web analytics
The Standard

The losses keep coming

Written By: - Date published: 12:08 pm, September 24th, 2012 - 54 comments
Categories: jobs, same old national, unemployment - Tags: , ,

Welcome to National’s economy: Kiwirail has just announced 158 infrastructure and engineering job losses, and this afternoon Solid Energy will probably announce the loss of 300 jobs at Spring Creek, and 200-250 elsewhere.  This on top of the swathe of job losses in Huntly and Christchurch Solid Energy announced a month ago.

The Spring Creek miners aren’t going to take it lying down – they march on Parliament tomorrow, to appeal to their bosses bosses: the Government.  The workers plan to give their alternate plan to ministers; they accept 70 job losses to save the rest.

Kiwirail desperately needs more infrastructure and engineering work to get our tracks up to speed. Best put by the RMTU’s Wayne Butson:

“We fought hard to save as many jobs we could. With rotting Peruvian sleepers and hundreds of wooden bridges beyond their centenary of service, the last thing KiwiRail should be doing is laying off skilled workers.”

Vital rail work would not get done or would be delayed which would compromise safety and performance, he said.

“We’ll see more temporary speed restrictions in place and a greater potential for derailments and other critical incidents, with customers and staff paying the true cost of the cuts.”

These are both SOEs, that the government could be putting valuable investment into the economy through, doing vital work that is needed – instead they’re being run-down and parts flogged off.  Valuable jobs are being lost when the economy can least afford them to be; skilled workers are being lost from Aotearoa to Australia.

Great work National – best we pay more people the dole rather than have productive work done by skilled workers.

54 comments on “The losses keep coming”

  1. Jokerman 1

    MSM-Nuplex plan to close factories in NZ and Oz in next two years

    • mike e 1.1

      delta are axing 60 jobs airnz is downsizing govt dept.s continue to down size but increase numbers of consultants

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        We have an economy which does not need workers, either skilled or unskilled.

        Let’s go trade some derivatives, that will make NZ wealthy.

  2. Jilly Bee 2

    Having travelled on the Trans-Alpine Express two years ago and to Wellington on the Northern Explorer in July – I was appalled by the condition of the tracks – some parts were worse than a badly pot-holed road. I half expected us to derail several times – it was an ordeal to get up to go to the Cafe Car and/or the toilet. I do not recall the tracks being in such a state when travelling on the Limited Express and the Railcar from Rotorua to Auckland, nor on the Auckland – Wellington Express, even though those trips were several years ago.

    • vto 2.1

      You can blame ‘Sir’ Michael Fay for that jilly bee.

      They systematically rorted NZ Rail so as to pull out every single cent of available cash for themselves rather than use that cash to maintain the lines, wagons, etc. Ever wonder why you see trains travelling at snails pace sometimes? It is because the lack of maintenance means the train tracks cannot take the trains.

      They basically thieved from NZ Rail.

  3. Poission 3

    The transfer of both skilled jobs,and unskilled jobs is becoming more apparent in the difficulty of employers to find staff.One of the foremost issues is the 90 day rule,where employees are reluctant to change.

    Another issue is the inability of employers to provide enhanced on job education with transferable skills.

    The significant problem over the next 3 months will be a decreasing pool of available labour in other regions as CHCH moves into overdrive and the drift is evident now.

    http://s1250.beta.photobucket.com/user/Poission/media/skilllabour_zpsc7661f51.gif.html

    Mobie identified truck drivers as a skill shortage in the SI as an emergent property ( there was an example of a Transport company offering sign on bonuses), very poor decision making to reduce rail development..

    • Tiger Mountain 3.1

      Also according to many unionists old fashioned fatigue (rather than the once trendy burnout) is becoming a real problem across industries and the public service. Staff numbers are cut but the work remains to be done and people are just shagged, but try and cling on to their job.

      KiwiRail tops don’t want to do the work anyway it would seem. What kind of country are we meant to be running here? When everything is sold off and only shit service jobs remain what is left–tax haven, US military base….

      • vto 3.1.1

        But Tiger Mountain don’t you know that is the way ahead?

        For example in the farming industry, selling the farms to foreigners and working as farm managers and labourers is a proven way to wealth apparently.

