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Veolia Transport: where were the backup plans?

Written By: - Date published: 6:10 pm, April 26th, 2012 - 73 comments
Categories: public transport - Tags: ,

I have and still do deal with quite a lot with systems in my day-job. But this…. I’m aghast at the self-evident stupidity.

A power outage has shut down almost all train services across the Auckland region.

The fault at KiwiRail’s National Train Control in Wellington, which controls Auckland signals and radio control, occurred about 4pm, and it is not know how long train services will be affected.

Apart from the poor quality of journalism, this really raises more questions than it answers.

This report tends to indicate that a single point of failure in Wellington is capable of taking out a major part of the transport system in a city more than 700km away.

Now speaking purely from my old training in earth sciences, there is absolutely no way that ANY system in NZ should rely on a single location as a point of failure. The risk of earthquakes at any one location anywhere in NZ is pretty high as Christchurch showed. But Wellington / Nelson has probably the highest probability of having a major earthquake of any location in the country.

Then there are those hundreds of kilometres between there and here in Auckland. Sure the comms, power lines, and roads in NZ go either side of the volcanic plateau (at least I hope they still do). But it isn’t hard for anyone who has looked at the past history of the Taupo, Rotorua, and even those smaller cones scattered around the region, to easily imagine conditions that would cut links from one side of the north island to the other.

There should be at least ones warm backup system in the north. What country do they think they are in? Frigging Britain? This is New Zealand where you have to build a lot of redundancy into every system. Hell I run this site with several backup systems at varying degrees of warmth.

But FFS. Even if they were stupid enough to just rely on a single geographical point of failure. Then where in the hell were their backup generators?

Perhaps the journo’s should examine why a single point of failure in Wellington should take out an essential service for tens of thousands of people in Auckland.

73 comments on “Veolia Transport: where were the backup plans?”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Perhaps the journo’s should examine why a single point of failure in Wellington should take out an essential service for tens of thousands of people in Auckland.

    That’d be nice but I doubt that it would happen as that would require questioning the privatisation agenda.

    • Bed Rater 1.1

      How does criticising the operations of a state owned entity amount to ‘questioning the privatisation agenda’?

      • logie97 1.1.1

        Veolia – that wonderful local Kiwi organisation?
        They also look after our waste disposal in Auckland.
        Roadside collection up over 100 % in 10 years. Paid for through the bags.
        No corresponding reduction in rates though.
        Inorganic collections – thing of the past. Take it yourself and pay big bucks.
        Don’t you love the service you get when multinationals take over?

        • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1.1

          Veolia arent the people in Wellington operating the tracks/signals!!!

          Yes they are the train operator but the tracks etc are ‘owned’ differently

          Someone has jumped to conclusions

          • lprent 1.1.1.1.1

            I was just taking it off the report in the Herald. So who does run the signal system?

            Kiwirail?

            • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes

              • lprent

                But Veolia run the commuter rail in Auckland? So they are the ones that commuters should scream at for letting them walk home in the rain? They are directly responsible for ensuring the service runs well.

                I think that Veolia need the incentive to push Kiwirail.

                In much the same way that Vector run the power lines in Auckland, Transpower run the grid, but screaming should be directed at your own power company if they drop you into the dark. I can’t influence either Vector or Transpower as I don’ have a contract with them.but I do with Meridan.

                • handle

                  Think of this like the ports, Lynn. Kiwirail own and run the tracks and signals. Veolia run the passenger service on them, contracted by Auckland Transport which pays a lease for access to the tracks and signals.

                  Auckland Transport is a CCO set up so it nominally reports to Auckland Council as well as the national transport agencies and Ministry.

                  Buck ‘stops’ with Minister of Transport and Auckland Mayor.

                  • ghostwhowalksnz

                    Auckland Transport would only have long term oversight of contract with Veolia- who dont run the tracks/signals. Same goes for usage of tracks from Kiwirail
                    Not sure how you say buck stops with Auckland Mayor because of above and he only appointed 2 out of 8 directors of Auckland Transport.
                    You could say the buck stops with Rodney Hide , who appointed Chairman and 6 directors of Auckland Transport.

                    • handle

                      You could say that but it is not much use in fixing the problem. We probably agree that the government has more power than the council.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        Veolia Transport Auckland

        The merger in March 2011 of Veolia Transport and Transdev Group created a group with operations in 28 countries worldwide and 120,000 employees. The combined Veolia Transdev is the largest private transport operator in the world.

