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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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  • The best of Neetflux (so far)
    A selection of our favourite Neetflux posters to date. Here’s to more awesome political satire to come! (Click through for full-size on Neetflux’s Tumblr)...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Chipping away at police unaccountability
    Traditionally, our police have enjoyed a wide discretion over who to prosecute and how. Sometimes, this is a good thing - it means that the time of the courts is not wasted on minor crimes. In other cases, its use...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    frogblog | 21-11
  • CTU disappointed by poor government advice to workers on petrol station dri...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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