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The circling vultures

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, February 11th, 2012 - 105 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, local government, privatisation - Tags: , , ,

People are waking up to National’s plan to remove the democratically-elected Christchurch City Council and replace it with its own hand-picked commissioners, who will then give a green light to Brownlee’s developer mates and the sale of council assets. You can already see the vultures circling – waiting for the chance to seize more public wealth for themselves.

Fran O’Sullivan, who seems to have made it her personal goal this year to promote the sale of everything New Zealand owns into foreign or private control, doesn’t mention sale of the council’s assets directly, but it’s there in code:

“it must surely be fast approaching the point where Parker either immerses himself full-time in leading his city through a very difficult period when tough fiscal choices must be made, or makes way for a new hard-nosed leader who can unite the divided council behind a common goal…

…Tough choices do have to be made.

The Government is stumping up an enormous amount of cash for the Canterbury rebuild. But the Earthquake Commission’s funds are exhausted. The kitty is bare and must be replenished. ..

…There is a desperate need to ensure businesses stay involved in Christchurch. Fancy urban plans are one thing – but sheer economics demand that Christchurch gets on with it soon.”

No-one’s denying that Parker’s a vainglorious fuckwit. He opportunistically used the first earthquakes to get re-elected and has shown himself to be useless at actually running a city – which is why the people of Christchurch were about to vote him out after one term before the media beatified him.

But that doesn’t mean that the entire council needs to be sacked. And it certainly doesn’t justify O’Sullivan’s “tough choices” to “replenish the kitty”  and “ensure businesses stay involved in Christchurch” – ie asset sales and giving carte blanche to developers (without a hint of irony, O’Sullivan later writes how letting developers ignore the rules in the 80s lead to the CTV Building collapse).

Christchurch will need the strategic control and the dividend stream that its council-owned assets give it even more in the coming years. The last thing it needs is a one-off sugar rush of sale revenue and, then, to be bound by demands of a few large private investors that have no interest in Christchurch other than as a source of  profits, while trying to build a city that will function for the whole community.

And the last thing this country needs is another of our CBDs turned into a developers’ disaster of cheaply-constructed buildings, poorly laid out and ugly. We have the opportunity to get Christchurch right and future-proofed. Get on with it, by all means, but don’t sacrifice quality in haste.

O’Sullivan isn’t the only neoliberal vulture circling, waiting for the chance to rip public wealth out of a wounded city and keep it for private gain. Stuff reports (in a tone that assumes asset sales are a foregone conclusion) that various large investment firms are lining up to get their mitts on the wealth built with ratepayer dollars. And why wouldn’t they? Those assets return $100m of profit a year, similar in scale to the slices of some of the SOEs the government is privatising.

Make no mistake, the crisis that National is generating around Auckland council, ably assisted by various shills, is about creating the opportunity to sell the Christchurch people’s assets and ensure the rebuild is focused on developers’ interests. The democratically-elected council is a road-block to that, and that’s why National will get rid of it, unless we fight them.

Incidentally, Christchurch was the only area of New Zealand where the number of National Party votes increased last election (despite a massive drop in turn-out there). That may be a testimony to Labour’s local MPs avoiding politicising the handling of the quakes, while no such quarter was given by National. Those extra few thousand votes in Christchurch are, ironically, all that gives National a majority for asset sales in the House. Don’t expect the people of Christchurch to be so generous in 2014 if National dismantles their local democracy and sells their common wealth.

105 comments on “The circling vultures”

  1. vto 1

    If Christchurch City Council needs $1,000 million…

    and it has assets which generate every year $100 million…

    then that is only ten years ….

    What the fuck is the problem? Dumb pricks.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      And it’d probably take more than ten years to actually spend the money anyway. Rebuilding Christchurch is going to take a long time no matter what anybody does. You don’t just rebuild a city in a day.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      They need $1,000m on top of the existing money that they have. That $100m annual income is already accounted for.

      • vto 1.2.1

        Yes I appreciate that. But as Draco says, the costs will be spread over a considerable time period.

        Perhaps I am being cynical and perhaps the National government act entirely above board and with no hidden agendas like they did with Ecan and their dairy farmers, but why is it that, out of $20 billion-odd that is supposedly needed to rebuild, we get just about all the way there but not quite. In fact, it seems that the amount we are short is pretty much the exact amount that the Christchurch citizens’ assets are worth….

        I don’t trust this National government and I don’t believe they act above board. So I view this with nothing but full and complete cynicism.

  2. Adders 2

    Gordon Campbell gets stuck in on this subject too:

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2012/02/10/gordon-campbell-on-banks-and-brownlees-christchurch-sellof/

    comparing the disparity between bank profits, drawn from the community and disappearing overseas, and the rebuild cost, amongst other things.

    The photo of Brownlee is worth a look by itself.

    • Interesting article, Adders. I note Brownlee saying,

      “Let me tell you, when the Government is spending $5.5b anywhere, we expect the recipients of that to have some plan for how they will participate in what will be a very, very expensive recovery. And that plan has to be a lot better than ‘we’re just going to put up the rates and we’re going to borrow a lot more money’.”

      Which is precisely what the National governmentr did; raise gst; raise ACC premiums; raise EQC levies; and borrowed $380 million a week until we were (last reported) $18 billion in debt.

      http://www.3news.co.nz/Government-accounts-show-184-billion-deficit/tabid/419/articleID/229052/Default.aspx

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10724665

      So it’s ok for Central government to raise taxes/charges/levies and borrow like crazy – but not Christchurch!?

      Ok, got it.

      • aerobubble 2.1.1

        Won’t CHCh get a windfall from construction? Hotels full, rentals full, people with jobs building the new CBD, etc, etc. ChCh projections surely are great considering all the insurance money. ChCh is set to for growth and growth means profits, and profits means investors rubbing their hands, and control of ChCh council necessarily means gifting contracts to the boom time.

        • vto 2.1.1.1

          bubble, the net end position is still negative.

          Kobe in Japan 16 years after their earthquake still has a GDP lower than it was previously.

          The sugar rush from reconstruction is just that – a sugar rush from the knock-out drugs while the patient lies comatose with all bones broken.

          • aerobubble 2.1.1.1.1

            Yes, but control of council means meal tickets for those with the connections surely.
            ChCh also is no Kobe, its ‘niche’ is not fickle manufacturing, its a regional south island agra hub and the farmers and tourists are not likely to leave.

            Overall, Earth population will continue to rise, so will ChCh population, so growth is pretty much assured, unlike Japan with its extreme aging problem. NZ depopulation is temporary due to poor governance from National avoiding the hard questions about the economy and producing more leaky home legislation in every industry and public service.

            Didn’t National declare better building technology meant it was okay to remove standards on house building and so create the leaky home problem. Isn’t the googification of all government services just another nice wishful decision whose ramifications are being ignored. What was the CCTV building but a break down in the code, the building of the code, and the consenting of the final build, all wrapped up in a PR we’re brilliant in ChCh, the council does not make mistakes. What is the Peak River Mine but the same PR safety par excellence PR gloss. What is the Clean Green image blitz. But NZ lying to itself with wiseful estimations because its cheaper in the short term.

            Of course the Council needs to be taken over so big money can by big PR to cover up the mess from under paid, over stretched second rate experts, of and cornering the profits for the few who got on the gravy train first. The NZ economy is one big rort for the few.

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    The council and Parker would have been sacked by now if they could find someone to run the show.

  4. vto 4

    Also, $1billion is only two-thirds of the $1.5billion paid out to the fools who put their money in South Canterbury Finance.

    This brainless idea of Brownlee’s is like selling the house to repair the car…. would Brownlee do that?

    There is no problem with paying for the repairs.

    The only problem is the deceitful desire of this National-Act-United Fuckers-Maori government. Just like the lie that was Creech’s report re Environment Canterbury. These people simply cannot be trusted.

    • Bored 4.1

      SFC fully illustrated the contempt with which the current NZ government treated the common garden tax payer (through the gaurantee scheme that encouraged more private investment at a higher rate with no fear of failure). The beneficiaries might just possibly be those with lots of money….sounds to me dreadfully like supporters and funders of the National Party could be in the frame? Might just be, who knows?

  5. ianmac 5

    Is it possible that Parker has a deal going with Government to collapse the CCC so that Commissioners can be appointed? Reluctantly of course! Previous experience was Parker’s involvement with ECan. (And later a safe seat as MP?)

    • Nick K 5.1

      Is it possible?

      That would mean Parker is acting in breach of the Local Government Act, and his oath he swears by once elected. In fact, I suspect it would be bloody treasonous for an elected Mayor to act like that, especially in a city that has been shattered by earthquakes.

      So no, I think that’s completely nuts and not at all likely nor possible.

      • felix 5.1.1

        You find it inconceivable that Parker could be a scumbag?

        Interesting.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        People have been treasonous (useless information of the day: that’s the original meaning of the word warlock) for a long time. Some people, most notably psychopaths, find breaking oaths quiet easy as they never took them seriously in the first place. As I’ve pointed out before, successful psychopaths tend to vote right and be the leaders of right-wing business and politics.

        • felix 5.1.2.1

          Never understood the point of oaths. Seems to me they only bind the honourable who by definition don’t need to be bound to an oath in order to behave honourably, while giving scumbags and psychopaths a free spin.

          Oh ok, I just twigged to the point of oaths.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1.1

            In olden style communities there were severe punishments for lying under oath, formal and informal. Perjury is an example; giving a false statement or statutory declaration another.

            These days with crony cartel capitalism seeping in everywhere people on the whole just let it pass. The institutions and civic leaders who are supposed to oversee due process seem busy with other things.

    • Hami Shearlie 5.2

      Not our Side-Show Bob? Surely someone with such carefully moderated tones would be above that type of behaviour?? Very lizard-like, our Bob, slithering here and slithering there, whichever way the wind blows, Benevolent Bob will be there, doing the carefully rehearsed “Sincerity Show”!

  6. Nick K 6

    “…who will then give a green light to Brownlee’s developer mates and the sale of council assets.”

    Who are these “developer mates”? Name them please.

    • Bored 6.1

      Collective term I suspect, theres a few here in Wellington I could easily name…as for being mates with Brownlee I doubt (who would be)?

      The word Ian might have used is “Carpetbaggers”. The derivation is post US Civil War when rich Northerners who had profited from the war travelled the desolated South fleecing the desparate broken losers. The money was in carpet bags, hence the term.

  7. Nick K 7

    Yes, I agree it seems to be a descriptive – he just made shit up.

  8. eljaydee 8

    I can hear them now. “So as not to unduly delay the reconstruction, regulation must be kept to a minimum so they developers will be able to build substandard housing and business premises and in 20 years time we can have another enquiry into how Christchurch could be rebuilt with leaky homes and office towers that couldn’t survive a flood. (Even I am not so cynical as to suggest they would let the eathquake standards drop… yet.)

  9. tsmithfield 9

    Except the government is expressing an extreme reluctance to appoint commissioners in Christchurch.

    I think you will find it is the Christchurch protesters who are probably more left aligned that are calling for the council to be sacked that would probably be quite happy with commissioners as an interim solution.

    If the government really wanted to replace the council with commissioners, I think they would have already done so, when they had a wave of popular support to deal to the existing council.

    • felix 9.1

      Yes, if the govt did want to dump a(nother) democratically elected body I expect they’d say “Actually we’re gagging for it”.

      Because that’s how politics works eh? You tell everyone exactly what your plans are, especially if they’re unpopular, and you never lie or obfuscate or flip-flop or plot or scheme in any way. No one has alterior motives. Just not the done thing old chap.

      Oh and there’s no “extreme reluctance” expressed in your link. Smith said

      the Government is not giving any consideration at this point

      (emphasis mine)

      That’s clearly not “extreme reluctance” it’s “leaving the door open”.

      In short, just more of your usual bullshit tsmithfield, the same old “you can’t complain about things that haven’t happened yet” to be followed by the same old “there’s no point complaining now that it’s happened”.

    • Zetetic 9.2

      expressing ‘extreme reluctance’ to do something and then doing it because there’s ‘no other option’ is a favourite play for this government.

    • tsmithfield, I understand that you also live in Christchurch (like me)?

      You’ll therefore be aware that the overwhelming call – both at the protest and in the letters to The Press – has been for new elections, not commissioners.

      I suspect that the government is ‘extremely reluctant’ to be seen to be the one pushing for commissioners. I think, strategically, their preference is, first, to pressure the council into doing what the government would like to see happen – sell assets, remove any serious consent process, etc..

      A second, less preferred because politically more risky tactic, is to act like Julius Caesar and thrice refuse the ‘crown’ – then take it with an ‘everyone wants us to’ deception.

      ‘Deception’ because not everyone – certainly not a majority in Christchurch – would want them to, but there will be lot’s of ‘important people’ – including this “largely anonymous group of business leaders” – singing from that hymnbook at a moment’s notice. You may remember that there was a business lobby group set up to do just that last year. 

      The mechanics may well involve appointing commissioners to “work alongside” the councillors; the reality will be that the councillors will be ‘consulted’ and otherwise allowed to choose the colour of CCC letterhead paper, and other significant matters. That would make it look like the council wasn’t being sacked – while, of course, it will have been.

      That’s my guess, anyway. 

  10. tsmithfield 10

    “That’s clearly not “extreme reluctance” it’s “leaving the door open”.”

    Of course its leaving the door open. It is extremely foolish to completely take an option completely off the table.

    However, if the government really did have the sinister objectives attributed to it by various commentators here, then the ideal time to take control would have been when there was popular demand for the existing council to be ousted.

    By appointing the observer they are giving the council an opportunity to become functional again. If the council is perceived as functional then the government would likely no longer have a popular mandate for appointing commissioners, and the opportunity would be lost. So, strategically, I just don’t see that the government has any desire to appoint commissioners, or they would have done so when the opportunity was most favourable for this move.

    My prediction is that unless the council deteriorates further then the government will take no further action. However, since politicians inherently crave positions of power, I predict that they will tow the line to avoid an outcome that strips them of their authority.

    We will see who was right in the fullness of time.

    • felix 10.1

      I’m extremely reluctant to say you’re full of shit. They’ll take down the council when all their ducks are in a row and it won’t matter a fig how the council is performing because that has nothing to do with the reason for taking them down.

    • vto 10.2

      tsmithfield, do you think there may be a possibility that the “observer” at the Christchurch City Council is similar to the “report” by Wyatt Creech on Environment Canterbury??

      Creech and cohorts were simply lying bastards making shit up to suit their agenda and obviously the “report” gave cover to what Nick Smith, John Key and David Carter and their farming mates wanted to with water in Canterbury. If you don’t believe me then read what former judge and current commissioner Skelton has said about it. He says exactly this, although in more diplomatic terms.

      I note Wyatt Creech is now being charged for dishonesty offences regarding finance companies he was associated with. He is not and clearly never has been a man to be trusted. (I also note other National party members and former government ministers no less, Doug Graham, Bill Jeffries and John Luxton are also being charged with dishonesty offences. I mean, how many other organisations have this proportion of members in the dock, outside of criminal gangs? How many tsmithfield?)

      Do you seriously think the exact same game plan is not a possibility with the “observer” having been recently appointed?

  11. vto 11

    Just read Fran’s piece, which is really quite a piece of useless poos. Substanceless poos.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    Strategically, if they were going to do it, the optimal time would have been when there was a demand for change. Shit, there was even councillors themselves requesting that the government appoint commissioners. They would have been “striking while the iron was hot” if they appointed commissioners at that time.

    Anyway, why would they bother appointing commissioners when they have all the power they need already through CERA?

    • felix 12.1

      You presume to know the optimal strategic time for something you admit you don’t understand the strategic reason for doing at all?

      I think that provides a fair estimate of the weight of your opinion.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    There were plenty of articles here such as this decrying the loss of democratic process due to CERA. According to commentators to “the Standard” such as Eddie, CERA seems to assume all power including power over council processes. So, why bother appointing a commissioner. Why not just tell them to fuck off and put the big people in CERA in control?

    • felix 13.1

      That’s an argument you’ll probably have to have with yourself, your hypotheticals are of no particular interest to me.

      And as you’ve said, you don’t know why anyway.

    • Zetetic 13.2

      because CERA doesn’t let the govt do everything (like set rates, for example). It does let the government force the council to sell its assets, but it would be politically harder to do with the council opposing the move, taking things through the courts etc.

  14. johnm 14

    My reaction is our RWNJ Government is using this disaster to do a bit of the “Shock Doctrine” of Disaster Capitalism as clearly explained by Naomi Klein. The well paid Shills know where their bank balances are padded and join in: TINA There is no alternative which is absolute rubbish.

    Our Hawaiin Presi likes the U$$$$$$ way of the richer get richer, the common good to him is communism!(utter U$$$ rubbish propaganda)

    Why The Right Loves A Disaster
    By Naomi Klein – January 27th, 2008

    [deleted]

    To be sure, desperate countries will generally do what it takes to get a bailout. An atmosphere of panic also frees the hands of politicians to quickly push through radical changes that would otherwise be too unpopular, such as privatization of essential services, weakening of worker protections and free-trade deals. In a crisis, debate and democratic process can be handily dismissed as unaffordable luxuries.

    Do the free-market policies packaged as emergency cures actually fix the crises at hand? For the ideologues involved, that has mattered little. What matters is that, as a political tactic, disaster capitalism works. It was the late free-market economist Milton Friedman, writing in the preface to the 1982 reissue of his manifesto, “Capitalism and Freedom,” who articulated the strategy most succinctly. “Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.”

    [deleted]

    Every crisis is an opportunity; someone will exploit it. The question we face is this: Will the current turmoil become an excuse to transfer yet more public wealth into private hands, to wipe out the last vestiges of the welfare state, all in the name of economic growth? Or will this latest failure of unfettered markets be the catalyst that is needed to revive a spirit of public interest, to get serious about the pressing crises of our time, from gaping inequality to global warming to failing infrastructure?

    The disaster capitalists have held the reins for three decades. The time has come, once again, for disaster populism.

    Refer link: http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2008/01/why-right-loves-disaster

    No we must not sell ChCh’s assets their income will be invaluable for the reconstruction democracy not privatized greed must lead us to a new and attractive Christchurch. Civic Pride from a people’s city not a privatized profit driven alienated concrete jungle. The U$$$$ is full of the latter inhuman concrete city jungles where the person becomes a meaningless ant crawling around, a universe away from the centres of money power.Privatization is antithetical to democracy.

    [lprent: quoted material snipped to a size acceptable to both this sites requirement, and the strictures of copyright. It also makes the point easier to see without the examples. ]

  15. tsmithfield 15

    Anyway, it seems we are going nowhere with this. The lefties here seem to see this as some sort of sinister plot, whereas I see it as left wing paranoia.

    Felix, how about you take me up on a wager:

    Lets give it six months from this date to allow plenty of time for this nefarious plan to be implimented.
    If commissioners are appointed within this time to take over the council, I will confess publicly on this site that I am nothing but a fool, that you are supremely wise, and that I grovel at your feet. However, if no commissioners are appointed over that time, you will state publicly exactly the same to me.

    [lprent: no bets around here please. Big bruvs one was a pain in the arse. ]

    • felix 15.1

      Why not make it by next Tuesday if we’re just making up arbitrary dates? Or by the election? Or by the end of the world in December?

      But sorry no, I don’t take bets from people I don’t trust and you’ve proved yourself a cretin too many times to count.

      • tsmithfield 15.1.1

        “Why not make it by next Tuesday if we’re just making up arbitrary dates? Or by the election? Or by the end of the world in December?”

        Make it a year if you want. Plenty of time for the “token” observer to fail and the government to step in with their commissioners.

        “But sorry no, I don’t take bets from people I don’t trust and you’ve proved yourself a cretin too many times to count.”

        Well, there are plenty of observers to witness the wager and hold both of us to account. And if I’m such a cretin, then it should be a fairly sure thing for you.

        Unless, of course, you don’t really believe what you’re spouting, and you’re really a little bit scared of having to front up and grovel to me.

        Four words for you:

        Booooooork bork bork bork. :smile:

        • burt 15.1.1.1

          He’s a lefty. He’ll quickly repeat any other lefties world view as if it’s his own but will he stand by it when pushed – never !

          They don’t know how to back themselves, that’s why they fill the dole queues and rely on our taxes to supplement their income. No risk – no reward.

          • tsmithfield 15.1.1.1.1

            I know. That’s why I was quite happy to make the challenge. I knew he wouldn’t have the guts to take it up.

            • burt 15.1.1.1.1.1

              The thing is – as an ‘anonymous’ poster there is no shame in admitting you were wrong. Hell if I didn’t sit on your side of this debate I’d happily take you on. Imagine… OMG some blogger called ‘burt’ had to admit he was wrong… oh the shame – how could I leave the house !

              His back down is actually hilarious…

              • tsmithfield

                Yeah I know. I’d be happy to do the wager under my real name. His sudden absence from the conversation speaks volumes. Probably too ashamed to show up now.

                • felix

                  Yes clearly. Are you over yourself yet?

                  Why don’t you have a bet with burt instead? He’s as likely as you to honour it.

                  • tsmithfield

                    Yes Felix.

                    Everyone here knows you declined to take that wager on a matter of principle, and that is nothing whatsoever to do with being shit scared of being proved wrong and having to grovel to someone you consider to be a “cretin” by your own words.

                    • felix

                      Proved wrong about what? You’re trying to get me to bet on something I haven’t even expressed a view on.

                      Here’s what I’ve actually said:

                      1. You were dishonest to say Nick Smith expressed “extreme reluctance” when the piece you linked to said no such thing.

                      2. His phrasing deliberately leaves open the option that the govt will at some point take control of Chch local govt.

                      3. They’ll do this when it suits them not when it suits you.

                      Now fuck off and make a bet with yourself about any hypothetical you like and stop trying to put words in my mouth.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “Here’s what I’ve actually said:

                      1. You were dishonest to say Nick Smith expressed “extreme reluctance” when the piece you linked to said no such thing.”

                      What you said was that if he was “leaving the door open” he couldn’t be expressing extreme reluctance. However, it is quite possible to be extremely reluctant do take a course of action, but still have the course of action on the table.

                      Whether it is extreme reluctance or not is open to interpretation from the context of what he said. For instance, he was open to giving them advice, wanted them to stop poking the borax at each other and had no current plans to appoint a commissioner. It seems clear from this that he had a strong preference for the councillors to sort their own shit out.

                      “2. His phrasing deliberately leaves open the option that the govt will at some point take control of Chch local govt.”

                      Agreed.

                      “3. They’ll do this when it suits them not when it suits you.”

                      Rubbish. Nick Smith said the council had weeks not months to sort their shit out. So, the time frame I gave of a year was actually being very generous to you.

                      You need to increase your spatial awareness of what is being said in the media.

                    • felix

                      “What you said was that if he was “leaving the door open” he couldn’t be expressing extreme reluctance.”

                      Err no I didn’t, that’s a lie. I said he left the door open and he didn’t express “extreme reluctance”. See why I don’t trust you?

                      “Whether it is extreme reluctance or not is open to interpretation from the context of what he said.”

                      Oh goodness, you finally got there. It’s your phrase, you made it up and inserted it into the discussion in a way that implied that it was obvious and not really debatable, and it’s a hell of a lot stronger than anything anyone said in the link you provided.

                      “Rubbish. Nick Smith said the council had weeks not months to sort their shit out.”

                      Sorry tsmithfield, I thought I was responding to the link you actually posted, not everything else you might or might not have read lately. See why I don’t trust you yet?

                      “So, the time frame I gave of a year was actually being very generous to you.”

                      Exactly, it’s your time frame related to your argument and nothing to do with anything I’ve said. Which is precisely why I’m extremely reluctant to bet with people like you.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “Err no I didn’t, that’s a lie. I said he left the door open and he didn’t express “extreme reluctance”. See why I don’t trust you?”

                      Don’t try and weasel out of what you said and have the gall to call me a liar in the process. Here is what you said exactly:

                      “That’s clearly not “extreme reluctance” it’s “leaving the door open”.”

                      You framed the concepts as mutually exclusive, not co-existing.

                      “It’s your phrase, you made it up and inserted it into the discussion in a way that implied that it was obvious and not really debatable, and it’s a hell of a lot stronger than anything anyone said in the link you provided.”

                      Wrong. It can be reasonably inferred from what was said. Nick Smith indicated preferred that the parties work out their own differences rather than have him step in, and the commissioner option was not under active consideration. It hardly sounds like he was gagging to get into it.

                      “Sorry tsmithfield, I thought I was responding to the link you actually posted, not everything else you might or might not have read lately. See why I don’t trust you yet?”

                      Except it was widely publicised at the time, including on TV. You would have had to have been on another planet to have missed it. I’m sorry. Perhaps you were.

                      “Exactly, it’s your time frame related to your argument and nothing to do with anything I’ve said. Which is precisely why I’m extremely reluctant to bet with people like you.”

                      I made it clear I was happy for you to name any time frame you would have liked. A year seemed plenty of time, given the apparently sinister ambitions of the government that are barely holding themselves back.

                    • felix

                      First bit: No, I never framed them as mutually exclusive and anyone can scroll up and see the context.

                      Last bit: You don’t get to decide what I might think is a reasonable timeframe for your hypotheticals.

                      I’m not going to bother reading the rest of your comment as a quick skim indicates it’s just repetition of all the same bullshit I’ve already addressed.

                      You can carry on arguing with yourself as long as you like, I’m quite happy to let what I’ve said stand.

                • burt

                  tsmithfield

                  Do you think the bit where I said;

                  if I didn’t sit on your side of this debate I’d happily take you on

                  Would have sunk in if a lefty said it ?

    • burt 15.2

      Lefties… never prepared to put their own money where somebody else’s mouth is….

      • muzza 15.2.1

        Righties, always happy to put somebody else’s money in “their mates” pockets (usually borrowed offshore from other mates), while claiming expensives fees for consultancy work, then taking a directors role on the boards of the companies pockets they lined, while being a shareholder in the company that profited!

      • KJT 15.2.2

        Lefties. Pay taxes and work building the country up, after every time the right does their best to fuck it.

        • burt 15.2.2.1

          Yes, that right…. all them hard working tax payers… they all vote left don’t they…. all them hard core benefit rorters with a massive sense of entitlement to other peoples money… they voted for less benefits. Doooh!

          • muzza 15.2.2.1.1

            Actually I pay quite alot of tax, and what fucks me off more than anything, is the corporate facism of “the right” – whatever colour they happen to fly!

            Your talk of rights to others money is hilarious, as if “the right” do not think that, so take your ignorant stereotypes and…

            Jog on!

        • burt 15.2.2.2

          A decade of deficit forecast after 9 years of ‘prudent’ economic mis-management… yep, that’s building the county up. You lefties just never learn.

      • Righties – all in favour of the free market and condemning the role of Government in commerce – until they need to be bailed out.

        Lefties – having to bail out Corporations like Goldman Sachs, AIG, Bank of Scotland, General Motors, Lehmann Bros, our own Finance Companies, etc, etc, etc, since 2008.

        It would be hilarious – if it weren’t for our taxes propping up this rotting system.

    • tsmithfield 15.3

      “lprent: no bets around here please. Big bruvs one was a pain in the arse.”

      Yeah. I remember that.

      Anyway, I’ve done enough to make my point.

      Having said that, this one would be fairly easy to enforce. If the loser didn’t front up, you could just ban them until they did.

      [lprent: Why would I care? The only thing the bruv one reminded me was how long those turgid discussions drag on for. And yeah I know. To my eternal shame (and penultimate boredom) I threw gasoline on to the flames. ]

      • felix 15.3.1

        And what was your point again? Oh, that no-one trusts you. Fair enough.

        • tsmithfield 15.3.1.1

          Nah. That you are happy to make snide little remarks when it doesn’t cost you anything. But when it actually comes to putting something on the line for your beliefs, even if it is as trivial as having to grovel under the disguise of a pseudonym, you cower away and come up with the most pathetic excuses for avoiding the challenge.

          • felix 15.3.1.1.1

            1. Not that it’s any of your business, I’m not using a pseudonym.

            2. Why would I bet on something you just made up?

            3. These attempts to pretend I’ve said things I haven’t are just highlighting your poor character.

          • burt 15.3.1.1.2

            The lefties don’t like being proven wrong do they. Guess that’s why they keep repeating the same mistakes and f##king up the economy every time they touch it.

            • felix 15.3.1.1.2.1

              Proved wrong about what burt? I get proved wrong all the time so you’ll have to be more specific.

            • Dv 15.3.1.1.2.2

              GFC
              Yep that was the lefties fault!

              • burt

                Dv

                Well starting with the sub-prime mortgage crisis which was arguably a result of political pressure on large US state lenders to extend credit beyond normal risk criteria for better political outcomes… it probably was the lefties that f##ked it up.

                • dv

                  But who did the slicing and dicing and selling in the secondary market of the sub prime derivatives!!
                  Who pushed for the removal of the financial controls in the late 1990s
                  Who pulled huge bonuses?

                  • burt

                    Who wanted the better social indicators for home ownership ratios… Sorry dude wanting to gloat about percentages of home ownership in lower socioeconomic areas isn’t a righty thing to do. It’s a left leaning govt desire to look effective.

                    Sure like a lot of things the desire for better ‘looking’ outcomes was taken advantage of by the wealthy – the unintended consequences of social intervention. (lefty social intervention)

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The home ownership ratios were a deliberate ploy to increase leverage throughout the economy. “Real” lefties would have had public housing schemes, and not financed/subsidised the private sector for their profit making schemes.

                    • burt

                      Real lefties… now we are getting somewhere.

                    • muzza

                      Still buying into the left right scam eh…

                      Sad!

                    • burt

                      Oh muzza, keep up. It’s not just lefties and righties – It’s lefties, righties and real lefties.

                    • burt

                      muzza

                      I think the terms are complete crap, but it seems essential to acknowledge them on this blog because if you’re not a lefty you are the enemy !

                      How relevant was a simple classification from 1789 in todays political landscape ?
                      see wiki: Left-right politics

                      The term takes no account for anything that is important in how we consider politics. It’s the simple physical divide of a seating arrangement in a game of popularity.

          • tsmithfield 15.3.1.1.3

            “1. Not that it’s any of your business, I’m not using a pseudonym.”

            Fair enough. But it still doesn’t give enough information to identify you in the real world. So its pretty much the same in effect to a pseudonym.

            “2. Why would I bet on something you just made up?”

            Read my reply and the link I gave to you other recent post. Nick Smith said the council had “weeks not months” to sort their shit out. So, one year is actually being very generous to you, and its certainly based on a lot more than just making something up in my head.

            “3. These attempts to pretend I’ve said things I haven’t are just highlighting your poor character.”

            Nah. As I pointed out, you don’t really understand what you said, and you don’t take enough notice of what is being said in the media.

  16. peterlepaysan 16

    Christchurch will not be rebuilt while Fletchers screw every other building company
    to even operate in Christchurch in rebuilding.

    The terms and conditions they are demanding are driving building contractors away.

    The insurance company’s reluctance to pay is not helpful.

    John Key must really hate/fear Brownlee to have given him this poisoned chalice.

    • Fortran 16.1

      For the record – Insurance Companies will pay as and when the specific claims are settled.
      Overseas wholesalers are sitting on billions of dollars and are ready to settle when the insurance companies actually makes their claim.
      There is no shortage of money – thanks to the foresight of EQC in reinsuring a large part of their liabilty offshore.
      First – stop the city having aftershocks – lets hope that there is not another “Earthquake” – aftershocks show settlement, but it could take 10 years – after all it has not happened before in living or known history in Christchurch.
      Council should grow up and accept that the CBD cannot be resurrected. No insurance company will take the risk at present, because its overseas support insurer will not give protection.
      How many staff will return to the CBD – would you ?
      So get on with creating new, probably, satelites in the meantime.

  17. Rodel 17

    Talked with a Christchurch city councillor who said there really is no problem within the council except for the mayor. Said they all got along well, have robust debates and all work hard for the betterment of Christchurch albeit from different but not incompatible viewpoints.

    They are all annoyed by the Christchurch Press trying to undermine them with its false outrage and blame.
    The councillor I spoke to voted against the CEO’s salary increment; (I agree with that) but that it may be the intention of the Nats to appoint commissioners and create reasons why they should sell the council’s assets (the assets currently owned by people of Christchurch) similar to their strategy of selling us our own national assets. The Nats have never liked Christchurch’s ownership of strategic assets.. Remember the ‘People’s republic of Christchurch,’ comment by some forgotten right wing politician years ago.(Made into a popular bumper sticker by the then mayor).

    Some within the protest movement have been (mis)led to believe that new elections are the answer ; they have been influenced partially by the vendetta of the Press trying to convince people that the council as a whole is dysfunctional. It’s hard to see what the Press’s agenda is, apart from increasing sales.

    The only dysfunction I see is the officious attitude of the council triumvirate and the inability of the Press to be fair, balanced and unafraid. Yech!!

  18. vto 18

    Hey tsmithfield, I see you ignored my question above… I’ll try again.

    Do you believe that Wyatt Creech’s report (he who is being charged with dishonesty offences, is a former Nat govt mninister, and has a large owenership stake in the dairy industry) into Ecan was genuine, full and honest and was not a ploy to provide cover for the Nats to grab water for their daity farmer voters? If you do then you go against former judge Peter Skelton’s opinion on it.

    Secondly, do you think there is no possibility that the appointment of an “observer” could be a similar move to provide cover for a similar plan, such as grabbing the assets?

    Third, has anybody anywhere in your life conspired against you? Your boss, your partner, your colleagues, your neighbours? Do you imagine that conspiracies have never existed in the world?

  19. Red Rosa 19

    The ChCh September EQ, the February EQ, and the thousands of minor shocks in the last 18 months would be challenging for any group of organizations to deal with. The ChCh City Council is of course only part of the recovery picture, but a very visible and an elected part.

    Sadly, as in the stress of wartime, some people who in normal circumstances could do a competent job prove to be completely out of their depth. This seems to be the case now with Parker, and maybe the majority of the council.

    It is worth noting also that the ChCh Labour vote, in the 2011 general election held with all this vividly in mind, collapsed as badly as in the rest of NZ. It can be no comfort to the ChCh Left that ChCh Central, a safe Labour seat for 3 generations, was lost to National in November 2011, and the other Labour members fared badly too.

    Understandably, many ChCh residents are looking for effective and inclusive leadership to get the city back on its feet. It will need huge commitment from the whole community, but especially by business large and small, to restore jobs and infrastructure.

    All this is easily said. It may be that the existing organizations and processes are simply inadequate, and ChCh may be ready to accept this. Many of us who wish ChCh well are keeping an open mind meantime.

    • burt 19.1

      I tend to agree with you here. I’m just grateful we didn’t get Jolly Jim – imagine his approach… Lets ban earthquakes because just like drugs banning them will be sooooo effective !

      Oh, we could also ban reporting them because then people won’t know they are happening and that makes the problem go away as well !

  20. TighyRighty 20

    People are waking up to…? It’s there in code? Nats under the bed?

    Even if your tinfoil hat conspiracy theory is true, apart from Parker and maryatt, who gives a fuck? Christchurch need to be sorted out and this is proving difficult given the usual lefty cant’s on the council you’d expect in Christchurch.

    I do find your hypocritical outrage about maryatt hilarious though. I thought public servants should be paid heaps? Is it because he’s not a proper lefty that it’s ok to attack a public servant?

    • muzza 20.1

      “Even if your tinfoil hat conspiracy theory is true” – Love the use of the (not so subtle) run downs when adressing what is really just a reasonable line of thought…

      It is not mathematically possible for NZ to ever be able to pay off our foreign debt!

      Is that a conspiracy theory?

      You think you are in control of your own life, but really you have no idea the degree of control over you!

      • “It is not mathematically possible for NZ to ever be able to pay off our foreign debt!”

        Indeed.

        This may be off interest to neo-liberals, free marketeers, and others who have an unyielding faith in Friedmanite economics…

        I refer folks attention to the following graphs:

        New Zealand Current Account
        http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/current-account

        (extend Date Selection to 1965 from drop-down box)

        New Zealand Exports
        http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/exports

        (extend Date Selection to 1951 from drop-down box)

        As is plain to see, the more we export, the GREATER our current account deficit gets.

        Why?

        Because (amongst other things), profits from privatised SOEs; foreign owned farms; and foreign owned businesses are repatriated to overseas investors. (Eg; Aussie own banks which recently ‘exported’ $2 billion-plus back to Australia as dividends. That includes the privatised BNZ, and what used to to be the POSB.)

        If an exporter is foreign owned, the more they export, the more profits are made, and more dividends repatriated overseas.

        Which is the prime reason why selling farms – and other exporting companies – to overseas investors is an ultimately self-defeating exercise.

        The data shows the results.

        Data from both graphs are ex Statistics NZ.

        • Macro 20.1.1.1

          But you tell that to the Gosman’s of this world and they will never believe you! (With apologies to Monty)
          NRT has an excellent post on the export of NZ funds by Australian own banks, and the fundamental stupidity of hocking off more to foreign buyers.

        • Macro 20.1.1.2

          But you tell that to the Gosman’s of this world and they will NEVER believe you! (with apologies to Monty P)

          NRT has an excellent post on the export of NZ funds to Australia. With the corollary that continued sales of assets to foreign owners merely exacerbates the problem.

        • muzza 20.1.1.3

          Good stuff Frank..

          Our earnings have only exceeded our borrowings on less than a handfull of occasions since the creation of the national debt of NZ in 1833. Those occasions have all been temporary anomalies, food sales during WW2, Korean war wool boom, and proceeds of debt repayment crisis forced assets sales 1961-1999!

        • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.4

          I notice a major deterioration in the current account stats starting during the 5th Labour Govt. We needed to deal to the private debt bubble back then – but that would have hurt the top 20% of NZ society who were enjoying seeing house prices go through the ceiling.

          debt repayment crisis forced assets sales 1961-1999!

          I presume you mean 1991-1999 muzza.

          • muzza 20.1.1.4.1

            I use the date 1961, as that is the year NZ was first put into receivership at hands of IMF and we handed over our gold stocks for continued loans access…SOE sales came as a result of those loans later on…

  21. vto 21

    In case any of you dipsticks hadn’t noticed, the rebuild cannot get underway while the earthquakes are still going on. The last ones, several between 5.0 and 6.0, were only 6 weeks ago and resulted in many more buildings needing to come down. If the December 23 earthquakes had been the day before the Feb 22 ones then the city would have fallen under them, such was their scale.

    In addition, insurance is still not available for new builds. Nor is it available for Council infrastructure and assets. Surely the effect of a lack of insurance on financing builds doesn’t need explaining……. or maybe it does.

    There are a lot of comments, like Fran O’Sulivan’s piece, which do not even acknowledge this full frontal bit of reality. It is like the likes of Fran simply forgot these thiings when penning their comments, rendering their opinions worthless. tightpantsirghty, burt and tsmithfield all exhibit this with their comments above, as well as believing that conspiratorial behaviour is something only found in storybooks.

    Come back when you have a proper understanding and a thinking brain.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Christchurce building owners are taking the insurance money payouts for their destroyed buildings/houses and in many cases, I believe, deciding to re-invest that money in the only property market in NZ still experiencing strong capital appreciation. Auckland.

      • vto 21.1.1

        Yes. The vast bulk of building owners are, with their buildings, investors. They are in investment. They are not in business or in development or in trade or in anything else.

        Number one rule of investment is certainty.

        How much certainty is there in Christchurch at the moment? None.

        It is a simple flow of logic that sees this draining …

        And in fact that leads right around to the various issues raised around leadership here and its effect on certainty – both from within and from without. The lack of quality leadership etc which sees that uncertainty become even worse. Or rather, it sees the naturally existing uncertainty not being improved by the hand of leaders.

        And that in fact turns an awful lot on the point of mine made immediately above regarding the continuing earthquakes (next ones in May, apparently) and the lack of insurance.

        The whole thing really is a tangle of convolution and chain.

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    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
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  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
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  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
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  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
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  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
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  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
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  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
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  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
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  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
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  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
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  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
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  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
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  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
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  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
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  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
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  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
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  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
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  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
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  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
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  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
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  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
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  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
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  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
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  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
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  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
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  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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