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“We believed in ourselves”

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, December 13th, 2011 - 48 comments
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Read this and weep:

New rolling stock (carriages) for South Island scenic rail journeys are as good as, or better than anything I have experienced anywhere else. They rival equipment used on Switzerland’s premier scenic rail journeys, including the famed Zermatt to St Moritz Glacier Express. And, best of all, the new rail vehicles, classified AK, are New Zealand-designed and built.

The $39.9 million contract for 17 KiwiRail carriages was let to Hillside Engineering in 2009. When completed early next year they will replace all carriages previously used on the Coastal Pacific and TranzAlpine rail journeys. Between them, the trains carry about 250,000 passengers annually, a majority of them visitors to New Zealand.

Longer than the present carriages, they have 52 sqm of glass in generous panoramic side and roof windows, enabling passengers the best opportunity to enjoy passing views. Other obvious visual differences include ceiling- mounted high-definition screens displaying safety messages as well as a map plotting the journey’s progress.

An impressive feature is the quieter, smoother, ride provided by the newly- developed P13 bogie wheel units having a combination of primary synthetic elastomer axle springs supplemented by a secondary airbag suspension. The latter is in common use on heavy road vehicles. The P13 units were designed by Christchurch engineering firm Motovated Design & Analysis and constructed by Hillside Engineering.

Yet somehow the same talent isn’t good enough to built some flat-deck rolling stock. Or assemble new locomotives…

New Zealand scientists, researchers, designers, engineers and skilled tradesmen are world class. In one of my earlier lives I had the privilege of a job that entailed visiting hundreds of such businesses up and down the country; overwhelmingly I gained the impression of an immense potential that was largely untapped.

Far too many business owners caught up in the boat, bach and BMW syndrome, a lack of courage, vision and mentoring robbing these businesses of a thriving future. Far too many small provincially minded companies intent on cutting each other’s throat over pissant little local contracts; while an entire world awaited to be feasted upon with the capabilities that they themselves barely recognised.

A hostile dog-eat-dog commercial contracting environment in this country has a lot to answer for; not only routinely delivering very poor value for money to the end-clients, but failing to develop strong, confident industries willing and able to grow. New Zealanders HAVE to grow up and understand that the “lowest price” is almost always the worst value.

And a hostile attitude from a generation of political leaders… almost to a man chanting the refrain, “It’s not the government’s job to pick winners”.. really amounted to nothing more than a leadership of cowards. Of course picking winners involves the high probability that some will be failures, but something about our national psyche loves to feast on that kind of carcass tearing apart anyone unfortunate enough to be too close. This is another failing on maturity in this country…the simple fact is that no team runs on the field and wins from day one; loosing with dignity and intelligence is an essential component of eventual success.

I want to highlight again a paragraph from Nanaia Mahuta’s post last night:

We need to be relevant to aspirations in the provinces, this means that we need to support our provincial candidates more effectively so that they are not having to fight an election on a single issue and not without the resources and support of the party. As a provincial member myself, I understand the need to communicate our policy and our people through our community networks. Regional economic solutions to grow jobs, support local innovation or further clean-tech solutions are but some of the real opportunities to assist. Similarly the role of small and medium sized businesses are important and we must ensure that Labour policies reflect the important contribution they make to our regional economy.

The essential difference between dense urban and dispersed rural communities is their intimacy. In towns like Masterton, Blenheim, Marton, Westport… there is a very real sense of connectedness that is generally absent in the big cities. These are places where people live and work for generations with an awareness, they would be loath to speak of out loud, of their mutual interdependence. Working in a small engineering business, just the half dozen or so of you, there is a very real sense that the fortunes of the business owner, who more than likely works right alongside you, are directly linked to exactly where your pay packet comes from this week.

Technology and neo-liberalism has changed the modern workplace dramatically. The mass union worksites of years ago are gone. You only have to look at Pike River to see how even traditional heartlands like the coal miners are no longer strong.

These are traditional Labour working class people, but they don’t think like them. They think like small business owners. They’re very suspicious of unions because frankly they can’t see how industrial confrontation could possibly deliver any value in their close intimate working environment. In some cases they know that their boss pays them more than he pay himself; they’d be ashamed to have a faceless union negotiator demanding more money from him.

The days of an effective Labour Party based on the membership of unionists, teachers and special interest groups are over. If I’m reading Cunliffe and Mahuta right they understand this and have a plan to drive through a new vision, while carrying forward the seeds of what Labour has already achieved and values…. but planted into a new soil.

That’s risky. It might fail. We might only get there with a handful of runs to spare, but it comes down to belief.

48 comments on ““We believed in ourselves””

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Wow dude. Just. Wow.

    • Craig Glen Eden 1.1

      Bang the last four paras are what the Labour Party has failed to address thats why we need a massive change. David Shearer said on Saturday Labour cant win seats like Rangitikei, he is wrong but with that type of thinking we will never make the changes we need to. Labour has to change its approach and Cunliffe and Mahuta can bring about that change.

  2. Gosman 2

    This is why the State should stay out of commercial enterprises. NZ Rail makes commercial decisions yet you want them to make political decisions. Sooner or later those political decisions mean the enterprise no longer is a commercial enterprise but becomes part of the social welfare system. Then it doesn’t add to the government coffers it becomes a drain. You just need to look at the various State owned enterprises in Greece to see that in action.

    • hazel 2.1

      Every decision a government makes is inherently political. The idea that a government should not think of anything besides finances when making a decision about how to spend its revenue is a political ideology. Choosing to spend money overseas because it is cheaper is just as political a decision as choosing to spend money locally because the government thinks supporting local business is important.

      Bear in mind also that governments, when spending money locally, get part of what they spend back in the form of tax. That doesn’t happen when they spend money overseas.

      I also question why you think that social enterprises are less valid than commercial ones.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        You are correct. Every decision a government makes is inherently political. However the same does not apply to commercial enterprises owned by the state unless the State directs those enterprises to make a decision for political reasons.

        What I find interesting is that the Labour party and people on the left love to bang on about all the profit that somehow will disappear from NZ due to the part privatisation of assets yet don’t mind destroying profit by foisting social constraints on those same commercial enterprises.

        I have already posted this here but this is the reason Governments using State owned commercial enterprises is a bad idea
        “Greece’s public sector has nearly 1 million workers, almost 20% of the total working population. They make three times the amount of those who work in the private sector, on average, and until recently have enjoyed far greater job security. The result is enormous indebtedness for public-sector companies. In 2011 the main government train company incurred more than 231 million euros in losses, an annual deficit of 1 billion euros and a total debt of 10.7 billion euros.”

        Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2099201,00.html#ixzz1gM2x2GKZ

        • RedLogix 2.1.1.1

          What I find interesting is that the Labour party and people on the left love to bang on about all the profit that somehow will disappear from NZ due to the part privatisation of assets yet don’t mind destroying profit by foisting social constraints on those same commercial enterprises.

          Two different cash flows. There is nothing inherently wrong with overseas investment… as long as it is balanced. The most fundamental and critical structural imbalance in the NZ economy is the $12-15b pa of “negative investment flow” exported every year. If that was balanced by our own investments overseas it wouldn’t matter so much…. but selling more assets to make this critical imbalance worse is plain madness.

          In the old days of NZ Rail, when it was run very much as a social enterprise, it may not have been profitable in the normal commercial standalone sense… but it was hugely valuable to the nation as a whole as an “employer of last resort” and as a substantial trade training organisation. Not to mention that in those days our roads weren’t dominated by fleets of enormous trucks. But the crucial difference is that the cash flows associated with NZR .. remained in the country.

          And in case you hadn’t noticed, NZ is not Greece. Nor Zimbabwe, nor any of the other countries you want to selectively compare us to.

          • Gosman 2.1.1.1.1

            “…but it was hugely valuable to the nation as a whole as an “employer of last resort” and as a substantial trade training organisation”

            Exactly why SOE’s are a bad idea. Trying to shoe horn a commercial enterprise into performing Educational and Social Welfare roles is a recipe for disaster. NZ is no different from any other country in this regard be it Greece, Zimbabwe, North Korea, UK, or the US.

            When NZ ran the NZ Rail that way we didn’t produce a huge amount of world class manufactured exports. There was no overall benefit to the economy as a whole from having a business that was a constant drain on the government budget beyond what could have been achieved if we had simply invested the same amount of cash in training directly.

            Jobs for the sake of jobs is simply an illusion. All you do is trap people in dead end jobs that stop them from moving on. The economy is not a social museum that you can freeze in time no matter how much you would like to do so.

            • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Gosman,

              Your ignorance of NZ history is profound. Really you have no idea of what you blather on about. Talk to anyone in a skilled trade who actually lived in this country during that period and chances are that they got their start in an outfit like MoW, NZR, Post Office, Armed Services and so-on.

