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Worst. Negotiators. Ever.

Written By: - Date published: 6:46 am, March 29th, 2013 - 239 comments
Categories: capitalism - Tags:

First they got down on their knees for a massive American movie studio and negotiated away oodles of taxpayer dollars and our employment law for movies that were always going to be made in New Zealand.

Then they got all cosy with an Aussie casino company and sold off a chunk of law and god only knows how many dollars in social costs for a conference center that we don’t really need.

Now it looks like they’re going to give a multinational aluminium smelting company a super sweet deal on electricity at the expense of both the crown accounts and everyone else who uses electricity because they’re worried about the surplus electricity will tank the sale of Mighty River. Effectively cutting an awful costly deal in order to protect an even more awful and more costly one.

Sometimes I think Key and the rest of his chumps are trying to prove the rightwing adage that government should stay out of business by f**king it up like a bunch of amateurs every time they step in. But I guess it’s only our money they’re pissing away…

239 comments on “Worst. Negotiators. Ever.”

  1. Dv 1

    Dont forget the EXTRA payments to Novaoay.
    Rio tito will have seen how we rolled over for warners.

  2. Jenny 2

    New Zealanders should have the benefit of lower electricity prices…..

    We should shut down all coal fired power stations…..

    The sale of Meridean Energy should be stopped……

    We should oppose all corporate welfare for the rich and powerful while everyone else suffers….

    What’s not to like?

  3. wyndham 3

    Telecom a good example of how much more efficiently the “private sector” runs business ! Thousands of staff too many and now due for the chop.

    • Jenny 3.1

      Telecom’s corporate managers have realised that they can make just as much profit with a less responsive and reliable service. No need to pay all those line workers and technician drudges who actually run the system. Leaving lots more money available for the huge salaries drawn by the useless drones at the top.

      Watch the outages go up, as the maintenance goes down.

      • freedom 3.1.1

        and as ever, month by month, the cost climbs to build nothing but the endless pillars of profit

      • Arfamo 3.1.2

        Aren’t telecom saying that they are getting rid of layers of “managers” though?

        • wyndham 3.1.2.1

          But then they would say that.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1.1

            Managers are just glorified line workers. Paid monthly. Wearing a suit. But serfs nonetheless.

            Notice how Telecon aren’t getting rid of any directors or major shareholders.

        • Ed 3.1.2.2

          On radio this morning – Telecom will be left with at least as many staff on over $130,000 p.a. as Vodafone employ in total (or was that currently have that many over $130,000). Sounds like they were more than a little overstaffed – possibly the result of the Deane/Gattung years which did not handle anything well except Executive / Board remuneration – where they got what they wanted.

        • freedom 3.1.2.3

          It is largely to be creative and technical people from the ‘product creation’ businesses according to the original reporting. Whch is no doubt why Orcon and co have been so quick to say they will be wanting to take what they can of these hard to find skillsets, but it won’t be much. Cannot see Telco’s making public statements about any intentions of grabbing a few extra account managers. These are job losses that will remove even more skilled people from our shores. (note; Not meaning to sound like i am bagging on business managers, but in relation to the circumstances, they are plentiful )

  4. Jenny 4

    Labour’s David Parker, common sense statement is an almost carbon copy of Lynn Prentice’s Post yesterday.

    A subsidy to the smelter would see other power companies sold at an “inflated price” according to Labour’s economic spokesman, David Parker.

    Parker said he had “huge concerns” about the lack of transparency in the talks between Government and Rio Tinto.

    “The effect of that is higher (electricity) prices for consumers and further undermining of an already uncompetitive electricity market,” Parker said.

    “Consumers are going to pay the price,” Parker said.

    The only way the Government could get through the asset sales programme was by pushing through a deal with Rio Tinto “that will result in higher electricity prices for consumers”, Parker said.

    If the smelter shut down, the extra electricity supply would mean the Huntly coal-fired power plants would close and some gas-fired stations, and wholesale power prices would fall as a result and the drop would be “substantial”.

    “The optimal solution is to walk away (from the smelter) and let New Zealand have lower power prices,” Parker said, warning that it was likely to be “a secret deal”.

    David Parker argues that Tiwai, should be allowed to close

    • Wayne 4.1

      So Jenny, Should Tiwai close, with all the job losses that would entail. Of course we don’t know the level of price concession being offered. Is it comparatively small or rather large? It makes all the difference,

      I guess if Tiwai did close, power prices would fall, since total demand would have dropped by 15%. Of course that is usually a National Govt argument, small benefits for everyone outweighing the severe cost for some. In this instance that means the loss of 3000 to 5000 jobs in Southland at the smelter itself and all the suppliers directly affected.

      In addition the value of all power companies drops, no matter who owns them.

      Surely the logical approach for Govt is to do an overall assessment of the costs and benefits to society as a whole. This is what a Govt can do, but which a firm cannot do.

      If the price has to be say 10% lower than it might have been, that probably means the nett benefit for the economy is positive, compared to the alternative. Manupouri was built for the smelter, with a 24 hour base load relatively close to the user. If the smelter closed the power would go north, with quite large transmission losses. All power companies would have to reduce prices, and the most inefficient generator would close – I guess Huntly – in an effort to keep prices up.

      Not an easy situation for any Govt to deal with. If it happens on your watch, you have to make a real decision. It is not about Rio and its shareholders, it is about Southland and the overall effect on the New Zealand economy and the communities. That is what Govts have to think about.

      • Jenny 4.1.1

        Southland will be better served by getting rid of this corporate leech that is sucking energy from our grid, which makes us reliant on on coal, the most dangerous of all fossil fuels. Worsening the climate and wrecking farming with climate change fueled drought.

        The workers at Tiwai would be better served fighting for a proper exit package now. They would have the support of the whole country behind them. The alternative for the Tiwai workforce is wait to be dumped at Rio Tinto’s leisure, with nothing to show for it, but a degraded and ruined local and global environment, left to their children and their children’s children.

      • geoff 4.1.2

        Wayne, as usual you’re wrong and full of it.

        Wayne says: Not an easy situation for any Govt to deal with.

        They wouldn’t be in the situation if they weren’t trying to flog off assets.
        Key and English have stubbornly pushed their stupid plan against all better advice and now their bargaining power is completely down the toilet. Rio Tinto has National over a barrel.

        At what point do you realise you’ve backed a loser, Wayne?

        Just how dumb are you?

        • Wayne 4.1.2.1

          Well if you want to say the 47% who voted National are dumb, go for it. Probably not the best way to get them to change their point of view.

          • IrishBill 4.1.2.1.1

            You can do better than resorting to that tired old saw, Wayne. I’m interested, the unemployment rate in Southland is 3.9% but in Gisborne it’s 9.9% why do you feel the government should be putting job creation subsidies into the former but not the latter?

          • Chris Miller 4.1.2.1.2

            Yes that’s exactly what we’re saying. The voters should have forseen every single change in the market that’s happened since November 2011. New information from Treasury on the costs of sale, potential Treaty breaches, Solid Energy’s collapse, Rio Tinto… I mean, how could they possibly not have known this would happen? What dumbarses.

          • The al1en 4.1.2.1.3

            “if you want to say the 47% who voted National are dumb, go for it.”

            I prefer somewhat retarded.

            “Probably not the best way to get them to change their point of view.”

            So, fuck ‘em.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.3

        In this instance that means the loss of 3000 to 5000 jobs in Southland at the smelter itself and all the suppliers directly affected.

        Yeah, that’s what happens when companies are uneconomic.

        In addition the value of all power companies drops, no matter who owns them.

        You’re wrong o two counts:
        1.) If we owned them the value wouldn’t drop at all as we’d still have the Social Good of them.
        2.) If they’re privately owned or the government is looking to sell them to the private sector then the value drops due to the fact that the profit drops along with the decrease in demand for power.

        Surely the logical approach for Govt is to do an overall assessment of the costs and benefits to society as a whole.

        I suppose it would be but this government isn’t doing that and doesn’t do that. If it did then the rolling stock for Kiwirail would have been made in NZ and they wouldn’t be selling the power companies.

        Considering these truths we can only conclude that this government is doing this for the benefit of Big Business – foreign Big Business at that – and that it will be bad for NZ as a whole.

        All power companies would have to reduce prices, and the most inefficient generator would close – I guess Huntly – in an effort to keep prices up.

        See, this is where having the state owning the power companies and the grid as a single state owned monopoly run as a government service pays off – they wouldn’t have to raise prices. They’d merely close the inefficient fuel burners and get on with supplying the country with affordable and reliable power.

        It is not about Rio and its shareholders…

        Yes, it is. If we had a good welfare system and free education the loss of those jobs wouldn’t be a problem as the people would still be supported, wouldn’t be forced into poverty and would easily be able to retrain. Instead this government is cutting the welfare system to shreds, dropping more people into poverty and making it harder for people to retrain.

        This government is doing everything backwards and it only benefits the rich while being bad for the country.

        • Puddleglum 4.1.3.1

          If we had a good welfare system and free education the loss of those jobs wouldn’t be a problem as the people would still be supported, wouldn’t be forced into poverty and would easily be able to retrain. Instead this government is cutting the welfare system to shreds, dropping more people into poverty and making it harder for people to retrain.

          That’s the nub of it.

          If we put as a priority looking after each other then we wouldn’t have to kow-tow to wealthy corporates. It would make New Zealand a much stronger society. The approach currently adopted makes us weak and easy-pickings in the global marketplace (although a very small minority of New Zealanders may benefit financially from that national weakness).

      • DH 4.1.4

        “This is what a Govt can do, but which a firm cannot do.”

        And if the Govt doesn’t own Meridian 100% then it can’t do it can it. A very good reason why strategic assets shouldn’t be sold and yet Wayne here is a fan of asset sales. The hypocrisy is rather galling.

    • dumrse 4.2

      And then David could dribble on about the lost employment opportunities.

    • Anne 4.3

      Labour’s David Parker, common sense statement is an almost carbon copy of Lynn Prentice’s Post yesterday.

      So Labour members of parliament DO take notice of TS.

      They would be fools if they didn’t because my observation is, there are quite a few boffins and lateral thinkers on this site whose knowledge and experiences are worthy of the closest scrutiny.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1

        The people at large have far more wisdom than the boffins in parliament. It is for this reason that we need to move to a more democratic system and binding referenda.

        • Anne 4.3.1.1

          Umm… may have misread you DTB but that’s what I’m saying. There are people on this site who have far more knowledge (and wisdom) than half the Labour Caucus. That is why they should read TS and become better informed.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1.1.1

            I was agreeing with you but I was also saying that we should be looking further than just The Standard and that people needed to be brought more into the policy making process.

    • Perplexed 4.4

      I agree with Parker in principal.
      I can’t say that ive seen the figures, but i strongly expect that a drop in the price of electricity will have sognificamt benefits to the wider community. Cost of heating will reduce and more employmemt can be created.
      I’m sorry for the 400 workers, but would be happy with the upside for the rest of the community.

      • Chris Miller 4.4.1

        Agree. The last two winters I’ve been involved in work helping people to pay their power bills. It was absolutely astounding talking to some people who would suffer through subzero temperatures not daring to turn a heater on because if they did they couldn’t afford to eat. It’s a massive health concern, especially in houses that are also damp (can’t run a dehumidifier if you can’t afford to use the power), over-crowded (country-wide but especially South Auckland and Christchurch), and damaged (Christchurch) and almost certainly costs us a ton not only when they enter the health system but in lost productivity because people are getting too sick to work. Considering we’re expecting another cold winter, we should be thrilled at the prospect of lower prices.

        • geoff 4.4.1.1

          Yup I’ve seen it myself too. Elderly people in state houses who ration themselves one hour in front of the heater in the morning because that’s all they can afford. And this was in 2002.

          • xtasy 4.4.1.1.1

            geoff –

            I thought that just about ALL state homes had been “insulated” by now?

            Or is that bit of foil underneath the floor-boards, and the extra padding on the ceiling, now not doing the job it is meant to?

            What I saw for “insulation” at a mate’s Housing NZ home months ago was a bit of a joke. And then a heat-pump (sucking lots of electriciy) in a totally silly place next to a large window.

            That is NOT insulation as it is done in colder countries in the Northern Hemisphere.

            So they are still freezing, just may not quite so bad as before.

            P.S.: Sorry, I saw too late 2002. But in all honesty, the newly installed insulation in state homes now is not delivering all that much in “warming” homes. I have seen and felt it.

            • geoff 4.4.1.1.1.1

              Funny you mention insulation of state houses because that was what I was involved with. Studying the effects of the upgrade on the thermal performance of the houses. As you say it was a joke. Essentially it was a hot water cylinder wrap, some batts on top of the existing insulfluff in the ceiling and some of them got foil under the floor.
              The results were, as you’d expect, underwhelming. From memory I believe temperatures in the rooms monitored increased by about 1 deg at most.

    • jaymam 4.5

      The price should not be secret. Last time I heard, many years ago, Tiwai paid about 3 cents per unit. I pay about 26 cents per unit to Meridian. Transmission costs are extra.

  5. Jenny 5

    For the Greens less is more

    As Russel Norman barely manages to state the obvious.

    Green party co-leader Russel Norman said today: “Rio Tinto are using the Government’s asset sale programme to screw Meridian Energy for a better deal [on power prices], that is as plain as day.”

    If the smelter closed, the Government would get a much lower price if it went ahead and sold state owned power companies, weakening the Government’s negotiating position, Norman said.

    Positioning themselves as a “safe pair of hands”, “good for business”, Russel Norman’s statement on behalf of the Green Party, was in comparison, to David Parker’s statement above. What, we have come to expect from the Green Party of late, pathetic but “pragmatic” (read unprincipled).

    We obviously can’t expect the Green Party to be a strong voice in parliament for the environment.

    Nothing here about the benefits to the environment. No mention of the possibilities of fighting climate change. Instead of supporting and bolstering David Parker’s statement. Russel Norman’s statement is like a lead weight dragging it down.

    Opposition Parties on corporate welfare for Sumitomo and Rio Tinto

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      I disagree. Russel Norman put it in terms that can easily be related to National and what they said about not selling if they couldn’t get a good price and it’s becoming obvious that they won’t get a good price – unless they game the market with our money and when they do that we’ll lose no matter what.

      • Jenny 5.1.1

        Moulding their argument to appeal to National is a good thing?

        What’s your point?

        The Nacts won’t listen to Green Party waffel about getting a better price.

        All the Greens will do is dispirit and disempower their supporters.

        Privatisation is not about getting a good price. It is an idealogically driven belief that the private sector can do it better.

        The Greens quibbling over the price the government can get shows that they have seriously lost their way.

        • handle 5.1.1.1

          I would back Russel Norman over your whining any day, Jenny.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.2

          The Nacts won’t listen to Green Party waffel about getting a better price.

          The Nats won’t – they’re selling on ideology after all – but the rest of the country will as they see the contortions National has to do to justify the sales and by framing it in the same language that National uses will highlight those contortions.

          • Arfamo 5.1.1.2.1

            Very good point, and that’s what they’re doing I believe. (Nice to see edit function back and working again-good work)

          • QoT 5.1.1.2.2

            And seriously, God forbid that the party which is actually most *hurt* by being cast as a bunch of tree-hugging square-dancers prove that their policies are economically good as well as environmentally focused.

            • Jenny 5.1.1.2.2.1

              What a joke

              Moving straight from tree hugging morris dancers, passing through the serious environmentalist stage, to become line dancing Texans. Just as farcical, but not as funny.

              Still waiting for these neo-Texans to prioritise the fight against climate change.

              Still a no go policy area for 2014, QoT?

              http://www.janbrett.com/piggybacks/deep_tex.mid

              • QoT

                Jenny, you’ve consistently failed to provide evidence of the conspiracy you assert, i.e. that the Green Party are deliberately downplaying / ignoring / suppressing climate change.

                As someone who follows the Green Party’s press releases, blogs and various MPs’ Twitter accounts, I couldn’t find your posts more farcical if I tried.

                • Jenny

                  It is an absolute fact that addressing climate change is not one of the Green Party’s 3 stated election Planks, or “Principles” as they call them, that the Green Party will be campaigning on in 2014.

                  Do you deny this fact QoT?

                  If you do then you are a liar. As anyone who checks the Green Party website can see for themselves.

                  If left to the Green Party climate change will not be an election issue in 2014*

                  And of course if you don’t campaign on an issue you have no mandate to raise it, either in coalition talks, or in parliament. The Green Party really have to ask themselves what are we trying to get into government for?

                  Fight child hood poverty good

                  Clean rivers good

                  Green jobs good

                  Cut rising CO2 emissions FAIL

                  *(This is why I have been raising the issue of climate change with the Mana Party and despite their crying and pressing need to address the question of poverty among their constituents. I have been getting a hearing. It is possible that despite their treachery, the Green Party will be embarrassed into facing up to climate change in 2014 after all.)

                  • handle

                    People have explained to you for many months the difference between a policy and a campaign plank. If this were my website you would be banned for trolling by now.

                    • Jenny

                      People have explained to you for many months the difference between a policy and a campaign plank

                      handle

                      I challenge you to show me one instance, where anyone has ever tried to make such a ridiculous hair splitting argument.

                      I certainly haven’t seen it.

                      So Handle, maybe you would like to be the first.

                      Let’s all have a good laugh, shall we.

                      First of all try and deny that their 3 principles are what the Green Party intend to fight their 2014 campaign on.

                      Then explain how these are not policy planks.

                      And while you are tying yourself in semantic knots for our amusement. Consider this. This is the same “pragmatic” strategy the Green Party followed in 2011.

                      It may have been barely acceptable then. It is not now.

                  • QoT

                    Jenny, the fact you continue to focus solely on one part of the Green Party’s website, ignoring their media release, blog and individual Twitter accounts, is not exactly lying, but it’s damn close. So you’re in no position to throw stones about people’s honesty.

                    • Jenny

                      Do you, or do you not, acknowledge the fact, that the Green Party refuse to make climate change an election issue?

                    • QoT

                      I don’t acknowledge anything which is a product of your own fantasy. Like I’ve already said, there is plenty of stuff coming out of the Green Party on climate change, and it clearly suits you to ignore it so you can keep puffing yourself up as the One True Crusader against climate change.

                      Yet when climate change topics are actually raised at TS, suddenly you’re nowhere to be seen …

                    • Jenny

                      You mean like now?

                    • Jenny

                      ……there is plenty of stuff coming out of the Green Party on climate change

                      QoT

                      In your opinion.
                      Stuff on “blog and individual twitter accounts“, that I, and the general public are generally unaware of. Do not count.

                      The facts are, that just like the appalling Obama/Romney contest…. Comes 2014 election time….. Climate change,(by general bipartisan agreement) will not be an election issue.

                      I don’t acknowledge anything which is a product of your own fantasy

                      QoT

                      You mean, you “don’t acknowledge” embarrassing facts, that you would rather were kept hidden.

                      But like the elephant in the front room. No matter how much you ignore it, it won’t go away.

                    • Jenny

                      Cat got your pen?

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 6

    I say let the market decide what will happen next. No government intervention and ignore the emotional blackmail.

    Can we really afford to face this threat every five to ten years?

    • That is what market liberals say is an essential part of capitalism after all… if your company isn’t responsive to consumer’s needs, it fails.

  7. Lanthanide 7

    National have a double-whammy on their hands, partially the fault of the opposition.

    If they let the smelter close, there’d be lots of job losses that the opposition would crow about more.

    • Jenny 7.1

      As if National care about job losses

      • geoff 7.1.1

        Exactly, Jenny.
        Not only that, I’ve heard that Tiwai smelter jobs are almost 100% subsidised when you take into account all their special treatment and cost to the environment.

    • geoff 7.2

      Here you go:

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10605697

      Excerpt:

      The cost of government protection of Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto from carbon and electricity charges means taxpayers will pay the equivalent of $225,000 for each job at the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, says a carbon expert.

      “It would be cheaper for the New Zealand taxpayer to pay every single Tiwai Point worker and contractor $200,000 per annum for the rest of their lives to simply stay home,” said Kent Duston of Wellington-based Autonomic Consulting.

      Crony capitalism (as if there was any other sort…)

      • Lanthanide 7.2.1

        But if Labour were in government I’m sure they’d also be subsidising Tiwai point, because the negative PR would be too much to stomach.

        • geoff 7.2.1.1

          I’m no Labour party apologist but if we’re going to imagine hypothetical situations then you’d at least have to recognise that Labour probably wouldn’t have tried to flog off the power companies and therefore they wouldn’t have put themselves in a position where they had to subsidise the smelter to protect the asset sale price.

          I think the main point is that crony capitalism is stupid and destructive regardless of which political party pursues it.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.2

          And that would be another reason to dump Labour.

      • dumrse 7.2.2

        A carbon expert. God give me strength.

  8. Morrissey 8

    Can you imagine the sustained campaign of outrage on NewstalkZB, in the Herald and all the rest of the National Party’s semi-official outlets if it had been a Labour government that had been bullied into these deals?

    • Jenny 8.1

      No. The media would either be silent, or commending Labour for being responsible managers.

      To the MSM, Corporate welfare makes perfect sense. While slamming low paid and jobless and beneficiaries as bludgers with banner headlines is seen as a public service.

      No doubt the Corporate Media will also be arguing for working people to wait longer for their pensions so that Rio Tinto profits can continue to be subsidised.

  9. ianmac 9

    The Meridian CEO said on TV News that the “gap was too wide to bridge.”
    Tony Ryall said on TV that “the gap was just tiny and the Government would fill that tiny gap.”

    It will probably be just a tiny 4-5cents a unit. Just a tiny amount 4-5 cents. But it will total many $millions of taxpayer money. But who would miss 4-5 cents?

    • freedom 9.1

      4-5c a unit eventually to be added onto our power bills no doubt, as well as whatever millions in savings they eventually strongarm from the Government.

      • Jenny 9.1.1

        Not to mention the huge costs accruing from climate damaging coal fired power generation that could be done away with if Tiwai was closed.

        • KJT 9.1.1.1

          More artificial propping up of power prices and profits to try and pretend that privatisation is successful.

          I suspect more jobs would acrue from the savings to businesses, and consumers, overall, from cheaper power, than we will lose in jobs in Southland. Not to mention the savings in oil imports and emissions.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.1

            I suspect more jobs would acrue from the savings to businesses, and consumers, overall, from cheaper power, than we will lose in jobs in Southland. Not to mention the savings in oil imports and emissions.

