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Why the Meridian sale will go ahead regardless of cost

Written By: - Date published: 7:26 am, May 27th, 2013 - 57 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags:

When even the notoriously right-wing NZ Herald Editorial is pleading for Meridian not to be sold (just now), you know that the government’s asset sell-down is in trouble.

Add to that the fact that Mighty River Power shares are languishing three cents below their float rate and that a Meridian float is likely to knock them down further.

And then add the fact that the conflicts of interest involved in the sale of that generator are gathering negative attention from the most establishment corners, and John Key’s determination to continue seems even more bloody minded.

But that assumes that getting the best dollar possible is the plan here. It’s not. The planned sale of Meridian is about making sure this transfer of public wealth to private hands is as irreversible as possible.

Meridian’s huge value is its strategic place in the electricity system – like Mighty River it provides cheap low-carbon peaking power that can’t easily be replaced without resorting to costly to run fossil fuel plants (and suddenly it’s not low-carbon anymore).

It would be very hard to put the electricity system back together with both Mighty and Meridian sold down as both have generation that is very hard to replace. Genesis, on the other hand, has mostly fossil plants that are far more easily duplicated.

All of which means the government needs to get Meridian on the block asap if it’s to poison the well for reversal of its privatisation policy. Which is what it’s doing. And bugger the cost to taxpayers (both present and future), “mum and dad” investors, and consumers.

Of course NZ Power short-circuits this situation by not requiring reintegration of the electricity system to bring generators in line. But National is betting that large multinational shareholders will have much more leverage in negotiations with a future Labour/Greens government if they own the most strategically important generating capacity. Which is why, despite the pleadings of the Herald, the Meridian sale won’t be put on hold.

57 comments on “Why the Meridian sale will go ahead regardless of cost”

  1. Tigger 1

    But Granny is still saying sell, just a different asset (AirNZ). Their masters must want some planes for their toy collection.

  2. Tom Gould 2

    Enormous efforts went into getting the MRP offer across the line, ranging from overt incentives and saturation advertising to less overt pressure on ‘mates’ to calls on old fashioned political loyalty. These tactics are unlikely to work a second time. The smart end of town knows these ‘investments’ are dogs and will stay away from Meridian too. Key has painted himself into a corner, yet again. The Herald is simply being a helpful friend.

    • IrishBill 2.1

      Nah. these will be scooped up by large overseas investors. If, say, a large foreign government investor accumulates a substantial chunk of both Mighty and Meridian then implementing NZ Power will be more politically and financially costly for a future government.

      That’s what John Key and his government are counting on. It’s a cynical play from a government whose main goal is to divest government of economic power and keep that way.

  3. tc 3

    Carry on shonkey, another albatross to adorn your already stinky plumage with dead rats like kim.com, warner bros, conservation mining, tranzrail shares…..quite the collection.

  4. For similar reasons I suspect they will let Solid Energy go to the wall, just so that it can be divested.

    • GregJ 4.1

      Yep – it is interesting to see the rise of Bathurst Resources and its positioning to scoop up more NZ coal resources – no profits as yet but cash rich and attempting to re-incorporate as a “New Zealand” Company (albeit with mainly overseas owners). Must have been some fascinating conversations had when Key opened Bathurst’s NZ operations office in Wellington in March 2012.

  5. Mr Interest 5

    http://www.inthepublicinterest.org/node/457

    Myth #1: Privatization saves money.
    However: Privatization often raises costs for the public and governments.

    Myth #2: Private companies do a better job than the public sector.
    However: Many examples show declines in service quality under private contractors.

    Myth #3: Privatization allows governmental entities to better anticipate and control budgetary costs.
    However: Cost estimates are extremely unreliable and privatization can cause result in unforeseen budgetary consequences.

    Myth #4: Privatization allows governmental entities more administrative flexibility.
    However: Privatization requires substantial administrative resources for monitoring and oversight.

    Myth #5: The public still maintains control over a privatized asset or service and the government retains the ultimate ability to make related public policy decisions.
    However: Privatization can bind the hands of policymakers for years, allowing private companies significant control of a privatized asset or service and the ability to dictate important policy decisions.

