web analytics

The fightback begins

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 am, April 18th, 2009 - 22 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack, national/act government - Tags: , ,

democracy-under-attack1

This morning I picked up the local newspaper out of the mailbox – Harbour News. On the front page was this extraordinary editorial – “Who stole our Voice“.  The editor of the Harbour News tears Rodney Hide and the NACT government a new excretory orifice.

Harbour News Editorial

This is what is coming from the ground up all over the city and from people and groups across the political spectrum.

The maniacs of the right keep trying to portray opposition to Rodney idiotic super-city as being from soon to be ex mayors and councillors. They are wrong. What they are starting to get is a widespread opposition from anyone who thinks about the governance of Auckland. The Royal Commission’s researched proposals had problems, but Rodney scrapped those.

Rodney has put together an un-researched, badly thought out, and just plain unworkable set of proposals where he really just hasn’t bothered to ask or listen to anyone about the many defects. Now he and the rest of the NACT government will attempt to ram them through parliament in their usual undemocratic style.

Time to fight back. Write or e-mail your Auckland NACT MP and tell them exactly what you think about the proposals.

22 comments on “The fightback begins”

  1. Bill 1

    Good luck to those involved in opposing the s.city crap.

    Proposing an alternative ( or a raft of alternatives) would give far greater weight to the opposition of the S City nonsense.

    The simplest alternative would appear to involve an insistence that the Local Boards ( They currently constitute the base of the pyramid?) are the entry point for any funding/ revenue collection and that it is they who then make the decisions that are pertinent to their constituency; that they pass a stipend and directions on up the pyramid for decisions with a wider impact in an attempt to make democracy relevant and accountable at a local level.

    No need for commissions or enquiries. No expensive ‘professional’ planners. Just get people engaged and get ideas flowing.

    Before Rave gleefully jumps on me for advocating Democratic Centralism, I’d better point out that it simply seems the easiest of alternatives given the situation…..a starting point that people can easily grasp and use as a platform or entry point to discussion and debate that could lead to more substantive and inclusive forms of democratic governance…ones that cannot be captured by the actors occupying the positions towards the apex.

    • lprent 1.1

      I like Rudmans idea. Simply elect ward councillors on the same boundaries as the general electorates. They are about the right size and would give a council of 22 or so councillors.

      Then put the local boards inside those boundaries. That’d provide the structure to get effective feedback and local representation because the councillor would gte worried about a local challenger if they get too far out of touch.

  2. mike 2

    “This is what is coming from the ground up all over the city and from people and groups across the political spectrum.”

    From where I sit in Chch it seems like a hell of a good idea and seems to have had more positive than negative feedback.
    But if you must turn it into a left V right thing good luck – hey you are due for a win Personally I don’t think I would like Andrew Williams in my corner though – the mans a paranoid freakshow..

    Captcha: the change – and one for the better probably

    • Quoth the Raven 2.1

      mike – Shouldn’t you hate centralisation or is centralisation only bad when the left do it?
      Decentralisation is, as always, what is needed.
      And I’m siting in Christchurch and I know a lot of people who think it a stupid idea, even people who are reflexively National supporters.

  3. mike – I like the idea of the super city. It makes sense at many levels. But this isn’t a smaller city. It has a population of 1.4 million.

    What I don’t like (and most people don’t) is the absolutely stupid plan that Rodney Hide has put up for how the super-city is to be elected. It is fundamentally stupid.

    Because of the nature of concentrating power, it has to be carefully thought through to make sure that it doesn’t become a self-perpetuating clique of people capable of raising the vast amounts of money to fight campaigns every 4 years. The electorates that he is proposing are either 110,000 voters or 1.4 million. To give you an idea a typical general electorate has about 45,000 people in it.

    Rodney made a sop to ‘local’ representation with the local boards. Since they are absolutely powerless, it was simply a cynical political gesture.

    • mike 3.1

      “But this isn’t a smaller city. It has a population of 1.4 million.”

      I lived in Melbourne (around 4 million) for years and they do fine with 1 Lord mayor.
      If you are going to consult to the inth degree with 7 city councils/mayors it could take years and get sidelined by another Govt. Hide is going bang and sorting out the detail later. Same result in the long run.

      • lprent 3.1.1

        The mayor isn’t the issue. In fact I really couldn’t give a stuff about it provided their powers aren’t dictatorial.

        The issue is with having 20 councilors elected on extremely large electorates. I’d bet that Melbourne had a lot more councillors than about 50. If they didn’t they weren’t directly elected, but were put forward by a lower group.

        We elect electorate MP’s with a voting population of about 45,000. Why does this stupid proposal want to elect councillors from a voting population of more than twice that. Or for that matter, the at-large ones with 1.4 millon voters.

        It is fundamentally ridiculous.

  4. Nick 4

    The front page story contained as many inaccuracies as it did inflammatory statements.

    The overall theme, that the government is “stripping” democracy from residents, is absurd. However it is not surprising this was written considering the same ridiculous claim has been excitedly made by local mayors.

    Contrary to Mr Kemeys claim, the Royal Commission’s position has not been “dumped”. The Auckland Council remains. Its ability to decide plans and own current council assets remains. One levy of rate for the Auckland region remains. A single Mayor with executive powers remains.

    The only real changes (all two of them) actually enhance democracy, rather than strip it away.

    The proposed local councils were too far removed from the community. To improve this a plethora of local boards has been recommended. This makes local politicians much more in tune with residents and is more democratic. How this “strips” away the local voice, as also claimed by Manukau Mayor, Len Brown, is baffling. Further, the government has reduced the number of elected-at-large councillors from 10 to 8. Again, that enhances democracy. My feeling is that this number could be reduced further again if people submitted on this before the select committee instead of exhibiting the McCarthysim type behaviour of current.

    Mr Kemeys proclamation that the commissioners initiatives “meant local councils with real powers, community engagement and an effective voice” is patently incorrect. The commissiones proposed that all powers currently available to councils would be removed entirely! They would have been reduced to a rubber-stamping role only. And his further statement that a city of 1.4 million is controlled by 20 councillors and a Mayor is forgetful of the fact that 30 local boards, each with 4 members, adds 120 to this figure. It’s as if Mr Kemeys thinks that the current problem with Auckland’s governance is the community boards the way he forgets their existence, much like the commissioners did.

    However, I found the saddest part of the article was that Mr Kemeys did not propose or suggest a single initiative or solution. Everything was negative. The local meeting I attended during the week was much the same: nothing constructive was put forward. Unless you count “email bombing” government ministers, who simply engage an automatic forward function, as constructive.

    I can only conclude that it is little wonder the Auckland region has not progressed as much as it should have over the last 50 years if the prevalent attitudes have been those similar to Mr Kemeys and the local mayors.

    • lprent 4.1

      The proposed local councils were too far removed from the community. To improve this a plethora of local boards has been recommended. This makes local politicians much more in tune with residents and is more democratic.

      Wrong.

      Those local boards have even less effective power than the current rather useless community boards. They are totally pointless. That was the fig-leaf that Rodney thought would placate people while he made a powerful council that depends solely on money for election campaigns.

      So you go campaign at the local level to do something. At the end they can’t allocate more money to a sector budget or raise taxes. Only the super-city council can do that.

      Essentially it is a plan to entrench a business clique and their puppets in charge of the city. If you cannot see that, then you are blind.

  5. Nick (not the same one) 5

    The whole super city process is a bit absurd when you challenge some precepts. Good examples are “bigger is more efficient” ;”less beaurocracy will occur”: “efficiency and lower rates is what the people want”……etc etc. Are they?

    What the super city is about is making it easy for certain sectors to push the community into the agenda and structures of sectoral interest groups. It has nothing to do with democracy, which is the single principle which will suffer most. Rodney Hide and his ilk believe democracy grows out of the folded notes in a wallet, and if you dont have them you should aspire to them by aligning yourself with the holders of the dollars in an attempt to get the scraps from the table. Fat chance, they trickle up, not down.

    • mike 6.1

      Yes but only one Mayor and no regional council.

      • DougL 6.1.1

        Not sure where you are getting your info from Mike but every one of these 28 Councils in Melbourne has a Mayor and a set of Councillors. There is also a State Government..

  6. Forgive me but this 30-something or other entities has the look of dots in join the dots art — to with the look (or form) of the city. Trojan horse style. A belly – perhaps in time revelling as the underbelly – opening up for its all-conquering force of eleven or so Mayoral advisers.

    Though, to be honest, I’d find it difficult to accept a certain guy – yeah the one sounding off so strongly in favor of unitary authority as future Auckland’s first Mayor – (what’s his name again.?) – as requiring any advisors.

