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The Greens’ awesome water policy

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, August 22nd, 2011 - 75 comments
Categories: farming, sustainability, tourism - Tags:

The Greens want to charge 10 cents per tonne of water used by farmers. Use the revenue to restore our rivers and lakes. Even Actoid types can support this: internalise externalities, use price mechanisms to encourage efficient use of resources. Naturally, the farmers don’t want to pay. Funny how ‘wealth creators’ never want to pay their fair share.

The Greens reckon it’ll raise $500 million a year. That’ll employ a lot of those 58,000 young people who are doing nothing. Get them doing something useful. Repairing our environment.

Our rivers are a disgrace, and the tourists are noticing. Time to clean up our act the Green way.

75 comments on “The Greens’ awesome water policy”

  1. alex 1

    Damn right it is. About time someone took responsibility for our water. After all, its only the lifeblood of… all life on earth.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Makes perfect sense and I can see this as being a policy Labour would go ahead with if they were to form a coalition.

  3. This policy is terrible, very uneven and unfair. Most irrigation by far is done in the South Island. Should South Island farmers be taxed to clean up North island waterways?

    Should responsible farmers be taxed to clean up bad farmer’s messes?

    • Blighty 3.1

      should users of a public resource have to compensate the rest of the public from whom it has been expropriated?

      You’re a rightie. Free water is classic tragedy of the commons. Establishing cost and private rights is the way to deal with it, isn’t it?

    • vto 3.2

      Technicalities Pete, which can be tidied later.

      Bottom line is that farmers need to clean up the waterways that they have destroyed. That is fair isn’t it?

      Hands up who else gets to dump their rubbish in the public estate …..

      • Pete george 3.2.1

        Yes, it’s fair that farmers who pollute should clean up waterways.
        It’s not fair that those farmers who happen to use irrigation should have to pay for it.

        Besides the overall unfairness it gives some farmers major unfairness over other farmers.

        Take farm in Ida Valley for example, irrigation is essential (and expensive), there’s virtually no waterways to pollute.

        • Afewknowthetruth 3.2.1.1

          Irrigation uses fossil fuel energy (which we are running out of) and causes climate change.

          Short term thinking which suits those who exploit for their owen gain, as with everything you ever say.

          • John D 3.2.1.1.1

            Irrigation uses fossil fuel energy (which we are running out of) and causes climate change.

            Actually , CO2 “causes climate change”, not fossil fuels (according to the great men at the IPCC.)

            An average human being produces around 1kg of CO2 a day. CO2 by breathing is classified as “pollution” according to Wikipedia.

            [I have a very low tolerance for this kind of idiot trolling. There is of course a natural carbon cycle, of which the human breath is one tiny, tiny fraction of, in which CO2 entering the atmosphere from many sources, is very closely balanced by CO2 being removed from the atmosphere by other sinks.

            Humans have upset this balanced cycle by digging up carbon that has been deeply buried for tens of millions of years.. and releasing large amounts of it as CO2 into the atmosphere in very short time frame. Explosively fast in geological time frames. This excess CO2 production overwhelms the natural CO2 sinks causing an imbalance... which is why the CO2 content of the atmosphere is reliably measured as increasing about 2ppm per year.

            Now all this is basic, basic stuff. And yet this astoundingly stupid comment of yours flies in the face of it. It's not so much wrong... as utterly disqualifies you from ever commenting of the AGW issue ever again. ...RL]

            • John D 3.2.1.1.1.1

              I have a very low tolerance for this kind of idiot trolling.

              Wikipedia classifies breathing as pollution. Look it up – “air pollution”

              Then, when you have finishes accusing me of “trolling”, explain to me why NZ wants to introduce ruminant methane into the ETS, when ruminant methane is also a tiny proportion of global methane emissions.

              The world’s biggest emitter of biogenic methane is termites.

              [lprent: If this was explained to you then you will ignore it. I'm getting rather tired of answering and getting your usual inability to even think about the answers. I'm starting to regard you as being a simple waste of bandwidth who runs diversions. This is also off topic ]

            • lprent 3.2.1.1.1.2

              You’re just using one of your usual idiotic strings of strained logic.

              The emission of any substance in excess of the ability of natural systems to process it causing a buildup in sort or long timescales is pollution. Humans breathing doesn’t apply because there simply are not enough humans to make a difference. Burning fossil fuels causing a rapid increase in CO2 in the atmosphere does apply.

              Pollution is also an intellectual concept relative to us (the tree falling question). The biosphere would just adapt (eventually) just as it did when the poison of free oxygen happened, when the magnetic fields flip with the ingress of increased solar radiation, etc. But I have noticed that scientific morons like yourself tend to lack a sense of proportion when it comes to timescales or philosophy.

              • John D

                But I have noticed that scientific morons like yourself tend to lack a sense of proportion when it comes to timescales or philosophy.

                What a delightful little shit you are lprent.

                So, perhaps you’d like to answer my question about ruminant methane, or is it below your lofty intellect to engage with me?

                • lprent

                  I already did. I can’t actually help it if you’re too scientifically ignorant to understand the answer.

                  Based on previous instances of your ‘questions’ when answered at child level you will just ignore the answer. Perhaps you should look at your own previous behavior to understand why you get such reactions.

                  In the meantime I’m going to treat you like the dumbarse you are and give you answers that require you to think (rather than simply repeating some waffle you read elsewhere and regurgitate here). Perhaps we can find out if such a miracle is in fact possible.

                  But this is off topic for this post.

                  • John D

                    lprent.

                    I seem to remember some time ago, you claimed that methane is 70 times more powerful as a GHG than CO2 and that it is increasing exponentially.

                    In fact, a small amount of research indicates that methane levels are actually hardly increasing at all. Furthermore, the “official” calculation that methane is 21 times more “powerful” than CO2 as a GHG is also very dubious.

                    Never mind. I am sure you had a busy day and dealing with these “illiterate trolls” must be so tiresome.

                    [lprent: You mean this full answer here explaining exactly why afewknowthetruth was wrong? As I said earlier - you have a problem with reading answers (it is right above your comment), relevant timescales, and that you have no basic knowledge of science to allow you to understand the answers.]

              • RedLogix

                JohnD’s is a one-topic troll. Now fair enough if he was a half-way decent one, but all we actually get are re-gurgitated blobs of half-digested nonsense he’s read elsewhere, or whenever he attempts something off his own bat, the result is risible drivel as above.

                The Standard has given this fool plenty of oxygen over a long period of time. My feeling is either he shows some attempt at lifting his game, or his opportunities to comment here on this topic are pulled back.

                Alternatively do we keep him on as a sort of ‘village idiot’?

                So, perhaps you’d like to answer my question about ruminant methane, or is it below your lofty intellect to engage with me?

                Flatly no. Because he never ever makes an honest attempt to answer anything himself.

                • lprent

                  I’d agree. My toleration if running out fast, especially when he jumps into a topic like this and deliberately tries to twist it around to something completely different (as I discovered reading down the comment stream).

          • grumpy 3.2.1.1.2

            What “fossil fuel” does irrigation use? There is the very odd case that burns diesel but most (esp. South Island) is Hydro – a natural resource.

            • RedLogix 3.2.1.1.2.1

              Most irrigation depends on pumping to a greater or lesser degree.

              And whether the pump is driven a diesel or electric motor, both essentially consume fossil fuels either directly as diesel, or coal indirectly via the national grid.

              • grumpy

                How does pumping in the South Island use fossil fuel? Irrigation normally occurs in summer when peak load is lowest.

                • RedLogix

                  I’d agree that in the specific case of NZ that the fossil fuel contribution of irrigation is probably pretty low.. but not neglible either. I’d be surprised if NZ grid ever reaches 100% renewables…. although it’s possible I guess. The spot market does dip to some very low prices at times but not always during summer either.

                  But globally AFFKT was making the point that irrigation is a significant consumer of fossil fuel, with much of the supply coming from coal and gas thermal generators.

          • RWNJ 3.2.1.1.3

            I don’t believe you understand the first thing about irrigation or farming in general, the only fossil fuel use in irrigation (at least in my experience) is used to power the pumps, this is essentially the equivalent of running a tractor overnight (again this is just in my case living on a 600 cow dairy farm) and any emissions would be absolutely negligible.

          • Pete George 3.2.1.1.4

            Irrigation uses fossil fuel energy (which we are running out of) and causes climate change.

            A lot of irrigation is via gravity.

            In any case irrigation grows stuff that should counteract the amounts of fuel that are used.

          • Bazar 3.2.1.1.5

            “Irrigation uses fossil fuel energy (which we are running out of) and causes climate change.

            Short term thinking which suits those who exploit for their owen gain, as with everything you ever say.”

            I’d say its a vast improvement over something like that statement, which shows no thinking at all!

            Your statement supports a water tax, because the farmers often use fuel with it as well.
            So rather then suggesting we increase the already existing tax on fuel, you attempt to justify the water tax.

            I think we need to have a water tax, but i want one that is fair gives the best matching tax:pollution ratio.

            And i suspect that just measuring the water via irrigation will have little actual relevance to how much pollution is produced. More so in areas where there is minimal irrigation but normal amounts of production/pollution

      • DavidW 3.2.2

        Every smoker who throws a butt out their car window or into the gutter actually is a polluter worthy of equal disdain from those who really care. Go look in Auckland Harbour some time. There is certainly a “care for the environment” message needed but latying it all at the feet of one group is a nonsense.
        But I suppose having a go at smokers would be picking on the downtrodded wealth consumers so isn’t worthy of being part of an “awesome” policy.

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.2.1

          Every smoker who throws a butt out their car window or into the gutter actually is a polluter worthy of equal disdain from those who really care.

          I fail to see how discharging tonnes of animal effluent from a farm compares to discarding 50g worth of cigarette butts.

          Nice try though.

  4. RWNJ 4

    This policy seems absolutely ridiculous, if you want to stop the small percentage of farmers who dirty waterways why not fine them for it? Taxing everyone for all the water they use, even water used for things like irrigation and animal drinking water is illogical.

    • Afewknowthetruth 4.1

      Yet urban ratepayers are ‘taxed’ for the water they use and have to pay for its treatment.

      Everyone who uses a motorised vehicle is ‘taxed’ the same annual fee (according to vehicle class), irrespective of the amount they it.

      Nothing in life is fair. That applies especially to the next generation, whose planet is rapidly being destroyed via ‘development’.

    • Shane Gallagher 4.2

      Water is a common good/resource. It belongs to everyone. If you want to use something that belongs to me to make a profit then you have to pay for it. Simple.

    • vto 4.3

      “This policy seems absolutely ridiculous, if you want to stop the small percentage of farmers who dirty waterways why not fine them for it? Taxing everyone for all the water they use, even water used for things like irrigation and animal drinking water is illogical.”

      This policy seems absolutely ridiculous, if you want to stop the small percentage of youth beneficiaries who illegally buy fags and booze why not fine them for it? Requiring everyone to use a card for the food and consumables used for things like eating and clothing is illogical.

    • weka 4.4

      “if you want to stop the small percentage of farmers who dirty waterways why not fine them for it?”
       
      Because the Regional Councils, who should be doing the fining, aren’t. Fear of losing votes I suppose.
       
      Besides it’s not a small percentage.

  5. fatty 5

    when did the term ‘wealth creators’ come about?
    is this a fox news slogan that has become popular here?
    its a nasty piece of work

  6. RWNJ 6

    All these comments about irrelevant labels is kind of annoying me. I seriously hope labour would not be foolish enough to take this policy seriously if they were in a coalition with the greens.
    Penalising farmers who use water to create productive, useful land as well as using it to ensure basic living conditions for livestock is ridiculous.
    All the tax does is give farmers incentive to use less water, which essentially means if any raw sewerage is leaked it will be more concentrated than if more water were used.
    The law should ensure that farmers cannot pollute waterways with untreated sewerage apart from in extreme situations(flooding, earthquakes etc) and any who breach that should be liable but this tax will not help.

    • John D 6.1

      Labour have already decided to “punish” the farmers by introducing methane from farm animals into the ETS.

      The chances of these morons getting into power anytime in the next decade are virtually zero.

      [lprent: Too much diversion trolling. 2 week ban. The topic has nothing to do with methane - it is to do with water. If you want to raise a different topic - then do so in OpenMike.]

    • RWNJ, as I understand the biophysical process, irrigation accelarates nutrient pollution of waterways by flushing nutrients (usually artificially applied) into the water table. If that is the case, it makes sense to apply a tax on such water use in order to address rates of pollution of waterways.

      I’m happy to be corrected. 

      • grumpy 6.2.1

        Nutrient levels are highly monitored.

        In my case, as at 1st Sept, I need to measure water levels in the production bore, as well as levels in a bore to the first aquifer (stream link). I need to have the first aquifer water and farm soil tested for Nitrates and provide a fertilser budget which needs to be approved by ECAN.

        As well as this, to get the original consent, both another bore at the production aquifer (with 1km) and an adjacent bore in the higher aquifer need to be monitored to ensure no aquifer linkage. This test takes 24 hrs over 7 days at full discharge and also monitors the effect on the closest waterways.

        I don’t think there is a wide understanding of just how stringent ECAN’s current regime is.

      • RWNJ 6.2.2

        Nutrient pollution is honestly an entire other issue, every farmer who wishes to make a decent return uses fertilisers in some form and virtually every single way of applying these fertilisers is going to effect waterways.
        Taxing water is not however going to stop farmers using nutrients to enhance land as the majority of fertilisers are already truck or air dropped which will also effect waterways.

  7. Bored 7

    RWNJ and Pete G, I hear screams of it is not fair to some farmers and that why not fine offenders? I hear fine them and see the results despite the ability to fine being there, unused. What I don’t hear is denial that there is a problem.

    I have fished streams throughout the Manawatu system for years and seen the degradation due to more intensive land use, in particular dairying. I have seen the same in Canterbury and Southland. What I can say is that different farmers do it differently, some fence and plant the stream margins, others flush without any thought. Some are responsible, others are not, some pollute despite fines which they either dont pay, or treat as a prefered cost.

    The question for you two is not “is there a problem” but “how would you address this problem”? I would like to hear your suggestions because whilst I support the outcome this policy aims at I would love to hear some and see some commitment to realistically achieving the same result through policies the Nats support. Lets hear it please.

  8. queenstfarmer 8

    I support the idea of user pays for a scarce resource, but I’m not sure this policy isn’t too blunt a tool. Land use varies massively. Most farmers are responsible with their water use and run-off control. As usual, it’s the few who ruin it for the many. There would be better results from a strong, targetted attack on the troublesome minority, with real heavy penalties (not this wet bus ticket stuff) for repeat offenders.

    For example, I am not actually a farmer but I have a block of land in the Coromandel with a stream running through it. With some help from Environment Waikato’s “clean streams” programme, I have cleaned it right up, fenced it off from neighbouring stock, and planted heaps of natives. Our upstreams neighbours followed our example and now the entire stream is beautifully clean (the EW lady was most impressed). It looks great and a number of other people in the area have done the same.

    But down the road (not bordering our stream, thankfully) is a real “cowboy” type who doesn’t manage his runoff at all. Surely he should be targeted, rather than spreading the bueracracy across the group of responsible users further up the road.

    • vto 8.1

      Yes well said. I suspect such a policy of the Greens is too blunt and large ($500million is quite a chunk to pull out of any NZ industry). Perhaps a combination of a smaller version of the Greens policy plus some heavy targeting of those worst affected areas and worst offenders.

      In addition, if someone pays for something it implies a form of ownership (as does water trading etc) and water is something that should be part of the commons. No person should be able to own our water in any form. At the most they would own a right to use it for certain controlled purposes and timeframes only.

      Good to see the Greens ramping up this issue though. Keep at it – it is too important to leave to the farmers, who have proved themselves incapable of doing the right thing (as would any group of people in similar circumstances)

    • RedLogix 8.2

      Sincere congratulations on that stream work QSF. Credit where it is due.

    • Bored 8.3

      Good work QSF, I too think the problem may be too ill suited to market signals. I have long supported the concept of paying farmers and other land holders for guardianship, and proper land use policies.

      For example I would like to see a long term bond market in native reforesting, with the government guaranteeing the bonds for the life cycle of the trees, which in the case of totara etc might be 100 years. Its sort of watching your “gold” grow.

      I would also like to see some fencing off and planting of streamside land paid for by compensation through tax, or Crown Land swaps etc. In short I would like to see all parties have a stake in making conservation a profitable exercise.

      • queenstfarmer 8.3.1

        A carrot and stick approach is needed. It is a significant investment to fence off waterways and replant trees. But if you do it once, right, the benefits can last for literally decades.

        One way of making it “user pays” might be for councils to give a modest rates rebate on land that has been clean-streamed, and reallocating the cost across the other land owners. That way, if half the people bounding a stream have chosen to do so, the cost (and thus incentive) goes on the remaining owners to do the same. After all there isn’t much use in cleaning up a portion of the river when the same muck flows through it from upstream.

    • mik e 8.4

      Your right unfortunately Qstf .Tax polluters farmers are already being taxed on the Canterbury plains for water . but instead of the present regime of fines their should be mandatory fencing, meridian strips, and sumps to allow water to be purified using hay bails in sumps on the lowest parts of farms .We on the left must have workable policy.40% of farmers really care about their environment because they Know that if they look after their land and water because that is their future !the next 40% are neither here or there they will do the absolute minimum.then there is the last 20% they are the ones that need to be brought into line and so far the punishment regime doesn’t seem to be working so like in England the local regional council should just jump in fix the problem ands send them the bill.

      • queenstfarmer 8.4.1

        Agree. It’s like dog control laws – I don’t understand why successive Govts haven’t just got tough with the small minority causing 99% of the problems.

      • Bored 8.4.2

        I like the idea of Councils jumping to and doing the work then sending the bill. They need some good legislative and court backing but its a fine idea.

  9. Afewknowthetruth 9

    Replying to grumpy.

    Depending on lake levels etc. NZ generates between 40% and 60% of its electrical energy via hydro. A large portion of the other 60-40% is generated by the burning of fossil fuels, i.e. generating electricity consumes finite fossil fuels and generates CO2, as per the simple equation

    CH4 + 4O2 > CO2 + 2 H2O

    (yes there is some geothermal and some wind, both of which small compared to hydro and fossil fuel. Interstingly, the new Stratford power station is fossil-thermal ).

    In terms of absolute emissions NZ contributes little. But in terms of per capita emissions NZ has a record which is little short of appalling and NZ is doing nothing about it.

    And there is another issue not mentioned: nothing in the present industrialised farming system is by any stretch of the imagination sustainable in the long term. Apart from theier dependence on fossil fuels, the bulk of NZ farming sytems are totally dependent on application of synthetic fertilisers, urea, phosphate etc, which are at, or very close to peak, after which they go into decline).

    The only real question is this: will the industrial system fall over (due to worldwide economic collapse and depletion) before it renders most of the Earth uninhabitable for humans (via out-of-control CO2 emissions or triggering a ‘methane burp’ from the sea floor or the permafrost ) ?

    It would be good of some of the ‘trolls’ actually read and understood what is here:

    http://guymcpherson.com/2011/08/three-paths-to-near-term-human-extinction/

    That is probably too much to ask for.

    • mik e 9.1

      The renewable generation of electricity figure is between 60% and &05 depending on rainfall Afew

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        The last figure I saw was around 70%. NZ could do much better though if it set its mind to it. 80% should be achieveable in just a couple of years. 90% a few years after that.

    • grumpy 9.2

      So, I take it you agree that irrigating in Canterbury during summer does not use fossil fuels?

      During periods of relatively low demand (summer) means thermal generation is minimised, and anyway, North South flow on the DC link is minimal in summer so thermal cannot be argued as being needed to compensate.

  10. Ianupnorth 10

    The reality is that all that will happen is farmers will add on the cost of the water to the consumer and we will all end up paying their water bill. It seems at the outset a great idea, but it won’t really work.
    (As I have said before I know farmers who already have 20m outdoor swimming pools that are ‘reservoirs’ and are tax deductable – they will just fiddle it – again!)

    • RWNJ 10.1

      This is a horribly illogical statement, for a start farmers don’t set meat, wool or dairy prices. You also presume that farmers don’t have an interest in keeping the environment that they too have to inhabit in good condition. Also you stereotype every farmer based off of one example.
      This tax is a perfect example of treating everyone like criminals rather than treating the criminals like criminals.

      • vto 10.1.1

        Oh, you mean like the Nats policy of requiring every youth beneficiary to carry a payment card in order to punish the few who use money for booze and fags.

        Just trying to get your policy-making logic straight. Which it aint.

        • RWNJ 10.1.1.1

          I don’t remember saying i was a national supporter and even if i was i don’t remember agreeing with that policy. I have a friend who was on the youth benefit up until turning 18 and i know that introducing a system like that changes nothing and just reduces freedom for welfare recipients.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.2

        A tax is not a fraking punishment.

        In this case it is being levied to recognise the use and value of a natural resource of the commons, for private industry profits.

        The Green’s policy may require some fine tuning but it is a damn fine policy.

        Not sure why Right Wingers who love markets so much have a problem with the setting of price signals to drive desired behaviour (conservation of fresh water).

        • RWNJ 10.1.2.1

          I fail to see how taking money off of farmers is not a punishment, the tax is also completely unworkable and illogical. Do you tax farmers who create dams themselves and take no water out of public waterways?
          As for the private industry profits argument have you ever heard of income tax? If water is causing farmers to make more money they will pay more tax already…
          I also see an argument about rates, which is also pretty illogical as farmers already pay far higher rates than urban home owners simply due to the higher value of their land. They also receive far less for their rates considering that many don’t receive water, sewerage systems or any degree of public transport.

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.2.1.1

            Dude the farmers use a limited resource from the commons to make their money, in using it that resource is often degraded. But you don’t want charges applied. How is that considered reasonable? Expecting something for nothing I call that.

            So a tax set at a fair rate is a fair way of recognising the resource use and the resource degradation.

            which is also pretty illogical as farmers already pay far higher rates than urban home owners simply due to the higher value of their land.

            BS

            A lot of local authorities have waivers giving large farms discounts of their rates.

            Its quite possible for a $3M farm to pay less rates than a $1M town property.

            Now, given that a farm is a business it would be more valid to compare the rates paid on a $3M farm to a $3M retail premises or offices.

            Guess what, the farmer pays very very little rates when you make the correct comparison.

            • RWNJ 10.1.2.1.1.1

              You ignore the point that you have no way of knowing if the water used was a common resource, many farms have literally dozens of privately owned dams used to fill troughs and irrigate which would all be taxed under this law.
              Many farmers also have to apply for and pay for water rights in areas where the water is limited (usually heavily farmed areas such as South Canterbury) so the idea that farmers are stealing a limited resource is also rather idiotic as in the areas where water is limited they already pay for it.
              As for the rates all i know is what my family pays and considering what we receive from our rates(virtually nothing outside of use of a public library) paying literally tens of thousands of dollars seems excessive.

              • RWNJ

                I misworded this a bit. All farmers have to apply for water rights but in some areas the granting of these rights is already heavily limited.

              • ak

                As for the rates all i know is what my family pays and considering what we receive from our rates(virtually nothing outside of use of a public library)

                Do us a favour, RW, look up how much your council spends on rural roads every year, divide it by the number of rural ratepayers and get back to us if you’ve got a leg to stand on (keep a chair handy).

                And of course farm rates are a legitimate business expense for tax-decuctible purposes, unlike urban residential.

        • mik e 10.1.2.2

          CV I’m not a right winger by along way .But just about all the irrigation for dairy farmers happens on the Canterbury plains they are already paying for their water rights . It would be unfair to tax them only and not Southland,Waikato,,Taranaki the West Coast. if we on the left want farmer buy in on this one the tax has to be fair.Regional councils are not tackling the problem and should adopt a more proactive way of doing things like in england where their councils pay half the bill for fencing off streams,if we on the left want to get back onto the govt benches we have to be reasonable. Those farmers have heaps more resources than we do and they will use them to keep us of the govt benches at all costs if we come up with unfair policy

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.2.2.1

            Thanks for the detail. I didn’t know about the Canterbury situation.

            I agree that the left need to approach the rural sector with a far more nuanced viewpoint and I could do with a bit of that too. Smashing at farmers as being tax bludgers etc does not do Labour and the Greens any good.

            There are plenty of good news stories out there where farmers are making excellent, environmentally sound decisions. That is what we need to encourage. And it won’t happen if the left act all tone deaf towards the rural electorates.

  11. MrSmith 11

    Go the Greens, they are on a roll at the moment, doing the hard yards with Great common sense solid policy. Solutions to problems, including how they intend to pay for them and as usual the farmers are crying “short arms deep pockets”, bloody beneficiaries the lot of them. 

    • Blue 11.1

      Not many beneficiaries feed the country Mr Smith, do they? Pretty sure the Greens don’t either. Some respect for the job they do would be in order.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Speaking of feeding the country, how about getting us some milk people can afford. You know, milk which isn’t more expensive than you can get it in other western countries.

        Some respect for the job they do would be in order.

        It would help if some farmers didn’t constantly take the piss. You know, owning multimillion dollar farms, applying for community services cards and then sending their kids to uni claiming student allowances because they fall under taxable income thresholds.

      • MrSmith 11.1.2

        They’re beneficiaries alright Blue, farmers are allowed to pollute our environment with impunity, they pay little or no tax, while making outrages capitol-gains on their properties, all the while holding there hand out every time it rains to hard or doesn’t rain, this is the definition of a beneficiary in my book.

        • Blue 11.1.2.1

          I disagree, a beneficiary has no job and no (legal) income and is someone who through the generosity of the tax payer and the state is able to survive until they get a job, generally or in some cases maintain their chosen lifestyle. Farmers are businesses, they employ directly and indirectly fellow New Zealanders, they work hard, work very long days and contribute to the economic robustness of this country. They are the very antithesis of a beneficiary. Huge difference. As you strike me as a bit of an “indoors boy” I will allow this lack of comprehension on your part.

          • MrSmith 11.1.2.1.1

            Well sorry to disappoint you then Blue I have worked bloody hard outside with my hands all my life.

            The market economy doesn’t work without a pool of unemployed Blue, so like a lot of the benie bashers you have know idea what you are talking about, you’re just another National party cheer leader I suspect, do a little reading instead of swollowing the chap and spin coming form the Nac’t hook line and sinker.

  12. Afewknowthetruth 12

    No I do not agree.

    Irrigation does consume fossil fuels and does result in increased CO2 emissions.

    The construction and operation of hydro dams is dependent on fossil fuels. The production of concrete generates huge amounts of CO2.

    Pipework is made from oil and is installed using oil powered machinery.

    Of course there are lots of other activities that consume more fossil fuel and gerenate more pollution that irrigating but there is absilutely no getting away from the fact that any kind of industrial activity uses up finite resources and degrades the general environment.

    Whatever crop or dairy product that is produced on irrigated land is harvested’processed/transported using fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are embedded in practically everything in an industrialised economy. That’s why all of it is unsustainable.

    The ‘Titanic’ is slowly going under and it makes no difference how much ‘the crew’ or ‘the passengers’ squeal.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      The other thing is that irrigation increases pasture production limits, making it worthwhile for more fertiliser to be used, making it worthwhile for more cows to be kept per hectare of dairy farm, etc.

      Without sufficient irrigation, the production cake would shrink (as Gail the Actuary describes it) and less fossil fuels overall would be consumed.

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  • French Lessons
    Aux Armes Citoyens! Exacerbating Labour's current difficulties is the unfinished character of the rank-and-file's 2012 revolution. It was as if the revolutionary crowds of Paris, having torn down the Bastille, then decided to build it back up again!“APRÈS MOI, LE...
    Bowalley Road | 26-07
  • Most politicians don’t care about elderly
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    The Jackal | 26-07
  • I wish you all solidarity
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    Red Alert | 26-07
  • Billboards
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    DimPost | 26-07
  • Reconcile this, please, Mr Coleman
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    Occasionally erudite | 26-07
  • Much to fight for in the Maori seats
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    Pundit | 26-07
  • A plea to all Labour Party activists
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    Imperator Fish | 26-07
  • Hosking hits back
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    My Thinks | 26-07
  • The CRL and City Centre Office Shortages
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    Transport Blog | 26-07
  • A tale of two meetings…continued
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    The Jackal | 25-07
  • We Are Not Anti Dairy
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    Gareth’s World | 25-07
  • Why the Super-Rich need Governments. (from Social Europe Journal)
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    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 25-07
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    The Jackal | 25-07
  • Another media gaffe – this time it’s TV3′s Brook Sabin
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    Frankly Speaking | 25-07
  • Holiday Highway approved
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    Transport Blog | 25-07
  • Some thoughts on National’s Standards
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    PSA | 25-07
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    ALRANZ | 25-07
  • Pallet-boarding on the tram tracks
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    Transport Blog | 25-07
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #30A
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    Skeptical Science | 25-07
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    Frankly Speaking | 25-07
  • Frankly speaking #2…
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    Frankly Speaking | 25-07
  • Frankly speaking…
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    Frankly Speaking | 25-07
  • Frankly speaking…
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    Frankly Speaking | 25-07
  • Israel Murdering Babies, Children, and Their Parents … and the World Lets...
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    An average kiwi | 25-07
  • Manipulated Data and the Art of Deception
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    Local Bodies | 25-07
  • Has Brownlee actually broken any laws?
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    Occasionally erudite | 25-07
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    Imperator Fish | 25-07
  • Dissonance
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    No Right Turn | 25-07
  • NZ stinks, #LoveNZ!
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    Polity | 25-07
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    No Right Turn | 25-07
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    Transport Blog | 25-07
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    No Right Turn | 25-07
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    Greenpeace NZ blog | 25-07
  • Coleman lied about Dotcom
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    No Right Turn | 24-07
  • Aunty Helen copped it so why not Borrows?
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    The Jackal | 24-07
  • Awful
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    Polity | 24-07
  • World News Brief, Friday July 25
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    Pundit | 24-07
  • Press Release: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
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    Gareth’s World | 24-07
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    Public Address | 24-07
  • Message to TV3 execs – Is this really acceptable?
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    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Message to TV3 execs – Is this really acceptable?
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    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Accelerating the Additional Harbour Crossing project?
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    Transport Blog | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking & the benefit of low expectations
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    Pundit | 24-07
  • Brownlee Should be Arrested like we Would be
    If you or I broke aviation security laws we would  be arrested. Why wasn’t Brownlee?  ...
    An average kiwi | 24-07
  • No time. No manners. No respect.
    H/T @nintendoug...
    The Jackal | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking as TVNZ’s moderator for political debates?! WTF?!
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    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking as TVNZ’s moderator for political debates?! WTF?!
    . . I checked the calendar, and it’s not April 1st. An April Fool’s joke is the first reaction I had when I heard  that someone at  TVNZ had appointed Mike Hosking to be the moderator  for live, televised election-year...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • National Standards are awesome: Parata
    Hello everyone! I am the Minister of Education and I am more stoked than an illegal Christchurch log-burner. How exciting is a day like today when we can release a vast amount of information to our good friends in the...
    My Thinks | 24-07
  • Neo Liberal interest rate hike
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    Closing the Gap | 24-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
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    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
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    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
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    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
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    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
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    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
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    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
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    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
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    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
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    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
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    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
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    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
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    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
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    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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