    Myth #6: If anything goes wrong, the government can easily fire the contractor or adjust the contract.
    However: Reversing privatization involves huge costs and service interruptions.

    Myth #7: Companies are chosen for privatization contracts on the merits, not based on political or financial connections.
    However: Government for profit opens doors to unscrupulous behavior by politicians and businesses.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      +1

      Exactly and I do wish more people would realise that. Privatisation costs us all more just so that a few people can be richer and have more power over us.

    • Peter 5.2

      Myth: Private firms will take full responsibility for all government functions
      However, they only want the profitable bits and will off-load the rest back to the state.

    • ghostrider888 5.3

      Yep

    • Roy 5.4

      Nice summary.

  6. Winston Smith 6

    Because its a better plan then the Greens can come up with (which the polls seem to indicate…)

    • Suitably Clueless 6.1

      Ha! Do you really believe that? Is that the mantra you use to get your brain to quiet down so you can sleep at night? ‘The polls say that everything is ok, it’s not an attempt at privatisation by stealth, it is just good fiscal management’ it just really doesn’t roll off the tongue like counting sheep does. The referendum will go to parliament, but unfortunately it is too late for MRP, all your shilling would have been worth if had you been one of the anointed 2% that now own a large share of one of our utilities. Now clean up the spittle, go for a walk and see what is happening to your country with these munted US/UK austerity policies. I note there is no such thing as austerity at the top of the pile, just numpties who don’t care about society, their fellow species, the environment, their next generation, and have absolutely no appreciation of history and how it can teach us lessons.

      Sorry for the spiel and rant, but the lack of intellectual vigour and critical thinking in most of your statements made me flame you like this. You seem an intelligent chap, use it, don’t just parrot Patrick Gower’s crap on the rest of us.

      • ghostrider888 6.1.1

        Like

      • Winston Smith 6.1.2

        I don’t have a large share (at least not what I consider a large share) but I have some shares and will be buying some meridian shares

        and yeah the people are now beginning to wake up to the reality of a green-led governemnt

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1.2.1

          Yes, if current polls are correct, it’ll be a reality, and they’ll be running the economy, which they’ve done a better job of since 6th December 1935. Always lower public debt, always more productive.

          Since a rising tide lifts all boats, this will even be good news for maggots like you.

          • Winston Smith 6.1.2.1.1

            the greens have done a better job since 1935?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes, you must be right, because they’ll be the only party in government, won’t they?

              Wake me up when you can muster a reality-based argument.

              PS: On second thoughts, who wants to sleep forever?

        • Steve Withers 6.1.2.2

          Winston: I find almost everyone who thinks a Green government would be bad doesn’t know very much about the Greens. Honestly…..most people I have spoken to who say the Greens are bad aren’t able to accurately describe even one policy in support their belief. I call it a “belief” because without anything verifiably correct to support their view, their view can’t be anything but a faith statement.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.2.1

            But the Greens are tree hugging commies and Russel Norman is an economy destroying witch man

      • paul andersen 6.1.3

        good post ,agree completley,

    • Okay, you determine this from a single poll, the year before election year? That is like claiming Don Brash would win the election, what the media spin usually isn’t the reality in election year. Better to have the Greens and Labour, than Business Roundtable Inc, run by foreign corporations, for foreign corporations.

  7. Suitably Clueless 7

    Ha! Key thinks that his welfare ‘reforms’ will be one of his governments legacies. Can’t argue with that at all.

  8. KJT 8

    Come on. Do you really think that National have New Zealander’s best interests at heart with their privatisations.’

    The fact that they went of the deep end over New Zealand power shows the real motives.

    The reasons for the privatisations is to secure funding for the party from those who expect to make a killing from the power companies, add to Key’s million dollar retirement fund in Hawaii, and secure a bit of cash for the general account, so that National can paper over the loses from their bumbling incompetence and do a bit of pump priming before the election.

    They have no problem with fire sale prices. It just means their cronies can make more money of them later.

