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Selling NZ – in the news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Labour says it would disadvantage individuals wanting to invest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

91 comments on “Selling NZ – in the news”

  1. Curran's Viper 1

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

    Selling power companies appears to fit into this category.

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

  2. felixviper 2

    Oh FFS Labour, what the hell are you doing?

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

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

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

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

      • Saarbo 2.1.1

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

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

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

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

      • Murray Olsen 2.1.2

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

        • Saarbo 2.1.2.1

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

      • Populuxe1 2.1.3

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

    • Dr Terry 2.2

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

      • Rodel 2.2.1

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

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

    • QoTViper 2.3

      +1

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

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

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.1

        +1

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

        • marty mars 2.3.1.1

          + 1 so true D, so true.

        • Populuxe1 2.3.1.2

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

    • Fortran 2.4

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

      • VindowViper 2.4.1

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

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

        • Georgecom 2.4.1.1

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

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

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

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

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

    • Fortran 2.5

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

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

    • infused 2.6

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

  3. bad12 3

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

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

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

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

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

  4. Rob A 4

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

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

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

    • bad12 4.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Rob A 4.1.1

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

        • bad12 4.1.1.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • bad12 4.1.1.2

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

    • Ad 4.2

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Saarbo 4.3

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

      • Rob A 4.3.1

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

        • Saarbo 4.3.1.1

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

          • Rob A 4.3.1.1.1

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

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

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

            • Saarbo 4.3.1.1.1.1

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

  5. Phaedrus 5

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

    • The Al1en 5.1

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

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

      Like I said, die already cast.

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

  6. tc 6

    Hipkins as spokesperson……facepalm.

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

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

  7. gobsmacked 7

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

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

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Some overseas investment is good for NZ.

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

    The upside is that it will provide jobs for Kiwis.

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

    • karol 8.1

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

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

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

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

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

      • RedLogix 8.1.2

        FDI can be a very mixed bag.

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

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

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

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

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

        • McFliper 8.1.2.1

          Agree entirely.

          shame our own government is copying Wisconsin these days.

        • karol 8.1.2.2

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

        • Molly Polly 8.1.2.3

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Just saying…

          • xtasy 8.1.2.3.1

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

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

            • Molly Polly 8.1.2.3.1.1

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

              • xtasy

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

                • Molly Polly

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

                  • Rob A

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

                    • Molly Polly

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

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

                    • Rob A

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

                  • xtasy

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

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

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

  9. Yoza 9

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

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

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

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

    “There’s a storm brewing Mr Key…”

    • karol 9.1

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

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

      • McFliper 9.1.1

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

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

      • McFliper 9.1.2

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

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.3

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

        • RedLogix 9.1.3.1

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

          This is why storytellers were always such subversive people.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.3.1.1

            And an article about this pops on Craked.com

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

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

            • Yoza 9.1.3.1.1.1

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

            • karol 9.1.3.1.1.2

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

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 9.1.3.2

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

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

      • Populuxe1 9.1.4

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

        • karol 9.1.4.1

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

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

  10. People's Power Ohariu 10

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

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

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

    Chorus:

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

    Chorus:

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

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

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

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

    • Matthew Hooton 10.1

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

      • tc 10.1.1

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

        • Populuxe1 10.1.1.1

          Accuracy is important.

          • Napkins 10.1.1.1.1

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

            • felixviper 10.1.1.1.1.1

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

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

            • Matthew Hooton 10.1.1.1.1.2

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

              • felixviper

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

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

  11. xtasy 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  12. Xtasy

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

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

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

    • One Tāne Viper 12.1

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

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

      • weka 12.1.1

        Ideology.

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

    • xtasy 12.2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • xtasy 12.3

      Further to my response to Fran’s comment above:

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

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

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

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

  13. One Tane Viper

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

    Thought you wanted an informed debate.

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

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

    • muzza 13.1

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

      You’re being facetious right?

    • Saarbo 13.2

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

      Fair enough Fran, Labour is currently looking at that:

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

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

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

    • Foreign Waka 13.3

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

  14. xtasy 14

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

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

    Impressive and revealing developments, I must say.

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

    TS is taken note of!

