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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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    There's a great scene in the first season of the British political comedy The Thick Of It. The fictional PM's office is, in the parlance of our times, in the shit. And their response is to try and utterly confuse...
    Polity
  • 4 percent cut to per student funding
    Tuition funding per student has fallen $800 or 4 percent since 2008 according to data compiled by the Parliamentary Library. The Green Party’s new tertiary education spokesperson Gareth Hughes requested the information and shared it with TEU. It shows that...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Otago cutbacks mooted to fund building
    Otago University is considering making significant cuts in 2016 to fund its $600 million building programme according to the Otago Daily Times. The university’s chief financial officer Sharon van Turnhout told the paper this could include job cuts. ”As staff...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • EBS Christmas Newsletter
    Welcome to our EBS Christmas newsletter, we hope that the end of the term is starting to wind down now and that you are looking forward to a long summer break! Our union bargaining power enables us to offer you...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • The problems of measuring water quality
    Professor Gary Jones from Canberra how is the keynote speaker at the 2014 NZ River Awards tonight. The following podcast is Gary speaking to Radio NZ’s Kathryn Ryan about the vexing questions of water quality and quantity.  ...
    Gareth’s World
  • Collins cleared; Slater lied
    On the same day as the Cheryl Gwynn report was released, we also got the release Justice Chisholm’s report into Judith Collins and the allegations that she undermined former-SFO head Adam Feeley. The report was ordered after the release of...
    Occasionally erudite
  • Gordon Campbell on government arrogance, Ferguson, and Police pursuits
    As anyone who’s ever encountered him around Parliament will verify, Chris Finlayson’s arrogance is matched only by his sense of self-esteem. On RNZ this morning though, he exceeded himself on both counts. Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through...
    Gordon Campbell
  • Hard News: The twilight state of the Psychoactive Substances Act
    Even as it was making its way to the statutes,
 New Zealand’s Psychoactive Substances Bill was the talk
 of the drug reform world. It was seen as a bold, visionary bid to deal with the proliferation of new drugs that...
    Public Address
  • John Key implodes over the Gwyn report
    The Cheryl Gwyn report into the release of SIS information relating to whether Phil Goff was or wasn’t briefed about the Israeli spy saga  was released on Tuesday. It makes for compelling reading as it investigates whether Goff lied, whether then-head...
    Occasionally erudite
  • NZSIS: Mandated abuse of power?
    By now you would have heard about the report on the NZSIS and its dealings with the OIA and the PM’s office. This report has been talked to death in the media so I won’t rehash the aspects that are already...
    On the Left
  • Neetflux: Key’s erasers
    ...
    On the Left
  • AT Beating Patronage Targets
    Auckland’s public transport patronage has been on a tear as of late and patronage is not only at its highest point in over 50 years but is currently up 7% on the same time last year. Included in that figure...
    Transport Blog
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #48A
    Air pollution costs Britain £10bn a year, report shows Britain left 'exposed' to more floods and heatwaves Central American civil society calls for protection of local agriculture Climate change is not just about science Climate change will slow China's progress...
    Skeptical Science
  • Sunday burnouts in Christchurch: electric motorsport comes to NZ
    New Zealand is going to get its first taste of electric motorsport this Sunday, when the Mike Pero Motorsport Park at Ruapuna near Christchurch is hosting EVolocity, an amazing line-up of electric racing machines and their creators — including the...
    Hot Topic
  • The very odd Slightly Left of Centre
    There’s a new voice in the blogosphere. Josh Forman, the author of SlightlyLeftofCentre: 27 years old, from the left, and on a mission to reclaim the centre left from the loopy extremists from the far left who have hijacked the...
    DimPost
  • Submission guide: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    I've just completed my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. In the past I've posted my submissions, but that has tended to lead to a bunch of people copy-pasting them, which has in turn reduced their impact...
    No Right Turn
  • Submission guide: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    I've just completed my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. In the past I've posted my submissions, but that has tended to lead to a bunch of people copy-pasting them, which has in turn reduced their impact...
    No Right Turn
  • Support bill changes to keep students safe
    26 November 2014    The government has the opportunity to prevent major teacher opposition to the proposed new teachers council by supporting changes to the Education Amendment Bill (2). PPTA president Angela Roberts said one of the biggest risks of the...
    PPTA
  • Neetflux: Dirty laundry
    ...
    On the Left
  • Neetflux: Dirty laundry
    ...
    On the Left
  • This takes the cake
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is now threatening John Key's victim with prosecution:As the Inspector-General stated at the release of the report yesterday morning, she is examining what steps to take over the early disclosure of information from the...
    No Right Turn
  • This takes the cake
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security is now threatening John Key's victim with prosecution:As the Inspector-General stated at the release of the report yesterday morning, she is examining what steps to take over the early disclosure of information from the...
    No Right Turn
  • World News Brief, Wednesday November 26
    Top of the AgendaIran to Access $700 Million Monthly During Talks Extension...
    Pundit
  • “Cut the crap” – quick analysis
    Here's the video of Andrew Little's question in the House today. Some quick thoughts: I was really interested that National's strategy team has already decided it has to deploy Tim McIndoe to break up the flow of Andrew Little's questioning....
    Polity
  • A statement from John Key
    Apologise? What for? I’m not sorry for anything. I have done nothing wrong. It’s Phil Goff who should be apologising. It’s Phil Goff who should resign....
    Imperator Fish
  • Submit!
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee has called for submissions on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. Submissions can be made via the online form and are due by Thursday, 27 November 2014. Yes, that's right. An important bill...
    No Right Turn
  • Submit!
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee has called for submissions on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. Submissions can be made via the online form and are due by Thursday, 27 November 2014. Yes, that's right. An important bill...
    No Right Turn
  • On the uncanny resemblance between John Key and Sergeant Schultz
    In the 30-odd years that Judy and I have been providing media advice and training to prime ministers, prostitutes and pretty well every profession in-between, our teaching mantra has remained the same: “Be straightforward, tell the truth, admit your mistakes”....
    Brian Edwards
  • Making their own terrorists
    Last year, two men murdered a British soldier in the middle of a London street. Now, the UK's Intelligence and Security Committee has found that MI6 may have directly contributed to one of the killers' radicalisation:The British government may have...
    No Right Turn
  • Making their own terrorists
    Last year, two men murdered a British soldier in the middle of a London street. Now, the UK's Intelligence and Security Committee has found that MI6 may have directly contributed to one of the killers' radicalisation:The British government may have...
    No Right Turn
  • Vodafone collaborates in mass-surveillance
    The latest analysis of the Snowden documents shows that Vodafone is actively collaborating with GCHQ's mass-surveillance programmes:One of the UK's largest communications firms had a leading role in creating the surveillance system exposed by Edward Snowden, it can be revealed....
    No Right Turn
  • Vodafone collaborates in mass-surveillance
    The latest analysis of the Snowden documents shows that Vodafone is actively collaborating with GCHQ's mass-surveillance programmes:One of the UK's largest communications firms had a leading role in creating the surveillance system exposed by Edward Snowden, it can be revealed....
    No Right Turn
  • 10 articles to read about Michael Brown and what’s happening in Ferguson
    Sometimes it’s difficult to get a real sense of events happening overseas from our own mainstream media in NZ – for obvious reasons they prioritise cover NZ issues. It’s also really difficult for a Pākehā like me to comment – both...
    On the Left
  • 10 articles to read about Michael Brown and what’s happening in Ferguson
    Sometimes it’s difficult to get a real sense of events happening overseas from our own mainstream media in NZ – for obvious reasons they prioritise cover NZ issues. It’s also really difficult for a Pākehā like me to comment – both...
    On the Left
  • Ports of Auckland Moving More Freight By Rail
    Ports of Auckland did a press release back in September that didn’t really get picked up on: Working with KiwiRail, Ports of Auckland has doubled the rail services between its Waitematā seaport and Wiri Intermodal Freight Hub. The increased service...
    Transport Blog
  • Momentum Builds for No Deforestation Palm Oil
    By now you know the problem: a rapidly expanding palm oil industry, eating up forests, draining carbon-rich peatlands, and sparking conflict with local people and workers.But if you had to guess at what is turning out to be a key...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • “Real” experts’ on climate change? Really?
    The Heartland Institute has produced a new propaganda poster on climate change. Here it is: And this is what they say about it: This poster presents clear and undeniable evidence that the debate is not over. Looking out from this poster...
    Open Parachute
  • Whiteboard Wednesday – How a flat tax would be fairer than our current sy...
    Geoff is going to talk us through how a UBI and flat tax work together. The end result is less bureaucracy and a fairer, simpler, more productive society....
    Gareth’s World
  • Climate report- a must read for all New Zealanders
    A strong scientific analysis of rising sea levels in New Zealand by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment makes climate change the number one issue for our city planners, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “Dr Jan Wright’s report...
    Labour
  • Exports drop puts more pressure on surplus
    A 5 per cent fall in exports shows National’s reputation for economic management is taking a hit and even puts its golden surplus target at risk, say Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Exports Growth spokesperson David Parker. “Bill English’s...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman’s speech – Rod Donald Memorial Lect...
