Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, August 5th, 2014 - 36 comments
Power has been concentrated into the figure of one man – a man who has in recent weeks shown that he thinks he is above the rule of law. You might think your one vote doesn’t make much of a difference – but it is everything to us here. Another three years of National and Brownlee, and we might not have a vote at a local level at all.
Written By: - Date published: 9:53 am, June 28th, 2014 - 26 comments
For so many of the people in this still-broken city, they feel that this is a journey which they have been left to walk alone. Too often they find themselves fighting against the state, rather than working with them. One gets the impression that for all the visits and photo ops, Key just doesn’t get the situation down here.
Written By: - Date published: 7:10 pm, July 2nd, 2013 - 24 comments
Brownlee’s press release on urgency is pure smarm. The Nats have always abused urgency, and this current session is no exception.
Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, March 1st, 2013 - 103 comments
Emails released on the Standard today show that, during the Hobbit “dispute” the Government and others lied to the people of New Zealand to maintain a perception of a crisis.
It was a shameful moment in New Zealand’s political history.
Written By: - Date published: 10:05 pm, November 5th, 2012 - 99 comments
The Pike report is welcome good sense.
But why has it taken the deaths of 29 men to get attention to health and safety regulations in mining?
Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, February 11th, 2012 - 105 comments
People are waking up to National’s plan to remove the democratically-elected Christchurch City Council and replace it with its own hand-picked commissioners, who will then give a green light to Brownlee’s developer mates and the sale of council assets. You can already see the vultures circling – waiting for the chance to seize more public wealth for themselves.
Written By: - Date published: 12:26 pm, November 15th, 2011 - 7 comments
Key is avoiding the hard questions, but his photo-op face is everywhere. The rest of the Nats are working hard at being invisible. Let’s bring a little sunlight into that darkness!
Today’s InvisiNat is Gerry Brownlee.
Written By: - Date published: 7:54 pm, April 25th, 2011 - 24 comments
Lianne Dalziel has left her political future to the people of Christchurch that she represents.
If it’s good enough for her to seek such a mandate, then why shouldn’t King Gerry do the same?
Written By: - Date published: 8:47 am, March 18th, 2011 - 60 comments
There’s a large number of reports coming out of Christchurch of businesses that have been demolished without Civil Defence consulting with the owners, as is procedure, and giving them a chance to recover vital equipment and records first. Disturbingly, some of these demolitions seem to have been carried out by ‘cowboys’ without CD approval.
Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, February 7th, 2011 - 23 comments
When a millionaire director and a foreign corporate wanted millions in tax breaks, Key jumped to it. When SCF collapsed the investors got an average of $60K, no questions asked. But when it comes to helping the ordinary families of Christchurch and the West Coast, the Nats are nowhere to be seen once the cameras are gone.
Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, January 20th, 2011 - 14 comments
Mallard has laid a Privileges complaint over Brownlee’s Hobbit lies. Good. Brownlee and Key deserved to be hammered for their part in the Warners/Jackson shake-down that cost just $34m and work rights. Lockwood won’t uphold the complaint though. He hates Brownlee. Not enough to severely embarrass his party in election year though.
Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, December 27th, 2010 - 33 comments
The idea of this little group-effort series of posts is to look at the major areas of government activity and have an objective look at how National is doing – both against their own promises and things that we hold important. Let’s start with the economy, the direct responsibility of Finance Minister Bill English and Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee.
Written By: - Date published: 8:09 am, December 21st, 2010 - 129 comments
The Herald has used the OIA to get hold of emails Peter Jackson sent Gerry Brownlee during the Hobbit shakedown. They show that the Actors’ Equity blacklisting was not a threat to the film staying here – yet Jackson and Brownlee told us it was to justify handing Warners $34 million and rushing through an anti-worker law.
Written By: - Date published: 1:58 pm, December 19th, 2010 - 37 comments
What to do if you’re a government with an ideological fixation on selling assets, which is hugely unpopular? The public will catch on if you put SOEs as full entities up for auction. So, you don’t sell off the companies. Instead, you sell off the things they own or, through bond issues, their profit streams. We’ve been warning this would happen. Now, it is.
Written By: - Date published: 7:16 am, December 18th, 2010 - 26 comments
Brownlee ignored warnings that his reforms would increase power prices, not lower them as intended. Wholesale power prices have spiked from $50 to $300 per MWH. Exporters have cut production. Residential users are next. With power up and petrol breaking $2 a litre, energy is a handbrake on this supposed economic recovery.
Written By: - Date published: 11:50 pm, December 11th, 2010 - 30 comments
National, under the direction of Gerry Brownlee, continue to abuse parliamentary procedure and make bad law. They tried to ram 12 bills through on Thursday, resulting in them sitting under urgency until Saturday night. There is no proper oversight, no thinking through the possible problems with bills, and far too little chance for the public to have their say. We have procedure for a reason…
Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, November 29th, 2010 - 23 comments
It seems I’m not alone in feeling outrage at attempts to bury any sensible debate on the shape and extent of New Zealand’s coal operations
Written By: - Date published: 8:58 pm, October 23rd, 2010 - 103 comments
After days of trying to read the media and rumour mill tea-leaves on the Hobbit it was time to do some fact checking.
It turns out this has been a hard lesson in how the international film industry works.
Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, October 8th, 2010 - 26 comments
The Christchurch earthquake required the suspension of democracy nationwide for 18 months. But Key had time to take a week in Hawaii. And the Social Development Minister is able to go off on a ‘study’ holiday in the US. And Gerry Brownlee, who needed all those powers to rush through laws, has spare time to intervene in The Hobbit dispute.
Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, October 7th, 2010 - 7 comments
A tailings dam in Hungary has burst. Toxic sludge over 16 square miles has killed four. If the sludge, laden with heavy metals and radioactive elements, makes it into waterways including the Danube the disaster will magnify. If Brownlee had his way, our countryside would be covered in tailings dams as miners plunder our national parks.
Written By: - Date published: 7:40 am, September 26th, 2010 - 19 comments
In the aftermath of the twin towers, the dust that accompanied their collapse gave rise to a health crisis in the medium/long term that continues to play out to this day. And given the prevalence of asbestos in Christchurch buildings, it just might be that the earthquake will result in a number of preventable deaths after all…
Written By: - Date published: 8:07 am, September 21st, 2010 - 26 comments
On Thursday, our new dictator Gerry Brownlee decreed by Order in Council that the following Acts of Parliament were amended: the Building Act, the Local Government Act, the Resource Management Act, various pieces of transport legislation, and the Civil Defence Act. Most of the changes deal with minutiae of government. Some are less innocuous.
Written By: - Date published: 1:22 pm, September 16th, 2010 - 30 comments
The Gerry Brownlee Enabling Act is a Dictator’s Charter, and all we can do is hope Brownlee doesn’t abuse it. Even the Herald is against the unwarranted and excessive powers that have been conferred on one man with no meaningful checks or balances. This isn’t about Left or Right but too many on the Right seem happy with unfettered State power.
Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, September 15th, 2010 - 142 comments
The Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act gives the Government the power to pass Orders in Council overriding nearly every law. That makes ministers, not Parliament, the sovereign power in this country. Scary stuff, which I haven’t seen justified by the facts of the quake recovery.
Written By: - Date published: 2:38 pm, August 7th, 2010 - 9 comments
After half a government term of insisting that NACT had an economic plan, it has been ‘misplaced’. The full plan, said by informed sources to have been found in a brief case (along with a pie and a men’s magazine) and written on the back of an old rental expenses claim form, reveals that the government expects significant economic development will be lead by the construction of a single national transport infrastructure, namely a National Cycleway.
Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, August 7th, 2010 - 40 comments
Herald political editor John Armstrong has slammed National’s “arrogant” behaviour in Parliament saying it verges on “being a disgrace to itself and the institution”. This is incredibly strong language from a senior journalist. It is the result of a government which is undermining democratic accountability in Parliament by lying and obfuscating in answer to opposition questions.
Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, July 28th, 2010 - 92 comments
Closing the wage gap with Australia was one of National’s key promises in the leadup to the 2008 election, but the Dom Post reports today that the wage gap has grown by another $40 a week under National’s watch.
Can we stop pretending now that National ever really had a plan to close the wage gap?
Written By: - Date published: 12:25 pm, July 24th, 2010 - 9 comments
No Right Turn had an interesting post on National’s Energy Strategy or more correctly a general lack of it yesterday.
Yesterday the government released its Draft New Zealand Energy Strategy [PDF] for consultation. So, how does it compare with Labour’s 2007 version? The difference is easy to spot. Labour’s energy strategy was about shifting to a sustainable, low-emissions energy infrastructure. National’s is about finding oil.