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Snouts in the trough

Written By: - Date published: 1:50 pm, August 1st, 2009 - 160 comments
Categories: corruption, national/act government - Tags: ,

NZPA reports:

Taxpayers are contributing nearly $1000 a week to allow deputy prime minister Bill English to live in his own million-dollar Wellington home.

According to the title, the Karori home was bought by Mr English and his wife, Mary, for $800,000 in 2003. However, in March this year the title was transferred to Mrs English alone.

Mary English is a GP in Wellington, their kids go to school there, Bill spends most of his time there. The house in Karori is, in reality, his primary home. Yet he is claiming $1000 a week to live there from the Wellington accommodation allowance. That allowance is meant to compensate non-Wellington-based ministers for the costs of accommodation in the city arising from the need to be there for their work. The Englishes own their Karori home regardless.

National is claiming that it’s not a breach of the rules. Even if that’s the case, it’s clearly a rort and clearly unethical. The movement of ownership out of his name has obviously been done to facilitate the rort.

In 2000, Marian Hobbs and Phillida Bunkle lost their ministerial warrants for a similar rort of the Wellington accommodation allowance. The expenses scandal that has shaken the UK Parliament and seen a number of resignations has also centred around MPs rorting the system around housing allowances.

English doesn’t see anything wrong in his behaviour. Key, no doubt, will be ‘relaxed’.

Once again, we see the Key Government has one rule for themselves and another for the rest of us. At a time when they’re demanding the public accept cutbacks in services, attacking solo mums raising their kids on low incomes while trying to get off the benefit, and joking that there’s no pixie dust to help unemployed they’ve got their noses planted firmly in the public trough themselves.

As dodgy behaviour from minister after minister comes to light, this Key government is rapidly gaining a reputation for corruption and sleaze.

160 comments on “Snouts in the trough”

  1. Jasper 1

    Im picking this will be an issue that will gain traction over the coming weeks.

    The ideal situation for Labour is to step back on this one as our own MP’s are less than perfect and we don’t want to give the nacts the chance to spin this onto Labour as they no doubt will.

    Leave it up to the media to fan the fires of this taxpayer rort, with No Comment responses from Labour. Let National try and get off this flypaper without our help.

  2. bobo 2

    I just hope this has the same effect on the public as in the Uk , alot of these generous perks hark back to a day when politicians pay was well under 100k a year.

    Good on Metiria Turei for pushing on this as both major parties will be against changes to this, just like in uk its completely legal but don’t expect the public to think it’s OK when we hear of cuts to the vulnerable and disabled budgets first.

    It seems Roger Douglas ideology of less government spending only kicks in after he has got his holidays bills reimbursed, what a James Blunt..

  3. bill brown 3

    It’s good to see all the facts on the table about this one.

    One of the longest and hardest sucks on the state’s teat, and he’s a tax dodger too.

  4. Clarke 4

    And while we’re on the subject of corruption, hypocrisy and sleaze, there’s Sir Roger Douglas, cheer-leading from the front. Here’s what he said back in February:

    In New Zealand we have come to believe that we are all getting a free lunch; but there is no free lunch. Pensioners may enjoy free trips to Waiheke now, for instance. But unless you know what kind of trade-off has been made to obtain such free rides it is hard to think of this as bad policy.

    So presumably the takeaway message is that free trips to Waiheke for pensioners are bad, but free trips to the UK for politicians of pensionable age are just fine, thanks.

    This is the kind of weapons-grade hypocrisy that should be banned by UN treaty.

    • bill brown 4.1

      Yeah, let’s have a round of applause to the citizens of Epsom for that one.

      Mind you, I assume he was eligible whether Wodney won or not.

      If he wasn’t in parliament now would we have heard of it?

  5. SPC 5

    So Bill is being paid $1000 a week by the taxpayer to live with his wife.

    Given Treasury advice about the need to realise greater efficiency in the wider public sector, perhaps we should see if others would be prepared to live with her for less. Nice house, free in house medical services …

    • No no, no no, no no, no. It is to stabilise his family life and we all want a stabilised family life don’t we?

      The “zing” of the Guillotine is sounding better every day.

      Captcha: bury. LOL.

  6. felix 6

    So it’s outrageous that we pay a woman $700 a week to raise three children, but it’s ok that we pay Mr Bill $1000 a week for nothing at all!

    Righties, I want to hear from all of you on this. You must be disgusted. Everyone who’s been banging on about solo mums and the DPB needs to get in here and take a firm stand on this.

    vto, where are you on this?

  7. roger nome 7

    So – Atlas has been caught fondling the crown jewels again. All at a time when NAct is telling us to tighten our belts, and deal with redundancy, benefit cuts and pay-cuts. Same old state cushioning for the elites, and market-discipline for the masses. These people make me sick.

  8. roger nome 8

    felix – i want Burt to remove his tounge from English’s behind for long enough to give him a verbal tongue lashing on this. Common KBR where are you?

    • burt 8.1

      roger

      The issue is the rules are written by MP’s for MP’s. Then when they break the rules because it is convenient and expedient complete muppets support them validating themselves.

      Look it goes on everywhere. Jolly Jim get’s circa $2,000 a week for being in a separate party while he gives his vote unconditionally to Labour… but it is withing the rules.

      Don’t sweat the legal stuff roger, just grow some balls and stand up when they break the law rather than say it’s OK because it is your side doing it.

      My opinion for what is is worth: English is taking the piss – but he is doing it with the blessing of the self serving rules all MP enjoys.

      • Marty G 8.1.1

        wow. that was a long and confused way of saying ‘English is ripping us off but I’m OK with that because he’s on my side’

        • Daveski 8.1.1.1

          The only one playing sides is you Marty and some of your fellow standardistas. I will wait with interest but I strongly suspect that the Labour party in parliament will leave this largely to the great unwashed as the issue is the expenses not so much that English is rorting the system.

          Having said that, English clearly loses any moral ground around efforts to save costs.

        • burt 8.1.1.2

          Marty G

          I draw a line, is it within the rules. When they break the rules, declare the referee wrong and change the rules to how they like to play – then we have a real problem.

          I don’t like how this works as it is blatant snout in the tough. The disclosure of MP’s expenses will bring about change in these areas. Good on National for letting that happen eh – we finally get the new standard of openness and accountability promised many years ago by a prior govt.

      • felix 8.1.2

        To clarify, burt:

        You’re ok with it because it’s not illegal?

        • burt 8.1.2.1

          felix

          I’m not really OK with it. That is going to far. English has played within the rules and his party has disclosed what he is up to. Lets see what happens next, what rules get changed by public pressure and which get removed from the reporting list for expediency.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.3

        And he’s doing it with your money. Isn’t that always the argument when the left spend a little cash? But now that it’s your team spending a lot of our cash for his own personal benefit it’s Ok.

        Gee, why am I not surprised.

        This is obviously one set of rules that needs tightening up but

        When they break the rules, declare the referee wrong and change the rules to how they like to play then we have a real problem.

        burt doesn’t think so as they’re not being broken.

  9. Undoubtedly a bad look. However, politicians of colours have their noses completely in the trough as evidenced by the fact that MAD applied to the travel expenses – neither major party was prepared to attack the other. Agreed also that the Greens come out of this with more credibility.