            QFT

            The government propping up Rio Tinto will cost us far more than we would lose if the smelter closed.

          • McFlock 9.1.1.1.2

            Possibly, But at what point do we stop doing the math like that? Should we get rid of trade barriers too, on the grounds that manufacturers might lose their jobs but overall we’d be better off?

            If a government, as a matter of policy, wants to create a massive unemployment spike in southland, then the government needs to address that issue in southland. Not say that other people are better off so in the greater picture it’s alright.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.2.1

              Should we get rid of trade barriers too, on the grounds that manufacturers might lose their jobs but overall we’d be better off?

              No but we should reign in the movement of money.

              If a government, as a matter of policy, wants to create a massive unemployment spike in southland, then the government needs to address that issue in southland. Not say that other people are better off so in the greater picture it’s alright.

              Not saying that other people will be better off – saying that the country will be better off and because of that we’ll be better able to help the people of Southland that have temporarily been made worse off.

              • McFlock

                Sounds like a lot of promises and cheap wine to me.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Things change but it’s not really a concern when the full community is backing you. Unfortunately, the last three decades have seen the community, through government policy, back away from supporting people and moving to only supporting the rich and foreign multi-national corporations.

                  • McFlock

                    and the chances of southland ending up with no smelter and no replacement support have the best odds, in my book.

    • Jenny 9.2

      The Meridian CEO said on TV News that the “gap was too wide to bridge.”
      Tony Ryall said on TV that “the gap was just tiny and the Government would fill that tiny gap.”

      ianmac

      No income gap of the rich and powerful is seen as too big to fill, for this government.

      Just look at the $100 million they gifted Roger Kerr to cover his losses in South Canterbury Finance.

  10. big bruv 10

    “First they got down on their knees for a massive American movie studio and negotiated away oodles of taxpayer dollars and our employment law for movies that were always going to be made in New Zealand”

    Leaving aside the blatant lies in that statement I would have thought that the real victory for Key and the right was that they managed to hammer another nail into the corrupt union movement.
    Let’s face it, the unions have been “owned” during the term of this government. While Key might be a bit left wing for my liking he has at least managed to do terminal damage to the union movement in NZ.

    That can only be a good thing.

    • North 10.1

      Pathological fringe ranting from bellicose big bruv. Risible !

    • Jenny 10.3

      While Key might be a bit left wing for my liking he has at least managed to do terminal damage to the union movement in NZ.

      That can only be a good thing.

      big bruv

      Only if you think poverty is a good thing.

      • Jenny 10.3.1

        The challenge for the modern union movement is to negotiate the transition away from a fossil fuel economy on the best possible terms for their members, to a more job and labour intensive and sustainable economy, better for their members and world.

        This is the challenge of Tiwai

        Can they do it?

        • KJT 10.3.1.1

          As they laid down and died over the employment contracts act, I wouldn’t hold out any hope.

          Losing the right to strike, which you would think ‘principled’ libertarians (Big Bruv Ha Ha) would be concerned about, (Except they’re only concerned about preserving their rights to “private property” once they have stolen it from the rest of us) put the stops on any power the Union movement has to change anything for the better.

        • handle 10.3.1.2

          That, I agree with. Jobs are not all the same. We need smarter ones.

    • geoff 10.4

      Poor big bruv, not enough hugs as a child. That’s ok mate, you keep letting it all out on the blogs.

    • fender 10.5

      Big Bruv once again comes out with dribble that proves he’s really Little Ted.

      There’s terminal damage alright, nothing to be proud of though unless you are a sociopath who loves to see people suffering while a corrupt Govt wreak havoc.

    • Raa 10.6

      If Key is “a bit left wing for my liking”, what would your preferred government look like ?

      • Pascal's bookie 10.6.1

        When Brash took over ACT in the Revenge of the Clowns episode, Bruv was over the moon and predicting they’d get about 15% if I recall correctly.

        So there’s a clue.

    • IrishBill 10.7

      But Bruv – the EPMU wants the government to step in on Tiwai. Key and Ryall are actually helping a union out here.

      • One Tāne Huna 10.7.1

        Oops. Bruv displaying the same intellectual rigour as he did when backing Brash to get 15% :lol:

      • Jenny 10.7.2

        EPMU press statement

        http://www.epmu.org.nz/news/show/173453

        “Government must protect Tiwai jobs”

        Instead of fighting for their members interests by calling on the CTU to support a campaign for a decent redundancy and exit package for these workers. The EPMU gives political support to National’s corporate welfare.

        This is in-line with earlier EPMU call for the National Government to bail out Solid Energy.

        I believe this is the wrong call by the EPMU

        In a world threatened by climate change and societal collapse. If the EPMU were to make an honest appraisal of the ultimate future for the fossil fuel industry in this new changed world. They would be better placed to adjudge the value of supporting a fighting programme to make the transition to more sustainable jobs in the best interests of the their members.

  11. Jenny 11

    Can the union movement mount a nationwide response to the challenge of climate change?

    What would this entail?

    First of all, the union movement as a whole would have to make a realistic appraisal that the jobs of their members in the fossil fuel sector are facing almost certain closure. (That is if we want to leave our children with any world worth living in.)

    Secondly, the union movement as a whole would have to back a nationwide solidarity campaign behind getting their members the best exit and retraining packages possible possible for their members to transition to careers outside the fossil fuel industries.

    Thirdly, the gutting of the union movement that ‘big bruv’ refers to makes this task harder. To get the best deal for the workers at Tiwai would require a national wide union response, illegal in current New Zealand industrial law.

    Until these anti union laws are repealed (or possibly, openly defied by union leaders), the union movement will continue to become more and more irrelevant, in every sphere, political industrial and environmental.

  12. RedBaronCV 12

    Well if Rio Tinto are so sure the plant is not viable then why don’t they put it up for sale on Trademe.
    Not willing to do that – then they are just gaming the system.
    Ask Micheal Cullen to deal with them, he’s told them no before, and I’m sure Jeanette Fitzsimmons would help and then we might get a solution that would benefit not just the people working there but the rest of thecountry too and I’m willing to bet at a fraction of the price tag that the Nact’s will spend.

    So, how about it David Shearer and Russell Norman, make use of your elder statepoli’s?

    • alwyn 12.1

      Now you really scare me. Letting Michael Cullen loose would be a complete disaster.
      When you look at the way he through the best part of a billion dollars at Kiwirail, when it was essentially worthless, I can only imagine him negotiating with Rio Tinto going something like this
      RT “We want one billion for the smelter”
      MC ” No, we will offer ten billion”
      RT “two billion then”
      MC “I’m going to cut my offer. nine billion”
      RT “Ok, if you insist”
      MC “There. I got the price down a billion from the starting offer. Who’s the pretty boy then?”

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        KiwiRail essentially worthless at the time Cullen bought it back? You’re speaking from a strictly financial standpoint of course, and not from a real world economy standpoint.

        Given the asset stripping and capital run down Toll inflicted on KiwiRail, it really is the perfect reminder for why we should not privatise core economic infrastructure.

        Thanks for bringing it up.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2

        Kiwirail is essential infrastructure so it doesn’t matter what was paid for it.

        As for you’re imagination, well, I suppose it’s vivid but so very, very wrong. Toll actually wanted a billion and Cullen got them down to $640m.

  13. Wayne 13

    Jenny, well at least your position is clear, even if a little breathtaking.

    The only coal powered station is Huntly. That is going to close in a few years anyway, as more efficient stations come on stream, especially geothermal around Taupo. Even at the thermal end (gas) newer stations are way more efficient. Closing Tiwai would bring Huntly closure forward, but at what price.

    “Corporate leech”; now if you said that about say global banking I could understand that (though not agree with it), but of an industrial company making a commodity we all use in the various things we buy? Sure Rio is hard-nosed, but that is their job – the profitability of their business is at stake.

    And writing off 3000 to 5000 jobs. It would take decades for Southland to recover. Probably 20% of all Southland jobs are connected to the smelter, directly and indirectly.

    As for the Govt, well they have our interest at stake (I know many Standardnistas don’t get that, but you have blinkers on). Of course the Govt knows that Rio will only stay if they can make money, but the Govt will be looking at this from the point of view of the importance of the smelter to the NZ economy, and especially Southland. After all Rio will be taking care of its interest well enough.

    And the Govt has the tough job of working out where the balance lies. At some price point, the balance tips toward letting the smelter go, but that point is not a zero concession from the govt. The smelter is worth something to the NZ economy, especially given that Manupouri was built for the very purpose of the smelter. The NZ input into the aluminum is the electrical energy, and unless there are obviously better users of that energy, then the smelter is a net positive.

    The difficulty we have all got in this thread, is that we don’t know the margin that is being negotiated. But it is highly unlikely to be 5c/kwh. I imagine that the smelter pays less than 10 cents/kwh, given that ordinary consumers pay around 20c/kwh. In fact somewhere in the past I have read 6 to 7c/kwh.

    The price the smelter (a single very large base load user) would pay would be significantly less than any other industrial user. They will also have a special rate with Transpower (only one line involved). So it would seem the amount at issue will be between 1 and 2c/kwh, but that is around 15% of Rio’s power cost, so it is a really big deal for them (and obviously Meridian).

    • Jenny 13.1

      Wayne, Thanks to Geoff @ 7.2, quoting the NZ Herald. We have the figures that exposes your almost reasonable sounding apologist waffle, as mindless, raving, logic defying, dangerous insanity.

      The cost of government protection of Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto from carbon and electricity charges means taxpayers will pay the equivalent of $225,000 for each job at the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, says a carbon expert.

      “It would be cheaper for the New Zealand taxpayer to pay every single Tiwai Point worker and contractor $200,000 per annum for the rest of their lives to simply stay home,” said Kent Duston of Wellington-based Autonomic Consulting.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10605697

      Do these workers get this money?

      No.

      For that $200,000 we could employ at least twice* that many working people at good wages to build the necessary infrastructure to mitigate or even slow climate change. Maybe even saving all our wretched necks. Yours included.

      *(Not to mention all the other downstream jobs that would be created either “directly or indirectly”. Your words.)

      Wayne, what are you? A completely blindly idealogical right wing loony, or a cynical corporate bought and sold spin doctor of the worst type, paid to spin this nonsense.

      Which is it?

      • IrishBill 13.1.1

        I think you’ll find that subsidy figure was based on a much higher carbon price than we have now. But the cost of Tiwai to the taxpayer is still likely to cover off the cost of several thousand well paid jobs.

        Subsidising jobs is fine by me but you’ve got to pick which ones are in the National interest to subsidise (perhaps urgently needed trades and health sector jobs). This kind of ad-hoc subsidisation from National is worse than either a proper planned approach or leaving it to the market.

        Frankly Wayne, this government’s poor management reminds me of the way Muldoon operated but without the spine or the belligerent nous.

        • Don't worry be happy 13.1.1.1

          Yep and Muldoon also had a bit of a hand up from Hollywood…remember the Dancing Cossacks adverts courtesy of Hanna Barbara (?sp) when we had the temerity to think that we should have a national super scheme back then. that was rumoured at the time to have been provided free to the Nats. It was very persuasive. …

          I would not be at all surprised if Key negotiated for himself and his Party some pretty cool SFX TV ads in return for the sweetheart deal Warners and Jackson got? Because I don’t think the Nats are stupid at all. I think that everything they do is working out perfectly for the people they serve (the 1%) and their nasty little brains never stop working….

      • Wayne 13.1.2

        These costs are not the c/kwh which is actually what is being negotiated. A “carbon expert” will have a very particular view of the cost.

        But, hey if Labour wants to close Tiwai point, let them put that case to the NZ public.

        • One Tāne Huna 13.1.2.1

          Nah. They should let Hone force them into it the way ACT twisted Shonky’s arm over public subsidies to private schools after the last election. That’s sarcasm, incidentally. What I really think they should do is tell Rinto Tinto to go get fucked, declare them an enemy of the state and confiscate all their assets. We can still use the aluminium and the profits can stay onshore.

          I know you’ve got a scary story about what you think the consequences would be, Wayne, but I reckon with inequality going the way it is, it’s time to try some genuinely left wing approaches to Tory scum, including you. Have a nice Easter.

      • Wayne 13.1.3

        Well if you want to say the 47% who voted National are dumb, go for it. Probably not the best way to get them to change their point of view.

        • One Tāne Huna 13.1.3.1

          Yeah, because they’re not only dumb, they’re so fucking dumb they can’t tell the difference between an individual opinion based comment on a blog and a party manifesto. Or perhaps you’re the dumb one. Much?

        • freedom 13.1.3.2

          Wayne, you mean 32%, all eligible voters count when talking mandates lil’ buddy
          wow look at that, NZ just got 15% smarter

      • Wayne 13.1.4

        Jenny, Obviously I have a different view to you, but no I do not get paid to think about these things. I simply have an interest in public policy and Govt (hardly surprising given that I was in parliament for 15 years).

        No, the Nats are not “blindly ideological right wing loonys”, which many of the Standardnistas seem to think. If they were, people would not vote for them, and keep supporting them after 5 years in govt. But then I would not call the Labour or the Greens mad left wing nutters either (and neither do I believe that of either of them).

        Actually one of the problems for Labour is the way that too many of the supporters (at least on this site) think that the way to convince New Zealanders to change their view of the Govt is to say the Govt is full of crazies, and that only crazies would support them.

        My experience tells me you don’t make much headway with voters by taking that approach.

        • One Tāne Huna 13.1.4.1

          Yes! Because the comments here are just loopy compared to the considered erudition available at the Sewer.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.1.4.2

          No matter what, I always consider the truth to be the best option and the truth is that this government is not acting in the best interest of NZ but in the best interests of the multi-national conglomerates.

        • Jenny 13.1.4.3

          Jenny, Obviously I have a different view to you, but no I do not get paid to think about these things. I simply have an interest in public policy and Govt

          Wayne

          OK Wayne, fair enough. I will take you at your word and, give you the benefit of the doubt.

          What is your opinion on climate change?

          Do you think that closing Tiwai Aluminium Smelter might let us get the jump on transitioning away from reliance on coal fired Huntly?

          Do you think humanity’s future is threatened by climate change?

          If you do agree.

          Don’t you think that this is probably the most pressing global crisis that has ever faced any New Zealand government Left or Right since the rise of fascism?

          Give me your honest opinion, on your grandchildren’s lives.

          • Jenny 13.1.4.3.1

            That’s seen off Wayne, I suppose. Just like question time in the house. Just ask a National MP to answer a tough set of questions, to see them hide behind the Speaker’s skirts like frightened children.

          • Wayne 13.1.4.3.2

            Yes I do accept that climate change is occurring, and that CO2 emissions should be reduced. And you need to take a global approach.

            So Tiwai is powered by hydro power, means no CO2 from there. Ok it means Huntly stays in service a bit longer, maybe 5 years or so before new generation makes it uneconomic.

            But as everyone notes on this site China can produce aluminum at a competitive price. But in China electric power is mostly from coal stations. So closing Tiwai means more aluminum produced using electricity from coal stations. Therefore more global CO2.

