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So much for ambition

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, July 14th, 2008 - 39 comments
Categories: labour, national, spin, transport - Tags: ,

Yesterday on Agenda, SOE Minister Trevor Mallard said that the Government was undertaking an exploratory study to see whether the factory that currently repairs trains could also be used to assemble trains. If its economical, specialised parts would still be imported but a major manufacturing job would take place in New Zealand, building up New Zealand’s manufacturing skill base, saving money, and reducing the current account deficit.

This used to happen back before privatisation of rail. At the time the locomotive assembly industry was protected from foreign competition (local assembly was also required in a range of other industries). That was economically inefficient and meant, at the end of the day, Kiwis ended up paying more for manufactured goods.

There is no suggestion of returning to such a system. The Government is simply researching whether local assembly would be competitive with imports. It is fantastic to see them thinking in such an innovative manner to find ways of boosting the local economy and improving a vital, energy efficient transport system.

So, it is terribly disappointing that National has come out against the idea even before the report is complete. National’s Gerry Brownlee simply states that it would be impossible for Kiwis to assemble trains at lower cost that complete imports without protectionism. Automatically, National believes we can not do as well as other countries; that New Zealand can’t compete.

Guess that ‘ambitious for New Zealand’ thing is just so much empty spin.

39 comments on “So much for ambition”

  1. max 1

    innovative for trev given hes likely to lose the hutt unless he can bribe the voters with some half arsed railways workshop scheme.

  2. It’s borderline offensive really. Of course we can!

  3. This move makes sense, given the rising and rising of the trade deficit as we export more and more jobs overseas.

    There is no economic rationale that justifies manufacturing non-perishable goods in New Zealand if transport becomes expensive…and it is becoming more expensive.

    You have to give the present government credit for looking forward and thinking about what may have to be done in a world that is changing.

    You have to wonder why the National Party consistently fails to see into the future….and doesn’t really understand the present or past very well either.

    Prudence used to be a conservative value. The very essence of conservative is to “conserve”…which makes it deeply and sadly ironic that modern so-called conservatives are racing to wreck and disperse, for short term gain, industries that maintain important engineering and manufacturing skills in sufficient quantity to allow the people who live here in this country to operate, maintain and support the daily operation of New Zealand.

  4. BeShakey 4

    Although I don’t know whether this will work for trains I do know that the New Zealand bus industry imports bus chassis that are then ‘built up’ within NZ. This is both cheaper and of a higher quality (for instance the NZ firms figured out how to construct a super low floor bus (the ones with no steps between the front and back doors) on a chassis that wasn’t designed for this, at no extra cost). Why on earth is the party that supposedly supports business so opposed in principal to this?

  5. Phil 5

    Steve’s argument is, in effect, this;
    We have lots of good automotive mechanics in New Zealand, therefore we should manufacture/assemble cars here. Can anyone see the problem(s) here?

    BeS,
    Designline is a great company, no doubt. But they are a one-off in the industry – we still import plenty of completed buses. I would also question the “higher quality, no extra cost” claim. Sure, a kneeling bus is kinda-cool, but is it a more elegant or practical solution than a simple fold-out ramp like many other buses have? I doubt it.

  6. RedLogix 6

    Phil,

    The compelling argument is that assembling these locomotives here will also build up the necessary knowledge and skill base to service them over their lifetime. These locomotives are not like cars. There is no established industry of distributors and trained service technicians to leverage off.

    Assembling them here is the best way to build a critical mass of people who know how they are put together and how to look after them.

  7. coge 7

    RedLogix, why is it necessary at all to have a critical mass of people here in NZ to build locomotives? Surely this is contrary
    to the logic of economy of scale. Especially as NZ does not have a requirement for a great number of locomotives. Don’t you think it would be superior financial sense to lease them from overseas producers?

  8. Peter Wilson 8

    New Zealand has designed, assembled, and maintained locomotives in New Zealand facilities since around 1900. Albeit, most locomotives designed and built here were steam, but since the 1950s at least, our railway engineers have had the at times unenvieable task of maintaining some fairly antiquated diesel technology. The bulk of the current locomotive fleet was built in the 1960s, and has undergone multiple rebuilds since then.

    So, when National rubbishes the idea it is knocking Kiwi workers. “New Zealand Sucks” – there’s a good campaign slogan for National.

  9. Building trains would be a very heavy carbon emitting industrial process now wouldn’t it?
    Surely the present govt wouldn’t want to be suggesting we do that now would they? ;)

    If you think agriculture is bad imagine what large heavy industry would be like! Not very Green!
    Such hypocrisy. Tut tut tut .

  10. Draco TB 10

    How many locomotives are bought every year?
    How many train carriages?
    How much competition?

    These are the simple questions that need answering – I suspect the answer for all of them is in the vicinity of low to SFA. Cars get replaced fairly often so the car industry can get a good profit on massive turn over. Trains have a decadal replacement period which will mean that the profit component of the price will be much higher. Throw in the fact that we’re in the middle of nowhere with transport costs rising and asking if we can produce our own rolling stock cheaper than importing it whole seems like a good idea.

    Am not surprised that National would oppose this – they show no indication of having any economic nous at all.

    Such hypocrisy. Tut tut tut .

    I don’t think this will really belong in the heavy industry category simply because their not looking at supplying the entire world with trains. Besides, I’m pretty sure that the report would take carbon pricing into account as well.

  11. BeShakey 11

    Remember that Labour isn’t saying that the trains will be built there, and people have given reasons why it might end up being a bad idea, all Labour has said is ‘Let’s see if NZ business can do this in a way that is competitive with overseas options’. National has criticised them for CONSIDERING it.

    Phil – I’m not sure KiwiBus would appreciate you describing Designline as a ‘one-off’. As far as urban passenger buses go, we import very few, if any, largely because of the cost. And in terms of the kneeling vs fold-out – yes kneeling is much much better, and is the preferred option of the industry, and people who need help accessing buses (including people like the elderly who could use help, but would refuse to use a ramp), and, since it adds no extra cost, is very cost-effective. While the NZ bus industry could do better in a range of areas, we are pretty much a world leader in bus accessibility and a large part of this has been driven by the fact that NZ based bus builders are very cost-effective and innovative.

  12. Peter Wilson 12

    The carbon footprint of assembling locomotives in New Zealand would be pretty much exactly the same as the current operation, so I’m not entirely sure where you are coming from there.

    Locomotive assembly does not emit large amounts of carbon, unless you want to get into minutiae like welding emissions etc. And then a comparison with New Zealand agriculture would be several orders of magnitude out.

  13. All those raising technical or other reasons why assembling of locomotives should not happen, you’ve got the dichotomy wrong – it’s not one side saying ‘let’s assemble them’ and the other saying ‘it don’t make sense’ – it’s one side saying ‘let’s see if assembling them here is feasible and economic’ and the other side saying ‘can’t be done’…. it’s the party that’s campaigning on being ambitious for NZ that is saying, without evidence, that we can’t do it.

  14. bill brown 14

    I thought we were doing it already. Most of the work done today is basically a full pull apart, make new bits and put together operation. Only difference here is the not needing to pull apart to start with.

  15. The only problem I have with such an idea, is that supposedly, such a concern would only assemble/produce components for domestic use. I don’t foresee that much demand for locomotives, even rolling stock – outside perhaps an initial capital upgrade.

    Any work offered would either be sporadic or employ very few people. However, the government is right to investigate whether such a concern is both profitable, and competitive.
    Of course, any assessment should naturally include the benefit of having a repair and parts facility located domestically.

  16. Nick C 16

    Is it just me or is Clark beginning to look more and more like Muldoon? First she decides to use his smear tactics, now she is adopting his policies.

    As much as you may fake offence at the suggestion the reality is that its unlikely New Zealand could compete when it comes to cheap assembly of trains. All of the costs would be higher. Not only do they have to pay the Labourers much more, but they all have to have things like 4 weeks annual leave, enforced daytime lunch breaks etc.

    So really its partly because of Labour policy that we wouldnt be able to compete (im not saying that we should oppose the policy for that reason, just pointing it out). We should be looking to do the things we can compete in such as agriculture. Are there any economically literate authors on this blog?

  17. So Nick C,

    are you therefore vicariously advocating that New Zealand needs Roger Douglas to swoop in, sell off all our assets, and save the day?

    Muldoon might have been authoritarian, corrupt, even senile, but at least he wasnt beholden to the New Right.

    I can cite “Someone Else’s Country” all you like. In fact, Nick, I suggest you watch it.

  18. Nick C 18

    “Are you therefore vicariously advocating that New Zealand needs Roger Douglas to swoop in, sell off all our assets, and save the day?”

    No, im saying that we shouldnt assemble the rail carts in New Zealand, so how about instead of puffing your chest and telling me to “watch it” you tell me how New Zealand could possibly assemble trains as economically as China?

  19. Nick C. How about waiting for the expert report rather than assuming New Zealand isn’t up to it?

  20. BeShakey 20

    Nick – as I’ve pointed out above, NZ can (and does) do something analagous to this for the bus industry, and they do it cheaper and better than importing them from China. It may very well be that NZ can’t do the same for trains, but that leaves two questions – a) how can you know without investigating? and b) why would the party that is ‘ambitious for New Zealand’ oppose CONSIDERING whether NZ businesses could do something cheaper and/or better than overseas competitors?

  21. “Nick C
    tell me how New Zealand could possibly assemble trains as economically as China?”

    I guess we have the low wage economy, and the lack of workers rights, but sounds to me like you are advocating for government sponsored slave labour (and lets me honest, thats how it is in China)

  22. Nick C 22

    Killinginthenameof thats a straw man if ive ever seen one. The only assersion I made was that it would be more efficent to assemble the trains in China. Nothing about getting rid of 4 weeks annual leave or the minimum wage. As to whether i support slave labour in China, I dont see it that way and niether does the government who have signed a free trade agreement with China so we can import more of those govt sponsered slave Labour goods.

    Steve im saying that the report is a forgone conclusion, theres simply no way we can do it more efficently then the Chinese. If we could then why did the private sector never choose to do so? Muldoon used to have a policy that all cars would have their parts imported and they would be assembled in New Zeland. It created some jobs but it wasted a lot of money.

  23. BeShakey 23

    Nick – if it is a foregone conclusion how come the bus industry does it cheaper and better here. As I’ve said, they aren’t the same thing, but it makes it harder to say it couldn’t possibly be done here. The reason the previous owners didn’t build them here is that they refused to invest at all. If you aren’t doing any upgrading there isn’t a question about where you would get the upgrades from.
    Finally, from the governments point of view there are a range of benefits to building here that don’t apply to the private sector. For instance, building here could reduce total government spend by creating jobs, building here could produce less CO2 emissions etc etc.
    But the key point is, what evidence do you have that it is IMPOSSIBLE that NZ could do anything more efficiently than China?

  24. Nick C 24

    Im not sure exactly how the bus industry works, but the reality is that this is a low end assembly job, no room for innovation as you talked about earlier. People working it would get close to minumum wage. Any other concieved benefits do not outweigh this, saying that you reduse government spending by creating jobs is nonsense.

    Given this I think a more relevant case study is when Muldoon made it the law that cars had to be imported in parts and assembled here. Besides do you have any relevant economic analysis to explain how we could be more efficent then the Chinese?

  25. bill brown 25

    Im not sure exactly how

    anything

    works

    but I’m gonna go on blathering anyway

  26. BeShakey 26

    Nick – good to see you admit you don’t know how the closest comparison industry works before telling us all how it works. In fact pretty much every claim you made was false. In terms of innovation, I gave a very significant example of innovation earlier. Not only a significant leap in quality, but at no additional cost. In terms of minimum wage – firstly, there isn’t anything wrong with that, but secondly, most of these people are highly skilled, and get paid well for it. The quality of the product also means that there is a growing export business to Australia and the US. So the volume is there to produce enough revenue to reward employees. Lastly, the point was hypothetical, but, given your desire to spout on about economics, surely you recognise that the value government can get from an investment is different from the value a business could get from the same investment?

    The Muldoon comparison shows you have no idea what you are talking about. No one has suggested legislating that NZ must build these things.

    Lastly, I don’t need economic analysis to show that. A business wouldn’t. They’d simply look at the options and (for instance) run a competitive tender. If a Chinese firm produces the best tender all well and good, and if not…
    Only someone with a complete lack of business know how would suggest ruling out providers from all bar one country based on an ‘economic analysis’ (I doubt anyone reputable economist would produce such an analysis).

  27. Andrew Hamblyn 27

    I think it is a great idea that the government are looking at assembling locomotives “in house” again.

    The last batch of locomotives assembled here was a fleet of shunting locos made by Toshiba in Japan, and sent out here in C.K.D form (Completly Knocked Down) for our workshops to assemble in the mid 80’s.

    To say that we dont have the staff to do the job today is very short sighted.

    Our mainline diesel loco fleet is getting old, the oldest still running today were “new” in 1972!

    Recently these locos have been getting a full rebuild at the Hutt workshops that involves stripping them right down to nothing more than their steel beam chassis.
    They then get re-wired with new computer controlled electrical gear and new cables throughout, installing new diesel motors (same as original ones, just new…) fabricating brand new cabs to replace the rusty old ones, and straighting out the carbodys.

    If the government were to import some of the basic components (diesel motor, traction motors, generator…) I am sure we would have the staff and skills to assemble new locomotives.

    We have the skills to rebuild just about anything. Have a look at the “Capitol Connection”, the Wellington – Masterton services or the Auckland suburban trains that are made up of ex british passenger cars rebuilt locally, once again stripped down to the bare bones and manufactured to our local designs….

    So, we have the staff and skills to do it….

    but, is it cheaper than importing ready made equipment – I guess thats what they want to find out.

    Brownlee needs to do more research before blurting out stupid statements like “its daft”….

  28. Swampy 28

    It’s a long long long time before privatisation since any significant number of locomotives were made in NZ. Something like 25 years.

  29. Swampy 29

    “Why on earth is the party that supposedly supports business so opposed in principal to this?”

    Because we’re not talking about a business, we’re talking about a government corporation that Labour wants to compete unfairly against private business.

    Remember the featherbedded old Railways department that lost hundreds of millions every year?

  30. Swampy 30

    Anyone who suggests NZ can compete with overseas builders experience needs their head read.

    Just for the person who mentioned our locomotive fleet built in the 60s, they were all built overseas.

    The last time any significant volume of locomotives was built in NZ was also in the 1960s, and there were about fifty of them of which few are still in use.

    The fact that the majority of what exists in NZ now was built in the US and a small number of other countries is simply because those plants use production line manufacturing that no one in their right minds would advocate be set up in NZ specially to manufacture just a handful of locomotives by international standards. This is why only those fifty or so locomotives were built in the 1960s at a rate of just a handful each year. They were Pommie locomotives and the Poms didn’t use mass production which is why today there is no Pommie locomotive industry because they didn’t learn the same lessons as the car industry did.

    If there is going to be any locomotives put together in NZ now then they will be manufactured overseas and shipped to NZ as a kit of parts to be assembled which seems like a dumb idea when they can also be shipped, probably for the same price, fully assembled and tested as well with the benefit of the existing experience that the overseas manufacturer has. That is why hundreds of locomotives over the past fifty years or so have been shipped to New Zealand fully assembled.

  31. Swampy 31

    BeShakey – the writing is on the wall for Designline as with every manufacturer due to our government policies pushing up the costs of doing business and exporting, the fact there are now numbers of Chinese buses being imported being evidence it is cost effective to bring them in.

  32. Swampy 32

    BeShakey – NZ hasn’t been able in the past (when fuel prices were as high as they are now) to do it better than even the US, Britain or Australia.

    The majority of locomotives have always been built overseas. There were some built in NZ but most of them were in an era of steam when the technology was a lot simpler and a signficant number of those were constructed by the private sector in any case.

    Compare that with coachbuilding which has always been a significant industry in NZ and you can see that the comparison you use is rather invalid.

  33. RedLogix 33

    Well Swampy, you seem to have confirmed our starting point… ‘so much for ambitious’.

  34. Swampy 34

    Andrew Hamblyn,

    the oldest locomotives in the fleet were new in 1979/80,

    the four or five Toshiba locomotives you refer to were probably imported to give the workshops something to do i.e. for political reasons, without cost consideration (it was strangely an election year when the deal was signed to produce them) and were very low tech (no computer equipment, just the basics).

    they were as you say “knocked down” which was how Muldoon made everyone run a “manufacturing” plant in NZ which on all counts was more expensive than assembling overseas and shipping to NZ fully built up and that’s why we have no car assembly in NZ today.

    and in fact all locomotives built in NZ in the last fifty years have been low tech stuff at a very low rate of output.

    I’m guessing here that the manufacturers could not certify their locomotive built overseas unless they have been fully assembled, they then have to dismantle them, crate them up and ship them to NZ to be reassembled, which I think would add to the cost compared to shipping them already assembled to NZ which is probably why nothing over 400 hp has been built in NZ since the days of steam.

  35. Andrew Hamblyn 35

    Dear Swampy.

    A wee bit of train nutter facts for ya…

    The oldest mainline diesels still in use today are the first batch of the DX class built by GE in the USA delivered here new in 1972.
    The last of them arrived in 1975.

    The youngest mainline diesels we have are the GM built DF class that were new in 1981. The DF’s were rebuilt at Hutt in the early 90’s with turbo’s and micro processors added and reclassified DFT.

    The mainline electric locos that run between Palmy and Hamilton were delivered new in 1988.

    You mentioned the fact that the small Toshiba locos assembled here in 1984 were “basic” with no computers.
    That was in 1984 and I think you would be hard pressed to find any locos in the world in 1984 that had computers in them…

    In the last two years, the DFT’s and the DX’s have been retrofitted with GE’s “Brightstar” computer control systems, again done locally.
    You can buy brand new locos that are equipped with exactly the same computers in them.

    As I tried to point out in my last post, the local workshops staff are basically building new locos out of the old ones we have here, installing the latest computer controls, and getting very very low rate of failures.
    The DX’s that have been rebuilt locally have been taken from 2750hp out to 3300hp after the rebuild.
    Problem is, you can only re-invent the wheel so many times.

    I would welcome the chance to build “new” locos from “new” gear here. Would create employment and boost the need for trade apprentiships.

    Lastly..

    “The last time any significant volume of locomotives was built in NZ was also in the 1960s, and there were about fifty of them of which few are still in use.

    The fact that the majority of what exists in NZ now was built in the US and a small number of other countries is simply because those plants use production line manufacturing that no one in their right minds would advocate be set up in NZ specially to manufacture just a handful of locomotives by international standards. This is why only those fifty or so locomotives were built in the 1960s at a rate of just a handful each year.”

    There were in fact 52 built in a 5 year period, from the ground up at two NZR workshops, designed by a NZR engineer. Out of that 52 there are more than 30 still in daily use, 40 years on.

    What is being proposed by the government is the ASSEMBLY of locomotives from locally made and imported components by the Hutt workshops to meet the (small by world standards) rquirement of our country’s rail system.

    Regards

    Andrew

  36. cheers, Andrew. very informative

  37. Swampy 37

    Sure, the workshops are rebuilding old locos using the manufacturers’s standard upgrade packages for that model of locomotive. I doubt they’re going out on a limb there.

    Most of the locomotives currently in NZ are just stock US models adapted slightly for our gauge which is also shared with parts of Australia.

    I would like to see if the proposal said that major parts like bogies and underframes were going to be manufactured locally, as these are the major cost saving areas (if any) due to their size and weight. Part of the reason I’m skeptical is that the workshops have not built new parts like these since the 1960s, and have substantially downsized since.

    Building major components locally is going out on a limb, because that area has been a real source of trouble for many an assembler where they don’t have the experience of locomotive building.

    As I noted no mainline locomotives have been assembled in NZ new since the steam era. It only happened before because the workshops were run politically without any regard for cost. If it happens again then it is probably going to be for political reasons because that’s what the railways are going to be set up like again.

  38. Kevyn 38

    So Mallard thinks the railways should do what the truck and bus industry does. Will wonders never cease? Only real question is will it work efficiently and effectively with only one company doing the work and only one company buying the product?

  39. Swampy 39

    I did all that foamer thing for quite a few years, got sick of it, posting in forums like these is much more interesting. the rail community can be very insular. Who wants to talk numbers all day long.

    Now some foamer’s facts, the oldest mainline locomotives in NZ were brand new in the mid 1960s, the Queensland locomotives rebuilt as DQ which operate various services and some of those DAs rebuilt as DC class go back that far.

    In the same era the old NZR built 52 of the DSC class shunter which was pretty much a local effort as a lot of the steelwork and bogies and the like were all built in NZ and the electrical parts were imported. These things trickled out roughly at 10 a year and were built in two shops so from that it is a reasonable assumption that each shop was only building one at a time. One of those shops was Addington which no longer exists.

    In bringing a kit of parts from overseas to assemble a locomotive the heavy parts are things like the engine, bogies, traction motors, and probably the underframe which are all specialised bits that could be very hard to make in NZ and for which the local capacity may not exist any more given the state of our engineering industry. If these are all imported fully built then there is perhaps a small space saving but not a lot of weight saving so how much would you actually save on the shipping cost.

    The workshops are geared up to overhaul all these components and the sheet metal parts like the carbody/hoods/cabs are relatively straightforward to manufacture as it already happens in the NZ workshops as we know. Whether the workshops have enough capacity to get these things into service as quickly as they are able to be built overseas and shipped to NZ, given the builders have big factories worldwide that do this sort of thing all the time, is one of the biggest questions of the whole equation. We are told that these things are desperately needed but I guess a few more years won’t hurt as long as Mallard can get the votes of local people in his electorate.

    And that really typifies what sucks about this whole rail buyback deal, that is the political stratification of it, the fact that it cost so much money, there was no limit, there is no limit on how much money Labour is prepared to spend on the rail system because they like taking our money and spending it on everything under the sun. The rail went into the sunset back in the 1980s when the politicians realised they couldn’t continue to prop up an inefficient monopoly. Labour is going to try to shut out that reality by creating a new political railway system again, Mallard can buy votes in Hutt by promising a new subsidised scheme at the workshops there.

    I’m quite looking forward to National’s rail policy. Probably something like contracting out the running of the operation. There’s a big company out there that has the expertise to do it. The Labour party hates them but they’re just a bunch of politicians so who cares.

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    47: Water in Public Spaces What if we made more of water in our public spaces? Sometimes it is the simple things. People flock to water in public spaces. We need more of it in this city. And in more...
    Transport Blog | 24-10
  • Freedom of information: A good idea from India
    One of the better ideas for freedom of information implemented overseas is disclosure logs - agencies posting requests and responses publicly, allowing performance to be monitored and reducing repeat requests. This is widespread in Australia and the UK, but poorly...
    No Right Turn | 24-10
  • The Age of Cupidity
    I've been trying to publish a post for the past couple of weeks.  Although I have several in draft form, when I try to finish them I find myself overwhelmed by a deep lassitude - an uncharacteristic gloom which is only relieved...
    Te Whare Whero | 24-10
  • De-industrialisation and the prospects for socialism
    Is the world really de-industrialising? by Michael Roberts Last week I spoke on a panel that debated De-industrialisation and socialism.  The panel was organised by Spring, a Manchester-based group in England that has become a forum for the discussion of...
    Redline | 24-10
  • De-industrialisation and the prospects for socialism
    Is the world really de-industrialising? by Michael Roberts Last week I spoke on a panel that debated De-industrialisation and socialism.  The panel was organised by Spring, a Manchester-based group in England that has become a forum for the discussion of...
    Redline | 24-10
  • Looking back with pride – Maryan Street
    Maryan Street joined the Labour Party in 1984, was President from 1995-1997 and became an MP in 2005. She talked to Labour Voices about her Labour journey and the people, events and achievements she recalls with the greatest pride....
    Labour campaign | 24-10
  • Strong and comprehensive
    DEVELOPING “a very strong and comprehensive” Women’s Affairs policy going into the 2014 election is one of the achievements Carol Beaumont is most proud of. And being unable to implement it one of her regrets....
    Labour campaign | 24-10
  • Christchurch’s rebuild should be decided by Christchurch, not Welling...
    Radio New Zealand has an appalling story this morning about the government's interference in the Christchurch rebuild over the new District Plan. Normally district plans are decided by elected local councils accountable to the voters who will live under them....
    No Right Turn | 24-10
  • Turning a blind eye to corruption
    As we are constantly reminded, New Zealand consistently leads the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index as the "least corrupt country in the world". And as we are increasingly becoming aware, that reputation may be undeserved. Today there's another nail in...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Police Association off target with call to arm Police
    Arming our Police will lead to more crime, more violence, and more killings – by criminals, and potentially even by police. The Police Commissioner is correct in pointing out that the Police Association’s recent call to arm all officers is...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Political interference at Maori Television
    A government-owned television channel arranges an interview with a former opposition MP, but the government-appointed CEO spikes it. Something from Russia or Cuba maybe? No - according to Hone Harawira its happening right here in New Zealand:“[Maori TV CEO Paora]...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • September 14 Patronage
    Auckland’s Transport’s patronage results for September are now out and they show that the city is experiencing spectacular PT growth, growth which is also setting a number of records. The big news was earlier in the week was that when it was announced...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • Maiden speech – Jenny Salesa
    Jenny Salesa, Labour MP for Manukau East, has given her Maiden Speech in Parliament....
    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Maiden speech – Adrian Rurawhe
    Adrian Rurawhe, Labour MP for Te Tai Hauāuru, has given his Maiden Speech in Parliament....
    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Roastbusters, one year on (almost)
    March in Wellington against rape culture, from Stuff.co.nz Content warning: contains discussion of rape and sexual assault You can literally get away with rape in this country. You can be a serial rapist, with photographic and video evidence you willingly...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Labour Needs To Stop Saying What People DON”T want to hear.
    A Freight Train called Key: On election night 1975 Bill Rowling said Muldoon's landslide victory felt like being hit by a bus. Oh what David Cunliffe would have given for that bus on 20 September 2014!THE ANGUISH of Labour supporters...
    Bowalley Road | 23-10
  • And if you have to carry a gun to keep your fragile seat at number one R...
    What happened at Canada's war memorial and parliamentary buildings is a pretty bad thing. It should, however, be kept in some sort of perspective. ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Beware the sucker ploy.
    A few years back I wrote about the strategic utility of terrorism. One thing I did not mention in that post was the use of a tried and true guerrilla tactic as part of the terrorist arsenal: the sucker ploy....
    Kiwipolitico | 23-10
  • Hard News: Friday Music: An accompanied korero
    I'm chairing the LATE at the Museum event next month, under the title The Age of Slacktivism. We've picked a strong lineup -- Nicky Hager, Matthew Hooton, Marianne Elliot, Laura O'Connell Rapira -- and it should be a rousing hour's...
    Public Address | 23-10
  • 6 amazing renewable energy projects that we love
    Here's a few renewable energy projects from around the world -- ones that we totally love.1. Germany has invested big in solar and wind. And in the first six months of 2012, the amount of electricity produced using renewables jumped from...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • China’s coal use actually falling now (for the first time this centur...
    Coal use in China is falling this year - according to official data reported in the Chinese press.It is the first time this century that China has seen year on year quarterly falls in coal use. The Chinese economy continues to grow...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Can new roads pay for themselves?
    It’s common to hear people say that because roads are paid for by their users (fn 1), we should build more roads. After all, the new roads will fund themselves! At first glance, this seems convincing. But a closer look...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies, sons & daughters were sent to d...
      As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies Sons & daughters were sent to die Meanwhile at home democracy cried But his government crowed Everything’s fine.   Other peoples’ children signed up for his war While at home in comfort...
    Politically Corrected | 23-10
  • Why I am on the left
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Post by Jem I am left first and...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Minister to attend TPP Ministers’ Meeting
    Press Release – New Zealand Government Trade Minister Tim Groser will depart today for Sydney to join Ministers from countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for the next round of negotiations.Hon Tim Groser Minister of Trade 24 October 2014...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    Press Release – The Nation This weekend on The Nation with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP
    Press Release – Federated Farmers International Agricultural and Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP At the round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations taking place this week in Australia, agri-food producer and processor groups from Canada, Australia …International...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Grant Robertson is not as much like Joseph Stalin as some would have you th...
    It’s not often you see a New Zealand political figure compared favourably to Stalin, but this is what Chris Trotter has done to that decidedly non-genocidal non-lunatic Grant Robertson.  ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance
    It is depressingly apparent that powerful forces in the global economy are set to carry on with the exploration for and use of fossil fuels ass a primary source of energy for decades to come. Oxfam has produced a report...
    Hot Topic | 23-10
  • 2014 Arctic sea ice extent – 6th lowest in millennia
    The National Snow and Ice Data Center has reported that this year we saw the 6th-lowest minimum Arctic sea ice extent on record. Research has shown that most of the long-term decline in sea ice, or the “death spiral” as...
    Skeptical Science | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    Today I made my oral submission to the Environmental Protection Authority on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine phosphate from the seabed approximately halfway between the mainland and the Chatham Island. In a nutshell this application is for the deepest...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Surrounded sex offender still won’t come down from roof
    While they would still appreciate him coming down, police say they’re confident the man has “nowhere to hide.” After an agonising 54-year wait, it is beginning to appear as though a notorious sex offender dressed as Santa may not, in...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
    KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health : Is he satisfied that there is no conflict of interest in the head of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, being a board member of the Health Promotion Agency; if so,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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