    • Eddie 9.1

      Why do you think MAD applies? because the newspaper told you so?

      The highest accommodation claim from Labour was $12K, less than $500 a week. Half a dozen Nats are claiming $1000 a week. The only one who seems to be out and out abusing the system is English is the worst because he’s claiming for a property his family would own anyway.

      • Daveski 9.1.1

        With respect eddie, read my comment again. I was referring to the travel figures released yesterday and the lack of comment by either major party was deafening. Indeed, I not that so far that the issue has been driven by the MSM (strange as you are all convinced they are right wing puppets).

        Apart from that, the first issue is is it allowable under the rules. It appears to be so but it won’t be the first time that politicians right rules in their own favour.

        I have no doubt that the rules need to be changed. I have no doubt that English’s position is in stark contrast to his expectations of Govt agencies.

        For all your outrage, it’s the law that is an ass and it needs to be changed for all MP’s

        • Eddie 9.1.1.1

          Fair enough, you were talking about travel expenses. My bad.

          My reference to the newspaper was that is was in one of them that the MAD reference was made (or was it Colin’s blog?)

          I think your comments are fair, except denying the hypocrisy in English’s actions. I think you do have to acknowledge there’s a rort here, even if it falls within the rules that doesn’t make it acceptable.

          • Daveski 9.1.1.1.1

            In the spirit of brotherhood engendered by my LKJ flash backs (thanks Sprout!) yes, it is a rort. Yes, English is compromised because while it is legal, it’s far from a good look for someone in his role.

            As I said, get all parties to change the law. No one else gets away with the level of expenses MP’s can claim. We can now see why they don’t want to change it.

            I’ll wait to be proven wrong but at this stage, I’ve yet to see Labour jump on the issue for the reasons i”ve outlined.

  10. Lew 10

    This sort of thing – transferring ownership or redefining ‘primary’ residence as ‘secondary’ – is precisely the sort of thing which has gotten UK parliamentarians in such trouble in recent months. It should get traction here on that basis.

    L

    • Quoth the Raven 10.1

      Eternal optimist, Lew. Being pessimistic I expect a bit of spin from the government and the lackeys in media to drop in short order. I hope I’m proved wrong.

  11. RedLogix 11

    Bill English MUST loose his job over this. No if’s, no but’s… no ‘relaxed about it”.

    When I think of all the noise National has made over the years about corruption, waste of public monies and so on… this really is the last straw.

    Exactly this issue has rolled numerous heads in the British Parliament.

  12. RedLogix 12

    vto, burt, mike…. where are you?

    Not got your CT attack lines yet?

    • Eddie 12.1

      They’ll be along once David puts up his post to give them their lines.

      I’m predicting it’ll be a bluster reaction ‘what a bunch of rubbish, just wowsers complaining, all legal etc etc’ and the old ‘those bastards did it too and it was awful, so it’s ok that he did it’

      • Marty G 12.1.1

        burt etc will be in the conference. Farrar will be there too but able to post.

    • IrishBill 12.2

      They’ll be flying the research unit back from Christchurch to get started on the digging for the “they did it too” doublespeak misdirection.

      All I can say is Key’s big package for youth employment better be a cracker because National are going to struggle to bury this story.

      • Marty G 12.2.1

        ‘Key promises a gazillion youth jobs – programmes will only cost $2450, says PM’

        • IrishBill 12.2.1.1

          Minimum wage protections for under 20’s scrapped: “nanny state red tape holding back youths’ ambition dealt with in bold move from centrist PM!” thunders Herald editorial.

    • Daveski 12.3

      I think you;ll be surprised if you scan the comments under General Debate … not as moderate as my (albeit typically) stifled response.

      The Bill English situation is simply not on. Truly disappointing. I can’t see how his claims be justified.

      And my favourite:

      Being paid $1000 a week to live in your own house and having 90% of your overseas travel paid because you happened to be a prime minister once .. to me this falls under the category benefit fraud. It might be legal but it certainly isn’t right..

  13. John Dalley 13

    I look forward with interest for David Farrer’s defense of Bill English’s rorting of the taxpayer.

  14. gobsmacked 14

    Too many quotes, too little time. But here’s one for starters.

    Asked in the House about the pay prospects for public sector workers, specifically teachers and nurses, Bill English replied:

    “Many New Zealanders see State sector workers as having relatively secure jobs, and would be concerned if the representatives of State sector workers were out of touch with what was going on in the wider community and the private sector. (Hansard, July 2 2009).”

    Concerned? Yes Bill, we are.

  15. Ianmac 15

    On one hand MP’s should be paid well thus less need for bribes (?) but when is enough enough? Telecom boss paid millions.

    It has been said that by keeping the MP salaries modest, then entitlements make up the real benefits: a deliberate MP plan from years ago. Travel, acommodation, entertainment, power (Note that power and phone is on top of Bill’s $1,000 pw. Therefore Bill probably gets $1,000 + 150? pw)
    Bill is astute enough to weather this but will Public Opinion?

    Spam: “receives”

  16. felix 16

    How about:

    When will the Minister show some leadership in his economic management and tighten his belt and the Government’s belt the way that homeowners have to because they face the highest interest rates in the developed world

    Who said that? Any guesses?

    burt? mike?

  17. exbrethren 17

    Am surprised that its English that’s been caught in this way as he seems to be far more intelligent than a lot of the Nat caucus.

    I guess its part of the Nat / ACT double standard arrogance on display recently – c’mon kiwis tighten your belts so that your lords and masters can live on the hogs back.

  18. Zaphod Beeblebrox 18

    Was this identified as ‘Low quality spending’ as Bill would put it? I’d put it in the ‘Low hanging fruit’ category

  19. Eric C. 19

    Like Hobbs and Bunkle, English has got to resign over this one.

    But, let’s remember that the issue is not about English owning a property in Wellington. I’ll bet other MPs do too. We know that John Key does, but the coverage that place got a few years ago described it as an apartment, not the family home. We don’t really want our PM entertaining foreign leaders in a little apartment. Do we?

    English is different, because unlike Key, he is a Wellington based MP. He represents a Southland electorate, but he and his family are established in and are living in Wellington full time. He doesn’t have to travel back and forth to see them. So, he should get no more of an allowance than Peter Dunne or Heather Roy.

    • Marty G 19.1

      exactly. If it was genuinely renting for a house they wouldn’t otherwise have, eyebrows might still be raised at the amount of money but the real issue here is that this is the family home and he’s claiming an out of town allowance for it.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 19.1.1

        Which was exactly what many of the UK ministers all did. Of course they did it on a much more spectacular scale, though this does not improve the level of ethiicality of the act.

  20. ghostwhowalks 20

    Farrar has previously used the attack lines that Goff doesnt live in his Roskill electorate, ( but in Auckland) how unethical ‘that’ was.
    When reminded that English didnt even live in the South Island, all he could respond was that , ‘they had holidays in Dipton’
    Sounds like English billed the taxpayers for the flights ( his family has 6 kids) to his ‘holiday home’.