            On a climate change argument, better to keep Tiwai open.

            • Jenny 13.1.4.3.2.1

              You don’t get off that easy Wayne

              Supplementary question:

              Would you bet your Grandchildren’s future on it?

              New Zealand produces 0.2% of green house gas emissions from all sources.

              You are right Wayne in that New Zealand’s contribution on a purely quantitive comparison is nothing and would make no difference

              But as Professor Sir Peter Gluckman chief science advisor to the government says; New Zealand’s greatest contribution to solving global climate change will be by setting an example.

              This is our chance to remove all coal fired electricity from the nation’s grid proving to the world, that with the right political will it can be done.

              If it can be done here it can be done anywhere.

              Does the member want to give up this chance to strike a real blow against climate change?

              • Wayne

                I imagine the time difference in Huntly closing is 5 years, so in any event coal generation will be a thing of the past soon enough.

                So on that basis it is worth seeking a deal that keeps Tiwai going, given the impact of closure on the economy, but of course it depends on the deal.

                And don’t forget Tiwai is the Green option in so far as aluminum smelting is concerned.

                And I think I have said enough on this topic!

              • infused

                Setting an example and destroy our economy. Only the left would think of that.

                Get China in on the deal, otherwise no.

              • SHG (not Colonial Viper)

                New Zealand’s greatest contribution to solving global climate change will be by setting an example.

                A really useful example too, if you happen to live in a country with no mountains and lots of coal.

            • IrishBill 13.1.4.3.2.2

              Wayne, there’s a new gas turbine peaking plant recently opened in Taranki and there are three more on their way. The problem isn’t that we’re using too much electricity it’s that we’re using too much of it at peak times and those peaks are getting bigger. That’s why the gas turbine stations are being built – because they can be turned up and down to match these peaks.

              The only renewable that can do that is hydro. The hydro electricity from from Tiwai would be a direct replacement for gas, coal, and diesel (yes we still have a little of that turned on when things get tight). That means much lower emissions and avoiding using a big chunk of really, really, expensive fossil fuel kilowatts.

              In fact, I think that’s what a few people have missed – the electricity that tiwai sucks up is the kind of peaking electricity that is very valuable. It’s not eight cents a kilowatt baseload stuff, and using it to run aluminium potlines is like using jet fuel to run a boiler.

              Disclaimer (which should probably have been up in the original post): I worked on the potline at Tiwai point a long time ago (and the pay was very good).

              • Jenny

                Good for you Bill. Spoken like a true working man with insider knowledge and principles to boot.

        • geoff 13.1.4.4

          Wayne says… Govt is full of crazies, and that only crazies would support them.

          Depends on your definition of crazy. We’re not talking ‘throwing cats at people’ crazy. We’re talking about the kind of crazy where you do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. We’ve essentially been doing the same dumb things over and over again since Rogernomics first mind-fucked the country. By that criteria then you can say the government is full of crazies.

        • Puddleglum 13.1.4.5

          Hi Wayne,

          You say that it is incorrect to characterise the current ‘Nats’ as “blindly idelogical right wing looneys“.

          Do you, nevertheless, accept Colin James’ suggestion that,

          Ministers are privately saying they are achieving substantial right-leaning economic reform bit by bit without, so far, scaring voters.“?

          If you accept that, then it strongly implies that an incrementally radical right wing set of reforms is underway but is being managed well enough to give the impression of non-ideological centrism.

          If you don’t agree with Colin James’ assessment – and note it is couched as Ministers actually saying this themselves – then what makes you think that, in reality, this government is not simply introducing an ideological formula under the guise of pragmatism?

  14. BM 14

    According to this:

    NZAS contributes $525 million to the Southland economy (10.5 per cent of Southland’s GDP), 3,200 full time equivalent jobs and $1,600 million in Southland regional sales. Export revenue is around $1 billion each year.
    http://www.nzaluminium.co.nz/

    Looking at the big picture,
    If it costs the country 25million, I think it’s a reasonable trade off.

    • Chris73 14.1

      Thats because you’ve obviously been brainwashed to believe facts and data instead emotion and hyperbole

      Typical

      • geoff 14.1.1

        Sure, just look at half the story, the side that suits you. Just forget about externalities like the fact that the carbon emissions of Tiwai Point mean that the annual cost of retaining each job at the smelter is $225,000.
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10605697

        We get it, you guys like cronyism.

        Typical.

        • Chris73 14.1.1.1

          Carbon emission trading scheme is something that both Labour and National should hang their heads in shame over

        • BM 14.1.1.2

          That’s from 2009.

          The whole carbon market has collapsed, the numbers quoted in that article are woefully out of date.

          • IrishBill 14.1.1.2.1

            Yes but the carbon market will recover and, given the average wage at Tiwai is around $80,000pa there’s still a lot of well paid jobs worth of subsidisation going on. Also since 2009 the government has extended emissions subsidies to large polluters such as Tiwai.

            I think it would be easy enough to let Tiwai go and earmark the taxpayer gains from doing so into a large sills and economic development package for Southland. It’s worth noting that BERL has recently worked up some analysis of how green growth strategy in Southland could pay economic dividends: http://www.wwf.org.nz/media_centre/publications/?9321/A-View-to-the-South

            I’m finding it darkly amusing that the right are here arguing for ad hoc job subsidies rather than a market response. I doubt very much these arguments would be being made if the asset sale agenda wasn’t endangered by such a response.

            • One Tāne Huna 14.1.1.2.1.1

              That’s because their so-called political “philosophy” is utter garbage and they’ve no ethics to fall back on, Irish.

            • infused 14.1.1.2.1.2

              Carbon market is a piece of shit. Whoever came up with this bullshit should be shot. I can’t believe you/labour actually support this coverup of a tax which does absolutely nothing apart from line peoples pockets.

              • Colonial Viper

                English and Key are the masters of stealth taxes. Ciggies, petrol, car parks etc.

                • infused

                  They aren’t trying to sell that as some ‘green’ tax though are they?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I see you don’t deny that they are stealth tax experts though? Expect more as they get more desperate at their inability to generate economic ‘growth’.

                    • infused

                      It was originally designed by Labour. What are you smoking?

                    • felix

                      Yep, as a compromise.

                      Labour wanted a straight tax on carbon but National kicked up such a stink over it (You do remember Shane Ardern driving his tractor up the steps of parliament don’t you?) that Labour couldn’t get it through the house.

                      The result was a more market-oriented solution: the ETS. But it wasn’t Labour’s first choice and it wasn’t the Greens’ either.

                      Btw do you see National scrapping it?

                    • infused

                      One can only hope.

                    • felix

                      Not going to happen, infused. The Nats love artificial market mechanisms.

                      You lot should’ve got behind the tax right at the start and let National know how you felt about their silly posturing. Bit late to complain about it now.

              • geoff

                Yes agreed, the carbon market is stupid. What should really occur is the elimination of emissions. I’m sure you agree.

              • One Tāne Huna

                “Whoever came up with this garbage should be shot”.

                That would be the people that rejected a direct carbon tax as a solution.

                Peter Dunne and Winston Peters.

          • geoff 14.1.1.2.2

            Hah, yeah and since 2009 the threat of climate change has only diminished, right? If anything the actual cost of those emissions is rising every year.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2

        No, he, like you, has been trained to ignore facts that don’t suit him.

    • freedom 14.2

      NZAS are 79.36 % owned by Pacific Aluminium, who are a new Rio Tinto business unit formed in 2011, and the other 20.64% are in the hands of the Sumitomo Chemical Company. ( i can read blurbs too)

      None of these are a New Zealand business, so who gets this billion bucks of export earnings you took from the PR blurb ? Not us.