    So staunch doth he sound.

    Positively withering upon the hardworking, highly indebted and jobs dependent masses…

  7. Nick 8

    Lprent, you don’t know what the powers of the local boards are, or will be, because the legislation has not been drafted. So the claim that they are “useless” cannot be based on anything but the silly media statements about brothels, dogs and liquor licencing. I prefer to wait and see. It will be imperative for the local boards to have budgets and enhanced powers, otherwise I agree with you – they will be useless.

    • lprent 8.1

      They are based on the documents at http://www.auckland.govt.nz/web/cms_rcauckland.nsf/weblivehome/$first?open

      I’d suggest that you read them – then you will be less ignorant.

      Sure they don’t state the exact powers, they do state the intentions. Specifically that local boards cannot change the budget allocations from the super-city council to suit local needs, cannot raise local rates without the super-city council passing them, have no effective leverage on the super-city council (what exactly does ‘input’ mean), and are in fact useless.

      To date in this thread you just show yourself as being very ignorant – it would have taken seconds to find that site. For implying that I should wait for legislation before opposing the concept, I’d say that you appear to be a gormless idiot.

  8. gobsmacked 9

    The critics of the Steamroller City don’t have to win. They just have to fight enough to be heard. To keep the issue alive.

    The government will almost certainly get its way (with minor amendments). Then in October 2010, a National/ACT mayor and council will be elected, on a minority vote. The undemocratic voting system (even worse than FPP) makes this highly likely.

    One year later, the Auckland region party vote will swing left, and may decide the election. Unlike the local elections, this will be MMP in action. Those South and West Auckland voters who didn’t turn out or even voted National for the first time in 2008, will be thoroughly pissed off and heading for the polling booths to take revenge.

    Election slogan: “The Queen St monarchy … off with their heads!”

    Thanks Rodney!

  9. gingercrush 10

    Nice theory Gobsmacked but those people won’t even care about the council. They certainly won’t vote in the council elections. And its likely they won’t even care to get their vote out in 2011.

    That is one reason I oppose council Maori electorates. If they can’t even get out and vote in a General Election. And that is evident when in some electorates there was just 10, 000 votes taking place. Then why will they get out and vote in council elections where even the general public don’t exactly get out and vote.

    As for the the whole Super City. In general its good. The at-large councillors are a problem but I don’t see them staying. All they have to do is get rid of them and the council will be similar to the General Electorate boundaries. I think the community boards will get some more additional power. In regards to Maori dissatisfaction. I wonder whether there can be some law passed or a committee set up where Maori are able to have a say on strategic assets and land in Auckland and that such a move in this area would likely be even better than having Maori Council seats.

    —-

    Oh and to Mike and Quoth. I too live in Christchurch and people I know don’t really care. But besides that. I generally find the people whom we surround ourselves typically aren’t a good place to garner actual opinion on things.

  10. gobsmacked 11

    Ginger

    The 2011 turnout will be double the 2010 vote.

    “They won’t care” has been the death-knell for many governments. Including the last one.

    Politics 101: understand the difference between abstract possibility and actual experience. Sure, not many people on the street are up in arms now about the Hide-ocracy. Once they’re living under it … very different story.

  11. gingercrush 12

    I would say one year isn’t a long enough time for the Super City to impact people. It also assumes the right will naturally win everything. I actually think the left are in a slightly better position. I think National/Act will make larger concessions than they are currently so some of the current concerns shouldn’t be a problem.

  12. ripp0 13

    I’d guess GC, for one, buys that 2 percent rates increase..

    Mind you gc often gives out an appearance of not knowing about two percent ‘promises’ (aka projections).. how could powers-that-be know let alone suppose such a figure.. for sure..?

    Sop.. anyone..?

    Another thing.. property values down some.. rates take up some.. go figure..

  13. rave 14

    Westies get out wearing black for the man with the Hide to wipe out our Westie heritage. How long before a barbie toll and beer tax kills off our lifestlye? How long before the city slickers are scrapping our trains and taxing our V8s? And claiming Hobsonville as part of the Port and forever delaying our airport? Never trust a man in a yellow jacket and black tights.

    Update

    Waitakere citizens are also waking up to the idea that “someone is stealing your city”.
    They will hold a rally and march from Corban Estate Art Centre to Waitakere City Council on Wednesday, 22 April, at 3pm.
    “Join us to celebrate the Best of the West and voice your opposition to the Government’s abuse of democracy and the loss of Waitakere’s identity in the new Super City model,” say posters around the West this weekend.
    The march is organised by the Community Coalition for Auckland.
    Contact: pat@communitywaitakere.org.nz
    See: http://www.cc4a.net.nz

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Reimagining Journalism – The book launch
    Today’s post is the text of the speech I gave yesterday in Christchurch for the launch of Don’t Dream It’s Over - Reimagining Journalism in Aotearoa, which I edited along with Emma Johnson, Sarah Illingworth and Barnaby Bennett. Stop me ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    56 mins ago
  • Reimagining Journalism – The book launch
    Today’s post is the text of the speech I gave yesterday in Christchurch for the launch of Don’t Dream It’s Over - Reimagining Journalism in Aotearoa, which I edited along with Emma Johnson, Sarah Illingworth and Barnaby Bennett. Stop me ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    56 mins ago
  • Will Housing Prices Crash?
    Two eminent but retired Reserve Bankers, Don Brash and Arthur Grimes, have argued that house prices should halve. I am not sure whether they actually mean it or are just vividly pointing out that house prices are about double the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 hours ago
  • Auckland Law Revue strikes again
    Nice. Gotta love ’em. – P ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    4 hours ago
  • Auckland Law Revue strikes again
    Nice. Gotta love ’em. – P ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    4 hours ago
  • Andrew Little – Labour Party would welcome renegotiation of TPPA
    In a speech on international affairs, Labour Party leader Andrew Little has said Labour would welcome renegotiation of the TPPA if it does not pass in the US this year. “Labour would welcome the chance to be part of resumed ...
    Its our futureBy Barry Coates
    4 hours ago
  • Australia should reject the TPP
    Dr. Patricia Ranald, Director of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) argues that the TPP is about giving new rights to global multinationals and removing the rights of governments to regulate in the public interest. http://www.smh.com.au/comment/we-should-reject-the-transpacific-partnership-agreement-20160810-gqpb52.html The post ...
    Its our futureBy Barry Coates
    4 hours ago
  • TPP won’t improve US Security
    The case for the TPP being made in the US now rests on the national security argument – if the US doesn’t get TPP, China will lead on setting trade rules, and this will be a security threat to the ...
    Its our futureBy Barry Coates
    4 hours ago
  • TPP won’t improve US Security
    The case for the TPP being made in the US now rests on the national security argument – if the US doesn’t get TPP, China will lead on setting trade rules, and this will be a security threat to the ...
    Its our futureBy Barry Coates
    4 hours ago
  • A group of leading Australian economists have criticised recent free trade deals and argue that their benefits have been overstated. This echoes criticism of MFAT’s reliance on speculative modelling. Without their misleading assumptions, the analysis would have shown net costs for ...
    Its our futureBy Barry Coates
    5 hours ago
  • A group of leading Australian economists have criticised recent free trade deals and argue that their benefits have been overstated. This echoes criticism of MFAT’s reliance on speculative modelling. Without their misleading assumptions, the analysis would have shown net costs for ...
    Its our futureBy Barry Coates
    5 hours ago
  • Nuclear testing is not a path to security and peace
    Today marks the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Since 1945, more than 2000 nuclear tests have been carried out at more than 60 locations around the globe. Nuclear weapons were designed and tested to be the ultimate doomsday weapon, setting a legacy ...
    5 hours ago
  • NZ fisheries depend on the environment – they should protect it
    The attitude of the fishing industry and the National Government to our oceans, and the life within it, still amazes me. Like many New Zealanders, I find it perplexing that an industry which depends entirely on the long-term health of ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    8 hours ago
  • Bigger is not always better with local government reform
    I have written previously about the overwhelming opposition expressed by local councils and community members to the latest Local Government reforms.  The Select Committee heard more submissions this week, specifically about some of the unintended consequences that may arise from ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    9 hours ago
  • Bigger is not always better with local government reform
    I have written previously about the overwhelming opposition expressed by local councils and community members to the latest Local Government reforms.  The Select Committee heard more submissions this week, specifically about some of the unintended consequences that may arise from ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    9 hours ago
  • Hard News: Medical cannabis: a polling experiment
    Yet another opinion poll has reflected a public mood for change in our laws around cannabis – and this one has an interesting wrinkle.The new poll was conducted by UMR for the reform group Start the Conversation between July 29 ...
    11 hours ago
  • Hard News: Medical cannabis: a polling experiment
    Yet another opinion poll has reflected a public mood for change in our laws around cannabis – and this one has an interesting wrinkle.The new poll was conducted by UMR for the reform group Start the Conversation between July 29 ...
    11 hours ago
  • An anti-fluoride trick: Impressing the naive with citations
    One way to make an article look impressive is to use citations – the more you use, the more impressive. Well, so some people think. Some of the over 140 references in Geoff Pain’s article. These references impress some people ...
    11 hours ago
  • Hard News: Reimagining Journalism
    Five o'clock on a Sunday is not generally thinking time for me, but yesterday was different. That was the kick-off for Reimagining Journalism, a WORD Christchurch panel discussion I chaired with Cate Brett, Paula Penfold, Duncan Greive, Morgan Godfery and ...
    12 hours ago
  • Hard News: Reimagining Journalism
    Five o'clock on a Sunday is not generally thinking time for me, but yesterday was different. That was the kick-off for Reimagining Journalism, a WORD Christchurch panel discussion I chaired with Cate Brett, Paula Penfold, Duncan Greive, Morgan Godfery and ...
    12 hours ago
  • HOP in detail
    As mentioned this morning, at Auckland Transport’s board meeting today there is an interesting paper giving an overview of the HOP system, which AT say is the third largest financial transaction system in the country. Here are some of the figures ...
    12 hours ago
  • HOP in detail
    As mentioned this morning, at Auckland Transport’s board meeting today there is an interesting paper giving an overview of the HOP system, which AT say is the third largest financial transaction system in the country. Here are some of the figures ...
    12 hours ago
  • ‘It’s sort of about the end of the world’: The Veils’ Finn Andrews talks Total Depravity
    The Veils’ frontman gives us a track-by-track insight into the band’s just-released new album, Total Depravity. Photo: Supplied This is part of a regular series called Verse Chorus Verse which sees local artists break down the stories behind ...
    12 hours ago
  • Why I don’t fear the robot apocalypse
    Being in Christchurch made me realise how reliant I am on Google Maps whenever I’m out of the tiny patch of Wellington I’m familiar with. Maps doesn’t really work in Christrchurch – every time I tried to use it the ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    14 hours ago
  • Absolutely Fabulous-ly Ugh
    The white boomer rebel is a farce.     Fox Searchlight Pictures/BBC Films The Absolutely Fabulous movie has been out for three weeks, and is now entering the end of its cinema run. Thank God. I have the ...
    14 hours ago
  • Profits, Dividends or Customers?
    The Herald made a valiant attempt to explain last Friday how Air New Zealand had managed to produce a record $663 million profit.  They quoted the Chief Executive, Christopher Luxon, as attributing the result to the tourist boom, the fall ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    15 hours ago
  • From Student Farce To American Tragedy.
    The Governor: "With his wing-collars up and his undergrad gown on, he looks like a cross between Dracula and Batman". Paul Gourlie wasn’t interested in the votes of the student “activists” who wore badges and carried placards. The votes ...
    15 hours ago
  • What’s going on at NZ Fashion Week?
    Underdressed and overrated, The Wireless sent Lucy Zee to rub shoulders with the most stylish attendees of New Zealand Fashion Week. Presented and produced by Lucy Zee. Video shot and edited by Eddy Fifield. This content is brought to ...
    16 hours ago
  • Even worse
    I spent the weekend in Christchurch at the (excellent) Word festival, and someone reminded me of poetry – although technically song lyrics – even worse than McGongall’s: I don’t want to see a ghost It’s a sight that I fear ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    17 hours ago
  • Even worse
    I spent the weekend in Christchurch at the (excellent) Word festival, and someone reminded me of poetry – although technically song lyrics – even worse than McGongall’s: I don’t want to see a ghost It’s a sight that I fear ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    17 hours ago
  • August 16 AT Board Meeting
    Today the Auckland Transport Board have their latest meeting and I’ve taken a look through the reports to pull out the interesting bits. Firstly and surprisingly the agenda for the closed session is surprisingly bare. The only non-regular item is Tamaki ...
    18 hours ago
  • 2016 SkS Weekly Digest #35
    SkS Highlights... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Rebuttal Article Update... He Said What?... SkS in the News... SkS Spotlights... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 97 ...
    1 day ago
  • Sunday reading 28 August 2016
    ‘Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19410723-34-27’ Hi y’all and welcome to Sunday Reading. Here’s a collection of stuff I found interesting over the week. Please add your links in the comments below. Whoops, we forgot to build housing. During ...
    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    2 days ago
  • Sunday reading 28 August 2016
    ‘Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19410723-34-27’ Hi y’all and welcome to Sunday Reading. Here’s a collection of stuff I found interesting over the week. Please add your links in the comments below. Whoops, we forgot to build housing. During ...
    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    2 days ago
  • 2016 SkS Weekly News Roundup #35
    A chronological listing of the news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. Sun Aug 21, 2016 91,000 Electric Cars Sold In Europe In 1st Half Of 2016 by James Ayre, Clean Technica, Aug ...
    2 days ago
  • Guest Post: Rail Safety Week – A HSEQ Perspective
    This is a guest post from Harriet.  Recently we have had Rail Safety Week, the aim was to increase awareness of level crossings and their danger. Unfortunately we have had many deaths and injuries, with countless more near misses over ...
    Transport BlogBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • A wheely suitcase in Europe #6: San Sebastian to Gijon
    After four nights in San Sebastian, Basque we journeyed further west to Gijon, Asturias. Again we decided to use BlaBlaCar, mainly because the alternative rail and bus journeys were slower and more expensive respectively. The route we took is illustrated below, which as you ...
    Transport BlogBy Stu Donovan
    3 days ago
  • PFLP statement on Bilal Kayed hunger strike victory
    Support from the Palestinian people and international solidarity were key to this victory The following statement was released by the PFLP on Wednesday: The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine announced the suspension of the hunger strike of Comrade ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Report Shows Whopping $8.8 Trillion Climate Tab Being Left for Next Generation
    This is a re-post from Common Dreams by Lauren McCauley "We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children," is an oft-quoted proverb, frequently used to explain the importance of environmental preservation. Unsaid, however, is ...
    3 days ago
  • Glasgow Celtic fans defy UEFA, step up support for Palestinians
    Taken from The Electronic Intifada (see our links section): Glasgow Celtic fans have launched a fundraiser to match any fine that Europe’s ruling football body, UEFA, will give the Scottish club for an expression of Palestine solidarity at a recent ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    frogblogBy Julie Anne Genter
    3 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: It’s Carter/Docherty Day; or three short – and wholly unrelated – things
    I’m big on making sure voters know how to make the best use of their votes at elections, so last week I went along to the Transparency International Mayoral Forum.After short-opening statements, the candidates were asked about governance, and avoiding ...
    3 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Just because it’s been done before doesn’t make it right
    Back in March I wrote this post in which I expressed scepticism about Auckland Transport's rationale for having a by-law that prohibits the display of election advertising anywhere that is visible from a road, except for the 9 weeks before an ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • National Poetry Day
    I discussed this celebration with friends at lunch and somehow none of them had heard of 19th Century Scottish poet William Topaz McGongall, widely celebrated as the worst poet of all time: he seems roughly cognate to Tommy Wiseau. Here ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    3 days ago
  • National Poetry Day
    I discussed this celebration with friends at lunch and somehow none of them had heard of 19th Century Scottish poet William Topaz McGongall, widely celebrated as the worst poet of all time: he seems roughly cognate to Tommy Wiseau. Here ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    3 days ago
  • Sailing to the Arctic with the people who call it home
    The courageous Inuit community of Clyde River is standing up to protect their Arctic home from devastating seismic blasting.The circumpolar Arctic is home to four million people representing a diversity of cultures. As northerners, they share many connections, but in ...
    3 days ago
  • Why fixing your phone is one of the most empowering things you can do
    Like most people, I don’t go anywhere without my phone. In the morning, its shrill alarm rouses me from sleep. During the day it bobs between my ear, my hand, and my pocket. At night, I hunt for Pokémon before ...
    3 days ago
  • Microbeads: How did companies respond?
    Remember THIS video?Back in July, Greenpeace East Asia ranked 30 global companies to see how they measured in terms of their commitment to phasing out microbeads – the tiny terrors that are often found in shower gels and facial scrubs, ...
    3 days ago
  • Does your cafeteria serve ocean destruction?
    Every time you eat in a restaurant, hospital, airport, a university cafeteria, or at even at a rock concert, it is likely that you are eating food provided by a large foodservice company. Sea of Distress, a brand new Greenpeace ...
    3 days ago
  • My Arctic Home
    I live in Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River) in the Canadian Arctic. Most people have never heard of my town. It's 450km north of the Arctic Circle with a population of roughly 1,000. We are isolated from much of the world, but ...
    3 days ago
  • Up Front: I Swear, It’s True
    There is a persistent myth among the kind of people I desperately try to avoid that swearing is a sign of low intelligence. Frequent swearing shows a lack of imagination and vocabulary.Fuck that noise.Research shows what people I would choose ...
    3 days ago
  • Up Front: I Swear, It’s True
    There is a persistent myth among the kind of people I desperately try to avoid that swearing is a sign of low intelligence. Frequent swearing shows a lack of imagination and vocabulary.Fuck that noise.Research shows what people I would choose ...
    3 days ago
  • One less objection to Skypath
    Some great news yesterday that the main objector to Skypath, the Northcote Residents Association (NRA), has withdrawn their appeal against the project. That leaves just the Northcote Point Historic Preservation Society (NPHPS) – made up of many of the same people ...
    4 days ago
  • A Political King.
    Birds Of A Feather: If Edward VIII had been a less enamoured sex-slave to Wallis Simpson and a more convinced fascist, it is entirely possible that he could have completely upended the British constitution. Royal words, and deeds, still matter ...
    4 days ago
  • Polity: Key peddles cynical “interest rate avenger” fantasy
    This week in Parliament, John Key repeated one of the lines that looks to be central to its election campaign in 2017. As we’ll see, that word “lines” probably has one too many n’s in it. Anyway, here it is:Rt ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: The Gaffer Departs
    My friend Simon Grigg this week announced something I've known for a while – that he's stepping down from his role as creative director at Audioculture. It is, literally, to spend more time with his family: Simon and his wife ...
    4 days ago
  • Places to go, people to be
    Nothing from me today - I'm off to Christchurch for Phoenix, their annual larp convention. Normal bloggage will resume Monday, once I've caught up. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Is There Something Wrong With Aussie Sport?
    Is There Something Wrong with Aussie Sport? The news that Australian Olympians returning from Rio have been given a hard time by the Australian media and public for the alleged paucity of their medal haul will, sadly, have come as ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • The Pencilsword: I can’t draw horses
    ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand – we’re in the sh*t
    . . “…We should always measure a Government’s environmental rhetoric against its environmental record.” – John Key, 7 September 2008 . . ref . In September 2008, one month before the general election, National’s leader addressed the party’s “Bluegreen* Forum“, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Housing is popular
    I’ve written several blog posts talking about challenges facing local democracy and consultation processes. This is an important issue. Harvard economists Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson make a convincing argument that inclusive political institutions, such as broad electoral franchises and ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    4 days ago
  • Increasing cycling and walking in New Zealand cities
    This is a post from Caroline Shaw and Marie Russell who are researchers at the University of Otago Wellington Having high levels of walking and cycling for transport in our urban centres is a crucial component of having a sustainable, people-oriented, 21st century transport ...
    4 days ago
  • Movement or Moment.
    Barring some disaster, Hillary Clinton will win the US presidential election in November. That poses an interesting question for the US Left, because the defensive support for her offered by Sanders supporters and other progressives in the face of the ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Global warming is melting the Greenland Ice Sheet, fast
    A new study measures the loss of ice from one of world’s largest ice sheets. They find an ice loss that has accelerated in the past few years, and their measurements confirm prior estimates. As humans emit heat-trapping gases, we ...
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Reading: White rappers, Gawker and the Uber killer
    Our weekly recap highlighting the best feature stories from around the internet.   G-Eazy. Photo: AFP White Rappers, Clear of a Black Planet – by Jon Caramanica, The NY Times “But now we have arrived in the ...
    4 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    frogblogBy James Shaw
    4 days ago
  • An improved design for the Tamaki/Ngapipi mess
    My post yesterday about the hot mess that is the proposed Tamaki-Ngapipi intersection resulted in a lot of discussion, especially around the design and the role consultants play. Reader George who is also an engineer decided he could come up ...
    5 days ago
  • Electrons!
    Earlier this year Key is said to have asked his Ministers to come up with some new policy ideas, to deflect the criticism that they were a tired, exhausted, intellectually bankrupt government spinning its wheels and going nowhere. Maggie Barry’s ‘Predator ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    5 days ago
  • Rally in the rain shows love for humanities
    Tertiary Update Vol 19 No 30 Hundreds of people who work and study at the University of Otago rallied under umbrellas yesterday to say they love humanities. The university is planning to cut staff from five humanities departments Local TEU ...
    5 days ago
  • 10 percent budget cut at Lincoln
    Lincoln University is planning to cut “unpopular courses” the Christchurch Press reports. The Press says that vice-chancellor Robin Pollard told the university council it was necessary to “expedite” a review of all courses offered by the university and that he ...
    5 days ago
  • Victoria told pay offers are unequal
    People working at Victoria University of Wellington have rejected two pay offers, saying both treat people unequally. Union members at the university held a large and lively paid union meeting this week to consider two pay offers from their managers. ...
    5 days ago
  • Perspective
    From an excellent New Yorker article about the exoplanet detected in Proxima Centauri: In the coming decades, we will discover exoplanets by the tens of thousands and will come to know them, from afar, in intimate detail. Yet the nearest ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    5 days ago
  • Perspective
    From an excellent New Yorker article about the exoplanet detected in Proxima Centauri: In the coming decades, we will discover exoplanets by the tens of thousands and will come to know them, from afar, in intimate detail. Yet the nearest ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    5 days ago