  21. toad 21

    The transfer of title in March was caused by “changes in the trustee arrangements for personal and family reasons”.

    Translation: “Mary and I can scam $1000 of taxpayers money a week if the title is in her name alone. We couldn’t if we were jointly on the title. So, in March we changed it so my name was no longer on the title.”

  22. Eric C. 22

    Hey, I just had another look at the allowances and it is interesting that even if you buy English’s line that he can take this money from taxpayers because the rules say he can, which I don’t buy, of course, he still has a problem.

    Look at Sharples and Williamson. They are both ministers. They say that they are out of Wellington MPs and they collected nothing for Wellington accommodation as a minister, but they did claim Wellington accommodation from Parliamentary Service.

    Now, I don’t know if they own Wellington properties, but it suggests that if you are an out of Wellington MP and you are a Minister not taking a minister’s house, you should claim your allowance through Parliamentary Service as a regular MP.

    English got his allowance from DIA. What’s with that?

  23. sausage fingers 23

    Releasing the private details of someone deriving their income from the taxpayer in order to silence him? How shameful.

    • Marty G 23.1

      this information is public. The wellington accommodation expense information was released by Parliamentary Service on Thursday. The ownership of property is a matter of public record – LINZ.

      Also, are you now conceding that Paula Bennett was in the wrong?

      And, furthermore, don’t you think that our elected officials should be held to higher standards by the public than private citizens?

  24. outofbed 24

    thanx to the Greens for starting the process of disclosure

    having said that time for a rave

    Fuck I work my nuts off for about half of what he is scamming for his house

    Its fucking disgraceful. The cunt should go

  25. RedLogix 25

    Exactly. For someone who is already on the taxpayer’s tit for the tune of $5,500 pw, its contemptible, regardless of whether it is ‘legal’ or not. As someone else hinted at before, the most revealing aspect is that English is not a stupid person, he only had to look at what was happening in Britain to see it coming, so why the hell compromise his entire political career for a $1000pw?

    Only two possible explanations; either he truly believes that like all ‘born to rule Tories’ he is above the same moral rules that apply to the rest of us, or he’s taking the piss … knowing that John Key is in no position to do anything about it.

    Whichever way it’s cut up though, his moral authority is scragged. Every public servant who is asked to ‘save money’ can now laugh in their manager’s face and ask if they can ‘save as much as the Minister of Finance, and where do I get the application forms please?’

  26. felix 26

    From the Dom:

    Mr English has defended the payments, saying it was within the rules and was the same as other ministers were getting. He had made the best option for his family and the cheapest for taxpayers.

    Ho ho.

    I think you’ll find that the cheapest option, Mr Bill, is to NOT GET PAID TO LIVE IN YOUR OWN FUCKING HOUSE!!

    Sorry for the caps, and the cussing. But jeez, $1000 a week to live in your own house? Come on!

    • Maynard J 26.1

      Ms Audrey Young made that point in the herald… cheapest option would be claiming nothing.

  27. graham 27

    the rules are written by all mps.dont try and tell me the greens are saints either as the collective own the property they rent out to them selfs so all green mps as guilty as bill english.I think alot of the allowances should be changed especialy the ex mps travel.again i point out all green mps are as guilty as bill so keep up the campain we can aford to lose him can you guys destroy your own party

    • felix 27.1

      Care to arrange those words into sentences so I can dismiss them as wrong instead of just stupid?

  28. graham 28

    by the way its not 1000 a week it will 920 a week or 48k a year

    • felix 28.1

      Really, is that all?

      In that case it’s a bargain for having someone live in a house that they own.

    • gobsmacked 28.2

      It’s a thousand a week. Because perception is all, details are nothing. National taught us that last year.

      “Explaining is losing” – John Key.

      A thousand a week. A nice, round, disgusting grand.

      • felix 28.2.1

        Could be more. Seems there might be $150 a week in power and phone costs too.

        For his own home, remember.

        • BLiP 28.2.1.1

          Then there’s the free internet, newspaper subscriptions, taxis to and from the Beehive, and subsidised kai at Bellamy’s (or whatever they call it now), I don’t begrudge them their perks but this legal manoevering to rort the public purse really is disgraceful. I wonder how many TIA’s English’s rent-scam would provide.

          Burp – Pike ?

    • Marty G 28.3

      Oh! Well! that makes it OK then.

      It was only the extra $80 a week I thought he was rorting that was pissing me off!

      $920 is $200 a week more than that woman on the DPB has to raise her three daughters, two of whom are sick. And this is just his rort to add to his $270K salary

  29. RedLogix 29

    In all likelihood Key will not sack English over this because it would be too destabilising. On the other hand it will damage him, English and the Speaker (who has apparently been responsible for approving this rort), leaving them all exposed to attack.

    I can just see Labour running a 2011 election ad featuring the “Claim Master General”.

    If nothing else we can always torment the dittoheads about the moral relativity involved in signing a painting to raise funds for a charity auction, versus claiming $50,00pa for living in your own home…. for the next decade or so.

  30. SPC 30

    Just wondering, is the owner of the house charging Bill $1000 a week to live with her? Thus he can claim it as an expense …

  31. outofbed 31

    A fucking grand .. I can’t believe it

    “I focused on making sure my family is together and it has some stability,” he said.

    “I get the same deal as everyone else. This isn’t about the money this is about the support I get which I appreciate that enables our family to be together.”

    Sp presumably if he didn’t get a grand a week his family would split up ?
    They wouldn’t just carry on loving in the house they already FUCKING own?

    This is just taking the piss

  32. toad 32

    Hey, I’ve just been doing a bit of digging, and it is even more corrupt than I thought.

    The property in Karori, which was reportedly transferred to Mary English’s name in March (so was in Bill’s name as well as hers from 2003 until then) does not even appear in the MP’s Register of Pecuniary Interests published in January of this year.

    Do I see a Ministerial resignation coming on?

    • Daveski 32.1

      It might pay Toad to clarify the situation with the Greens who as I understand it own their properties as part of a super plan?

      Again, I’m not defending English who if nothing else will be branded a hypocrite.

      But noted on TV3 not one opposition politician having a dig at English.

      • gobsmacked 32.1.1

        TV3’s Scott Campbell is auditioning for a Beehive job, like his predecessor Stephen Parker. He pretty much runs the Nats defence lines these days.

        Still, English gets the lead story on both bulletins – not quite what Key had in mind for the triumphant conference coverage.

      • toad 32.1.2

        That one’s already been the subject of much scrutiny Daveski – in particular by Farrar.

        The only advantantage to the GreenFutures Superannuation Scheme (that owns the properties) in renting its properties to MPs provides security of tenancy – i.e. that unless an MP resigns the Super scheme will have a secure tenancy for 3 years, whereas, property owned by the Greens Super scheme that is rented to non-MPs may occasionally have unanticipated short periods that it is not tenanted.

        Technical, and trivial – not like the scam English is apparently perpetrating (and Phillida Bunkle did years ago, I seem to recall).

    • Marty G 32.2

      I’m confused. The Nats are saying it’s owned by a trust… but the ownership was transferred from Bill to Mary? So it’s not owned a by trust?

      If it is in a trust, that explains why it’s not in the register of interests… but wait… there’s no mention of a trust in the register and if there is one that owns the house he lives in then he clearly has a pecuniary interest in it.

      Not adding up.

      • mickysavage 32.2.1

        Trusts never appear on certificates of title, only the trustees do. So if the Bill get rich English trust appointed his wife as the trustee only her name would appear on the title. It can get even more complicated than this but that is the general rule.

        It seems really sloppy. Bill could have appointed a couple of lawyers as trustees and their names would have appeared on the title and no one would have been the wiser.

  33. outofbed 33

    I thought i saw i ministerial resignation with Bennett
    no chance with this lot of “born to rule hypercritical bastards”

    • toad 33.1

      We may still do. If the Privacy Commissioner rules she has broken the law, then it will be difficult for her to stay.

  34. outofbed 34

    English is the MP for Clutha Southland. As the Register of Pecuniary Interests reveals, he owns property there, but I understand it is or was either leased or rented out. So where does he stay when he is in his electorate overnight on constituency matters. In a motel or hotel perhaps, with the costs of that being charged back too.

    Good point Toad

    • RedLogix 34.1

      And if he is renting out that home, no doubt he’s been claiming expenses and deductions on that too.

      So can we look forward to a full release of English’s IRD returns for the last decade in order to clarify what has been going on? After all it is ‘relevant’ information.

  35. Marty G 35

    Redlogix. There will have to be an accounting from him.

    Toad. any source on what you say about the dipton house being rented out? Because if he’s claiming accommodation expenses for being in Dipton and accommodation expenses for being in Wellington that’s game set and match.

    Unfortunately, we can’t OIA his expenses, and I don’t know if it can be asked under the written or oral question process. That only leaves the media to get the answers…. that’ll be a big ask.

    captcha: potentially

  36. graham 36

    since you dont understand felix.the green party set up a trust which all its mps belong to they use the same money that bill gets to rent flats to themselfs which they also own.do understand now felix or is that still to hard for you.rember no abuse as it is againist the policy

    • felix 36.1

      Sentences, graham, or no talkie talkie.

      • BLiP 36.1.1

        Something about them elves what the Greens own . . away with with fairies obviously.

    • Marty G 36.2

      the superfund owns the houses, they rent from that fund. Nothing wrong with that. The alternative would be renting from someone else – the taxpayer funds get spent either way.

      It’s not wellington resident MPs living in their family home claiming an out of town allowance like English is.

  37. toad 37

    Well, according to what Audrey Young says in the NZ Herald”:

    He is MP for Clutha Southland at the bottom of the South Island but with six kids and most at school, his wife and kids have made Wellington their home. She works there and the kids go to school there. They rented for many years but had to shift twice. They moved to the Wellington place in Karori a couple of years ago and it still has a mortgage.

    English insists that his primary residence is still Dipton in the electorate where they still have family home and which he frequently visits.

    So, only mediated evidence via the Herald, but “frequently visits” have to be the significant words.

    And I can’t imagine he leaves the property vacant for weeks on end when he, his partner, and his kids are all living in Wellignton without getting some income from it.

    That’s how Tories operate. But just my speculation – I have no hard evidence it is being rented.

    All the same, I think the big story in this is the undeclared pecuniary interest in the property in Karori that I Iinked to above. Lying in a Parliamentary declaration surely has to require a Minister to resign.

  38. Rodel 38

    The mafia doesn’t believe there is such an entity. Al Capone believed he was a
    benefactor to the American population.

    Roger and Bill live in a similar blissful state.

    I do think they really believe their own words.John’s pretty relaxed about it though.
    I suggest Roger deseves a 100% subsidy but only on one way tickets.

  39. illuminatedtiger 39

    This is disgusting – it’s just one perk of many and more than most of us earn in a week!

  40. outofbed 40

    Does he frequently visit the electorate or frequently visit the Dipton Home?

  41. This is fascinating.

    There are at this stage 82 comments and only three anti comments from two obviously delusional wingnuts.

    The silence is deafeaning. What can this mean?

    Can we now start to use the C word?

  42. outofbed 42

    sorry about the c word earlier I was pissed off (what a silly bunt)

    However from the Herald

    It would be much more expensive for us to move out and expect the Government to find housing for eight in Wellington,” he said. ” So we made a decision that was best the family and lowest cost for the taxpayer. And kept to the rules.”

    So because he choose to have 6 kids it cost the tax payer more money eh

    much like a certain beneficiary Eh ?

  43. outofbed 43

    Anyone know if the house in Southland is rented out ?

    • toad 43.1

      He is registered on the electoral roll as Mr Simon William English Strongyle, 179 English Road, Dipton, 9791 – 03 2485066 / Elec: Clutha-Southland.

      But that still doesn’t mean he actually lives there at all.

      • Marty G 43.1.1

        there are rules around residency for electoral roll purposes – there was a case of a recount involving Wyatt Creach (I think) where the court decided that, contrary to what everyone had understood, students must enrol to vote in the electorate they are living in when the election happens, not their ‘home’ where their parents live, which they might actually not go to often.

        If English’s ‘residence’ of Clutha-Southland involves nothing more than owning a farm that he leases out, well, that might be trouble for him.

  44. MikeG 44

    What electorate are the English’s registered to vote in? If it is Ohariu does that confirm that Wellington is their home?

    • Lew 44.1

      MikeG, if it is Ohariu, then he owns a second house, because Karori is in Wellington Central.

      L

      • MikeG 44.1.1

        ok – I was under the impression that Karori was Ohariu. Many years ago Ohariu was primarily the old Karori electorate.

  45. gingercrush 45

    Bah Mr. English, Southlanders will be very disappointed. I can’t see National being able to spin this at all. /late Typical drunken Southland wedding hooray.

  46. gobsmacked 46

    The silence of the sheep has been noticed:

    http://poneke.wordpress.com/2009/08/01/h/

    National must be in serious trouble if they still can’t sort out their spin, a whole day after the story broke.

  47. Craig Glen Eden 47

    Hey does this home have a moat that needs cleaning by any chance?

    $1000 a week, great coin if you can get it aye! I have to love “I have done this to keep my family together” please, what a bloody wrought!

    Bloody beneficiaries scamming the system taking our hard earned tax payers dollars,outrageous!

  48. Akldnut 48

    From Cactus Cates blog:
    English’s office states:

    The spokesman said taxpayers could have faced a higher bill if Mr English had opted to rent elsewhere at current market rates.

    Mr English’s spokesman said there was “no formal upper limit set on rental payments, but Ministerial Services had set an informal limit for rental costs of around $700 a week”.

    I’m glad the fucking wanker didn’t own a house worth 2-3 million and have already fleeced us of more due to the “No formal upper limit!”

    The Prick must GO

    • burt 48.1

      Akldnut

      OK, hypothetical time.

      English is not the only MP that has ever done this. Do we hunt down all and get rid of them as well or do we just set English for the high jump – for working within the rules. It would seem unfair to just punish English because others have been doing it to. Perhaps we should just validate an unknown amount of this sort of expenditure and change the expenditure reporting to exclude accommodation expenses. Parliamentary services will be all a flutter so we will need to do this quickly.

