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“The Big Issue”: councils & transport

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, August 5th, 2013 - 15 comments
Categories: activism, assets, auckland supercity, Conservation, cycleway, greens, infrastructure, labour, local body elections, local government, public transport, sustainability - Tags: ,

Last Wednesday, Campbell Live began a promised series of programmes over the coming month, each based around one Big Issue that impact on all new Zealanders.  On Wednesday night, CL’s 3 segments focused on different angles of the issue of public versus private transport, and Auckland compared with “the regions”. Questions about funding and the struggles between local councils and the NZ government were a key theme running through all segments.

The first segment, Auckland’s ignored problem, laid out the long legacy of transport problems in Auckland.  It frames the segment referring to the perception around the regions, that the more money Auckland gets, the less money available for other parts of the country.

The video graphically shows how, for about a decade Auckland’s transport problems have been ignored, and it regularly “grinds to a halt”.

CL Traffic on Harbour Bridge July 2013

CL refers to the legacy of Auckland’s decades of focus on roads: a transport network, which, as with the rail system, was originally built for freight and is since being significantly re-purposed for transportation of passengers.

Trams have become a distant memory, after being replaced by buses.

CL July 2013 tram Akl townhall

The bus routes have been there for about 3 decades, at were put in place before the development of the rail systems. Consequently many bus routes follow the train lines, while much of the train lines follow the motorway.  The congestion is therefore not very consistent.

CL then looks at Auckland Councils transport plans. Fully implementing these, aimed at making more use of public transport, is costed to have a $12 billion short fall.  Road tolls have been put forward as one possible way to fund the necessary transport developments.

CL puts a bit of focus on the development at Waterview (near Pt Chevalier and the motorway causeway to Te Atatu in Auckland’s west). This development aimed at connecting the South western and North Western motorways ids begin funded by the NZTA.

CL July 2013 Waterview development

CL then looks at developments of roads in Auckland’s east – a neglected area transport-wise.

Campbell Live’s second segment looks at Transport projects throughout the regions.

Dan Parker reported on the views of councils throughout New Zealand.

CL July 2013 Councils in NZ about regional roading

An NZTA spokesperson Geoff Dangerfield says they do allocate funding fairly between Auckland and the provinces.  However, people in Southland and the Far North dispute they are getting sufficient funding for safe and usable roads.  These are essential for important industries like forestry and agriculture.

There have been a lot of the complaints are about the government’s RONS being to Auckland focused, sucking up funding needed for deteriorating roads in areas like Hastings.

CL July 2013 Hastings detereorating roads

Central government contribute 51% to everything spent on roads, but funding agreements differ from region to region.

Southland’s mayor Jim Copeland says limited funding means road standards are dropping there.

CL July 2013 Southland roads standards dropping

Far North mayor Wayne Brown claims they are not getting their fair share of road funding. Tasman mayor Richard Kempthorne says the funding crisis means Tasman has stopped sealing some new sections of road.

CL July 2013 Tasman not sealing new roads

Campbell Live’s third and final section looks at The Congestion Free Network proposal. The CTFN involves collaboration between the Auckland Transport Blog and Generation Zero.  CL begins the segment by characterising the plan as “revolutionary” and presenting “Auckland as we’ve never seen it“. This alternative plan aims to end congestion, be environmentally friendly and sustainable, provide real choice for travelers, and costs a fraction of Auckland Council’s plans.

CL July 2013 Congestion free Network plan for AKL

Matt Lowrie from the Auckland Transport Blog says is not cheap but, at a cost $10 billion all up, cheaper than the official proposals, .

CL July 2013 Matt Lowrie AKL Transport Blog

Furthermore, over the full time period they are proposing the plan will cost $24 billion, with less focus on roads and more on public transport.  However, these figures have confused me a bit.  Does Matt mean that the initial cost will be $10 billion?

The City Rail Link is the”killer app” that opens up the whole network.  The CFN also has some cool additions like a rail line to Mt Roskill.

CL July 2013 CRL to Mt Roskill CFN

And it includes improved bus networks in the south, north, east and west of Auckland, plus some ferries straight into the city.

CL July 2013 CFN ferries into city

Driving by car will still be an option, but on roads that aren’t congested.  There will also be a rail line to the airport.

CL July 2013 CFN rail to airport

Matt L is pretty pleased with the CL coverage.  However, he does criticise 3 of the 7 RONS being included as part of plans for Auckland when,

the strongest advocates for it are from Northland who call it a lifeline for their region – despite it not looking to do much for them. The rest are elsewhere in the country including some particularly expensive ones in the Waikato and Wellington.

[...]

Also is it just me or did Wayne Brown just suggest Far North transport priorities are being driven by what forestry truck drivers complain about?

The CFN does look like a pretty cool plan.  While it would free up funding for other areas of the country.  However, the funding issues will still be up for analysis and debate.

These issues are bound to be a significant part of the upcoming local council elections, and hopefully the progressive/left (Auckland) City Vision alliance will be providing significant focus on transport issues.  City Vision launched its campaign and new website yesterday (Sunday).  They claim,

“We are the only organisation across the Waitemata and Albert-Eden-Roskill wards to have full teams of candidates. Although we are already out campaigning in the streets and marketplace it is traditional to have a Launch and we are delighted that Hon Phil Goff MP, Denise Roche MP and Mayor Len Brown will be our official speakers” says Robert Gallagher, Chair, City Vision.

The City Vision website includes Transport choice as one of four main parts of its “vision”, along with Keep or assets, City with a heart and Proud Aucklanders.  As with the last council elections, this tends to cover central Auckland.  So I will be looking to see what Future West plans for West Auckland, with Sandra Coney and Christine Rose having already launched their campaigns under that banner.

According to the NZ Herald, Labour will also be running candidates in the council elections, but they and the Green Party will be working with City Vision on issues like transport and retaining community-owned assets.

This all looks like some very good progressive plans collaborations and organising, well worth getting behind.  I also think Auckland-based organisations need to be communicating with those in the regions as regards shifting the weight of future growth from Auckland and coordinating a fair dispersal of funding and development.

 

 

 

15 comments on ““The Big Issue”: councils & transport”

  1. Sable 1

    Its inexplicable to me why New Zealand roads are so bad. I suspect those working on our roads are not doing their job properly, the question is why? Perhaps constant revision of road works makes the contractors more money then doing the job thoroughly the first time out.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      A small population in a medium sized country. Roughly the same size as UK but only a 15th of population. And south island is even more sparesly populated.

      Roads to high standard cost the same anywhere, but if you dont have as many to pay for it, something doesnt add up.

  2. Takere 2

    The plan proposed is a dog …… it’s an expensive bitsa. Central Govt needs to fund it or return the $9b dollars of regional Road User levies to Aucklanders that Fat Boys Brownlee & Joyce stole from that fund that was run between 1996 to 2006/7 in the Auckland region. That can pay for that machine boring the tunnels on the northwestern motorway and when its finished that, keep it down there for a 5/10 years tunnelling throughout Auckland to create a underground network for electric trains able to travel in both directions! Simultaneously!! Cancel the contract with the Well Connected Group of Parasites too!

  3. mickysavage 3

    Hi Karol

    Future West should be ready to announce all of its candidates tomorrow. And I am sure that we will support at least in principle the congestion free network proposal which to my mind is a brave and forward looking proposal.

    • karol 3.1

      Thanks, micky. Excellent. I’ll be looking forward to tomorrow’s launch with interest.

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    Minto for Mayor! Free public transport on existing system, with expansion of services planned.

    Well nothing is really free but, but, less congestion for a starter. I know an older woman who because of redundancy and fear of no job, moved with her company location from West to South and spends $125 per week on various buses, getting her first one at 5.30am home 6.30–7.

    Such people would like Minto for Mayor. And you bludging guys in the black Audis would no doubt too with the riff raff on trains and buses instead of their unsightly jappers.

    • Takere 4.1

      Haha! And further down the track, once all of the riff-raff are using cheap(er) public transport. The Audi-ites can get taxed fairly for their use of roadways! User pays is finally here or about!?

  5. Rosetinted 5

    A related issue is the frustration and even anger felt by regional councils at the lack of interest of central government in fair distribution. Fair in NACTs case means looking for Auckland to be a pretty city, that will be ‘world class’, one which tourists and wealthy ‘investors’ will be drawn to.

    Fair in regional councils case is getting a decent share of the nation’s taxes to maintain and supply needed infrastructure, roading etc. Of course this has become more difficult now that they are being treated like businesses that can make big expenditure decisions (such as Dunedin stadium, and now in Christchurch gubmint is forcing them to take on big ticket items). Central government gave them the right to ‘general competence’ in finance, but doesn’t actually want them to be self-governing, so the ratepayers have to cope with this mixed model of apparent freedom but central government control.

    And central gubmint is able to encourage or pressure them to enter into projects that don’t show good cost benefit results with the long-term costs lying on the ratepayers shoulders, such as the Dunedin stadium. I heard a Pacific Island report on Radionz, I think about Tonga. They have had some outstanding buildings and infrastructure built by Chinese firms using Chinese labour, but then they don ‘t provide maintenance. The buildings seem to be more than what is actually needed, so they are not fully used, and the country is virtually having to borrow to keep them maintained, increasing their debt burden. It is interesting to see a similar mode of operation taking place in provincial NZ.

    The provinces I think feel like the poor cousins of Auckland, the Queen city. And perhaps cousins on the wrong side of the blanket, that don’t get talked about much. No wonder that there is a call to set up a political party that represents the provinces. We could have that under MMP and it would have a focussed mandate, unlike Labour that spouts out things about workers and housing and so on, repeating what are the loudest calls, like my battery operated parrot. That battery if worn out, silences the parrot, until it is replaced. But then it still does not say anything original, it can only repeat what registers in its mechanical memory.

    • karol 5.1

      Well, it is a strongly related issue, Rosetinted, albeit not directly related to transport.

      As an Aucklander and a Kiwi, I don’t want to see Auckland growing (in population) excessively while the rest of the country is given secondary consideration. I’d like to see the population and economic considerations being spread around fairly. The excessive focus on Auckland as a commercial centre will be damaging to the well-being of the city.

      Meanwhile, coming back to transport, Aaron Hawkins posted today on The Daily Blog about the neglect of public transport in Dunedin.

      I wonder how much the government is pressuring the council to focus on things like stadiums, while ignoring basic infrastructure like public transport?

      • Rosetinted 5.1.1

        karol
        In Tasman-Nelson region the Mayor I think, was carrying on about not being able to afford to keep rural roads in order. There was a recent photo from the Nelson Mail showing a repair being done on a main road in Golden Bay, which has been washed away again before the original repair was finished. The climate ‘bombs’ and the forecast extended weather events will make road maintenance more difficult and expensive. And Tasman is a tourist area, as well as being a busy enterprising place.

        Is gubmint going to abandon regions at whim, like Gisborne having its important rail link whipped away. They have put their heads together there and I think I caught a rumble about an idea to reinstate it. It may take a private-public partnership, which would be a forward move in those circumstances. It needs a gubmint really keen on all NZs having a place in the whole economy, not just putting all efforts into training, PRs, lawyers, chefs, barristas and, for a while the building industry, and economists of course, running a casino economy dependent on foreign money which might not stand up to scrutiny as to its provenance.

  6. tracey 6

    I have followed the transport blog for a while and more recently the zero project. If vested interest was put aside for an hour the wood would be seen for thectrees

    • Takere 6.1

      You’re onto it Tracey. It’s dog, a bitsa ….. playing into the roading oligarchies hands! Aucklands land-locked by the sea. This ill conceived plan is purely a party vote grabbing middle class go nowhere plan. It’ll be shelved the day after the election. So for currying a vote or two …it’s a pretty expensive bribe??

      • karol 6.1.1

        Takere, do you mean that the Congestion Free Network is an expensive bribe, or the government/RONS or the Akl council City Rail Link plan?

        Ditto to tracey: I’m not sure whether you are for or against the ATB and zero project.

        • Takere 6.1.1.1

          Yes Karol, the CFN is a bitsa and a bribe to gather votes in Auckland ……the ACC plans are nearly a sensible solution but what it needs is Len to hit Jerry & Joyce up for them to return the Road User Levies collected in the Auckland Region from 1996-2006/7 worth about $9 billion dollars! That’ll pay for Rail double tracking so the public & Freight can be transported by rail. Freeing up the roads a bit more for buses. Use that tunnel boring machine more after its finished the NW route. Keep it underground for a few more years to create a comprehensive underground rail network throughout the Auckland Region. If we really need to build more roads, use the space above the present motorway (because we’ve already paid for the ground under it) network and then separate commercial use from private use and tax accordingly.

    • Rosetinted 6.2

      tracey
      You might have some thoughts on this. I remember when transport companies’ contracting out driving work was really getting going. The drivers were encouraged to buy their own trucks and contract to the company for the work.

      This cut down on the heavy expenses of the transport industry supplying their own vehicles which, getting bigger, are getting more expensive. And the maintenance and administration and adometers and disel tax etc.

      I wonder how many still buy their own, and what proportion of trucks do the transport companies own outright? It would seem to be much more profitable for the transport companies to put less investment in trucks.

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  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in recei...
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in receivership News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have been driven to the wall by a...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland
    Press Release: Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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