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    ...
    The Jackal | 15-09
  • Key left holding the SPEARGUN
    What was by far the most important revelation to come out of the Moment of Truth was Edward Snowden's information about SPEARGUN, which was a project completed in mid 2013 to tap the Southern Cross cable. There is no doubt...
    The Jackal | 15-09
  • Arrest the NSA
    Last night's "Moment of Truth" produced only one big revelation: according to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the NSA have two bases in New Zealand: one in Auckland and in the north. Lets be clear: if the NSA are intercepting communications...
    No Right Turn | 15-09
  • Allegations re mass surveillance by NZ’s GCSB
    Here are the articles published by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden about mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens by spy agencies that form part of the FIVE EYES intelligence alliance. These were released in the lead up to the anyway-you-look-at-it...
    The Paepae | 15-09
  • The smoking SPEARGUN
    To me the big reveal yesterday wasn’t in the ‘Moment of Truth’ event, it was in Glen Greenwald’s column on The Intercept, and it was this excerpt from an NSA planning document: So during the huge, bitter debate about the new...
    DimPost | 15-09
  • The smoking SPEARGUN
    To me the big reveal yesterday wasn’t in the ‘Moment of Truth’ event, it was in Glen Greenwald’s column on The Intercept, and it was this excerpt from an NSA planning document: So during the huge, bitter debate about the new...
    DimPost | 15-09
  • The cost of a bowl of Weet-Bix
    One of the most dishonest arguments the right ever put forward on the subject of poverty is around one of the simplest things in life: a bowl of Weet-Bix. Yesterday Nikki Kaye approvingly re-posted a letter to the editor which...
    Boots Theory | 15-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: The OIA Gambit
    . . - Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules’ What appears to be an orchestrated  Beehive plot to dig dirt for throwing at Labour leader, David Cunliffe, ahead of a crucial parliamentary debate is revealed in a paper trail linking Immigration Minister,...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: The OIA Gambit
    . . - Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules’ What appears to be an orchestrated  Beehive plot to dig dirt for throwing at Labour leader, David Cunliffe, ahead of a crucial parliamentary debate is revealed in a paper trail linking Immigration Minister,...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • Letter to the Editor – Key makes up any old sh*t, again
    . . From a Fairfax story on 13 September, about visiting investigative journalist, Glenn Greenwald, .   . It was time to take Key to task on his lying BS… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date:...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • Letter to the Editor – Key makes up any old sh*t, again
    . . From a Fairfax story on 13 September, about visiting investigative journalist, Glenn Greenwald, .   . It was time to take Key to task on his lying BS… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date:...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • The costs and trade-offs of free public transport in Auckland
    One perennial discussion in transport circles is whether we shouldn’t just do away with public transport fares completely and make the whole network free of charge. Why not fully subsidise the network as a public service using public monies as...
    Transport Blog | 15-09
  • OnPoint: “Project SPEARGUN underway”
    Let's get this out of the way: The Warner Bros email was a complete clusterfuck. Faced with claims that the emails were fake, TeamDotcom did a TeamKey - they got Hone to send it off to the Privileges Committee then...
    Public Address | 15-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s commitment to public broadcasting
    A Labour Government will set up a working group to re-establish a public service television station as part of our commitment to ensuring New Zealand has high quality free-to-air local content. “We will set up a working group to report...
    Labour | 31-08
  • A new deal for the conservation estate
    The health of our economy depends on New Zealand preserving and restoring our land, air, water and indigenous wildlife, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. Announcing Labours Conservation policy, she said that there will be a comprehensive plan to restore...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s plan to end homelessness
    Labour has a comprehensive approach to end homelessness starting with the provision of emergency housing for 1000 people each year and putting an end to slum conditions in boarding houses, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes that homelessness is not...
    Labour | 30-08
  • Labour: A smarter approach to justice
    A Labour Government will improve the justice system to ensure it achieves real public safety, provides equal access to justice and protects human rights, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. “Our approach is about tackling the root causes of crime, recognising...
    Labour | 29-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Themes of the Campaign
    There’s one area of a political campaign that just about everyone, at some point, falls afoul of. The campaign song. I’m not sure quite why it is, but it seems to be almost impossible for political parties to come up...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Denis Tegg – The NSA slides that prove mass surveillance
    The evidence presented by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden on The Intercept of mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB is undeniable, and can stand on its own. But when you place this fresh evidence in the context of...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland
    The Ukrainian civil war discomforts me. It seems to me the most dangerous political crisis since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. And it’s because of our unwillingness to examine the issues in a holistic way. We innately prefer to...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man – the relationship intensifies
    John Key’s love affair with the straw man is now a fully-committed relationship. It’s now the first love of his life. Sorry Bronagh. Yesterday I pointed to Key’s constant assurances that there is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • A brief word on why Wendyl Nissen is a hero
    Wendyl Nissen is a hero. The sleazy black ops attack on her by Slater and Odgers on behalf of Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich is sick. All Nissen is doing in her column is point out the filth and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
    . . NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once. In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Eminem sues National Party for unlawful use of ‘Lose yourself’ bhahahah...
    …ahahahahahahahaha. Oh Christ this is hilarious… National Party sued over Eminem copyright infringment US rapper Eminem is suing the National Party for allegedly breaching copyright by using his song Lose Yourself in its campaign advertisements. The Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Are the Greens about to be snookered by a Labour-NZ First Government?
    I wrote last week that it was smart politics that the Greens pointed out they could work with National, the soft blue vote that’s looking for a home in the wake of Dirty Politics isn’t going to Labour, so the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Fonterra join 2Degrees and boycott Whaleoil
    In the wake of Dirty Politics, advertisers are pulling their advertising out of Whaleoil. PaknSave, Evo Cycles Pukekohe, Localist, 2 Degrees, Fertility Associates, iSentia, NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Maori TV, Bookme.co.nz, Dobetter.co.nz and the Sound are now joined by Fonterra...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • PM Key accused of allowing secret ‘spook’ cable sensors to spy on citiz...
    Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald (left) and Kim Dotcom at the “moment of truth” political surveillance meeting in Auckland last night. Image: PMW By ANNA MAJAVU of Pacific Media Watch NEW ZEALAND Prime Minister John Key has been accused of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Fiji pre-election ‘politics’ blackout stirs media protests, frustration
    BLACKOUT DAY – Monday, day one of the “silence window” in Fiji leading up to the close of polling in the general election at 6pm on Wednesday. And this is under the draconian threat of a $10,000 fine or five...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • “Now the work of movements begins”: government corruption, media bias, ...
    I am so tired of the dirty politics of the National government, aren’t you? I am tired of John Key and his pathetic attacks on award-winning journalists who have spent their careers fighting and digging for truth and good. The...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Moment of Truth review, smoking guns and the awful coverage by the NZ msm
      There were queues unlike any the Town Hall has seen, 1000 were turned away once it became full…     …full to the rafters. The energy and atmosphere within the room was extraordinary, and it begun…   …Glenn Greenwald...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Why Maori TV’s Te Tai Tokeraou Poll will be proved wrong
    If Hone Harawira had a dollar every time the media wrote off his chance of winning Te Tai Tokeraou, he would have more money than Kim Dotcom. Remember the by-election? Hone was 1 point ahead of Kelvin in an exact...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • September 15 RNZ interviews – and then the Moment of Truth
    . Acknowledgement: Emmerson . 15 September – Leading up to the Moment of Truth public meeting this evening, these Radio NZ interviews are worth listening to; . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Live Stream: Moment of Truth Tonight 7pm
    Live Video Stream by eCast: The Daily Blog will Live Stream the Moment of Trust public meeting from 7pm. The meeting will feature Glenn Greenwald, Kim Dotcom, Robert Amsterdam, and a very special guest…...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The proof Key lied about GCSB mass surveillance
    And we start getting to the evidence that proves Key has lied about mass surveillance. The article by Glenn Greenwald is out and it is beyond damning… Documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the government worked in...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • A brief word on the Ede-Slater emails
    Every day I have rushed to read the paper to see if a breaking story on the Ede-Slater emails had broken yet. They haven’t. Day after day, where are these emails? We know Rawshark sent the emails to David Fisher...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The email that proves Key is a liar
    This is the Email proving Key knew about Kim Dotcom before he claims he did… “We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He’s a fan and we’re getting what we came for. Your groundwork in New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Henchmen
    Henchmen...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why it simply isn’t credible that Key stepped in and shut down the mass s...
    Key’s staggering admission that yes there was a year long business model by the GCSB to mass spy on all of NZ but  that he stepped in and shut it down after Cabinet had signed it off just sounds like make...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man