    It's been nine years since Rod's tragic death. I'd like to start out by talking about what Rod achieved. Then I want to talk about the things that I think he might want us to achieve in his absence. We...
    Greens
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Free your voices
    Last week Victoria University of Wellington lecturer’s Dr. Sandra Grey and Dr. Charles Sedgwick released some figures from the 2013/14 update of the 2008/9 survey of the community and voluntary sector. Their research question was: ‘How is democracy – as...
    Greens
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    Greens
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    Greens
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    Greens
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    Greens
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • FiveAA Australia: Is NZ’s PM a Liar? + Kim Dotcom Says He’s Broke
    5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.In this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin on FiveAA.com.au Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how allegations of dirty politics continue to dog the Prime Minister John Key’s third term in government. Also, internet tycoon...
    The Daily Blog
  • Cam’s ‘Slightly Left of Centre’ sock puppet threatens Key in public
    What did Judith Collins say about payback? Looks like Slater has taken that lesson to heart as he uses his sock puppet over at Slightly Left of Centre to drop threats and hints that he has recorded conversations with Key that has...
    The Daily Blog
  • Justice System Changes Must Ensure No More Roastings In Court
    On Monday there was good news for rape survivors and this blog was supposed to be about the success of our advocacy, and it is about that success, but today’s events have brought into stark focus the real-world importance of...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Electio...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Election...
    The Daily Blog
  • Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key
    So Cam texted Key before the report came out despite Key claiming no contact? Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key 5 – I still have all the photos 4 – Yes my shapeshifting Lizard Master Overlord 3 – Max isn’t talking to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Hold on – did NZ just have a coup?
    Ummmmm. Wait a minute here. Just so that we all understand what’s been revealed. The Prime Minister’s Office used the Secret Intelligence Service to falsify classified information to smear the Leader of the Opposition via a far right hate blogger...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • PCE report brings home impacts of climate change
    Youth climate organisation Generation Zero has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's ' Changing Climate and Rising Seas ' report and says it demonstrates climate change will affect all of us....
    Scoop politics
  • Law Society urges reduction of terrorist fighter bill powers
    The New Zealand Law Society says powers proposed in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill should be reduced to ensure they are strictly limited to countering the threats that have arisen....
    Scoop politics
  • Sea level rise won’t only affect infrastructure
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is asking the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) to widen the focus of her next report on climate change-driven sea level rise....
    Scoop politics
  • Changing climate and rising seas: Understanding the science
    During my seven years as Commissioner, I have consistently said that climate change is the biggest environmental issue we face. This investigation has provided an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of what is causing climate change and one of...
    Scoop politics
  • Council refuses to take part in farcical submissions process
    The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties refuses to take part in the submissions process around the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill....
    Scoop politics
  • Laws of War to Be Debated at Wellington Event
    The political and human consequences of war and civil unrest are widely covered in themedia but International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the body of law which exists to protect all parties to armed conflict, rarely gets attention....
    Scoop politics
  • Forum Compact Development Partner Peer Review of New Zealand
    Following the completion of the first leg of the review of New Zealand’s development cooperation in the Pacific, the Forum Compact Review Team is now visiting Kiribati to assess the effectiveness of New Zealand’s assistance in the small island developing...
    Scoop politics
  • YWCA Auckland award for long-time women’s role model
    New Zealand’s first female Governor General and Mayor of Auckland has been granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by YWCA Auckland, for her services to the Auckland community and acting as a role model for Kiwi women nationwide....
    Scoop politics
  • Government Urged Not To Miss Cosmetics Win For Animals
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE is urging the Government not to let animals down and vote for an amendment to the Animal Welfare Bill. The amendment would ban cosmetics testing on animals forever. The Bill had it’s second reading in Parliament...
    Scoop politics
  • Police pursuit results in serious injury of innocent man
    A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found Police failed to comply with policy during a pursuit in Auckland in 2013 which left an innocent man with serious injuries....
    Scoop politics
  • US Warning against GMO threat
    An international warning about the impact of GMOs has been released. It comes just as Parliament's Primary Production Committee is to hear the response of the Ministry of Primary Industries to the 1700 signature "Freeze on GMO" petition that...
    Scoop politics
  • Fish & Game wants more than lip service from agriculture
    Fish & Game wants to know how the government will ensure the agriculture sector protects the environment after the Primary Industries Minister warned primary sector leaders that environmental sustainability is no longer a “nice to have.”...
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
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