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Brownlee destroys a free market choice. Shut Whirinaki to get it back.

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, December 10th, 2009 - 26 comments
Categories: energy - Tags: , ,

From the Meridian Energy web site.

Meridian Energy Limited has confirmed it has suspended offering new Renewable Energy Notes under the investment statement dated 29 October 2009 following the decision from the Ministerial Review into the Electricity Market to transfer ownership of two of its South Island hydro stations to its sister SOE Genesis.

Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee today announced that the Tekapo A and Tekapo B hydro stations – the first two of the eight-station chain operated by Meridian on the Waitaki – will transfer to Genesis.

Meridian has ceased to accept all new applications for the Notes and maturing Notes will be unable to be rolled over. Existing Notes are unaffected by this suspension.

The suspension will be in place while Meridian studies the detail of the announcement and considers the effect of the announcement on the offer documentation.

Brownlee, one of the major impediments to the operation of democracy in NZ, is now interfering with market signals. He says that the reason for this change is to increase competition by..

…the larger purpose of the reforms is to stimulate more retail electricity competition in the North and South Islands by giving the state-owned power companies a greater mix of northern and southern assets.

He also makes it clear that he doesn’t like Meridian Energy, apparently because they don’t pay him enough of a dividend. This is unadulterated crap.

In my opinion, the main reason that Brownlee doesn’t like the Meridian is because he is an advocate of using fossil-fuel powered stations.  He has made it quite clear over the years that he’d prefer the rapid introduction of polluting fossil fuel fired power stations for a quick unsustainable short-term fix. It appears he is too impatient or lazy to wait for the slower buildup of renewable energy.

The reason that Meridian Energy has been gaining customers in the North Island away from its base generation facilities is because it doesn’t use fossil fueled power stations. Lyn and I deliberately switched to Meridian Energy purely because it was the only way to encourage the generation of renewable energy.

We are relatively price insensitive about power (unlike DPF) and deliberately selected a company that was generating the types of power we wanted to encourage. The table over the page makes it clear what those power sources are. We are also keenly aware of, and understand (unlike DPF) the long-term costs of running fossil fuel power plants and are highly sensitive about paying for them. I understand the science. Lyn has been documenting the effects.

Brownlee has just arbitrarily interfered in our ‘free-market’ choices, which is a perfect example of the difference between the rhetoric of the NACT government and what it actually does. The NACT state is one of arbitrary nanny state decisions made for purely personal reasons – just look at Double Dipton..

The diesel-fired Whirinaki power station is the dirtiest and most expensive occasionally operating in the country. I think that Brownlee wants to remove the ability of customers to use market signals about the sources of power generation so he can get the more of his polluting fossil-fuel stations running. This is something that many environmentally aware customers do not want, and is why there has been the flood of customers to Meridian over the last few years.

We will shift away from Meridian Energy if they fire up that station. If Meridian wants to retain our account, then they should take this opportunity to decommission the Whirinaki  immediately. It fits the profile of their sunk money in their marketing campaigns. Such a strong statement of intent would probably win them more customers.

If this reduces the dividends to the government, then that is the price of Brownlee decisions, effectively from a result of a unexplained decision by its shareholders that directly undercuts the companies marketing. The shareholder should take the cost. Meridian should suspend all dividends and put the money into investing in the renewable projects that are shown over the page. If they need more generating capacity than they have, then they are big enough to ensure that they can purchase renewable power from other generators.

In other words Brownlee and the NACTs should get by on  a reduced income while we increase our renewable power sources.

In the meantime there is an opportunity for a broking power company to start up that only offers power generated from renewable energy sources. When someone can convince me that they have achieved it, we’ll switch our account if Whirinaki is still operational.

If anyone lives near Whirinaki power station, I’d be interested in getting a few people to observe if the station is turned on. This is for publicity reasons.

The clock is ticking for Meridian Energy.

From wikipedia

Operating

Meridian Energy operates nine hydroelectric power stations and three wind farms. It also operates the 230 kW Wellington Wind Turbine in Brooklyn, Wellington

Name   Type   Location   No. turbines   Max. capacity (MW)   Annual generation (average GWh)   Built Notes  
Aviemore Hydroelectric Waitaki River 4 220 942 1968
Benmore Hydroelectric Waitaki River 6 540 2215 1965
Manapouri Hydroelectric Lake Manapouri, Fiordland National Park 7 730 4800 1969
Ohau A Hydroelectric Waitaki River 4 264 1140 1979
Ohau B Hydroelectric Waitaki River 4 212 958 1983
Ohau C Hydroelectric Waitaki River 4 212 958 1985
Te Āpiti Wind Ruahine Ranges 55 91 320 2004
Tekapo A Hydroelectric Waitaki River 1 26 160 1951
Tekapo B Hydroelectric Waitaki River 2 160 833 1977
Waitaki Hydroelectric Waitaki River 7 105 496 1934
West Wind Wind west of Wellington 15 34 2009 Under construction
15 turbines currently generating, full wind farm (62 turbines, 143 MW) due for completion late 2009[10]
White Hill Wind near Mossburn, Southland 29 58 230 2007

Proposed

Projects being developed by Meridian Energy include the following [11].

Meridian Energy Development Projects
Name Type Capacity Location Status
Project Gumfields Wind near Ahipara, Northland
Rototuna Wind 500 MW Northland west coast
Te Uku Wind 84 MW near Raglan, Waikato
Mohaka Hydro 44 MW Mohaka River, south of Wairoa
Project Central Wind Wind 130 MW between Waiouru and Taihape, North Island
Martinborough[12] Wind 8km SE of Martinborough
Mill Creek Wind 71 MW Ohariu Valley, north-west of Wellington
West Wind Wind 143 MW west of Wellington Under construction
Completion due late 2009
Mokihinui Hydro 60 MW Mokihinui, north of Westport
North Bank tunnel Hydro 280 MW on the Waitaki River water rights granted 2009
Hunter Downs Irrigation Waitaki River, South Canterbury
Project Hayes Wind 630 MW central Otago
Ross Island Wind Energy[13] Wind 1 MW Ross Island, Antarctica
Manapouri amended discharge project Hydro


26 comments on “Brownlee destroys a free market choice. Shut Whirinaki to get it back.”

  1. ieuan 1

    The whole Meridian renewable energy thing is a total have.

    They own the ‘Dunedin Energy Centre’ which uses fossil fuels to provide steam to the local hospital board. To get around the ‘renewable energy’ issue they just created a new company (Energy for Industry) which they own.

    You never had a ‘free market choice’ you just bought into some clever marketing.

    • lprent 1.1

      So? That generation doesn’t generate electricity.

      Basically you are as full of crap as Brownlee. If you read the post then you will realize I was talking about the power I consume. Not the steam that is in Dunedin.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1

        Im sure you realise the energy doesnt come from the South Island to your Auckland Home? no matter who your ‘generator’ is. Most likely due to supply constraints it doesnt get past Stratford. And yes Whirinaki , when it gets fired up may be the difference between blackouts for the central north Island, does that come into your choice

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          Sure I realize that. So what?

          Read the post with more care. What I said was that I was interested in supporting the generation of power from renewables. Therefore we picked a company that only generates from renewables. This is our choice. Not yours.

          Whirinaki has now been shifted to a company that really cannot afford to use it and keep its customers. I’m expecting it to not get fired up. There is no way that Meridian would have brought or built that generating plant.

          This violates the logic of having a free market in electricity generation and supply. So I guess you should talk to Brownlee if the power gets cut. He is the person screwing with the ‘free’-market.

          Incidentially, you realise that you’re really arguing on the basis of a single state enterprise. Perhaps you should think through your logic more clearly.

          • ieuan 1.1.1.1.1

            But you really don’t have a choice you are just buying into marketing!

            Your electricity may be ‘supplied’ by Meridian but in reality it is generated by another company (probably from fossil fuels) with Meridian adding a margin so they can afford all those expensive TV ads that show flowers floating down rivers.

            • lprent 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Point to anywhere that Meridian generates electricity from non-renewable sources. I checked it pretty thoroughly before I switched

              As I said before – you are full of crap. Why don’t you try and say something of interest. I know that you can – I’ve seen you do it before.

              Sitting here generating spin lines is just pathetic bullshit. Are you proud of yourself doing it?

              Brought to you from the same source as Paul Henrys alleged ‘humor’

            • Clarke 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Buying certified carbon-neutral electricity from Meridian does not result in magic non-carboinised electrons whizzing out of your electrical sockets, as anyone with a basic understanding of Third Form physics knows. However it does send an important market signal.

              Market signals are a mechanism for consumers to indicate their preferences to suppliers, and are an essential part of a functioning capitalist economy – and clearly, something that Brownlee doesn’t approve of.

              Or maybe Contact Energy simply paid the National Party a chunk of campaign contributions to stuff up Meridian’s increasingly successful marketing to the section of New Zealand that is intent on taking action over climate change … nothing would surprise me from a party that’s already given us Richard Worth. Melissa Lee and Double Dipton.

          • ben 1.1.1.1.2

            Lyn, this last comment contains almost no personal insults. Please try harder.

            • lprent 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Ummm I will try harder. I’m trying to emulate the basic stupidity level of the Paul Henry ‘humor’

              You do seem to have some comprehension issues though. Lyn hasn’t commented on the site in a long time. She is too busy with the doco. I do comment frequently and wrote the comment that you’re replying to – but my name is Lynn.

              BTW: Have you been giving some pretty lousy ‘science’ to that credulous poster over at KiwiBlog. 1.5C is the maximum that CO2 can increase the average tempature? From what ppms to what ppms? Even you must be aware of how stupid that statement sounds to anyone that knows what they are talking about.

              I notice that he was somewhat light on linking his assertions…

  2. Peter Wilson 2

    Yes, Meridian do own the Dunedin Energy Centre – it’s a “business unit” of Meridian Energy, but doesn’t produce retail electricity. When Meridian got certified as carbon neutral, this information was fully available to the certifiers, but it didn’t seem to worry them.

    I actually think the Dunedin Energy Centre is a good use of a non-renewable resource. The thing was built by the hospital board in the 1960s, and was under-utilised. It now supplies steam to Cadbury Confectionary, Taylors Cleaning, a fair percentage of Otago University, as well as the hospital.

    District heating schemes like this are common in Europe, and whilst still dirty (Meridian did clean up the emissions somewhat recently in an upgrade), it’s a better use than individual boilers at each installation.

  3. jen 3

    The huge lignite deposits in Southland and the Great South Basin oil fields might be making fossil fuels a particularly attractive proposition at this point. Especially for those who don’t really believe that climate change is a dangerous reality or who do, but think they’ll be dead by the time it gets really bad. I don’t know but I wonder whether the Nacts intentions in relation to these potential energy sources are why they are happy to step back from claiming to be climate changes leaders ( not that we ever were in any real sense). I suspect that where there is big money to be made it won’t matter whether its from fossil fuel. Maybe the thinking is that NZ will be so rich from its oil that it will be able to afford to pay whatever it costs to continue to emit. Hence their careless abandon about committing to pay billions of dollars compensating emitters . Just a crazy thought….

    • Peter Wilson 3.1

      The tories equate energy with progress and living standards, and take such a shallow view of the public that they think they will be rewarded if the coal and oil they dig up gives people a few more gadgets and lower fuel prices and thus allows them to believe that they are getting “ahead”.

      Their whole world-view is based around ever expanding energy supplies, so, they will probably stop at nothing to fulfil this. Of course, geology doesn’t work that way, and as geology hits up against ideology, the debate will probably get ever more shrill as people cry out for “solutions”.

      I don’t know what way the public of New Zealand will jump. Will it be preserving happy motoring at all costs, or will other movements and ideas slowly take force.

    • lprent 3.2

      The oil and natural gas fields around NZ are too fragmented and small to ever be more than a very high cost short-term resource.

      While we have a lot of coal. So does virtually every other country. Most have more accessible coal fields than we do. Why import apart from specialized uses like making steel, when you can develop your own fields.

      However we have a major agricultural export industry that will affected badly by losing its major marketing tool offshore to sell into higher return markets by pushing the clean image.

      • ben 3.2.1

        The oil and natural gas fields around NZ are too fragmented and small to ever be more than a very high cost short-term resource.

        I don’t know why multinationals are sinking millions in searching anyway – Lyn ALREADY KNOWS THE ANSWER.

        Talk is cheap. I’ll trust their millions over your opinion any day.

        • lprent 3.2.1.1

          Read insder below. They are interested in supplying the local gas market, not exporting – that was what jen was suggesting, and what I answered.

          You really do have comprehension issues. You have me concerned now. Is it a reading deficit? Or perhaps you should do some basic business courses as well as learning some basic science

    • Rob 3.3

      Even if climate change is false I have to say I still wouldn’t want coal/oil plants anywhere near when I was living. Perfectly happy to have any of the renewable methods though since they don’t pump out nearly as much poison.

  4. Peter Wilson 4

    Lynne – that’s a good summation of Whirinaki. If you like geekery, as I believe you do, Transpower are currently required to publicly notify whenever Whirinaki is turned on as per the Electricity Regulations. Lots of detail here – http://www.systemoperator.co.nz. It basically has to be a Grid Emergency (i.e. not enough generation in the North Island) before it can be turned on. If Whirinaki can’t be turned on then the only remaining step is to fire up Pole 1 of the HVDC (commonly known as the Cook Strait cable) before things start turning off.

    What is interesting is that there is no business logic in handing Whirinaki to Meridian *unless* the rules governing its usage are going to change. I mean, why hand a station that barely runs to a major electricity company unless it’s been tacitly acknowledged that they will be able to run it whenever they like?

    • lprent 4.1

      Yeah, that is what I suspect as well. However I also suspect from the tone of the statement at the top of the post that Meridian are as unhappy about it as I am.

      It destroys the marketing theme that they have setup for many years.

      This plus the way that Brownlee was hiding decisions in the energy field from Fitzsimmons make me think that this is pretty much Brownlee. I suspect that it is largely for the reasons I’m attributing to him.

      I suspect that ripping renewable capacity from Meridian and giving it a fossil plant has far more to do with Brownlee wanting to destroy a market in renewables for ideological reasons than for any rational reason. He has given the capacity (and income) to Genesis because he figures that they are more likely to do what he wants than Meridian.

      Basically Brownlee has all of the hallmarks of being a petty small-minded and pretty incompetent autocrat. Just look at how he mismanages the house.

      • Peter Wilson 4.1.1

        I’d like to think people would wake up, but then again we had another National politician with no small resemblance who behaved like that for 9 long years, and lost power in a snap election…

        The Greens should be seriously ruing their decision to work with this government on any matters. I don’t know which leader thought up that strategy, but right now, it doesn’t look good…

  5. Seems to be a ridiculous thing for the Government to do, given the Meridian ‘green’ image. I will be making a submission on the bill as it comes to the Select Committee phase, and urge others to do the same – this ‘shake up’ has the potential to ruin any consumer choice in the market towards renewable generation.

    I am a Meridian customer for their renewable image, and hope not to see the Whirinaki station turned on!

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    The NACTS proving, again, that they shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near government because they make bad, ideological, decisions.

  7. ieuan 7

    There is a suggestion in the Christchurch Press that Meridian might move Whirinaki to the top of the South Island, this would help with dry years when the hydro dams are empty and South Island power is being supplied from the North. This would also help reduce the load on the Cook Strait link, meaning a costly upgrade might be avoided.

    • lprent 7.1

      Link?
      The rationale seems somewhat unlikely considering that (wikipedia)

      In New Zealand the company owns and operates nine hydroelectric generating stations in the South Island: eight on the Waitaki River, and the country’s largest hydroelectric station – Manapouri Power Station – on Lake Manapouri. Meridian sells power to approximately 183,000 customers[6], primarily in the South Island.

      The rationale for giving the south island dams to the north island polluting generators is to allow them to access the south island markets more easily.

      The converse rationale (unlikely as it seems) is that giving a north island power station to Meridian would allow it service a north island market. Moving the plant to the south island would seem to really be somewhat daft.

      It is better to just decommission the plant. That would be cheaper for Meridian than moving it and using it.

      I think that the ChCh Press is simply blowing smoke or being hopeful.

  8. insder 8

    A few things

    Firstly Whirinaki, it is not the dirtiest power station in NZ. It is basically a jet engine and there are hundreds of them around on planes mainly but also ships. I doubt it is ‘dirtier’ than Huntly or Clandyboye or DEC or any other coal powered generation. It is bound to be a lot cleaner than most diesel standby generators. It may even be more efficient than SOuthdown gas plant (I’m sure the info is available). It IS expensive because diesel is expensive and because it hardly ever runs so needs to make a lot when it does run to cover its costs.