        Can you not see this?

        • Tiger Mountain 3.1.1.1

          Very droll vto. Not being a “1%er” I do not see this and refuse to, preferring organising and resistance.

    • SpaceMonkey 3.2

      I thought that link was a political poll at first… :)

    • Jokerman 3.3

      “they” cannot source or attract enough engineers to fabricate and maintain manufacturing in the province where i live, and are flogging the one’s they have.
      ( yes, i do flat with a local engineers union organiser if you are wondering)
      they call their H.R person “the knife”
      wotta waste of human control degrees, slashing people’s lives in the back!

      btw, to paraphrase a plinth where i was gardening today-“Work is for people that have not learned to garden yet”

      organic Everything. Thats the way to go, imo. :)

  4. burt 4

    Kiwirail has just announced 158 infrastructure and engineering job losses

    Makes you wonder why Labour paid twice the market valuation for a lemon… I guess they had to in a bid to make sure National had a hard 6 years so they (Labour) could get back to being a disaster for NZ working people by ruining the economy again implementing failed (but popular) policies like they always do.

    [The govt paid exactly market value for KiwiRail.. the price that the seller and buyer agreed upon. …RL]

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      They didn’t, they paid market value and it’s not a lemon although NACT are trying their best to portray it as such.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      National has vandalised a key part of the infrastructure NZ needs to survive the future, simply in order to serve its roading industry mates.

      Trust you to undermine democratic values by suggesting that common sense policies wanted by the people must be opposed by the who? The wealthy elite?

      Piss off shit for brains.

    • Poission 4.3

      National did not invest nor did private companies such as pike river,Solid energy invested heavily in the rail infrastructure,and the PR disaster left it with both less coal for the route,and requirements for additional strengthening from both Black swan events.

      This was both a mixture of adverse luck,and under capitalization of the SOE’S The inappropriate level of the “market return” as required by directors left Solid Energy insufficient capital.The so called losses at spring creek,are not operating losses but accounting losses.

      http://www.coalnz.com/index.cfm/1,214,655,0/Agreement-to-move-Pike-River-Coal-by-Rail.html

      • RedLogix 4.3.1

        The so called losses at spring creek,are not operating losses but accounting losses.

        Yes. I’ve been encountering this kind of insanity quite a bit lately. Things are perfectly desirable from an engineering point of view are rejected by the bean counters with absolutely specious waffle about ‘opex’ and ‘capex’ and ‘depreciation schedules’ and all sorts of drivel that end up costing money.

        For instance. DoC are required to put a ‘value’ on their visitor assets, the tracks, bridges and huts. Then the govt charges them ‘depreciation’ that has to come out of their ‘opex’ (operations) budget. Then in some crazy money go-round the same money lands back in DoC’s ‘capex’ budget … which can only be spent on ‘new’ assets. Maintenance has to come out of opex.

        So each year as their asset base grows the depreciation charge grows, which means that existing tracks and huts get less and less maintenance. (Not to mention that the biodiversity protection work falls even further down the list of priorities.) At the same time they’ve got biggish lumps of cash to spend on ‘new’ assets that the local community doesn’t want or need. While at the same time DoC are demanding cash and volunteer time from the same community to maintain the older huts and tracks we really DO value.

        This is just one piffling little example of how accounting rules are driving decisions in completely perverse directions.

        • Poission 4.3.1.1

          There are two significant problems here,first the over complication of the SOP,which reduces decision making,and secondly the overweight role of BCA and MBA in running organisations with little understanding of flow dynamics or how things work.

          • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1.1

            What you have a is bunch of shitty “managers” who don’t understand operations, value, or leadership, and instead spend their life steering by the numbers.

            And they also tend to get paid the most in this sociopathic society we’ve allowed.

            • RedLogix 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes. It’s the same story I keep hearing over and over. Our fascination with technology seems to have seduced too many of us into thinking that everything, including leadership, judgement and wisdom can be automated, ie reduced to rigid SOP’s.

              Paperwork and process substituting for experience and skills will always end badly.

            • Poission 4.3.1.1.1.2

              This is not a criticism of Don Elder in the SE case,he was constrained from above a board with a deep ideological agenda,this is the deep malignancy of the underlying pathology,and where they try to cure the symptoms and not the causal mechanism,hence it will reoccur with persistence.