      • felix 48.1.1

        Sorry burt, did you just say “because others have been doing it too”?

        That’s awesome.

        • burt 48.1.1.1

          felix

          Yes I framed it like the defense of Clark/Labour was framed – pathetic wasn’t it.

          • felix 48.1.1.1.1

            It’s no different to anything else you’ve ever typed here burt.

            • burt 48.1.1.1.1.1

              Really ? Is that the best answer you have to being caught shooting yourself in the foot. Did you not understand the word ‘hypothetical’ felix ?

            • felix 48.1.1.1.1.2

              Oh I see that went over your wee head.

              I was pointing out that your attempt at parody is more self-parody than anything else – indistinguishable from the tripe you usually write.

              Poor thing. Must be hard being the only person in NZ defending your hero.

      • Akldnut 48.1.2

        Burt
        At the end of the day its a rort that hes been snapped doing and if there are others in the same boat then they should go too!!!

        I would also not put it past this govt to make a retrospective ruling to try and shift the point of attack to previous govts to cover their arses.

        Its pathetic that there’s an allowance for this that they take willingly while an allowance for less fortunate (with better results for the people of NZ) is scraped. And then the less fortunate are persecuted by the fucking hypocrites

  49. burt 49

    The facts about Bill English and his “expenses” was brought to you courtesy of a new standard of openness and accountability.

    A new standard of openness and accountability has quite a catchy ring to it – why didn’t Labour think of that…. dooh!

    • felix 49.1

      Of course – Labour bad!

      Took a while and he had to squint, but there it is. Well done, burt.

      Oh and burt, did you hear? Bill English is cheating the public by charging us $1000 a week to live in his own house. Awesome, eh?

      • burt 49.1.1

        felix

        To be honest I don’t see this very differently from the likes of the property trusts run by other political parties with multiple properties leased out to parliamentary services.

        • Marty G 49.1.1.1

          elaborate.

          you’re not just talking about the greens who rent from the superfund, rather than renting from a private landloard are you?

          because that’s totally different, those mps aren’t living in wellington and claiming on their primary home. they could just by the properties themselves and claim the cost of the mortgages but they have the fund because they know most of them won’t still be mps needing a place in wellington in 25 years.

        • felix 49.1.1.2

          It’s pretty simple actually burt – see if you can spot the difference between:

          a) renting a house from an actual trust, and

          b) calling yourself a trust so you can rent your own house from yourself.

          (There’s another substantive difference too, but I’ll wait until you’ve got your head around that one I think.)

          • burt 49.1.1.2.1

            Yes I understand the difference felix.

            In one case you build a personal asset with the help of tax payer money pouring into MP accommodation. In the other example you build a personal asset with the help of tax payer money pouring into MP accomodation.

            If you seriously think it is different in principle rather than just slightly different in implementation then you have less between the ears than I previous thought.

            • felix 49.1.1.2.1.1

              Personal? Really? Still having trouble distinguishing an actual trust from a pretend one eh burt?

              Hint: the beneficiaries.

            • burt 49.1.1.2.1.2

              Define a pretend trust felix. Is that like the one Winston used and was legal therefore OK ?

              I’m not going any further with this till you define pretend and real because it seems some imaginary classification of the trusts being real or pretend has allowed you to find a difference between the two situations.

            • felix 49.1.1.2.1.3

              You’re not going any further anyway, burt – you never do. It’s just round and round the same old hogwash with you.

              If you don’t know what a pretend trust is I can’t help you.

              To clarify: I don’t care if what your hero is doing is legal or not, so don’t waste your time trying to make legal equivalences.

              You do know what a trust is though, don’t you burt?

            • burt 49.1.1.2.1.4

              felix

              Rest assured I know a bit about trusts. Enough to know that they are legal entities and they are valid or invalid according to a legal context not according to the ‘felix is not impressed’ test.

              I think you have adequately displayed your lack of comprehension. If you were as smart as you want us to think you are you would give me a serve explaining why one is pretend and one is real as you assert.

            • felix 49.1.1.2.1.5

              Simple, burt.

              According to the “felix is not impressed” test, a pretend trust is one where the trustees and beneficiaries are indistinguishable for all actual purposes.

              You’re the only person trying to make it a legal argument burt. Everyone else sees it as a matter of right and wrong.

            • burt 49.1.1.2.1.6

              No felix, I’ve said I think it is wrong. You seem to be missing that and fair enough. There is more than one train of though being considered at the same times in this discussion so it must be hard for you.

            • felix 49.1.1.2.1.7

              You’re not difficult to follow burt.

              So far what you’ve said on the topic (heh) can be summed up as:

              Labour are not as transparent as the Nats, the Greens are just as bad as the Nats if not worse, and PLEASE DON”T FORGET ABOUT WINSTON!! Oh and mumble mumble it’s not a good look for Bill but it’s probably all legal so no big deal.

              I think that about covers your contribution, burt. Anything you’d like to add?

            • burt 49.1.1.2.1.8

              Yes one thing:

              You are incapable of admitting when you are wrong.

            • felix 49.1.1.2.1.9

              Oooh, sick burn.

              Not.

            • burt 49.1.1.2.1.10

              Still waiting for a definition of pretend and real trusts felix. I’ll also give you a clue – that definition is not tainted by the actions of the unions in the 70’s so running personal attacks like that will not add any clarity to your position.

            • felix 49.1.1.2.1.11

              Look above, retard.

              I defined it real simple, just for you. In “felix isn’t impressed” terms.

              I’ve got better things to do than this. Like watch a doco about Kinski.

            • burt 49.1.1.2.1.12

              You could just admit that the principle of property in a trust leased to PS is the same irrespective of the technicality of living in that same house or receiving tax payers money to live in some other house. I agree there is less ‘arms length’ in English’s case but there is only marginal arms length in the other cases and apparently you are more concerned about the right/wrong than the legal/illegal.

    • Marty G 49.2

      Burt concedes English is in the wrong and wouldn’t have been caught if it weren’t for the new transparency rules led by the Greens.

      Thanks Burt

  50. outofbed 50

    The facts about Bill English and his “expenses’ was brought to you courtesy of a new standard of openness and accountability.

    It easier to just say brought to you courtesy of the GReens

    • Ianmac 50.1

      Herald on Sunday claim that it was their efforts that lead to the disclosures. Take that!

  51. outofbed 51

    This is a comment from cactus kates blog

    This is a disgraceful show by Bill English. The banks are paying $2b+ b/c they have not met the “spirit of the law” (or whatever). I fully support this. The banks have used technicalities to evade the tax law. Bill English is no different. Bundling up his house like a present, passing it around him, his wife, a Trust that he is probably a Trustee of, etc and then pretending he does not own it, so he can receive $1000 per week in rent from the taxpayer is corrupt in principle. This is $52,000 tax free dollar a year. This is the same as if Bill earned an extra $84,240 per year. Effectively, the taxpayer is helping Bill pay this amount to his mortgage. Which, because there is no capital gains (and he was quick to quash this), he accumulates as a tax free gain in his residential property.

