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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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    Hello there. I just wanted to spend some time to respond to some of the baseless accusations that have been flying around this week. First of all, Labour need to be ashamed about the way they have behaved. They have...
    My Thinks | 22-08
  • The most bullshit OIA response ever
    On July 30, we learned via Question Time that Murray McCully had allowed an email informing him that the Malaysian government was not waiving Muhammad Rizalman’s diplomatic immunity to sit unread in his mailbox for an indeterminate amount of time....
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Lucy
    ...
    Notes from the edge | 22-08
  • Sick again
    This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 42I've got nothing interesting to share about the world - my temperature is up and I feel crummy - again.  It's probably nothing much, but after a week of lethargy and...
    Notes from the edge | 22-08
  • Voice-over!
    This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 38Political scandles notwithstanding, I've spent the last two days learning how to be a voice artist, in as much as this is possible in a two day period.  It was a...
    Notes from the edge | 22-08
  • My mechanic is a right-winger
    This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 37My mechanic is one of my favourite service providers.  On days when I have to leave my car for repair he drives me to work while telling hilarious, off-colour stories about...
    Notes from the edge | 22-08
  • Craft Kitchen
    This post is part of the 100 Days ProjectDay 36Craft Kitchen is an organic, gourmet sort of cafe which opened near the corner of Ponsonby and Great North Roads a bit over a month ago.  The first week it was...
    Notes from the edge | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Transparency in government – do we have it or no...
    . . from: Frank Macskasy to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letters to the Editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Some National Party supporters are keen to over-look allegations of wrong-doing and dirty politics in...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Transparency in government – do we have it or no...
    . . from: Frank Macskasy to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letters to the Editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Some National Party supporters are keen to over-look allegations of wrong-doing and dirty politics in...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – The Marianna’s Trench or Pluto?! WTF was Key hol...
    . . from:      Frank Macskasy to:           Sunday News <editor@sunday-news.co.nz> date:      Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday News . He says he doesn’t know about Judith Collins...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – The Marianna’s Trench or Pluto?! WTF was Key hol...
    . . from:      Frank Macskasy to:           Sunday News <editor@sunday-news.co.nz> date:      Fri, Aug 22, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday News . He says he doesn’t know about Judith Collins...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Just what is the Prime Minister’s role?!
    . . FROM: Frank Macskasy SUBJECT: Letter to the Editor DATE: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 TO: The Listener <letters@listener.co.nz. . The editor The Listener . John Key says he knew nothing about the activities of his one-time media consultant, Jason...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • Letter to the Editor – Just what is the Prime Minister’s role?!
    . . FROM: Frank Macskasy SUBJECT: Letter to the Editor DATE: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 TO: The Listener <letters@listener.co.nz. . The editor The Listener . John Key says he knew nothing about the activities of his one-time media consultant, Jason...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-08
  • A life working for social justice, David Shearer
    I believe New Zealand can be the best country in the world, where everyone can get a fair go and anyone prepared to work for it can achieve their dream....
    Labour campaign | 22-08
  • Key’s pathetic excuses
    Aug 15, 2014Aug 18, 2014Aug 18, 2014Aug 19, 2014Aug 20, 2014...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Ancient ocean currents may have changed pace and intensity of ice ages
    This is a re-post from the National Science Foundation Climate scientists have long tried to explain why ice-age cycles became longer and more intense some 900,000 years ago, switching from 41,000-year cycles to 100,000-year cycles. In a paper published this...
    Skeptical Science | 22-08
  • Is Whale Oil a journalist (2)?
    Some time ago, I wrote about Cameron Slater’s claim to be a journalist, which he is invoking for the purposes of protecting his confidential sources. The District Court ordered him to turn over his sources in a defamation case brought...
    Media Law Journal | 22-08
  • Government considering starting CRL on time
    I’ve long suspected the realities surrounding the City Rail Link and its close relationship to some of the biggest development projects in Auckland would in some ways force the governments hand and require an earlier start than 2020. Yesterday the...
    Transport Blog | 22-08
  • Poll of polls
    Polity's poll of polls is up to date, over at the Poll of Polls page. The short version, good to use as a more-or-less pre-Dirty Politics baseline, is: National: 50.4% Labour: 26.4% Greens: 12.0% NZF: 4.6% InternetMANA: 2.3% Conservative: 2.1%...
    Polity | 22-08
  • Primary Teachers Rise Up!