      I would also dispute the 1.6 billion in Southland regional sales they reference. What does that even mean? ‘We added a whole lot of meaningless accounting tricks and overvalued projected earnings then created a number that sounds like we are making lots of money for NZ’ Sure if the Smelter was owned by a New Zealand Company it might have been a good few years for us but with too many years of cheap power out the sluice-gate and the inevitable profit driven demise of even more Kiwi jobs on the horizon, forgive me for not wanting NZ to continue to subsidise a business that had a revenue of US$ 50.967 billion in 2012 whilst real domestic power prices have effectively doubled in the past ten years.

      Rio Tinto made over 3 billion $USD in profit last year, they do not need our support to stay alive,
      but their greed may well jeopardize the lives of numerous New Zealanders unable to heat their homes

    • Draco T Bastard 14.3

      If it costs the country 25million, I think it’s a reasonable trade off.

      Sure, if that was all it was but it won’t be. It’ll probably also be ~$100/household/year on the power bill forever. With something like 1.5m households that’s a $150m per year.

    • Karen 14.4

      Wayne, if you’re talking about the ‘big picture’ why doesn’t this government take this line in other situations e.g. why was the contract to build the Kiwirail wagons awarded to China instead of the the Hillside Workshop in Dunedin – think of all the taxpayer money that would have stayed in the NZ economy, not to mention potential opportunities to get other overseas contracts, increased employment and training opportunities etc, etc.

      • Wayne 14.4.1

        As I said, it all depends on the price point. The wagons from Hillside were 33% more expensive. If the Govt contribution to the power price (really keeping Meridians profit up) is too high then I guess Tiwai would close.

        But the Govt will be factoring in the cost of loosing a big chunk of the Southland economy in that calculation. Closing Tiwai has a much bigger impact than downsizing Hillside, with fewer alternatives for the workers in Southland than Dunedin.

        Clearly for Standardnistas jobs at Hillside are more important than jobs in Southland.

        • One Tāne Huna 14.4.1.1

          Excuse me? Obviously Hillside should be supported. Obviously Rio Tinto should be given a really good hiding for trying to throw their weight around. Their property in NZ should be forfeit as a suitable punishment, just for starters. Then we’ll see if it’s worth keeping the smelter jobs.

        • freedom 14.4.1.2

          “Clearly for Standardnistas jobs at Hillside are more important than jobs in Southland.”
          step right up folks, Top of the line Planet Key logic boards at work

        • Karen 14.4.1.3

          “Clearly for Standardnistas jobs at the Hillside are more important than jobs in Southland.”

          That’s a silly comment – you could just as well turn that around and say that clearly for this government, jobs in Southland are more important than jobs in Otago. My point is that if you’re going to talk about the ‘big picture’ then surely this should apply right across the board – you can’t just be selective and suddenly be concerned about job losses just because the the potential closure of Tiwai is threatening the asset sales programme. I’m sure most people (not just ‘Standardnistas”) who give a moment’s thought to these issues can see it for what it is – pure hypocrisy.

          • Wayne 14.4.1.3.1

            Well actually you do have to compare them. On the face of it the Hillside jobs cost more to keep going than the Tiwai jobs, but it will depend on the deal.

            • IrishBill 14.4.1.3.1.1

              Yeah, but I don’t think that National are doing those calculations. Nor are they doing calculations about other ways that money could be spent to drive growth in other regions or other industries (and once again I’ll point out that Berl has done some good work on green growth options for Southland that have been ignored by this government).

              The calculations National are doing are political and are about their key policy being endangered. I have no doubt that they would kiss the Smelter goodbye if wasn’t going to tank their Mighty River float.

              Similarly it appears they didn’t do any real due diligence on the Hobbit deal. Indeed they can’t even offer a decent estimate of direct and downstream jobs produced now, despite the first film having been in cinemas for months.

              It’s a haphazard way to do economic development, Wayne.

              • felix

                I don’t think Wayne (among other kiwis) realise that Key is on record saying the assets will be sold regardless of how much or how little they get for them, simply because selling them is the right thing to do.

              • KJT

                Notice that they count all the downstream jobs dependent on the smelter, but for Hillside they only allowed for direct jobs, in the published costings. Hypocrisy much!

                That is typical RWNJ though, to focus on profit and loss in one industry and ignore the larger picture/external costs over the entire country.

            • Draco T Bastard 14.4.1.3.1.2

              On the face of it the Hillside jobs cost more to keep going than the Tiwai jobs…

              BS. The simple fact of the matter is that the extra costs inflicted upon the populace that keeping Tiwai open will do would probably have kept the Kiwirail yards open and building the rolling stock with change left over.

    • lprent 14.5

      Export revenue is around $1 billion each year.

      Irrelevant – what is the taxable profit in this country?

      I’d have to dig into the accounts. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it was nothing to minimal. It was last time I looked at it.

  15. muzza 15

    IB is more *economic* in his words than I would have been.

    This is yet another *known outcome*, *planned move*, call it what you like.

    These are not the *worst negotiations ever*!

    This is the most corrupted government ever, and that’s saying somehing, the history is fierce

    • Jenny 15.1

      Looking at the big picture,
      If it costs the country 25million, I think it’s a reasonable trade off.

      BM

      More simplistic rubbish from another apologist for corporate welfare.

      No doubt this right wing idiot would strongly object to the government spending money on “job creation”. If it meant jobs that involved saving the environment rather than lining the pockets of a multinational corporation.

      Looking at the really big picture. Unless we do something. The planet will be completely uninhabitable over much of it’s surface by the middle of the next century. Closing Tiwa is an opportunity for us to take the first step to avoid that calamity.

      To the workers of Tiwai it will be an immediate loss. No doubt of that. But to them I dare to paraphrase US President Kennedy.

      Ask not what your country can do for you But what you can do for your country.

      Ask yourselves wouldn’t it be more worthwhile spending your working lives being paid to make the world a better place, than in a polluting dangerous dirty job that is making things worse.

      Stop corporate welfare!

      Shut down the Tiwai Aluminium Smelter!

      Subsidise sustainable jobs instead!

      Protect the workers!

      Protect the planet!

  16. Mighty River Power has NOT YET BEEN SOLD!

    How about we focus right now on STOPPING the sale of Mighty River Power – through building the BOYCOTT of Mighty River Power shares, plus building the BOYCOTT of Mercury Energy (100% owned by Mighty River Power), in order to help force down the price of Mighty River Power?

    BOYCOTT A4 and smaller A6 (4 per A4 page) posters are now available HERE:

    http://www.switchoffmercuryenergy.org/?cat=2

    BOYCOTT Mighty River Power posters are going up all over Auckland – be GREAT to get photos of these posters going up all over New Zealand!

    Can YOU help?

    Cheers!

    Penny Bright
    A Spokesperson for the Switch Off Mercury Energy group

    [lprent: Excessive capitals. I gave some help with that. ]

    • Chris73 16.1

      How about we focus right now on STOPPING the sale of Mighty River Power

      – How about we don’t

      National have a mandate because before the election they said they’d do it and they still managed to form a coalition government

      The people of NZ want National in power so stop being undemocratic and let National do what it said it wouldcdo

      Don’t like it then give the people of NZ a realistic option at the next election

      • geoff 16.1.1

        You’re the one who’s being undemocratic, chris73. Don’t conflate National winning an election against a weak opponent with having a mandate to sell assets. You may be good at parroting National’s spin but you are not good at being honest.