    The System Operator does not control Whirinaki, so quite why you raise their role in. It mainly doesn’t operate at all. WHen it does come on it does so mainly due to sustained high prices which are set out in its operating policy and everyone knows what those boundaries are. Grid emergencies are quite different and I’m not sure it has been used much if at all for that. They are primarily very short term events due to system failure, and if other cheaper generation is available then it probably wouldn’t be dispatched. One of the criticisms of Whrinaki is it is poorly placed to do its job as a reserve station because it is not on main grid links or close to major load centres.

    MED regularly produces data on its operation. In six years of existence it has been on for signficant periods only twice, one being for a large chunk of winter 08. Most years it has run for a few hours testing.

    Pole 1 has been gradually being put into service more and more. Surprising really given Transpower said it was so dangerous to operate… It’s arbitrary closure was a major issue in 08. If it had been operating normally there would have been far fewer problems. Transpower has never been fully held accountable for that disgraceful decision.

    Lynne – Meridian has been losing customers this year. Not quite sure where all these people changing to it are. Powershop’s gains has basically balanced out Meridian’s losses. Not a great return on their multimillion dollar launch.

    As for DEC, try finding any mention of it on Meridian’s website or annual report. Shows how they try to hide their involvement in it. I think they also run a couple of similar plants at dairy factories or wood processors. They run all the time so probably produce more of a footprint than Whirinaki.

    It has never been strong in the NI because it would be too exposed to risk as all its generation was in the SOuth, with a large chunk dedicated to Comalco. That’s one of the reasons it has been given a NI power station and also being forced into a hedge with Genesis. The other is that Meridian wasted water during the 08 dry winter and put the system at risk, and that is because it had no incentive to hedge and think beyoind its own needs. I think this asset swap is to broaden perspectives and risk to encourage a bit more attention to market risk as a whole.

    The other reason is to try and get more integration of Whirinaki into the power system so that the risk is spread and cost reduced. At present all the power companies sit back and wait for the govt to act and bail them out, while they also benefit from high wholesale prices that result. (Sounds like banking…. ) So I think you are being a wee bit paranoid in your assumptions.

    On gas fields, ironically it would be cheaper for NZ to continue to find relatively small fields. Large fields would end up being priced up to LNG and we would have to compete against Japanese and Chinese buyers for it. Small fields are captive to domestic demand and the cost of alternative local generation. They may be slightly more expensive to develop but would find it hard to charge a premium.

    That said, I totally agree on your conclusions re Brownlee. NAsty piece of work totally captured by Transpower (a monopoly – who trusts them?) and the power industry. One of the ironies no-one seems to have noticed is that for all his bluster about competition, Brownlee is actually handing more control of the industry to the powercos and monopolies. If they couldn’t be trusted before to get a decent market going, why give them even more power?

    PS moving Whiri to Chch is a genuine issue. Been around for years. Orion has plans for such a plant

    • lprent 8.1

      It is basically a jet engine and there are hundreds of them around on planes mainly but also ships.

      Yeah. That is one of the main reasons that I don’t bother flying. The others are
      1. I hate being packed in an airborne cattle truck
      2. Why have the net if you don’t use it?

      I really have no problems with having an emergency generator. The location of it (from what I understand) is to do with the fact that it is off the main power trunks. Specifically if there is an major earthquake or volcanic event in the central NI or taranaki. That was raised back in the 80’s as an issue for civil defense when I was interested in that.

      I just don’t want it in the generating portfolio of my power company. In fact I don’t think it should be in ANY power companies portfolio. It should be held and operated by the state emergency services like civil defense or the army. It’d be a real pain if it didn’t have full tanks when it was really needed.

      The steam plant stuff I’m unconcerned about. I don’t buy steam.

      Lynne Meridian has been losing customers this year. Not quite sure where all these people changing to it are. Powershop’s gains has basically balanced out Meridian’s losses. Not a great return on their multimillion dollar launch.

      It is Lynn. Meridian have been moving themselves from being a local (ie south island) company to being the first fully NZ based company. You have to look at where they are losing and gaining customers rather than the total numbers. You also have to look at what type of customers they are chasing (ie getting a higher return). Powershop has a pretty small customer base, largely made up of the price sensitive. I’m not.

      On gas fields, ironically it would be cheaper for NZ to continue to find relatively small fields.

      I’d agree. But jen was suggesting them for export. Our fields just aren’t suited for it.

  9. BLiP 9

    National Ltd® and their pet goons in ACT seems to be feasting when it comes to legislating to tilt the “market” in favour of its big business interests at the expense of the public it is supposed to be serving.

