web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

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!

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Labour leadership contest comments
    I personally would love to see a strong left guy in Labour showing everybody who's boss. However Andrew is going too far in saying that he will overturn democratic elected policy, who is advising this guy? You don't enter a...
    Topical | 01-11
  • October ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: A Pretty Healthy Life PLEASE NOTE: Sitemeter is still playing up but far fewer blogs are effected. I have done a manual work around but it was still impossible to get the stats for a the blogs that I list below....
    Open Parachute | 01-11
  • Repost: Life isn’t fair. But it should be.
    (Originally posted at On The Left.) I was not an angelic child. My mother has retconned her memory of my early years since I became an adult, and my grandmother delicately phrases it as “you were a little troubled”. The...
    Boots Theory | 01-11
  • Hard workers have nothing to fear from Ebola
    A guest post from TV and radio current affairs host Mike Hosking...
    Imperator Fish | 31-10
  • The problem with our economy is too many tea breaks?
    ...
    Pundit | 31-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task For Progressive New Zealand.
    "For mercy has a human heart, pity a human face" - William Blake MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty...
    Bowalley Road | 31-10
  • Campbell Live on Trains and Motorway tolls
    Campbell Live have been doing some great stories on transport and urban issues in the last few years and have easily been one of the best media organisations on the subjects. This week contained quite a few transport segments including...
    Transport Blog | 31-10
  • Thieving Bastards Steal Big Red Umbrella! Read All About It!
    View from the bach at Leigh Our house in Herne Bay was burgled some years ago. We were woken in the middle of the night by crashing sounds from downstairs.  It requires a really brave person to investigate strange noises...
    Brian Edwards | 31-10
  • Saturday playlist: songs about work
    Every Saturday we’re going to post a couple of music videos, probably on a particular theme, unless we run out of ideas and it just turns into Stephanie spamming us with professional wrestling soundtracks and Nicki Minaj. So, in that...
    On the Left | 31-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    Frankly Speaking | 31-10
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Press Release – The Nation Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections.On The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador...
    Its our future | 31-10
  • The Greens are wacky?
    It is a bit like a game of pin the tail on the donkey, the National Government and their supporters are desperately attempting to stick the wacky label on the Greens again, but it is becoming harder to make it...
    Local Bodies | 31-10
  • Novopay Exemplifies National’s Governance
    This National led Government is strong on ideology, weak on process and reluctant to accept responsibility. The Novapay debacle exemplifies all of these well.When questioned about Novopay, National Ministers will never accept full responsibility. Initially the Government blamed Labour because they...
    Local Bodies | 31-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #44B
    5 ideas for protecting New York from the next Sandy Climate scientists aren’t too alarmist. They’re too conservative Direct Action is like a dodgy laundry powder that never gets the climate clean Emissions trading will be back in the game...
    Skeptical Science | 31-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #47: The Forgotten Triangle
    48: The Forgotten Triangle What if the forgotten triangle behind Shortland Street was more than a parking lot? Continuing the series on forgotten or underutilised spaces within the city, the steeply rising wedge of land between Shortland Street, Albert Park...
    Transport Blog | 31-10
  • World News Brief, Friday October 31
    Top of the AgendaTensions Flare in Jerusalem...
    Pundit | 31-10
  • Guest post: Plain English is radical
    @aaronincognito is an anonymous soulless bureaucrat who blogs at fundamentallyuseless.wordpress.com. Despite all the ups and downs of the past few months, there has been one constant in left wing politics: jargon. Regardless of whether Nicky Hager, Judith Collins, or Eminem...
    On the Left | 31-10
  • Long past time
    The Dominion-Post reports that the government is considering wiping past convictions for homosexuality. Good. As a guest-poster to On The Left has recently explained, living with a criminal conviction isn't easy; employers and agencies will simply dump applications from people...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Define Instruments Expands into South Africa
    It’s always great to see companies grow – and Define Instruments recently took their first big leap. The team has followed existing international sales by setting up a South African office. It’s the first of many new overseas offices we hope to...
    Lance Wiggs | 31-10
  • MacLennan on fixing the OIA
    Journalist and lawyer Catriona MacLennan has some suggestions on Fixing Official Information Act Abuses . She identifies three problems with the law: lack of resources to enforce the law; deliberate flouting of the act; and inadequate understanding of the legislation...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
    It's Halloween! Time for a jolly pumpkin to remind everyone that there is chocolate nearby The weather is terrible, and while it can't rain all the time, I suspect there may be an absence of ghosts and ghouls. Whatever shall...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Indistinguishable from totalitarianism
    SF author Charles Stross has a lovely alternate-history thought experiment which demonstrates quite neatly how British surveillance is indistinguishable in practice from totalitarianism. And if you're in any doubt, you've only got to read today's news:The Government is facing calls...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Rate my minister
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce wants to introduce a new ranking system, Rate My Qualification, where employers rate tertiary education courses and then students can look up the results. Well perhaps employers should be able rate other things too, such as their ministers....
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-10
  • To the field experiments!
    In the wake of the Stanford / Dartmouth schnozzle this week, this political science article caught my eye: The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or...
    Polity | 30-10
  • NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s ...
    You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, it seems — certainly not if they’re gnawing a much loved old bone at the time. The lads from the NZ Climate Science Coalition — yes, the same boys who tried to sue...
    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere