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The bill arrives for the “supercity”

Written By: - Date published: 1:52 pm, August 1st, 2012 - 37 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, local government, supercity - Tags: , ,

As has been well covered in the media, some Auckland ratepayers are in for a rude shock:

Aucklanders brace for rates shock

More than a quarter of a million Auckland households are in for a shock when rates bills averaging an 8.1 per cent increase arrive in letterboxes from this week.

On Thursday, North Shore, Waitakere and Rodney households and businesses will be the first to feel the impact of a single rating system for the Super City under which some rates will go up and others will go down. The rest of Auckland will receive the bills next week.

Mayor Len Brown describes the merging of the eight former councils’ rating systems into one as “a very difficult situation”.

Council figures show the new system will give 256,000 households an 8.1 per cent average rates increase, and 187,000 households an average 4.9 per cent decrease. …

Yesterday, Mr Brown said the average rates increase throughout the the region was 3.6 per cent, and the swings were an inescapable consequence of a Government-imposed rating system based on capital value. He said the move to a single rating system was the final piece in the jigsaw for the Super City, and it was only fair that Aucklanders paid the same in rates everywhere in the region.

It seems that households in Manukau are the biggest losers, with an average increase of 10.3 per cent.

Naturally some right wingers are trying to blame Len Brown, but this was all set in motion long before he was elected:

Super city: ‘Ratepayers will have to dig deep’
By Bernard Orsman
4:00 AM Thursday Apr 9, 2009

Auckland ratepayers will pay at least $550 each in restructuring costs for a Super City, says the Waitakere City Council. And Rodney Mayor Penny Webster says that, contrary to public expectations, rates will not come down under the new system. …

See also:

Rates rise on cards
By Kieran Nash
5:30 AM Sunday Oct 31, 2010

Aucklanders face a rates rise of nearly four per cent under their new Supercity structure for the next financial year. But if it wasn’t for the cost of the Supercity and Rugby World Cup, there may not have been a rates increase at all.

A report released by the Auckland Transition Agency, the organisation in charge of setting up the Supercity, has forecast rates will rise by 3.9 per cent for the 2011/12 year.

Those feeling disgruntled with their higher rates bill can thank the Nats, and Rodney Hide, who set up the structure of the “supercity”.

37 comments on “The bill arrives for the “supercity””

  1. AmaKiwi 1

    “Taxation without representation is tyranny.”
     
    The American revolutions overthrew the Crown with the rallying cry, “Taxation without representation is tyranny.”
     
    Self-government was stolen from us in the SuperCity coup d’etat.  Now overpaid mandarins control our communities, doing the bidding of our millionaire masters.  They expect us to obediently foot the bill for the follies of our parliamentary dictators.
     
    Now is the time for a rates revolt against Parliament.  They made the mess.  They should pay for it.

    • mike e 1.1

      Funnily its the rich who are getting slammed with the biggest increases poetic justice.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      Now is the time for a rates revolt against Parliament. They made the mess. They should pay for it.

      You can’t have a rates revolt against Parliament.

  2. Michael Wood 2

    You are right about the fact that the primary reason for some large increases is the National-Act forced amalgamation. However please be careful about repeating cooked up figures like the “shock 8.1 average rates increase!” generated by Cameron Brewer.

    The actual average increase is 3.6%. Some are higher, and some get decreases. Surveying those with the highest increase, and then presenting it as the headline figure is, statistically speaking, like taking the average age at my local retirement village and then saying “average age across large group of people in Mt Roskill is 76!” – technically true, but designed to mislead, in this case to smear Len Brown.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Its the NZ Herald who need to get the message because its the NZ Herald broadcasting the 8.1% figure out to hundreds of thousands of Aucklanders.

    • OneTrack 2.2

      Let me get this right. We have King Len in charge, but, somehow, it is National and Acts fault that he can’t keep to a budget. What budget? He has an almost limitless pool of money that he can use to do whatever he wants. And he is.

      But it is still somebody elses fault when the rates go up, and as noted above, the rises aren’t standard across the city – how convenient, wouldn’t want to upset his mates.

      • ropata 2.2.1

        nope, you didn’t get it right.
        brown is picking up the pieces and the nats are trying to sabotage him.

        your nactoid mate rodney hide screwed aucklanders.
        your other (ethics-free) pal banksy tried to screw them some more

        shame on you for such an ignorant smear of Len Brown.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2

        It’s National and Acts fault because they put in the legislation that forced the rates up. If Len or anyone had tried to change that system they would have been breaking the law.

