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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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    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • I feel sorry for Labour Party members and supporters
    I feel really sorry for the members and supporters of the Labour Party as they watch their caucus tear itself to shreds. And no matter what the outcome of the coming leadership race Labour members and supporters will be the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Ummmm, why is Auckland Transport spying on Aucklanders?
    Ummm. What? Sophisticated surveillance coming to Auckland Surveillance technology that uses high definition cameras and software that can put names to faces and owners to cars is coming to Auckland. The surveillance has the capability to also scan social media...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • It. Is. About. The. Economy. Stupid.
    Liam Dann does a good job of explaining the positive and negative issues looming for the NZ economy and as dairy prices plunge again overnight alongside a large Wall st sell off  and China Bank rumours begin, his case for the negative...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Don’t think of it as reinvading Iraq, think of it as redecorating Iraq
    I think some NZers view Iraq like an episode of The Block. Yes Iraq is the worst country on the street, but with a bit of elbow grease by our SAS and some great deals down at Bunnings, hey presto we...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Mana Maori alliance
    Most Maori you speak to on the street can’t understand why Mana movement and  Maori Party don’t combine it confuses them why Maori are divided cross benches in Parliament instead of a unified political power that represents 15% of the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • How You Can Help the Homeless
    At any one time, there are an estimated 357 homeless people in Central Auckland alone, many enduring hardships beyond the rain, wind and cold of sleeping rough. October 10 is World Homeless Day when the public are invited to learn...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Over 20% of Gold Production Now Pledged to Kiwifruit Claim
    Kiwifruit growers representing over 20% of New Zealand gold kiwifruit production have already pledged to join The Kiwifruit Claim, the chairman of the claim’s grower committee, John Cameron, said today....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • ‘Creepy’ Decision on Up-Skirt Filming Slammed
    Family First NZ says that a discharge without conviction given to a man who filmed up a woman's dress in a Wellington department store is a ‘creepy’ decision that should concern all people who value their privacy. “This decision by...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Speaker leads delegation to CPA Conference
    Strengthening New Zealand’s ties with parliaments from across the world will be the focus of the upcoming delegation to the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 4-10 October and the 131st Inter-Parliamentary...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Response to Russell Brown and Tertiary Education Union
    The allegation that I have worked with others to discredit public health efforts is wrong. My public comments in relation to public health researchers have been where academics have mislead the public about official support or endorsement, and where...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • 17 jobs lost as Bridon/Cookes reaches the end of its rope
    Seventeen workers at the iconic Bridon/Cookes wire rope company in Auckland are to be made redundant as the company ceases production in New Zealand. The company has blamed the high New Zealand dollar for making it uncompetitive to keep the...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Slip in University Rankings – Funding Not the Problem
    Responding to the slippage of New Zealand universities' rankings , Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Time to rethink police chases, says safety campaigner
    Police chases are dangerous and generally unnecessary, says the American Federal Bureau of Investigation....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Robertson now expected to be Labour leader by Xmas
    Grant Robertson is now overwhelmingly picked to become the next leader of the Labour Party by the end of the year, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Another potential Labour...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Documenting historic Māori land law cases for the first time
    A new book from Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law will continue to put the spotlight on Māori Land Law judgments which have never before been published....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • ‘Oily’ people greet Petroleum Summit diners
    Greenpeace activists smeared in fake oil have greeted guests arriving at the part-Statoil sponsored Petroleum Summit dinner this evening....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Key Decisions Made About Labour’s Leadership Election
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has made the key decisions about the timetable and process around the election of Labour’s Party Leader. The result will be announced on Tuesday 18th November, following a comprehensive and extensive process unique...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Suspected $6 Million Dollar Wananga Fraud Alarming
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on on the Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi to front up over claims the Wananga has pocketed government overpayments amounting to $6 million of taxpayers' money. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
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lprent: At the request of Tim Barnett, Labour's returning officer, the Karen Price/Clayton Cosgrove post has been withdrawn during the primary.