              If accountants are the rule,and they are using accounting procedures in say NZ rails case to reduce spending in infrastructure and maintenance,then they should be accountable if in the unfortunate case of an accident that is attributable ie personally accountable such as the directors of the finance companies.

              That may be the ghost of Christmas to come an enhanced risk is always incentive in the decision making process.

              • Jokerman

                apparently it pays ” to believe six impossible things before breakfast”

              • RedLogix

                If you have the interest here is an excellent account of the Cave Creek disaster from a systemic failure perspective. Especially pertinent:

                “The old New Zealand Forest Service seems to have had a carefully structured system using appropriately skilled employees for designing and building quality structures. Those systems are no longer evident within the Department of Conservation and the appropriately skilled employees have either gone or are doing different jobs. I believe that the department was malformed at birth; no place for the necessary systems was ever provided.”

                Cave Creek had a deep impact on not just DoC, but the wider implementation of the 1992 Health and Safety Act across the entire public and private sectors. But as well-intentioned as the designers of the act were; the implementation of it is notoriously bureaucratic and clumsy. Yet despite all of the immense expense involved, twenty years of the the H&S regime has not really seen a major drop in serious harm incidents.

                Again paperwork attempting to substitute for skill.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Do you want to know how incompetent, corner cutting and badly led this country has become? To me, the opening night of the Rugby World Cup demonstrated it perfectly. Years of planning, hundreds of thousands of management hours, and god knows how many millions upon millions spent in preparation for the opening ceremony.

                  And this country could not even get people across town on time.

                  Absolutely mind numbingly, fucking useless at every single level.

                  God help us if we have to ever do anything of real importance, like say, rebuild a city after a major disaster.

                • Poission

                  Indeed the reduction of institutional memory and great tomes of Potemkin wallpaper undoubtedly constructed at great expense by legions of highly qualified consultatants

                  Haven’t they done well.

                  http://dol.govt.nz/News/Media/2012/consultation-open.asp

        • Jokerman 4.3.1.2

          Jesus Wept!

    • mike e 4.4

      burt 4.000 kms of tracks three ferries rolling stock and land less than the cost of one lane of motorway from Auckland harbour bridge to the airport!
      Typical lack of understanding of infrastructure from redneck bean brained bean counter!

    • mike e 4.5

      John Banks sold kiwi rail to Fayricwhite and Alan Gibbs who live in Switzerland where all corrupt people hide their ill gotten gains 1.2 billion dollars worth of tax payers investment handed to 3 people for a song that money could have been used to up grade Kiwirail with out us having to borrow to fix the run down asset!

  5. burt 5

    Bloody Labour and their Muldoon-esq policies of nationalising everything. It didn’t work for socialist Muldoon and it didn’t work for Labour – but just watch them gain popularity by promising the short memory sheeple they will do it all again.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      It didn’t work for Muldoon because he borrowed the money from offshore at interest and he also created bloody great loopholes in the tax base. Don’t do those things and the nationalising of large parts of the economy works. It’s privatisation that doesn’t as the GFC, the Great Depression and every single recession in between and before prove.

    • mike e 5.2

      Burt Especially if they think like ewe

    • Colonial Viper 5.3

      What was wrong with 1980 Burt? You could raise a family and pay off a home with just a single full time income, and have a parent at home raising the kids too.

      • burt 5.3.1

        1984 – that is what was wrong with 1980 – it was unsustainable. Socialist la la land – the same boom and crash bullshit but you only remember the artificial boom created by failed interventionist ideology. You blind adherence to said ideology prohibits you from associating it’s implementation with it’s consequences. Grow up – stop being a child CV – that big scary “National party” monster is the counterbalance your failed ideology requires every 6-9 years. It’s always been that way with socialism, it always will !

        • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.1

          Hey dickhead if you want unsustainable just look at the crony capitalist economy created and run by the shadow bankers.

          BTW the reason 1984 happened in such a disastrous way was because of your dickhead neoliberal god Roger Douglas and his mates Prebble Moore etc

        • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.2

          burt, reality and what actually happens under capitalism (over accumulation in too few hands, power shifting to those same few, corruption becoming endemic and over use of resources resulting in collapse) is against you. It doesn’t work, it never has done and never will do.