        If you’d read the post you would have realised that.

      • tracey 2.2.3

        for a moment i thought you were talking about john key

  3. fabregas4 3

    And many are predicting a power increase of similar proportions when (if) the assist sales occur. Don’t imagine there will be any surprise in three years time when it occurs.

  4. tc 4

    First installments folks, wait till the IT shambles (courtesy of Deloittes, Hide, Ford and others like Foley), underinvestment in waste water and others come crashing onto the scenes.

    Bend over Auckland ratepayers and get used to it.

    • andy (the other one) 4.1

      This.

      Water is a massive screw up. Metro water has no idea of the shit data they have been served by old councils. Welcome to monthly billing Auckland, 21 days to pay, reminder at 28 days, second reminder at 35 days and final at 42. $7 late fee on that invoice and if they have your address incorrect its $7 per month per invoice.

      Waitakere is going from 6monthly billing to monthly, and they are being charged waste water for the first time. Tenancy tribunal in Waitakere will be a mammoth screw up, water bills will triple out west for renters.

      Fuck up to ensue.

      • tc 4.1.1

        Don’t forget the lack of investment by Ford as Watercare CEO as Banks council demanded a dividend during a time of massive urban growth that Watercare had to service and he obliged like the good doggy he is.

        I see he is being well rewarded currently on the transport CCO doing sweet FA and ensuring their vision doesn’t get in Joyce’s way…..how surprising.

        • andy (the other one) 4.1.1.1

          spot on, tc.

          monthly billing is cash flow device only. Revenue smoothing…

          Balance sheet looks good for council…..

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1

            Personally, I prefer monthly – saves getting the large bill at the end of the month. Now just need to persuade the landlord to put in a water tank – Waste water is determined by the amount of water billed for. I keep wondering if they’ve done that on purpose to encourage people to put in water tanks or if they’re just stupid.

        • Glg 4.1.1.2

          Thought Ford was going to Chch. Good riddance.

    • Aye TC

      The IT contract is scary beyond belief.  The trouble is that mere mortals are not meant to have understood what happened and are meant to succumb to the brilliance of the very well paid consultants who recommend $500 million of expenditure.

      The problem is that Auckland City’s system was pretty good and could have been expanded to provide all of the new city’s IT requirements.

      This particular aspect of the super city needs some serious analysis.  But we will need some very pointy heads to understand and interpret the IT bullshirt.

      • Glg 4.2.1

        The start again process for the new computer system was bullshit. SAP ain’t cheap folks, and the new system will cost a fortune. A non-contested bid for that computer system too.

        • Carol 4.2.1.1

          Meanwhile some council workers out west are having to do their work using some antique, slow and ponderous hard & software

      • tc 4.2.2

        Doesn’t take a pointy head Mickey. Look at most corporate acquisitions where the business purchased is merged into the existing well run, understood and expanded system to cope with the growth.

        I’m no SAP fan as other ERP systems cost far less but it does work and is world class at certain tasks like Plant Maintenance.

        You’re quite right in stating auckland councils SAP was fit for purpose but then Deloittes don’t make as much money in doing that do they.

  5. captain hook 5

    is that trooo tc?

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    Dear People,

    We have lost control of our communities to the SuperCity mandarins who do the bidding of their masters in the Beehive.

    None of us is surprised that along with our loss of local democracy have come higher onerous rates and fees.

    Do we throw it back in their faces and demand that the Key government who staged the SuperCity coup d’etat pay for the increases?

    Earlier I proposed a rates revolt (comment 1). Colonial Viper said we can’t have a rates revolt against parliament (comment 1.2). Ask the Greeks who rioted in the streets. Ask the people who fought in the Arab Spring uprisings.

    We are in the fourth year of a Global Depression. This government’s response is to squeeze the middle class and the poor into ever deeper poverty. Rates are just one more regressive tax that has been increased under this Parliamentary Dictatorship. How bad does it have to get before we take back our country?

    • ropata 6.1

      Revolutions don’t usually happen until people are desperate, starving, or homeless

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Revolutions happen when people are desperate. They don’t happen when people are starving or homeless. The reason being that revolutions require high levels of resourcing and organisation. Homeless starving people can’t pull that off.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      Earlier I proposed a rates revolt (comment 1). Colonial Viper said we can’t have a rates revolt against parliament (comment 1.2). Ask the Greeks who rioted in the streets. Ask the people who fought in the Arab Spring uprisings.

      1) A riot is not a revolution. Don’t mix up the two.
      2) I’m hoping you don’t consider Egypt in your list of Arab Spring uprisings. What happened in Egypt is more accurately characterised as a military coup i.e. the Generals who used to report to Mubarak and the government are now the ones in charge of the government.

  7. QoT 7

    It seems that households in Manukau are the biggest losers, with an average increase of 10.3 per cent.

    Whether the stats are true or hand-waved, that’s just kinda ironic.

  8. AmaKiwi 8

    To Colonial Viper and QoT

    I repeat my question: “How bad does it have to get before we take back our country?”

    We are in an economic depression and our rulers are doing all the wrong things. Instead of creating jobs they are abolishing them. Unemployed people don’t spend money so more and more businesses are failing. Where I live vacant retail and industrial buildings abound. Our rulers are selling off blue chip assets to build non-essentials, cutting taxes for the rich, raising all forms of regressive taxes on the middle class and poor. The gulf between rich and poor relentlessly widens and our rulers are unmoved calling it “natural free market economics.”

    What do YOU propose to do about it?

    Maybe you are not desperate but plenty of people are. We have four adult children, all in their thirties, three of the four with post graduate degrees. None is even remotely as well off as we were in our mid-twenties. One member of my extended family works 50 hours a week as a skilled tradesman. He has rented a room for the winter but by spring will return to his “normal” accommodation: a tent in his friend’s yard.

    How bad does it have to get before you stop blogging and start some forms of protest and civil disobedience?

    The NZ Herald editorialized that Banks should resign. What would happen if we gathered 10,000 signatures from Epsom voters calling on Banks to resign? What would happen if we followed some of the tactics of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr.?

    Stop blogging. Start DOING.

    • Carol 8.1

      So are you going to lead by example, AmaKiwi?

      Me, I feel like I’m part of a movement looking for some leadership.

  9. AmaKiwi 9

     
    Years ago I trained as a community organizer in Chicago, the same organization Obama worked for but not the same years as him.  I am eager to share the strategies we used there but they need to be “translated” to the NZ scene and the 21st century. Our organization was started by Saul Alinksy who wrote “Reveille for Radicals” and “Rules for Radicals.”

    The essence of the strategy is to go to communities and ask the people what THEY think are the things that need to be fixed.  Then you help them come up with tactics to move the power structure to fix what is broken.  This is entirely “from the bottom up” power.  We never went to a group and assumed we knew what needed fixing or how to do it.  But by explaining what had worked for others we facilitated thinking so they could develop their own tactics to solve their own problems. 
     
    We got results and had a great time doing it!
     
    Example:  A large apartment complex was owned by a slumlord.  He kept the rent but made no repairs.  We got the tenants together as described above.  Tenants did their research and found out slumlord is a university professor downtown.  They devised the tactics.  You should have seen his face when in the midst of his lecture on “Urban Problems” a bunch mothers with babies in arms came into the lecture hall screaming “Slumlord.”  Overnight he became a responsible landlord and the tenants moved on to their next problem:  getting street walkers out of their neighborhood.  They solved that problem, too.

    Yes, Carol. I’d loved to have some fun again and there is plenty that needs fixing these days.
     
     
     
     

    • Carol 9.1

      I agree it has to be bottom up. And I would think getting involved at the grassroots and getting the feel of things, learning how things are, and what’s been tried is the way to go.

      There’s plenty of possibilities for that in NZ: global peace and justice, occupy_aotearoa, local government politics, etc.

  10. AmaKiwi 10

    Hi, Carol.
     
    Here are the things I am working on at the moment. 
    First, the Labour Party is dying because it is “top down” leaderships.  I am trying to organize people around the Nov. 17 Annual Labour Party Conference in Auckland.  My personal issues:  One member; one vote.  The ability for the members (not caucus) to replace the leader when it is obvious he/she will not win the next election.
     