  • Disability sector is in a ‘slow burning crisis’
    Disability advocates say the sector is in crisis and broken, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “A roundtable at Parliament organised by the Labour Party, heard today how National has left disability services chronically underfunded. ...
    8 hours ago
  • NZ fisheries depend on the environment – they should protect it
    The attitude of the fishing industry and the National Government to our oceans, and the life within it, still amazes me. Like many New Zealanders, I find it perplexing that an industry which depends entirely on the long-term health of ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    8 hours ago
  • Bigger is not always better with local government reform
    I have written previously about the overwhelming opposition expressed by local councils and community members to the latest Local Government reforms.  The Select Committee heard more submissions this week, specifically about some of the unintended consequences that may arise from ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    9 hours ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    1 day ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    1 day ago
  • Government must review state sector retirement investment
    The State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme has no business investing in companies which manufacture cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines and nuclear weapons, Labour MP and Parliamentarians for Global Action executive member Su’a William Sio says. “I endorse the call made by the ...
    2 days ago
  • Councils shouldn’t rush into Easter Trading
    City and district councils must ensure they don’t rush into trading on Easter Sunday ahead of local body elections next month, Labour’s Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “This decision must be taken seriously and only after extensive ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister can’t wash hands of illegal KiwiSaver investments
    The Minister responsible for appointing default KiwiSaver providers should take responsibility for ensuring they act legally, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The National Government has now had confirmed what they were told more than a week ago – that ...
    3 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    3 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    3 days ago
  • Government railroading Maori Land Bill through
    Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell seems determined to railroad his Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill through despite the large number of submitters in opposition to the bill, says MP Meka Whaitiri, whose Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate contains nearly 30 per cent ...
    3 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Government turns a blind eye to struggling sole parents
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that her Government’s work with sole parents is her biggest success are in tatters after a major increase in homelessness amongst that group, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Anne Tolley is seriously ...
    3 days ago
  • Time has come for state apology on abuse
    Labour is today calling on the Government to issue an apology for historic abuse in state institutions. Speaking after the launch of Elizabeth Stanley’s book “The Road to Hell; state violence against Children in Post-war New Zealand”, Labour’s Justice spokesperson ...
    3 days ago
  • It’s OK to have a few slaves, just not too many? Minimum wage loophole hasn’t gone away
    New Zealand still needs legislation to ensure adult New Zealanders are not exploited by being taken on as contractors for less than the equivalent of the minimum wage, says Labour list MP David Parker.  “My Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment ...
    4 days ago
  • Lessons from the Future of Work Commission: Building Wealth from the Ground Up
    Good morning, and thank you for attending today’s Future of Work Seminar here in Wellington. I want to particularly acknowledge Beth Houston who has spent many hours pulling together the programme for today’s event, and to Olivier and the staff ...
    4 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    4 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    4 days ago
  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    4 days ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    4 days ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    5 days ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    5 days ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    5 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    5 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    5 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    6 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    6 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    1 week ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere