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Some people just don’t learn

Written By: - Date published: 1:17 pm, March 11th, 2012 - 83 comments
Categories: business, class war - Tags:

The support for the workers at POAL is growing by the day. Thousands of people turned out to march yesterday and the mainstream media has woken up to just how vicious the port’s tactics are.

But it’s not just the public support that is with the wharfies and their families. They’ve got the industrial muscle too – with port workers from around the world announcing they’ll blacklist ships loaded at POAL by strike-breaking labour.

And from what I hear POAL is in serious legal trouble as well.

All that could save POAL now would be the government intervening. But this government doesn’t have spare political capital to throw away by legislatively backing a despised port board against ordinary working Kiwis. It would have done so in the first sitting week if the management had managed to run a decent PR campaign against the union (in fact my sources tell me that was the original plan cooked up between the port board and the NACT crew – demonise the port workers over the xmas break and then invoke strategic economic interests to bang through more anti-union legislation).

Instead POAL is f**ked. They’re not going to get the contractors they need (and in fact the contracting companies themselves may yet discover that getting involved in this was a poor business decision), and the contractors they do get will be sitting idle because nobody will want to risk running cargo through Auckland unless they have to. They may even find they can’t legally employ a new workforce anyway.

In fact I’m calling time on Tony Gibson. This dispute will finish him. Sure he’ll stay on as CEO in name while someone else sorts this mess out but once the deal is done and the dispute leaves the spotlight he’ll be down the road. Probably for “family reasons”.

The thing is, I’ve seen this happen over and over again. Union members and their supporters have a long history of handing these wannabe Roarks their arses. Every major company that has tried to screw its workers in the last ten or so years has had a taste. International Paper had a taste, Progressive Enterprises had a taste, Air New Zealand had quite a few. And, despite getting his law change, Peter Jackson got a taste when he attacked union members after they settled (as did Key – another reason he’ll be keeping away from this one).

And yet Tony Gibson and his dad’s army of board members thought they’d get away with this? It just goes to show the calibre of corporate leadership we have in this country.

And just as an aside – Len Brown (and to a lesser extent David Shearer): you should have realised right from the start which way this was going to go. Backing union members wasn’t the political risk you faced. It never is.

83 comments on “Some people just don’t learn”

  1. The news that should more than anything else show that POAL was engaging in bad faith bargaining is the recruitment drive it started two weeks ago, before the decision to deunionise the site was made and before MUNZ had a chance to respond or present its thoughts on the proposal.

    Good faith bargaining means keeping an open mind, not predetermining the issue before the union can respond.

    Len still has a chance to show leadership and I hope he does.  There is a meeting of Council this Thursday where the issue will be discussed and the outcome may determine how the issue is going to finish.

  2. John H 2

    Nice spin. However the battle’s over, even if a handful of unionists march through Auckland.

    Companies are run by managers and boards, not unions.

    If you don’t like that, buy a company and just see how realistic you find the union “demands”.

    IrishBill: I think you’ll find I’ve a lot more experience in business than you ever will.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.1

      “The battle’s over.”

      Yes, the blacklisted ships are being unloaded by happy little serfs as we speak…

      Aren’t they?

    • Funny I thought that we did own the company.  And as a shareholder I think the Board’s performance has been appalling.

      • Indeed, Micky. And Holmes’ interview on Q+A yesterday didn’t help much.

        From my blogpost analysis on Holmes’ interview with Richard Pearson,

        Towards the end of the “interview”, Pearson again slips up, when he states,

        ” Paul, that is absolute nonsense. People talk about waiting by the phone, etc. Ships are on schedules. 90% of all the ships that come into the port are on their schedule, on their slot, within one hour of ETA. We know months ahead. We can actually plan shifts weeks and weeks ahead. It is absolute nonsense to say that, and all I could also say is talk to the people at Tauranga. They’re quite happy. Everything works well. “

        That statement is a flat-out contradiction of Pearson’s earlier assertion, at the beginning of the interview, where he makes the claim that,

        “Well, from my perspective, Paul, I came into this situation, and I’ve been 37 years in the container port business and ports all around the world. I have never seen such a waste of resource going on here. I have never seen a situation where you pay someone for 43 hours and they work 26. I’ve never seen a situation where ships wait to come in to start waiting for the start of a shift. You know, that’s like aeroplanes flying around waiting for- “

        On the one hand, Pearson claims that “I have never seen a situation where you pay someone for 43 hours and they work 26. I’ve never seen a situation where ships wait to come in to start waiting for the start of a shift” – and then goes on to contradict that claim by stating that “Ships are on schedules. 90% of all the ships that come into the port are on their schedule, on their slot, within one hour of ETA. We know months ahead. We can actually plan shifts weeks and weeks ahead“.

        POAL’s Board and CEO should be sacked. As their leaked memo demonstrated, they had a secret agenda lined up to casualise the workforce and undermine job security.

        If this is what John Key meant when he pledged his government would “raise wages”, then he’s going a funny way about it.

        • Bafacu 2.2.1.1

          What a load of rubbish.

          The ships do come in within a very short timeframe of their stated arrival time … BUT then have to wait for the “workers” to arrive at their 9 – 5 job to do the work, rather than when they arrive.

          Portsa re not a 9 – 5 environment and if people want that then the Port is not the place for them.

          No contradiction from my perspective.

    • tc 2.3

      ‘Companies are run by managers and boards, not unions.’ very true and in this case being run badly with little if any respect for its workers, without which it doesn’t have a business.

      Expecting an unrealistic ROI against the industry average and with little investment in capital or technology over the last decade or more Hides board are typical of many, not living in the real world just their own little mates club of spreadsheets and PR spin.

    • 5,000 people was a “handful of unionists”?!

      My, that’s quite a spin…

  3. Mark G 3

    Your commentary is reminiscent of Comical Ali from the 2003 Iraq War. He too was deluded about what side had won.

    IrishBill: I’ve seen a lot of disputes Mark, and I know how the real world works. Now take a month long ban for comparing me to a mass-murderer.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 3.1

      Anyone who believes Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf was deluded obviously missed the little smile that would flicker at the edges of his mouth. His best performance was the one with the US tanks clearly visible behind him. “There are no American tanks…”

      Just like if you were to say “there are no blacklisted ships…” Go on, say it, then we can all have a laugh.

    • DavidC 3.2

      Great way to shut down the debat there IrishBill.

      [Great way to get yourself a ban too. MarkG was not debating, and only got a month because IB got to him before I did…RL]

    • insider 3.3

      Comical Ali wasn’t a mass murderer, he was the front man at media conferences. His nickname was a pun on chemical Ali, who was indeed a mass murderer

      • mac1 3.3.1

        insider, you raise an interesting question. At what point do people become mass murderers? Is it only the people who actually pull the trigger or is it those who profit from, condone or even ignore the actions of the regime which they support?

        • insider 3.3.1.1

          Yes it is an interesting philosophical debate. But in Comical’s case, from memory he was captured and released without charge as having no real involvemtn in the Saddam regime and its crimes.

    • SHG 3.4

      Say what, IrishBill? The guy criticised your COMMENTARY, not your person. You can tell by the way he says “your commentary”.

    • Jagg 3.5

      [You asked for it…Banned permanently. RL]

  4. Jester 4

    Whilst I admire your conviction Bill, i should point out that hanging your hat on international support is limp at best.

    Cue Australian Trade Practices Act, UK Employment Act 1990 and the US Wagner Act. All similar legislation that sent Tauranga and Lyttletons secondary strikers back to work.

    Reading body language and comments from Q&A this morning Mr Parsloe did not appear to be in the box seat at all and his plea for the POAL to return to the table and his request for someone to intervene seemed desperate at best.

    Whilst I agree that in the past the unions were dogged scrappers, however legislation, falling union numbers and the general publics interpretation on union greed has emasculated them.

    Mr Parsloe gave a very good impression of a punch drunk boxer…..still upright but the lights are out and the last fight over.

    • MrV 4.1

      Not to say how many unemployed Americans would love a port job right now.

    • IrishBill 4.2

      I think you’ll find you’re wrong. The legislation you quote tends only to have use when secondary industrial action is expressly notified.

