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The Standard

Tin ear or cold heart?

Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, November 20th, 2013 - 239 comments
Categories: health and safety - Tags:

Since he came to office, John Key’s government has spent over $350 billion (and borrowed over $50 billion). It has handed out taxpayer largesse to casinos, rich sailors, finance companies, and international corporations. So, why the blunt refusal to pay just $3.4 million to the Pike families and lean on the shareholders to get the cash back, as David Cunliffe has said he will do? Does Key have a tin ear or cold heart?

Let’s, first, get Key’s excuses out of the way. Key claims that it would set a precedent of the government getting involved every time a company goes belly up. He misses the point. This is not about a company that went belly up, this is a company that had 29 men die in its employment. The judge ruled the shareholders had a moral duty to pay the compensation that the company couldn’t. This is a very specific instance of shareholders who profited from recklessness refusing to accept their responsibilities.

So, what’s Key’s real reason for not putting up the cash and then pressuring the shareholders to get it back, as Cunliffe would?

Is it a tin ear to the politics of the situation? After all, the politics of this is simple: a tiny amount of money for families that are undoubtedly worthy and a ready-made cast of villains. Key could have, should have, done what Cunliffe did. If he had put his mind to it, he would have done it with aplomb. Have Key’s political instincts just deserted him?

I don’t think so. I think that, at the end of the day, Key just doesn’t give a damn about working families the way that he does about corporates and rich sailors. And NZ Oil & Gas (the main Pike River shareholder) are mates of this government, Key doesn’t turn on his mates. Key is content to make excuses for not paying the families because, when you boil it down, they’re not his class of people, and ensuring justice for people like them isn’t part of his government’s project. His heart is cold to them.

Thank goodness Cunliffe’s isn’t.

239 comments on “Tin ear or cold heart?”

  1. Appleboy 1

    There will be a change of heart if their internal polling says it’s a problem. National stand for greed and only appear human for the masses when it suits them or when they need to.

    They are here to deliver ideology. The smokescreen ‘niceness’ of Mr Key is one of the great cons in my lifetime.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.1

      +1 Appleboy (& Eddie)

      This government is not acting in the interests of New Zealanders.
      They do not care about NZers’ interests.

    • Fisiani 1.2

      internal polling shows virtually no support for any government paying more than the projected $30 million payout just to placate an emotive soundbite. The Cunliffe threat to every shareholder , director and investor makes him legally and economically illiterate.

      • tricledrown 1.2.1

        its about time corporate crims were dealt to like any other crim.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.2

        The Cunliffe threat to every shareholder , director and investor makes him legally and economically illiterate.

        Why? It’s a legitimate and moral position to take. Helping the families of workers killed by corporate negligence.

        What’s wrong with it?

        • Fisiani 1.2.2.1

          Which part of limited liability is hard to understand? The Cunliffe deliberate flouting of the law is just shroud waving.

          • tricledrown 1.2.2.1.1

            Fishyanal you are limited by your lack of intelligence therefore a liability.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.2.2.1.2

            @Fisiani

            “The Cunliffe deliberate flouting of the law is just shroud waving.”

            How is Cunliffe ‘flouting the law’?

            If taking responsibility for being instrumental in/causing the deaths of workers is ‘flouting the law’ then there is something seriously wrong with the ‘law’ and it should be ‘flouted’.

            What part of moral hazard is hard to understand?

      • Crunchtime 1.2.3

        it was 3.4 million, not 30 million.

        I think you are mixing it up with the 30 million the govt has already paid out to Rio Tinto – for which I’m sure there was very low public support.

        Compensation to the miners’ families has been ordered in court, Cunliffe is saying he’ll follow that. The current govt is being unlawful by ignoring the court order.

        Try reading up on the issue before posting, it makes you look less like an ignorant fool.

  2. vto 2

    it is simply past the limits of his cognitive abilities

    he has no idea

    in such situations

    no idea

    too soaked in money

    he cannot understand these things. simple.

    he is an intensely shallow man

    • key is a disciple of ayn rand…

      ..understand what rand preaches..

      ..and virtually everything key has done/is doing..is explainable..

      (i am really surprised the m.s.m. has not joined those dots/quizzed key on that..

      ..then again..i am not surprised at yet another example of abandonment of basic journalism-principles by those m.s.m.-entities..

      ..”cos..like winning an american political political party presidential nomination..

      ..to become a ‘person’ in that corporate-media..any candidate has long since sold their souls/firstborn..

      ..they have to have proven their ‘worth’/obedience/loyalties to their corporate-masters..

      ..those masters must ensure there will be no rocking of any boats..by their/those scribes/mouthpieces..

      ..so of course..questioning key on the greed/fuck-the-poor-driven ideological/political randian belief system he operates on..

      ..is entirely out of the question for those corporate-scribes..

      ..so really..the answer to the question asked in the headline is ‘b’..

      ..the ‘cold heart’..

      ..the ear is not ‘tin’..

      ..he just doesn’t fucken care..eh..?

      ..and the twisted-teachings of ayn rand are the fake intellectual-underpinnings/tattered-flag..

      ..that key marches under/uses to ‘justify his own greed/fuck-the-poor personal beliefs..

      ..it’s as simple as that..

      phillip ure..

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        /agreed

      • Crunchtime 2.1.2

        You’re surprised the MSM hasn’t criticised the current govt in any substantive way? You can’t have read this yet then:

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/world-bank-whistleblower-reveals-how-the-global-elite-rule-the-world/5353130

        “Since the elite also own all of the big media companies, the mainstream media never lets us in on the secret that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way that our system works.”

        Chances are good that John Key is a peripheral part of that elite.

      • Sosoo 2.1.3

        Is there any actual evidence that Key is a Randroid?

        It’s a bit harsh lumping him in with those nutters.

        Mind you, it wouldn’t be fair on Hitler either.

        • phillip ure 2.1.3.1

          @evidence of key as rand-ite..

          ..an interview with key..where he (simperingly) admitted he had read/liked the prescriptions of /from rand..

          ..keep in mind key is one who has ‘no memory’ of having taken any ideological-stance over around apartheid/that tour..

          ..this of course is only underpinned by keys actions as a politician.

          ..war on the poor/not caring about child-poverty..

          ..the transfer of commonly-owned assets to the elites/the ‘deserving’-ones..

          ..the bowing to/handing out of corporate-welfare.. (once again..to the ‘deserving’..the ‘masters’..)

          ..hungry poor children..?..they are the ‘undeserving’..

          ..the rand belief system key follows prescribes all of the above..

          ..that teaching divides the world into two groups..

          ..the ‘deserving’..and the ‘undeserving’..

          ..and the rich..by their wealth..are already proven to be ‘the ‘deserving’..

          ..(and so deserving of so much more..)

          ..whereas the poor/those on any form of welfare are the ‘undeserving’..

          ..what rand called ‘the leeches’..and whom she dictated should be left to rot..

          ..(rand demanded welfare end..)

          ..and yes..these are the ‘nutter’-policies/politicl-beliefs of our prime minister..

          ..and a frightenly long list of cabinet minister/mp’s..

          ..scratch any rightie-nat..and out will erupt a rand-ite..

          ..and funny story..despite spending a life/career demonising/sneering at those ‘leeches’ on welfare..

          ..rand herself was into that welfare..boots and all..

          ..but..as it came out after her death..not under her name..

          ..this vile piece of compost..is keys’ political-beliefs-guru..

          ..phillip ure..

          • Sosoo 2.1.3.1.1

            “..an interview with key..where he (simperingly) admitted he had read/liked the prescriptions of /from rand.”

            That doesn’t make him a true believer. It just puts him in the same category as thousands of teenage girls, who read those books despite the rape scenes.

            • phillip ure 2.1.3.1.1.1

              yes soso..the only difference being those ‘teenage girls’ didn’t go on to enact all of those rand-wishes/dictums..

              ..did they..?..

              phillip ure..

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Eddie’s take on ShonKey’s not caring should stand as correct in the absence of a better explanation.
    Perhaps our tory visitors of the last few weeks have something to add as to why the PM passed up easy brownie points.

    Don’t get me wrong I am quite happy for the Key gang to be viewed as cold tightwads in line with their usual “higher standards” of taking breaks off workers, reinstating youth rates and attacking union rights.

    • muzza 3.1

      Well done TM – There is more to this than simply saying no, and ignoring the judicial recommendation.

  4. bad12 4

    i have commented on this subject at length on the other post so will keep this brief, my view is that David Cunliffe when Prime Minister need not pursue the shareholders of the now defunct Pike River Coal as individuals to shake the compensation monies from their tight little fists,

    ACC should be tasked with setting up a separate fund to cover the payment of Court ordered compensation where the company involved has become insolvent,

    Such a fund should be capitalized by simply taxing ALL shares bought on the NZ stock exchange, if the shareholding ‘class’ refuse to take responsibility for the companies they effectively own then it is the ‘business’ of Government to teach them such ‘responsibility’…

    • Chooky 4.1

      bad12 ….good idea!……ACC should pay them out now! …and a safety liability levy should be put on all companies where worker safety is paramount…

      ….it was a shocking accident made up of many compounding errors of judgment….but imo the safety management culture of Pike River Coal was ultimately responsible ….as is the case with many companies where profits come before the workers health and wellbeing

      …. maybe some sort of system of penalty payments could also be exacted on companies that flout safety of workers

      • Chooky 4.1.1

        …the same safety liability levy and system of penalty payments could go for environmental accidents …eg oil drilling, fracking, mining, irrigation etc

        ….companies must be held to account for accidents

        • KJT 4.1.1.1

          Personal liability for politicians for changes to legislation and regulation that result in death, illness or injury would be a big improvement.

          At the moment, if the Government does pay for their fuckups, it still comes out of tax payers pockets, not theirs.

          Politicians are one of the very few classes of employees that are not personally liable, for negligence.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1

            Personal liability for politicians for changes to legislation and regulation that result in death, illness or injury would be a big improvement.

            QFT

          • Tracey 4.1.1.1.2

            It would have to be for GROSS negligence only though. No one would stand for parliament. I am NO fan of the lack of accountability of our politicians but that would be a step too far in my opinion.

            • KJT 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Fair enough.

              Changes to legislation that result in 29 preventable deaths, billions of dollars of leaky homes, or the deaths of hundreds of children with third world diseases, IS gross negligence.

              On the whole, employees are indemnified against mistakes made in the course of their employment.

              Negligence is another matter.

    • RedBaronCV 4.2

      Yes we could B12 . Still my concerns would be two things:
      – a joint scheme doesn’t encourage the worst behaved to behave better. Unless there was an insurance based risk built into the fee then responsibility is spread around and the badly behaved are bludging off the better/safer operators. More care if responsibility homes in?

      – the second thing is a joint scheme is easier for the government of the day to screw around with. This might be good or bad but looking at Nact there seem to have been levy decreases for business owners but increases for employees, (the bit that gets taken out of PAYE wages), increases for all Motor vehicles (and it may be that commercial truck operators cause the more costly accidents) and despite the sepearte pools it is possible to gradually skew it until workers are paying the bulk of the costs not owners.

    • Treetop 4.3

      29 bodies in a mine which is too dangerous to enter says a lot. You have made sound suggestions.

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    Just a shame really.

    Obviously the Government has a legal obligation to screw up the contract Chorus signed and give them a bunch of dosh in compensation for them submitting a too low tender.

  6. Phil 7

    He is the smiling Assassin. JK is an interesting mix of cunning, slippery faux ‘logic’, and lackadaisical cbf. He is very talented at fooling people. He did gain entry to the Federal Reserve in the USA. No mean feat. He knows exactly what he is doing and will be gone like a bad fart.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      He does know exactly what he’s doing – he’s giving our wealth to the already rich.

      • red rattler 7.1.1

        True Draco.
        That’s the only explanation needed.
        Morality dictated by bank balances…
        As the ship of capitalism begins to sink the top deck line their pockets and rush for the lifeboats.
        We need to chuck them overboard and refloat the boat while we can.
        Their morals and ours.
        http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1938/morals/morals.htm

      • karol 7.1.2

        He does know exactly what he’s doing – he’s giving our wealth to the already rich.

        But it also takes a cold heart to do that. The wealthy lack empathy? Chicken or egg?

        ..the researchers found that young adults whose upbringing involved some degree of financial struggle were quicker and more likely to register signs of empathy than young adults who came from affluent backgrounds.
        […]
        But the relationship between wealth and compassion may work both ways. In 2005, researchers found that if a stock trader suffers from some kind of emotional impairment — that is, brain damage that prevents them from fully experiencing their own emotions — it may allow them to make more profit on the market, since they can make decisions based more firmly in rationalism.

        And in what may be a more extreme example of the same phenomenon, research published earlier this year suggests that some stockbrokers actually have a more pronounced competitive streak than diagnosed psychopaths.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1

          In a book I read many years ago it estimated that most (i.e, >50%) of business owners and managers showed psychopathic tendencies. From this and other research that’s coming out we need to be asking if capitalism itself is psychopathic.

  7. Tracey 8

    “Key claims that it would set a precedent of the government getting involved every time a company goes belly up.”

    How does he explain his government’s decision to give refunds to foreign investors in SCF that WERE NOT covered by the government guarantee extended to SCF by Bill English. This was $20m.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Yet this is the same man bailing Chorus out and bailing Rio Tinto out. Also Media Works and SCF. What a dick.

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        yup and where is the quip by the opposition parties to point it out.

        • Ake ake ake 8.1.1.1

          “Key claims that it would set a precedent of the government getting involved every time a company, WHICH HAD BEEN PROFITING BY SHIRKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE LIVES OF 29 MEN, goes belly up.”

          NZ is a cheap place to do business (“love to see wages drop”). Cheap to get away with lousy standards. Cheap to avoid regulatory compliance. Lives are cheap in NZ.

          Current government’s policies can also be bought cheap by corporates.

  8. Bearded Git 9

    I give it a week and Key will cave-not out of principle of course but The Polls, The Polls.

  9. infused 10

    For the amount of money involved, and for the shit storm it would create, I don’t know why they just didn’t pay it.

    • Tracey 10.1

      Yup, and for the promise to stand by them all through their tragedy and do whatever he could to help them… The Report is quite clear that TWO Government departments fucked up majorly. BUT Wilkinson resigned, not brownlee.

    • Blue 10.2

      There’s only one reason you refuse to pay up when you can afford it and it would be wiser to just do it.

      They’re scared that paying the money would send a message they don’t want to send. Key’s line about precedents for bail outs is bullshit, as many on this thread have pointed out – he’s bailed out pretty much every company that’s come cap in hand to the Govt over his time in the job.

      But he is scared of something. Whether he thinks that the money would send a message that it was the Govt’s fault, or he just doesn’t want business types thinking he’s taking the side of the workers against the shareholders (treason and blasphemy) or he has some kind of weird hang up about partly Govt owned companies because of the asset sales, who knows.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        Perceptive of you.

        They’re scared that paying the money would send a message they don’t want to send.

        I believe that this sentence of yours is the ‘key’. The question is – an unwanted message to whom.

        The answer is no doubt a political one, i.e. it is probably to do with support for Key as leader. Internal support or external support?

        Very interesting.

      • infused 10.2.2

        Well that’s what I’m trying to work out. The National govt wouldn’t just go ‘not paying’. It’s just dumb on all levels.

        There has to be something behind it. I don’t actually buy that it will set a precedent either, because it won’t.

        Not sure what I am missing.

      • Olwyn 10.2.3

        On the “The Right Thing to Do” thread, Gobsmacked suggested that he will probably pay compensation closer to the election. http://thestandard.org.nz/the-right-thing-to-do/#comment-731231

        This would be in keeping with his usual strategies. Give them some compensation close to the election, probably less than the court has ordered, out of “financial prudence,” but enough to take the wind out of Labour’s sails. His backers would no doubt accept this as a show of “moderateness” in exchange for centrist votes.

        • infused 10.2.3.1

          Yes – I saw that, but that’s silly. I don’t think it’s his usual strategies… it can be seen right through. Just like Cunliffes strategy of announcing it yesterday. It’s nothing more than political.

      • emergency mike 10.2.4

        Yes why Key is gifting the opposition so many easy points here for the sake of $3.4m that’s not even his money is interesting. Clearly it’s not about principles, he doesn’t have any – if he did, he’d pay. So what’s the real reason?

  10. Ad 11

    We have been claiming for four years that finally, this time the honeymoon is over, this time the shine has worn off, this time the tide turns against him.

    My bet is, like all the other times, it hasn’t worked. He’s as popular as ever. As politically in command as ever.

    Key could easily pull more and more of New Zealand to accept that we are now broadly more nasty, more brutish, more commercial.

    And (irrespective the actual truth) in doing so accept that a tick for National is a tick for getting rich on the whole.

    Cunliffe’s big play is that people will vote for virtue rather than interest. Bold play I’d say.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Major political risks abound and the Left better play the game smart, electorally, with seats, with potential coalition partners.

      Giving National/Colin Craig a third term is not my idea of being principled nor values based.

  11. One Anonymous Knucklehead 12

    As Ennui points in comments on the “Right Thing To Do” post, the government owns 7.5% of the shares, yet 99% of the shareholders voted not to pay compensation. That means the National Party voted with the villains.

    Shout it out in all four corners of the land.

    • Tracey 12.1

      who represents the crown ownership at such meetings?

    • Anne 12.2

      …the government owns 7.5% of the shares, yet 99% of the shareholders voted not to pay compensation.

      Therein might lie the answer as to why the Govt. turned down compensation for the Pike River families? I bet those shareholders are the same ones who contribute significantly to National’s campaign coffers.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 12.2.1

        Had they voted with the minority, they would now be in a position to apply moral pressure on the other shareholders.

      • Treetop 12.2.2

        At the back of Key’s mind he probably thinks that the share price could be affected re the energy asset sales. Key knows that the asset sales are a bust and not a boom.

    • RedBaronCV 12.3

      99% of the shares not 99% of the shareholders. So that 1% of shares could be quite a few small “Mom & Pop” shareholders keen to do the right thing by their community.

      Maybe he doesn’t want to encourage ethical small shareholders or even ethical large fund manager shareholders. Stuff had an article the other day about fund managers not liking some of the large salaries being paid.
      My favourite quote:
      “You can see the fat cats are absolutely face-down in the trough,”

      Executive pay

      neoliberal cracks showing -maybe that is the problem

  12. Kevin Welsh 13

    Meaningless words from Key:

    http://www.3news.co.nz/John-Key-speaks-at-the-Pike-River-service/tabid/423/articleID/189085/Default.aspx#.UovXSWRdLFk

    Including some real gems:

    “I hope the knowledge of the nation’s support helps you through.”

    “Because I was such a child, I know that the absence of a parent is a heaviness you learn to carry in your own way.”

    “I am proud to lead a country whose people care so much about each other.”

  13. Will@Welly 14

    We used to say when the last Kiwi left NZ for Auss could they please turn out the light.
    Now we might as well say, when NZ is insolvent, can those left, man the life rafts. One things for sure, moral integrity is being abandoned by this Government.

    • vto 14.1

      and the public see it

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      One things for sure, moral integrity is being abandoned by this Government.

      Assuming that they had any moral integrity in the first place which, IMO, is seriously in doubt. I can’t think of anything that they’ve done that shows any such integrity. All I see is a group of people willing to sell out NZ but that’s been true of National since the 1990s.

      • phillip ure 14.2.1

        @ draco..and labour in the 80’s..

        ..and the clark-govt..

        ..which did s.f.a. to roll back what national had done..

        ..the clusterfuck/shitstorm we now find ourselves in..

        ..is not just the result of the actions of national..

        ..many in labour still seem unwilling to accept that reality..

        ..and until they do..and promise the seachanges needed..

        ..we are still fucked..

        ..phillip ure

        • Crunchtime 14.2.1.1

          +1.

        • gnomic 14.2.1.2

          Seachanges yes. Likely no I’m sorry. Like how would they even know what a seachange was? Too busy twittering. Computing the latest benny after they get retired. Faction fighting for their gender preference.

  14. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 15

    The Government (taxpayer) and the company owners have culpability to what happened and therefore both parties must pay this compensation – otherwise a massive moral hazard results. End of story.

  15. Tracey 16

    So WHY does his popularity stay so high? Are the polls missing a key demographic? Can the left be so deluded about him (rhetorical)?

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 16.1

      @ Tracy
      Good question. We seem to lack discerning intelligence.

      A good leader for a country takes a bit more than ‘if it smiles and has a lackadaisical and humorous appearance then it must be a good thing.’

    • Ad 16.2

      My intuition is Cunliffe’s play of virtue as a platform is to:

      (a) differentiate his brand from Key’s rather than fight charm with charm,
      (b) provide a tactical platform from which to dog whistle to the Old Left, and
      (c) be a strategy for poll growth that can corrode Nat support even when economic growth accelerates and unemoyment dips.

      Certainly a better risk than seeking to re conquer any “middle ground” as previous leaders did.

    • Richard Down South 16.3

      A lot depend who you ask… ask 1000 people in fancy suits in Aucklands CBD, would probably give you a lot of National leaning voters… ask 1000 people in say, South Auckland, not wearing suits and youd likely get a more Labour leaning set of voters…

      Then they go around and say, ‘National is up 3%’ or ‘Labour is up 3%’… but are they asking the SAME people, because if you asked 1000 people, and 500 of them were die hard ‘National can do no wrong’ voters then it will affect the polls, whether or not you ask the same people, or different ones

  16. Tracey 17

    Here are the 16 recommendations. Am trying ti find which ones have been acted upon

    http://pikeriver.royalcommission.govt.nz/Volume-One—Recommendations

    “The mine was new and the owner, Pike River Coal Ltd (Pike), had not completed the systems and infrastructure necessary to safely produce coal. Its health and safety systems were inadequate. Pike’s ventilation and methane drainage systems could not cope with everything the company was trying to do: driving roadways through coal, drilling ahead into the coal seam and extracting coal by hydro mining, a method known to produce large quantities of methane.

    There were numerous warnings of a potential catastrophe at Pike River. One source of these was the reports made by the underground deputies and workers. For months they had reported incidents of excess methane (and many other health and safety problems). In the last 48 days before the explosion there were 21 reports of methane levels reaching explosive volumes, and 27 reports of lesser, but potentially dangerous, volumes. The reports of excess methane continued up to the very morning of the tragedy. The warnings were not heeded.

    The drive for coal production before the mine was ready created the circumstances within which the tragedy occurred.”

    Bold is mine

    “Ministry of Economic Development (MED)

    MED approved the issue of Pike’s mining permit in 1997. Its focus was the economic benefits to New Zealand. MED did not fully apply the criteria set out in its coal policy programme, which included requirements to check the experience of the applicant and its proposed mining methods, and to ensure that these represented good mining practice. In terms of the coal programme, health and safety, which is intrinsic to good mining practice, was not MED’s concern. MED did not consult DOL so no one looked at the health and safety implications of the proposed mine.

    MED’s subsequent monitoring of the mine development was limited to ensuring that work statements were filed and storing mining plans.”

    “Department of Labour (DOL)

    DOL’s function was to ensure that Pike River was a legally compliant coal mine. The first workplace inspection was conducted in early 2007 when the drift was under construction and the mine design was already settled. From then, mining inspectors conducted quarterly inspections.

    DOL’s policy was to tailor a regulatory approach appropriate for individual employers. Because Pike was assumed to be a ‘best practice’ and ‘compliant’ employer the inspectors adopted a low-level compliance approach. This proved ineffective, as was most evident regarding the need to provide two emergency exits from the mine. In mid-2009 the main ventilation shaft was designated the second means of egress out of the mine. To use it involved a 110m ladder climb that was physically exhausting in normal conditions, but probably impossible in an emergency.

    In April 2010 an inspector told the mine manager that the shaft, although technically compliant, was not a suitable emergency escapeway. In August DOL advised Pike by letter that a new egress was required ‘as soon as possible’.[8] In November 2010 Pike said a new egress would be established by mid-2011. DOL considered this unsatisfactory, but took no further action before the explosion.

    Pike was not a best practice or compliant employer in relation to this and some other obligations. The workforce had voiced concern to management about the unsuitability of the second egress. The start of hydro mining in September 2010 increased the level of risk in the mine to the point where DOL should have issued a notice prohibiting hydro mining until a suitable second egress was in place.

    DOL’s compliance strategy did not require an assessment of Pike’s safety and operational information. The inspectors did not have a system, training or time to do so. When, at the hearings, they were shown examples of safety information obtained by the commission from Pike’s records, the inspectors were visibly dismayed. This was not a case of individual fault, but of departmental failure to resource, manage and adequately support a diminished mining inspectorate.”

    “Major change required and fast

    The Pike River tragedy was preventable but administrative and regulatory reforms are urgently needed to reduce the likelihood of further tragedies.

    The Pike River tragedy contains lessons for government, regulators, employers and workers, especially in high-hazard industries such as coal mining, where the frequency of major accidents is low, but accidents can have catastrophic results”

    Yup, no moral obligations there.

  17. captain hook 18

    well the media including radio sport and tvnz all gushed on and on claiming that it was Nationals turn.
    well they have had their turn and when the wheel revolves another turn at the next election then key and his crappy bunch of pseudo pundits like leighton sausage roll smith and callow dallow will have cheeze all over their inane dials and the leeches, kissarses and bloodsuckers of the National party will be gone!

  18. Rogue Trooper 19

    “Oh Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man
    That he didn’t, didn’t already have
    And cause never was the reason for the evening
    Or the [topic] of Sir Galahad.”

  19. Appleboy 20

    The right wing nutters are conspicuously quiet

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      Getting briefing packs

    • Just Like Tiger Woods 20.2

      We have ACC for at-work accidents. That is how the state deals with liability issues in New Zealand.

      The families have been paid out. They have also received generous donations from the public. I cannot see how the taxpayer has further moral or legal obligation in this case.

      Cunliffe’s passive-aggressive Mob-style “easy way or the hard way” comment is simply astonishing. It beggars belief how the interviewer didn’t bust out laughing. Who does he think he is? The Warehouse version of Tony Soprano from Herne Bay?

      Let’s choose the hard way, Mr Cunliffe. What yah gunna do, Dave?

      • Anne 20.2.1

        Briefing packs arrived…

        • Colonial Viper 20.2.1.1

          Yep.

        • Just Like Tiger Woods 20.2.1.2

          Heaven forbid you address the content of my post.

          If the point of ACC is to remove the question of liability and pass it to the state, then are you saying that is the wrong thing to do, and we should go back to determining liability on a case by case basis?

          One downside of ACC could be that companies and departments aren’t as careful as they could be because they know their accident liability can be passed on to the taxpayer.

          • Naturesong 20.2.1.2.1

            See my post here

            The liability has nothing to do with ACC.
            Pike River Coal Ltd charged by the now defunct Dept. of Labour under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

            The fines are paid to the government. Also, the court must look separately at whether any victim should receive reparation for emotional harm or consequential loss.
            Reparation cannot be paid for physical harm as that is covered by the ACC Act.

      • Ad 20.2.2

        Clearly you haven’t seen him in action.
        Get ready, because there’s no more corporate handouts coming.

      • emergency mike 20.2.3

        “The families have been paid out.”

        $5,000 each is ‘paid out’ is it?

        You can claim Cunliffe’s policy on this is just scoring political points if you like, but he’s not wrong when he says it’s the right thing to do. So instead of asking what game Cunliffe is playing here, maybe you should be asking what the fuck is wrong with John Key here.

    • infused 20.3

      Because what the big C is proposing is fucking nuts. It doesn’t need commenting.

      • Colonial Viper 20.3.1

        Compensating the surviving families of the dead victims of corporate negligence is “fucking nuts”?

        Perhaps in your world.

        In Cunliffe’s world, it is the moral thing for Government to do.

        • Just Like Tiger Woods 20.3.1.1

          The moral and fair thing to do is treat all victims of work place accidents equally, not to run some odious pre-election campaign.

          If you want to pay out each victim ACC + 110K, that’s fine, but might I suggest the cost would soon rise to astronomical proportions.

          • Ake ake ake 20.3.1.1.1

            The Pike River disaster was merely like any other accidents. Nothing more to see and hold to account here. John Key has had his speech-photo op and minimised liability for those responsible. Can everyone please stop raising the issues.

          • Colonial Viper 20.3.1.1.2

            The moral and fair thing to do is treat all victims of work place accidents equally, not to run some odious pre-election campaign.

            The family of every worker who dies due to corporate negligence should indeed receive significant compensation.

            After all as you say, it’s only fair to treat all such victims equally.

          • Naturesong 20.3.1.1.3

            See my post here
            Pike River Coal Ltd was charged by the now defunct Dept. of Labour under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

            The fines are paid to the government. Also, the court must look separately at whether any victim should receive reparation for emotional harm or consequential loss.
            Reparation cannot be paid for physical harm as that is covered by the ACC Act.

  20. Tracey 21

    Jltw

    acc would pay a funeral allowance to the families of the dead which is not enough to sustain partners and children.

    if you cant see the moral obligation you cant have read the report of the inquiry.

    wait a minute are you john key?

  21. rhinocrates 22

    OK, I’ve been really resistant to the idea of calling Key a psychopath because I’m autistic and naive people have associated people like me with “odd” emotional displays with serial killers (moreover see Pastor Niemoller’s poem, “First they came for…”), but finally, I’m going to give way on this. I’m going to add qualifiers: many people with “psychopathic” qualities have been good. Their fearlessness and lack of sentimentality has often been for good.

    However, yes, Key, in my opinion, is a psychopath… and a dumb one. That is what damns him – his essential stupidity, his pathetic neediness and shallowness.

    All psychopaths have cold hearts and at their best, they’re Hannibal Lecter (who at least has intelligence, self-awareness and impeccable taste). Dumb psychopaths like Key have tin ears and no self-awareness at all.

    Key has to be one of there most banal individuals alive. To say that he has only two dimensions is unfair; I doubt that he has any at all and I could almost pity him. I’m sure that a quantum physicist might find him interesting…

    Key is what the “Passionless People” want to be – see Gordon McLaughlan’s book of that title and Bill Pearson’s classic essay, “Fretful Sleepers”. http://publicaddress.net/great-new-zealand-argument/fretful-sleepers/ He wrote it as a warning, but Crosby-Textor took it as an instruction manual.

    • karol 22.1

      I also refrain from calling the likes of John Key a psychopath, or a sociopath. But I do think he is cold of heart and ruthless! Basically slippery & vicious. I don’t know whether it comes naturally, or his desire for status, power and wealth have led him to cultivate those qualities.

      • rhinocrates 22.1.1

        “He wears a mask and his face grows to fit it” is a line from George Orwell’s essay, “Shooting an Elephant” that I have never forgotten. I think that Key might well be a psychopath – and as I said, not a particularly bright one – but even if he isn’t, he’s trained himself to act like one. Behind all the nauseating smarminess there is indeed someone who is awfully vindictive and hateful. Outside the photo-ops and even in parliament’s debating chamber, that becomes starkly obvious.

        • Just Like Tiger Woods 22.1.1.1

          And perhaps you’re sinking to the level of people who called Helen Clark Clark-ula not on the basis of truth, but simply as a demonisation of “the other team”.

          Key is clearly no more a psychopath than Clark, which is not at all. They are both people who are doing what they feel is right for the country. The fact that someone else doesn’t, and then demonises them for it, says more about that person than it does about Clark or Key.

          Deep down, you know this to be the truth.

          • rhinocrates 22.1.1.1.1

            Deep down, you know this to be the truth.

            Your psychological projections are your own problem, not mine, so I won’t address them.

            As for the “equivalence” canard (“They are both…”), well all sorts of idiots and criminals have done what they “thought was best” but that does not mean that they shared virtues and abilities with real good people.

            Try harder.

            • Just Like Tiger Woods 22.1.1.1.1.1

              I can’t see any difference between the two when it comes to the assessment of psychopathy, but then I’m not a psychiatrist.

              Perhaps you’d like to provide some proof from a medical professional in this area, or else we’re left with your somewhat hysterical personal opinion that doesn’t seem consistent with most other people’s direct experience of the man.

              I’ve met both Clark and Key and found them both to be intelligent and friendly people.

              • karol

                Clark was a political activist when she was young. She showed concern for those in society who were less well off.

                Key when he was young expressed a desire for wealth and power (to be rich in business) and to become PM.

                Yes, I can see the similarity. And that’s before we get on to comparing the policies under each PM’s watch.

                Key well probably go on to do stuff in the corporate world. Clark is working at the UN for those in under developed countries – any more similarities?

                • Just Like Tiger Woods

                  “Clark was a political activist when she was young. She showed concern for those in society who were less well off.”

                  Maybe, or maybe it was just trendy to be a shouty university hippy at the time. I’m not sure how collecting multiple rental properties in latter years is particularly different to the behaviour of any other capitalist.

                  “Clark is working at the UN”

                  Tax free, too. I’m sure Key will pay his fair share of tax, which goes to helping the poor. .

              • ropata

                Let’s put Key on the psychiatrist’s couch by looking at his words and deeds.
                – International bankster Mafioso with Merril Lynch
                – “We would love to see wages drop”
                – “I’m right and everyone else is wrong” about spying legislation
                – Very glib and pulls fake numbers out of thin air with confidence
                – Persecuted a journalist over teapot tapes

                Some of the most common characteristics of sociopaths/psychopaths:
                – Conventional appearance
                – Glib, superficially charming, often highly verbal
                – Promiscuous sexual behavior
                – Manipulative and cunning
                – High sense of entitlement
                – Lacks a sense of moral responsibility or moral conscience
                – Shallow emotions
                – Callousness, lack of empathy
                – Lying without remorse, shame or guilt.
                – Interested only in their personal needs or desires, without concern for the effects of their behaviors on others.

                What these types are missing, at the most basic level, is an inner life: the capacity for introspection and self-awareness, or any reliable connection to a deeply held set of values. The consequence is that they feel no impulse to take responsibility for the consequences of their behaviors.

                Prepare to be grossed out: http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/close-up-big-dealers-john-key-1987

              • emergency mike

                “I’ve met both Clark and Key and found them both to be intelligent and friendly people.”

                Asinine. Ted Bundy was intelligent, charming, and friendly. Before during and after being found to have raped and murdered more than 30 women.

          • Tracey 22.1.1.1.2

            how about you tell us how much you believe ACC paid each family.

          • Crunchtime 22.1.1.1.3

            Explain what you mean by Helen Clark is a “psychopath”. Given the criteria for judging John Key to be a psychopath is cold-heartedness and a lack of caring for people, valuing wealth over people.

            Clark has none of these qualities. Arguably she could have done more for the poor while in office, but she didn’t actively move against them unlike the current govt. Her current position is head of the UN Development Program, and if you had followed her activity and comments on her role there you’d very quickly realise how much she cares, how much she is the opposite of a psychopath.

            “Just Like Tiger Woods”, accusing Helen Clark in this way is sociopathic in itself.

            • Just Like Tiger Woods 22.1.1.1.3.1

              I don’t accuse Helen Clark of being a psychopath.

              Here’s what I did say:

              “Key is clearly no more a psychopath than Clark, which is not at all. ”

              I found her to be charming.

              So, I’m not sure how much clearer I can make that statement. Are you saying people who label others as psychopaths are sociopathic?

              • Tracey

                Is my question about whether you have read the Final Report too hard for you?

              • Naturesong

                I’ve never found Helen Clarke to be charming.

                Competent, intelligent, informed, direct, not prone to suffering fools, workaholic are all ways I’d describe Helen Clarke.

                Charming, not so much.

                • lprent

                  Charming, not so much.

                  Agreed. Charming is distinctly over-rated as being a requirement for effective politicians. Mostly the people that tend to like it are themselves pretty damn shallow.

                  But it certainly indicate that the Tiger Woods mimic has never met her. Kind of figures that he’d be a boastful shallow bullshit artist eh….

      • bad12 22.1.2

        Yes i find that the label ‘psychopath’ is probably a little over the top as an epithet for Slippery the Prime Minister, although the dead eyed look does provide evidence that He is prone to be afflicted by such as many of us are,

        A slippery glib liar with a cynical streak a mile wide is how i would best describe our PM, take the compensation for the Pike River mining families for instance, Slippery’s stated reason of this becoming precedent setting is just more of the Crosby Textor drivel that they constantly shove up the PM’s various orifice so as to enable Him to regurgitate it for the public at a later point in time,

        Why do i think Slippery will not pay this Court ordered compensation, think CYNICAL in capitals,the West Coast/Tasman seat currently held by Labour’s Damian O’Conner is not likely to vote for a National candidate for quite some time and Slippery cannot see a political gain from paying out the compensation that the share-holders are responsible for,

        Michelle Boag had me laughing today as i listened to Her screeching on RadioNZ this afternoon, the screech rose a couple of octaves as She fumed that David Cunliffe couldn’t make the shareholders of Pike River Coal face their responsibilities surrounding the payment of this compensation,

        Of course He can Michelle, a levy of a dollar for every hundred dollars of shares traded on the NZ Stock Exchange would make a sizable fund which ACC could then administer and make payments from where shareholders of companies refuse to stand up to their responsibilities…

        • Anne 22.1.2.1

          Yes i find that the label ‘psychopath’ is probably a little over the top as an epithet for Slippery the Prime Minister,

          The thing is bad12 there are degrees of psychopathy just as in most things. The truly psychopathic and violent types only represent about 2% of them. The rest sit further down the scale and I imagine Key is at the lower end of that scale. I’m no expert of course but those who solely crave power and control over other people usually have some psychopathic tendencies in their make-up.

      • Anne 22.1.3

        In other words he’s a psychopath karol – be it naturally or by design. Psychopaths have no real empathy for those less fortunate than themselves. John Key has shown he has no real empathy for the Pike River families.

    • Just Like Tiger Woods 22.2

      Okay, let’s pay out the family of everyone who dies as the result of an accident as follows:

      a) They get paid ACC
      b) They also get paid 110K as a grand gesture if anyone can point to some level of involvement by a state department. Roads, for example. And Health.

      If not, why not?

      • rhinocrates 22.2.1

        That straw man is so big to be a fire hazard.

        • Just Like Tiger Woods 22.2.1.1

          So, we should pay out if it’s on the tv enough? What qualification are you using to pay one person, but not the other?

          • Naturesong 22.2.1.1.1

            Red herring alert.

            You are missing the point.
            The court ordered compensation, however the company was stripped before said compensation could be paid.
            Two government departments were found to be culpable.
            Several SOE’s were shareholders, benefitted financially, and they voted to not pay the families.

            The Prime Minister is within their rights to direct the SOE’s to pay their share of the court ordered compensation.
            And given that 2 government departments were at fault, a very strong argument can be made that the state has a moral obligation here.

            John Key said he would not do it, citing he does not have a legal obligation.
            David Cunliffe has said he would, and gives a compelling moral argument in support.

            To get back to your question, if a court ordered compensation be paid to a person, and it was documented that government departments involved were negligent, and government SOE’s benefitted financially, then yes, I’m happy for my tax dollars to be paid.

            • Just Like Tiger Woods 22.2.1.1.1.1

              “Stripped” is a rather emotive term. Shareholders also have legal rights, and those may not extend past limited liability.

              You seem to be conflating two separate issues. One, the possible culpability of a government department. Two, the liability of shareholders in a limited liability company.

              • Tracey

                and you are confusing the setting up of a scheme and the paying put of $20m not prescribed by that scheme (by Mr Key and his govt). So there is a precedent for giving taxpayer money away when it is not required by law. Perhaps English and Key thought there was a moral obligation?

      • Ad 22.2.2

        NICE. Would really focus the mind where it should.
        …and make DHB and NZTA Board members liable…
        Watch that prioritisation shift fast.

      • framu 22.2.3

        people have already answered this – why are you repeating yourself?

    • Naturesong 22.3

      Thanks Rhinocrates,
      This excerpt particularly resonated with me.

      The New Zealander delegates authority, then forgets it. He has shrugged off responsibility and wants to be left alone. There is no one more docile in the face of authority. He pleads rationalizations, ‘doesn’t want to make a fuss’ or ‘make a fool of himself’, but generally he does what he is told, partly because everyone else is doing it, partly because he wants to be sociable and co-operate in a wishfully untroubled world. Only when things go visibly wrong does he recall his right to question the authority and change it. When he complains half his bitterness is that he has been made to complain because he hates complaint and can’t complain with dignity. Anyone who questions too often is a ‘moaner’, yet in new Zealand the moaner is common. Things never run so smoothly as the New Zealander pretends. So he is suspicious of politics – the anti-conscription campaign and the Stockholm peace petition were suspect not out of fear of communism but because the man who tries to stop the drive to war is reminding everyone of the moral responsibility he gave away with his vote.

      • ropata 22.3.1

        Ouch that cuts close to the bone…

      • phillip ure 22.3.2

        @ diagnosis of kiwi character/mores..

        ..+ 1..

        phillip ure..

      • Just Like Tiger Woods 22.3.3

        So, when Labour are in government and they pass laws you happen to agree with and support, then you make “make a fuss”? Support and admire anyone who does make a fuss about Labours policies?

        Perhaps a lot of Kiwis are generally happy with the way things are, and whilst there are things they dislike, they don’t see them as being so important as to protest against?

        • Colonial Viper 22.3.3.1

          Sounds like you got election 2014 wrapped up then, mate. Go home and relax.

        • Naturesong 22.3.3.2

          When Labour make laws and screw up I hold them to account.

          The same with any party that holds power.

          It’s not about whether “my team won”, it’s about whether each law that gets passed, and each decision that ministers make is a *good decision or not

          As an example I would still like to see Simon Upton prosecuted for preventable AIDS deaths on his watch. How he managed to stay out of jail when similar scandals overseas brough down whole governments is bizarre.
          And I would like to see Helen Clarkes emails when she was health minister around the time New Zealand blood was infected by Hep C – due to the same failures that caused the AIDS deaths.

          While prosocuting and jailing those with responsibility and knowledge who stood by and did nothing will not bring back friends who are now dead, it serve as a reminder to all elected officials of both their responsibility and accountability to the New Zealand public.

          *good decision: evidence based, and on balance benefits the New Zealand public a a whole.

      • Just Like Tiger Woods 22.3.4

        That describes near everyone, everywhere.

        If we didn’t delegate authority, we would have no need for politicians.

        Perhaps there is something in that….

    • Murray Olsen 22.4

      This quantum physicist finds Key repugnant rather than interesting, Rhino.

    • emergency mike 22.5

      I have a degree in psychology, and spent a year reviewing the literature on psychopathy. In my opinion, and that’s all it is, my opinion, John Key surely has antisocial personality disorder, is very probably a sociopath, but I wouldn’t go as far as psychopath. I hasten to add however that some people argue that there is no meaningful difference between ‘sociopath’ and ‘psychopath’.

      I generally don’t like people labeling others with psych disorders, but I personally make exceptions for the ones that are running our country into the ground.

  22. Appleboy 23

    Oh here they (RWNJ’s) are – you guys never cease to amaze me. You just don’t have any compassion, is it really missing or are you blindly supporting ideology.

    29 deaths – you know damn well govt agencies failed here in their monitoring and oversight – a logical as well as moral responsibility…

    • Just Like Tiger Woods 23.1

      What’s ACC for?

      • bad12 23.1.1

        So, your a virtual idiot then, ACC would have paid out to the two miners injured in the Pike River Mine and managed to escape,

        ACC would have paid out for the funeral costs of those who died in the mine, the Courts ordered Pike River Coal Co to pay compensation to the miners families because of the ‘fault’ of the company in their deaths, ACC do not cover such court orders…

        • Just Like Tiger Woods 23.1.1.1

          Oh dear. There is an uninformed fool here, but that person is not me.

          http://www.acc.co.nz/news/WPC089999

          ACC payments are detailed on that page, and as you can see, they were generous. There were also the donations.

          • Naturesong 23.1.1.1.1

            Yes, you are the uninformed fool.

            See my reply here

            • Just Like Tiger Woods 23.1.1.1.1.1

              No, you are an uninformed fool. What part of “the company doesn’t exist” don’t you understand?

          • Murray Olsen 23.1.1.1.2

            So if you were killed somehow and your wife got that sort of paltry amount to bury you (except they didn’t get the bodies back, despite Key’s promise) and bring up your kids, you’d consider it generous? Or as a Tory, you deserve more than workers?

            • Just Like Tiger Woods 23.1.1.1.2.1

              Since when is 80% of wages paltry?

              What bodies? Would you send your spouse/kids into that mine to recover some ash? Would you do it yourself? Why risk the living on the long dead?

          • Tracey 23.1.1.1.3

            thanks for this.

            this is the same system many on the right want privatised. i wonder how much insurance companies demand for the same coverage.

            if acc goes,then so should the bar on suing. agreed?

            Have you read the final report?

          • Crunchtime 23.1.1.1.4

            ACC compo paid out was a pittance, enough for them to get by. In compensation for the ACCIDENT, not for the GROSS NEGLIGENCE of the company. You are disrespecting a court decision to award the families damages, by the way.

      • Ad 23.1.2

        displacing liability.

  23. Just Like Tiger Woods 24

    “ACC is the sole and compulsory provider of accident insurance for all work and non-work injuries. The ACC Scheme is administered on a no-fault basis, so that anyone regardless of the way in which they incurred an injury, is eligible for coverage under the Scheme. Due to the Scheme’s no-fault basis, people who have suffered personal injury do not have the right to sue an at-fault party”

    The last line may be of interest.

    • Crunchtime 24.1

      You are arguing with a court decision against the company and in favour of the dead miner’s families. Shaky ground, that is.

      • Just Like Tiger Woods 24.1.1

        I have no issue with the court decision. However, it’s against a company that is no longer there.

  24. rhinocrates 25

    It’s probably best to ignore “Just Like Tiger Woods”. The slightly dated trying to be cool handle, sudden pop-up and vigour suggests ringer or astroturfer.

    • karol 25.1

      A search shows JLTW has been posting here since August this year – a sleeper?

      • Rogue Trooper 25.1.1

        just asleep, at the wheel.

      • rhinocrates 25.1.2

        Hmmm, probably just a sock puppet identity then, used when some focus group identifies an issue.

        An oddly specific detail in their post – is there a vote or some polling coming up?

    • Just Like Tiger Woods 25.2

      You haven’t addressed the issue and now you’re running.

      “Due to the Scheme’s no-fault basis, people who have suffered personal injury do not have the right to sue an at-fault party”

      That’s why we have ACC. And as we have ACC, we don’t have a right to sue the “at fault” party under ACC legislation.

      If you want to make extra payments due to some involvement by a government department, seemingly contrary to the letter of the act, then what would be your criteria for this to ensure everyone is treated fairly?

      • rhinocrates 25.2.1

        You haven’t addressed the issue and now you’re running.You haven’t addressed the issue and now you’re running.

        Looks like an astroturfer then – trying to steer the discussion to suit their terms and pretending to be psychic.

        Word of advice “Just Like Tiger Woods” – nobody is obliged to answer your fake questions on terms that you define. Even Hooton, for God’s sake, is more subtle.

        • Just Like Tiger Woods 25.2.1.1

          19 families. 20M payout (ACC inc ongoing) plus donations (unknown).

          Society has looked after them.

          Cunliffe is grandstanding. I have no issue if he grandstands with his personal savings, but I take issue with him doing so with public funds.

      • karol 25.2.2

        Key manages to bend and change the rules when it suits – Hobbit Law, SkyCity.

        And surely the legal eagles that decided on the Court Order would have known if it was legal or not? Don’t see Key et al challenging the decision.

      • Naturesong 25.2.3

        You need to take up your argument with Judge Jane Farish at the Greymouth District Court since you disagree with her finding.

        Pike River Coal Ltd was charged by the now defunct Dept. of Labour under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

        The fines are paid to the government. Also, the court must look separately at whether any victim should receive reparation for emotional harm or consequential loss.
        Reparation cannot be paid for physical harm as that is covered by the ACC Act.

        You’ve been banging on about this being ACC’s responsibility, which has no bearing on Judge Farish’s judgement and you havent even bothered to read newspaper articles relating to the conviction, the judgement itself, or the legislation under which Pike River Ltd was convicted.

        Use your brain for once in your life.
        Ignorance is an opportunity, make it a habit to gather the pertinent facts before making a fool of yourself

        • Just Like Tiger Woods 25.2.3.1

          The judgement was against the company. Which no longer exists.

          • Tracey 25.2.3.1.1

            foreign investors in SCF were not covered by the govt guarantee yet Key paid them $20m?

            • Just Like Tiger Woods 25.2.3.1.1.1

              Cullen’s guarantee scheme, wasn’t it?

              • dv

                Cullen’s guarantee scheme, wasn’t it?
                BUT the Nats expended the scheme again treasury advice.
                AND the original scheme had the blessing of the NATS

                • Just Like Tiger Woods

                  So, you’re saying the original scheme was flawed and it was simply a matter of luck when SCF went under, as they could well of gone under under Labour, and perhaps should have if they had launched similar enquires?

                  One wonders why they didn’t….

              • Tracey

                Nice try. English ignored the warning from treasury when renewal time came up and extended the guarantee to SCF. In any event, even under Cullen’s programme the foreign investors were not covered. Any you who is such a stickler for facts!

              • Tracey

                oops, can’t admit you are wrong… Cullen created the scheme BUT it was national who gave money away NOT specified by the scheme. cat got your tongue?

                • Just Like Tiger Woods

                  See above. We had to keep equivalence with the AU scheme, else we would have had capital flight to AU banks/finance companies.

                  • McFlock

                    So we needed to “keep equivalence” with corporate investor protection, but not miners’ workplace protection?

                    Tory philosophy right there…

                    • Just Like Tiger Woods

                      Indeed. It was alleged some miners were not following the safety procedures, wasn’t it?

                      They seem to run tighter in AU.

                    • Tracey

                      red herring right there.

                    • McFlock

                      Yes. Because companies in Aus are held to account for the safety culture they allow to exist within their organisation.

                      Just as they would be held to account for a single farcical “escape” shaft, and the vent fan being at the base of the vent shaft rather than accessible from the surface, and the management’s failure to enforce safety policies, and the management’s failure to adequately isolate, minimise or eliminate the major gas hazard the mine was known for, and so on.

                      But blaming the workers is a tory reflex.

                    • Tracey

                      “One source of these was the reports made by the underground deputies and workers. For months they had reported incidents of excess methane (and many other health and safety problems). In the last 48 days before the explosion there were 21 reports of methane levels reaching explosive volumes, and 27 reports of lesser, but potentially dangerous, volumes. The reports of excess methane continued up to the very morning of the tragedy. The warnings were not heeded. ”

                      It’s not like the workers didnt try to save themselves… but executives and directors….

                      this was a classic case of profits before people, and anyone who has read the full report would not argue that.

                  • Tracey

                    ROFL, but you deliberately misled by calling it cullen’s scheme.

                    So, which part of the report did you read?

                    Didnt the silly foreign investors in SCF take a risk when they invested, which is like making a mistake isn’t it, if things go wrong?

          • Naturesong 25.2.3.1.2

            Yes, it was stripped in order to avoid any legal responsibility. The shareholders bailed with the insurance payouts.

            Thats why the judge suggested that the shareholders be held to account.

            The shareholders voted no – that includes the SOE’s.

            So the SOEs (along with other shareholders) had an opportunity to do the right thing, and instead, gave the families the finger.

            While ignorance can be an opportunity, stupidity is forever :sad:

            • Tracey 25.2.3.1.2.1

              A still trying to work out who voted on behalf of the crown…

            • Just Like Tiger Woods 25.2.3.1.2.2

              The judge can suggest all the judge likes. If people want to test it in court, they can do so. The shareholders have rights too.

              It is not up to shareholders to automaticly extend liability just because it suits the leader of the second most effective opposition party.

              Test it in court, by all means, if you wish.

              • Naturesong

                You’re absolutely right.

                The fact that the shareholders were legally able to strip the company and walk away with the insurance money leaving the families with nothing, not even the bodies of their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons to bury is irrelevant.

                After all, its just business.

                I think John Key is onto a real political winner and should repeat that line as many times as he can in the lead up to the election.

                • Just Like Tiger Woods

                  The shareholders lost their money. They collected some insurance money.
                  Meanwhile, we have ACC that covers workplace accidents. We have limited liability provision, but if you want to dispense with this, then you’ll make everything a lot more expensive.

                  “I think John Key is onto a real political winner and should repeat that line as many times as he can in the lead up to the election.”

                  Yeah, just hand them all a few more million each. That will be nice, won’t it? It will make people feel so good about themselves. Because that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it. Not miners.

                  Remind me who is so against more mining on the West Coast?

                  Pfft. “I’ll pass on the second latte, my SUV is double parked….”

                  • Naturesong

                    You’re getting your spin lines confused.
                    Just so we’re clear:

                    Pike River Coal Ltd was charged by the now defunct Dept. of Labour under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

                    The fines are paid to the government. Also, the court must look separately at whether any victim should receive reparation for emotional harm or consequential loss

                    Reparation for physical harm covered by the ACC Act.

                    Also, even unsecured creditors were paid.
                    But the dead miners families who were also creditors? Fuck them right?

                    • Just Like Tiger Woods

                      So, 20M for 19 people + extras + donations is not enough?

                      I think it is. Most NZers will, too. Enough is enough.

                      If you don’t, then perhaps you could organise your chums together and reach into your own deep pockets with your short arms. Suggest you compensate half of Christchurch to the same level, too.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, that’s what we will do. As a nation.

                    • Just Like Tiger Woods

                      So long as you do it for everyone. Start with road deaths. MOT is involved, at some level, in every single one of those (road design)….

                    • McFlock

                      lol:

                      If NZTA had demonstrated direct (and, frankly, negligent) responsibility in approving an dangerous road, ignored multiple accidents and incidents that preceded a major loss-of-life incident, and had actually degraded its road inspections and monitoring to the point that it was actually impossible for the two remaining inspectors to properly check even a small proportion of roads in the country in a useful period of time, I actually would support additional families to the bereaved in that instance, as well.

                      Mind you, $3.4 mil/29 suggests that with 300-odd road deaths per year that’s still only $40mil to cover both Pike River and the annual road toll – pissing into a rainstorm compared with the lost revenues, tax cuts, fluffed asset sales and corporate bailouts that this government has overseen.

                    • Naturesong

                      No point McFlock.

                      He knows that ACC does not apply here.
                      He also knows that the generosity of the NZ public has nothing to do with it.
                      He knows that comparing the Pike River disasters with accidents is a false equivalence.

                      Every point he has made has been countered by the facts of the case and he is now reduced to recycling his strawmen, red herrings and false equivalencies.

                      Just ignore him. He’s just a waste of time.

          • greywarbler 25.2.3.1.3

            JLTW
            ‘The judgement was against the company. Which no longer exists.’
            So that’s your point! At last. You say that the Pike River conspiracy company was like the shits that built leaky homes had company shells that they then closed and ran out on the victims. Of course some of the people who were involved with these houses did die, but the size of the mine disaster takes it to a different level. In a modern civilised country something can be done. And if necessary the government can make it happen. The laws about liability are man-made you know. I would make a guess that none of your relatives are miners, or dead down there.

      • Tracey 25.2.4

        Perhaps the families could consider suing the MEC and DOL for gross negligence which is still permitted under ACC legislation

        • Just Like Tiger Woods 25.2.4.1

          Maybe they should.

          • Tracey 25.2.4.1.1

            I wonder how much the defence of such an action would cost the Crown (taxpayer)? Have you read the Final report?

          • Tracey 25.2.4.1.2

            http://www.mbie.govt.nz/pdf-library/what-we-do/pike-river/Pike-river-independent-investigation-report-mar-2013.pdf

            herein lies part of the moral obligation of govt and shareholders to the families

            “In relation to MED’s assessment and monitoring of Pike’s mining permit, we consider that those functions were discharged in a lighthanded and perfunctory way. There existed the possibility within the regime for officials to have taken a more careful, deliberate and searching approach with Pike. Concerns about the company’s level of geological knowledge of the area and the growing p
            ressure on it from repeated delays in its work
            programme could have been surfaced. Ultimately such an approach might have led to further conditions being imposed on Pike, or even the revocation of its permit.
            11.
            We have found that the primary reasons such a
            n approach was not taken with Pike were
            systemic. The expectations on those responsible within MED for discharging these duties
            at the time were to process and administer such applications as quickly and efficiently as
            possible. The regulatory regime in place was complex and ambiguous, limited information was required of applicants and permit holders and there was limited expertise within the Crown Minerals area to interrogate strongly the information
            received. Health and safety considerations were explicitly excluded from the overall assessment to be undertaken.
            12.
            The approach taken was that significant commercial operations did not require careful testing to ensure that they were undertaking their operations according to good mining practice, as they had
            the resourcing and incentives to ensure this was done. Pike was seen as such an operation.

    • Just Like Tiger Woods 25.3

      Your post suggests paranoia.

      • dv 25.3.1

        Some years ago Slavery was legal.
        Doesn’t make it moral though.

        • Tracey 25.3.1.1

          but dv, the profit, think of the profit

        • Just Like Tiger Woods 25.3.1.2

          Should we pay out every family in Christchurch who lost someone an extra 110K, too?

          It’s only moral. Feels good, too.

          That’s the important thing. Feeling good.

          • Crunchtime 25.3.1.2.1

            Strawman. RIDICULOUS strawman, troll. The earthquake was not a disaster that resulted from poor safety practices by an employer.

            • Just Like Tiger Woods 25.3.1.2.1.1

              Again, that’s what ACC is for.

              “No fault” cuts **both** ways.

              Is that always good?

              Nope.

              Companies may take a lot more care if, say, they had to pay (insurance) bonds up front to cover accidents. They kind of do, in the form of ACC, but I hope you’re beginning to see the problem.

              • Colonial Viper

                Homicide by corporate negligence means prison time.

                ACC has nothing to do with it.

                • Just Like Tiger Woods

                  You caved :)

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    You failed miserably to comprehend (or even read, more likely) a Court judgement and compensation order, but that’s probably because you’re either arguing in bad faith or a complete moron.

                    Or perhaps you’re arguing in bad faith because you’re a complete moron.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You caved :)

                    Yeah, I can’t help kicking shitheads in.

  25. Richard Christie 26

    Tin ear ?

    nope…

    or cold heart ?

    closer, but, nah…..

    (hint) keep going down in the same general direction.

  26. Rogue Trooper 27

    numb nuts!

  27. Colonial Viper 28

    Re: JLTW – please dnftt.

    • Just Like Tiger Woods 28.1

      As an aside, that’s a rather long “extension” on the front of your spaceship logo. And “Viper”, too. It’s quite macho. I like it a lot.

      Getting back to the issue, I’m not sure why 20M + extras + donations for 19 people is not enough.

      • Crunchtime 28.1.1

        Where did you pull this 20m figure out of? I suspect some part of your anatomy. The ACC report mentions a few thousands of dollars, not hundreds of thousands!

        • Just Like Tiger Woods 28.1.1.1

          Bill English.

          “Mr English said that about $5 million had so far been paid by ACC to the families, on the same basis as any other family that suffers a workplace accident or death, and that the full support from ACC would amount to $20 million when paid.”

          And that’s just ACC. There were extras, and public donations.

          • Colonial Viper 28.1.1.1.1

            Hey shit head.

            Court ordered compensation of $3.4M.

            Glad to see Key and English willing to lose both moral standing and the election next year over this.

      • Treetop 28.1.2

        29 people.

        I’d like to know what you think about paying a dirty cop $150,000 to sit at home for two years, the cost of 9,000 hours investigating him and when he is sentenced it will cost $90,000 for room and board and he may get $1 for $1 superannuation (19 years service).

        3.4 m is a drop in the bucket and those families did nothing to cause the death of their loved one.

        I think I have it in perspective.

        • Just Like Tiger Woods 28.1.2.1

          Then pay out everyone who dies in an accident on the same basis.

          Start with Christchurch. How much for each family do you think? ACC + $1M. Hell, make $10M. It’s a loved one, after all. Too generous? Well, you tell me what the upper limit should be.

          Then start on road deaths.

          • Treetop 28.1.2.1.1

            Pike River was NO accident.

            Erebus in 1979 killing 257 was no accident. (People were paid out between $30,000 – $100,000).

            CTV Building was no accident.

            When gross negligence has occurred which COULD have been prevented this is no accident.

            A cap of $150,000 is considered to be reasonable (some could be offended by this figure).

            The share holders are not broke and they are an extension of the company.

            • Murray Olsen 28.1.2.1.1.1

              I think what we may be missing here is that Tories consider anything resulting from gross negligence by a company to be nothing more than an unfortunate accident. The rules for them are different, as we continually see in the courts.

              A King’s brat who gets drunk and has an accident in daddy’s merc is a fine upstanding young man who was involved in an unfortunate event. A Pasifika bloke in his Toyota that the brat smashed into, who bitch slaps the little shit, is demonstrating once more the propensity for “his type” to take the law into their own hands in a horribly thuggish manner, which decent society needs protecting from.

              Tiger is incapable of understanding that Pike River was not an accident. The words mean different things.

            • Just Like Tiger Woods 28.1.2.1.1.2

              Pike River was covered by ACC + extras plus donations.

              If 20M plus possibly 10M on top is heartless, then we’re *all* utter bas*ards to all those other New Zealanders who die of accidents, due to say, poor road design, but don’t receive anywhere near the same compensation.

              Was there negligence? Yes, it seems so, on a number of fronts. But then that’s what ACC is for. Are you starting to see one of the downsides of abdicating responsibility to a third party, namely the taxpayer?

              I certainly hope so, but I won’t hold my breath.

              • Crunchtime

                You don’t abdicate responsibility TO anyone. Abdicating responsiblity is what National is doing.

                David Cunliffe is TAKING responsibility for paying compensation and then seeking to recover the costs from the shareholders, who voted to refuse to pay compensation.

                You keep getting it completely wrong. Strawman argument fails.

          • Tracey 28.1.2.1.2

            remind me how human negligence and executive disregard for safety is like an earthquake? You are now grasping a bit, maybe should have quit when you might have been ahead.

    • greywarbler 28.2

      Sorry CV I folded.

  28. Treetop 29

    “Tin ear or cold heart?”

    A ventriloquists dummy could work it out to pay reparations.

    What is going to happen down the track when there is entry into the mine and FURTHER negligence is uncovered?

    To say that paying out would set a precedence is insulting. Having no respect for the dead is an all time low for this government. Having no respect for a legal judgement is giving the judiciary the two finger salute as well.

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