    Remember Wodney Hide and his call for more and more referenda to drive local body politicis? Well, this week the government has legislated to remove provisions for a referendum in the case of Auckland City selling its shares in Ports Of Auckland.

    While this new and stunning hypocrisy is progressing through the legislative process, another wee tweak, this time an unnecessary move to hobble the Takeovers Panel to prevent any problems resulting in the sale of shares in Auckland Airport.

    Thanks National Ltd®, I’m lovin’ it.

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    So - Gary Romano who took the fall for the Fonterra botulism scare was head hunted by Shanghai Pengxin -http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11226262the company which bought the Crafar farms (the original purchase of which was financed by loans made to Crafar by Fonterra) and which are...
    Te Whare Whero
  • Christmas singles and the White Saviour Complex
    In light of Sir Bob Geldof’s recent re-recording of ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas?’, controversy around the so-called ‘white saviour complex’ continues to grow. Naturally, I thought I would add my two cents to the debate surrounding the song and...
    On the Left
  • New Bus Priority coming
    Auckland Transport want to roll out 40km of new bus priority measures over the next 3 years to speed up buses, make them more efficient and support the new bus network being rolled out across the region. This is fantastic news as the...
    Transport Blog
  • Gordon Campbell on Rick Ellis as Te Papa’s new CEO
    The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial...
    Gordon Campbell
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #47
    SkS Highlights President Obama's climate leadership faces the Keystone XL challenge by John Abraham attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Coming in a close second was John Cook's Why we need to...
    Skeptical Science
  • Andrew Little as Labour Leader
    So Andrew Little is the new Labour leader. I don't particularly agree with him axing capital gains but entirely agree Labour should ditch raising the retirement age. Andrew needs to handle the members better. Cunliffe ditched some policies such as...
    Topical
  • Hard News: Music: Watching on Twitter from afar
    TV3's decision to broadcast the Vodafone Music Awards live to air was a great call. Not that I was able to actually watch it, but being able to read tweets both from Vector Arena and the living rooms of home certainly...
    Public Address
  • Sunday music: Talking Heads on cities
    A blast from the past: the Talking Heads’ ode to urbanity, “Cities”. This is from the band’s fantastic concert film Stop Making Sense: The Talking Heads emerged from 1970s New York. The city itself wasn’t doing so well at the...
    Transport Blog
  • Our social betters
    by Michael Roberts In a great new book, Billionaires: reflections on the upper crust (http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120092/billionaires-book-review-money-cant-buy-happiness), Darrel M West outlined various social surveys that show the richer a person is, the less likely they are to redistribute some of their wealth...
    Redline
  • More details on the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr path
    Auckland Transport have released more details about the route for the Glen Innes to Tamaki Dr shared path that they and the NZTA are going to build over the next few years. The $30 million path will be built between 2015 and 2018 in four...
    Transport Blog
  • Headline of the week
    Original. To quote our very own Lamia, “Maybe the Maori Party should have included a history lesson in their confidence and supply agreement.”...
    On the Left
  • Who or What Was Onboard MH370, That Someone Doesn’t Want Found?
    239 people (including crew) were onboard MH370 when it mysteriously disappeared on March 8th this year.  Not one single piece of confirmed wreckage has ever been found, nor has a definite crash area been identified. I, like I am sure...
    An average kiwi
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47B
    Acid maps reveal worst of climate change Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change? China will place a limit on coal use in 2020 Climate change investment falls for second year in 2013 Fossil-fueled Republicanism  House Republicans just passed a...
    Skeptical Science
  • For oil companies, our rights are just another obstacle
    Once upon a time fossil fuel exploration took place far away, out of sight and out of mind. But as oil and gas giants become ever more desperate for new reserves they’re prepared to drill in places that were previously...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • The Arctic Sunrise, her journey continues
    Last Saturday, the ecologically pristine area around the Canary Islands was the watery stage of the next chapter in the story of the Arctic Sunrise. Last year, she carried Greenpeace activists across icy waters North of Russia, where they protested...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • New Wynyard Hotel disappointing
    More details were released yesterday surrounding a new luxury hotel – to be known as Park Hyatt Auckland – that is going to be built on the waterfront, on the site that currently houses the Team New Zealand headquarters.   The...
    Transport Blog
  • Guest post: what should Andrew Little learn from Ed Miliband?
    John tweets at @mrduttonpeabody. A Labour leader being elected on the back of an election loss, through a system of weighted bloc votes, is familiar to anyone who follows UK politics. The 2010 UK Labour leadership election saw Ed Miliband...
