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Selling NZ – in the news

Written By: - Date published: 8:05 am, December 29th, 2012 - 91 comments
Categories: business, economy, Environment, farming, overseas investment, Privatisation - Tags:

There’s been a couple of stories in the news over the last 24 hours that could do with some scrutiny.  The both relate to NZ’s involvement in the global market-place, and raise questions about benefits to NZ and it’s citizens.

The treasury has warned that selling three power companies in quick succession could be counter-productive. According to an RNZ article:

Newly released advice from the Treasury says it is only practical to sell one company every six months – two next year, and one in 2014. It says that still makes the programme vulnerable to a market downturn or a dip in a company’s performance.

Finance Minister Bill English has been considering selling all three power companies next year.

It was good to see that Labour MP Chris Hipkins was onto it quickly.  However, as some Standard commenters pointed out, he confused the situation by seeming to both oppose and support the government’s asset sales programme.  On TV One last night, Hipkins said:

“The Government would flood the market if they introduced three companies all in the same industry into the market in one year, it would mean the taxpayer wouldn’t get the best possible price for them,” says Labour MP Chris Hipkins.

“I’m not surprised that the Government are running away from this issue, they know the New Zealand public don’t want these assets to be sold,” says Hipkins.

On TV3, Hipkins seemed to totally support the asset sales,  by saying the over-crowded sale schedule would disadvantage “Mum and Dad” investors:

And Labour says it would disadvantage individuals wanting to invest.

“Mum and dad investors would struggle to scrape together enough money to invest in one electricity company in one year let alone invest in three of them,” says Labour spokesman Chris Hipkins. “So what this is going to do, if they force all these sales through in one year, we are going to see those shares going to corporate interests and overseas investors, not to mums and dads.”

In contrast, Green co-leader Metiria Turei issued a statement unequivocally opposing asset sales, as reported at the above TV3 link:

“Treasury’s saying don’t do it, the sharemarket can’t handle it – so let’s heed Treasury’s advice,” says Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei. “They’re not a radical organisation, they’re a conservative economic organisation and they’re saying it’s not possible.”

There’s another story today about a milk processing factory possibly being set up in NZ by an overseas company.  Some overseas investment is good for NZ.  NZ farmers appear to like this one. Others here will be a better judge of that than me.

Federated Farmers says the likely sale of Oceania Dairy to China’s largest dairy producer by market value should be good news for farmers looking to get the best price for their milk.

Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group (Yili) plans to buy Oceania Dairy to acquire the resource consents it holds over 38 hectares near Glenavy in South Canterbury, to build an infant formula plant on that site, according to media reports.

The deal is subject to approval from the Overseas Investment Office but if given the green light, Yili will reportedly invest $214 million in the plant.

The upside is that it will provide jobs for Kiwis.  However, that is often only a short-term benefit. This potential development should also be seen in the context of how the whole area is being developed.  Multiple initiatives in the area could result in over-stressing the environment.

There was still a “huge expansion” taking place in the dairy industry in that region, with a couple of big irrigation schemes like Hunter Downs and South Waitaki still to come off which would increase the amount of irrigated area down there and could lead to increased milk supply.

Leferink said he did not see “a hell of a lot of stretch” in the supply base until the country reached the maximum number of cows it could sustain in the long-term, and even then cows could produce more milk than they were currently.

However, I will leave it up to the knowledgeable Standard commenters to put such potential developments under scrutiny.  Many are far more knowledgeable than me about business and the economy.

91 comments on “Selling NZ – in the news”

  1. Curran's Viper 1

    Releasing potentially controversial news during quiet media periods has a long history.

    Selling power companies appears to fit into this category.

    NZ needs stable investment, and Yili needs milk formula so here has to be an equitable deal there somewhere, part of the attraction being “resource consents it holds over 38 hectares near Glenavy in South Canterbury” for expansion.

  2. felixviper 2

    Oh FFS Labour, what the hell are you doing?

    Hipkins has just handed the whole asset sales argument to National. He concedes that not only do assets have to be sold, but that they’re being sold for the benefit of “Mum an Dad investors”.

    Who the fuck is in charge of the Labour caucus? Why are these fucking idiots being allowed to support National’s narrative?

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      Time for a coffee, felix? Hipkins did not endorse the sales, he simply undermined National’s argument that ‘mum and dad’ investors would buy the stock. The same point applies to the post; pointing out that international investors will be the big winners and that Kiwis will be the losers is not an endorsement of the sales.

      • Saarbo 2.1.1

        I’m with felix. Labour need to be absolutely clear in its message. For most people who dont live and breath politics, Hipkins message is that the Sales are ok, just don’t bunch them up within a 12 month period. So if English decides to spread the sales over a 2 year period, problem solved. Once again Labour dont have a CLEAR message.

        Regarding the sale of NZ’s milk productive capacity overseas: Dumb, just plain Dumb. Since Labour/Helen helped set up Fonterra in 2001 (Dairy Industry Restructuring Act), Fonterra has shown clearly that the Co op structure is the best way to structure our dairy industry, it maximises the amount of money that stays in NZ. Overseas ownership adds nothing to our dairy industry. It simply siphons of part of the profits to overseas to do even more damage to our current account deficit.

        • The message from Hipkins was perfectly clear .He was using the example the Nat’s use to discredit them. I just wish some people would listen properly before they rush out to discredit Labour.,The enemy is National .Do you critics want another 3 years of this awful
          Tory government ? Because reading what you moaners are writing will do just that. Go and moan on the Right-Wing blogs , there is certainly enough to moan about to that lot.

        • The message from Hipkins was perfectly clear .He was using the example the Nat’s use to discredit them. I just wish some people would listen properly before they rush out to discredit Labour.,The enemy is National .Do you critics want another 3 years of this awful
          Tory government ? Because reading what you moaners are writing will do just that. Go and moan on the Right-Wing blogs , there is certainly enough to moan about to that lot.

      • Murray Olsen 2.1.2

        I’m also with Felix. Hipkins comes across as wanting to do the asset sales “properly” rather than feeling any depth of opposition to them. I can only imagine that he rose through the ranks due to the patronage of some Labour apparatchik, not due to any involvement in class struggle nor strongly held beliefs in the role of a progressive left. Every time this undergrown schoolboy opens his mouth is another reminder that the traitors in caucus value loyalty to a loser of a leader far more than ability or ideology. They’re worse than useless.

        • Saarbo 2.1.2.1

          Agree Murray. Hipkins outburst after the Conference was disgusting, I still have not heard what happened to New Lynns complaint re this? Hipkins is not Labour MP material.
          Makes you wonder what Labour’s criteria is to choose their MP’s.

      • Populuxe1 2.1.3

        Oh come on Former Voice Of Reason, have you already forgotten David Parker’s Robert Walters Finance Breakfast Speech?

    • Dr Terry 2.2

      One can only guess that were Labour in office it would carry right on with the asset sales. I am so heartily sick and tired of hearing that awful phrase “Mum and Dad investors”. Probably most investors will be neither mum’s or dad’s! (But we have to be seen to comply with those other meaningless words “family values”).

      • Rodel 2.2.1

        Dr Terry I too am sick of the expression ‘mum and dad investors’. It’s nearly a mantra.

        I’m also sick of ‘asset sales’. The term should be ‘asset theft!…asset theft!…asset theft!…..’ repeated endlessly until it sinks in to the public mind.

    • QoTViper 2.3

      +1

      Another note to Chris Hipkins: “Mum and Dad investors” are a myth. Most Kiwis actually can’t “scrape together” enough to invest in anything. Also, doesn’t flooding the market with three companies simultaneously make it easier for “Mum and Dad” to invest, since it means the prices will be lower?

      Of course, Labour could just stop tying itself in knots by saying “Asset sales are wrong, National are clearly motivated by giving their mates more successful companies to invest in, Mum and Dad investors are a myth” but that would involve some basic political nous.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1

        +1

        But we won’t get that as Labour are just as much about propping up the failure of capitalism as National are.

        • marty mars 2.3.1.1

          + 1 so true D, so true.

        • Populuxe1 2.3.1.2

          Labour always more or less has been – however prior to the clusterfuck of Labour 4 (or ACT 1 if you prefer) and again during Labour 5 (or at least it seemed to me), they were doing it for the right reasons, ie the country as a whole, not just the rich pricks.

    • Fortran 2.4

      I have spoken access to two very senior staff at major KiwiSaver Managers and they have said that they are cashed up to get as many shares, in any, or all of the partial sales, as possible on behalf of their savers as they believe that they are all good long term investments.

      • VindowViper 2.4.1

        Well in that case how about just allocating say 50% of the shares to the NZ Super Fund and the rest can be bid among from various New Zealand based Kiwisavers and/or iwi’s?

        That’s about the only basis on which this asset sale program makes any sense whatsoever. Anything else is just the usual theft by privatisation.

        • Georgecom 2.4.1.1

          Got to disagree. If Kiwisaver fund managers are so keen on investing in power generation that says strongly that the assets are worth keeping in collective ownership and socialising the dividends.

          The argument I have heard mounted in support of sales, deepening the stock market, isn’t much of an argument to me. Why does the state need to prop up the stock market? Any economic future NZ has is not about state handouts for financial capital. We have tried variants of that. 2008 showed financial capital doesn’t respect any help it receives.

          Better that financial capital concentrates on building new companies. If the stock market is weak, ‘bring to market’ attractive new ventures, don’t simply expect handouts from the state.

          On the matter of dairy processing. My strong preference is for NZ concerns, including money, to be tied into joint ventures where the total benefits of production and consumption provide a national benefit. That is, where the full benefits flow back to NZ. There can be some capital put up by foreign entities but that should be matched with domestic investment – a joint venture. It is all good and well processing product in NZ, that is part of the equation. The sharing of profits from the supply network, sales and consumption are other parts in the full circuit of capital. The full value to NZ lies in having fingers in those pies as well.

          I am not of course expecting the Key Government to have much interest in developing the conditions to allow NZ inc to extend its fingers into such pies. That would necessitate having a plan. Long and recycled shopping lists, nebulous goals and vague intentions don’t add up to plans.

    • Fortran 2.5

      According to Reserve Bank figures there is something like $111 billion currently with banks in New Zealand on short term deposit.

      Kiwisaver managers will take as much of the partial sales as they can get there hands on –
      Two million or so New Zealand members.

    • infused 2.6

      Heh, Hipkins is a tool. Never liked the guy.

  3. bad12 3

    Inherent within the Yili industry Group plan to build a baby-formula plant is the problem of the de-industrialization of New Zealand,

    We know that the demand in Asia for baby-formula is so huge that individuals have been resorting to the mass buying of the product from New Zealand super-markets and it’s exportation,

    It is then market failure here in New Zealand where the demand has not been met by any growth of production here to attempt to match the demand in the Asian economy’s,

    So much for the ‘smart’ or ‘knowledge’ economy, what New Zealand is increasingly looking like is an ‘out-smarted’ economy with little ‘knowledge’ of it’s markets,

    Admittedly 240 million dollars isn’t a small investment for any local appetite to be able to service, BUT, we either watch as more and more of the profits from the New Zealand dairy industry flow off shore or Government either directly or through a mechanism such as the New Zealand superannuation fund begins to directly invest in New Zealand production…

  4. Rob A 4

    I work in the Dairy Industry. And I think you may be missing the real point regarding Oceania. They tried for years to raise capital in NZ and couldn’t do it. Eventually they gave up and sold thier milk supply contracts to another company. Now Yili have come in and are going for the resource consents and land to build the factory.
    There was a similar case a couple of years ago with another dairy company Synlait. They had tried to raise local money for over a year in NZ for expansion and in the end could only source the money by selling 51% of themselves to a Chinese company.
    There was also NZ Dairies in South Canterbury which was 100% owned by Russians. They got it at a bargain price because they were first bought in as investors then things turned south for the company and they NZ owners wanted out. The investors again tried to raise money in NZ but were unable to
    And now we have Fonterra portions heading overseas with thier new share trading scheme which began so they could look at future changes to thier structure to make it easier to raise capital.

    I don’t know much about the other areas you’ve mentioned but right through the NZ dairy industry the common thread is that if you want to raise capital for expansion, you’ve got to get that money from overseas.

    How much money dies the Cullen fund have invested overseas?
    Cullen was a brilliant finance minister but I think he missed a real opportunity to invest a lot of money in NZ and create jobs and companies here. If National have a drop of sense they would take a look at the schemes rules, not that they even care about it

    • bad12 4.1

      Part of the lack of investment capital ‘problem’ in New Zealand goes back to the machinations of the 1980′s sharemarket and it’s later ‘correction’ or ‘crash’,

      Having been severely burned by what was in essence acts of theft and fraud surrounding the ‘industry’ which services the share-market the growing and increasingly cash rich,(bloated), middle class looked for an investment that they could personally control,

      We have to go way off topic here, but, any explanation around the lack of investor capital in this country need address the issue across the whole economic paradigm,

      The investment of choice of that cash rich New Zealand middle class then became rental housing aided and abetted by Governments who either gave scant regard to increasing the number of State Owned Housing within the context of a population that in the period was grown artificially from 3 million odd souls to over 4 million, or, as in the case of the National Government of the time directly added fuel to the fire by selling off 1000′s of the housing stock owned by the state,

      Such a situation created by successive Governments seen rental housing as the choice of investment for the middle class, a side effect of this being that prices were soon driven above what an average wage could afford to purchase via a mortgage which of course simply created more of a demand for rental housing,

      Private household debt in New Zealand is at the moment in the realm of 150 billion dollars and much of this is locked into rental investment housing and if successive Governments had of taken the necessary steps to alleviate rental demand as this occurred much of that 150 billion dollars would have to be invested elsewhere, such as the share-market,

      I can address at some other time what is ‘needed’ to remedy the investment imbalance from the point of view of the doubling o the provision of State Owned Rentals at some other time, but, in view of the middle class being ‘gun-shy’ when it comes to share-market investment, (and who could really blame them), it would be a simple matter for Government to establish an investment vehicle similar to the ‘Cullen fund’ designed specifically to take in the cash excesses of the middle class, invest these in New Zealand production where possible and give a guaranteed minimum return on the investments while also giving investors a bonus issue where like the ‘Cullen Fund’ the investment vehicle out-performed it’s expectations,

      As sole investors the New Zealand middle class lack the financial literacy and the gravitas of capital mass to be able to realize a reasonable return from the New Zealand share-market, but as an organized collective of capital managed under a fund such as the ‘Cullen Fund’ they could be persuaded with a guarantee of return to invest in New Zealand’s productive base…

      • Rob A 4.1.1

        I like your thinking and there really isn’t anything there I disagree with. I for one would like to hear you explain what you think is needed.

        • bad12 4.1.1.1

          As far as an investment vehicle??? it would seem reasonably simple for Government to establish a ‘fund’ where it,(the Government),invests dollar for dollar along with private New Zealand citizens in New Zealand production where the Government guarantees a specific return for those investors,

          As far as dairy goes there is no reason why such an investment vehicle could not be invested from the cows teat,(actual farm ownership), right through the processing chain to the exportation of product such as baby formula and i am sure many ordinary Kiwi’s would be more than thrilled to be able via the capital mass of such a fund invest in such ownership,

          Such an investment fund managed in much the same fashion as the present Cullen Fund with a guaranteed minimum return would surely attract a risk averse middle class back to investing in the share market,

          Having said all of that, i will add the codicil that it is my firm belief that the middle class of New Zealand has by successive Government’s design been allowed to ‘capture’ far to much of the profits of New Zealand’s capital base,

          This capture of capital as wages and salary’s has been at the expense of (a) those who daily labour at pushing the heavy wheel of capitalism, working for the minimum wage or just above, and (b), the capture of a bigger share of the capital base by the middle classes has been at the cost of actual employment, where for every $10,000 of pay rises the middle class have done at least one of those who have the least skills out of the chance of employment,

          My writing above simply deals with ‘what is now’ and is definitely not what i consider to be the ideal for our economy or society into the future…

        • bad12 4.1.1.2

          PS, i have deliberately not addressed the issue of ‘housing’ in my reply to you as to do justice to such a fundamental area of society and economy would (a), drag the current post way off topic, and (b), as ‘affordable housing’ is at the heart of my economic and social views to address what i see as ‘needed’ along with the history and reasoning behind such beliefs would take one very very very long comment and is probably best left for future comments in a post dealing specifically with that question…

    • Ad 4.2

      Well observed Rob A. Dairy farmers are grinding their way through mortgage debt from expansion and increased mechanisation over the last decade. Even that has been a massive step in gearing for them.

      But there is not enough local capital, often, to reach beyond that. Dairy farmers know that, which is one reason Fonterra’s foreign capital raising was so narrow, and hard fought. It’s been heartening to see central north island post settlement iwi go beyond farm ownership into processing.

      What I see missing is mechanisms to bind the interests of the state with Fonterra. Being an active shareholder through the shareholders group (via Landcorp) would be a start. Buying more tradable shares on behalf of NZSuperfund would be another.

      But there are others. For example the last Labour government formed the Fast Forward Fund with its Crown Research Institutes and most of the pastoral sector, binding massive pastoral productivity research together. Hopefully Labour brings something similar back. Would have been worth over $2 billion by now.

      Next time Fonterra asks for another legislative tweak, Labour should require a seat at the board.

