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The reverse Midas touch: exchange rates

Written By: - Date published: 9:10 am, April 23rd, 2012 - 57 comments
Categories: exports, Minister for Overseas Holidays - Tags:

John Key likes to trade on his experience as a, well, trader. You know, he’s the deal maker. The one to steer us through tough economic times, to get our exports growing. He understands the markets and that knowledge will benefit New Zealand. But, how well has he really done? Let’s start this series close to home for Key: the exchange rate.

So, exchange rates have risen 30% under Key. With half of Kiwi exporters saying that the exchange rate is hurting them, that’s not good news. You might have thought our currency trader PM would have done something about that. It’s not like there aren’t options.

57 comments on “The reverse Midas touch: exchange rates”

  1. Bob 1

    Do you mean this bit from Labours site?

    ‘Monetary Policy. Labour has already announced that we need to change monetary policy to address the structural issues in the economy, including the volatility of the dollar that makes life difficult for exporters and high interest rates that discourage investment in productive parts of the economy. While curbing inflation remains important, having that as the single focus is not working for us. Our policy is to broaden the objectives of the Reserve Bank beyond just controlling inflation to look other issues, such as employment and to support more aggressive interventions to deal with currency speculation.’

    What is it that they would do?

    • McFlock 1.1

      I’d guess (ain’t in Labour) an FTT as a “more aggressive intervention”, also I take it a CGT would hit currency trades?
           
      But the use of interest rates would be the primary tool they’d be thinking of to tweak employment etc – every time they raise them to “slow down the economy and keep inflation in check” (okay, they haven’t had to do that in a few years) it kept unemployment up. By including unemployemnt in their target criteria, they’d find the balance between inflation and people having jobs.

    • mike e 1.2

      Not reveal all their policy well before the election because National and ConMankey would steal their policies as National have none.except smile and wave from pokifaced ConMankey.

  2. Enough is Enough 2

    Be careful what you wish for.

    The high dollar is protecting us to a degree from even higher oil prices.

    I will leave it to the economists to tell us what would happen to the pump price of 91 if our dollar lost 10% of its value.

    It would strangle this flatline recovery we are currenlty experiencing.

    • aj 2.1

      Yes there are pros and cons but the pro would be an incr in gdp? the con would be some inflation. It would not ‘strangle the recovery’ but it might strangle long distance commuters…

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      “The high dollar is protecting us to a degree from even higher oil prices.”

      Yep. We had a low dollar combined with high oil prices back in 2004, lots of news stories about people driving off the forecourt etc.

      Beyond the obvious that the oil price goes up in the US$ terms when the US$ sinks, I think there’s also a degree of insulation in the exchange rate. If the exchange rate were lower, that would increase petrol prices, forcing the exchange rate further lower as the economy struggled with the high prices, basically a negative spiral. But on the flip-side I think the reverse is happening: the high dollar is keeping petrol cheaper than it might be (and perhaps could be in other economies), helping businesses to be more competitive leading to a higher exchange rate.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        helping businesses to be more competitive leading to a higher exchange rate.

        The strength of the NZD has very little to do with the strength of our business sector.

        The vast majority of forex trading in NZD is not related to direct trade, it is related to market speculation.

        • Lanthanide 2.2.1.1

          I’d say it’s based on the interest rates the government and therefore banks are offering. Which in turn is based on the reserve bank setting interest rates based on the general business climate in NZ.

          If things hit the wall, the interest rate would go down, the banks would pay less and the exchange rate would drop.

          That is Labour’s whole point on this, after all, that the reserve bank should take into account the exchange rate when it sets interest rates. At the moment it only considers inflation.

          • ianmac 2.2.1.1.1

            Wasn’t this another issue that Winston has long advocated? That is to modify the Reserve Bank Policy beyond just concern around inflation.

    • Colonial Viper 2.3

      You can’t mask fossil fuel energy depletion for long. By letting the dollar appreciate (i.e. let our economy lose out in the currency wars occurring all around us) our economy does not get the price signals needed to drive a restructuring away from a dependence on personal cars on roads and trucking.

      It would strangle this flatline recovery we are currenlty experiencing.

      There’s not going to be a recovery. We’ve hit the downslope of energy availability/price chart. Economic growth per capita is now over for the developed western countries.

  3. Pete 3

    I’m not really prepared to blame the government for this one. The US, UK and the Eurozone have all engaged in several rounds of quantitative easing over the past half decade – dropping the value of their currencies for the exact same reason we want our currency to drop: to make exports more profitable and to stem cheap imports from China to encourage domestic industry.

    There was one instance in mid 2007 where the RBNZ spent $2.7 billion trying to stem the rise of the $NZ., clearly that was a failure. Given that our manufacturing industry is so small and so many of the things we need are bought from overseas, I’m not so sure that a currency intervention would be beneficial. Especially since commodity producers have been enjoying record prices lately.

    • bad12 3.1

      Governments tho would seem to have as their main responsibility the creation of economic conditions,(where possible),that provide the best framework for the New Zealand economy to operate within,

      Watching the Reserve Bank squander a couple of billion dollars attempting to change the international price of the New Zealand dollar was both tragic and comic,(up in smoke went enough monies to have paid for many years of extra Paid Parental Leave or decades of extending the Working for Families tax credit to the children of benefit dependent families,

      Using the present economic paradigm of neo-liberal right wing economics I can see there is no need for the use of either the useless squandering of monies or the heavy blunt instrument of Legislation to effect a downward trend in the international price of the New Zealand dollar,

      For instance,Government need only print into the economy a sufficient amount of capital to dilute the price of the NZ dollar in international markets,

      An excellent ‘end-use of such money production would be to simply build 20,000 State Houses over a contracted four year period,thus producing a standing asset that in turn justifies having ‘printed’ the money in the first place,

      In a flat-lining economy such as what New Zealand has had since 2008 there is little inflation,but even so,in terms of the neo-liberal ‘inflation target’ it is a simple matter of numeracy to know what X figure of new spending into the New Zealand economy will result in which Y of inflation as %,

      Given those known x and y’s makes the 3-4% annual inflation target an easy band to operate such a fiscal policy from within, while also diluting the international price of the New Zealand dollar by producing more of them in the economy,and at the same time building a much needed piece of social infrastructure…

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        I’m constantly amazed how popular Social credit policies are still in NZ when countries that have followed similar policies have tended to end up in a mess economically.

        • McFlock 3.1.1.1

          You’d also be amazed that countries that followed the opposite policies ended up in the shit, too.
             
          You must look like someone constantly tripping on mushrooms. 

          • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1

            You mean countries who practice restrained fiscal and monetary policies, allow their countries to be open to foreign trade and investment, and don’t pander to sectorial groups in policy settings do no better than countries who print money for supposed productive investment? I find that hard to believe. Care to show me some examples of this?

        • bad12 3.1.1.2

          Deep within the mind of the neo-liberal apologist of free market economics lives the ‘profit driven fruitcake’ surfacing occasionally to spit the odd piece of low level insipid abuse at anything that could threaten the constant fantasy of growth,profit,and,wealth,

          My example above,’print’ the money required to build ‘in particular’ State Houses while all the time spending that money as the State House build into the economy so as not to upset the neo-liberal constraint of 3-4% inflation over any financial year,in fact produces its own growth,profit,and,wealth,

          The value of the houses so built obviously equals the market value of their building,IE,the cost of producing a functional house and the functional suburb it would sit in from scratch is around $400,000,so in terms of current House prices the building of the suburb and the Houses therein equals in terms of dollars the current value and cost of production thus producing an item(s)of the same value as the money that was produced by printing in order to build that item(s)…

        • mike e 3.1.1.3

          goose name the countries

    • prism 3.2

      You miss the point completely Pete.

      Given that our manufacturing industry is so small and so many of the things we need are bought from overseas, I’m not so sure that a currency intervention would be beneficial. Especially since commodity producers have been enjoying record prices lately.

      The government has traded our productive economy away to get more dairy etc commodity business. We are far too over-committed in the dairying area, unhealthily unbalanced, and would be wiped out if there was some disease setback. Example the kiwifruit industry and golden kiwifruit fungus. It is important that we fight to retain and improve our productive economy to a healthier state. Our currency shouldn’t be a number on the world currency casino. It has a serious repressive effect on our health and wealth.

      • Pete 3.2.1

        I agree, much broader structural change is needed in our economy – to get us making stuff, adding value to our primary production and creating new intellectual property. But that goes far beyond any calls for the RBNZ to attempt to moderate the exchange rate.

        Edit: restoring the R&D tax credit would be a start. Maybe even providing low interest government loans to new, locally owned businesses.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          Maybe even providing low interest government loans to new, locally owned businesses.

          Not low interest, zero interest. Available to all businesses and households to either a) replace existing debt or b) expand the business buy a new house. Watch as the NZ$ falls on the FX. Becomes to expensive to import? Not a problem, just means we have to make it here and that means investment into R&D and manufacturing.

          The only problem really is that, under current socio-economic circumstances, the capitalists would take all the benefits.

        • prism 3.2.1.2

          @Pete R&D encouragement yes, low interest government loans and small grants to new locally owned and strategic innovative businesses yes. Also encouragement to the public to invest in a Risk Innovation NZ National Fund. There would be a number of businesses and projects in different sectors in each offer. People are willing to take on risky investments with the possibility of good returns and some of their investment portfolio could be allocated to this area. Get people used to investing in real ground-breaking projects that didn’t involve trading in land!

          Better science funding without so much wasted time in applying for short term funding, yes. Moving out from under the land speculation, mining, primary industry shed, to more of the complex science and knowledge in that area, and in ground-breaking stuff we already know we can do, and have to make space and funds so we can do more, yes.

          Example of lack of essential scientific funding in NZ. – Bovine tuberculosis comes to mind here. I was amazed that we haven’t found out what indicators can be used to test a herd when tuberculosis is found. The animals on a farm recently had to be all slaughtered so they could be checked. Or that’s what I was told. A hell of a loss. That sort of scientific research would be so worthwhile when there was successful breakthrough.

          Also foot and mouth disease I understand, can be vaccinated against. The outbreaks of this disease are so devastating, and the loss of heritage animal strains in forced culling as in Britain was a sorry sight in the last big outbreak. The waste and disruption caused by fighting this disease should be matched by reasoned attempts to prevent it. We can organise a group looking into emissions from animals, why not precationary measures like this?

  4. prism 4

    When listening to specialist financial commentators on radio they seem unable to cope with anything that changes the regular pattern of rise and fall they are used to.

    To change anything would mean to add a variable that is new to them and will affect the investments they advise on or manipulate, perhaps detrimentally. Key is no different, he made his money within the system so would think “If it isn’t broke (for me and my mates) why try to fix it’?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      The orthodox neoliberal economic models they have all been using cannot deal with or explain a prolonged and severe economic downturn. This is why they are all struggling to say something cohesive. In their minds “market equilibrium” must return, probably sooner rather than later, and they are really confused as to why it has not yet.

      Blame has gone on a slow Christchurch rebuild, weaker dairy prices this year, etc. but they still do not see the bigger picture.

      • bad12 4.1.1

        Explaining the current ‘decline’ should be simple even for the ‘neo-liberals’,

        Such people only need to revisit the main tenet upon which the ‘ism’ sold itself to the world,

        ”The international free market played out upon the level playing field”

        Lets have a brief look at that foundation of the ‘ism’ and its fundamental ‘flaw’,it simply wasn’t,played upon a level playing field that is,

        The international ‘level’ playing field could only ever have been described as such if 2 factors of economy were to be a standardized constant,

        (1),All the economies involved would have had to have as a basic given a ”minimum wage” of equality,

        And (2),All economies involved would have to have as a basic an equality of the means of exchange,to stop being a wanker and putting it in words we all understand, for there to be any such thing as an ”international free market played out upon a level playing field” all the countries involved would have to have MONEY of an equal value between all those countries,

        Therein lies the current decline of all those economies supposedly involved in this supposed interantional free market…

        • Gosman 4.1.1.1

          Current decline? Much of the Western world has been treading water over the past few years or even slowly increasing their GDP. It is only countries where the Government spending was shown to be unsustainable that have suffered massive declines. On top of this is the fact that a huge number of countries are now increasing their wealth massively at the moment (mainly based on free market policies).

          • bad12 4.1.1.1.1

            Treading water,increasing their wealth ???really???is that what you call the ‘printing’ of US$ Trillions of dollars of bail-outs,

            The only thing that has occurred in the Western world economies under the ‘free market model’ is the ongoing over inflation of the illusion which has simply allowed the populace to retreat further into the delusion…

          • bad12 4.1.1.1.2

            PS,such ‘increases’ in wealth and GDP in all those Western economies have been accompanied by s corresponding increase in the numbers of people within those economies being judged to be living at or below the judged ‘poverty line’…

            • Gosman 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Which is normally set at a percentage of some sort of income level in the country they live. In my mind this is almost meaningless. The ‘average’ person in poverty in the Western world today would be regarded as having a level of wealth that even upper middle income people 200 years ago could only dream about.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes Gosman, thanks for using pre industrial revolution times as the baseline.

                Doesn’t really change the fact that the top 1% have hoarded excesses of wealth and power, while others living just down the street and around the corner are going hungry and cold.

                • Gosman

                  You mean usinf the condition that the vast majority of the population of the planet lived in for the vast majority of the time until free market capitalist ideas allowed people to escape this condition? I make no apologies for using this as a baseline. However I will grant you that absolute poverty is an issue that should be tackled. This is as opposed to comparative levels of poverty whereby someone is poor simply because they earn a fraction of what a wealthy person does.

                  • bad12

                    No what we mean is that vast numbers of people lived in poverty even while working for the Capitalist Masters sometimes for hours far above the standard 40 and at ages as young as 9 until such time as unions of workers formed in an effort to banish such practice to the dark ages where they belonged…

                  • McFlock

                    [...] until free market capitalist ideas allowed people to escape this condition? 
                        
                    Your faith in capitalism has gone into cult status, like the soviets in the 1940s who were taught that comrade Stalin invented penicillin, designed the Moscow Underground network, single-handedly developed the T34 tank, and had a 15-inch penis.
                       
                    Maybe you should pick up a history book. 

                  • Colonial Viper

                    This is as opposed to comparative levels of poverty whereby someone is poor simply because they earn a fraction of what a wealthy person does.

                    Fuck that

                    The problem of this economy is not just the unemployed, but that of the working poor. You work a full time job but there is no way that you can raise a family on it.

                    While say, Talley’s, rip away the economic value added that your labour provides, to put into their own already overflowing pockets.

                    91% income tax on income over 20x the median wage would be a good start.

              • joe90

                Yeah, and flushing shitters would be regarded as having a level of wealth hygiene that even upper middle income people 200 years ago could only dream about.

                http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/the-100-year-march-of-technology-in-1-graph/255573/

              • bad12

                Meaningless???the basic level of ‘dole’ payment including accommodation subsidy in New Zealand in no way meets the monetary requirement of any individual to house,feed,and, clothe that individual,

                Comparison with the unemployed person of 200 years ago is to deny both human and societal evolution,as pointless as a comparison of poverty in developed and under-developed economies,

                To use either,the anecdotal 200 years ago or the poverty of the under-developed as a comparison with the socially evolved modern Western economy is the ultimate escapism of those who cannot face the responsibility that in the creation of what they see as ‘wealth’ they are creating a corresponding number of impoverished individuals…

                • felix

                  “Meaningless” to Gosman means “does not immediately impact on my own personal comfort”.

                • Gosman

                  No, it is the definitished of impoverished that is at issue here. Compared to Bill Gates I’m seriously impoverished. However I’m much better than say someone living in an African Squatter shanty town.

                  • felix

                    Your last sentence is very revealing.

                  • bad12

                    I am not interested in comparisons with Bill Gates,just as we are not interested in a comparison with a tribal member currently residing in a South African shanty town,

                    The measurement of poverty in New Zealand is best deduced from within the equation of does the payment to an adult which is the least amount of income possible for that individual,(the dole),in any way match the basic needs of every day life for that individual,IE,rent,food,and,clothing,

                    They don’t!!!affordability of survivability for those receiving that minium of income,(the dole), for any period of length past a month is reliant upon either further subsidization from the State and/or further subsidization of the individual by family or private charity,

                    Marketization of labour simply leads to those able to be employed but less likely to be employed,(for what-ever reason),to remain for longer periods receiving that least amount of income in which case such impoverishment becomes entrenched…

                    • Gosman

                      The dole is not meant to be a long term living wage. It is meant to enable someone to tide themselves over for a short to medium period of time.

                    • felix

                      It is meant to enable 150,000 people to tide themselves over for as long as it takes for the jobs to arrive.

                      FIFY

                    • bad12

                      So you again fail deliberately to have any understanding of ‘labour as a market’,such a failure on your part is a simple pointer to why the neo-liberal economic ISM is in fact doomed to indulge in what Trotsky once described as an ongoing series of failures each of an increasingly severe nature,

                      In a labour market those with the most marketable skills at any given time,(and at any given time is the imperative within this narrative),will always be employed first,

                      There are those tho,who by age,looks,skills set,or in fact WHATEVER will always be shuffled to the back of the queue of employment, depending upon who is in control of the neo-liberal ISM at any given time ie,with the imperative to either reduce inflation to protect their ‘wealth’ or their ‘amount of interest paid on the mortgage the number of those in this ”unlikely to be employed” category as a percentage fluctuates between 10 and 20% of those unemployed,

                      Any given time???,Ok take the boner at the meat-works who having sold His/her labour for 20 years to the company is now made redundant through the dairy conversions having reduced stock numbers to a level where His/Her employment is now no longer needed,

                      At 50 years of age our meat-works boner is now to all extents and purposes of no ‘use’ to the labour market BUT is still a number,(25% of)on the roll of the unemployment benefit….

                    • bad12

                      ‘The Dole’,or to be more precise the number of those collecting the dole is simply the measurement of the success or failure of ANY Governments economic policy,

                      If we were to pay the minimum wage to all those who currently receive the dole we would in effect destroy the incentive for the numbers on the dole being used to protect the ‘wealth’ of the ‘Haves’ off of the backs of the ‘Have Not’s’,

                      Tax the profits of capitalism to pay the minimum wage to the unemployed and such a rising tax at times of rising unemployment would simply incentivize the capitalists to keep the number of unemployed to a bare minimum…

          • mike e 4.1.1.1.3

            GOOSEMAN care to name these countries
            China totalitarian Dictatorship
            Singapore likewise
            Germany taxing and spending Europe out of recession
            Goose your a pathological LIAR
            You have never been able to name a country not one since I,ve been reading your pathetic propaganda

            • Matt 4.1.1.1.3.1

              “Goose your a pathological LIAR”

              Come on, that’s unwarranted. He’d first have to know something in order to misrepresent it.

      • prism 4.1.2

        CV I thought that market equilibrium was a theoretical feature used in modelling and unlikely to be ever achieved unless there was a recession and stasis?

    • bad12 4.2

      Unfortunately you are correct, those who stand to ‘gain’ the most from within the present money system will be the most loath to make even neccessary changes to that money system,

      Such a money system is basically corrupted as money is at its most basic simply the means by which we exchange our labour between each other to allow our daily living,

      Where this corruption has occurred is in allowing money as a mass to be in effect hoarded as what is termed wealth,

      As there is only X amount of production that can occur in any economy at any given time based upon the amount of money in that economy allowing individuals to ‘hoard’ masses of this money as ‘wealth’ simply reduces the ability of those without the means to ‘hoard’ such masses of money in their efforts to exchange their labour as the means of obtaining their daily living,

      Allowing such ongoing hoarding of masses of money over longer periods simply means that an economy will always be struggling to avoid decline as the amounts hoarded will not produce an equal amount of ‘production’ requiring the exchange of labour as those amounts would had they remained in the economy as their basic means of exchanging labour for daily living,

      PS,the abbreviation of all of the above is that old adage,”Money is made round to go round”, with the added codicil that stopping any of it going round is done at ones economic peril…

  5. Gosman 5

    ‘With half of Kiwi exporters saying that the exchange rate is hurting them, that’s not good news.You might have thought our currency trader PM would have done something about that.’

    NZ exporters might have a problem but NZ importers (and by extension many NZ consumers) are probably quite pleased.

    If anything the PM experience would have realised the futility of trying to manage FX rates.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/september/16/newsid_2519000/2519013.stm

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      NZ exporters might have a problem but NZ importers (and by extension many NZ consumers) are probably quite pleased.

      Yeah too bad both those groups of people dangerously worsen our balance of payments and trade deficit figures.

      Essentially our exchange rate is hurting productive, innovative NZers trying to do real work in NZ – design and make things for sale overseas.

      Seems like you are OK with that as long as you can get a cheaper overseas holiday out of it.

    • mike e 5.3

      Goose lying again The US China UK Europe have had no problem devaluing their currency john no balls keywe has the problem, like everything else he can do to grow the economy he,s done nothing nothing except cut funding especially on R&D which is criminal in my opinion

  6. DH 6

    The easiest way to get the $NZD down is to address the demand for it. Stop foreign buyups of NZ land & buildings and the $NZD would fall by itself, the current account deficit is largely due to foreign investors buying the $NZ to invest here. Also cut the offshore borrowing by the big banks which puts more pressure on the $NZD

    Higher fuel cost isn’t a valid argument for keeping the dollar high, Govt can manage that via excise reductions. They’d get the cash back through economic growth.

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    This defamation case should be a shot across the bows of various internet wide-boys who think ‘defence of truth’ or ‘opinion honestly held’ is some kind of magic elixir or Get Out of Jail Free card. It’s worth noting the...
    The Paepae | 17-04
  • Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink
    It is three years and one day since Danyl wrote this blog post about South Canterbury Finance. I was re-reading it today, and something stuck out like a sore thumb: December 2008: SCF undertakes a high risk loan strategy, losing...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 17-04
  • Access: I Can’t See You, But You Should See Me
    Being lost for words when you’re a talkback host could hardly be considered ideal. But back in September of 1992, I was hosting an evening talkback show on a fledgling radio station in what was then a newly deregulated, highly...
    Public Address | 17-04
  • Judith Collins: guess who’s coming to dinner?
    Judith Collins, Justice Minister, is playing dumb in parliament at question time and avoiding media. Her patronising responses, or non-responses, to allegations of corrupt influence is not becoming of a Cabinet Minister.  Her abuse of the House by criticising questions...
    Tumeke | 17-04
  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • New Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Labour’s manufacturing plan
    David Cunliffe has launched Labour's policy to get more manufacturing jobs back in New Zealand: Labour leader David Cunliffe launched the policy to an Auckland business audience this morning, adding the depreciation and procurement policies to the known suite of...
    Polity | 17-04
  • Easter PT shutdown
    It’s Easter weekend and that invariably means the rail network is shut down for works. Auckland Transport advises the rail network will be closed for Easter and there are changes to timetables for buses and ferries during the holiday break....
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Another perspective on the postgraduate allowance cuts
    I have already shared two stories from psychology students about how the postgraduate allowance cuts have affected them. These stories demonstrate the widespread impact the changes are having. Here is yet another story I have received, this one giving the...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Against secret "justice" in NZ
    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Government’s ‘rock star economy’ throws hospital staff ou...
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star...
    PSA | 16-04
  • Lip service: it’s all climate action ever gets from Key & Co
    As expected, the New Zealand government’s response to the IPCC’s Working Group 3 report on mitigating climate change pays lip service to the science, while maintaining that NZ is doing all that can be expected. Climate change minister Tim Groser’s...
    Hot Topic | 16-04
  • Progress of FCV “slave ships” Bill is good news – but much work remai...
    The Maritime Union of New Zealand says the progress of the “slave ships” Bill in the New Zealand Parliament is good news – but much work remains to be done....
    MUNZ | 16-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
    Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
    The Smokefree Coalition is disappointed Imperial Tobacco did not win the Roger Award for Worst Trans-national Company operating in New Zealand, despite manufacturing products that kill 5000 New Zealanders every year....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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