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TVNZ / Skycity deal is an asset dump

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, September 5th, 2013 - 23 comments
Categories: Economy, tv - Tags: ,

Yesterday morning at about 09:20, within minutes of each other, I saw two press releases from TVNZ corporate.

One lauding the “transformation opportunity” from selling the land on Hobson street to Skycity for $10.6 million.

The other was lauding their “only just” achievement of their profit forecast including the news that their advertising revenue was down by 2.1%, a drop of $6.6 million. To achieve a profit they shut teletext and sold the Avalon studio in Wellington plus “rigorous”  cost savings.

I put them both to one side for further examination because the sales value of the Hobson street site seemed like an extraordinarily low value. It already had an existing building, was in a prime redevelopment area, and I know for instance that my apartment building with less land and a commercially less useful has a higher land value.

TVNZ hobson land dissectionJohn Drinnan at the NZ Herald posted this yesterday at 10:17 in an immediate response

SkyCity paid $10.6 million for 81-95 Hobson street which is around $2 million more than the ratings valuation for the land.

See an aerial shot of the properties here.

But in addition to that payment the government has allowed them to cut the dividend to pay for upheavals – effectively a taxpayer contribution.

The level of dividend relief has not yet been spelt out.

TVNZ initially resisted the sale but went into negotiations after the Government focused on long running negotiations.

Actually John is wrong. A quick look at the Auckland City Council rates shows two rateable values on 85-91 Hobson Street. 85 Hobson Street and 91 Hobson Street. They have a combined rateable value in July 2011 of:-

85 Hobson Street 91 Hobson Street
Land value $3,500,000 $3,450,000 $6,950,000
Value of improvements $500,000 $800,000 $1,300,000

 

So unless there has been a rating valuation that isn’t up at the ACC yet, SkyCity are in fact paying slightly than $2 million more than the rateable value of land and improvements. Now the latter would usually mean the building. But how can this be?

My 51 square metre apartment on the periphery of the CBD has a rateable improvement value of more than $200k. Somehow a multistory building(s) on 2000+ square metres have a improvement value of about 6.5x that? But that is probably a question for a different post.

And my apartment has no part in producing a multi-million dollar profit and causing the shift of 500 odd employees.

“TVNZ reached agreement with shareholding Ministers to dividend relief, net of proceeds from the sale to SKYCITY, to cover the costs of refurbishing its main building at 100 Victoria St West.

“The building transformation project will begin during the coming summer. During the natural break in television programme production over Christmas and New Year, up to 500 people will be moved into temporary leased accommodation in the Telecom building in Victoria St West just 200 metres down the road from TVNZ, a spokesman said.

Chief executive Kevin Kenrick said the sale of land – which it initially resisted – was good for the company.

“This is a great result for TVNZ.”

Yeah right. I think that Kevin Kindrick is simply lying through his teeth and I’m mostly wondering who has the stick up his arse running the mouth. The rushed nature of this move and the small remaining site that they’re going to have available will almost certainly suck the life out of TVNZ over the coming year.  For a starter, I’d anticipate a lot of people leaving before they get pushed as TVNZ tries to fit 500 employees into a single workplace.

The costs of shifting 500 employees and all of their gear is going to be immense. The refurbishment of a already tight site to fit 500 staff is going to be colossal if at all possible. The disruption to the operations of TVNZ will be long ranging and probably deadly in terms of the disruptions to their usual revenue streams. About the only thing that they have going for them is that

If I was working at TVNZ at either of these buildings then my CV would be heading offshore right now.

It seems to me that the government, and most likely Steven Joyce,  has just directly overridden a SOE in the pursuit of a deal with SkyCity that already looked quite corrupt. They have taken an undervalued and depreciated building and sold it to SkyCity for demolition. On the way through they have probably killed much of the remaining operational value of  TVNZ.

All for this for a conference centre of dubious economic value, and a increased social cost. If Key and Joyce aren’t simply corrupt, then they are some of the most stupid business people I’ve ever seen. But most likely they’re just politicians trying to cover their arses for making a stupid mistake.

This morning I see that the Greens have picked up on it as well – see National caught hiding cost of SkyCity deal

TVNZ has revealed today that ministers have permitted it to reduce its dividend payments to the Crown so that it can pay for costs of rehousing TVNZ staff from the building it has been forced to sell as part of the SkyCity deal. That will result in a reduced dividend income for the Crown, leaving a fiscal gap that taxpayers will have to finance.

“National has been caught once again hiding the costs of its dirty deal with SkyCity,” said Mrs Turei.

National has been caught once again hiding the costs of its dirty deal with SkyCity

“National’s ministers were outplayed in the negotiations with SkyCity and have failed to deliver the ‘free’ convention centre that they promised. Now, the taxpayer has to foot the bill.

“The Government tried to downplay the social costs of increased gambling and failed to tell the public about the job losses the deal will cause. Now, we learn that National had to coax TVNZ to play its part in the dirty SkyCity deal by letting it off paying dividends. That will be a cost of millions of dollar to the Crown’s coffers.

 

23 comments on “TVNZ / Skycity deal is an asset dump”

  1. karol 1

    Thanks, Lynn. I was busy working yesterday, so missed those TVNZ press releases, and was puzzled by Drinnan’s article this morning. I also wondered why the sale of the TVNZ site wasn’t bigger news.

    There looks like a typo in this sentence:

    SkyCity are in fact paying slightly than $2 million more than the rateable value of land and improvements.

    I look forward to Turei’s likely questions to Joyce in the House today.

  2. fender 2

    What a scam, and totally contrary to the original “free convention centre” bullshit. Reduced dividends from TVNZ for the benefit of SkyCity means taxpayer subsidy, plain and simple.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      It was always a scam. Its purpose was to have the taxpayers pay for the building of the convention centre with SkyCity not being out of pocket. The end result would be a massive profit for SkyCity for little or no outlay on their part.

      • Tracey 2.1.1

        Brownlee invited interest from the private sector in Christchurch yesterday to “buy” the convention centre there. I wonder if they are climbing over each other to get it? I suspect the silence will be deafening.

      • srylands 2.1.2

        Yes it is all a conspiracy.

    • David H 2.2

      The headlines should be screaming CORRUPTION! But as usual the MSM is silent.

  3. tc 3

    TVNZ is a top heavy ‘has been’ transmitter of foreign content, they’d sell it if it wasn’t playing nice like it has in this deal and offering up patsy PR and soapboxes all the time on breakfast etc.

    Didn’t know they’d sold avalon. So another meagre return to taxpayers from the dominant TV operator who is flogging off it’s assets, what Joyce really meant by SOE’s paying their way has just been demonstrated. Helping the hollowmen take care of their backers.

    • Steve Withers 3.1

      tc: TVNZ is what it is *because* National tore up the public service charter, shut down TVNZ 7 and demanded excessive dividends.

      It’s the oldest play in the book: wreck the thing….then say it’s no good.

      It’s what conservatives do to public assets. I’m surprised people like yourself still fall for it.

      • tc 3.1.1

        Stevie boy TVNZ have been in terminal decline since the 90′s, the nats came along and pushed it faster down road a road that Labour tried to stop them with a charter, too little too late.

        Theyve been wrecking themselves quite nicely so the management can take home fat packages rather then produce content that enhances the organisation and who its meant to serve being the NZ public.

        IMO labour wasted their years by not smashing in down the 2 channells divide, one is commercial and effectively is a replay machine (which tv2 was when I was in the joint) running all the imported dross helping to fund the content creation.

        The nats fan boy rick eliss fought the charter, at taxpayer expense, like telecom fought separation so i dont entirely attribute TVNZs condition to the nats its been heading that way for sonetime now.

  4. Tracey 4

    Interesting to see the government which prides itself on business savvy is putting up a low reserve for the sale of the radio spectrum. I understand that if you have a decent number of bidders getting them engaged in the process can help with a higher auction price…but is the reserve usually publicised? Not at any auction I have been to… but how many parties will be vying?

    “expected to be bought by Vodafone, Telecom and 2degrees and used to support the rural roll-out of 4G mobile networks. ”

    And whose advice was it to set the reserve low?

    ” She said there were countries that had sold their digital dividend spectrum for a lower price per megahertz, per capita, though she was not immediately able to identify them.

    The price partly reflected the fact that New Zealand’s topography and population density meant rolling out networks here was relatively expensive, she said.

    Telecom applauded the announcement. ”

    Adams is aiming to get us better 4g coverage

    “These requirements are designed to ensure that at least 90 per cent of New Zealanders have access to a 4G network and faster mobile broadband coverage within five years.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9128505/Govt-denies-bargain-basement-spectrum

    Nationa party promise

    “Rolling out faster broadband

    The National-led government’s ultra-fast broadband rollout is underway. It will deliver broadband speeds of 100 Mbps to 75 per cent of New Zealanders where they live, work, and study.

    The rollout will see schools, hospitals, and 90% of businesses covered by 2015, and links to homes and remaining businesses completed by 2019″

    10 September 2009 – Joyce promised

    “Mr Joyce says he expects the following to happen within six years:

    93% of rural schools will receive fibre, enabling speeds of at least 100Mbps, with the remaining 7% to achieve speeds of at least 10Mbps.

    Over 80% of rural households will have access to broadband with speeds of at least 5Mbps, with the remainder to achieve speeds of at least 1Mbps.”

    Is the low reserve to help ensure they can meet this target?

    • tc 4.1

      Those bloody awstralians and their bloody contractors will be blamed for that tracey even though joyce dicked around for 2 years proabably negotiating with reynolds over how much taxpayer funds chorus would get to entrench their monopoly.

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    Remember the taxpayer is liable for any cost overruns on Sky Citys building.

    The details of the contract mean once the free convention centre is anything but.

    The council valuations were backdated to 2011. Just as well there hasnt been a property boom since then….. could we add 20% easily, and then there is the ‘unwilling seller’ premium.

  6. Not A PS Staffer 6

    Sky City hosted National Party Conferences many times in the past 20 years.
    Sky City hosted National Party fundraisers many times, usually with Tobacco interests buying many tables.

    Many National People got tipsy or drunk at these events.
    Many National People got friskey at these events.

    There must have been many many compromising sights seen by Sky City security on Sky City properties.

  7. BLiP 7

    Good spotting. I had wondered just how much a building smack in the Auckland CBD was worth when I read about this latest National Ltd™ sleight of hand. I’d spotted Steven Joyce’s lie about the deal when denied that TVNZ had been allowed to reduce its dividends as an inducement to sell the land. Here he is just eight weeks ago telling us . . .

    . . . my understanding is the shareholding ministers have written to TVNZ and said “well, look, if you need, for example, to slow down your dividend stream for two or three years to enable you to do this sort of renovations that would actually allow this to happen they’d [the shareholding ministers] would be happy to do that” and that would be something for TVNZ’s board to consider . . .

    I guess Joyce is just following the example of John Key because, as with just about anything he touches,Key has presented New Zealanders with another parade of lies this dodgy back-room deal with Sky City . . .

    the Sky City deal will provide 1000 construction jobs and 800 casino jobs

    all five bidders for the convention centre were treated equally

    my office has had no correspondence, no discussions, no involvement with the Sky City deal

    I did not mislead the House (8)

    I can’t remember what was discussed at my meeting with the SkyCity Chief Executive on 14 May 2009

    I have no record of the 12 November 2009 email from Treasury advising that the SkyCity deal was dodgy and needed to be referred to the Auditor General

    there was nothing improper about the Sky City deal

    SkyCity will only get “a few more” pokie machines at the margins

    any changes to gambling regulations will be subject to a full public submission process

    Sky City has approached TVNZ about the purchase/use of government-owned land

    I did not mislead the House (9)

    this government has been very transparent about all its dealings with SkyCity

    I did not mislead the House (10)

    the Auditor General has fully vindicated National over the Sky City deal

    I did not mislead the House (11)

    the Deputy Auditor General supports the view that there was nothing inappropriate about the Sky City deal

    I did not mislead the House (12)

    I did not breach the confidentiality of the Auditor General’s Report into the Sky City deal

    the Labour Government did exactly the same sort of deal back in 2001

  8. Ad 8

    I am presuming that this decrease in square footage foreshadows a major staff and capacity downsizing of TVNZ as it continues to bleed viewers to the internet video sites and capacities. I have long since lost sympathy for TVNZ as holding public good within it.

    If I ruled the world the news would be read by Warwick Burke, every night. ;-)

    • lprent 8.1

      …foreshadows a major staff and capacity downsizing…

      That would be my bet. Also that the government doesn’t have them destined for the block any time soon.

      • Ad 8.1.1

        Word I get on this arrangement is that Sky had only modelled and Quantity Surveyed a design based on the full land take. TVNZ were operating on a fully commercial price for their land for the lots required – and Sky wasn’t prepared to pay that.

        So Sky were then faced with a reduced footprint, uncosted, un-QS’d, and with lower yield per square metre. Which also meant precious time lost to redesigning everything.

        This, coupled with a timetable that Joyce absolutely insists on which is of course completion by November 2017 (joyous election night!), and Sky and Joyce had a major problem.

        Leverage was applied, as you’d expect: deal for the full TVNZ set of sites at non-commercial price, or no deal.

        So the Crown allowed TVNZ to lower their dividend for the year, expedite the full land holding sale, and off we go …

  9. pollywog 9

    Enough to make your blood boil, except it’s all been sucked dry by these vampires already.

  10. Lloyd 10

    TVNZ has viewshafts for its satellite dishes on that site in the District Plan. How much is that worth? was this included in the price?

    • tc 10.1

      Are they required under a digital scenario, uplinks can be anywhere if you are pointing at geo stationary satelittes if you dont need to see land based points.

  11. Wensleydale 11

    Oh no! National MPs are lying to us! *cue mock outrage and feigned surprise*

    Seriously, this is what National does. They’ve always done it, and they’ll continue to do it until the end of forever. Like spite, avarice and an irrational hatred of poor people, it’s just in their blood.

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    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
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Phillipstown will get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour government will allow Phillipstown School to stay open, with a review after two years, Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Megan Woods says. “Hekia Parata has failed the Phillipstown community with today’s decision to close the school. “It is disgraceful...
    Labour | 08-04
  • State Housing waiting lists go through the roof
    The waiting list for State Houses has risen by over a thousand in the past three months, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Low income people are feeling the sharp end of National’s housing crisis. A shortage of affordable houses...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Hekia Parata fails to answer basic questions
    Education Minister Hekia Parata’s inability to answer even the most basic questions about her proposed new Executive Principal roles will have alarm bells ringing in school communities all around the country, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools are already concerned...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Guy gets it wrong by any measure
    The Ministry for Primary Industries being forced to reprint rulers designed to help recreational fishers measure their snapper catch is right up there on the incompetence scale, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI is having to spend another $8000...
    Labour | 08-04
  • 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
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in recei...
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in receivership News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have been driven to the wall by a...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland
    Press Release: Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 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...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Maori Party $5000 per ticket John Key Fundraiser at sexist Northe...
    So MANA can’t contemplate an alliance with Kim Dotcom because he is wealthy and MANA is not and that’s a terrible hypocrisy. Shock. Horror. So what is one to make of the Maori Party holding a $5000 per ticket closed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • David vs Goliath – Key’s housing affordability TV debate challenge
    John Key allowed his frustration to get the better of him at yesterdays press conference when he responded to a question on housing affordability by shooting back that he would debate David Cunliffe on the issue. Cunliffe has accepted. The...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Deborah Manning joins Team Cunliffe
    Deborah Manning is a very good friend of mine and seeing her join Team Cunliffe in Wellington is just another example on top of Matt Mcarten and Clint Smith’s appointments that Cunliffe is serious about putting together the best strategic...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?
    If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000
    A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Key to Snowden
    Comparing Key to Snowden...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Latest Banksy
    Latest Banksy...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Valuing Teachers
    Valuing Teachers...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth
    Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • TPPA is corporate thuggery
    TPPA is corporate thuggery...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Why we need feminism
    Why we need feminism...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Method In His Madness: Why did Russel Norman make Labour an offer it couldn...
    THE LINE FROM LABOUR is that the Greens made them an offer they couldn’t accept. Delivered in the condescending, world-weary tone one usually associates with a headmaster reprimanding one of the dimmer boys from the Lower-Fifth, the suggestion, clearly, is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • iPredict has possible MANA-Internet Party alliance at 3 seats
    Latest iPredict scores has MANA at 1.1% and the Internet Party at 1.5% – combined that’s 2.6%, the party list percentages would roughly be… 2 seats (i.e. electorate and one list): (1.2%) 3 seats: (2%) 4 seats: (2.8%) 5 seats:...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adam Bennett and his wonky Tai Tokerau logic
    Adam Bennett, the NZ Herald’s political reporter, has published a column with some wonky Tai Tokerau logic… Unless the Mana Internet alliance pulls off the unlikely feat of reaching the 5 per cent mark on election night, all of this...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley performing for MANA fundraiser
    Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed by an...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Businessman who is taking Blogger to court for defamation attacked
    The NBR are reporting (paywalled) that Matt Blomfield, the businessman taking Cameron Slater to court for defamation, has had been attacked last night with shots fired at his home. How vicious and nasty. Thoughts are with Matt and his family....
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • 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