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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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    On the Left | 22-10
  • Want lower rates? Cut back on urban sprawl
    Suburban sprawl is a radical, government-led re-engineering of society, one that artificially inverted millennia of accumulated wisdom and practice in building human habitats. Charles Marohn In the recent article The Conservative Case Against the Suburbs Charles Marohn (@StrongTowns) takes on the awkward relationship...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • Ebola Fear outstrips risk
    It's not just that Ebola sounds like a modern day black plague and probably originated from blood sucking bats living in dark caves - reason enough for people here in the United States to react like there's a Zombie-Vampire apocalypse...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • National lets Shell drill illegally
    Back in 2012, National passed the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act. At the time, they made a lot of noise about how this was the first legislation to properly protect the EEZ, and that it would...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • The crime is not being rich, the crime is we don’t tax all the income tha...
    In our last blog we looked at whether the claims of ‘rock star’ economist Thomas Piketty held any water or not. Short answer is that some did, some didn’t. In this blog we turn to what we should do about...
    Gareth’s World | 22-10
  • Justice for Nisour Square
    On September 16, 2007, Blackwater mercenaries ran amok in Nisour Square, Baghdad, indiscriminately firing at civilians. 17 people were killed and 20 injured. Today, a US jury has convicted them of that crime:Three security guards working for the private US...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • The gentle art of believing nothing
    I remember, quite a few years ago now, Jenny Shipley addressing a room and asking the question, “What is the purpose of the National Party?” The answer was: To defeat the Labour Party. National was there to be the party...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-10
  • Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 – what really happened?
    Three months after the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine the world is no wiser about what, and who, caused this crash. Well, we have the preliminary report but this only confirmed the bleeding obvious (“the aircraft was penetrated by a...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • It’s about history… & votes & elephants
    I think I'll start at the end. Andrew ended his recent post like this:...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More than 20 jobs saved at Auckland faculty of education
    The union and TEU members at the University of Auckland have managed to reduce proposed compulsory job cuts at the faculty of education from 35 down to just two. Local TEU organiser Enzo Giordani said feisty staff with a staunch...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the tokenism of New Zealand‘s role against Islamic Sta...
    Was John Key born lucky or what? Political performance tends to be judged on three things – the unemployment rate, the petrol price at the pump, and the market value of your house. This year, Key was lucky enough to...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-10
  • MIT chaos following job cut announcement
    Chaos reigns at MIT following last week’s announcement that the polytechnic will cut 68 full time equivalent jobs, according to local TEU organiser Chan Dixon. Over a thousand people have signed a petition opposing job cuts at the polytechnic. Staff are...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Auckland staff call for Living Wage
    The Living Wage Network held a rally and barbecue this week calling on the University of Auckland to become first New Zealand’s Living Wage university, by paying all staff, both directly employed and contracted staff, a living wage of $18.80...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Otago debates one off lump sum
    The University of Otago has not offered its staff a pay rise on their rates at collective agreement negotiations, opting instead to offer a one-off lump sum of $1000, which will not go ‘on the rates’. TEU members at the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Speaker: David Fisher: The OIA arms race
    Good afternoon everyone. I am David Fisher, a reporter with the New Zealand Herald. I have worked as a journalist for 25 years, mainly in New Zealand but across a number of other countries.I think there's some value before I...
    Public Address | 22-10
  • Employment law first act of new government
    As the prime minister promised, his government has rushed to push through its Employment Relations Amendment Bill as one of its very first actions this week. The bill, which union members and workers have actively opposed for the last year,...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • 7 inspiring stories of communities taking action for climate
    Stories of communities taking action for the climate and refusing to accept the plans of polluting fossil fuel companies are happening more and more. Here are just a few inspiring climate acts of courage taken by doctors, villagers, students, farmers,...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Blowin’ in the wind
    Wind power has a pivotal role to play in the world's energy supply over the next few years. By providing huge amounts of clean, affordable power, it can buy us time in the fight against global warming while revolutions in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Wanted: more fertiliser and horse manure
    Equality enriches the soil, just like manure, but a lot less stinky (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the...
    On the Left | 22-10
  • PM gets it right about Auckland, mostly
    Prime Minister John Key is dead right when he said: First home buyers in Auckland might have to consider an apartment in order to get onto the property ladder, Prime Minister John Key says. After all, the locational efficiencies of...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 23
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk Economic ProgrammePolicies 1. JAMI-LEE ROSS (NationalBotany) to the Minister of Finance : What measures is the Government taking to help the New Zealand economy become more productive and competitive?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS Economic Programme—Policies...
    Its our future | 22-10
  • John Key’s Multiple Identities
    Question to the Prime MinisterRussel Norman: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he txted him?Prime Minister: None in my capacity as Prime Minister.John Key...
    Local Bodies | 22-10
  • Where is the Middle?
    When Labour decides who will be the next leader, it is of interest to all of us involved in politics. After all the person chosen could be New Zealand's next Prime Minister. So the debate on the nature of the...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • Labour Needs A Civil Union With The Greens
    Much has been written about where Labour needs to go from here. One issue which doesn’t seem to have generated much interest is what do they do with the Greens?...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Lau...
    The People's Flag Is ... Mint Green? Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern (whom Twitter immediately dubbed Gracinda) pose in Mint Green for one of the glossy women's magazines. In a non-revolutionary era, superficial is about as deep as it gets. BIKERS?...
    Bowalley Road | 22-10
  • Auckland’s disturbing panopticon
    Earlier in the month, we learned that Auckland was planning to install a creepy panopticon, complete with ANPR and facial recognition, for vague and undefinied purposes. This produced a flurry of OIA requests via FYI, and one of them (for...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • How to Sell a House: Free Advice from a couple of experts. (Self-Described!...
      In the 32 years that Judy and I have been together we have bought and sold quite a few houses. Six years is the longest we  lived in any one of those houses.  Our friends regard us as gypsies. The...
    Brian Edwards | 22-10
  • Judith Collins’ two-tier OIA service
    Back in August, we learned that sewerblogger Cameron Slater was receiving extraordinary OIA service from then-Minister of Justice Judith Collins, in one case receiving a response to a request within 37 minutes. But it wasn't just extraordinary for its speed;...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Fluoridation – a racist conspiracy?
    Political activists campaigning on health issues often resort to scaremongering. This can be dangerous – especially when their stories have no real basis but rely on selective and distorted information. Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network (FAN) often resorts to this sort of scaremongering. Now...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • Unbelieveable
    This week we've seen the Prime Minister desperately trying to cover up his war plans by pretending that Obama's war-planning meeting was just a "regular" meeting of defence partners which we just happened to be attending. Over on Kiwipolitico Pablo...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Are the police using ANPR to target the disabled?
    The media this morning is full of stories of the paralysed man caught driving using a walking stick to reach the pedals. Its good that he's off the road, but there's one point in the story which raises questions:The driver...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
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