        • mike e 5.3.1.3

          45 farmers committed suicide in one year burt our national debt was only $1 billion in 1976 $16billion after think big and SMP’s after Rogernomics the economy the debt grew to $100 billion thats 100 times worse than Norman kirks debt 6 times worse than Muldoons now the debt is over $300 billion yeah burt neo liberal BS

  6. lefty 6

    Great work National – best we pay more people the dole rather than have productive work done by skilled workers.

    National has no intention of paying the people it throws out of work the dole. That’s why Bennett is doing her welfare ‘reforms’.

  7. Richard 7

    If your ideal government is going to dole out taxpayer money to save 500 uneconomic jobs, why these ones? Surely we can find 500 more worthy jobs to save. There must be some teachers, or university staff, or nurses somewhere to save instead.

    Why do railway infrastructure workers and miners get the free jobs?

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Tax payer money is not “doled out” you fucking moron. Your use of the word “dole” deliberate and cruel, completely underestimates the ECONOMIC value of rail and energy infrastructure to NZ. As well as a pathetic and transparent attempt to turn workers against each other.

      The true UNECONOMIC work in NZ is done by the foreign banks and private monopolies.

      Tax their super-profits at 79% and give the masses of resulting money to teachers, university staff, nurses and yes, public railway infrastructure workers and miners.

      Fuck you and the neoliberal disloyal horse you rode in on.

      Your concept of “uneconomic” is any activity which doesn’t make profits for your capitalist money masters. Piss off.

      • Richard 7.1.1

        Zzzzzz, wake me up when the revolution comes, comrade.

        Until then, the question remains, how do we decide which worker’s jobs to arbitrarily save?

        It can’t be based on return on investment, since the return on investment for these jobs is, as shown by their being disestablished, negative.

        Social value? I fail to see how the excavation of planet-killing coal is socially valuable.

        Guess we’re in a bit of a pickle, then.

        • McFlock 7.1.1.1

          Typical tory bullshit. One-dimensional thinking that thinks short-term selfish gain greed is the same as a long term public good.
                   
          What richard fails to comprehend is that the cards are almost certainly  stacked against him, just like the rest of us. Although the possibility that he’s a friedmanite 0.05%er would be a perfect demonstration that the unrestrained capitalism we face today is not a meritocracy, but a fuckwitocracy.

        • mike e 7.1.1.2

          Richard Cranium We should just retrain them all to become Con sultants at $1200 to $1800 an hour!

    • fatty 7.2

      Richard…can I call you Dick?

      “Why do railway infrastructure workers and miners get the free jobs?”

      If you’re gonna ask a question, can you please make it one that is answerable? Otherwise you look like a Richard.

    • mike e 7.3

      achually railways made $ 130 million in profit last year take away the fact that their has been no real investment in infrastructure for 40 years no new engines for sixty years . The fleecing of capital by John Banks and his mates Fay Richwhite ,Alan Gibbs and Wisconsin rail, Who asset stripped the company of equity built up by NZ taxpayers over 150 odd years.

    • Richard 7.4

      No one actually had a coherent answer I see. Unsurprising.

      The best one was the “130 million dollar profit”, which as far as I can see, was completely made up since Kiwirail actually made a profit of just 34 million last year, representing a terrible return on capital.

      • Colonial Viper 7.4.1

        You certainly don’t have a coherant criticism. Rail enables billions in trade and infrastructure. And it does this efficiently against a very highly subsidised road transport industry.

        representing a terrible return on capital.

        This narrow financialised measure does not even begin to capture the value of rail to this country.

      • mike e 7.4.2

        $123million in 2010
        $34 million in 2011 $100 million operating surplus -cost of govt grant. don’t forget Joyce’s forced depreciation value of land. Kiwi rail is expecting a 29% increase in profit this year !if we did the same calculations for road transport most trucking companies would not be profitable as their is no depreciation for the roads they drive on, then road transport is subsidized by car users and taxpayers!
        Then the Canterbury Earthquakes cut profits from the previous year and this year by 30 million plus pike river loss also affected Kiwirails performance not to mention the lack of investment for the last 40 odd years!