    Politicians like putting up straw men for the purpose of self-righteously knocking them over. Prime Minister John Key has a particular straw man he loves to punch over. He raises it whenever he’s asked about mass surveillance of New Zealanders...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Armstrong turns on Glenn Greenwald
    Where does a mediocre journalist like John Armstrong get off attacking a journalist with the credibility of Glenn Greenwald as he has in his ridiculous column today? Armstrong has the audacity to try and play the terrorism card to justify why...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – Which of John Key’s many statements on the GC...
    We already have Glenn Greenwald’s assertion on The Nation that John Key has misled New Zealanders as to whether the GCSB has engaged in mass surveillance of Kiwis. But Key has made many other statements about the GCSB’s powers and...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Election 2014: Numbers and Faces
    Democratic politics is a game of numbers and faces. How can we translate the numbers into the 120 or more faces that will be in the next Parliament? Below is my prediction of a likely result: 120 people, divided by...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Scotland the brave
    The possibility that Scotland will vote for independence this Thursday has panicked the British establishment. An unholy alliance of Tory, Labour, Liberal and corporate leaders has resorted to fear-mongering and bullying on grand scale in a last ditch effort to...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why Key’s denials sound so off and why Dotcom’s fight is all our fight
    The shrillness of Key is the issue. His denials just too forced and rehearsed. Key has gone from Hollow Man to Shallow Man with his lashing out at Pulitzer Price winning Journalist Glenn Greenwald by calling him a ‘henchman’. This...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a S...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a Su...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • As TDB predicted, Labour to use universal super fund to buy back assets and...
    Greens about to be snookered again?   As The Daily Blog has pointed out several times now, Labour will use a universal super fund to buy back NZs assets in a bid to offer Winston a legacy project… Labour plans...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • A lesson in caring for our most vulnerable
    Some of the comments on this article make me sick. Because I am so very much over people who think they are better than others because things have gone their way in life and think those who aren’t as functional...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Please vote positive
    One of the features of campaigning is the meet-the-candidates event.  As an opportunity to present policies to the voter, they aren’t the best vehicle but still serve a useful purpose.  The problem is that there are too many candidates and...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • For this who don’t vote this election
    For this who don’t vote this election...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Where does Key get off abusing a Pulitzer prize winning Journalist like Gle...
    We are seeing the Dirty Politics PM today when Key decided the best way to counter the Glenn Greenwald claims of GCSB mass surveillance was to denigrate Greenwald… Prime Minister John Key says he will prove Glenn Greenwald’s claims by the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Teflon Man No More
    . .   On 26 August, as Nicky Hager’s expose on New Zealand’s right wing politics hit public consciousness and confirmed our worst fears, I wrote, “Dirty Politics” has achieved more than simply revealing  unwholesome machinations between National party apparatchiks,...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Dear mainstream media – regarding Key’s promise to resign if GCSB expos...
    Dear Mainstream media. How’s it all going? I would like to acknowledge the deep depression many members of the Press Gallery are going through as their boy Key looks less and less likely to win. I appreciate how a loss...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • It’s official: ACT’s Jamie Whyte is several-sandwiches-and-a-salad sho...
    .   . There aren’t very many times I agree wholeheartedly with our Dear Leader – but on this occassion I believe he spoke for those 99% of New Zealanders for whom common sense is as natural as breathing air....
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • ‘I’ll not be intimidated … by cowards’, says Fiji death threat jour...
    Fiji Sun’s Jyoti Pratibha … death threats via fake Facebook profiles. Image: Pacific Scoop THE PARIS-based media freedom advocacy organisation Reporters Sans Frontières and the Pacific Media Centre have condemned threats and intimidation against political reporters this week covering Fiji’s...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Glenn Greenwald on TV3s ‘The Nation’ – Everyone remember when Key pro...
    Glenn Greenwald has just given his first NZ interview on TV3s ‘The Nation’ and what he had to say was incredibly damaging. Glenn is here for Kim Dotcom’s Moment of Truth on Monday and what he has just had to...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • What will soft National vote do, why Colin Craig will be a focus in final w...
    In what has been the most unpredictable elections of our time, the final week promises more shocks and bombshells than World War One trench warfare. We have the media who still have the Rawshark emails that detail the Ede-Slater exchanges....
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Would a National-Conservative Party reduce rights to an abortion? Legalise ...
    With the possibility of a Conservative-National Party coalition looming, let’s consider the impact of this new hard right religious Government on social policy. We know Conservative Party candidate Edward Saafi, believes the inability to legally bash your kids is responsible for teenage prostitution, teenage pregnancy and...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • ACTs solution to crime – more guns?
    How insane are the ACT Party? Honestly? Their solution to crime is to arm every shop keeper with a sawn off shotgun??? “Criminals are well aware that shopkeepers are defenceless and are taking advantage of this in brutal robberies. What...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • John Key’s gift to teenage girls…
    Yesterday I was at the MANA Movement policy release on “Predators on Poverty” in the Otahuhu Shopping Centre. Successive Labour and National governments have left vulnerable communities on their own to face these merciless thieves who prey on the poor...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Poverty denial – Where does National get its advice from?
    National is displaying a quite inadequate understanding of their own policies and worrying inability to respond to criticism. When John Key trots out his old, tired example of how ‘work pays’ on Morning Report this week to justify leaving 260,000...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Education reformers mean well, so what’s the problem?
    The thing about education reformers is that, mostly, they mean well. Whether it’s charter schools, National Standards, Teach First, or another reform, many people involved have good intentions.  They want to improve things, try something new and innovate, they say. The thing...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • My brain hurts
    My brain hurts.  This election year has been a really long nine months.  The lies, the headlines, the spin, the policy, the chat, I am literally overloaded with information.  At times it’s been exhausting trying to keep up.  However I...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Slater loses Blomfield defamation case – has to pays costs & must dis...
    Great victory for Journalism today. The Defamation case Matt Blomfield took against Slater has jumped its first hurdle, Slater has been told he might be a ‘Journalist’, but he has no right to journalistic protection of his sources because there was no...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Seeing an Economic Vision
    It has been some time since my last post to TDB. I was fortunate to recently come back to NZ briefly for a bit of a break from my work in Pakistan. While my visit was super short, I took...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should party vote...
    There are 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should consider casting their party vote for Internet MANA this election. 1 – Feed the Kids: There is no excuses now that National have flirted with the idea...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • What I want from a change of government
    The prospects for a change of government look a little brighter so I though I’d look at what we can expect. The only option being provided by Labour, the main opposition party, is for a Labour, Green, NZ First coalition....
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Conservatives Break through 5% Threshold
    Reports in today’s Dominion Post that the Conservative Party is polling at 6% in Nationals internal polling are not surprising says the Conservative Napier candidate Garth McVicar....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Hundreds of Students Turn Out for Political Debate
    With only a few days left before the general election, over 500 Victoria students packed the central Hub space on campus today to listen to a political debate on student issues organised by the Students’ Association. Victoria University of Wellington...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Ex-prisoners make most of mentoring to make most of life
    It’s not every day that an organisation triples a programme in size, but PARS Inc (formerly known as the Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation Society of the Auckland District Inc) has managed to do just that with their Community Mentoring Scheme,...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Unscrupulous worker highlights why 90-days works
    Federated Farmers believes the experience of a husband and wife farming team in Taranaki underscores why the 90-days provision is so important to small businesses. “Yesterday a member called 0800 FARMING to alert us to a guy doing the rounds...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eye to Eye Uploaded
    Leading Maori broadcaster and political commentator Willie Jackson previews Eye to Eye Uploaded, a multi-platform series of interviews that he’s aiming to put in front of media radars next year....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Party Rankings against Inequality
    Revealed: which party will do the most to reduce New Zealand’s growing inequality crisis...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Maritime Union backs change of Government
    The Maritime Union says a change of Government is required to deliver secure jobs and decent wages for New Zealand workers....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Green Party package for newborns welcomed
    16 September 2014 Media Release The New Zealand College of Midwives has welcomed a policy announced today by the Green Party which would provide a package of essential items for every newborn baby. The College is a non partisan organisation...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • ALCP Release Election Manifesto
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has released its manifesto in the lead up to the election on Saturday....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Election Daily Update #9
    John Key’s National Party appears to have received a major boost from last night’s “Moment of Truth” event, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Despite no major changes...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eminem Publishers Sue New Zealand National Party