              Besides commercial organisations undertake training of all sorts … all the time. Learning on the job is highly effective; the old apprenticeship schemes produced generations of highly capable technical and trades people.

              But all this is a distraction from the OP. I never imagined for an instant that anyone would read into what I wrote as advocating a wholesale leap back to the world as NZ was 40 years ago. Such a thing is simply neither practical nor especially useful.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1.1.1.2

              What a lot of nonsense- why is it you call other peoples jobs ‘dead end’

              Every organisation relies on people who have been doing much the same thing for years and are doing it well. Whether it is the call centre agent or the cardiac surgeon.

    • framu 2.2

      thats a whole straw village youve erected there gos.

      theres plenty of private Co’s that get Govt funding (a political decision) in order to boost that sector.

      theres also SOEs that return a profit – ie: a state run enterprise that hasnt become part of the welfare state.

      so nothing like greece at all

      but im pretty sure you know all this dont you?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2.1

        Why is Greek Rail the only alternative, have you heard of Swiss Federal Railways

        • framu 2.2.1.1

          well, i havent heard of swiss federal railways – so cant comment on it. :-)

          but was that meant to be a reply to me? im confused

          • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2.1.1.1

            No. The reply doesnt seem to go where you want it sometimes

            The only model of a railway SOE mentioned was Greece, when there are others

      • mikesh 2.2.2

        There is no reason for an SOE to make a profit. The government doesn’t need either profits or dividends. Any profit that an SOE makes is at the expense of its customers and is essentially just another tax.

    • McFlock 2.3

      There’s a difference between making decisions that take into account the wider good for the country as well as the bottom line, and a company becoming a drain on the government’s coffers.
        

    • mik e 2.4

      Greasy Gooseman Greece isn’t New Zealand,the Singapore govt owns 60% of all big businesses and is doing way better than us.
      Just about all the Chinese manufactured rolling has had major problems that have been covered up by Joyce & Quin.
      loco,s built for Auckland in China can only run at 60% of full speed because of poorly designed running gear some of the Chinese flat decks have had to be completely re welded not one of our forty year old flat decks have required any such fixing.
      Kiwirail Goosehead Kiwirail would be far more profitable if the National party didn’t purchase inferior rolling stock!
      Kiwi rail wouldn’t exist if Michael Cullen hadn’t bought it back from private enterprise which couldn’t make it work even with subsidies it is now making a tidy profit that could have been better but for earthquakes and a mining disaster created by National Party deregulation which cost 29 people their lives .While you carry on spouting off about greeks who don’t pay tax.

  3. bbfloyd 3

    not to worry…. the government has a bold plan for those highly skilled workers from hillside….. why just yesterday, there was an advertisement on trademe for fifteen people with at least ten years in the trade to make railway carriages……..in australia…….. the ad specifically asks for people who have had at least five years past their apprenticeship with top end skills,eg, people with experience in the manufacture of turnkey, rail and passenger wagons specifically……. starting on $40.00 an hour…more if the skill set warrants it…..add that to the constant advertising for welders and fabricators and you have the perfect plan…….

    as long as the plan is to get rid of all the skilled people we have left that is…. i’m not quite sure what they plan to do about training new tradespeople if all the skill and knowledge to pass that on is removed… but i’m sure we will “muddle through” somehow…..

    to those like young gosling, who seem to have made a genuine skill out of walking and talking with their heads stuck firmly up their own arses, this is capitalist nirvana…..

    so… shall we count the cost of training those people, and compare that with the cost of losing the ability to pass on those necessary skills to the next generation? and the cost of not being able to undertake our own infrastructure, and heavy engineering projects without having to import skills?

    not while this government, and it’s attendant syncophantic, self absorbed fan base is in control……much better to continue demonising workers attempts to have dignity and a living wage… as paula benebasher so succinctly enunciated while excusing herself of any blame for losing waitakerei…..

  4. Ianupnorth 4

    The fact that the 35% lower cost for the Chinese made stuff isn’t enough to validate those purchases keeps getting left out of the Hillside argument; IIRC wasn’t it shown that the actual discount would need to be 75% to make up for the loss in tax revenue, etc?
     
    The other fact is that by adding value to your product base (e.g. producing a high quality product) you are more likely to have greater exports – aren’t Kiwi buses now being used all over the world? Why not invest in rail?

    • Gosman 4.1

      Why not let commercial enterprises make commercial decisions based on commercial reasons?

      I don’t see Government requiring Fisher and Peykel to produce Washing machines in NZ. I’m sure many of you would love this though right up until the company goes bankrupt. Then you can get the Government to take them over and require all NZer’s to buy their products.

      • hazel 4.1.1

        In your opinion, what separates a commercial decision from a social/political one? What factors might be relevant to a commercial decision that aren’t to a social or political one, and vice versa? Serious question.

      • felix 4.1.2

        “Why not let commercial enterprises make commercial decisions based on commercial reasons?”

        Because there’s a lot more to this than making money. The NZ Govt isn’t a “commercial enterprise” and nor should it be.

        Until you can get your head around that, I don’t see that you have much to contribute.

        • Gosman 4.1.2.1

          And that is why the State shouldn’t own commercial enterprises. Because it is in a completely different business from business.

          • RedLogix 4.1.2.1.1

            And then you argue that everything government does could be commercialised… and hey presto …no government!!!

            Just what you wanted.

          • felix 4.1.2.1.2

            Trouble is, Gos, you think everything is a commercial enterprise.

            e.g. the rail network. A natural monopoly, built by the state, paid for by the people of NZ, and serving several important social, educational and economic functions FOR the people of NZ.

            There was never a valid reason to try and run it as a business and it should never have been done.

            I agree with RedLogix, your lack of knowledge of NZ history is hindering your ability to grasp these issues.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.3

        Why not let commercial enterprises make commercial decisions based on commercial reasons?

        Because doing so is what’s caused a massive increase in poverty, brought about the collapse of the global financial system (not that I’m crying about that of course) and has also put us on course for a complete ecological collapse. So, doing so would not be the most rational of decisions, in fact, it would be completely insane.

      • mik e 4.1.4

        Spelling goose head Fisher and Paykel are getting huge subsidies in Mexico and Thailand for fifteen years while we are not aloud to subsidize any business because of the WTO!
        Gooseman you are just plain illinformed’

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      IIRC wasn’t it shown that the actual discount would need to be 75% to make up for the loss in tax revenue, etc?

      ~65% and it wasn’t just the tax revenue but the full impetus to the local economy that would result from having them made here.

  5. tc 5

    Dude have you ever owned an F&P……FFS why would anyone back that up against quality made brands with better and bigger economies of scale, try harder Gos.

    • bbfloyd 5.1

      i think gosling has confused real societal economics with what we are getting now… which is the beginning of our own “cargo cult”…. i don’t know how he breaths with his head up there like that….maybe a straw?

    • Gosman 5.2

      You are comfortable with allowing F&P to produce their products wherever it wants. Does this also mean you would allow NZ Rail to source it’s rolling stock from where it wants?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 5.2.1

        F&P strategy to move production offshore bought them to the edge of bankruptcy- and Key said he would rescue them. So your point is.

        Key has promised a new SOE called Crown Water Investments which has $400 mill to spend on marginal privately owned irrigation projects. Where is the outrage against this ‘1960s’ thinking

      • s y d 5.2.2

        fisher and paykel has always been a private company, operating in a market that could be considered as reasonably free to enter into…
        Railways in NZ have been built by the state and are essentially a monopoly form of transportation – no private company is going to build a rail network…similarly with power generation…you have to understand that there are ‘markets’ with some limited form of competition and then there are effective monopolies….

      • Lanthanide 5.2.3

        The difference is that F&P is not funded by the government.

        I’ll put it in simple maths and dollar terms for you.

        Government gives KiwiRail $65m to buy rolling stock from China. At the end of the contract, the government books are down by $65m and KiwiRail has some rolling stock.

        Alternatively, government gives KiwiRail $100m to buy rolling stock from New Zealand. At the end of the contract, the government books are down by only $50 and KiwiRail has some rolling stock. Where did that other $50m come from? Taxes. Taxes paid by the NZ employees on their salaries. GST paid by those employees when they used the rest of their money to buy goods and services in the NZ economy.

        What’s better: pay $65m total for some rolling stock, or pay $50m total?

        That’s before we even take into account the skills being built up, the business being stronger and all the ancillary businesses that pop up to help service the train builders. Who knows, if our train builders become successful enough they might even be able to compete internationally for certain niche deals and earn export revenue. None of that can happen if we just blindly pay more for overseas trains.

      • mikesh 5.2.4

        F&P probably needs to produce as cheaply as possible if it wants to sell stuff overseas. This does not apply in the case of railway rolling stock which is being produced for our own internal use.

  6. red blooded 6

    I can’t claim significant expertise in this area. I do live in Dunedin, though, and was talking to one of the few remaining Hillside workers last week. He said the Chinese trains that have started arriving in NZ are shoddily built, rust easily and have been breaking down already. Cheaper doesn’t necessarily equal better. The Hillside workers are continuing to push to have the remaining trains built here.

  7. jcuknz 7

    I am not suprised that politicians are reluctant to try and pick winners becuase of the hue and cry and blood-letting that occurs when something fails and heads must roll … of course.
    ‘People have what they deserve’ is the expression I think.
    I hope that the new leader will put a curb of the agro, foolish nit picking, which has characterised The Standard over the past year or so, so that from my favourite blog it is my least visited..

    • Galeandra 7.1

      Well, nit-picking got rid of ( temporarily) at least one nit I could mention.

      Care to explain what sort of np so bothers you? Oh, sarcasm about the cycle-way solution to the GFC, that’s right.

      Concern troll.

      The only winners the current crowd are picking are the Mum and Dads from the Roundtable who are going to get a free crack at half my electricity bill every month.

      • seeker 7.1.1

        “Well, nit-picking got rid of ( temporarily) at least one nit I could mention.”

        ROFL- Perfect reply to the pain that was jcuk.

        Thanks Galeandra-I needed a laugh today, and even more so after reading this thread, which has made me sad and angry for our skilled, under appreciated fellow Kiwis.

        • jcuknz 7.1.1.1

          Well you two have not changed have you. Perhaps I should have said ‘slagging’ rather than nit picking. As a confirmed socialist I cannot say I want to associate myself with the likes of you if you represent the Labour movement, but I hope you don’t.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Working in a small engineering business, just the half dozen or so of you, there is a very real sense that the fortunes of the business owner, who more than likely works right alongside you, are directly linked to exactly where your pay packet comes from this week.

    Now, if you dumped the business owner and made it a cooperative everyone would know exactly where their pay packet comes from, ie, not the business owner.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1

      There is this myth that the ‘small business owner works alongside you’.

      I wish. A good percent are absentee and only turn up to bank whats in the till, and my own experience is they want something ‘that runs itself’ so they dont have to

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Small retail shops are like that. But for an enterprise like Tait Electronics, F&P, Marine Air Systems, Datacom it was different. The founders were absolutely instrumental in leading the organisations.

      • RedLogix 8.1.2

        Agreed it’s not always the case ghost… but it’s still true in many workplaces.

        I guess my point is that the old ‘workers vs the bosses’ meme simply doesn’t apply for an increasing and probable majority of NZ workers; and a Labour Party still historically wedded to that idea will find itself increasingly isolated.

        What might work better is something like “me AND the boss…vs the bloody bankers”. :-)

  9. Rich 9

    They think like small business owners

    I can’t think why. Only 7% of working NZers have a business that employs anyone.

    What the left need to do is to convince people of these sad facts and change the pattern of capital control of people’s lives. If they go on trying to be a better National party for that 7%, when the great middle class cash stream dries up (banks closing down, 15% mortgage rates, $5 a litre petrol) people are going to want something different.

  10. randal 10

    the problem is that the nashnil gubmint and the media make it three on one for every election.time to redress tha balance by owning and operating our own media outlets. i.e. line of sight micropulse radio stations with proper music. watch em go.