  8. Poission 8

    Gold miner announces 20 job losses today,which is an effect of the high dollar (being unable to capture the increased prices)

    Solid energy had a loss to earnings of 31million after hedging due to the FOREX.

    The arguments that a lower TWI will increase the inputs of NZ manufacturers and producers and decrease the wages of NZ workers is in effect voodoo economics.

    If we use the widely used example ( Joyce) of fuel increases that argument does not hold up with the pump price.As we are paying around the same as the 2008 peak price,when oil was fuel 30% higher and the NZ/US cross rate 7c lower ,someone is making windfall profits.

    The deflater portion of the revalued exchange rate is rarely fully imputed to the sale price,and hence consumers are subsidizing importers.

  9. Georgecom 9

    Bung $20 million to a foreign film company and change the law of the country – no problem.
    Change the law for a large corporate gambler – no problem

    Put in $36 million to keep skilled workers employed and keep a provincial town going – nah.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Singing the Budget Blues
    Despite our 'rock star' economy over the past three years it has not increased Government income to the level expected and the Government has not been able to deliver its promised surplus. If income doesn't change, but priorities shift, then the… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Submit on Mill Rd
    Julie-Anne Genter, the Transport spokesperson of the Green Party has put out the following press release on the Mill Rd project that we have written about here, and here: Take 5 minutes and make a submission on Mill Road Auckland Transport is… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    16 hours ago
  • Budget Blues
    Twenty five dollars a week can’t be bad, can it? For families on the breadline, it’s surely better than nothing and every little helps. And when the total spend is $790 million, that’s not peanuts, is it? – even if… ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    16 hours ago
  • Punakaiki Fund and Snowball Effect
    22 May 2015 Punakaiki Fund will soon be presenting an offer through the Snowball Effect platform. We are pleased to announce that we have selected Snowball Effect to present our fund raising offer to members of the public. Equity crowdfunding… ...
    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    16 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    16 hours ago
  • Game review: Republique
    Score: 6/10 Republique is an episodic stealth game set in a dystopian society. You play a hacker who is aiding the escape of Hope, a young woman trapped in this world. Though the games attempt to deal with heavy themes… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    17 hours ago
  • Labour MPs are taking it to the Government in the House over their destruct...
    ...
    17 hours ago
  • The price of rotten cops IV
    Remember the Nelson Red Devils case? Back in 2012, drugs and firearms charges against 28 alleged gang members were thrown out because police abused the court process by forging a search warrant and an arrest warrant to build the credibility… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Best and worst New Zealand flag designs
    Dan Taipua, Dave Bell and Lucy Zee review some of the designs submitted for the for the new New Zealand flag. Check out the full gallery of designs here. ...
    18 hours ago
  • World News Brief, Friday May 22
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    18 hours ago
  • A hard rain is a’gonna fall.
    Although I am loathe to prognosticate on fluid situations and current events, I have been thinking about how the conflict in Iraq has been going. Although I do not believe that the Islamic State (IS) is anywhere close to being… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    18 hours ago
  • Got business out of town? Need a hire car?
    Whether you are heading of town for a conference or taking a break and need a hire car, your TEU Member Advantage program has you covered.  Use your member benefits to access either reduced car hire rates or excess on… ...
    19 hours ago
  • An abuse of the OIA
    In the wake of revelations that Prime Minister John Key had systematically and repeatedly bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted a cafe waitress, the New Zealand Herald published a piece exposing the victim. It seemed like retribution, and the involvement of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    20 hours ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
    There’s often a lot of discussion around the future of transport – particularly in cities. We’ve talked many times before about how transport trends are changing, how we’re seeing people drive less and catch PT more, how changing preferences amongst younger people in… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
    The prohibition against torture is one of the cast-iron features of international law. You're not allowed to torture people, and you're not allowed to return or extradite people to a country where there are substantial grounds to believe they will… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    20 hours ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    21 hours ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    21 hours ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    22 hours ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    22 hours ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 day ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    1 day ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    1 day ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    1 day ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    1 day ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    2 days ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    2 days ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    2 days ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    2 days ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    16 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    17 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    17 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    20 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    20 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    22 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere