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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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  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    6 days ago
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says.… ...
    6 days ago
  • Haere Rā 2014
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    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
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    GreensBy James Shaw MP
    1 week ago
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago

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