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The Cyprus solution

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, March 26th, 2013 - 48 comments
Categories: capitalism, economy, Europe - Tags: , , , ,

One of the consequences of the big banks being allowed to socialise their losses (have taxpayers pay for their bailouts) is the sovereign debt crisis that is messily unfolding in Europe. The latest hotspot is Cyprus.

One of the EU proposals for dealing the debt in Cyprus was to “levy” (simply take) a percentage of all bank deposits in the country. That led to mass protests, panic, a run on banks, and a government backdown. (It also sent a shock wave through other countries, and at home in NZ speculation that National was preparing for a similar process, followed by a lot of learned reassurance that such a thing could never happen here.)

Now we have the next stage of the unfolding situation in Cyprus:

Cyprus strikes last-minute EU bailout deal

Agreement set to involve heavy losses for wealthy investors, while those with savings under €100,000 will be spared

European leaders reached an agreement with Cyprus early on Monday morning that closes down the island’s second-biggest bank and inflicts huge losses on wealthy savers. …

A meeting of eurozone finance ministers that started six hours late reached an agreement in the early hours of Monday morning to finalise the fine print of the deal. Savers with deposits of less than €100,000 (£85,000) would be spared but it was thought there would be heavy losses inflicted on the deposits of the wealthy.

Laiki, or Cyprus Popular Bank, is to be closed, with its good assets transferred to Bank of Cyprus, the country’s biggest bank, where savers would suffer big losses in return for equity shares. Those with more than €100,000 in Laiki would also be hit hard.

There is some justification for this move as a form of (albeit fairly extreme!) progressive taxation (and also in the suggestion that many of those big accounts are held by foreigners as a tax dodge). None the less a solution that hits the wealthy instead of the poor, for a change, is certainly notable. I can’t help but think that it is going to send a shiver up the spines of the ultra-wealthy international money set. How will they respond? What next for Cyprus and the EU? Interesting times.

48 comments on “The Cyprus solution”

  1. A,

    I really wish you would stop using the word taxation for what really is theft. Added to that it isn’t the really wealthy who get screwed unless you consider everyone with savings over €100,000 wealthy.

    The brutal theft of peoples savings over which they have it may be assumed to have paid their taxes to pay for the derivatives gambles of their bank is outrageous and while I am happy to hear that the church is losing some €100 million indicating that they must have some €350 million in their bank accounts (so much for them helping the poor) the reality is that the money will go to the really rich i.e. the private interests that rule the global banking system at the cost of the middle class and the sort of better off than most.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      A bank is a business, if it fails you lose your money. No difference from a finance company

      • MrSmith 1.1.1

        The difference is the Government bails you out if your a bank Ghost, and even sometimes if your a finance company especially when enough of your farmer mate stand to lose their shirts.

  2. infused 2

    It can happen anywhere. Regardless of the insurance. Who funds the insurance?

    • grumpy 2.1

      The old BNZ had their losses insured by a company registered in the Cook Islands……

  3. prism 3

    Added to that it isn’t the really wealthy who get screwed unless you consider everyone with savings over €100,000 wealthy”

    I think all ordinary people would consider that having this sum of savings indicated being wealthy – it is $200,000 odd in spare money.

    The sacked bank teller in Cyprus who was interviewed on radio this morning was beside herself – how will she live, get more paid work, there is no social security.

    • Tiresias 3.1

      No, EU100,000 = NZ$154,000

      You are defining ‘ordinary people’ purely in cash terms? If you have $155,000 in the bank you can’t be an ‘ordinary person’?

      So you can’t be an ordinary person if you own a $250,000 home mortgage free? Suppose you’re a single child and your parents have just died leaving you with $500,000 house they worked all their lives to leave to you, which you sell to pay off your own mortgage and put the rest in the bank for your kid’s university fees, or your retirement, or a new car and that big holiday you’ve always dreamed of next year.

      Have you considered that whatever your income, there are a great many people in Africa, Asia and South America would have a hard time not regarding YOU as wealthy?

      • prism 3.1.1

        tiresias you have hit it on the nail. anyone who has the sort of financial situation you refer to is in an extraordinary position – they are in a different strata than their ordinary friends and family. the opportunities that mortgage free or thousands that are spare cash in the bank allows change one’s outlook on life. and don’t waste my time with your relativism. we are talking about the experience of the economy in a developed country.

  4. Tiresias 4

    Do you honestly think this is a solution that ‘hits the wealthy’?

    Do you honestly think ‘the wealthy’ have their wealth sitting in bank deposit accounts?

    No. ‘The wealthy’ own property, own shares and businesses, own precious metals and art-works none of which are being sequestered in this grab – which is almost entirely designed to prevent debt-default losses falling on the wealthy who own banks or who have shares and bonds in German, French, Dutch, Italian and Greek Banks who stood to lose if the Cypriot banks went under.

    This hits depositors at a single moment in time. Your business just received a payment for work done under a contract? You have your firm’s payroll handled by Laiki and transfer funds in to meet it? You just sold your business and were looking invest in another? Your surviving parent just died and their estate was being wound up for distribution? You were a small, conscientious saver looking to your retirement who didn’t trust the share-market but wanted to help Cyprus by saving? Tough. You lose.

    Because of its historical links with Britain Cyprus is unique in the EU by using English commercial law – which is globally respected and understood – and has respected courts. For this reason many Russian companies doing international business and many international companies doing business with Russians were registered in Cyprus to take advantage of this with their commerce passing through Cyriot banks – eg BP-Russia. No-doubt some of this was dodgy, but no more than passes through the City of London or New York on any one day. It is these perfectly legitimate companies doing perfectly legitimate business that are being stung by this, and the damage to Cyprus, the damage to the necessary fidelity of transaction that underlies international trade and the damage done to the whole EU ideal have yet to be realised.

    • Rogue Trooper 4.1

      Very Wise appraisal T.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      No. ‘The wealthy’ own property, own shares and businesses, own precious metals and art-works none of which are being sequestered in this grab – which is almost entirely designed to prevent debt-default losses falling on the wealthy who own banks or who have shares and bonds in German, French, Dutch, Italian and Greek Banks who stood to lose if the Cypriot banks went under.

      That’s one of the few things that I agree with you on.

  5. vto 5

    Bank meltdowns.

    Coming to a town near you. (You’re a good keen man if you take the bright sunny outlook and bet on it not happening in a town near you).

    The system is systemically stuffed. This is the continued playing out of the end-game.

    • Tiresias 5.1

      One bank’s loss is another bank’s gain – there’s only so much you can stuff in a mattress and the rest has to go somewhere.

      What is interesting now in the Cyprus fiasco is the losses are falling on two banks, Bank of Cyprus and Laiki. Laiki was in a very bad way and probably deserved to fail while Bank of Cyprus was probably salvageable except that it’s now to be saddled with a lot of Laiki’s problem accounts which will probably kill it. However Cyprus has a lot of smaller banks that didn’t have exposure to Greece and so were still solvent.

      The original scheme required the holders of accounts even in the solvent smaller banks to bail-in to help save Laiki and BoC. Now if you had the good fortune to be with one of the smaller banks you’re OK, but if you had the misfortune to bank with Laiki you lose much more – up to 40% rather than the original 10%.

      So the lesson is, if you’re going to put money in a bank take a good look at its balance sheet first and, of course, don’t forget to take into account everything that’s going to happen in the financial world for the next couple of years or so.

      Oh, and both BoC and Laiki passed the banking ‘stress tests’ run on all European banks by the ECB only 18-months ago, so it’s clear you can safely rely on official pronouncements.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      +1

      The system is structurally unsound and we’re just starting to see the cracks appear.

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    So what are the alternatives?

    Way I see it there are only so many broad options available.

    -either some sort of jubilee in which the debt is simply ruled to no longer exist

    -the debt gets paid out of created money

    -debt gets paid by someone else (ie the govt) borrowing to pay it

    -the debt gets paid by looking about and seeing who has a big stack of cash and saying, sorry mate, you’re paying everyone else is broke.

    Every one of the methods hurts someone. There are bad ways and worse ways of doing all of them too, but which way you choose is going to come down to a political choice that will be called ‘theft’ by the people who end up paying.

    • vto 6.1

      Lending money comes with risk that it wont be repaid.

      The risk has materialised. It wont be repaid.

      These were the rules.

      Now, onwards to ensure the drug dealer money-lenders dont get to do it again. No more interest. What gets me about all this shit is that the money-lenders are EXACTLY like drug dealers – load everyone up and when they finally overreach then waltz in and take the commodore. The parallels are exact.

      • Tiresias 6.1.1

        “Lending money comes with risk that it wont be repaid.”

        That’s true in the playground. In the world of grown-ups things are a little more sophisticated.

        1. The rule was that you could lend up to EU100,000 to a bank with a guarantee that it would be repaid. The attempt to say that wasn’t really a rule was the most inane part of this episode.

        2. There were also rules that said what banks could and couldn’t do with your lent money which were designed to encourage you into lending by reducing the risk, and the interest you were paid was mean to ‘compensate’ for what little risk remained. There’s no suggestion that Laiki lent money outside those rules and it’s arguable that ‘agreeing’ to the haircut on Greek lending forced on it by the EU was the only breach. Laiki may have unwise (in retrospect was unwise) in having such a large exposure to Greece, but that’s not strange given the relationship between Cyrus and Greece.

        3. Taking that haircut weakened Laiki and the financially literate, mistrusting Cypriot (and, very likely the astute and canny Russian drug-dealers) saw the writing on the wall so began pulling their money out, weakening Laiki still further. So the axe has fallen on the financially illiterate Cypriot mums-and-dads, businesses and institutions, or on those who believed the Government’s promise that deposit accounts would not be sequestered.

        4. Banks have spent generations and millions of dollars building up a reputation that lending money to banks by way of deposit is fundamentally different to lending it directly to businesses, home-buyers, used-car salesmen, and fundamentally safer. Their whole business depends on that reputation, and modern commerce depends on it too. The EU’s bull-in-a-china-shop approach to the Cyrus problem has blown a hole as big as a barn door in that reputation.

        • vto 6.1.1.1

          Sure T the details may be in the way you describe, however I see no case put forward that that has removed the risk that the money wont be repaid. There is always that risk – unless one is playing in the playground and you are the big kid (which is in fact exactl;y what is going on here – squaring up for a ding dong)

          • Tiresias 6.1.1.1.1

            vto – you’re right. There’s always a risk of losing the money . But you’re also wrong and missing the point.

            Because of the ultimate ‘rule’ – you risk losing ‘ your’ money – there are supposed to be rules that allow you to assess that risk, decide how much you want to risk and what reward you want for making that risk. In the regard of Cyprus’ bank those rules related to ‘guaranteed’ deposits, what banks can and can’t do with your money and the order of priority in which monies will be applied in order to meet debts.

            And in regard to Cyprus the hamfisted EU actions tore up those rules, as so made the risks of lending money to any EU institution unquantifiable. And the EU will suffer a loss of investment as a result.

            ie: Before Cyprus you ‘knew’ you could lend up to EU100,000 by way of deposit to any bank in the EU without risking losing it, because it was supposed to be guaranteed. Now you know that’s not true – the EU was perfectly prepared to stand-by while Cyprus sequestered money as a ‘tax’ from accounts <EU100,000.

            Before Cyprus you were supposed to be able to rely on banks not putting your money at risk by 'forgiving' massive loans to other people. Laiki was arm-twisted by the European Central Bank to write down its loans – loans made with your money – to Greece in order to save the Greek banks from having to make interest payments they weren't able to meet. But when as a result Laiki was faced with having to make interest payments it wasn't able to meet, including interest to you on your loan, the ECB didn't offer to come to the party to help out your bank. They just pulled the rug out from under it.

            So you're right – lending in Europe is right back to the playground where the big, strong boys like Germany can bully the little guys into coughing up without compensation, but that certainly isn't the way it's supposed to be done, nor the way it needs to be done if you want a thriving financial industry underpinning your growth and development.

    • Tiresias 6.2

      There was certainly no immediate need for Cyprus to be crucified. I have little doubt there was an element of ‘pour encourager les autres’ in it, and that the suffering Cyprus will now experience is being imposed to gratify the German domestic voter, both of which make a complete and utter mockery of any idea of ‘European solidarity’ supposedly underlying the whole EU project.

      Any of Pascal’s Bookie’s options, tho’, are ruled out by the fact of the Euro. A European-wide debt jubilee would involve so much money and so many intermeshed obligations it would crash the global financial system overnight, but there’s no way in a ‘single currency’ that debts can be wiped for a single player within it without raising howls of ‘unfair’ from the others.

      The depositors getting hurt in Cyprus – and Cyprus itself in the economic consequences to come – are actually suffering because of the haircut its banks agreed to in order to preserve the Greek banks last year, so in a real sense this isn’t even ‘theft’ from Cypriots to save Cyprus, but to save Greece.

      And it wasn’t even a political choice as, having once been thwarted by Cyprus’ Parliament presumably speaking for the Cypriot people, this deal was stitched up by the bureaucrats in Brussels in such as way as to by-pass Parliament.

      IMHO Cyprus’ best bet now would be to use the breathing space gained to secretly print a bucket-load of Cypriot pounds and leave the EU overnight, renaging on the debt it has just been blackmailed into taking on.

  7. erentz 7

    Oh please stop this crap that people who save are rich. I am beginning to feel like I’ve made a huge mistake saving all my life. Instead you seem to think I should have got into huge debt buying houses I couldn’t afford. How about instead of indiscriminantly taking the savings of people we take 25% of everyone’s house?

    • vto 7.2

      +1000

      That would highlight the reality of what is being taken at the barrel of a gun

    • TheContrarian 7.3

      Totally agree Erentz. My wife and I have spent the last 8 years living on one salary and saving the rest and avoiding debt at all cost. To me that seems like a smart move and I wouldn’t consider myself ‘rich’ . Just debt free.

    • Edmund Horner 7.4

      I agree. The proposed savings threshold of 100k is at best a proxy for wealth, and arguably a poor one. Having 100k in savings is not necessarily “wealthy” by any means. It could be what a person has managed to scrape together over their *entire working life* and is not remotely comparable to, say, earning 100k per year (which I would agree is relatively wealthy, but hardly 1% level).

      I don’t know the details; will the one-time tax affect only the remaining balance above a tax-free threshold of 100k? I’m not sure it qualifies as progressive taxation if not.

      Systematically taxing bank accounts is administratively easy. But it doesn’t target those who can really afford to pay, nor those who caused the crisis in the first place.

      • rosy 7.4.1

        I don’t really get why are they going after customers instead of shareholders. Surely it’s shareholders and management who made the decisions that took the bank down, not the customers who accept lower interest than they could get elsewhere because banks were lower risk, apparently?

        Why also, is the not targeting offshore investors who are avoiding tax in their own countries?

        Do executives still keep their jobs?

        • Colonial Viper 7.4.1.1

          - The shareholders can’t provide the immediate loan repayments that the ECB wants as the shareholders have no money stored at the bank. The depositors do.

          - You target the depositors because the depositors have billions in funds that you can take immediately.

          - Most of the big deposits under threat are Russian. So they ARE targetting foreign investors. (But I read on ZeroHedge that the Russians have already got their money out of the UK and Russian branches of the Cyprian banks, which did not have controls applied to them).

          • rosy 7.4.1.1.1

            The shareholders can’t provide the immediate loan repayments that the ECB wants as the shareholders have no money stored at the bank
            They can if you seize the banks – a la Iceland

            So they ARE targetting foreign investors
            At 100 grand, they’re targeting locals more, I reckon – small business, professionals and people who have put away a bit for a rainy day.

            Really, it needs to be a million to target the overseas investors and leaving the people who make the Cyprus economy tick over largely alone.

            Imagine if they had’ve done this to Spanish/Greek banks… there would be a few German and other Northern European depositors that would be pretty upset, seems they don’t have much of a stake in Cypriot banks?

            • Colonial Viper 7.4.1.1.1.1

              The shareholders can’t provide the immediate loan repayments that the ECB wants as the shareholders have no money stored at the bank
              They can if you seize the banks – a la Iceland

              I think you have your concepts slightly mixed up here. IIRC in Iceland, the government refused to bail out the banks from their massive bad debts, and nationalised them instead.

              Yes, the shareholders were all destroyed as the banks were allowed to fail and those share values went to zero. But there was no real money available in those shares anyway (they are shares not dollar notes).

              The Icelandic govt then negotiated with depositors when, and what portion of their deposits they would get back.

              The real losers of the episode were the banks bondholders. Where the icelandic banks refused to make good on the options transactions etc that they had entered into.

              At 100 grand, they’re targeting locals more, I reckon – small business, professionals and people who have put away a bit for a rainy day.

              Yeah, there’s a fair bit of that.

              • rosy

                Ta, yeah, I’m not up on these banking things, hence the questions… still, it seems there are other options that would have protected the economy somewhat more than this one does (while understanding there are no ‘good’ options). I see this as protecting foreign institutions rather than the country, and it’s those institutions and tax dodgers, chasing unreasonable profit that should take the haircut. I guess there is nothing new there, but.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    It could be called progressive taxation (and it is right that they are not hitting small depositors the hardest), unfortunately the funds are not going to be used for the social good of the country.

    They will be used to deliver principal repayments and prop up yields to foreign creditors.

  9. r0b 9

    Please note that in the post I am not endorsing the action that has been taken here (though I wrote it in a hurry and it isn’t as clear as it should be). I said there was “some justification” for the move, not that I thought it was justified!

    Three factors for me:

    If it is indeed true (as stated in the article linked) that a sizable number of the accounts hit are held in Cyprus by foreigners (the international super-rich) avoiding taxes in their own country, then I have no problem with those folk being hit.

    This solution leaves the small savers alone which is absolutely a good thing.

    But this solution does hit a large number of Cypriot citizens who are good savers, and no 100K in the bank doesn’t make you rich in the context of saving for retirement. Those people got screwed and I’m very sorry for them. (Cypriot super-rich with more than 100K lying round in spare change I am highly ambivalent about).

    • And that is what they are counting on. You love to see the rich get a haircut so you will be silent about the fact that it is outright theft and if they can do it to them they can do it to everyone. By the way the whole exercise was not so much about the Cypriot banks as a move in the financial wars being wages in the run up to a global hot war. The Russian Oligarchs this was intended to hurt upsetting Russia where able to take their ill gotten gains out in the confusion running up to the bank “holiday” in Cyprus it appears.

    • grumpy 9.2

      Apparently the proposal is to hit only “unsecured” deposits. A different kettle of fish entirely.

    • Tiresias 9.3

      “If it is indeed true (as stated in the article linked) that a sizable number of the accounts hit are held in Cyprus by foreigners (the international super-rich) avoiding taxes in their own country,”

      It isn’t.

      “And the idea that Cyprus is a hotbed of Russian Mafia money also appears to be exaggerated. This looks to be a combination of a need to scapegoat the latest supplicant to the Trokia plus Anglo-German prejudice against Central and Southern Europe.

      Not to put too fine a point on it, Wachovia laundered over $800 million of Mexican drug money, and Standard Chartered admitted to “at least” $250 billion of Iran related money laundering. And HSBC, which paid the biggest fine ever in the US for drug-related money laundering for Central American groups, is now being charged by Argentina for similar activities. Let’s not kid ourselves. Citigroup has had a huge wealth management business, concentrated on Latin America, since the 1980s. What do you think that is about? To a significant degree, like Swiss private banks, Citigroup is the recipient of funds expropriated from national governments. For people like Martin Wolf of the Financial Times to get sanctimonious about what Cypriot banks are up to is more than a tad disingenuous, particularly when his own paper, the same day, describes how five Russian M&A transactions are having to be reworked due to the bank freeze in Cyprus. Yes, there is clearly dirty banking going on there. But it appears only 28% of the deposits are Russia related. A significant, if not overwhelming amount of that activity appears to be no worse than GE’s tax avoidance. And remember, depositors of every bank are being haircut to bail out the miscreant Laiki. That includes the roughly €3 billion of largely Russian deposits in the perfectly solvent Cyprus subsidiary of the Russian bank VTB. ”

      From: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/03/cyprus-will-the-mouse-that-roared-be-gored.html

  10. vto 10

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8471186/SCF-failure-costs-taxpayers-805m

    So each and every person in NZ has paid out $200 for the greedy investors in SCF.

    What a load of absolute fucking bullshit.

    What with the crap going on with EQC in Chch and people’s savings getting constantly raped and pillaged to support the moneyed elite, it is enough to make one ………………. fuck the system

  11. grumpy 11

    Many years ago, I was on the Board of a european company wishing to move to Cyprus for tax purposes. They had leased a whole floor to turn into offices and I visited twice.

    The whole island was run by Russian Mafia, the locals usually had bugger all money and the economy revolved around being a tax have and the Russians.

    Clearly, the locals will carry the cost of this bailout as the Russians will have very little in Cypriot banks.

    One group of Russians wanted to go fishing so they bought a boat for good money off a local fisherman. When they left they just abandoned it at the wharf and he got it back free.

    A strange place…….

  12. arcadia13 12

    Wow…I bet David Shearers rapt he hasn’t got a Bank Account in Cyprus…or has he? *chortles evilly*

  13. karol 13

    Mana supports the petition to stop banks taking your money.

    they explain their support with reference to the dodgy practices of banks and the way profits from Kiwis are siphoned off overseas to Aussie and the US.

  14. AmaKiwi 14

    Trust is the essential service banks sell their customers. Trust has been broken. The EU forced the Cypriot government to seize personal bank accounts.