    I have been a primary teacher for 35 years and for over half of that time I have been an active member of the New Zealand Educational Institute, New Zealand's largest education union. NZEI Te Riu Roa represents 50,000 members, including...
    Local Bodies | 22-08
  • Friday melts, weird weather and whales (it’s been a long time…)
    It’s been a long time since my last post: apologies for that. You may blame a bad cold, an urgent need for root canal work, the peak of the truffle season (and truffle tours for culinary heroes1 ), the start...
    Hot Topic | 22-08
  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies – Today No. 29: It’s a left-wing smear campaig...
     Key: 'Left wing smear campaign'   Key continues to back Collins    John Key is wrong. He is not the victim of a smear campaign, and here's why: First, let's define "smear campaign". Wikipedia: A smear campaign, smear tactic or simply smear is...
    Arch Rival | 22-08
  • How Many National MPs are Corrupt?
    Reading through the ‘dumps’ of information allegedly showing Scumbag Adulterer Cameron Slater’s messages with National Party Hacks, there is a lot of discussions about money changing hands, Tobacco Companies making ‘donations’, and so on. Not only has Key’s Office and...
    An average kiwi | 22-08
  • Tolley feeds Slater too
    Because of Nicky Hager's excellent book, Dirty Politics, we know that a number of senior National party officials and Ministers have been caught out supplying information and content to the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blogsite, information that Cameron Slater uses...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Unsurprising
    No bloggers have signed up to join the Online Media Standards Authority. This isn't really surprising. For a start, membership costs $500 a year (and ten times that if too many people complain) - well beyond the means of most...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Nelson fishing museum satire or not?
    Apparently, unless Fairfax is now taking on The Civilian in the field of satirical news, the Minister of Conservation Nick Smith and fishing magnate Peter Talley are planning a fishing museum in Nelson. And the Minister considers this "ambitious new...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter Responds To Paul Buchanan.
    Uncharacteristically Idealistic: Normally a cool-headed realist (as befits an expert in international relations) Dr Paul Buchanan has taken issue with Chris Trotter's "cynical" Bowalley Road posting Dirty Politics - Is There Any Other Kind? by offering a passionately idealistic defence of...
    Bowalley Road | 22-08
  • This should not have taken five years
    Back in 2009, after the Herald was given information showing that National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi was suspected by the Immigration Service of paying off a woman at the centre of allegations he had made bogus job offers, Immigration Minister...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Poll of Polls update – 22 August 2014
    The latest Herald Digipoll has just been released, and with a polling window running from 14 August to 20 August, the entirety of the polling was completed following the release of Dirty Politics. The results show a sharp fall of 4.9% for National. However,...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-08
  • Hard News: In The Green Room
    Next Thursday, John Key and David Cunliffe will meet in the first TVNZ leaders' debate. At the same time, Green Party co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman will appear in The Green Room, a "companion" debate streamed live online.I'll be...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • Walking in Manukau
    Just over a month ago I was out at Manukau City, at the open day of the new MIT, which doubles as Manukau station. This is a brilliant facility, with world class integration of land use and transport. If you...
    Transport Blog | 21-08
  • World News Brief, Friday August 22
    Top of the AgendaThai Junta Leader Appointed PM...
    Pundit | 21-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
  • MANA CANDIDATE FOR IKAROA RAWHITI OPENS UP ABOUT SUICIDE
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible
    Headline: A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible Analysis by Selwyn Manning. Prime Minister, John Key.WITHIN NATIONAL’S STRATEGY TEAM there is an acceptance that the facts revealed in the book, Dirty Politics, is chewing away at the party’s popular...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • TDB Political Diary for 2014 Election
    Here are the political events TDB will be covering this election. I will be live tweeting these events and  blog reviews will follow the next day. Internet MANA launch – August – Sunday 24th – 1pm, Western Springs School Green...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • One man’s struggle to find a copy of Dirty Politics
    I’m typing this on top of Dirty Politics.  I got the last copy yesterday morning at the local branch of a chain bookshop.  I was really in to get the paper.  I know it sold out – everyone knows - but the first thing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • From Tucker to Key – while you were out
      From Tucker to Key – while you were out...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Amnesty International – Justice is not Blind in Ferguson
    When a US cop pulls a gun on an unarmed man, he could be acting upon a series of impulses that have been formed since before he or she could talk. What does that police officer see in front of...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • “Even though my hours are being cut, my rent doesn’t get cut to compens...
    Fast Food = Slow Pay   Lola is a manager at a major fast food chain. Last year her employer arbitrarily cut her hours from 32 hours to anywhere between 18 and 26 hours each week. “I said I can’t...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Hate Politics has no place in NZ Politics
    I wasn’t going to write about Nicky Hagar’s ‘Dirty Politics’.  There are plenty of policy issues to discuss. Then I read the book, and what it reveals strikes at the very heart of our democracy. My overwhelming feeling is one...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Pak’nSave pull adverts from Whaleoil
    Pak n Save have replied to complaints that their adverts were appearing on hate speech site Whaleoil by deciding to block their adverts from appearing on the site. Their reply… Congratulations for Pak’NSave on making this type of ethical stand. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Herald Poll – Why the Greens will hit 15%
    The biggest problem for John Key is that there are swathes of National Party voters who are educated and decent people whom will be forced to read Dirty Politics out of intellectual curiosity and will be horrified by what National...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media
    The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly. When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • “You just have to keep on fighting” – an interview with Metiria Turei
    We’re meeting in her office. It’s austere, though she does have a nice teapot. The view is startling. One can map the Bowen Triangle, though the teapot is still more interesting. A group of pink faced men are running across...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Taxation and Real Estate – turning housing debate on its head
    The debate about property prices in New Zealand is disingenuous. It is clear that there is a global process in which speculators are using massive amounts of unspent and borrowed money to blow bubbles in the world’s major asset markets....
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Faith and politics
    In a week which has seen our collective focus shift to those who see politics as a great game to be manipulated for their own ends, it is timely to reflect on the fact that many people are in fact...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • The Nation Environment Debate with Amy Adams & Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen: Now, this week's campaign debate. As a handful of islands at the bottom of the world, New Zealand is an environmental treasure, and as Kiwis, we're proud of being clean and greenish. But putting that environment to work...
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • The Nation: Debate Between Amy Adams And Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen Hosts an Environment Debate Between National’s Amy Adams And Russel Norman From the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Travel And Accommodation Determination for MPs Released
    The Remuneration Authority today released its determination covering Members of Parliament New Zealand accommodation, travel services for family members, and travel services for former Prime Ministers and their spouses....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Te Kuiti man imprisoned for images of young children
    A Te Kuiti man caught with pictures of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Sickness beneficiary Daniel James Parry, 35, appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Japan Maritime Training Squadron visit – Open Day, Band
    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron will make port in Auckland from Wednesday 3 September to Saturday 6 September...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • MP Perk Transparency Needed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the increase in taxpayer-funded entitlements for MPs and their families published on the legislation website this afternoon . Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Debating the future of Auckland’s housing
    With only weeks until the General Election, Auckland’s mounting housing crisis will be put under the spotlight in an Election Debate hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. The debate’s topic “Market forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Let’s sort this out – Human Rights Commission
    A Whangarei woman allegedly censured for greeting customers with Kia ora can get in touch with the Human Rights Commission says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “We really need to resolve these kinds of issues. I had thought that...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Aged Care Association welcomes Labour’s wages policy
    The New Zealand Aged Care Association welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement that if elected, it will raise the minimum wage for aged care workers within its first 100 days in Government....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN
    An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya
    The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Bob Parker, China State Media and Tibet Forum
    Former Christchurch mayor was signed up to position statement without his knowledge; observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • “Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap”
    There’s just a few weeks left to convince the candidates of all political parties that reducing the wage gaps makes good sense....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Digital Currency on the Drawing Board
    Government policies and digital currency ideas and issues will come together at three public workshops next week....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • NZ Cycle Trail welcomes $8 million fund
    Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT)....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Judges Comments Bonkers – McVicar
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar is accusing a Judge of forgetting that he is the gate-keeper for the community and not a benevolent caregiver for law breakers. "The comments by this Judge are not just alarming, they're completely...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians
    As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Degrees in Picking up Rubbish
    Responding to the Fairfax media report of a University of Otago survey of Wellington’s street-connected walkways, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Another Union row
    “ The teachers union the NZEA is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Whyte: Speech to Grey Power
    National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Local Govt should not go into business
    “No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Join the hikoi to end child poverty in New Zealand
    CPAG is calling on people across society to join a march from Britomart to Aotea Square in Auckland to demand action on child poverty in Aotearoa....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Ngapuhi Chair Says Enough of the Political Sideshow
    Time for side-shows to end so we can focus on future of our nation – Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
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