    Overall, this fails the smell test, fails the political judgement test, and sets an incredibly poor example for a govt that he is leading to – rightly – take the fat and sense of entitlement out of the public sector. It is that sense of entitlement that stinks so much here,;

  52. Akldnut 52

    Burt The facts about Bill English and his “expenses’ was brought to you courtesy of a new standard of openness and accountability.

    Thx Burt – Could you pass the name & address on to me of the person who bought all this out into open. I’d like to send a thankyou letter.

    Huh WTF???

    Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand
    1st Floor, 16-20 Cambridge Terrace, Wellington
    PO Box 11-652, Wellington, New Zealand
    Phone: 04-801 5102
    Fax: 04-801 5104
    Email: greenparty@greens.org.nz

    The way you’ve put a spin on it, it was all thanks to National.
    Defend the indefensible

    • burt 52.1

      Akldnut

      Yes thanks to the Green’s for pusing that – no argument there.

      Perhaps before you make the weakest spin attempt I have ever seen and try and say I’m defending the indefensible (while I bag English for this) you could ponder just a millisecond why it took a National govt to make this happen. Then after that millisecond you could ponder how fabulous the glorious self serving non disclosure Labour party really were and stfu making ridiculous assertions that I’m defending this.

      • r0b 52.1.1

        the glorious self serving non disclosure Labour party

        Your grasp on reality is as gloriously one eyed and tenuous as ever Burt. Only one major party is publicly open with its accounts, and that party is Labour:

        Nevertheless, it should be noted Labour is the only party in Parliament willing to allow public perusal of its annual audited accounts.

        Neither – unlike National – has it used special trusts through which to channel donations and thus avoid disclosing the source.

        Any claims from National to be the “open” ones are the height of hypocrisy:

        After a week of climbing into Labour boots and all over the Owen Glenn saga, one thing has become abundantly clear: the Nats have lost any defence of their right to keep their own campaign donations secret.

        It is the height of hypocrisy for National to claim, as both its leader John Key and deputy Bill English have done this week, that “Labour’s relationship with its largest donor looks very murky indeed’ when National’s own relationship with its donors is not so much murky as totally hidden.

        So this new openness that you think National is such a big fan of Burt – why don’t National open their books like Labour? What dirty secrets are they hiding?

        • burt 52.1.1.1

          rOb

          You might want to ask a National supporter those questions. You seem to have me confused with someone who will defend them.

          I’m happy about the disclosure and I have highlighted how it is a new standard of openness and accountability but I’m in no way saying it is complete openness and accountability.

          If you a feeling defensive because Labour would not even release this level of detail then I’m sorry that is not my problem – look in the mirror for what standards you support before deflecting your own disappointment onto someone else.

          • r0b 52.1.1.1.1

            So what dirty secrets do you think National is hiding in their closed accounts Burt? Do you care? Are you going to be calling for them to open their books like Labour? Better get on to it…

          • felix 52.1.1.1.2

            Good point r0b.

            burt, if there were ever a time to call for openness and transparency from National, this is it.

            If you don’t do it now, you never will.

            • burt 52.1.1.1.2.1

              I think you are confusing what is wrong but within the rules and what is wrong because it is illegal. I’m not surprised as being Labour supporters you have made an art form of blurring those lines for expediency. Me, I’m less worried about what the MP’s do within the rules and more concerned about the rules themselves and the MP’s who break them then validate themselves – because they can and because partisan hacks will run cover for them.

              I must say though, it is great watching defenders of appallingly low standards in one party scream for high standards in another. Keep it up guys, you are gold.

            • felix 52.1.1.1.2.2

              I’m not confused about that, burt. I don’t care if it’s legal, I do care that your hero Bill is taking an extra $1000 a week from all of us for living in his own house.

              You might as well get back to banging on about how bad Labour is though burt, you’re making a bosh of defending the Nats.

    • burt 52.2

      Oh, a quick scan of frog blog would also find I have commended the greens for disclosure before – but hey, why would you want to know what you are talking about – it’s a liability to do that when defending Labour.

  53. andy 53

    ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS A WEEK!!!!111!!!!

    I work 50 hours plus and only pull in half that, glad to see my tax dollars paying for more police, nurses, operations and the English family to live in a house they already own.

    Next you will be telling me his kids go to Catholic Schools that just suckled up to the $35 million that the Nat govt just handed out to them.

    This is truly aspirational for NZ beneficiaries, this is how you claim your ENTITLEMENTS!!!!!!!

    SinceAudrey Young put Bills kids schools and his wifes work in the public domain I await with baited breath the release of details as to how much the kids fees are how much the wife earns and the tax paid and claimed on the school fees and the LAQC that the house must be in, also the IRD file on the legality of Mr English’s house in trust renting back to himself (as legality is questionable)

    I suspect the right wing outrage ‘always the victim all the time’ machine will reach maximum spin velocity tomorrow, with howls of ‘but, but Labour did it 9 years ago waaaah, waaaah.

    Capcha: grants

  54. andy 54

    $1000 per week, that would pay for the special needs kid to get the in school help, (throws up in mouth) so much for that great catholic tradition of helping the poor!!!!

  55. Eric C. 55

    English must be kicking himself for another bad decision that overshadowed his party’s conference. Last year he ‘misspoke’ about the Nat’s secret agenda on tape and this year he got caught with his snout in the trough. His chances of leadership have to be getting slimmer every year.

    And, what an own goal from Key on his timing. I bet he is kicking himself for choosing to release the allowance info just ahead of his grand conference entrance.

    How arrogant can he be?

    Did he think the media weren’t smart enough to pick up on the English rort? Or, more likely, did he just see nothing wrong with it, because he makes the rules now?

  56. Daniel 56

    You complain about $1,000 wasted a week when there are Billions wasted in unnecessary moochers and unnecessary bureaucracy. If you actually cared about government waste you would find millions a week wasted without much effort. You don’t really care about government waste, you just want to attack your political opponents. Get a grip on reality, gain some integrity.

    • felix 56.1

      You complain about unnecessary moochers and unnecessary bureaucracy when all along Bill English is ripping off the public purse for $1,000 a week. If you actually cared about government waste you would find a grand a week wasted without any effort. You don’t really care about government waste, you just want to attack your political opponents. Get a grip on reality, gain some integrity.

    • andy 56.2

      How can we as a nation cut waste when the very people who we recently elected ‘to set a higher standard’ and be better at managing the public purse are rorting the system. Its as good a place as any to start cutting the waste.

      Not very aspirational is it?

      Integrity is a bit over rated, ask Roger Douglas.

    • Draco T Bastard 56.3

      Nobody’s managed to find such wasted billions yet. Hell, National even had to close it’s wastewatch site because of the total lack of waste.

  57. vto 57

    I look forward to the coming period of high entertainment as all our glorious politicians try to defend themselves over spending on this and spending on that.

    We have already enjoyed seeing Roger Douglas score in the negatives for his initial defence..

    And now English..

    Out here in Punterland we will scrutinise and come to instantly quick decisions about whether a particular spend is justified or not.. And you know what? Those decisions will mostly be right on the button. Possums in the headlights here we come… yahoooo………..

  58. Open season on politicians may be fun, and critical comment may be appropriate, but it is usually the Right that gains from any destabilisation of the democratic process. So, one ought to be very clear about the difference between a political system that may require adjustment, and a wholesale bagging of the democratic model. Perhaps a degree of perspective is called for across the political spectrum on this issue?

  59. outofbed 59

    I think Mrs English has the rawest deal .
    She only gets 1000$ per week to live with Bill English
    doesn’t seem much too me

  60. SPC 60

    I was just considering the words justice, fairness and equity.

    I have a dilemma.

    For I am told that a person losing their job gets no dole if their partner has a minimum wage job. They are supposed to live on $25,000 (before tax) for two people. This is little more than the dole which would be about $19,000 for two people over 25. They might get an accomodation supplement if they were renting or paying a mortgage – but this would not cover some of the initial cost and then only a proportion of the rest and only up to a maximum claim limit.

    Why is the income of Bill English’s partner not considered?

    Why is it that Mrs English cannot provide for the housing needs of herself and her partner and their children on her own doctors salary. Do doctors not earn enough to do so? She is a GP in Wellington is she not? Her family live with her do they not?

    If not living with his wife, all Bill needs is a one flat for himself, or to share a flat with another Cabinet Minister or MP or secretary who is prepared to do the household chores (who needs a Finance Minister eating corn beef and peas and washing their own socks in a wash basin). Even in Wellington that does not cost $1000 a week (there are hotels who would charge less than that for regular guests).

    If living with his wife, he needs no allowance.

    Frankly that a person on near $200,000 income with a working professional partner living locally needs an out of town allowance at all is a scandal, yet it became worse when they claimed a greater amount when their salary increased to well over $200,000. That reflects badly on all those in this system who put their hand out for their entitlement and who thus consented to its continuance.

    It should be income tested AND partner tested like any other government handout. There need to be some limits on the housing ambition of claimaints – only compensating for a proportion of their housing costs as for the accomodation supplement.

    This system (especially when seen in comparison with what government provides to others in greater need) does not do justice, it is not fair and it is not equitable.

  61. outofbed 61

    I am particularly angry about this . probably because of the deep financial poo I am in, through increasing my mortgage to pay for me to care for a very sick daughter for two years. I just could not to suffer the ignominy of going back Work and an Income
    Blah blah rave rave
    Now back at work I now struggle for take home pay less the half of what English is getting from the tax payer each week to live with his wife.

    It is most unjust but then I am just bitter and twisted.
    However daughter has recovered (sort of) got her degree and is off on her OE
    Mean while another meal of instant noodles awaits

    NOTE :On reflection I should have take a support person advocate with me to WINZ
    I recommend people needing there services do the same

    • r0b 61.1

      Hang in there OOB. There are good people in the world as well the troughers. I’m glad your daughter recovered, and I hope her OE goes well. In the end it is family that matters.

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    DimPost
  • A further thought on the Gwyn report
    The report itself is here. The main issues have been well covered by the media. Here’s what struck me. One of Key’s big achievements as Prime Minister has been the expansion of the size and powers of the state security...
    DimPost
  • Thin Ice edit for US TV funded in full
    The Thin Ice Kickstarter campaign was resounding success, with the total pledged reaching NZ$34,448 from 228 backers. The extra funds are likely to be used in a PR effort to get the newly-edited film shown on as many TV stations...
    Hot Topic
  • The City Unbound
    The current Metro Magazine has has an article by me on Auckland, its new urban nature, and surprise!: Why we need a change in transport infrastructure investment to unlock its true value. Most here won’t be unfamiliar with the arguments but the...
    Transport Blog
  • The City Unbound
    The current Metro Magazine has has an article by me on Auckland, its new urban nature, and surprise!: Why we need a change in transport infrastructure investment to unlock its true value. Most here won’t be unfamiliar with the arguments but the...
    Transport Blog
  • Cover up in the PM’s office
    Here's an extract from a very good post by Russell Brown this morning: But there’s more. The inspector, Cheryl Gwyn, has this to say: Witnesses appearing before this inquiry also produced documents. Documents were provided voluntarily by Mr Hager and...
    Polity
  • An abuse of power
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has released her report into the release of information to Cameron Slater by the SIS. Its a lot to digest, but it looks like the core allegation of Dirty Politics - that the Prime...
    No Right Turn
  • Media Link: The Slater/SIS/PM’s Office OIA debacle.
    Sometimes one has to speak bluntly but honestly about unethical behaviour within the NZ intelligence community. The revelations about the way an OIA request from a notorious right wing blogger was  handled by the then Director of Security and Intelligence...
    Kiwipolitico
  • The buck stops on level 9
    The IGIS report has come out, saying the SIS failed to maintain political neutrality, smearing Phil Goff, and finding that senior Prime Ministerial staff were complicit in channeling security agency information to Cameron Slater. In response, the SIS has apologised...
    Polity
  • Hard News: Incomplete, inaccurate and misleading
    The reporter of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of information by the SIS is now public, and it turns out to be largely about a democratic problem we've discussed plenty this year: the growing contempt in which New...
    Public Address
  • I’m not ALWAYS wrong …
    I'm presently acting as a "parent helper" at school camp in the backblocks outside of Cromwell, so my capacity to comment on recent events is limited (to put it mildly). So I'll simply reproduce this part of this post from...
    Pundit
  • Coal Action Network Aotearoa Newsletter November 2014
    What’s in this newsletter?  1.  Upcoming Events 2.  Heads in the Sand! Join us on December 7 3.  The Elections – analysis from Jeanette Fitzsimons 4.  The IPCC – and New Zealand’s response 5.  Honey I shrunk the Board!  Bathurst...
    Coal Action
  • Is New Zealand heading up shit creek? [infographic]
    Should we be able to swim in our rivers? Water quality has been in the news a lot this year – in particular the impact of dairy farming on nitrogen levels (and algae) in our rivers. But if we want...
    Gareth’s World
  • Reaction to Labour reshuffle
    The commentators have digested Andrew Little's reshuffle overnight, and their verdict is predictably positive. Even if the Herald can't agree on whether the reshuffle was a big deal or not (the editorial says "largely cautious" while John Armstrong says "radical...
    Polity
  • SIS report due out today
    The Gwyn Report into allegations the NZ SIS were used for political purposes to smear Phil Goff, via Cameron Slater, is due for release at 10 am. Radio NZ reports: The report by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn,...
    On the Left
  • Nothing Wrong With John Key’s History.
    Done Deal: The Prime Minister's comments regarding the peaceful settlement of New Zealand have been ridiculed by his detractors, but they were considerably less controversial than the Waitangi Tribunal's assertion that Maori never ceded sovereignty to the British crown. (Image...
    Bowalley Road
  • Hibiscus Coast New Network confirmed
    Back in July and August, Auckland Transport consulted on changes to the bus network on the Hibiscus Coast as part of the region wide new network. The main driver for consulting on the changes now is that AT want to...
    Transport Blog
  • Hibiscus Coast New Network confirmed
    Back in July and August, Auckland Transport consulted on changes to the bus network on the Hibiscus Coast as part of the region wide new network. The main driver for consulting on the changes now is that AT want to...
    Transport Blog
  • (Not) changing the climate on climate change
    Here’s a foreign policy issue the government wishes would go away: climate change. Most other governments wish it would go away, too. They will nonetheless send emissaries to Lima in Peru for 12 days of talks from next Monday. Lima...
    Colin James
  • Free your voices
    Last week Victoria University of Wellington lecturer’s Dr. Sandra Grey and Dr. Charles Sedgwick released some figures from the 2013/14 update of the 2008/9 survey of the community and voluntary sector. Their research question was: ‘How is democracy – as...
    Greens
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    Greens
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    Greens
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    Greens
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    Greens
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • 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
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter referring to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    ...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 are 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
  • How biased are 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
  • 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 2009. 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
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. 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
  • 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
  • #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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
  • Liam Butler interviews Hon Richard Prebble CBE,
    Out of the Red $29.95 The untold story of NZ's biggest business turn around....
    Scoop politics
  • Submissions called for two herbicide applications
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on the reassessment of the herbicide Firebird and an application for release of the herbicide Sakura....
    Scoop politics
  • Collins Inquiry – Statement from Mr Adam Feeley
    "I am pleased that the inquiry was undertaken and with the outcome announced today, especially given the unprecedented level of speculation, criticism and comment around investigations into the collapse of finance companies - much of which bore little...
    Scoop politics
  • #GivingTuesday focuses on charitable giving in Xmas lead-up
    More than 100 New Zealand charities are taking part in the inaugural #GivingTuesday being held on Tuesday 2 December....
    Scoop politics
  • Carrick Graham: Inquiry Shows New Media PR Here to Stay
    Facilitate Communications welcomes the Prime Minister’s release of the Inquiry report into allegations regarding the Honourable Judith Collins and a former Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley....
    Scoop politics
  • Carrick Graham: Inquiry Shows New Media PR Here to Stay
    Facilitate Communications welcomes the Prime Minister’s release of the Inquiry report into allegations regarding the Honourable Judith Collins and a former Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley....
    Scoop politics
  • Importance of employer support of victims of family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has welcomed a new report, Intimate partner violence and the workplace, published today by the NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse at the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Importance of employer support of victims of family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has welcomed a new report, Intimate partner violence and the workplace, published today by the NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse at the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Activists celebrate success in ‘Roast Busters’ campaign
    Activist community ActionStation is today celebrating the success of their campaign to force a review into the lack of charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ case, after the Minister of Justice announced the re-opening of work to improve the justice system...
    Scoop politics
  • Activists celebrate success in ‘Roast Busters’ campaign
    Activist community ActionStation is today celebrating the success of their campaign to force a review into the lack of charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ case, after the Minister of Justice announced the re-opening of work to improve the justice system...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Day: A lot of work to do
    White Ribbon Day is a timely reminder to all New Zealanders that when it comes to sexual violence there is a lot of work to do says Human Rights Commissioner Jackie Blue. “Many victims of sexual violence are failed by...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Day: A lot of work to do
    White Ribbon Day is a timely reminder to all New Zealanders that when it comes to sexual violence there is a lot of work to do says Human Rights Commissioner Jackie Blue. “Many victims of sexual violence are failed by...
    Scoop politics
  • MBIE acts against Queenstown breaches of employment laws
    Enforcement action has been taken against 15 employers in the hospitality, retail and service industries following an operation in August by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)....
    Scoop politics
  • MBIE acts against Queenstown breaches of employment laws
    Enforcement action has been taken against 15 employers in the hospitality, retail and service industries following an operation in August by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)....
    Scoop politics
  • E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call
    E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call for Māori Tikanga to Battle Domestic Violence...
    Scoop politics
  • E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call
    E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call for Māori Tikanga to Battle Domestic Violence...
    Scoop politics
  • Link between inequality and teen births studied
    A University of Canterbury economics and finance postgraduate student’s research project has been unable to find a strong link between teen birth rates and socio-economic inequality....
    Scoop politics
  • Link between inequality and teen births studied
    A University of Canterbury economics and finance postgraduate student’s research project has been unable to find a strong link between teen birth rates and socio-economic inequality....
    Scoop politics
  • On White Ribbon Day, and every day, Plunket is here to help
    On White Ribbon Day, Plunket says the impact family violence has on children is not OK, but it is OK to ask for help, and is encouraging parents in violent or abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and their...
    Scoop politics
  • On White Ribbon Day, and every day, Plunket is here to help
    On White Ribbon Day, Plunket says the impact family violence has on children is not OK, but it is OK to ask for help, and is encouraging parents in violent or abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and their...
    Scoop politics
  • Dr Warren Tucker accepts findings of IGIS report
    I accept the findings of the Inspector-General's thorough and careful report and take full responsibility not only for my decisions but for the systemic errors made by NZSIS at the time....
    Scoop politics
  • Dr Warren Tucker accepts findings of IGIS report
    I accept the findings of the Inspector-General's thorough and careful report and take full responsibility not only for my decisions but for the systemic errors made by NZSIS at the time....
    Scoop politics
  • NZSIS accepts Inspector-General’s recommendations
    The Director of Security, Rebecca Kitteridge says she accepts all of the recommendations from an inquiry into the release of NZSIS information in July and August 2011. “We are implementing all of the recommendations as soon as possible,” Ms Kitteridge...
    Scoop politics
  • NZSIS accepts Inspector-General’s recommendations
    The Director of Security, Rebecca Kitteridge says she accepts all of the recommendations from an inquiry into the release of NZSIS information in July and August 2011. “We are implementing all of the recommendations as soon as possible,” Ms Kitteridge...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwis Embrace the Spirit of Giving This Christmas
    Auckland, New Zealand – November 25, 2014 – Kiwis are embracing the spirit of giving this Christmas, with new figures revealing that a majority of us will be looking to purchase gifts for six or more people this festive season....
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwis Embrace the Spirit of Giving This Christmas
    Auckland, New Zealand – November 25, 2014 – Kiwis are embracing the spirit of giving this Christmas, with new figures revealing that a majority of us will be looking to purchase gifts for six or more people this festive season....
    Scoop politics
  • The writing’s on the wall in aged care
    The writing’s on the wall in aged care, so let’s get on with it....
    Scoop politics
  • The writing’s on the wall in aged care
    The writing’s on the wall in aged care, so let’s get on with it....
    Scoop politics
  • Report on release of NZSIS information to Cameron Slater
    The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office....
    Scoop politics
  • Report on release of NZSIS information to Cameron Slater
    The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office....
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand a world leader in animal welfare
    The Animal Protection Index , which ranks 50countries across the world on their animal welfare standards, places New Zealand (along with the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland)in first place....
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand a world leader in animal welfare
    The Animal Protection Index , which ranks 50countries across the world on their animal welfare standards, places New Zealand (along with the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland)in first place....
    Scoop politics
  • Corrections Review of Phillip Smith’s Illegal Departure
    Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith has made public a summary of the findings of the review into the illegal departure from New Zealand of prisoner Phillip Smith during a temporary release....
    Scoop politics
  • Corrections Review of Phillip Smith’s Illegal Departure
    Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith has made public a summary of the findings of the review into the illegal departure from New Zealand of prisoner Phillip Smith during a temporary release....
    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
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