    My personal advice to everyone:

    1. Take your money out of the bank in cash and hide it well.
    2. Move your money to Singapore, Norway, or Switzerland. (These are among the few countries that have huge cash surpluses and are therefore unlikely to seize it from depositors. They are not part of the EU.)

    Is this socially responsible? No. But enough other people will be doing it so it is only a matter of time before we have widespread runs on the banks.

    The banking system is stuffed. If you don’t get your money out now, be prepared to lose it.

    I write this with a heavy heart. There will be no joy in what is inevitably unfolding.

    • karol 14.1

      Not that easy to open accounts in countries you don’t live in, or at least have physically visited, as far as I’m aware. Certainly not in Aussie, NZ or the UK.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        It’s fine if you have at least US$1M to deposit and your own private wealth banker to help organise it. :evil:

        • karol 14.1.1.1

          Ah, yes. That’s why I had difficulty opening a bank account in Aussie from the UK, when I was planning to move to Aus. I’m a little short of a $mil.

      • AmaKiwi 14.1.2

        I do not know about the need to visit. Wikipedia shows 7 locally owned Singapore banks. Contact them directly and ask. They may have local representatives.

        If you must make the trip, weigh the risks.

        It is easy to exit a movie theater until someone yells, “Fire.” Then you are trapped.

        I don’t have a million either, which is why I cannot afford to lose what I have.

        • AmaKiwi 14.1.2.1

          @ Colonial Viper

          Wikipedia shows the 7 locally owned banks are full service banks. That means you should be able to open a simple savings account with less than $1,000. The locals do it.

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  • Feed: Grandpa’s Kitchen
    A huge dog-leg of a section,  2 Saulbrey Grove, off White's Line West in Woburn, is the largest remaining piece of the old Saulbrey family farm and the site of the magnificent red-brick house built by my grandfaher, Jack Saulbrey. When I used...
    Public Address | 15-04
  • Miss out on tickets to the EMU launch?
    Did you miss out on tickets to be one of the first to ride electric trains next weekend and do you want some? If so then you may be in luck. Auckland Transport have given me three double passes to...
    Transport Blog | 15-04
  • Photo of the Day: Red II
    Eyelight Lane by Swedish artist David Svensson, commissioned by Auckland Council. Photographs by Patrick Reynolds....
    Transport Blog | 15-04
  • Touting for the donors
    Judith Collins has been coming under renewed pressure in Parliament over her endorsement of (and secret meetings with Chinese customs officials on behalf of) her husband's company Oravida. Meanwhile, John Key says he's perfectly comfortable with it. No wonder -...
    No Right Turn | 15-04
  • Divert excessive weapon spending to achieve clean energy future
    According to new figures released on Monday, last year a whopping US$1747 billion was spent on armies across the world. Modest decreases in spending in austerity hit Western Europe and reduced spending in the US, which is still the biggest spender...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 15-04
  • Whaleoil dishonestly accuses Helen Clark of dishonesty
      I suppose dishonestly reporting that someone else has behaved dishonestly could be regarded as a wonderful example of irony. But if the dishonesty of the reporter is transparent then it’s also a wonderful example of crass stupidity. Either way,...
    Brian Edwards | 15-04
  • EDUCANZ, Professionalism and Politics
    When I first started teaching I spent a number of happy years in rural communities. In the early eighties all teachers were expected to teach in a 'country' school to enable them to get promotion. Country service was seen as...
    Local Bodies | 15-04
  • Hard News: Feed: Grandpa’s Kitchen
    A huge dog-leg of a section,  2 Saulbrey Grove, off White's Line West in Woburn, is the largest remaining piece of the old Saulbrey family farm and the site of the magnificent red-brick house built by my grandfaher, Jack Saulbrey. When I...
    Public Address | 15-04
  • The Templin Manifesto
    Gratefully republished from the Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (the German Education and Research Workers’ Union or GEW) www.gew.de A dream career in academic life For a reform of personnel structure and career paths in higher education... The post The Templin Manifesto appeared...
    TEU | 15-04
  • Wimp.
    Yesterday John Key challenged David Cunliffe to a televised debate on housing. Today, he wimped out. This is really odd. Key is one of the best politician-debaters New Zealand has ever seen. He convincingly beat both Helen Clark and Phil...
    Polity | 15-04
  • Why Labour will lose the election
    [Image stolen from David Cunliffe] Seriously? With the country facing unemployment, inequality, a housing crisis and climate change, and Labour is relentlessly talking about regulatory subsidies for the caravan-rental industry. So much for "talking about the real issues"....
    No Right Turn | 15-04
  • NZTA Predict No Growth For Matakana
    This is the third in a series of posts based on the Campaign for Better Transport’s submission to the Puhoi to Warkworth Board of Inquiry. The full presentation is over at bettertransport.org.nz Previously I pointed out that the NZTA produced...
    Transport Blog | 15-04
  • The PCE on the Environmental Reporting Bill
    Submissions on the Environmental Reporting Bill are due on Thursday, but the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released theirs, calling for major changes to the bill. The full submission is here, and the key areas of concern are the...
    No Right Turn | 15-04
  • On what really annoyed me about ‘The Goldfinch’
    Donna Tartt’s new book won the Pulitzer Prize today. Lots of people loved this book – and if you’re into beautiful prose there is a lot to love. But the story-telling really bugged me, and the event of it winning a...
    DimPost | 15-04
  • On what really annoyed me about ‘The Goldfinch’
    Donna Tartt’s new book won the Pulitzer Prize today. Lots of people loved this book – and if you’re into beautiful prose there is a lot to love. But the story-telling really bugged me, and the event of it winning a...
    DimPost | 15-04
  • New Fisk
    Has Recep Tayyip Erdogan gone from model Middle East 'strongman' to tin-pot dictator?...
    No Right Turn | 14-04
  • Maritimes magazine Autumn 2014 now online
    This edition of the Maritimes magazine covers the new Regional Maritime Federation, the offshore oil and gas industry, the 2014 Interport sports competition and much more....
    MUNZ | 14-04
  • Climate change: Action is affordable
    Last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the second part of its Fifth Assessment report, showing the dire future we faced if we did not act to reduce emissions. Over the weekend, the IPCC released the third part...
    No Right Turn | 14-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in r...
    Date of Release: Saturday, April 12, 2014Body:  News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to those affected, FIRST Union said on Saturday.Staff at Christchurch Yarns were told yesterday that their...
    First Union Media | 14-04
  • Gordon Campbell on royalty and its tourism spin-offs
    Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal...
    Gordon Campbell | 14-04
  • World News Brief, Tuesday April 15
    Top of the AgendaWorst Climate Change Scenarios Can Be Averted, Panel Says...
    Pundit | 14-04
  • Images of women and mother blaming
    There have been a few stories in the media about New Zealand women and obesity and body image, some referenced in this editorial from the Herald on Sunday. This article blames mothers for teaching girls to put on lip gloss....
    frogblog | 14-04
  • A Matter of Time: Reflections Of A Waning Republican
    Time Lords: The historical transition of the Monarchy: from that which rules, to those who reign, was a remarkable constitutional innovation. Neither a true monarchy, nor yet a full republic, Britain’s constitutional monarchy offered its subjects something unique. "[A] constitution...
    Bowalley Road | 14-04
  • IPCC 5th Assessment Report – exposing NZ on climate policy
    The IPCC’s 3rd Working Group has just released the final section of its 5th Assessment Report.  Following WGI report on the science and WGII on impact, this one focuses on a response strategy. The Report recalls that annual global emissions...
    frogblog | 14-04
  • Maori Party / Key fundraiser
    The Political Anorak News is full of the $5,000-a-plate fundraiser for the Maori Party hosted by John Key at the Northern Club in Auckland. A few thoughts: Nothing illegal about this at all, or really anything immoral either. Key wants...
    Polity | 14-04
  • The cost of small transport projects
    Every year the 21 local boards each get a share of $10 million to spend on transport projects in their area. The money is split up based on the population (except for Waiheke and Gt Barrier). The amount that each...
    Transport Blog | 14-04
  • I went to the Northern Club once. Really classy toilets.
    Via the Dom-Post: Prime Minister John Key says there is nothing unethical or inappropriate about charging guests at a Maori Party dinner $5000 a head to sit with him for part of the evening It has been reported that 15...
    DimPost | 14-04
  • I went to the Northern Club once. Really classy toilets.
    Via the Dom-Post: Prime Minister John Key says there is nothing unethical or inappropriate about charging guests at a Maori Party dinner $5000 a head to sit with him for part of the evening It has been reported that 15...
    DimPost | 14-04
  • Trading through a more complex global economy
    Australia signed a trade deal with Japan last week. Does that help or hinder New Zealand’s trade ambitions and prospects? There are four parts to New Zealand’s trade strategy, broadly followed since Trade Minister Tim Groser enunciated them when an...
    Colin James | 14-04
  • In search of found time
    Originally published at Overland Three different projects dealing with presence, absence and the passage of time. The first one is straight photography: no tricks. Irina Werning’s Back to the Future features adults posing as their childhood selves in replicas of...
    Bat bean beam | 14-04
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless talley
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless talley So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 14-04
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless talley
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless talley So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 14-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Phillipstown will get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour government will allow Phillipstown School to stay open, with a review after two years, Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Megan Woods says. “Hekia Parata has failed the Phillipstown community with today’s decision to close the school. “It is disgraceful...
    Labour | 08-04
  • State Housing waiting lists go through the roof
    The waiting list for State Houses has risen by over a thousand in the past three months, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Low income people are feeling the sharp end of National’s housing crisis. A shortage of affordable houses...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Hekia Parata fails to answer basic questions
    Education Minister Hekia Parata’s inability to answer even the most basic questions about her proposed new Executive Principal roles will have alarm bells ringing in school communities all around the country, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools are already concerned...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Guy gets it wrong by any measure
    The Ministry for Primary Industries being forced to reprint rulers designed to help recreational fishers measure their snapper catch is right up there on the incompetence scale, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI is having to spend another $8000...
    Labour | 08-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in recei...
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in receivership News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have been driven to the wall by a...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland
    Press Release: Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Maori Party $5000 per ticket John Key Fundraiser at sexist Northe...
    So MANA can’t contemplate an alliance with Kim Dotcom because he is wealthy and MANA is not and that’s a terrible hypocrisy. Shock. Horror. So what is one to make of the Maori Party holding a $5000 per ticket closed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • David vs Goliath – Key’s housing affordability TV debate challenge
    John Key allowed his frustration to get the better of him at yesterdays press conference when he responded to a question on housing affordability by shooting back that he would debate David Cunliffe on the issue. Cunliffe has accepted. The...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Deborah Manning joins Team Cunliffe
    Deborah Manning is a very good friend of mine and seeing her join Team Cunliffe in Wellington is just another example on top of Matt Mcarten and Clint Smith’s appointments that Cunliffe is serious about putting together the best strategic...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?
    If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000
    A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Key to Snowden
    Comparing Key to Snowden...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Latest Banksy
    Latest Banksy...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Valuing Teachers
    Valuing Teachers...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth
    Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • TPPA is corporate thuggery
    TPPA is corporate thuggery...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Why we need feminism
    Why we need feminism...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Method In His Madness: Why did Russel Norman make Labour an offer it couldn...
    THE LINE FROM LABOUR is that the Greens made them an offer they couldn’t accept. Delivered in the condescending, world-weary tone one usually associates with a headmaster reprimanding one of the dimmer boys from the Lower-Fifth, the suggestion, clearly, is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • iPredict has possible MANA-Internet Party alliance at 3 seats
    Latest iPredict scores has MANA at 1.1% and the Internet Party at 1.5% – combined that’s 2.6%, the party list percentages would roughly be… 2 seats (i.e. electorate and one list): (1.2%) 3 seats: (2%) 4 seats: (2.8%) 5 seats:...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adam Bennett and his wonky Tai Tokerau logic
    Adam Bennett, the NZ Herald’s political reporter, has published a column with some wonky Tai Tokerau logic… Unless the Mana Internet alliance pulls off the unlikely feat of reaching the 5 per cent mark on election night, all of this...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley performing for MANA fundraiser
    Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed by an...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Businessman who is taking Blogger to court for defamation attacked
    The NBR are reporting (paywalled) that Matt Blomfield, the businessman taking Cameron Slater to court for defamation, has had been attacked last night with shots fired at his home. How vicious and nasty. Thoughts are with Matt and his family....
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • When in trouble – blame the “filthy benes”!
    . . A recent Roy Morgan poll had some very disturbing news for National and it’s shrinking support-base; .   . The poll results; Right Bloc National: 43% (down 2.5%) Maori Party: 1.5% (down 0.5%) ACT NZ: (0.5%, unchanged) United...
    The Daily Blog | 13-04
  • Border ‘butchers’, absentee poll reps and West Papua’s growing strife
    A West Papuan in handcuffs at a recent “Free West Papuans” rally in Auckland. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC THE INDONESIAN parliamentary elections this week were disappointing on a number of fronts, especially for presidential frontrunner Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. His...
    The Daily Blog | 13-04