        • prism 1.1.2.1

          Confusing info on Veolia pages between Home and About us – one says that the contract with Auckland Transport to March 2014 and other says June 2016.

  2. Carol 2

    Agree with this post. As I said in Open Mike. Unbelievable!

    And all a terrorist or other armed and dangerous enemy of the NZ state would need to do would be to strategically lay a bomb in Wellington at a selected time and place, to throw both Auckland and Wellington into disarray.

    • Rob 2.1

      It wouldnt matter if they did, no one in Auckland bothers to catch the thing anyway.

      • Carol 2.1.1

        Hi Rob. Thanks for your “concern” about my well-being.
        – signed No One.

      • tc 2.1.2

        Nether accurate, funny or relevant, got back to pulling the wings off flies Rob.

      • Jilly Bee 2.1.3

        Rob you obviously haven’t caught a train to Swanson from Britomart in the late afternoons – it’s usually standing room only.

        • Rob 2.1.3.1

          No Jilly Bee, I am working in the late afternoon in South Auckland, so I can’t catch the train from Britomart to Swanson. 

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.4

        Oh, gee, a RWNJ proved wrong – again

        Auckland Transport’s Chief Executive, David Warburton says, “This is a significant milestone in our public transport journey. Four times the number of passengers are using rail now than eight years ago when Britomart was opened. In 2003, there were 2.5 million trips on rail compared with the ten million we have just reached.

  3. Rich 3

    I’m pretty convinced that as and when the Big One hits Wellington, we’ll be stuffed. Most DR systems in NZ work on a she’ll-be-right basis, even when they’ve bothered building one.

    We were fortunate that very little infrastructure is centred or controlled in Christchurch. When Wellington goes, I’d suspect things like total failure of bank payments for several weeks. The people in a position to fix things, even if they survive, won’t be able to get to work through streets prowled by trigger happy foreign cops and squaddies.

    • vto 3.1

      Yes agreed. Everyone’s personal civil defence bag should also contain a plan to deal with this certainty. Do not rely on the public services – they are well intentioned but ………. (see EQC example)

      If there is one thing we all learnt in Chch it is that simply having a plan helps immeasurably. And practising that plan multiplies that help ten-fold. And also, quite simply saves lives.

    • Gosman 3.2

      You obviously have no experience of the NZ Banking system. There is significant DR capacity and most (if not all) have operations centers in Auckland so if Wellington went there would be only minor disruptions to the rest of the country.

      • Rich 3.2.1

        Hence a faulty patch lead took out interbank payments.

        Believe me, I have considerable experience and have seen it all, including a “DR” system involving having duplicated servers at the other end of the room from their supposed backups.

        • Gosman 3.2.1.1

          That error was rectified within a day. You are implying that the NZ payments system would be out for several weeks if there was a serious disaster in Wellington. It is simply not the case.

          I have worked in banking for a number of years including in testing DR capabilities. There is simply no way that a failure in Wellington would lead to the situation you are postulating.

          It is obvious you have little understanding of the infrastructure the banks have put in place around this.

        • Gosman 3.2.1.2

          What is your considerable experience of the NZ Banking industries payment system Rich?

  4. Anne 4

    LPRENT for parliament!

    • lprent 4.1

      No thanks… I have spent literally decades supporting people silly enough to want to do the job on the off-chance that my duty itch would overcome my programming obsession. I like the latter and think that I’d scare too many people (and get too enamoured of) growling at them to do the former.

      Also I really really don’t wanna be nice – and the voters expect that an attempt would be made to be so.

  5. marsman 5

    Perhaps Kiwirail is being systematically sabotaged from within on behalf of the Roading Lobby et al’s glove puppets, given that this is about the fourth adverse story coming from them within a fortnight or so. Don’t forget, the head of Kiwirail was appointed by Shonkey’s Administration. Yes I know, conspiracy etc etc but…….

  6. handle 6

    During the last Christchurch earthquake in December, media reported that air traffic control for the whole country was down because it was still based in that city. Who on earth would regard that as sound management?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      The RWNJs – minimising the number of people and locations used increases efficiency. Doesn’t do too well when the lone place gets crushed though.

      • To everyone it increases efficiency. But to most people efficiency at the cost of reasonable redundancy is stupid- to extreme right-wingers, it doesn’t matter because they pay directly for the redundancies in things that effect them.

  7. tc 7

    Yes and of course the buses were all full leaving the city so no alternatives and no signs at station entrances letting people walk to platforms….FFS common sense people.

    Beggars belief that akl system is 100% reliant on Wellington based infrastructure but then this is kiwi rail led by ex NZ Post old boy and govt muppett Jim Quinn.

  8. Hilary 8

    See how the media uses this as another opportunity to denigrate trains. The DomPost reports almost every late train in the capital. There is never any equivalent scrutiny of road costs, road transport issues and the constant traffic jams. There is also an ongoing campaign to build the Transmission Gully White elephant. Roads good, trains bad. So boring.

  9. vto 9

    EQC in Christchurch – not a back-up plan. Not even a plan. And their entire contract was to deal with a major earthquake in any of NZ’s main population centres. Epic fail.

    Fukushima nuclear power plant – all back-up plans involved the use of electricity to cool an out of control meltdown. No simple mechanical device requiring no electricity. You would think they had never heard of gravity.

    It doesn’t surprise me one iota.

    Don’t rely on any systems seems to be the only reliable way.

  10. jaymam 10

    It’s absolutely unbelievable if there isn’t a backup power supply.
    And also unbelievable that the so-called journalists didn’t ask if there was one.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1

      That was the problem, the backup power supply didnt ‘switch over’.

      Very poor reporting over this- usual situation when there isnt some sort of celebrity involved, then we would have all the gory details

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    It’s “efficient” to centralise everything and take out ‘unnecessary’ redundancy (hey why pay for back up systems when they wll go unused for 99.99% of the time???).

    Shame when some little thing breaks though and everyone everywhere gets screwed simultaneously.

  12. RedLogix 12

    As someone who is largely responsible for running the technology side of a similar piece of major infrastructure… I can only agree in principle with Lynn’s original post. A large portion of our resources go into adding resilience to the system. We can never make it utterly bullet-proof in the face of every conceivable event, or sequence of events… but we can cover most of the predictable ones.

    Having said that I’m reluctanct to put the boot in without knowing more of the technical details. It’s far too easy to get high and mightly about something that turns out to be a bit more complex than you initially imagined. And because most of our media is technically illiterate we’ll never get a coherent explanation out of them. I do have a back-channel into Kiwirail but I can’t count on it delivering.

    Train Control is an exceedingly conservative and risk averse aspect of the system, and you don’t fiddle or upgrade the system without spending a lot of money. My educated guess is that Kiwirail has been cash and capital starved for far too many decades and the kind of redundancy you are thinking of just hasn’t been in the budget.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      My educated guess is that Kiwirail has been cash and capital starved for far too many decades and the kind of redundancy you are thinking of just hasn’t been in the budget.

      Should have just kept signal men on the line with mechanical signal boxes. Keep more people employed doing an important job. Those systems worked with zero fatalities for decades.

      Too “inefficient” I suppose.

      • insider 12.1.1

        Zero fatalities except for the single largest train disaster in our history siler fern derailment, Wellington rail yards crash, etc etc. those dead probably looked like no-one as you whizzed past in the Porsche

    • lprent 12.2

      I don’t expect it to be bullet-proof, but the first thing I would have expected to see from Kiwirail woud have been a statement saying that the backup systems were being activated. More than three hours afterwards the only thing I could see was that some trains were starting to run – how?

      Anyway I went into a movie then. I will have a look in the morning. But it did seem somewhat fragile.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 12.2.1

        Ask Air NZ how their systems worked when their was a failure in the aircraft boarding computers. IBM who ran it had very little idea what to do when there was a problem and it took many hours to fix.

        I remember a large industry in Australia ( Holden) had a motor generator/flywheel as the first part of a large battery backup. And it was tested at a quiet period every week.
        Dont reply on electronics to switch over your backup power

  13. logie97 13

    Veolia – that wonderful local Kiwi organisation?
    They also look after our waste disposal in Auckland.
    Roadside collection up over 100 % in 10 years. Paid for through the bags.
    No corresponding reduction in rates though.
    Inorganic collections – thing of the past. Take it yourself and pay big bucks.
    Don’t you love the service you get when multinationals take over?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 13.1

      Not Veolia . See above

      • lprent 13.1.1

        They do run our local commuter system. Therefore they are the organisation responsible for making it run correctly.

        • Gosman 13.1.1.1

          So you’re not really looking for the organisation responsible for the problem are you, only for a convenient scapegoat that you can complain to.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 13.1.1.2

          They cant run trains without signals, the responsible thing was to stop the trains. And they dont ‘buy’ the track access rights so Kiwirail isnt responsible to them directly.

          Welcome to the corporatised model of public services, where all complex organisations are sliced and diced by outsourcing and sub contracting.

  14. xtasy 14

    Personally I have never heard of any similar incident anywhere in the world, where such a failure was caused by one central “control” unit somewhere down the line. The train infratstructure so far in place leaves a lot to be desired. I was worried when I first ever saw Britomart and the trains in use. It seems to have been a rushed and cheapo decision to build the structures as they have been. Then again NZ companies involved took out of it what they could, pushing costs up beyond reason.

    Auckland has a vulnerable, partly dysfunctional train infrastructure, which needs urgent attention.

    But as long as the funding and other policies are not in place, NOTHING of substance will happen. It is not much wanted anyway by Joyce, Key and English, given the new 1 billion now suddenly missing of of government coffers. Maybe that is “creative accounting” though, because due to the large opposition to asset sales, some new trump card is needed now, to forcefully “convince” the public, there is NO other way?!

    I suppose the trains in Jakarta, Mumbai and so forth run better than here. What does this tell us about NZ in 2012?

  15. xtasy 15

    LPRENT: “Now speaking purely from my old training in earth sciences, there is absolutely no way that ANY system in NZ should rely on a single location as a point of failure.”

    Do you not remember the power outages in Auckland a few years ago? Was it not a similar scenario? NZ has appallingly poor infrastructure, and when Queen St in Auckland’s CBD was dug up and redone a few years back, I saw the exposed “infrastructure” for water and so forth. It was unbelievable, and this city up here still relies on a totally over aged, redundant and highly fragile network for electricity, water and gas sypply, and waste water networks are not any better.

    The money went into some fancy and costly face saving projects for past mayors and Councils, who largely also feathered their own nests.

    Just wait a few years down the line, and Auckland will have a total black out again, maybe no water in large parts and more. The infrastructure under the ground has been patched up, is cheap and highly vulnerable, just ask an insider engineer and so about it. This city, like much of NZ is built “Lego” style – without a solid, reliable infrastructure network in many areas. All quick deals, jobs and bucks for the companies involved, but NO long term solutions, same as in economic, trade, social and other policies. NZ will fall totally to pieces very, very soon.

    Yes, please, China, China, help us out, will be the desperate scream, which Key is already trumpeting around. NZ is for sale, will not function and hundreds of thousands will leave to head offshore in the coming decades!

    • Rob 15.1

      But its OK Xtasy, we will have an inner city train loop.  That will help.

    • insider 15.2

      The power failures were management failures not equipment ones. Poor maintenance and perhaps poor design at otahu and poor on site work practice at newmarket. The equipment never actually failed. The city centre failure in 98? Was due to ongoing managment failures not checking state of assets. People are often the greatest weakness in infrastructure.

      Note these were failures by state or city owned monopolies.

      • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1

        What was the cause? Human error (which is forgiveable) or cost cutting to boost profits (which isn’t)?

        • insider 15.2.1.1

          It wasn’t cost cutting. Transpower is fully and guaranteed funded by power users and doesn’t get much push back on its budgets. Otahu was the result of failing to check a $20 shackle. But the cause was poorly designed and managed maintenance programmes and risk assessment over many years across the organisation.

          Basically their maintenance was scheduled ‘we do this every X period’ not ‘the risk of failure are generally X, but here the cpnsequences are X x Y, so we should be a bit more rigorous in our checks’. A huge lack of sophistication I think caused by the cosy complacency you can get in a fairly unaccountable monopoly.

          Similar with the central auckland outage in the 90s – people got lazy and oversight and accountability was poor, so basic checks and maintenance was not done on a complex piece of gear because it always worked, until it didn’t….

          With Newmarket, someone was working on the nearby substation transformers and didn’t follow correct shutdown procedure, but that was conveniently blamed on ‘old’ equipment because the transformer was 45 years old (easy to do in the age of disposable electronics but ignoring that the useful life of them is at least 70 to 80 years (most are not that old so we don’t really know what they are capable of), but soundbites are important when you are wanting to justify more cash for upgrades)

          • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1.1.1

            And the maintenance was reduced because of…?

            This is the bit you want to avoid because you don’t want to admit that exactly the same thing would have happened in a privately run outfit. I know because I’ve seen it, railed against it. Cutting costs to boost profit is systemic to all profit driven companies. All of them, doesn’t matter if its private or state owned.

            • insider 15.2.1.1.1.1

              Where did I say maintenance was reduced? You seem to have this view that chucking lots of money at everything will answer everything, and that there is an ongoing conspiracy to endanger things by cutting costs indiscriminately.

              In all of these cases there was no question of a lack of money. They were state monopolies with guaranteed revenues. The common issue was it was poorly directed because the management did not do their jobs and did not understand the risks they were dealing with. You can have the best maintained and best oiled machine in the world, but if Homer Simpson is the man with his hand on the switch, you are still going to have issues.

  16. xtasy 16

    The know how to get NZ working and functioning again simply no longer exists. The social order is broken and even destroyed. Education is focussed on the elite getting good education, the rest enough to sell burgers and cut hair to/for others. Some work in offices of corporations or even councils and what else, as typists, receptionists, well there is also still some good research going on, but who for, and who uses it.

    Hence the government has decided, sell NZ bit by bit.

    I have resigned to the fact that NZ cannot be sold bit by bit, it either has to radically re-invent itself with immense input by locals, migrants and investors with genuine intentions for the whole NZ good, or it has to take the sour step to sell THE WHOLE COUNTRY, to hand it over to a developed economy that may actually have good intentions and is willing to invest here.

    Such advanced countries could be from different places, and they have to make reasonable offers to invest here, also agreeing on social, environmental and legal standards upholding first world conditions here. There are countries that could do so, but not without a price.

    So the issue is clear. Many will object to a whole sale, simply because “we play rugby” and “they play soccer”, so “bugger off”.

    Others will want to cling to every inch of ground and grass, for whatever reason, whether owned by Michael Fay, an iwi or more, or by whomsoever.

    While the whole world economy is on the brink (and IT IS, despite of good share news at present), maybe rething the future of NZ as a whole. The choices are getting less, and Key and consorts are only in it for themselves and their mates. They will not be interested in the investment and economic development NZ needs. Good night, dear discussers of whatever.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      (and IT IS, despite of good share news at present)

      yeah, except Apple accounts for about 30% of that stock market increase, by itself. And its not hard to pump a market up when you print money into it and hide all the liabilities off balance sheet.

      • xtasy 16.1.1

        The share markets are highly distorted, only representing a day to day sentiment of gamblers, such investors and opportunists seeking the best returns in the short term. It is not at all reflecting the whole economic and fiscal realities in all countries at present, as you rightly point out, also partly due to quantitative easing.

        Economics is not an easy discipline, and even the leading ones disagree on some core matters.

        Yet even top investors and gamblers like Soros understand that Europe’s crisis is anything but resolved. That is not necessarily saying Europe is bad, and it is all to blame on budget blow outs due to welfare costs. That may be part of the picture in SOME countries, yet if you have a globalised economy, where some players (e.g. Mainland China) are now members of the WTO, but still to a fair degree manipulate currency values, still breach intellectual property rights, still have their own blow outs internally, like in Chongquin, previously ruled by corrupt Bo Xilai, the whole country there is also built like a house of cards.

        NOTHING is safe and certain anymore, and NZ would be doing very well, to radically rethink economic policies, rather than continue to simply rely on FTAs and open borders and exchanges of goods for the future safety. English shows it is NOT working! Asset sales will aggravate the situation. NZ must focus on INTERNAL economic stabilisation and development.

        The US only relies on 4 or so per centage of the whole economic activity on imports and exports, the rest is LOCAL. Their issues are LOCAL. Some countries in Europe have local issues and can resolve them, with the help of the EU commisison and banks there. But global exposure is a two edged sword, which few in NZ understand.

        Those that will come with the Cuba and NOrth Korea argument are idiots, as they are ridiculing the challenges that exist.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 16.1.2

        Plus they have interest rates in the US at practically zero ( for the big banks) who wouldnt invest in even the most blue chip of stocks.

  17. Rupert the Beer 17

    I was left high-and-dry – we were told we could catch a bus using our train ticket, except every bus going along New North Rd was packed by the time they got to Mt Albert. Finally, I got onto one and the driver said that I couldn’t use my train ticket – didn’t have any cash on me, received a lecture from the driver about how I should get a Hop card (I will once they’re integrated with trains) before I got off and walked home. In a suit. In the rain.

    Fuck the convention centre – let’s sort the basic shit out first.

    • happynz 17.1

      Fuck the convention centre – let’s sort the basic shit out first.

      You got that right!

      One and three-quarters years commuting between Henderson and Newmarket on that clapped out piece-of-shit train set and I had had enough and moved down here to Christchurch where I moved into an inner city unit so I could walk to work. Since then we’ve had those earthquakes and I have had no work to walk to. Ah well, I like New Zealand and all (hence my username), but it isn’t easy sometimes.

    • Rob 17.2

      Thats why we shouldnt be paying for it, however we are paying for this useless rail loop, so good luck getting anything fixed now Rupert.

  18. Peter 18

    I’ve got a bit of knowledge on railway signalling, and I’ve been trying to work out what happened here. The one time I went to Train Control was an enlightening experience – you still had large sections of the network as “dark territory”, where train progress was mapped with pen and paper on a reel of graph paper. For much of the country, this is still the system, except with the help of a computer (Track Warrant Control)

    However, for Auckland, it’s a spanking new Centralised Traffic Control (CTC) system, without many local panels that would kick in the event of a failure of the control from Wellington. There might be one or two local control options, perhaps at Britomart and Otahuhu/Southdown, but that’s it I think. This would be anathema in the NZR days – where most local stations had some form of backup mechanical or electrical control over signalling, and someone to run them, or at least a crew that would readily be called out to fix them. Or in many cases, it was just stations on their own, running 80 year old tablet machines, with a single wire running between them. Antiquated yeah, and it required a lot of staff to run it, but it worked.

    • insider 18.1

      ON the dark areas, if you are transporting a long or special load (like a house or transformer etc) across a railway crossing you have to go through an eloborate process of contacting the centre and waiting for periods because the controllers don’t know where trains are on sections of track. They know when the train left ‘point X’ but are never quite sure when they will go through the crossing you want to get across, so you have to wait until they are sure you are safe.

  19. TEA 19

    Perhaps Kiwirail is being systematically sabotaged from within on behalf of the Cycling Lobby et al’s lycra puppets, I say lift the rails and turn the carriageway into cycle and walking tracks.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 19.1

      Doesnt work as the train is the most efficient means of public transport, both in terms of carbon footprint and corridor land use. Cyclists generally love trains as they can take the bike onboard.
      But of course you were just talking nonsense

  20. Carol 20

    So there is a back-up centre in Auckland, but it is not staffed for short term emergencies….?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10801750

    Although KiwiRail had an alternative train-control facility in Auckland, it had been set up in case the Wellington centre was unable to operate for extended periods and was not staffed for an immediate switch-over.

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    In the National Review, a conservative American magazine, Reihan Salam takes a look at the confused state of the American debate over intensification. His article, entitled “The Great Suburbia Debate” criticises the position taken by Joel Kotkin, a long-time campaigner...
    Transport Blog | 19-10
  • Why the SPCA’s position on 1080 threatens thousands of native animals
    By Gareth Morgan and Geoff Simmons Once again the SPCA has shown it has no empathy with conservation in NZ – they just don’t get it. We already know about the environmental vandalism caused by their trap neuter return policy....
    Gareth’s World | 19-10
  • The challenge for NZ’s political youth
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) In my experience as a politically engaged young...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • The Privatisation of Solid Energy
    by Jeanette Fitzsimons When Solid Energy went belly up with huge debts and failed businesses like its briquetting plant in Southland, the Government was forced to drop it off the list for privatisation because it was no longer fit for...
    Coal Action | 19-10
  • Manufacturing Terrorism
    Domestic Terror: Police constables and detectives outside the Wellington Trades Hall, 27 March 1984. After 33 years of vilification directed at trade unionists, at least one of their enemies finally made the leap from words to deeds, and an innocent caretaker,...
    Bowalley Road | 19-10
  • NZ hikes terrorism threat to “low”, ignores US military warning of “...
    So, the threat of a terrorist attack on New Zealand is upon us has risen from “very low” to “low” — second to lowest in a ranking that has six levels. Cabinet is now urgently reviewing our security laws to...
    Hot Topic | 19-10
  • Improving AT’s Patronage Reports
    This week we should learn about the patronage results for September and with this post I want to explore whether Auckland Transport are delivering the results to the public in the best way that they can. Currently we get patronage results a...
    Transport Blog | 19-10
  • Experts Condemn Possible TPP Trade-Offs as Talks Resume
    Press Release – AFTINET Mps, Public Health And Copyright Experts Condemn Possible TPP Trade-Offs as Talks Resume in CanberraMps, Public Health And Copyright Experts Condemn Possible TPP Trade-Offs as Talks Resume in Canberra When: 11 AM Monday, October 20Where: Parliament...
    Its our future | 19-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Press Release – iPredict Andrew Littles probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New...
    Its our future | 19-10
  • Secrets, Lies and Revelations
    There is a lot this National Government doesn't want us to know. They have made it clear that we shouldn't measure child poverty, that we don't need independent environmental reporting and any official information requests are delayed indefinitely, especially if...
    Local Bodies | 19-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #42
    SkS Highlights Another "lightening rod" article by Dana, Dinner with global warming contrarians, disaster for dessert, drew the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. If you have not already done so, be...
    Skeptical Science | 19-10
  • Putting people at the centre of policy
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Leftist politics puts people at the centre of...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • Alpaca Metropolitan – Episode 67
    For the rest of Alpaca Metropolitan, check out the tumblr comic....
    On the Left | 19-10
  • Meaningful compassion
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) My mum sometimes tells the story of when...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • If you didn’t vote, please complain!
    This image from youth voter turnout group RockEnrol (who did some great work), while humourous, is an excellent example of the problem. There’s a particular refrain commonly heard around election time – both in the buildup, as an exhortation towards...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • We have lift-off!
    Welcome to On The Left! We’re happy to be here. OTL was born when a couple of lefty comms people got together for coffee and decided that the NZ blogosphere was lacking an accessible, well-written, interesting and above all fun group...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • DEALING WITH FOREIGN INVESTORS
    How can foreign investors in New Zealand be sure that we will treat them fairly? If they are not sure perhaps they will not invest here, even though their investment may be valuable to us. (I do not believe all...
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Robertson’s ‘safety-first’ leadership pitch fraught with ...
    When Grant Robertson tweets that he wants the government to "get alongside communities", I am not at all sure what he means....
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Robertson’s ‘safety-first’ leadership pitch fraught with ...
    When Grant Robertson tweets that he wants the government to "get alongside communities", I am not at all sure what he means....
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Cunliffe and Labour
    I didn't cover the election, long story short; the country is still being run by a banker and someone who was in charge of the National Party got its lowest percentage in recent history. Although if Cunliffe gets finance we...
    Topical | 19-10
  • When science deniers turn to science
    Cartoon by Joe Heller, www.hellertoon.com Readers no doubt recognise this situation. It’s a pretty blatant form of science denial. Division of science and into pro and anti forms –  such as pro-fluoridation and anti-fluoridation science –  is just another form of...
    Open Parachute | 19-10
  • When science deniers turn to science
    Cartoon by Joe Heller, www.hellertoon.com Readers no doubt recognise this situation. It’s a pretty blatant form of science denial. Division of science and into pro and anti forms –  such as pro-fluoridation and anti-fluoridation science –  is just another form of...
    Open Parachute | 19-10
  • AT’s Get on Board with Jerome Campaign
    Auckland Transport recently launched a new campaign featuring Jerome Kaino encouraging people to use PT and HOP. It seems to be primarily an online campaign focused on the videos below however I’ve also seen a few ads on the backs of buses...
    Transport Blog | 18-10
  • Letter to the editor – when a Terror Alert really was needed!
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Tue, Oct 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . Our esteemed Prime Minister announces that our Terror Alert has “risen” from...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-10
  • Letter to the editor – when a Terror Alert really was needed!
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Tue, Oct 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . Our esteemed Prime Minister announces that our Terror Alert has “risen” from...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #42B
    As deaths mount in Nepal disasters, questions about climate change raised Churches go Green by shedding fossil fuel holdings Climate change: it’s only human to exaggerate, but science itself does not Cutting global warming pollution just business as usual at some...
    Skeptical Science | 18-10
  • Dunno what to say about this, really
    Donald Trump and Russell Brand are having a spat on twitter.  It puts me in mind of Oscar Wilde's quip about fox hunting - "The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable."  Though in this case, more a matter of the...
    Left hand palm | 18-10
  • We must join the fight against Islamic State
    We are being confronted with an evil of a kind we have not seen before. An evil we can barely even name. Islamic State? ISIS? IS? ISIL? What the hell do we even call these people?...
    Imperator Fish | 18-10
  • The Splits: Epsom / Ohariu Split Vote
    Epsom voteAct 2011 Party-Vote 3% (939 votes),   Candidate-Vote 44% (15,835)       2014 Party-Vote 3% (1,023),         Candidate-Vote 43% (15,966)Nat 2011 Party-Vote 65% (23,725),     Candidate-Vote 38% (13,574)       2014 Party-Vote 64% (23,904),      Candidate-Vote 32% (11,716)Lab 2011 Party-Vote 16% (5,716),      ...
    Sub zero politics | 17-10
  • Blinding Flash of the Obvious re composing encrypted emails – Avoid auto-...
    I recently reviewed Edward Snowden’s instructions for setting up and using PGP/encrypted email available on Vimeo: GPG for Journalists – Windows edition | Encryption for Journalists | Anonymous 2013. It’s a good tutorial. One of the points it makes about...
    The Paepae | 17-10
  • An Auckland Urban Redevelopment Agency?
    Details are starting to emerge from the Council’s review of its Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) to see if any changes need to be made to them. The CCOs were set up in 2010 by the government as part of the super city...
    Transport Blog | 17-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-10
  • What A Real Labour Party Member Sounds Like.
     HARRY SMITH, 92 years old, describes the world in which he was raised. A world of poverty in which the ravages of ill health simply could not be resisted by ordinary working-class families. Harry lost his sister to tuberculosis and...
    Bowalley Road | 17-10
  • Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come
    This article was originally published on The Conversation [UK] on Sep 26, 2014. Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come By Eelco Rohling, University of Southampton It may already be too late to stop Antarctic ice sliding into the ocean....
    Skeptical Science | 17-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #45: What if Renters….
    #45: What if Renters had the choice to have Rights and Responsibilities like Commercial Tenants? Home ownership is of course a daily debate in this city of Auckland. In the absence of anything else, the New Zealand Herald will always...
    Transport Blog | 17-10
  • Enjoying the unexpected – Jenny Salesa
    Jenny Salesa is looking forward to bringing her wide-ranging experience, including in education and public healthcare, to her new role as an MP. That’s coupled with her determination to achieve better outcomes for the people of Manukau East....
    Labour campaign | 17-10
  • Walking in the footsteps of the greats
    Introducing Peeni Henare Peeni Henare, new MP for Tāmaki Makaurau, grew up surrounded by inspirational leaders. From his grandfather, soldier and kōhanga reo pioneer Sir James Henare, to David Lange, who was “like a quirky uncle who popped by every...
    Labour campaign | 17-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – shifting focus: towards building an effective ...
    It has now been three weeks since the election, and we on the left are still in the phase of trying to figure out what went wrong.  That can be a useful exercise depending on how it’s done, especially if...
    The Daily Blog | 11-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Auckland move for KiwiRail health and safety team questioned
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Redundancies a result of putting profit over good business
    Heinz Watties redundancies a result of putting profit over good business Heinz Watties workers are shocked by the announcement made late last night that up to 100 jobs are being cut from the company’s New Zealand operations. No information was...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Injuries at work show many sectors are too dangerous
    Workers are deeply concerned about the research Statistics New Zealand have released today showing that almost one-quarter of agriculture, forestry, and fishery workers had a work-related injury claim accepted by the Accident Compensation Corporation...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Chatham Rise seabed hearing: the absence of evidence
    The phosphate on the seabed, 450m down on the Chatham Rise, has a particular quality that other phosphate doesn’t have: uranium....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Office of Ombudsman making sure people treated fairly in NZ
    The Office of Ombudsman has told Parliament that it has made significant progress in effectively managing its work to make sure people are treated fairly in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Food Matters Aotearoa Conference Press release
    This year the UN World food day theme is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”, chosen to highlight and raise awareness of the problems worldwide and the solutions to food security and ridding the world of hunger. The...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Support from Production, Recreation and Environment.
    When it comes to water quality not many organisations can claim to have the support of major bodies representing production, recreation and the environment, yet this is exactly what NZ Landcare Trust has achieved. The Trust's upcoming 'Communities...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Law Society supports Malaysian Bar Peace and Freedom Walk
    The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its support for a planned Walk for Peace and Freedom by Malaysian lawyers protesting against continued use of the Sedition Act 1948 by the Malaysian government....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Bunnies Offered Protection With New Technology
    SAFE is announcing the spring launch of its “bunny protector” – a new mobile phone app that will help shoppers on the go avoid animal-tested cosmetics products. Suitable for both iPhone and android, the ‘SAFEshopper Cruelty-free NZ’ app will...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Maori Wellbeing – Defying the Oxymoron
    When Mother Teresa was asked how do you achieve world peace, she said, go home and love your family....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
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