    • Winston Smith 8.1

      “add to Key’s million dollar retirement fund in Hawaii”

      – Yeah good thing no other politician has a retirement fund in the USA…

  9. Mr Interest 9

    Quotes from

    Silent Theft – The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth
    By David Bollier

    http://www.community-wealth.org/content/silent-theft-private-plunder-our-common-wealth

    What is the Commons?

    The American commons include tangible assets such as public forests and minerals, intangible wealth such as copyrights and patents, critical infrastructure such as the Internet and government research, and cultural resources such as the broadcast airwaves and public spaces.

    We, as citizens, own these commons. They include resources that we have paid for as taxpayers, and resources that we have inherited from previous generations. They are not just an inventory of marketable assets, but social institutions and cultural traditions that define us as Americans and enliven us as human beings. Public education. Community institutions. Democratic values. Wildlife and national forests. Public spaces in cities and communications media.

    Astonishingly, Americans are losing the right to control dozens of such commons that they own. While business and technology tend to be the forces animating this silent theft, as we shall see, our government is complicit in not adequately protecting the commons on our behalf. When it is not being seduced by what has been called the legalized bribery of campaign contributions, politicians may gamely try to defend our common assets, and occasionally succeed. ………

    A reckoning of what belongs to the American people is a first step to recovering control of common assets and using them either to generate new revenues for public purposes or to protect them from market exploitation. At a time when the public purse is raided for all manner of “corporate welfare,” an analysis based on the “common wealth” offers some powerful ways to leverage assets that we the American people already own.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    It would be very hard to put the electricity system back together with both Mighty and Meridian sold down as both have generation that is very hard to replace.

    Nope, it would be easy – re-nationalisation without compensation.

    • SpaceMonkey 10.1

      Throw the TPPA in with that and it might be a different story.

    • Easy to do too, since NACTs have created the state dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, all we need is to vote in a workers government that repeals all this autocratic asset stripping going back 30 years and return the assets to the public domain where each shareholder is a registered voter. While we are at it we would nationalise the land and honour the Treaty retrospectively. We could compensate for loss of private assets on a case by case base subject to a means test. Corporates that have backed the NACT regime would have all their assets expropriated. Mums and dads left destitute by their greed would be granted a student allowance in liberal arts. Self-employed would be given the option of staying self-employed. Capital flights would be free and booked in advance. Any suits with suits would be denied entry and deported to Guantanamo. Any visits by Rimpac allies would be blockaded at the harbour mouths. Drones would be re-directed by hackers back to their US bases. We would rename our major cities after our mythic heroes and not Pommie toffs or false idols. In that way our art, language and culture would mimic our economic liberation. Easy really.

  11. vto 11

    In the not too distant future when building a house we will all wander down to the local hardware shop and pick a power unit off the shelf. We will then head home and screw it onto the roof and thereafter be happily provided all our power by wind and sun etc and never need a leaching power company again.

  12. coge 12

    If you want a sustainable green eco friendly investment, that actually produces an ongoing profit. Look no further than Meridian.

    • Suitably Clueless 12.1

      coge, we invested in these assets over a generation ago, why should the few invest in these assets at the detriment of everyone, and dilute their ownership in this country of ours? I don’t have $8000 spare and if I did, I would have a bajillion other uses for that money, so should, funnily enough 98% of the rest of us kiwis. Invest in an export related company or tourism, they can be sustainable.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      Profit is the dead weight loss that economists have been warning us about for centuries. They just have failed to realise it and placed the blame on taxes instead.

      • prism 12.2.1

        I understand that taxes were reviled because they were imposed to raise money by the Leader to spend on wars that would both conserve and increase his powerful position. Of course taxes are used for building strong communities with healthy businesses these days. Whoops..I think I had a dream….

        • kiwicommie 12.2.1.1

          The taxes these days are used for a war on the poor and unemployed, and government hand outs for National’s business mates. 😉

          • Winston Smith 12.2.1.1.1

            The taxes these days are used for a war on the rich and self-employed, and government hand outs for the Greens’s benes mates.

            – Probably happen after the 2017 election

            • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Small businesses have always done better under left governments.

            • prism 12.2.1.1.1.2

              Have you had a definite word about that W Smith? That would be great for those struggling whether Green or not. And many of them are self employed – no-one will give them a job so they have to do everything themselves for no better wages than a worker.

            • kiwicommie 12.2.1.1.1.3

              If by ‘rich’ you mean foreign owned corporate monopolies, and by ‘self-employed’ currency speculators – then sure.

  13. BLiP 13

    Heh! Speaking of The New Zealand Fox News Herald, it appears to be winding up an even more pro National Ltd™ agenda, just going by today’s print version. The apparent target market appears to be women. The front page banner promotes a classic celebrity tear-jerker cancer story which, needless to say, refers readers to its sister publication, TheWoman’s Weekly. Half of Page 3, a tabloid’s prime spot, is taken up with a full colour shot of a dancing whale seen off an Australian coast line. Scattered amongst the rest of the crime/All Blacks/tech-savy children/fluke health checks saving lives, are two main stories announcing that National Ltd™ will be announcing a “think about the children” and “think about the mums” policies. Only National Ltd™ can get ink when announcing that it is going to announce stuff. The “think of the mums” announcement of an upcoming announcement is subsequently featured in a double-spread further in. No mention of the fact, of course, that the heralded women’s health iniative is most likely going to be a PPP. Classic.

    Meanwhile, the political polls which came out over the weekend merit a single paragraph sideline sub-story. At least the selection of Marama Davidson gets a brief mention, even if its just a paragraph.

    (NOTE TO SELF: Get help with addiction to the cryptic and cancel subscription.)

    • ghostrider888 13.1

      Read Online; faster and more discretion possible.

      One day, a week or so a go, thought I’d catch up on the ‘lines’ of the local newspaper; took about 15 minutes to parse A Week Of It, Geez.

    • unicus 13.2

      Isnt it time that the real culprits for the destruction of what once passed as the 4th estate in this country were exposed to public scrutiny – the individuals on the Boards of Directors of Fairfax APN and the rest of the surrogate National Party propaganda machine monopolising public discourse . Exactly who are the people deciding the political direction of our country through their positions as media executives and directors . What are the financial and political interests of these people and how suitable are their characters to behave as the gate keepers of public information .

      Its time to name and shame these despicable charlatans

      • BLiP 13.2.1

        Its us – the consumers – we are the despicable charlatans for putting up with it.

  14. Mr Interest 14

    Hummmmmm, I wonder if Meridian sale has got anything to do with this:

    Smelter NZ’s Biggest Bludger

    – Murray Horton

    Every time that Rio Tinto, the gargantuan mining and processing transnational which owns 80% of the Bluff smelter, feels that its charmed existence in New Zealand is going to become less cushy, it threatens to pull the plug, close the smelter and walk away. Last time it did so (in 2008) was because of the Labour government’s proposed emissions trading scheme. This time it is trying it on as a tactic to try to pressure Meridian over its power price contract, which has already been negotiated and is due to take effect in January 2013. It has succeeded in whipping up a storm of uncertainty among its workers, the union representing some of them, the Southland public and their local body politicians

    (the above taken from http://www.converge.org.nz/watchdog/31/04.html )

  15. ghostrider888 15

    Postpone.
    Legislate to separate the retail and investment sections of banks and brokers again

  16. Ennui 16

    Now if I was Rio Tinto I might just buy a controlling interest in the power sector……

    • ghostrider888 16.1

      to make Aluminium at a loss

      • prism 16.1.1

        Ghost888
        Now that’s an interesting tax concept, make a profit on electricity shares and pay high price for electricity giving a good profit which can be transferred to a low tax or no tax entity, have the aluminium plant make a loss because of the high price of electricity which then offsets other profits somewhere, perhaps in NZ. And then claim for a tax loss and perhaps get a refund too.

        I think I put a snippet from the Ankh-Morpork city books on the site a while ago. Very amusing that the accountants guild did not pay any tax, and then claimed a tax refund of a large amount anyway. Terry you’re the bright spark that lights the way.

  17. veutoviper 17

    “Add to that the fact that Mighty River Power shares are languishing three cents below their float rate”

    The MRP shares opened at $2.47 this morning, held at that for the morning, dropped to $2.44 at midday, then to $2.42 – and as at 2.30pm are now at $2.38 after reaching a low of $2.36.

    Early days but ….

  18. Adrian 18

    If you want to strike a blow for the left ( a symbolic one at least ) lets all put in an offer with a sharebroker for MRP for say $1. 75 a share. If enough people do it it becomes the new price. Love to see Key squirm if anybody has the guts to interview him. P.s, if it gets close you can just cancel the offer if you don’t want to buy.

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    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    18 hours ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    18 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    19 hours ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    19 hours ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    19 hours ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    20 hours ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    1 day ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • CRL already impacting land use on city fringe
    The City Rail Link will be one of the most transformational projects Auckland has ever seen. Perhaps nowhere else will see experience that transformation more than the inner west of the isthmus which effectively gets picked up and moved much closer to… ...
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National should give us our $13,000 back
    We all know that National works for the rich and screw over ordinary New Zealanders to funnel wealth upwards into the pockets of its rich mates. But how bad have they been? $13,000 bad:Yesterday, Mr Little said that since National… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access: The Universal Basic Income and its implications for citizenship
    The suggestion about a possible Universal Basic Income (UBI) was only one of numerous suggestions to come out of Labour’s Future of Work initiative. This a wide-ranging policy discussion that the Party’s economic development spokesman, Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Review: The Block Party
    Did New Zealand’s 'premier urban music' event live up to the hype?   Photo: Nicole Semitara Hunt ‘Old school’ was the name of the game on Friday night at The Block Party, where several thousand converged on ASB… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: The media awards are dead – long live the media awards!
    Friday's Canon Media Awards was the most interesting instance of the long-running national ceremony in a long time, maybe ever. There were notable insurgencies – The SpinOff took two awards from 11 first-time nominations, Radio NZ's The Wireless won Website… ...
    2 days ago
  • New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).… ...
    2 days ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Selfie-takers think they’re the greatest
    Science says otherwise.  “People often perceive themselves as more attractive and likable than others [perceive them to be].” This is the cutting conclusion from a new study that has found you're probably not as great as you think you… ...
    2 days ago
  • UCOL cutting the staff who lifted student results
    UCOL needs to halt its proposed cuts to student support services now that it knows those services are improving student outcomes. On Friday, in an email to all staff, UCOL released its provisional 2015 Educational Performance Indicator (EPI) results which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Another Road Only Harbour Crossing on the Cards?
    The absence of rail as well as walking and cycling options to the North Shore has been considered an oversight by many probably ever since the Harbour Bridge was first approved for construction over 60 years ago. While Skypath will… ...
    2 days ago
  • Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Rt Hon Winston Peters New Zealand First Leader Member of Parliament for Northland 23 MAY 2016 Leaked UK Briefing Shows NZ-EU Trade Deal is a Sham The Prime Ministers EU trade deal… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on bank scandals and air crashes
    Libor. It stands for the London Interbank Offered rate. Back in 2012, Libor became synonymous with a scandal involving the dodgy manipulation of how interest rates were fixed – during the years before and after the Global Financial Crisis –… ...
    2 days ago
  • March Against Monsanto
    Press Release – TPP Action Waikato March Against Monsanto (MAM)is a global form of action aimed at informing the public, calling into question the long term health risks of genetically modified foods and Roundup ready crops.Today Waikato people rally, at… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    10 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    11 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    11 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    15 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    17 hours ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    17 hours ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    17 hours ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    18 hours ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    2 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    4 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    7 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Law Commission speaks up for domestic violence survivors
    I want to give kudos to the Minister for Justice for getting the Law Commission to review options for how our justice system responds when victims of domestic violence kill their partners. This is a relatively discrete piece of work… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago

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