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The housing policy

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, November 16th, 2012 - 60 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags:

Labour is due to release its big housing policy at conference and I suspect it’ll be either a Kirk style subsidised mortgage scheme for first home buyers or a substantial increase in state housing stocks.

If it’s the former then it needs to ensure that there are tight parameters on what kind of home can be bought. The Kirk era scheme required houses to be new build which helped housing stock and created jobs but is also responsible for some of our sprawl suburbs and sprawl is unproductive and expensive. I’d like to see a similar scheme focus on medium density urban homes.

If it’s the latter then there’s a whole spectrum of ways it could be rolled out from PPP through to more interventionist build. I suspect this opposition would look to tender out a build which comes with its own dangers in terms of risk to taxpayer and creation of monopoly providers among other things. There’s also a risk of creating ghettos and/or sprawl if a lot of thought isn’t given to how they are placed. Which isn’t to say I’m against such a policy but the devil is very much in the detail – these policies can be “left” but done badly, they can also be very much crony-capitalist.

Of course Labour’s policy may involve a third option but I’m betting it’s one of these two. There’s a rumour National has its own housing policy announcement planned for tomorrow at Hobsonville to take some of the gloss off Labour’s. I reckon they’ll be throwing a lot of money into a PPP of some kind. I guess we’ll just wait and see.

Update: National’s announcement was today not tomorrow and it’s basically adding 600 new “affordable” hoses to the Hobsonville development. Word is Labour’s policy is likely to be big. Like ten figure big.

60 comments on “The housing policy”

  1. I have trouble with the first option. We clearly have a bubble, and I don’t see giving people money to buy into the bubble turning out well. Not to mention that part of our housing crisis is for people who are too poor to save even for a modest house, or to rent suitable accomodation. Building public housing to provide housing directly and indirectly reduce the demand side seems better to me.

    • IrishBill 1.1

      I’d agree with that. Kirk’s policy was suited to its time.

      • Rob 1.1.1

        so your assuming we are going to presented with flawed ideas and plans, dosn’t sound greatly inspiring does it.

    • Tom Gould 1.2

      Not sure you can charaterise the Auckland market as a bubble. Auckland needs around 13,000 new dwellings each year just to keep up now. With the population heading towards 2 million in 20 years, that’s another 400,000 houses, maybe more. Sprawl won’t work. Auckland is already the largest territorial authority in Australasia. It is imperative that the housing policy be connected to the transport policy, for Auckland anyway. Let’s see if Labour are smart enough to make the connection?

      • Bill 1.2.1

        So Auckland needs 13 000 new homes per year. Why? There are countless smaller towns throughout NZ that would probably welcome a bit of influx. (Spread the 13 000 amongst them and we’re looking at not too much of an impact at all.)

        But the problem would appear to be (correct me if I’m wrong) that the need to have a job and potentially earn a livelihood dictates that people will gravitate to the few conurbations in NZ where careers and jobs exist.

        So, is it really a housing problem?Or is more a problem with the spacial orientation of business?

        At the risk of sounding ever so briefly naive or romantic – it wasn’t so long ago that small towns had multiple job opportunities. And it’s a fairly recent phenomena whereby ‘everything’ is brought in from outside due to the centralisation of businesses and the economies of scale that go with that process.

        I’m not advocating a return to some notion of a quaint past, but just wanting to signpost that the large scale centralisation of business and the idea that everyone has a job or whatever and lives within a market framework simply isn’t sustainable. (And I don’t care how ‘green’ any attempts to sustain it might be. Ain’t going to work out)

        So the problem goes way beyond housing and urbanisation. The problem is climate collapse and peak resources (oil or whatever else) and (basically) living by a theoretical model that’s on the cusp of not relating to the real world situations it’s creating, and so by extention, living by a theoretical model that simply won’t be able to serve us at all in the not too distant future.

        Elephants. Room. Ostrich. Sand. Choose the metaphor of your liking.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1

          and (basically) living by a theoretical model that’s on the cusp of not relating to the real world

          What do you mean “on the cusp”? It hasn’t related to the real world at any time.

        • Macro 1.2.1.2

          Bill most people immigrating to NZ want -for what ever reason – to stay in Auckland. I’ve worked in the civil engineering side of urban development and what Tom say is perfectly true. In the 2008-2009 construction seasons developers stopped almost all new projects – the pressure on house prices in the Auckland area now is a direct result of that slowdown. I don’t agree with urban sprawl anymore than most other commentators here, But the simple fact is that Auckland will need around 400,000 new dwellings in 20 years.

      • mike e 1.2.2

        tom labour had a policy of electrifying Auckland commuter rail as well as expanding the network national canned it and put in a piece meal short term solution in ,as right wing-nuts do!
        A wide spread capital gains tax is neaded, the money raised could be put towards increasing the house supply and keeping inflation down with out hurting the productive sector ie the cause of the high dollar! .
        The right wing nutters don’t care won’t care so log as they don’t upset their speculator mates and donors to their party .While destroying the productive sector and the battler young families trying to get ahead can miss out! and go to Australia where housing is cheaper better as well as job prospects !
        National full of B?S promises such as the brighter future where the hell is its not in NZ:
        National are short sighted F wits Power and Ponce over substance!
        All promise and no delivery just like a bunch of Con artists and ponzi schemers.
        Blame every thing else and every one else for their mistakes!

        • TightyRighty 1.2.2.1

          Oh the irony of your last sentence after another one your incoherent rants. Lay off the breakfast rheinecks for the good of society. Please.

          • PlanetOrphan 1.2.2.1.1

            Ironic for a separatist, observational critisism for everyone else M8!

            • TightyRighty 1.2.2.1.1.1

              I am not your mate. Anyone who considers the spittle laced rants of mike e to be observational criticism would founder at the kiddie tables of normal society. it’s telling the kind of rambling diatribe mike e delivers is considered an academic post here, but gets sites like kiwiblog and whaleoil named as sewers by the delivery monikers of said ramblers.

              • ” … considered an academic post here …” , what r u on about TR?

              • mike e

                Tigh arse almightyFunny that, One of new zealands fore most economists was agreeing with my observations on Jim Moras show this afternoon.
                You having your education paid for by me is ironic but even more ironic is that all you have learned to be is a tight arse “ignoranting”prick who has a degree in economics but doesn’t know anything about economics except how to repeat the failed mantra of the Chicago School Cult !
                Sorry my last rant was so accurate even if the diction wasn’t up to your Standard but my diction has got nothing on your economic naivity!
                Besides i’m just getting used to my new samsung galaxy s3 notebook!
                I’m also paying more tax than you as you pointed out last year in an argument where you accused me of being a benefit bludger!
                Sorry I don’t fit your mould!
                The English language is changing all the time idiot maybe a couple of my words will become common.But with your lack of foresight you would not understand as you are a follower and not a leader hows that for a rant!

          • mike e 1.2.2.1.2

            I see the Greens are getting stuck into National about the so-cold cheap housing project in Auckland!
            Maybe on planet key they are cheap but $400’000 for the average person its well out of reach !
            I hope these houses have toilets!

        • Johnm 1.2.2.2

          Hi Mike E

          “A wide spread capital gains tax is neaded, the money raised could be put towards increasing the house supply ” I agree A Capital Gains tax on investment properties of 80% backdated for 12 years would bring down the price of buying a house smartly so our young working kiwis could get a stake in this country and buy their own place. Probably knock 40% of the price of every house.
          We have a property speculation plutocracy here in NZ which has shut out our own young people. Shameful, selfish, greedy, part of the money grubbing malaise of this land.

          100% right. was a time when money grubbing stank of filthy lucre now the same has the scent of saintliness as in Goldman Sachs John and the grovelling to Prince Charlie.

          • johnm 1.2.2.2.1

            100% right :-) “Houses are now investments instead of just being places to live. The more that people rent the more this will be exacerbated.

            We’ve all (well not quite all of us) been sucked into thinking that absolutely everything is a commodity, even the essentials; housing, food, electricity etc, which should be bought and sold like fucking shares or currency.

            I’d like to see the next left government create some kind of ‘walled garden’ in the economy, inside of which are all the essentials. They can then say to the sharks “There you go, you can have that free market bollocks for your high-fructose reeboks etc but you’ll be keeping your grubby little mitts off this stuff”

    • George D 1.3

      The first option is simple madness. What happened with Australian first home buyer grants is that it simply pushed prices up at the bottom – an effective grant given straight to existing owners, developers and speculators. That in turn pushed everything up by the same amount.

      We can expect the same here.

  2. James Henderson 2

    the problem is no-one is building affordable housing, there is a real shortage of those – and a speculative bubble on top of it. Any government policy that gets those houses built without more sprawl- state housing or cheap loans for homes that fit those parameters is a good thing.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      cheap loans for homes will push up prices.

    • King Kong 2.2

      For single dwelling sections it is impossible to build low cost housing. The value of the land makes it insane to build cheap houses on it.

      If you want affordability in a growing Auckland, you either spread out, or go small and on top of each other like they do in every other large city in the world.

      • mike e 2.2.1

        Hey primitive primate the most sensible thing you’ve ever said on this website! Hooray!
        KK You should read more of what Rod Oram has to say!
        I’m starting to believe in Leaky’s theory of evolution again!

      • David C 2.2.2

        KK, I agree (mostly) with your comment.
        The problem is this; if you want to go up the district plan needs to be changed and that takes time, a lot of it. Then there is NIMBYism.
        People are rightly worried that a 8 storey slum block is going to be built next to them.

        If Looney Len and his cohorts were to start to designate areas for medium density now it would probably be 7 to 10 years before the first person were to take ownership.

        • mike e 2.2.2.1

          DC Maribyrnong st in Melbourne and the surrounding areas are what Rod Oram has pointed to as the way to go 2 to 3 story inner-city apartments they look good a lot better than John Banks shoe boxes and Melbourne’s designers are making beautiful open spaces to break up these beautiful apartments.
          Native birds are flocking back to these green spaces its the way forward I’ve just come back from Melbourne and have seen this inner city renewal project!

  3. pete 3

    Or encourage businesses, and/or new immigrants, to locate to the regions by making it worth their while.

    As always, dullard politicians from both sides asking the wrong questions. Perhaps many have holdings in the Auckland property market.

  4. Bill 4

    Crazy, I know.

    But what about compulsory purchases of land and buildings that are being left vacant for purposes of speculation? And then convert suitable properties to residential buildings? I know of a few large city center properties in this city that would fit the above category.

    And then there is, of course, squatters rights. Put simply – allow people to occupy and renovate abandoned buildings.

    And with specific reference to Christchurch, why didn’t…or why won’t…the government make compulsory purchase orders out to the west of the city and then, essentially, rebuild the eastern suburbs there? (And pass legislation to transfer insurance obligations to the new parcels of land too.)

    And for those who wish to continue to live in the ‘red zones’ or wherever, in the absence of a rebuild of infrastucture due to non-insurability, supply every person who wishes to take that option with a septic tank and a water tank and be sure they understand the situation viz-a-viz their insurance situation.

    And break any and all of the building industry’s monopolies on supplies. As I understand it, there is, for example, one company that controls the supply (and therefor the price) of bricks in this country.

    And while we’re at it, introduce a two tier building code. One for commercial building firms (make them far more stringent than at present) and one for ‘self build’ projects where the idea is to basically live in your house and not speculate. The latter proposition could become a hothouse for innovative design and construction – would be ‘governed’ by basic engineering prerequisites only – and embrace an ‘at your own risk’ philosophy. Okay, I can hear the squeals about insurance and so on. But if I can construct a home for about $10 000, (and that really is very do-able)then is insurance really such a big deal?

    And still there would be a housing shortage. But it would be a much, much smaller problem hedged around by multiple solutions.

    • David C 4.1

      What do you get for your $10K house? a tent, a portaloo and an extension cord to charge your laptop?

      What a fucktard.

      • mike e 4.1.1

        david c a dwelling could be built for $10’000 it wouldn’t look pretty but it would be better than sleeping rough! Mass production would be the way existing home owners would put up the nimby argument but $50’000 would get a whole lot more but still throw up the nimby problem!

    • KJT 4.2

      You obviously havn’t worked as a builder. On fixing owner built baches and farm buildings.
      Most are hazardous to the occupiers health and safety.
      New Zealander’s have way to high an opinion, of their own DIY skills.

      The problem is both high building material prices, and high land prices making it more profitable to build expensive houses.

      The developer that has the size and finance to build affordable housing is the Government.

      Heck. With rent to own it could even be revenue neutral.

      Quality 90 to 120 m sq houses are doable under 100 k. See the houses built by Auckland’s Unitec.

      One way to cut land prices and still have suitable living for young families is the village green style.

      And make it easier for businesses to locate away from Auckland.

      The last thing we need is UK style high rise slums.

    • Bill 4.3

      @ KJT and David C. If you have the time…watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXj7antqNn4

      Maybe google Michael Reynolds or on the question of what you can build for $10 000….try this http://www.envisioneer.net/howto.php

      • KJT 4.3.1

        Yep. Seen those.

        Unfortunately long term houses with a small ecological footprint often need better materials.

        • Bill 4.3.1.1

          You say you’ve seen those documentaries and links before. And so you’ll know the materials used are often unorthodox and cheap ones that nevertheless satisfy basic engineering specs for construction materials. Yet you appear to be claiming something to the contrary.

  5. pete 5

    “and embrace an ‘at your own risk’ philosophy. Okay, I can hear the squeals about insurance and so on. But if I can construct a home for about $10 000, (and that really is very do-able)”

    Very libertarian of you, Sir. I agree with this – get the government/council parasites out of the process.

    • Bill 5.1

      Very libertarian of you, Sir.

      Aye well, us left libertarians have no more love for remote authoritarian bureaucracy than anyone else. But do recognise the absolute need for forms of social governance….just we’d rather that governance was empowering and direct as opposed to disempowering and remote. But I guess that’s not quite what you were saying. I imagine you were taken by a wrong-headed notion of some individualistic ‘free for all’ that would be governed by ‘the laws’ of the market?

      • pete 5.1.1

        End result is the same. You and I would both like to build a house without (much) interference.

        The real problem is, of course, land. We have a lot of it, but it’s tied up by all manner of vested interests. Councils, especially.

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          So put an end to any and all notions of private land ownership and return the land and any resources it might hold back to the commons. Then there can be no destructive vested interests – council, private or otherwise.

          • pete 5.1.1.1.1

            I think we part ways at that point.

            • quartz 5.1.1.1.1.1

              lolz

            • AAMC 5.1.1.1.1.2

              I’m always intrigued by the (Right) Libertarian desire for the State’s only role to be the protection of private property, given it was the State that stole it. Shouldn’t Libertarians be fighting to hand land back to the Maori?

              • pete

                Maori never owned it.

                They occupied some of it, whilst they could defend it. Which explains why Auckland was mostly empty. Too hard to defend.

              • KJT

                If they were really libertarian they would be consistent in keeping the state out of everything, including property rights.

                In actual fact fact libertarians are only against the part of the State that prevents THEM from stealing..

                Once they have stolen OUR wealth they then want us to pay to help them protect it.

                Of course libertarian states do not succeed.
                It just changes subservience to Government to subservience to robber barons.
                No wonder that neo-liberalism grew from libertarianism.

  6. jason 6

    If the govt wants to bring down the value of land, they should tax ownership of it.

  7. Blue 7

    It is taxed, its called Local Authortity Rates

    • fatty 7.1

      true…but we should be taxing property exponentially. If someone owns 4+ houses, then they are leeches and a burden on society, so tax them more.
      I hope the plan is to build a lot of government houses…none of that PPP bullshit, just build them and rent them as cheap as possible.
      And increase the tax on people with multiple houses, and offer assistance to those paying off their mortgage via Kiwibank, but only on their first house.
      Basically, I hope Labour moves in this direction: we need cheap Government owned and run rental properties, make it easy to buy your first house, and make it a struggle to buy a second house…and make it damn near impossible to get over 4 houses.

  8. AAMC 8

    When are they going to attack the root causes of these issues rather than Governmental band-aids.

    Stop land banking with a LVT and place controls on the Banksters that are inflating our bubble with all that FED, ECB, BoJ, BoE money running scared of Europe and profiting off our interest rates and currency.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    Labour should stand with Mana and the Greens and say “not one more house” to be taken from GI on scabby Owner Driver trucks under state forces protection in the dark. Labour should call for hundreds of people to turn out each night with Shearer and Cunliffe at the front. Hone might even let them sit in his vehicle!

    This is unlikely obviously. Policy wankery is much more important. That is the difference between a neo liberal “social democratic” party rather than a party of principle that built the first kiwi state houses (albeit in league with some of the major capitalists in the land).

  10. geoff 10

    Houses are now investments instead of just being places to live. The more that people rent the more this will be exacerbated.

    We’ve all (well not quite all of us) been sucked into thinking that absolutely everything is a commodity, even the essentials; housing, food, electricity etc, which should be bought and sold like fucking shares or currency.

    I’d like to see the next left government create some kind of ‘walled garden’ in the economy, inside of which are all the essentials. They can then say to the sharks “There you go, you can have that free market bollocks for your high-fructose reeboks etc but you’ll be keeping your grubby little mitts off this stuff”

    /rant

    • rosy 10.1

      “Houses are now investments instead of just being places to live. The more that people rent the more this will be exacerbated.”

      Houses should be an investment in the city and in people’s lives. Renting doesn’t need to exacerbate making money off housing. I hope the Labour Party has been looking at some European cities that are still building large developments that contain affordable housing. In Vienna for example there are rebuilds of large apartments into smaller ones – whole buildings of them, not just one or two – near where I live in the central city because the City recognises that there is a lack of affordable units for young city workers. This is on top of massive City-driven developments (e.g. the Aspern project that will deliver 8,500 units). Rent controls and affordable housing requirements keeps the private housing market muted but there is still enough in it for private developers to come on board with the City-driven plans.

      Research into housing needs and the high and medium-density plans driven by the City of Vienna along with rent controls, while not without problems, seems to work a lot better than the completely private model. It has the added bonus of providing jobs during economic downturns – meeting another state-driven imperative of jobs first in economic policy.

      • geoff 10.1.1

        “Houses should be an investment in the city and in people’s lives. Renting doesn’t need to exacerbate making money off housing”

        Ok, my intention was to use the word investment in the financial sense of something that can be speculated on for short term profit.

        Rent controls, yeah great idea but I have never heard of rent control in NZ and the rights of tenants are few in comparison to landlords.

  11. Binders full of women 11

    I don’t mind either capitalisation of benefit or WFF for deposit. I don’t mind an increase in the State Housing stock.. esp along the lines of the Glenn Innes model. I do mind any talk of house affordability crisis or boo-hoo-Jacinda-can’t-slum-it-in a 2 bedroom unit in Grey Lynn. There are 90k perfect boned State house beauties on the market down the road from me. I also really like the idea of higher density city/suburb living (but not through leaky apartments or leaky cross leases).

  12. Adrian 12

    But the problem is that we need rental properties. Very few young people want to buy a house until their job situation is stabilised and in the future that may never happen as occupations are becoming more transient. You be nuts to buy a house and then have to sell to move with your calling.

    • lprent 12.1

      Most of the time people buy in a place and use it as a base. They rent when they move for work unless they know they are resettling.

      • pete 12.1.1

        Now why would they do that?

        Perhaps they see it as….. *an investment* (que: satanic music)

        Being a landlord isn’t for everyone, of course.

  13. pete 13

    If you want labour mobility, you need rental houses.

    Not everyone wants to own their own house. I certainly didn’t until I was in my 30s. Why? Never knew which country I’d be in six months in advance, let alone city. Also, didn’t want the capital risk, or the maintenance headaches.

    Landlords are great – they do all that stuff.

    • geoff 13.1

      I don’t want ‘Labour Mobility’. That’s just a right wing term which translates to the destruction of
      communities in the real world.

      • fatty 13.1.1

        well said..the neolibs can shove their ‘flexibility’ too…we all know what these terms really mean

        • pete 13.1.1.1

          Set up a Kibbutz, then. You’ll never have to move, and you won’t “destroy” your community. Everyone can share in the “wealth”.

      • pete 13.1.2

        You can choose not to be mobile. Live in a town, work in a needed industry, never move. Work for fisheries in Nelson, for example.

        Meanwhile, NZ benefits from having people work overseas and return with skills that can’t be attained here. People who live in regions where the work doesn’t match their skills may benefit if they move to a larger centre.

  14. Poission 14

    There is a rather scathing commentary from the CEO of the BNZ on housing investment and John Keys limitation of the retirement age.eg

    BNZ’s Andrew Thorburn hits out at ‘fundamental anomalies’ of tax system that favour residential property and says lack of leadership is main problem in housing affordability ‘crisis’

    http://www.interest.co.nz/kiwisaver/62066/bnzs-andrew-thorburn-hits-out-fundamental-anomalies-tax-system-favour-residential-pr

    The obvious problem is that the system is biased to favour property investment ie it rewards borrowers and penalizes savers.

    The second problem’s that the absence of tax mitigation on residential property investment,is the ability of overseas investors ( non resident)to purchase property without any captital gain which is a rare investment opportunity globally.Here I see no benefit for NZ ,this is actually a large component of the AK market.

    Another area for debate is the use of building covenants on sections by developers,which is used to “protect their investments”,which if it is an investment and not merely a home the suggestion of an asset tax on covenant land would see the clause come off large development blocks (at the end of the day the covenants are a from of economic apartheid and discrimination).

  15. AmaKiwi 15

    Is there an Auckland housing bubble? Yes and No.

    Yes, there is a shortage of housing but the prices have reach speculative bubble (and burst) proportions.

    The formula for housing affordability is your total housing costs should be no more than one third of your after tax income. The average NZ income is $33,000 (x 2 for a couple) = $66,000. Let’s say after tax is $49,000. One third of that is $16,333 or $314 per week (including rates, water, power, maintenance).

    Financially, it is a bubble. It is going to burst very soon. It will be ugly.

    When it does, where will people live? With each other, even more tightly packed together than they are now. Like it or not, this is REALITY.

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  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Climate change: The cost of past inaction
    For the past 20 years, New Zealand's climate change policy has been one of inaction and delay. While we've seen no less than four failed attempts at putting a price on carbon (including the current ETS), we've never really tried...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • Policy of fear
    Community groups have a vital role in New Zealand. In addition to speaking out on social problems such as poverty, mental illness and addiction, they also often have a direct role in fixing them via government funding. Unfortunately there's an...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47A
    A carbon tax could bolster wobbly progress in renewable energy A dam revival, despite risks Congress is about to sabotage Obama’s historic climate deal David Cameron urges Tony Abbott to do more on climate change G20 pledges lift Green Climate...
    Skeptical Science | 19-11
  • ‘Consult on promotions policy’: TEU to Auckland VC
    TEU is asking the vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland to engage in a process of consultation on the university’s Academic Grades, Standards and Criteria policy and other policies so the two sides can avoid further litigation. Earlier this month the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Asia-Pacific plans for gender equality
    New Zealand is one of the few countries who have not sent a government minister to an Asian and Pacific conference on gender equality and women’s empowerment in Thailand, but it has sent TEU women’s officer Suzanne McNabb.  The conference...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • TEC, Ministry and Treasury want new funding model
    The government should consider a radical shift in tertiary education funding policy according to advice from the Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry of Education and the Treasury. All three agencies advise the government to shift tertiary education funding away from...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • The awkward question of New Plymouth
    It’s rather common knowledge that Andrew Little wasn’t exactly a star in New Plymouth. He stood in the former Labour Party seat in 2011 and 2014, losing ground in both the electorate and party vote on each occasion. Overall, the...
    Occasionally erudite | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas. Staff and South Auckland community members had been campaigning to turn around the polytechnic’s proposal for mass redundancies since they were announced last...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Proud’s Britain
    Alex Proud has a very good long piece in the Telegraph that is as disturbing as it is accurate. The subject? Baby-boomers, and the way they have blindly robbed the generations that came after them. He is writing about Britain,...
    Polity | 19-11
  • This year’s (super) model: visualising atmospheric CO2
    Here’s a superb high resolution supercomputer visualisation from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center of the flows of CO2 in the atmosphere around the planet. Apart from being beautiful to look at, it shows the major sources of CO2 emissions in...
    Hot Topic | 19-11
  • Public Service Announcement: Advice to Andrew Little
    Over the last 48 hours absolutely everyone and his/her dog/cat has been publicly advising Andrew Little what he should with his front bench and much else decides. Good for them. Free speech is super. I won't be joining the chorus,...
    Polity | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Why lifelong prisoner surveillance is evidence of our failing prisons
    The intrusion of more and more State surveillance is easier to implement if the State begins with groups the populace are frightened of. Muslim radicals, Maori radicals, environmental radicals and prisoners are all easy fodder for ratings chasing media to...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Right to Life Congratulates the new Labour Leader
    Right to Life congratulates Andrew Little MP, on being elected as the new leader of the Labour Party. This is a very important election as Andrew Little is now a Prime Minister in waiting His election follows a line of...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Reply to open letter on earthquake repair in Christchurch
    You raise many points and I acknowledge the frustration some people are experiencing when their homes are still not repaired or rebuilt. We have consistently said that the scale and complexity of events has always meant that it will not...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Andrew Little New Labour Party Leader
    In a press conference held on Tuesday in the Labour Party Caucus room at Parliament, it was announced Andrew Little had been voted in as Leader of the Labour party....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Liam Butler interviews Professor Jay Kandampully
    Jay Kandampully is Professor of Consumer Sciences in the Department of Human Sciences. He also serves as a visiting professor at University of Innsbruck, Austria; Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China; and Furtwangen University, Germany;...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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