      I expect the wharfies to be back employed as employees by the end of the month. I’m not often wrong in these matters.

      • Jester 4.2.1

        True, but secondary action that is not expressly notified does tend to leave the worker rather exposed to action of the employer which I’m not to sure the internationals will risk for pissant little ole NZ. Solidarity is one thing, long term solidarity is another.

        MUA seem to have there own shitfight happening in their own backyard with Patrick to rock the boat too much. Perhaps you need to start proposing monkey wrenching within the transport unions. Probably have more success there 🙂

        • IrishBill 4.2.1.1

          I’m not to [sic] sure the internationals will risk for pissant little ole[sic] NZ

          That’s not been my experience at all.

          • Jester 4.2.1.1.1

            Maybe not so 10 years ago, but times are a changing Bill, times are a changing.

            • Muzza 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Actually you’re right , times are changing and it’s heading back in time. The further back you look, the more clearly you can see the future. And so the times are changing alright, with some big shocks for the banker run capitalist system.

            • Frank Macskasy 4.2.1.1.1.2

              Indeed they are, Jester… but not quite as you feel.

              In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a resurgence in Union activity; new right dogma is being challenged; and people are seeking alternatives. Judging by the hysteria shown by some on the Right, they are nervous – and so they should be.

              The new meme is that crony capitalism is not working and will never work – it demands too much from the majority. People want more; they want job security and a decent wage.

              Attacking the port workers was a big mistake. Even if they were earning $91k (which is BS, going by POAL’s own factsheet), so what?

              Dear Leader pledged to raise wages in 2008 and last year – and here we have a company trying to drive down wages with casualisation. People see that and wonder, “am I next”?

              And when the middle class baby boomers start to get anxious – that’s when governments lose.

  5. Bruce 5

    Go the unions!
    It surely can’t be that easy to dump an entire workforce lawfully.

  6. Darien Fenton 6

    Time to lay off David Shearer. He marched with the workers yesterday and spoke on behalf of Labour to show our support He’s visited the picket line and kept in regular contact. He was up at the Maritime Bar on Friday night to talk to the workers again. There were 15 Labour MPs there yesterday, our president, vice president, Maori Council and hundreds, if not thousands of other Labour Party members. He’s the only party leader (apart from Hone I think) who has actually been to the picket line.

    • tsmithfield 6.1

      “Time to lay off David Shearer.”

      Darien, if he is doing all these wonderful things, then why do you want to lay him off? 🙂

      • Darien Fenton 6.1.1

        @tsmithfield : Very funny. If it weren’t so serious for 300 workers and their families at the ports, the 1000 off workers who are locked out by the Talleys family and the 1500 rest home workers who are having to strike because of our pitiful minimum wage.

        • Pete George 6.1.1.1

          Why do you think so much attention is given to the port workers compared to the aged-care workers? Compared to port workers aged-care workers are paid pitifully.

          Just because shipping can be disrupted much more easily?

          • shreddakj 6.1.1.1.1

            Don’t worry, once we win the battle at the ports, we’ll fight just as hard for rest home workers.

            • DavidC 6.1.1.1.1.1

              “Don’t worry, once we win the battle at the ports, we’ll fight just as hard for rest home workers.”
              Utter bullshit.
              Unions have allways gone for soft targets, the ones that hurt the public or the ecconomy.
              Auckland warfies achieve better than $50 a hour for unskilled work ($90K at 28 hours a week) and aged care gets $14?

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                *wharfies.

              • RedLogix

                Unions have allways gone for soft targets, the ones that hurt the public or the ecconomy.

                Yes… it’s called ‘market power’. Have a problem with that?

                • tsmithfield

                  I am surprised Labour are so politically naive on this one. It would be much more politically acceptable for them to be standing up for the likes of the rest home workers who are paid very lowly for the value of the work they perform. This would seem very much aligned with Labour’s core message.

                  But because Labour has decided to support the wharfies, it appears that Labour is standing up for workers that many would probably view as rich pricks in drag. This is not really consistent with their positioning as the guardians of the vulnerable.

                  • RedLogix

                    Spare me ts. The problem for some workers is that they are not really in a legal or ethical position to strike….which hugely reduces their negotiating power.

                    If Labour was seen standing up for rest home workers…encouraging them to strike… can you imagine the howls of outrage?

                    • There are other ways to do it. Striking should be a last resort tactic, as it often harms the workers more than helps them (while union officials and politicians keep drawing full salaries).

                      If Labour wanted to be credible about equality then they should be putting much more effort into aged-care workers. Not by talking them into striking, that would be stupid.

                      They should be campaigning much more strongly in parliament for better funding of the elderly sector wages.

                      Much more useful than wasting so much time and resource having an extended hissy fit about some part sales of a few assets that probably aren’t going to have a major impact in the whole scheme of things.

                    • KJT

                      PG. 14 Billion deficit. 
                       
                      14 billion lost dividends and earnings from the last round of asset sales. Bit of a coincidence.
                       
                       
                      Workers ARE reluctant to strike, because it costs them a lot.
                       
                      The costs of not striking have to be huge.

                      Do you realise you have just made a case for sympathy strikes to be legal.
                      The rest of the Union movement could then use their market power to support rest home workers.
                       
                      Where are your screams about Mearsk using their market power, and the stupidity of our fake port competition, to reduce their costs.

                      Parsloes salary is a 9th of Gibson’s. Hardly creaming it.

                    • Striking IS a last resort, for the very reason that it can be a high-risk strategy. The fact that so many unions have to strike indicates something about the culture of employment in general and in our country specifically- namely, that employers don’t always give people a fair go when employees negotiate in good faith. I’m sure employees can demand too much as well, but we don’t really have a history of that in New Zealand- this isn’t France, with its ridiculously high amount of leave, or anything. 🙂

                    • I’m sure employees can demand too much as well, but we don’t really have a history of that in New Zealand

                      Are you quite young Matthew? I’ve lived through times of ridiculous union demands, some of them frequent, like cooks and stewards (interisaland ferries), freezing workers and wharfies. Earlier fighting for reasonable work conditions was justified, it later became farcical and disruptive. (Employers weren’t always blameless either).

                      Have you wondered why wharfies can earn far more than aged care workers, more even than nurses and teachers?

                  • Jenny

                    If you hadn’t noticed the Maritime Union members were on there on the rest home workers picket, as they were on the Dairy workers and all the other workers over the years who have been in trouble with their employers, that is how solidarity works.

                    It is why they had so many turn up to support them on Saturday.

              • muzza

                Better than $50 per hour, do share where you for that little piece of detail from DC…

              • shreddakj

                Wow, the right wing trolls keep making the pay even bigger! Has anyone told the wharfies what they’re missing out on?

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 6.1.1.1.2

            Attention by whom, Pete?

    • Muzza 6.2

      Hey Darien are you a member of Parliamentarians for Global Action, how about Shearer ?

    • Jimmie 6.3

      So to stir the pot a little Ms Fenton are you saying that the march was made up of Labour MP’s, unionists, & Labour Party Hacks? I thought the spin here was that it was a sign of growing public support for the ex wharfies not a bunch of patisan activists trying to make this a national issue.

      Can’t have it both ways.

      • Jenny 6.3.1

        Eh Jimmy, the majority of the marchers I took to be non-union, and with many young people. Make of that what you will.

    • newsense 6.4

      He’s got our qualified support Darien. He’s still got to earn our loyalty.

      I think it is very very healthy that we expect high standards from our Labour leaders, and I think in fact the Clark government was at its best when it was strongly critiqued from an intellectually vibrant left. It did that government no harm at all.

  7. The world is 5-6 years passed peak oil/energy, from now on we will all have less next year than we had this year, that is what a reducing amount of energy equals, it also means less tax take, as the wankers in Wellington are finding out, less jobs, less fright coming into NZ ports, therefore less wharfies, less truckies and less social justice.
    Welcome to my nightmare
    Now the rubber is hitting The Road ) http://www.themodernword.com/reviews/mccarthy_road.html
    But all is not lost we got Kiwi Saver

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Are you sure that oil supply next year is going to be lower than this year?

      I’m not so sure. I certainly wouldn’t bet on it.

      • Muzza 7.1.1

        If the supply of oil is used as a weapon , why not the stats around reserves etc! What possible reason would any oil company or production state have for being forthcoming about the figures. Just speculating!

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.2

        Are you sure that oil supply next year is going to be lower than this year?

        Yes it will be. Especially if you measure it in a way which makes sense e.g. qty of oil available for trade on world markets per capita per dollar of cost.

        • Jenny 7.1.2.1

          Don’t worry CV the oil industry will keep drilling and fracking and spilling and mining tar sands, and coal until every possible hydrocarbon resource has been liberated to find it’s way into the atmosphere.

          Welcome to my nightmare.

      • Robert Atack 7.1.3

        Lanth

        I don’t think you have the software in your neck top to be able to sit through this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOMWzjrRiBg 34 minute skit, let alone the ability to understand it, but maybe someone else on this blog will, they can explain it all to you.

        • Lanthanide 7.1.3.1

          As usual Robert you mistake my needling of you for a lack of understanding of peak oil.

          I understand and appreciate peak oil quite well, and have for some years.

          I specifically asked if you think *next year’s* production will be less than *this year’s*. I was very specific and deliberate in my question, but as usual this subtlety has whistled past you.

          • grumpy 7.1.3.1.1

            You make a good point, Element 57.

            I have seen forecasts of an increase in oil production for next year………………..

          • Robert Atack 7.1.3.1.2

            And clearly you didn’t watch the You Tube skit. showing that taking anything you say is a fucking waste of my time, it will not happen again, I just hope you have children

            • Lanthanide 7.1.3.1.2.1

              Hey Robert, I’ve been reading TheOilDrum since 2007 and DoTheMath since it started last year.

              I AM FULLY AWARE OF PEAK OIL AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF IT.

              Now are you going to answer my question, or not? Are you sure that oil production in 2013 is going to be lower than in 2012?

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.1.3.1.2.2

              Mr. Asshat, you just don’t get it do you? You are mistaking contempt for your arrogance and rudeness as a commentary on peak oil. It isn’t: it’s just contempt for your arrogance and rudeness.

    • johnm 7.2

      Hi Robert When is AFewKnowTheTruth returning to make comments here? Sort of miss his wake up calls.

      • Jenny 7.2.1

        plus 1

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.2.2

        Oh yes, lol.

        “Now that Peak Oil is starting to bite a 4% contraction of the economy looks about right for 2012”

        So insightful, so full of shiny truthiness.

        • Lanthanide 7.2.2.1

          Indeed. The economic armageddon seems to creep back and permanently stay just over the horizon as time goes on. I’m now seriously wondering if we’re actually going to see any significant impacts before 2014-2015.

    • Hammer 7.3

      Peak oil – a 50 year old myth. Shale Gas and Shale oil is flowing in many parts of the world; Sth Africa just announced a 400 year supply, USA talks of hundreds of years supply too.
      Poland has huge supplies;
      USA gas prices have halved in last 5 years.

      The only worried ones are the Arabs.

  8. Darien Fenton 8

    @Muzza : yes I am. Not sure about David S. Will check.

    • muzza 8.1

      Shame they changed the name really – Parliamentarians for Global Order seemed much more honest to me. The name change kind of screemed that someone was not all that pleased with the marketing department!

      Differing lines of thought around what the organisation exists for, and the website is laughable, without even having the NZ section functioning, and its been a work in progress for quite some time….

      Do any of the PfGO in NZ write or blog about their involement. Are you able to point to yours or others experiences from it?

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    The FOL’s (NZ Federation of Labour) late Jim Knox used to regulary be spontaneously applauded when he walked into workers meetings. While even a few union officials mocked Jim as did TV shitheads McPhail & Gadsby, per his mangled vocabulary, along predictably with Pig Muldoon, his attitude was genuine, a ’51 vet. and many workers instinctively knew that.

    Jim used to say in a platitudinous way at first hearing, but probably more from the boredom of repetition, stuff like “unite all who can be united, working men and women lets go forward together with the advice and support of the Federation of Labour”. It is called positive leadership and that is what we need now.

    That is the style workers enjoy and require. Aotearoa has changed incredibly since the 80s but all you coffee swilling Standard freelancers and even a few right wingers probably yearn for it deep down, change happens on the streets like it or not, heh.

    The unionists are not the dinosaurs it is the POAL.

  10. Bryan 10

    I object to POAL chair in the daily full page adds at 25K a time telling me that there was no other way for the port company but to repudiate the maritime union collective. POAL is owned by us ratepayers and has no mandate for acting in bad faith. Stop the directors fees and casualise the CEO – hell yes!!!

  11. Jenny 11

    it is imperitave that the two parties come together and continue talking.

    The Honourable Sua William Sio

    “It’s Never Too Late to Talk Employment”

    The actions, of Sua William Sio and the other Labour MPs including Labour leader David Shearer who yesterday stood with the many thousands of grass roots New Zealanders and dozens of overseas supporters, has moved the Labour mayor of Auckland, Len Brown to reconsider his previous hands off approach to the Ports of Auckland dispute.

    Today on current affairs programme Q+A the Mayor said he wanted to step in to the dispute between the parties to find a solution.

    MUNZ press release 11/03/12

    The leader of the Maritime Union, Gary Parsloe has warmly greeted the Mayor’s offer to step into the dispute to find a solution. And has offered to meet at any time on any day.

    So far, there has been no reply from the management of the Ports of Auckland to the Mayor’s offer to meet to find a solution.

    Not being interested in this meeting is just one more act of bad faith by the Ports of Auckland management.

    The Ports management do not want to settle and are determined to sack their workforce and replace them with contractors.

    PoAL refuse to negotiate in good faith even though the law requires them too.

    The inescapable conclusion is that the Ports management do not want to come together to continue talks to resolve this dispute.

    If PoAL continue to ignore the call to attend the talks called by the Mayor, I think that the Ports of Auckland management should be injuncted to attend the Mayor’s offer of talks, on pain of serious legal penalties targeting the individuals responsible.

    I am sure that in light of the Mayor’s offer to mediate, any judge being aware of the law requiring parties involved in a industrial dispute to negotiate in good faith, would have no choice but to grant such an injunction.

    On the March

    Rallying the crowd

    From facebook

    We have your back

  12. infused 12

    [Deleted …not useful]

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    20 hours ago
  • Hard News: Things that do us good and ill
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    20 hours ago
  • Mid-week reading: California uber alles, road tolls, apartment design, and election reviews
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    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    20 hours ago
  • Something fishy in Christchurch
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Something fishy in Christchurch
    A tweet by Phil Lyth alerted me to a series of Parliamentary written questions from Labour's Megan Woods about Otakaro Ltd, the company the government established to manage the Christchurch rebuild. It seems Otakaro has just changed its constitution, removing… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Julie Anne Genter: My Budget 2016 wish is fairness
    When my parents first visited me in Auckland ten years ago, they remarked on how there were no homeless people on the streets. Coming from Los Angeles, they were used to seeing the impacts of horrendous inequality and a lack… ...
    frogblogBy Julie Anne Genter
    20 hours ago
  • Drawn
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Timing is Everything
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    Briefing PapersBy Cameron Preston
    20 hours ago
  • Pettiness and transparency
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • Film review: The Nice Guys
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    21 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
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    frogblogBy Steffan Browning
    21 hours ago
  • International students excluded by programme sell-off
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    22 hours ago
  • Three things to look for in today’s budget
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    22 hours ago
  • Speaker: I am a Really Useful Engine
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    22 hours ago
  • One in 12 PTEs are high risk
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    22 hours ago
  • Minister to Auckland: find more international students
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce has told the University of Auckland they need to get more international students rather than seek more public funding. Joyce told Newstalk ZB that the University of Auckland already gets slightly more funding than the other universities. “Because they are… ...
    22 hours ago
  • DIY Touring The World: Australia
    For the Kiwi musician, the grass has always seemed greener in Australia.  In the final episode of DIY Touring The World, A Low Hum's Ian Jorgensen heads to Big Sound - a music industry conference and festival held in Brisbane. Industry… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Notes on P contamination
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    DimPostBy danylmc
    23 hours ago
  • The government’s housing message dilemma
    John Key was across the media yesterday, trying to tamp down suggestions the Budget would do anything at all to address the housing “issue” which everyone else in New Zealand has accepted is a crisis. The lines are familiar: there’s… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 day ago
  • Legal Beagle: Geoffrey Palmer has decided to write a constitution
    Last year, the Law Foundation made a $10,000 research grant to former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer to write about a New Zealand Constitution. But, after more than one recent government investigation ended in only recommendations to keep discussion alive,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Open letter from Paula Bennett to the State House tenants & homeless of Auckland
    Dear Homeless and others, Please leave. Except for Hosking, there’s too many Auckland media asking hard questions like, “What are your plans?” and “How will you help these people?” It really has been quite a trying couple of weeks for… ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 day ago
  • Budget day 2016, what we want to see
    Today is budget and while we wait to see what, if any, goodies Bill English will announce, I thought I would list some of the things I’d like to see and what we may actually see. My gut says we… ...
    1 day ago
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Questions & Answers – May 25
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2016 – Scoop Full Coverage
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Human sexuality is stupid and confusing
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    TangerinaBy Coley Tangerina
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell: the latest allegations against Helen Clark
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    1 day ago
  • In-depth: Experts assess the feasibility of ‘negative emissions’
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    2 days ago
  • A BIG win for the Arctic!
    Amazing news! Today an entire industry including major global brands McDonald’sTescoYoung’s Seafood and Iglo agreed to push back against destruction of our pristine Arctic waters.Together with the Norwegian Fishing Vessel Owners Association, Fiskebåt, which represents the entire Norwegian oceangoing fishing fleet, Russian… ...
    2 days ago
  • Inner East cycle consultation
    Auckland Transport recently consulted on cycle networks for the inner western suburbs of the isthmus. Now they’re doing the same thing but for the inner eastern suburbs. Aucklanders have an opportunity to shape the cycle network in the inner-east… ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister undermines State Sector Act
    25 May 2016 The education minister is undermining the principles of integrity and honesty in teacher appointments by interfering with a legal decision designed to avoid cronyism.Today Hekia Parata introduced a supplementary order paper (SOP) to the Education Legislation Bill attempting… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Paula Bennett’s housing deja vu
    After a week of bad media coverage about homelessness in Auckland, Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett was today forced to act, announcing that she would pay homeless Aucklanders $5,000 to move to the regions (where they'd conveniently be out of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    2 days ago
  • Fluoridation: One small step sideways?
    Fluoridation. Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room – the need to separate scientific review from community consultation. Most health officials and science-minded people welcomed the recent announcement of the government’s plan to transfer decisions on water fluoridation from local… ...
    2 days ago
  • Finding a sense of porpoise
    Being a porpoise looks rubbish.Dolphins look like they have fun. They even look like they seek out fun. Okay, the fixed grins make them seem perpetually happy but let’s be honest - when was the last time you saw a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and one with some real business. First, there's the second reading of Sue Moroney's Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave and Work Contact Hours) Amendment Bill, which will hopefully either pass, force… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    frogblogBy Metiria Turei
    2 days ago
  • Forcing transparency on Ministerial transport
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Wicklow 2 win unconditional bail
    From éirígí: Great result today as éirígí’s Sean Doyle and Citizens Against Privatisation stalwart Eamonn McGrath were released from Cloverhill prison on unconditional bail. The unexpected outcome came virtue of a “technicality” in committal warrants as papers that were due… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • We shouldn’t just forgive, but pay back odious debt
    Over 9,000 people have signed Action Station's petition calling on the government to forgive odious emergency housing debt. The government's response? Nope:Wiping the debt of people who have been staying in motels for emergency accommodation would not be fair to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Opening up NLTF to all modes
    The Green Party released a new freight policy yesterday. They’re looking at ways to invest to increase safety and reduce carbon emissions: The Safer, Cleaner Freight policy sets a target for moving half of freight on rail… ...
    2 days ago
  • The American Black Movement in the Sixties: Victories and Lost Opportunities
    The Black Power slogan of the 1960s was replaced with empowerment for the black American middle class and burgeoning capitalist layers The reign of the first black president in the United States is coming to an end.  Obama, or O’Bomber… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Three Dreams
    I have three dreams. One is characteristic, one is recurring and one is singular.The characteristic one is simple in concept: it's me and my friends going places and doing things. In the last one I can recall, there was a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Did you know this about tigers?
    Next in our series, we turn to the king (and queen) of the jungle - the tiger. Here are 10 incredible tiger facts from forests campaigner Richard George:10. Tigers have better short-term memories than humansTigers’ have one of the best… ...
    2 days ago
  • How well do you know the Polar Bear?
    Since the very beginning of Greenpeace, our movement has been fighting to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable animals. And over the years, we’ve learnt some truly incredible things about the magnificent creatures we share this planet with. So… ...
    2 days ago
  • How well do you know the orangutan?
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    2 days ago
  • Income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time
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    Closing the GapBy Ben Smith
    2 days ago
  • Dying For Latvia?
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    2 days ago
  • How much do you really know about turtles?
    I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.Over the years I’ve had the privilege of watching turtles from the bow of Greenpeace ships, and many of my colleagues have encountered these peaceful ocean wanderers far out at sea… ...
    2 days ago
  • How much do you know about whales?
    I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.Over the years I’ve had the privilege of seeing lots of whales, both from the deck of Greenpeace ships, and also on whale-watching trips. I’ve been lucky enough to see massive… ...
    2 days ago
  • Are noisy oceans to blame for beached whales?
    Noise is the most invisible of all the man-made threats to the ocean, but to whales who ‘see’ by hearing, they simply cannot escape it.Water is an excellent medium for relaying sound, enabling some species of whale to communicate across… ...
    2 days ago
  • Sylvia Park growth plans
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    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    2 days ago
  • PrintNZ Forum Speakers Enlighten Delegates
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Nick Smith: There is NO crisis
    MyThinks has been fielding many questions about Nick Smith. “What’s happening with housing?” “Does Nick Smith know anything about any of his policy areas?” “Why does he look so shifty when he’s telling us what we should think?” These are… ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    3 days ago
  • Tracking the 2°C Limit – April 2016
    April is starting to come down off the shockingly high anomalies of the first couple of months of this year. GISS is clocking in a still strong warm anomaly of 1.11°C. This is by far the hottest April in the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    3 days ago

  • Budget offers no hope of fixing housing crisis
    The Budget’s underwhelming housing measures will give New Zealanders no hope that National is capable of fixing the housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “There isn’t a scrap of an idea to help desperate young Kiwi families into… ...
    1 hour ago
  • How the budget fails new New Zealanders
    Greens co-leader James Shaw was absolutely correct to say the 2016 budget is just papering over the cracks. There’s nothing in this budget to increase wages, address inequal pay for carers or deal with the shocking pay rates and employment… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    14 hours ago
  • Parents will pay more as school budgets frozen
    Parents will pay more for their kids’ education as a result of this year’s Budget after the Government froze operational funding for schools, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This means schools are effectively going backwards. They will need to… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Sticking Plaster Budget fails the test
    Bill English’s penultimate Budget fails to tackle the structural challenges facing the economy – a housing crisis, rising unemployment, underfunded health and creaking infrastructure, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This Budget applies a sticking plaster to a compound fracture.… ...
    17 hours ago
  • John Key fails middle New Zealand with no fix for housing crisis, more underfunding of health
    Middle New Zealand has again missed out in this year’s Budget with not a single fix for the housing crisis, and health and education woefully underfunded again, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This Budget is just a patchwork… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Labour Bill would back Kiwi jobs
    The Government’s $40 billion of buying power would go towards backing Kiwi businesses and jobs under a Labour Member’s Bill which will be debated by Parliament, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “My Bill – which was pulled from… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Julie Anne Genter: My Budget 2016 wish is fairness
    When my parents first visited me in Auckland ten years ago, they remarked on how there were no homeless people on the streets. Coming from Los Angeles, they were used to seeing the impacts of horrendous inequality and a lack… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    20 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    21 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    21 hours ago
  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    2 days ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    2 days ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 days ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 days ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    2 days ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    3 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    4 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    4 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    5 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    6 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    7 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    7 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    7 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    7 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    7 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    1 week ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
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  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
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  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago

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