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  • The gentle art of believing nothing
    I remember, quite a few years ago now, Jenny Shipley addressing a room and asking the question, “What is the purpose of the National Party?” The answer was: To defeat the Labour Party. National was there to be the party...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-10
  • Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 – what really happened?
    Three months after the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine the world is no wiser about what, and who, caused this crash. Well, we have the preliminary report but this only confirmed the bleeding obvious (“the aircraft was penetrated by a...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • It’s about history… & votes & elephants
    I think I'll start at the end. Andrew ended his recent post like this:...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More than 20 jobs saved at Auckland faculty of education
    The union and TEU members at the University of Auckland have managed to reduce proposed compulsory job cuts at the faculty of education from 35 down to just two. Local TEU organiser Enzo Giordani said feisty staff with a staunch...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the tokenism of New Zealand‘s role against Islamic Sta...
    Was John Key born lucky or what? Political performance tends to be judged on three things – the unemployment rate, the petrol price at the pump, and the market value of your house. This year, Key was lucky enough to...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-10
  • MIT chaos following job cut announcement
    Chaos reigns at MIT following last week’s announcement that the polytechnic will cut 68 full time equivalent jobs, according to local TEU organiser Chan Dixon. Over a thousand people have signed a petition opposing job cuts at the polytechnic. Staff are...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Auckland staff call for Living Wage
    The Living Wage Network held a rally and barbecue this week calling on the University of Auckland to become first New Zealand’s Living Wage university, by paying all staff, both directly employed and contracted staff, a living wage of $18.80...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Otago debates one off lump sum
    The University of Otago has not offered its staff a pay rise on their rates at collective agreement negotiations, opting instead to offer a one-off lump sum of $1000, which will not go ‘on the rates’. TEU members at the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Speaker: David Fisher: The OIA arms race
    Good afternoon everyone. I am David Fisher, a reporter with the New Zealand Herald. I have worked as a journalist for 25 years, mainly in New Zealand but across a number of other countries.I think there's some value before I...
    Public Address | 22-10
  • Employment law first act of new government
    As the prime minister promised, his government has rushed to push through its Employment Relations Amendment Bill as one of its very first actions this week. The bill, which union members and workers have actively opposed for the last year,...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • 7 inspiring stories of communities taking action for climate
    Stories of communities taking action for the climate and refusing to accept the plans of polluting fossil fuel companies are happening more and more. Here are just a few inspiring climate acts of courage taken by doctors, villagers, students, farmers,...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Blowin’ in the wind
    Wind power has a pivotal role to play in the world's energy supply over the next few years. By providing huge amounts of clean, affordable power, it can buy us time in the fight against global warming while revolutions in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Wanted: more fertiliser and horse manure
    Equality enriches the soil, just like manure, but a lot less stinky (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...
    On the Left | 22-10
  • PM gets it right about Auckland, mostly
    Prime Minister John Key is dead right when he said: First home buyers in Auckland might have to consider an apartment in order to get onto the property ladder, Prime Minister John Key says. After all, the locational efficiencies of...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 23
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk Economic ProgrammePolicies 1. JAMI-LEE ROSS (NationalBotany) to the Minister of Finance : What measures is the Government taking to help the New Zealand economy become more productive and competitive?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS Economic Programme—Policies...
    Its our future | 22-10
  • John Key’s Multiple Identities
    Question to the Prime MinisterRussel Norman: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he txted him?Prime Minister: None in my capacity as Prime Minister.John Key...
    Local Bodies | 22-10
  • Where is the Middle?
    When Labour decides who will be the next leader, it is of interest to all of us involved in politics. After all the person chosen could be New Zealand's next Prime Minister. So the debate on the nature of the...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • Labour Needs A Civil Union With The Greens
    Much has been written about where Labour needs to go from here. One issue which doesn’t seem to have generated much interest is what do they do with the Greens?...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Lau...
    The People's Flag Is ... Mint Green? Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern (whom Twitter immediately dubbed Gracinda) pose in Mint Green for one of the glossy women's magazines. In a non-revolutionary era, superficial is about as deep as it gets. BIKERS?...
    Bowalley Road | 22-10
  • Auckland’s disturbing panopticon
    Earlier in the month, we learned that Auckland was planning to install a creepy panopticon, complete with ANPR and facial recognition, for vague and undefinied purposes. This produced a flurry of OIA requests via FYI, and one of them (for...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • How to Sell a House: Free Advice from a couple of experts. (Self-Described!...
      In the 32 years that Judy and I have been together we have bought and sold quite a few houses. Six years is the longest we  lived in any one of those houses.  Our friends regard us as gypsies. The...
    Brian Edwards | 22-10
  • Judith Collins’ two-tier OIA service
    Back in August, we learned that sewerblogger Cameron Slater was receiving extraordinary OIA service from then-Minister of Justice Judith Collins, in one case receiving a response to a request within 37 minutes. But it wasn't just extraordinary for its speed;...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Fluoridation – a racist conspiracy?
    Political activists campaigning on health issues often resort to scaremongering. This can be dangerous – especially when their stories have no real basis but rely on selective and distorted information. Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network (FAN) often resorts to this sort of scaremongering. Now...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • 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
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 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
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • 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
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • 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
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 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
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • 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
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • 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
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 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
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • 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
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • 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
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