    Second, ousting Banks from parliament. 
    Public humiliation is powerful tool for change.  If Banks resigns it could tip the balance of power in Parliament.  Banks has a home in Auckland, a wife and teenage kids.  That means he is vulnerable.  What ideas do people in Epsom have to humiliate him into resigning?  How about people placing hoardings on their properties near Banks’ home demanding he resign?  How about leafleting his neighborhood advertising a huge “Farewell Banksie” street party?   I want to connect with Epsom people who want to use fun tactics to oust Banks.  But the ideas have to come from the people, not me.  Bottom up, NOT top down.
     

  11. Blue 11

    @Amakiwi “Banks has a home in Auckland, a wife and teenage kids”. Ok, thats pretty creepy if you’re thinking about his teenage kids as a target (for what I wonder?). Sadly I have come to expect nothing less than this type of shabby tactic from the left. Why don’t you try policies that resonate with middle New Zealand, they are the ones with voting power. Its not the beneficiaries, its not low income earners, its not the high income earners or business, its the middle. The ones who have to pay for everything and benefit from none of it. Consider them then you may get some power to change. Ignore them at your peril.

    • AmaKiwi 11.1

      Dear Blue,
       
      You are letting your imagination run wild.  I am NOT threatening John Banks’ kids with anything.
       
      One of the most effective ways to change a person’s behavior is social condemnation.  Banks has disgraced himself.  Even the NZ Herald told him to resign.  Being of thick skin, he probably assumes it will soon blow over.  If we accept we are powerless, we will be silent and Banks will remember it as a few bad weeks.
       
      I do not want it to quietly go away.  I want Banks out of Parliament.  If the people of Epsom are prepared to keep the pressure on (and have some fun doing it), the social condemnation of his neighbors, close friends, and family should soon cause him to leave Parliament.
       
      I have said in other postings the tactics used to solve any problem must be decided by the people who want to solve it and their assessment of the local situation.  In this case, the people of Epsom need to access Banks’ vulnerabilities and what tactics will work best.  I can only share what I have seen work elsewhere in similar situations.
       
      I would be delighted to hear any suggestions you have on how to remove Banks from Parliament in the next month or two.  Please share them here.  Hopefully others will offer their ideas, too. 
       
      I have seen mightier Totaras than Banks felled by persistent public condemnation.  I will not accept that we are powerless.
       
       

    • Colonial Viper 11.2

      Why don’t you try policies that resonate with middle New Zealand, they are the ones with voting power. Its not the beneficiaries, its not low income earners, its not the high income earners or business, its the middle.

      You’re an idiot. Half of all NZers have incomes of $28K or less.

      And they all get a vote. (The fact that many of them don’t regularly use it might just change…)

      • AmaKiwi 11.2.1

        To Colonial Viper
         
        I suspect “Blue” is not so much an idiot but rather Auckland National MP Jackie Blue.
         
        But back to the subject, can you help organize a community campaign to embarrass John Banks into resigning?  I am in West Auckland so Epsom is not quite my patch.  I am close enough to meet with people and offer my experience as a community organizer.
         
        Do you know people in the Epsom area who might like to have fun outing Banksie?

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      Middle NZ makes up about 20% of the population. IMO, better to target the ~75% at the bottom that are being ignored because everybody thinks the middle make up the majority.

      • Colonial Viper 11.3.1

        Middle NZ makes up about 20% of the population.

        However, the top 1/3 of households earn approx $85K pa and up, at a guess. And I will suggest that they lean National.

        AND it is not difficult to find beneficiaries and those on and near the minimum wage who vote for John Key. I mean, who else are they going to vote for?

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    Judith Collins has been coming under renewed pressure in Parliament over her endorsement of (and secret meetings with Chinese customs officials on behalf of) her husband's company Oravida. Meanwhile, John Key says he's perfectly comfortable with it. No wonder -...
    No Right Turn | 15-04
  • Divert excessive weapon spending to achieve clean energy future
    According to new figures released on Monday, last year a whopping US$1747 billion was spent on armies across the world. Modest decreases in spending in austerity hit Western Europe and reduced spending in the US, which is still the biggest spender...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 15-04
  • Whaleoil dishonestly accuses Helen Clark of dishonesty
      I suppose dishonestly reporting that someone else has behaved dishonestly could be regarded as a wonderful example of irony. But if the dishonesty of the reporter is transparent then it’s also a wonderful example of crass stupidity. Either way,...
    Brian Edwards | 15-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • 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 Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • 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 tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • 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.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • 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 but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • 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 tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • 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