Christ this is hilarious… National Party sued over Eminem copyright infringment US rapper Eminem is suing the National Party for allegedly breaching copyright by using his song Lose Yourself in its campaign advertisements. The Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Are the Greens about to be snookered by a Labour-NZ First Government?
    I wrote last week that it was smart politics that the Greens pointed out they could work with National, the soft blue vote that’s looking for a home in the wake of Dirty Politics isn’t going to Labour, so the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Fonterra join 2Degrees and boycott Whaleoil
    In the wake of Dirty Politics, advertisers are pulling their advertising out of Whaleoil. PaknSave, Evo Cycles Pukekohe, Localist, 2 Degrees, Fertility Associates, iSentia, NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Maori TV, Bookme.co.nz, Dobetter.co.nz and the Sound are now joined by Fonterra...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • PM Key accused of allowing secret ‘spook’ cable sensors to spy on citiz...
    Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald (left) and Kim Dotcom at the “moment of truth” political surveillance meeting in Auckland last night. Image: PMW By ANNA MAJAVU of Pacific Media Watch NEW ZEALAND Prime Minister John Key has been accused of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Fiji pre-election ‘politics’ blackout stirs media protests, frustration
    BLACKOUT DAY – Monday, day one of the “silence window” in Fiji leading up to the close of polling in the general election at 6pm on Wednesday. And this is under the draconian threat of a $10,000 fine or five...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • “Now the work of movements begins”: government corruption, media bias, ...
    I am so tired of the dirty politics of the National government, aren’t you? I am tired of John Key and his pathetic attacks on award-winning journalists who have spent their careers fighting and digging for truth and good. The...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Moment of Truth review, smoking guns and the awful coverage by the NZ msm
      There were queues unlike any the Town Hall has seen, 1000 were turned away once it became full…     …full to the rafters. The energy and atmosphere within the room was extraordinary, and it begun…   …Glenn Greenwald...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Why Maori TV’s Te Tai Tokeraou Poll will be proved wrong
    If Hone Harawira had a dollar every time the media wrote off his chance of winning Te Tai Tokeraou, he would have more money than Kim Dotcom. Remember the by-election? Hone was 1 point ahead of Kelvin in an exact...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • September 15 RNZ interviews – and then the Moment of Truth
    . Acknowledgement: Emmerson . 15 September – Leading up to the Moment of Truth public meeting this evening, these Radio NZ interviews are worth listening to; . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Taxpayers on Hook Again for Solid Energy
    Responding to the Fairfax article that taxpayers are extending another $103 million to keep Solid Energy afloat, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Invermay Petition Tops 10,000 Signatures
    People across New Zealand continue to express their disgust at the downgrading of Invermay, says Dunedin North MP David Clark, as the Save Invermay petition he instigated earlier this year topped the 10,000 signature mark just days before the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar vows to continue fight for police
    Garth McVicar stated at a public meeting last week that he would fight to retain a 24/7 Police Station in Napier and no reduction in the number of police staff for the Hawkes Bay region, some said he was simply...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Party Vote Our Weapon in Fight Against Government Corruption
    Internet MANA urges New Zealanders to use their party vote to confront corruption in any new government....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Election day is tomorrow – make sure you’re a part of it!
    Tomorrow, Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Is the Shape of our Government out of the hands of Voters?
    In the last stuff.co.nz / Ipsos Political Poll before Saturdays election, National is down 5.1% to 47.7% and Labour up 3.7% to 26.15%. These results are remarkably similar to the 2011 election where National received 47.3% of the vote and...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Spirit of Suffrage a Call to Action for All Kiwi Women
    Internet MANA is drawing on the courage and integrity of New Zealand women on Suffrage Day – Friday, September, 19 – to encourage them to pay tribute to the spirit of their foremothers who gained women the vote....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Live Election Night Coverage on TV And Online
    Māori Television’s KOWHIRI 2014 – ELECTION SPECIAL kicks off at 7.00pm this Saturday with a five-hour broadcast focusing on the Māori electorates....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Judge’s Decision Disappoints Fish & Game
    Today’s decision to give a Temuka man 100 hours of community service for selling sports fish to the public has disappointed Fish & Game, which believes the sentence handed down was “too lenient and will not go far enough to...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Cutting-Edge Graphics Fire up TV3’s Election Night Coverage
    TV3’s Election Night coverage, hosted by John Campbell, will be enhanced by cutting-edge graphics that will showcase the night’s results....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt rushes to open charter schools in New Year
    The government’s decision to approve four new charter schools last week to open in January next year goes against the Minister of Education’s own advice that the schools ought to have at least a year’s preparation time....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • 7 Days And Jono And Ben at Ten Hijack Election Weekend
    The 7 Days and Jono and Ben at Ten (JABAT) comedians are running their own version of election coverage, with a schedule of entertainment and comedy across TV3, Kiwi FM, the web and social media this Friday and Saturday under...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Fewer Prisoners Equals Less Crime
    In its latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and other Crazy Stuff’,’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html , Rethinking Crime and Punishment urges government to rethink its approach to releasing prisoners. “The public expectation is that the excellent reductions in the crime...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar slams his political opponents
    I want a safe and prosperous society and that can only be achieved if we have strong and vi-brant families – McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Falling economic growth – wage rises overdue
    “The lower GDP growth in the three months to June is further evidence that growth has peaked. New Zealand’s economy is on the way down to mediocre growth rates,” says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “Yet wage rises are still weak...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Get Out and Vote campaign a success
    Tens of thousands of workers from all around New Zealand have embraced the Get Out and Vote campaign and have created their own personalised voting plan, the CTU said today. “With three days of voting left in the 2014 General...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Animal Research Failing – So Do More Animal Research?
    Victoria University of Wellington is about to host a lecture on why the success rates of pharmaceutical development is so low and what can be done about it. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) welcomes discussion on this important...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ALCP welcomes Prime Minister’s cannabis comments
    Mr Abbott's comments came on the same day as New South Wales and Victoria states announced they would be doing clinical trials of cannabis....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Conservative Party Press Secretary Resignation
    The Conservative Party is given to understand that this morning Press Secretary, Miss Rachel Macgregor resigned althought no formal advice of this has yet been received....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • By ACT’s logic, Epsom should vote for Conservative Candidate
    “Polling released late in the campaign shows that ACT is a busted flush and that by ACT’s own logic, centre-right Epsom voters should vote for the Conservative candidate”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • New online medical system
    Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is seeking registrations of interest for a new onshore panel physician network to support an online immigration health processing system....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Students, You Have a Choice, Vote!
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) is imploring students to ensure they make their voices heard this election, and join the many thousands who have already heeded the call....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Party vote ACT for three years of stability.
    Voters who are concerned that on the latest polls we may be heading for three years of instability have it in their hands to deliver a decisive result....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Women’s Suffrage Movement – Get Out and Vote!
    Tomorrow, Friday 19th September, MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will cast her vote at 12 noon at the Zen’s Building, Rotorua. This will follow a march through Rotorua that will assemble at 10am at City Focus, Rotorua. The...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • iPredict Daily Update
    David Cunliffe and Labour have made gains over the last 24 hours, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict, but John Key’s National is still strongly expected to lead the next...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Conservative’s Proposal to Abolish Parole Fatally Flawed
    The Conservative Party’s proposal to abolish parole doesn't stack up, however which way you look at it, concludes Kim Workman in Rethinking Crime and Punishment latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and Other Crazy Stuff’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Special Edition : The letter 18 September 2014
    Dr Jamie Whyte has been giving thoughtful speeches largely unreported. So we thought we would put out an edited version on the speech he gave yesterday. The full speech is on the website....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Differences in educational level reflected in voter choice
    Differences in educational level reflected in voter preferences The Green party has the highest proportion of tertiary educated supporters and NZ First has the least according to an analysis by the Election Data Consortium. The Consortium is made...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Renters need assistance to improve poor housing conditions
    Thursday 18 September 2014 Renters are living in poorer conditions than homeowners and are less empowered to improve their housing situation according to a study by medical students at the University of Otago, Wellington. The fourth year medical...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Pacific Island Affairs & NZ Police to work more closely
    The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs Chief Executive, Pauline Winter, and The Commissioner of Police, Mike Bush, are this afternoon signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry and the New Zealand Police....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Te Hira Paenga sets the record straight
    In recent days there has been much speculation about my campaign in Te Tai Tokerau. Some commentators have suggested that I should step down or endorse the Labour candidate in an attempt to stop the Internet Party riding on the...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Last Chance to Enrol to Vote – Don’t Miss Out
    Last Chance to Enrol to Vote – Don’t Miss Out If you’re not enrolled now, you need to hurry or you won’t be able to vote in this Saturday’s general election. “Election day is almost here, and it’s your last...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Stuart Nash voted against wishes of Napier Electorate
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar says the recent decision by the Advertising Standards Authority in reply to a complaint laid by Stuart Nash’s campaign manager confirms that Nash voted against the wishes of the Napier electorate. Robert...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • What price life asks Conservative Party
    The Conservative Party are asking what is the price of life if the killer of a defenceless homeless man who was viciously beaten and left to die was jailed for just 11 and a half years....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • National Stands To Lose Votes If Animal Welfare Is Ignored
    SAFE has presented Prime Minister John key with a 40,000 signature-strong petition calling for a farrowing crate ban....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Statement From Kim Dotcom
    Tonight Third Degree broadcast issues raised by three former staff members who are in dispute with us....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Three Internet-Mana Policies Blow the Bribe-O-Meter to Bits
    The Taxpayers’ Union has received advice that the cost of just three Internet-Mana policies is $17.6 billion - higher than the entire policy packages of the three main political parties combined. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Pregnancy Help Welcomes Green Party Packs for Newborn Babies
    Pregnancy Help applauds Metiria Turei acknowledging that “for many parents the birth of a new child is a highly stressful and financially straining time” and the desire for every child to thrive....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • McVicar Welcomes ASA Decision
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar welcomes the Advertising Standards Authority’s decision to not uphold the pamphlet complaint of Robert Johnson, Campaign Manager for Napier Labour candidate Stuart Nash. The ASA acknowledged that one complaint...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Whyte: In 12 months’ time, here is what will matter
    In three days’ time I will be elected along with a number of ACT MPs. I think the media will be surprised and ask how it happened?...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Internet MANA Will Grant Special Residency to Edward Snowden
    Internet MANA will put the case to the new government to welcome global surveillance whistle blower Edward Snowden, granting him safe passage and residency in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Ten millionth traveller uses SmartGate
    The 10 millionth traveller to pass through SmartGate, Customs’ automated passenger processing system, was greeted by Customs Manager Passenger Operations, Peter Lewis today at Auckland International Airport....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Key vs. Cunliffe: Final Live NZ Election Reactor 7pm Tonight
    John Key and David Cunliffe go head to head for the last time tonight and you can decide who wins by driving the worm. This is the last live Election Reactor covering the debate tonight at 7pm on TV One....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Offenders Get Road Safety Message
    Wellington Community Corrections partnered with emergency services, government agencies, organisations and Kapiti Coast District Council to deliver an innovative road safety programme to 70 community-based offenders at Southwards Car Museum on Tuesday 16...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Proposed law to decriminalise Abortion
    http://images.tvnz.co.nz/tvnz_images/news2011/politics_news/12/q_a_interview__list_mp_jan_logie_n2.jpgRight to Life is disappointed that the Green Party is refusing to provide a response to the seven very important questions that have been addressed to Jan Logie, spokesperson...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Election 2014 Will Be Costly
    The Taxpayers’ Union has today released the final update for its ' Bribe-O-Meter ' election costing website in the lead-up to Saturday’s general election. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Roy Morgan Poll September 17
    John Key set to win narrow election victory on Saturday as Labour/Greens slump puts Winston Peters in powerful position as NZ First surge to 8% Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows National (46.5%, up 1.5%) set to win a...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Wahakura Package would provide warm welcome for babies
    The Greens Wahakura Welcome package announced yesterday is a wonderful example of child-centred policy which would help all children get a fair and equal start in life, says Child Poverty Action Group. CPAG health spokesperson Innes Asher says,...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • TPPA a Sellout to American Corporate Greed
    New Zealand will become a permanent prisoner to the United States’ greed and global arrogance if the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) isn’t stopped, warns Internet MANA....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Wintry showers and blustery winds for Election Day
    As we head towards the weekend, it is time to look at what the weather will be for New Zealand's "Have Your Say" Day....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
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