    On the Left
  • October 14 Patronage
    October’s patronage results show Aucklanders are continuing to flock to buses and trains. It’s especially true for the rapid transit network which is seeing staggering growth, up over 20% compared to the same month last year. It’s showing that the public...
    Transport Blog
  • Hurray for “Hurray For The Riff Raff”!
     FIRST RATE AMERICANA came to Auckland's Tuning Fork venue last night in the form of the Alt-Country, Indie-Folk roots band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old Peurto Rican singer-songwriter out of New Orleans via New...
    Bowalley Road
  • Capture: Movement
    It felt like we were overdue for a post, and when I took the time to look back at what had come before, I realised yesterday we turned three. So before we get into it, thanks once again for another...
    Public Address
  • Saturday playlist: new Labour leader
    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left
  • Stuart’s 100 #57: Grow your own
    57: Grow your own What if supermarkets could grow their own? Supermarkets, like service stations, are in that category of activities that are of such necessity and ubiquity to our daily life that they cumulatively have a very large footprint...
    Transport Blog
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog
  • The Warehouse & Noel Leeming Praised for Principled Stand
    Family First NZ is congratulating The Warehouse and Noel Leeming for reinforcing their ‘family-friendly values’ by removing R18 games and DVD’s from its shelves, and is calling on other retailers including JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Dick Smith...
    Scoop politics
  • PM’s Post-Cab on Iain Rennie, China and the Smith Inquiry
    In a press conference held today in Wellington, Prime Minister John Key answered questions regarding Iain Rennie’s potential resignation, the independent inquiry into the Smith/Traynor escape, and recent trade deals with China....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety Week 2014 focused on a safe summer
    ACC’s annual Safety Week kicks off today. With summer just around the corner, Safety Week this year is focusing on keeping safe when playing sport, enjoying recreational activities or drinking alcohol....
    Scoop politics
  • Safety focus during motorcycle month
    As the Central District Police annual Month of Motorcycles campaign cruises into its second week, the results so far have been positive with many motorcyclists playing their part to keep our roads safe....
    Scoop politics
  • Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST
    Insane Law Perverting Course of Justice: SST The Sensible Sentencing Trust is slamming a decision which may acquit a Whakatane offender of serious dangerous driving charges....
    Scoop politics
  • Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons
    Taranaki Base Hospital draped in white ribbons to show violence towards women is never OK...
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media
    Family Violence Intervention Team uses social media to say “no” to domestic violence Everyone has the right to feel safe at home. Many do not. One in three partnered New Zealand women report having experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner...
    Scoop politics
  • Smoke Alarms in Rental properties
    TPA says recent calls for mandatory smoke alarm installations in rental properties is an opportunity for all parties to come together to improve the safety and quality of rental housing....
    Scoop politics
  • CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process
    Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation...
    Scoop politics
  • Job vacancies steady in October
    The number of skilled job vacancies advertised online remained steady in October across most industry groups and occupations, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report....
    Scoop politics
  • 600 Slaves And Counting on New Zealand Soil
    The 2014 Global Slavery Index has just been released, and buried within its pages is New Zealand’s growing issue of human exploitation and slavery. When taken in conjunction with the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014,...
    Scoop politics
  • Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and NZ
    Media Statement from Police Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand: Police Commissioners take a stand against violence against women and children...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Police Commissioner makes a stand against Family Violence
    New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has joined with his Australian Police Commissioner colleagues at Parliament House in Canberra this morning to take a stand on violence against women and children....
    Scoop politics
  • Amnesty International campaigns for end to domestic violence
    Amnesty International will be making a donation of over $500 to Aviva (formerly known as Women’s Refuge Christchurch) at the conclusion of Tuesday’s inner city march against domestic violence....
    Scoop politics
  • Waka Hourua celebrates what’s working in suicide prevention
    On 19 and 20 November, Māori and Pasifika national suicide prevention programme Waka Hourua held its first national hui-fono in Auckland. The theme was Whakarauika Mai: Bringing Communities Together to Prevent Suicide in Aotearoa. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics
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