      Labour has little understanding of how patriotic and commercial farmers are together. They had a sniff of it over the Crafar Farms debate. But they did nothing with it. Unless they grapple hard with the vital importance of dairy, and fight to retain partial ownership here of as much as they can via foreign ownership rules, they will see the electoral map remain largely deep, deep blue.

    • Saarbo 4.3

      Fonterra have as part of their mission statement to never turn away farmers milk,so I’m not convinced that there is a need for alternative production capacity.The problem with new capacity created by private organisations (synlait etc)is, to get started is very capital intensive and the new corporate manufacturers can’t get the critical mass to make a buck, while Fonterra can simply absorb the extra capacity within its system. I guess my point is, why do synlait and Oceania need to exist? A supplier owned single desk seller will always be the best way to maximise the return for New Zealand. But regulation is essential for domestic supply!
      Regarding Fonterra’s Trading Among Farmers, I don’t believe that this was needed. It was created to deal with redemption risk by Fonterra suppliers. Fonterra has only had one year when farmers redeemed a large number of shares, in 2008, due to drought. Since then Fonterra has strengthened it’s balance sheet and redemption of a large number of shares would not be a huge problem. I suspect TAF was done to help strengthen the NZ capital markets (one of the reasons National is keen to sell our power co’s as well) and it is the neo lib sort of thing to do. I understand that the National Party were quite resistant to setting up Fonterra in the late 90′s, a Dairy Board director mentioned that if it wasn’t for Labour, Fonterra wouldn’t have been set up. I suspect that National wanted a number of competing corporate manufacturers.
      Time will tell whether TAF was the right thing to do.

      • Rob A 4.3.1

        Fonterra is really struggling to meet capacity. They’ve just built a new factory in Canterbury and there are expansions going ahead at two sites next season. You sound like you know what you are talking about but for any others reading milk is very seasonal. Factories are built to take a maximum amount of milk but this is only for 4-6 weeks of the year. The rest of the season factories are running below capacity. Because they have to take all milk offered to them this is Fonterras weakpoint, they have to process x amount of milk, thus thier plants are designed to do so.
        Fonterra is mainly a normal powder manufacturer. There is only 1 Fonterra Infant Formula plant, there are a lot of extra rules and hygiene requirements on plants that make Infant formula. Whereas the smaller companies largely make higher end products and have a good history of paying farmers more than Fonterra does

        • Saarbo 4.3.1.1

          Thanks Rob, yes I was aware that Tatua in Morrinsville pay more than Fonterra (Tatua is another Co op though, just a small one), I wasnt sure about other factories.
          I am a bit of a fan of Co op structures compared to Corporates. I’ve seen a lot of Corporates fold over the last 20 years CHH, Fletcher Challenge etc while Fonterra has grown and done well dealing with the challenges of dairy expansion. I could do a decent rant on co ops versus corporates but I havent got time now. And am very aware of the huge environmental issues created by dairying, these must be dealt with…and soon. But at least Fonterra has made it mandatory for all suppliers to fence water ways by the end of May 2013….which is heading in the right direction. Farmers wont spend money on environmental improvements unless it is mandatory.
          Regarding the capacity issue where fonterra has to take a huge amount of milk in the 4 to 6 weeks, I guess this drives their capacity towards powder. But I would imagine in absolute terms Fonterra would dwarf any other NZ supplier manufacturing Baby Formula? Maybe you can confirm Rob?

          • Rob A 4.3.1.1.1

            I agree with what you’re saying about co-ops, but I’m not the GM :)

            The environmental impact is also something that the dairy industry has to get sorted and soon.

            For infant powders it has been a bit of a one horse race until recently. Synlaits infant plant is only 18 months old and is the biggest infant dryer in the world but typically the first year or two of a plant is commisioning and just learning how to run it. Rumour is they are looking to start building another infant dryer shortly. If that’s true they must be going really well.
            Westland has resource consents to build an infant plant in Rolleston Canterbury and there is another company starting in Otago shortly that has been saying they are going to build an infant plant.
            OCD (that Talleys outfit) doesn’t make it, probably the biggest thing holding them back is they’d have to get some skilled operators and they don’t like paying the going rate. They are fast becoming Fonterras training academy. I’m being a prick here, their plants are cheap peices of shit, if I was a buyer I wouldn’t take normal powder off them let alone infant.
            I don’t think Tatua does infant, they do some other pretty high end products. The only other one I know of is Dairy Goat in the Waikato, but that site is tiny.

            • Saarbo 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Interesting what you say about OCC/Talleys Rob. The same goes for their farmer suppliers,no fences around waterways. Proves my theory that farmers won’t do anything environmental unless mandatory.

  5. Phaedrus 5

    One sign of ‘oppression’ is buying into the terminology. By using ‘mum and dad investors’ Hipkins has done just this. Education is a good example, where the meaningless phrase ‘raising achievement’ is being used by all and sundry. Lakhoff and Chomsky both highlight the use of language in this way.

    • The Al1en 5.1

      “One sign of ‘oppression’ is buying into the terminology. By using ‘mum and dad investors’ Hipkins has done just this.”

      Not surprising when his boss has gone on about brighter futures already.

      Like I said, die already cast.

      “Go back to your constituencies and prepare for defeat” :lol:

  6. tc 6

    Hipkins as spokesperson……facepalm.

    No better way to show you don’t give a F about agenda setting labour, great opportunity to get a jump on the hollowman spin as they always unleash the bad news in the festive break and you assign the village idiot.

    The mallarfia stands back and with more than a touch of arrogance to admire their boy’s work.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    I thought Labour’s message on Asset Sales was obvious … referendum, referendum, referendum.

    Keep saying it, until there is one. How hard is that?

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Some overseas investment is good for NZ.

    No, foreign investment is always bad for the local economy as it deprives the local economy of ongoing investment and the benefits of it’s own work.

    The upside is that it will provide jobs for Kiwis.

    Unlikely. In fact it’s more likely to result, overall, in less jobs. That massive investment is to be able to produce more product using less people. As everyone should know I’m not against using automation and machinery to decrease the amount of work but the present capitalist structure of our economy means that we will just end up with more poverty while the benefits of the use of the nations resources goes overseas.

    • karol 8.1

      I did say that the creation of jobs from such overseas investments is often a short term benefit.

      I had thought that if an overseas investor chose to live in NZ, and put a significant amount of profits into funding NZ businesses, along with up-skilling and up-resourcing said NZ business, it might be a good thing. TGhat also takes into account what bad12 and ad said about the lack of NZ funding to invest in businesses providing necessary goods and services for NZ.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        I had thought that if an overseas investor chose to live in NZ, and put a significant amount of profits into funding NZ businesses, along with up-skilling and up-resourcing said NZ business, it might be a good thing.

        That would make them a NZ investor which may make it a Good Thing – for a short term anyway until the dead weight loss of profit overwhelms it.

      • RedLogix 8.1.2

        FDI can be a very mixed bag.

        One of the relatively few good examples I can think of is Juken Nissho. They actually came here and built new plant, with unique product, serving a market that no local company was ever likely to enter. They employ about 1000 New Zealanders and have proven to be stable employers.

        (While it’s true that for some years in the 90′s the local management struggled to get up to speed with acceptable workplace safety, they’ve improved a lot in the last decade.)

        At the very least they add one hell of a lot more value than shipping raw logs over the wharf, which is what happens to most of them.

        Contrast this with the behaviour of Wisconsin after they purchased NZ Rail, undertaking an utterly reprehensible, rapacious asset stripping. Literally they had guys going round tearing out any and every piece of equipment, spares, sidings, wagons, tracks, tools … anything they could get away with gas-axing off the floors, walls or trackside…. and hocking it off for whatever price they could get. Scrap metal prices often.

        Two extremes examples. By and large the long-term loss of economic sovereignty usually doesn’t turn out to be worth any short-term gain in employment or taxes.

        • McFliper 8.1.2.1

          Agree entirely.

          shame our own government is copying Wisconsin these days.

        • karol 8.1.2.2

          RL, your argument looks sound to me. I do not claim to be an expert (or anywhere near it) on business operations.

        • Molly Polly 8.1.2.3

          (Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group (Yili) plans to buy Oceania Dairy to acquire the resource consents it holds over 38 hectares near Glenavy in South Canterbury, to build an infant formula plant on that site, according to media reports.)

          What I don’t understand is why is there such a market for baby formula in China (or in Asia in general)? What has happened that babies are no longer breastfeed and therefore require cows milk specially formulated to feed them? Why is cows milk for babies so popular?

          Is it because breastfeeding is not fashionable any more and cows milk is somehow better/more healthy these days? Obviously Chinese babies have been breastfeed since time began and survived (like the rest of the world) perfectly well.

          Or is it because mothers return to paid work soon after their babies are born and are unable to keep breastfeeding?

          What is going on? In NZ (and western countries) breastfeeding is promoted as the healthiest option for infants. And this is of course backed up by research. Although you don’t actually need research to tell you that cow’s milk is not what nature intended for human babies. We all know breast is best. And Mums are encouarged and supported to breatsfeed even if they are returning to the work force while their babes are little.

          But it’s Ok apparently for Chinese babies to have second best. And it’s obviously OK for companies to market baby formula as great for these babies – andin the process make huge profits from it’s manufacture.

          Just saying…

          • xtasy 8.1.2.3.1

            Well, NZ is staunch on anti-smoking policy too, but a year or two ago, a major tobacco manufacturer opened a brand new factory in a suburb of Wellington, exporting heaps of cigarettes to Australia.

            NatACT and capitalist whoredom and hypocrisy at its best, that is NZ (clean, green 100 per cent pure tobacco, made in NZ, same as baby formula to enable Chinese women to spend more time working their butts off)!

            • Molly Polly 8.1.2.3.1.1

              Chinese women working their butts off because they have to return to work soon after giving birth to their one child (maybe two if they get permission from the govt) for poor wages and work conditions to produce cheap goods for the world. Meanwhile they PAY for their babies to be fed formula. Poor women, poor babies.

              • xtasy

                Given the scandals about food poisoning and what one reads at times, maybe the mother’s milk in many Chinese women is also at danger of high levels of detrimental toxins. Hence the obsession with “clean, green” NZ milk powder, better than nothing??

                • Molly Polly

                  You would think that the formula milk scandal where thousands of babies suffered kidney probelms (and some died) would have encouraged Chinese mother’s to maintain breastfeeding not buy NZ made baby formula. I find it hard to believe that Chinese women’s breastmilk is inferior due to toxins but I may be wrong. More likely that formula is thought of as a better alternative and is popular because it is “european” – as what has happened in other developing countries. And because it fits into getting women back to work quicker.

                  • Rob A

                    By Infant formula they mean different formulations upto 2 years. Where I work we make 24 different recipes only 3 of which are Step 1 for kids 0-6 months old. There is also GUMP powder (growing up milk powder) for upto 4 years mainly as a dietry supplement.
                    The tainted milk scandal was actually what created the big demand in China for foreign formula. There is a big mark up for products manufactured and packed in reputable countries.
                    I forget the exact number but there are over 30 million babies in China being supported by 6 incomes because of the 1 child rule. The market there and what they are prepared to pay is absolutely huge, some brands are pushing $100 a tin.

                    • Molly Polly

                      As we know breastfeeding is easy, cheap and healthy. The Chinese are being conned.

                      And I also don’t get why formula has been extended to older children. What did they feed their children on before formula became so popular? Milk is not a staple diet in China.

                    • Rob A

                      Once past the stage 1 which is meant to be as close to mums milk as possible I believe it’s purely as a supplement. Milk and it’s benefits have been pushed very much in China for the last decade at least and the market there has been growing rapidly. About 10% per year for the last decade, in a market as big as China that’s huge. I’m in manufacturing not marketing or Tech but our Chinese formulas compared to other recipes for western countries have lots of trace minerals and vitamins probably not available in the usual diet.

                  • xtasy

                    Molly Polly: Hey we want em working, working, working, that is the purpose of life, as Paula Bennett also tells beneficiaries. And if you have any doubt, do a Google search on NZ doctor David Bratt, the Principal Health Advisor for WINZ and MSD. He has many presentations going around, telling us about the great health benefits of work, and that worklessness is evil and living off a benefit is like drug dependence.

                    Work, work, work, and your health will be good.

                    Time of work is evil, encourages laziness and imagined illness and worse. Maybe the Chinese love Dr Bratt and his philosophy???

  9. Yoza 9

    The sale of publicly owned assets serves the purpose of increasing corporate influence over the New Zealand economy while decreasing the influence publicly elected officials can exert. In the minds of the right the government exists to manage the population for the benefit of private enterprise – a euphemism for corporate rule. As private interests ‘strip mine the economy’ a greater number of people are forced to squabble more strenuously for diminishing scraps from the table.

    ‘Fortunately’ we have corporate run prisons for those people who can not psychologically cope with a system designed to prevent them making any meaningful contribution to society.

    I haven’t been able to watch any of the previous Batman movies (mind numbingly boring), but seeing the shorts for the latest one I thought I would get it out on video and was quite surprised to hear Anne Hathaway/Catwoman admonishing Christian Bale/Bruce Wayne: “There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you’re all going to wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”

    There must be alarm bells going off somewhere if dialogue this subversive is getting into corporate mass media products. Just to clarify, Batman, A Dark Knight Rises, is not a subversive movie, but there is definitely an attempt to garner credibility through paying lip service to the perceptions the average person has about the disproportionate influence corporations exert on the decision making processes throughout Western society and the way those decisions are concentrating a greater share of wealth in fewer hands.

    “There’s a storm brewing Mr Key…”

    • karol 9.1

      Hathaway/Catwoman admonishing Christian Bale/Bruce Wayne: “There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you’re all going to wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”

      Often in Hollywood movies the baddies say things that come from the left and/or revolutionaries. It does acknowledge such ideas, but contains and undermines them.

      • McFliper 9.1.1

        Yeah, it’s a mixed bag. It shows the opinions are powerful and popular enough to denigrate, but it’s still an attack.

        Although Goebbels would have been smart enough to have the opinions expressed not by the charismatic and/or attractive “baddie”, but by one of their weak and cowardly henchmen folk es lickspittles.

      • McFliper 9.1.2

        heh – the “G” man is obviously a trigger for moderation :)

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.3

        Yeah, I’ve been noticing that. The Good Guys almost always are rich, influential and think of everybody while the Bad Guys are poor, violent and are only concerned for themselves. See it in books as well. The whole lot propagates the Randian Super-Hero myth that the RWNJs seem to believe without question.

        • RedLogix 9.1.3.1

          Yes. Propaganda woven deep into the warp of Hollywood’s ‘popular entertainment’ is enormously potent.

          This is why storytellers were always such subversive people.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.3.1.1

            And an article about this pops on Craked.com

            So, yes, for the fucking love of God, movies matter. TV shows matter. Novels matter. They shape the lens through which you see the world. The very fact that you don’t think they matter, that even right now you’re still resisting the idea, is what makes all of this so dangerous to you — you watch movies so you can turn off your brain and let your guard down. But while your guard is down, you’re letting them jack directly into that part of your brain that creates your mythology. If you think about it, it’s an awesome responsibility on the part of the storyteller. And you’re comfortable handing that responsibility over to Michael Bay.

            No, it’s not a conspiracy – it’s just that the only people making the decisions about which movies are made all think the same.

            • Yoza 9.1.3.1.1.1

              I can’t help but agree with all the comments here. And thanks for the link to the piece at Cracked by David Wong, Draco, it was well worth the read.

            • karol 9.1.3.1.1.2

              Thanks, Draco for the link. Excellent source. It reminded me of a plan and notes I had for a post for a slow news day over the summer. Just pulled out my document for it, and will use your link in the post.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 9.1.3.2

          Except in James Bond. The rich guys are super rich right wing manipulative control freaks who use their power (and media inteersts) to manipulate the political process (purely hypothetical of course!!)

          Bruce Wayne strangely chooses to fight corrupt politicians with violence- why doesn’t he just bribe them!

      • Populuxe1 9.1.4

        Catwoman isn’t exactly a baddy per se, and the Batman mythos has always played ironical about the Bruce Wayne side. Wayne must play the billionaire playboy so as to hide his Batman activities. Considerably more complex than you are painting it. Nothing about Batman is black and white – so all in all a really bad example.

        • karol 9.1.4.1

          Yes, it’s a double play of good and bad. But it enables Wayne/Batman to look like a good guy, while having the trappings of wealth and glamour. Batwoman is one of the more attractive villains, but she doesn’t have the power of Batman, so who anti-establishment/revolutionary ethos, can be savoured, but not allowed to be victorious.

          It allows for some resistant readings by some in the audience, but for most, reinforces the belief in the goodness of the status quo.

  10. People's Power Ohariu 10

    “We’re gonna stop the asset sales”
    To the tune of Down by the Riverside

    Chorus:
    We’re gonna stop them flogging off our dams
    Down by the riverside
    Waikato to the Clyde
    We won’t be satisfied
    Til we’ve stopped them flogging off our dams
    Down by the riverside
    Because the Government lied …

    Verse one:
    They said its for the mums and dads
    That we would be so glad
    To cough up for some shares
    But it will cost a grand or two
    Too much for me and you
    But we’re gonna STOP THE ASSET SALES!

    Chorus:

    Verse two:
    Stock brokers, bankers and their mates
    Yes they’re all on the take
    One hundred million plus
    All their snouts are in the trough
    We’ll get them all to BUGGER OFF!
    Cos we’re gonna STOP THE ASSET SALES!

    Chorus:

    Verse three:
    They said they’ll paint some schools for you
    A hospital or two
    Its just a big brush off
    After the power companies are gone
    Other state assets won’t last long
    So we’re gonna STOP THE ASSET SALES!

    Verse four:
    We can forget the puppet Dunne
    We’ve got him on the run
    He thought that he could hide
    He never showed up in the House
    Ohariu will chuck him out
    And we’re gonna STOP THE ASSET SALES!

    Chorus:
    We’re gonna stop them flogging off our dams
    Down by the riverside
    Waikato to the Clyde
    We won’t be satisfied
    Til we’ve stopped them flogging our dams
    Down by the riverside
    Because the Government lied …
    Because the Government lied …
    We’re gonna STOP …THE …ASSET …SALES!

    People’s Power Ohariu
    save.our.soes@hotmail.co.nz
    August 2012

    • Matthew Hooton 10.1

      Contact Energy, which owns the Clyde Dam, was 100% sold in 1999, so the reference to Clyde should probably be changed in the chorus, because otherwise it doesn’t really make sense.

      • tc 10.1.1

        But otherwise you’ve no issues with it, thanks Matthew.

        • Populuxe1 10.1.1.1

          Accuracy is important.

          • Napkins 10.1.1.1.1

            True. But just because the Clyde Dam is lost doesn’t mean that you can’t sing about the times it still belonged to all of us, it helps us realise how much more we have to lose.

            • felixviper 10.1.1.1.1.1

              But that’s one of Matthyawn’s mantras, Napkins. You can’t protest about things that haven’t happened yet because you don’t know for sure that what you’re protesting against will definitely happen if you don’t, and you can’t protest after something has already happened or is inevitable because it’s over and done.

              Fuckwits’ rules to be sure, and entirely arbitrary bullshit dressed as reason, but that’s our Hoots.

            • Matthew Hooton 10.1.1.1.1.2

              I don’t think you’ll find the Clyde Dam is lost. Last time I was in Central Otago it was right where it had always been, producing electricity at a competitive price for NZ firms and households. I’m just amused that someone would write a song protesting the sale of 49% of a state asset that, in fact, has been 100% privately owned for more than a decade – without the songwriter even knowing. It underlines to me the shallowness of the opposition to the MOM policy. It doesn’t really matter at all who owns a dam as long as it keeps generating electricity at the market price, just as they all do now.

              • felixviper

                “It doesn’t really matter at all who owns a dam as long as it keeps generating electricity at the market price, just as they all do now.”

                Correct. Unless you’re able to grasp that market prices have fuck all to do with generating and distributing electricity.

  11. xtasy 11

    Anyone “dreaming” of “job creation” by Mainland Chinese companies investing and building a factory to supply goods to Mainland China, better wake up! Wakey, wakey, have a read of the China NZ FTA and the text, before you may think any further:

    http://www.chinafta.govt.nz/1-The-agreement/2-Text-of-the-agreement/11-Chapt-10-Movement-of-natural-persons/index.php

    What will be expected is, that under this particular FTA Mainland China can easily move their own “temporary” and “skilled” workers here, to build the factory and to staff it. The FTA has provided for that to be possible.

    They may simply claim that they need that particular “expertise” from their own workers, to produce the quality and types of goods they want to export to their particular market.

    This has been raised by me before via NZ Herald debates, and Fran O’Sullivan, a fan of Mainland China investment here, was not happy with that.

    I do not wish to sound “racist”, but that FTA was a kind of agreement, which Labour, when in government, should never have signed as it was. Typically the Nats fully supported it, so there again, we have a “grand coalition” of light blue “Labour” and the Nats, right in front of us.

    NZ is being sold off, piece by piece, acre by acre, home by home and business by business. All internationalist solidarity with workers elsewhere will never convince me that this is a good thing!

  12. Xtasy

    There is an Annex to the FTA which puts firm numbers on how many Chinese can come in and for what purpose. It would tend to suggest Yili would have to pass a labour market test if the factory workers were to be brought in from China. At today’s unemployment rates can’t see how relevant authorities would pass that.

    During the OIO process Yili will also have to demonstrate how it benefits NZ – employment would have to be part of that.

    http://www.chinafta.govt.nz/1-The-agreement/2-Text-of-the-agreement/0-downloads/NZ-ChinaFTA-Annex-11-Commitments-temporary-employment-entry-natural-persons.pdf

    • One Tāne Viper 12.1

      After all they only approved 230 overseas hospitality industry workers last year, and 110 workers to install “building fronts”.

      I have a question. Do people think Fran O’Shillivan’s faith in the approval process is a result of stupidity or mendacity?

      • weka 12.1.1

        Ideology.

        What kind of visas are those numbers OTV? I think the fruit growers get to bring in labour from overseas too. Should we add to that the numbers of foreign people working on work holiday visas?

    • xtasy 12.2

      “Temporary employment entry for skilled workers to work in specified skilled occupations” …

      Well, thanks for your reply, a reminder of that annex and your position re this, Fran. Welcome also to The Standard!

      All Yili or any other Mainland Chinese company setting up a factory or whatever in NZ needs to prove is, a skills shortage of specified skilled occupations. Whether they may try to recruit workers under the FTA or use the usual immigration process, there have been enough companies already succeeding in “convincing” immigration or the government as such, that they have certain skills shortages.

      Some employers, being restaurants with particular ethnic backgrounds and particular meals prepared by chefs and cooks speaking perhaps a foreign language, and feeling more comfortable to communicate in their language at the workplace, have been able to argue, that a staff member they may need to work with the kitchen staff also must be fluent with the language of the existing staff.

      There are now a fair number of Chinese tour companies, all employing only Chinese, only catering for Chinese, and they seem to be getting away with this, without employing New Zealanders who may just speak English or Maori.

      If a dairy company may be able to bring in some specially skilled senior dairy processing staff only able to speak in Mandarin, and if they then make part of the job requirement the ability to converse fluently in Mandarin, there you go! They could successfully argue they need staff to speak that or another Chinese language they may use, as otherwise they could not follow instructions or whatever.

      The agricultural sector is in general also increasingly hiring overseas workers from certain Asian and other countries, clearly partly for cost saving reasons, and they seem to be able to do this, while there are some New Zealanders in rural areas unable to get jobs, in agriculture or whatever.

      If you believe that the law will be applied as ideally and fairly as you try to state here, then you are wearing somewhat rosy tinted glasses, I fear.

      And we have here in Auckland not just a few restaurant and retail shop staff from China, India and so on, who work below the minimum wage. There are hudreds of students working more hours than they are allowed, others (some “tourists” and whatsoever) also working illegally.

      Immigration sometimes just gives the employers a wet bus ticket warning, as I know very reliably.

      Seeing the follow up report about underpaid workers in certain Chinese or similar shops and fast food restaurants in Auckland on TV One weeks ago, it was clear, that NOTHING has changed. Little enforcement, just window dressing was the reality. The DOL does not enforce much, as most involved are too scared anyway, also to lose their right to stay in NZ.

      And wait until the reality will shine through when that dairy factory will be built and get running down south. We will keep monitoring this, for sure, how many “Kiwis” or other migrants perhaps may be employed there.

    • xtasy 12.3

      Further to my response to Fran’s comment above:

      Any dairy or other manufacturer, who may start producing particular products that are not known yet in NZ, that are not produced here, that have particular qualities and manufacturing processes (perhaps being as basic as preparing and using special formulas, recipes and mixtures of substances), thus producing goods specifically targeted to certain export markets, will be able to claim they need “specialist” staff from their home base (e.g. Mainland China), to run such production in New Zealand.

      If New Zealanders cannot offer those skills, there the door is wide open, to prove a “skills shortage”, re-enforced even if communications skills at the work place require particular language skills, to communicate with fellow staff, to read labels or whatever.

      In Christchurch whole construction teams have been brought in from various countries too, admittedly because there is such an imminent need for construction and other technical workers there now. This is happening while many NZers have moved to Australia, to work there, in the mines largely, but also elsewhere, applying their skills there.

      So skills development here must be an absolute priority for any future government, and that must also involve some “bonding mechanisms” and incentives to make skilled workers stay in NZ.

  13. One Tane Viper

    I’m pointing out that that the FTA does place limits on the numbers of Chinese who come in under those provisions. It’s up to MBIE (formerly DOL) to monitor this. And that there are OIO provisions.

    Thought you wanted an informed debate.

    If you don’t believe the OIO and MBIE are/will do their job challenge them.

    The FTA provisions were negotiated by the previous Labour Government – If you don’t like the legal framework vote in a Government that will make changes to the foreign investment laws.

    • muzza 13.1

      The FTA provisions were negotiated by the previous Labour Government – If you don’t like the legal framework vote in a Government that will make changes to the foreign investment laws.

      You’re being facetious right?

    • Saarbo 13.2

      “The FTA provisions were negotiated by the previous Labour Government – If you don’t like the legal framework vote in a Government that will make changes to the foreign investment laws”

      Fair enough Fran, Labour is currently looking at that:

      Remit 4: Land ownership THAT Labour develop robust and consistent policies to ensure that an appropriate portion of New Zealand land remains in New Zealand ownership.

      Although this remit, from the Nov conference has not been worded strong enough for my liking, it is heading in the right direction. There is NO way we should be selling our valuable farm land to foreign owners. It wrecks our communities and adds no value to NZ farming whatsoever, so what is the point.

      If foreigners want access to our farm produce, then they can buy the produce, we shouldn’t be letting them buy the source. Simple as that.

    • Foreign Waka 13.3

      Have you got in mind to retire in NZ? Then better get your Mandarin sussed, because all the application will be in the main Chinese lingo, on the back pages in very small print a translation in Thai, Japanese, Hindi, Tongan, Samoan, Maori and last but not least – English.
      I belief it should be spelled out by the Government where NZ aligns itself to, be it historically, culturally or politically, just to give some orientation to prospective immigrants. Even people living here might consider moving somewhere else if they don’t want to be part of China in – say 10-15 years.

  14. xtasy 14

    See the “network connections” between political “spin meisters” and supposed “commenters”, clearly linked to the National Party (M. Hooton) showing so well here in this thread now!

    First Hooton surfaces early in the morning (respect, early rise and early shine, they say!), and a bit later suddenly Fran O’Sullivan – senior NZ Herald journalist – pays us a visit.

    Impressive and revealing developments, I must say.

    I never read a comment from Fran on the Standard before, did anybody else???

    TS is taken note of!

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    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Government’s ‘rock star economy’ throws hospital staff ou...
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star...
    PSA | 16-04
  • Lip service: it’s all climate action ever gets from Key & Co
    As expected, the New Zealand government’s response to the IPCC’s Working Group 3 report on mitigating climate change pays lip service to the science, while maintaining that NZ is doing all that can be expected. Climate change minister Tim Groser’s...
    Hot Topic | 16-04
  • Progress of FCV “slave ships” Bill is good news – but much work remai...
    The Maritime Union of New Zealand says the progress of the “slave ships” Bill in the New Zealand Parliament is good news – but much work remains to be done....
    MUNZ | 16-04
  • Judith Collins’ reputation dependent on Slater’s scandals
    Judith Collins' reputation as the possible next leader of the National party is in shreds. Her reputation as a minister of the crown in the Key owned National party caucus is in tatters. A resignation is the only honorable thing...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 16-04
  • Photo of the Day: Red III
    Learning Your Stripes, 2013, Regan Gentry, Papatoetoe. Commissioned by Auckland Council aer  ...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
    Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
    The Smokefree Coalition is disappointed Imperial Tobacco did not win the Roger Award for Worst Trans-national Company operating in New Zealand, despite manufacturing products that kill 5000 New Zealanders every year....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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