    Detroit-based music publishing companies sue National Party for damages for unauthorised use of song in election campaign advertising...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws
    Overwhelming Majority of Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws. Press release- Fifty Fifty Campaign, 16 September 2014 National is the only political party willing to defend the way WINZ treats separated parents who share their kids...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parents Smacking Down Prime Minister
    "John Keys failure to deliver on his promise to change the anti-smacking law is costing National votes, and helping the Conservative Party," says Colin Craig....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Political Debate on Family Violence – Video & Audio
    The Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence was happy to host a political debate on Family Violence chaired by Professor Nicola Atwool of the University of Otago. Family Violence is a huge problem in our community and we invited representatives...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Greens Take Nanny State To A New Level
    Family First NZ is labelling the Green’s ‘welcome package’ for newborns policy as wasteful and misdirected. “This policy is taking ‘nanny state’ to a new level but indicates just how much the Greens want to intervene in family life,”...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • 2,100 people send message about dirty politics
    2,100 people have signed their name to a full-page open letter featuring in the New Zealand Herald this Wednesday. The letter is designed to send a message to politicians that dirty politics is an important election issue....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Are DoC manipulating Rat Numbers?
    Ban 1080 Political Party co-leader Bill Wallace says there are serious rumours DoC has changed their rat counting technique to cover up the lack of the mythical “Rat Plague” claimed by the Department in Kahurangi National Park, and also that...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Average Full time Student Is in Financial Distress
    A new survey has found that nearly half of all full time students are in significant financial distress....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Key and Cunliffe, research revealed by Ancestry.com.au
    Contrasting family histories of John Key and David Cunliffe, revealed by research from Ancestry.com.au....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Revelations a Damning Indictment of Key’s Honesty
    The Prime Minister’s honesty is now central to the election, says Internet Party Leader Laila Harré, following the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden that there is mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens by the GCSB....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Organisations Have ‘Duty of Care’ for Players says Law Firm
    Concussion injuries in amateur and professional sporting arenas are currently highly topical. Concussion potentially appears to have been implicit in the recent death of a young player in Northland....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Media Release from Closing the Gap on Health and Housing
    “Inequality is the biggest problem facing New Zealand at the present time” says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Closing the Gap. It underlies many of our social ills, poverty, lack of trust, an economy that could do much better, and...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Expanding Whānau Ora – a bottom line for Māori Party
    Leaving the best to last, the Māori Party has launched its Whānau Ora policy today following a fun family event at Te Ore Ore Marae in Masterton last night. “When we change what happens in our homes, we change what...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Colin Craig’s Incredible Claims Continue
    Hot on the heels of a Conservative Party candidate proposing to double the price of a bottle of wine, Colin Craig has come up with an even more fantastic idea to buttress his uncosted tax policy....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • The Letter: Jamie Whyte is going to Parliament
    Friday night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts Jamie Whyte in Parliament. TVNZ rounded down the poll result (ACT was on 1.2%). With the high wasted Conservative vote, just 1.2% makes Jamie an MP. It is ACT, not NZ First that...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Why are we letting Dotcom steal our election?
    Why are we letting a convicted German fraudster and his American polemicists steal our election?...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan
    ACT has a five point plan to grow the economy by a third. To lift economic growth from the Treasury's long term forecast of just two percent to three....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Christchurch rebuild cost sharing plan must be improved
    “The agreement between the government and the Christchurch City Council about sharing costs of the rebuild is due to be revised in December, as some costs are more accurately known now than they were originally,“ says Warren Voight, Local...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ‘Key vs. Cunliffe’ Final Live NZ Election Reactor
    ohn Key and David Cunliffe go head to head for the final time on TV One on Wednesday as Election Day looms. Roy Morgan wants to know what you think about their performance as the leaders try one last time...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Chamber welcomes Business Growth Agenda priorities
    Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce welcomes the National Government’s 10 highest priorities for its Business Growth Agenda as essential to continuing strong business performance and economic growth....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • #SafeSource NZ – A secure way to share the truth
    Dirty politics and a dirty environment go hand in hand. Our country’s future as a fairer, cleaner, more prosperous place is being threatened by backroom deals, corporate cronyism and a lack of transparency....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Last vid to encourage youth vote
    Here's the third and final in our series to boost the youth vote. It's called CINDER and it's a play on the popular dating app....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fee hikes restrict student choices
    A survey of 5000 students from across the tertiary sector shows that tuition fees have increased at the maximum level permitted. Fees are constraining students’ choices more than ever before. Although tuition fees are only permitted to increase...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan to grow the economy
    ACT has a five point plan to double the rate of economic growth. The Treasury long term forecast for growth is 2% a year. We can lift it to 4%....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • iPredict Daily Election Update
    National’s forecast party vote has risen to 45.3% over the last day, at the expense of Labour and the Greens, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. A National/Act/UnitedFuture/Maori...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • National’s economic strategy attack workers’ rights
    The National Party’s ‘Workplaces’ policy confirms that their economic growth strategy relies on attacks on workers rights, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Questions Raised Over Cow Deaths
    The death of 200 cows after eating a new variety of PGG Wrightsons HT swedes [1] is a disaster for New Zealand farmers....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Final decision on Ruakura Development Plan Change
    The independent Board of Inquiry considering the Ruakura Development Plan Change has released its final report and decision. The Board has approved the plan change request but with amendments....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Confirmed – Smacking Law Needs Correction
    Family First NZ says that the ONE News Vote Compass survey showing only 23% support the anti-smacking law is no surprise, and confirms that it’s time the politicians listened to New Zealand families....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Kiwi voters urged to heed warnings
    Kiwi voters would do well to note the advice given this week to Queensland people by retired judge and renowned corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman David Tranter....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fisheries policy analysis produces surprising results
    Nine political party policies were analysed to determine which party had the most public friendly fisheries policy and the results surprised LegaSea, an apolitical fisheries lobby group. “For the first time, recreational fishers have been offered...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • $3m to help keep Hutt families healthy
    National Party candidate for Hutt South, Chris Bishop, welcomes news Hutt City Council has been selected to lead a $3 million anti-obesity initiative in Lower Hutt which will help families improve their health. “Healthy Families NZ is National’s new...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Community organisations struggling
    The survey, conducted by community sector network ComVoices, highlights the high level of frustration and urgency being felt by those who deliver services, says group Chairperson, Peter Glensor. 311 organisations completed the survey....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 6-11 September
    Below is iSentia’s weekly Election Index for the period 6 to 11 September, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will publish...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Workers despair at Nationals lack of fairness
    “Nationals Workplaces policy, released today, fails to articulate any vison about how life for working New Zealanders can be improved.” CTU President Helen Kelly said. “Again if this policy focusses on removing work rights, its own documents...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National tries to dodge the discussion on workers’ rights
    New Zealanders deserve a proper conversation about National’s plans to keep undermining the real value of their wages and conditions at work. “Today National has released a ‘workplace policy’ which will further widen the imbalance of power between...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Didn’t Get Your Easyvote Pack? You Need to Enrol Now.
    If you didn’t get an EasyVote pack in the mail last week, you need to check your enrolment now as you may not be enrolled....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Survey shows television without adverts could be vote winner
    Survey shows television without adverts could be a vote winner Television news focuses too much on politicians' personalities and not enough on the real issues, according to a UMR survey commissioned by the Coalition for Better Broadcasting....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Which of Key’s many statements will Greenwald challenge?
    John Key's credibility and honesty will be tested on many more GCSB issues than whether there was / is mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB. I have put together this by no means comprehensive list of Key's statements...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • 4th tranche of Auckland Housing Accord licenses sprawl
    Youth organisation, Generation Zero, is appalled at the next stage of the Auckland Housing Accord, released today, as it is once again focussed on urban sprawl. The fourth tranche of 41 Special Housing Areas (SHAs), allows for 8000 dwellings, nearly...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
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