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The Greens, electricity & sustainability

Written By: - Date published: 2:15 pm, April 16th, 2013 - 48 comments
Categories: climate change, cost of living, david shearer, greens, labour, privatisation, Privatisation, public transport, russel norman, sustainability - Tags:

Stuff’s report about the joint Labour-Green electricity announcement on Thursday, says that the policies of the parties will have similarities and differences.

Today, Shearer and Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said they would hold a press conference on Thursday.

“The reason we’re doing this is because we both share the same ambition to bring down electricity prices,” Shearer said.

The policies had similarities and differences, he said.

So I will be hoping to hear something about sustainability from the Greens, given it is a big part of their main energy policy, which says:

Improving energy system planning and co-ordination

The Green Party will:

  • Redesign the Electricity Commission as a Sustainable Energy Commission with regulatory responsibility for all fuels.

  • Require an urgent independent review of Transpower’s planned grid upgrade with a view to developing alternatives that have less impact on the environment and better facilitate a sustainable energy system.

  • Ensure that all major capital projects are tested against sustainable alternatives such as energy efficiency, fuel switching, renewable generation, load shifting and distributed generation.

  • Investigate introducing ‘progressive pricing’, whereby the more energy you use, the more you pay, above a certain base level.

In 2010, debating the government’s Electricity Industry Bill, Kennedy Graham said:

We contended that the underlying challenge was missing. This was the need for a genuine regulatory framework that would make the playing field level for more sustainable renewable energy. We said that the Government was in danger of missing the whole point.

I will be looking to see how the Greens will incorporate plans to keep electricity prices down, while also working towards use of more renewables, and sustainable use of energy.

In my view, sustainability requires a change in mind-set in how we use electricity: that includes better public transport and less focus on promoting a consumer society.

48 comments on “The Greens, electricity & sustainability”

  1. Rich 1

    The way to package this would be a guarantee that for an average household (say < $150 of electricity a month), electricity prices would be cut in the first two years of a Green/Labour government and then pegged to inflation.

    I also think that the core goal should be to get to 100% renewable electricity and then start replacing static and transport users of fossil fuels (dairy factory boilers, diesel railways and the like). Realistically, that means more wind, pumped storage and a bit of hydro.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      “I also think that the core goal should be to get to 100% renewable electricity and then start replacing static and transport users of fossil fuels (dairy factory boilers, diesel railways and the like). Realistically, that means more wind, pumped storage and a bit of hydro.”

      And more expensive power than what we’re currently paying.

      • Rich 1.1.1

        Why? Currently our power is priced artificially, but linked to the cost of coal and gas, which can be expected to increase steadily as fossil fuels become increasingly short and carbon charges are imposed (through taxes on our exports if we try and opt out of international coorperation).

        Renewable power has two cost inputs, the capital in the plant and the wages/consumables to operate it. That’s much more controllable than fuel costs.

        If we reach 100% renewables we’ll have a major competitive advantage of low stable power prices while overseas countries have high and fluctuating ones.

  2. Peter 2

    Hmm. Sustainability vs resilience? That may seem like a semantic argument, but we cannot replace fossil fuels with any combination of renewable technology, so whatever regulatory body the Greens propose needs to be aware of this.

    Of course, this is politics, and most of the public is wedded to the idea of ever increasing primary energy supplies and progress, so even the Greens need to tread softly here. If you think climate change arguments are hard, try challenging people on energy supply concepts – you can get a very violent reaction.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      but we cannot replace fossil fuels with any combination of renewable technology

      Not within the same paradigm but we can if change the paradigm. No more cars, trucks limited in range and use of bio-fuels, trains and buses run on electricity. Factories run on electricity already. Farming’s a little difficult but I reckon we could convert them over to electricity as well – we just wouldn’t have as many of them.

  3. Pete 3

    Investigate introducing ‘progressive pricing’, whereby the more energy you use, the more you pay, above a certain base level.

    If this is introduced, it had better be on a regional and maybe even seasonal basis. I’d warrant that households here in Dunedin in the winter must of neccesity use more electricity for home heating than their counterparts in warmer parts of the country.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1

      I doubt the policy would apply to domestic users. If prices come down overall that would offset any regional imbalances.

      • Shane Gallagher 3.1.1

        No – it is directed at domestic users – we are very conscious of fuel poverty and this is part of the policy framework to address this issue.

    • geoff 3.2

      Pete, if you look at the historical data, average annual electricity usage by households has been incredibly static. South Islanders generally do use about 1000-2000kWh more than North Islanders because of extra heating but the difference might be less than you expect because Nth Islanders tend to use more A/C than Sth Islanders.

      The Green’s idea sounds like it might be similar to my electricity rebate idea. You get a parcel of electricity for free (~7000-9000kWh) and then you pay for anything over that.
      I’m sure neither the Green’s or Labour will go that far, which is a shame, and if the Green’s progressive pricing idea has any similarity then, I imagine, they will make the parcel of energy you receive just cheaper, not free.

    • Lanthanide 3.3

      That is in fact already the case, Pete.

      There is a “low user” tariff that I believe all power companies must offer. The treshold to be considered a “low user” is something like 8000 kwh in the North Island and 9000 kwh in the South Island.

  4. Populuxe1 4

    I have yet to see the Greens address the impact of turbines and tidal generators on bird and marine life, which is interesting because we have already seen how hydroelectric dams impact the environment. Or indeed the practicalities of where exactly we would put big solar farms. It all ends up looking like hypocrisy and political hand waving after a while.

    • geoff 4.1

      Fuck off ya nonce.

      [lprent: Explain why you think that. Otherwise I tend to view it as being pointless abuse. If you read the policy, you'll find that I ban for it. You just got your warning. ]

      • Populuxe1 4.1.1

        Why? For mentioning the elephant in the room. Aw, did I kill Santa Claus?

        • geoff 4.1.1.1

          For trying to derail the comments.
          Oops Mustn’t. Feed. The. Troll.

          • infused 4.1.1.1.1

            Pretty legit question

            • geoff 4.1.1.1.1.1

              And I answered it. I told him to fuck off (ya nonce) becos he was doing the standard right wing(nut) lame-arse tactic of trying to divert the comments because he has no answer to the main points of the post.

              • Populuxe1

                ‘Cept I’m not right wing – just bemused by all the contradictions in Green policy. The environment is an absolute priority, but with the Greens it;s al feel good promises and very little brass tacks. They are becoming increasingly more like Labour.

    • vto 4.2

      Yes have wondered about the effects of say the kaipara harbour mouth tidal generators on the sand through which it passes. Surely the sandy mouth will simply shift to the side of the generators which will disappear under the sand.

      • Peter 4.2.1

        That’ll be why the Environment Court ordered a staged approach for the Kaipara project, with adaptive management.

        There are risks with marine power, but they aren’t high enough to warrant saying no, given the huge opportunities to get on with powering this country with renewables.

      • lprent 4.2.2

        Nope. The current around the Pouto through to the heads is extremely deep, has bugger all sand near the bottom because of the current speeds, and won’t move because of a few harbour bottom obstructions because of the orientation of the harbour mouth.

        My grandparents had a bach at Pouto and we used to damn near live there when we were kids in summer. Used to dive at the turn of the low tide, fish for breakfast at the canyon at the beach shore, and got caught out in a dinghy with a running tide for several hours praying the anchor wouldn’t drag when the seagull died and we had no way of getting us to shore.

        It is a different kind of harbour. The amount of water washing in and out of those narrow heads is immense. It tends to obey rock and bugger all else is ever going to affect it.

  5. Shane Gallagher 5

    No but a little fact-fairy dies every time you talk rubbish… here are the estimated stats from the US.

    The year is the year of the estimate, the first number is the low side estimate and the second number is the high side estimate. You will note that cat-kills are not included here – just man-made stuff. The number of bird kills, while regrettable, is vanishingly small compared to, say, glass.

    Collisions with:

    Wind turbines 2009/10 100,000 (2010) 440,000 (2009)
    Towers 2008 4,000,000 50,000,000
    Power lines 2001 10,000,000 154,000,000
    Roads/vehicles 2005 10,700,000 380,000,000
    Glass 2006 100,000,000 1,000,000,000

    [lprent: Reply to this. I do wish that people would learn to use the reply buttons. But interesting - I made it into a table so I could read it more easily ]

    • Murray Olsen 5.1

      Thanks for those numbers SG. With the rage the right wing nutters get into about bird deaths by turbine blades, I could never understand how the blades could stay white and the area around a windfarm could be anything but a bloodied swamp.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        It’s a coverup, clearly.

        • Murray Olsen 5.1.1.1

          Obviously. The stuff in the chemtrails cleans them whiter than white. It’s no accident that the TSA Federal Air Marshal Robert MacLean and the toothpaste have the same name. This goes deeper than I’d suspected.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        There’s an easy solution to bird kills from wind farms – build them out to sea. Comes with other benefits as well such as the fact that the pylons the wind turbines are built upon will act as artificial reefs and that the area covered by the wind farm cannot be trawled for fish making it an automatic marine reserve.

  6. DH 6

    I’m waiting with bated breath but I don’t have high expectations.

    One of the reasons we have high power prices is because the power companies have all revalued their generation assets upwards each year to portray a ‘fair market value’. Mighty River Power has equity of $3.014 billion dollars. Of that equity $1.86 billion is ‘asset revaluation reserves’ which is roughly how much they’ve ramped up the value of their generation plants since being made an SOE. That’s tax-accounted too, there’s an extra $720million in deferred tax on those revaluations.

    That reserve represents well over half of their required return on equity, at 7% ROE we’re talking an extra $130million in profits. And that’s just one of them, Meridian has revaluation reserves of $3.39 billion.

    The sharemarket value of these power companies is a factor of their profits. Any cut in power prices comes from the top, a small cut can mean a large fall in profits. A 10% cut in the average selling price for Mighty River would be a 33% fall in EBITDAF and more than a 50% fall in nett profit which would result in a corresponding 50% fall in the share price. I can’t see Labour or the Greens going that far so I expect we won’t see any real cuts for most of us.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      One of the reasons we have high power prices is because the power companies have all revalued their generation assets upwards each year to portray a ‘fair market value’.

      Just destroy the book value of the companies in a one hit write down then. One way to do that is to poison pill every electricity company with conditional debt.

      • DH 6.1.1

        Yeah you could do that but those power companies are assets on the Crown’s books, any writedowns would increase the Crown deficit. They’d really need to unwind all the revaluations too which includes the lines companies like Vector, fully privatised powercos like Contact, and Transpower. All up I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s nearly $15billion in revaluations that have already been booked & spent by Cullen & English. It’s a lot of money and we don’t have it any more.

        We’re paying the price of putting beancounters in charge of the nation’s finances.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Bean counters in charge of the nations finances would have been fine

          Instead we put Wall St types in charge.

          Yeah you could do that but those power companies are assets on the Crown’s books, any writedowns would increase the Crown deficit.

          It’s simple a ledger entry. It has zero effect on cashflow and unless some financing asset backing conditionalities apply, I can’t see that there would be any fiscal impact.

          • DH 6.1.1.1.1

            Jesus. Get real, after English’s borrowing spree the nation’s nett worth is only about $60 billion as it is now. Knock another $10-15 billion off that & see what our financial situation would end up like.

            That $15billion has all been spent as real money, Cullen & English booked it as paper (ledger) gains and then borrowed against it or called it a surplus which they then spent.

            It’s not Wall St types who got us into this mess. It was accountants.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Nonsense

              Fuck this “nett worth of the nation” concept, it’s an irrelevant abstraction that the markets don’t give a shit about. It’s not even what the bond vigilantes look at because that’s not how sovereigns are financed.

              In other words, the sovereign is not a home owner going to the bank manager trying to get a second mortgage based on the equity they have left in their residence.

              It’s not Wall St types who got us into this mess. It was accountants.

              What the fuck are you on about? They may have had accounting degrees yes, but the people who got us into this mess are Financial Engineering Treasury types, not bean counters.

  7. Rich ,the other 7

    Might be a problem for the greens on this one, green power (wind turbine) is a very expensive way to generate electricity.
    If power prices are to be forced down, expensive wind generation will go out of business and be replaced by coal fired generation.

    [lprent: You really should remember how to type in your handle so the overworked mods don't have to release it. ]

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Might be a problem for the greens on this one, green power (wind turbine) is a very expensive way to generate electricity.

      Far, far cheaper than relying on imported fuels forever.

      If power prices are to be forced down, expensive wind generation will go out of business and be replaced by coal fired generation.

      Nope, long term renewables are always cheaper than non-renewables.

      • Rich the other 7.1.1

        Rubbish,
        No need to import anything, we have a thousand years of coal just waiting to be burned in our power stations and its very low cost, using coal the price electricity would fall by about 33%,
        that’s why Japan and Germany are converting to coal fired generation.

        Wind power only exists so power company’s can trumpet there green credentials, its not cost competitive.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          You’re forgetting the cost of Climate Change that burning coal and other fossil fuels has. A cost that wind power and other renewables don’t have. This is why we must start taxing the burning of fossil fuels – to make the economics of doing so meet the actual cost. Once we do that then, lo and behold, wind and other renewables are cheaper.

          You want a market system? Then you need the costs to be properly charged for.

          • Rich the other 7.1.1.1.1

            So you think that by forcing up the cost of fossil fuels that this will some how produce the cheaper electricity .
            On climate evolution ,
            please explain the cause of the creation of the sahara desert, it certainly wasn’t man made.
            .

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    The Greens: “We’re going to review this, investigate that, rescope this and report on the other.”

    FFS the Greens are turning into Labour.

  9. millsy 9

    Wind and solar are more suited to small scale niche applications, rather than powering things like smelters and hospitals. Examples can include remote communities, solar street lights, and the like.

    Im not expecting anything to radical from this announcement. The best I am hoping for is for a return to some sort of central co-ordination and planning, and allowing lines companies to own generation and retail assets (and vice versa).

    • Tiresias 9.1

      I, too, expect little of consequence. Labour might have the credibility but don’t have the vision. The Greens have the vision but don’t have the credibility. The solution to that is obvious to everyone, but is also anathema to politicians of any stripe.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      Wind and solar are more suited to small scale niche applications, rather than powering things like smelters and hospitals. Examples can include remote communities, solar street lights, and the like.

      Put an average 1KW of solar generation on each house in the country. That’s about 1.5GW of generation. I suspect that’s capable of doing more than niche stuff although what it would actually do is free up the power from the main generators to be used for other stuff such as factories and public transport.

      • DH 9.2.1

        “Put an average 1KW of solar generation on each house in the country. That’s about 1.5GW of generation. ”

        Now you’re getting the hang of it, although 2-3Kw is better you just don’t save quite enough with 1Kw and it costs little extra to install more. 1KW of panels will generate around 1.2 Mw/hr annually on a reasonable site and use about 6.5 sq metres of roof space. That’s $300-350 worth of power.

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  • Auckland Transport Early October Board Meeting
    The Auckland Transport board meeting is on Thursday and below are sections from the various reports that caught my attention. The first thing I noticed was the huge number of items on the closed agenda with 18 specific items for decision/approval or...
    Transport Blog | 29-09
  • Labour not “part of the communities we live in”
    Labour leadership aspirant Grant Robertson told a blunt truism to Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand the Monday after the election. “Politics has to be about more than elections,” he said. “It has to about being part of the communities...
    Colin James | 29-09
  • The mystifying rise of Jacinda Ardern
    As Labour’s leadership debacle lurches nowhere fast, the only winner thus far appears to be Jacinda Ardern. A One News poll (or what One News sometimes likes to call a poll, despite it being a self-selecting online survey. Please, just leave the...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
    in which Transparency International New Zealand asks the Prime Minister to ensure integrity underpins all work he leads "in the best interests of all New Zealanders"...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Only Concession is from the Taxpayer
    Responding to the confidence and supply agreement reached between John Key and Peter Dunne’s United Future Party, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A Tent for Any Tenant
    AUT students and Salvation Army Manukau Community Ministries team up to raise awareness, as South Auckland’s housing situation moves from crisis to collapse...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report Seeks Comments
    The Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report and Recommendations was published on 25th September 2014 and the panel are inviting comments. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds, the organisation campaigning for consistent speed limits outside schools, is encouraged...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour’s Review – Terms of Reference Agreed
    Labour's Review - Terms of Reference Agreed Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result. The review will comprise three...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • The final countdown for Kiwi smokers
    There are just two days left until many smokers stubb out their cigarettes for the last time and embark on Stoptober – New Zealand’s first national quit-smoking month....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose”
    “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose” – Chris Hipkins Labour Senior Whip I would say to all of the caucus and all of the members let's actually hear the arguments from the people who want to be leader,...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Campaign to make Murder of Unborn ”Safe and Legal”
    The IPPF have launched an international campaign through its 161 affiliates including the New Zealand Family Planning Association [NZFPA] to make the murder of the unborn safe and legal and accepted as a human right. This is an acceleration of...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Grant Robertson Labour leader hopeful on TVNZ Q+A
    “Look I think what we need to be is relevant, clear and consistent with New Zealanders about the Labour Party's values,” said Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson on TVNZ’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour Needs to Get House in Order Before Deciding Leader
    Ex Labour party leader and possible repeat contender David Shearer says the Labour Party is going about the post-election period in the wrong way....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Hate merchants at it again with smear tactics
    “It’s disappointing to see the hate merchants at it again with yet another attempt to smear and silence a health professional who’s doing research they disagree with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
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