        • Chris73 16.1.1.1

          National said no asset sales in the first term, National said they’d partially sell assets if they won power a second, National won power a second, National are now trying to do what they said they’d do, thats as honest and upfront as a you’re ever going to get a political party

          Ok I understand, you don’t like what they’re trying to do thats fine, you want to hold a protest and thats fine as well BUT no matter you say National have a mandate to do this

          and if Labour don’t sort their shit out National will do more after the next election, the solution is in lefties hands

          • freedom 16.1.1.1.1

            yeah but it’s National, they never kept an election promise in their life. Why start now ? :D

            • Chris73 16.1.1.1.1.1

              You mean like where they said they wouldn’t sell assets during their first and they didn’t or when they said they’d partially sell assets during their second term and are now trying to? :)

              • freedom

                I always thought you were simply argumentative for the sake of it but in reality you are actually quite thick aren’t you ?

                • Chris73

                  Is that a question or a statement?

                  • freedom

                    Asking for this statement that it is a rhetorical question, only highlights your inane ability to shoot your own foot (and your inability to withdraw with dignity intact) Why must you insist on the last word, especially when the previous ones were so innocuous?

                    like yesterday when it took an hour and a half for you to come up with “How many searches do you think everyone else has done ” which we are guessing is a question as there was no punctuation, yet you seem so concerned with comprehension.

                    • Chris73

                      I know it must seem odd to you but I’m not always on this site so sometimes there are big delays to my replies.

                      But hey its nothing to get worked up about :)

              • fender

                That’s as sensible as hanging out the washing now that it’s raining just because earlier when it wasn’t I said I would.

          • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.1.2

            National have a mandate to do this

            No, they don’t. This has been pointed out to you numerous times.

            • Chris73 16.1.1.1.2.1

              Simply saying they don’t is not an answer

              • One Tāne Huna

                Then why don’t you have a look through previous threads, or better yet, use that wizened thing you call a “memory”? Then the “pointed out numerous times” part might kick in and you wouldn’t look like such a parrot.

                • Chris73

                  My point is just because you’re opposed to the partial privatization of some state assets and that you think National don’t have a mandate doesn’t in fact mean National don’t have a mandate, its just your opinion

                  Just like in my opinion National do have a mandate, doesn’t mean they do just because I say they do

                  However in this instance the sales going to go ahead no matter what you and the other lefties say or do about it

                  • One Tāne Huna

                    Yes, and again, as has been pointed out repeatedly, such sale makes no sense, not least because it constitutes appalling financial management. Opinion is one thing; denying Mathematics is another thing entirely.

                    That little cheerleader uniform you’re wearing doesn’t hide the ugly truth.

                    • geoff

                      What Chris73 is clinging to is some narrow dictionary definition of a mandate. Basically that a political party implements a policy that it announced before winning an election.

                      But that’s not enough for Chris73. He doesn’t want people to excercise their democratic right to oppose unpopular policy by referendum. He is against democracy and he is for cronyism.

        • felix 16.1.1.2

          I’m with Chris73 (who acualy is Dolan) here.

          National said very clearly that they would do this. Labour (again very clearly) campaigned against it and for whatever reason not enough people were convinced to put them in govt.

          That’s all there is to it. Argue over the precise definition of the word “mandate” all you like, but that’s where we are and that’s how we got here.

          Me, I think it’s fucked and I’m disappointed in the voters of NZ for voting for this shit and also in the Labour Party for not giving them something better.

          But ignoring what actually happened isn’t going to help fix anything.

          • Chris73 16.1.1.2.1

            Well whats not in dispute is during the next campaign Labour can tell NZ exactly why think the sales are a bad idea and let the voters decide who they believe

            Although I can’t understand why Labour don’t just announce they’ll buy back all the shares if they get back in power if they’re so against it

            Or is it like ax the tax where they don’t want National to do it but wouldn’t change it if they had gotten into power

            • felix 16.1.1.2.1.1

              I don’t know why they won’t do that either.

              So long as it doesn’t cost us anything to buy them back that is.

              • Chris73

                Off topic but do you watch QI? If you do look up nickfromfulham hes posted pretty much every QI, never mind the buzzcocks…basically everything funny

            • One Tāne Huna 16.1.1.2.1.2

              Nah. Return the property to its rightful owners, and compensate the owners for the original theft.

              In practice therefore, anyone found in possession of the stolen property would receive a fine, with jail sentences for more active enablers.

              But really this needs to be part of a wider investigation into the National Party and its clients. What exactly are their connections with money laundering operations such as Sky City, for example?

              • Chris73

                Ok but should we start with David Shearer first? I mean there are questions about the money…why keep it in the USA when you get more interest in a kiwi bank, who put the money there…

                Its going to be a right rollicking election campaign :)

                • One Tāne Huna

                  Yeah, look into that too, just so long as the National Party’s “policy for sale to whoever can launder the most money” comes under maximum scrutiny.

                • felix

                  Yeah, David Shearer and his enormous international money laundering operation.

                  Oh sorry, did I say “international money laundering operation”? I meant “bank account”.

                  But by all means, please make that an issue. I think it would be good to get the public interested in opening up all the bank accounts and holdings and trusts and business interests of all politicians and their families.

                  Go go go.

                  • Chris73

                    I think it would be good to get the public interested in opening up all the bank accounts and holdings and trusts and business interests of all politicians and their families.

                    – I agree with this, pick off the scab and then make it transparent…wonder who’d suffer the most?

            • geoff 16.1.1.2.1.3

              Although I can’t understand why Labour don’t just announce they’ll buy back all the shares if they get back in power if they’re so against it

              Don’t you actually read this blog?? More than anywhere else on the net, The Standard has endlessly pointed out the deficiencies in the current Labour leadership. Get a fucking clue.

            • Mary 16.1.1.2.1.4

              Labour won’t announce that because Shearer’s mob is bereft of strategic nous.

          • geoff 16.1.1.2.2

            felix: Chris73 isn’t just saying ‘National has a mandate, too bad’, he’s explicitly against the referendum as well.

            The word ‘mandate’ is being used by the tories as though it means they are morally justified in selling the assets. That’s clearly not the case because they are proceeding against the wishes of the majority of the population and against sensible economics.
            The word ‘mandate’ is meaningless in the context of this debate, all it means is they announced the policy prior to winning the election.
            Chris73 is trying to use this word ‘mandate’ to imply that people have to just accept that the sales are inevitable and justified. He’s wrong.

            • Chris73 16.1.1.2.2.1

              They are proceeding against the wishes of the majority of the population

              – Got any proof to back that up?

              • Morrissey

                Got any proof to back that up?

                Poll after poll after poll. Including the National Party’s own privately commissioned polls.

                There are many National Party supporters who are very, very concerned about this regime’s flagrant disregard of overwhelming public opinion.

                • Chris73

                  I don’t believe the majority of NZers don’t want it to happen I believe the majority don’t care and I bet there are many, many labour supporters that’ll buy shares as well

                  • felix

                    Whether they’ll buy shares is totally irrelevant to the question of whether they want them to be sold.

                    If your house burned down you’d go through the ashes and try to salvage anything you could. Doesn’t mean you wanted it to burn down.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Your belief isn’t of any concern – that’s why we’re having a referendum on it.

              • geoff

                What morrissey said.
                Really chris, its as though you live in an opaque bubble and cant apprehend your surroundings. I suppose that explains why you can maintain ridiculous opinions contrary the evidence staring you in the face.
                Lets call you bubble boy from now on.

            • felix 16.1.1.2.2.2

              Chris is allowed to be against referenda on anything he likes – many people are. Unfortunately for him there will be a referendum regardless.

              “The word ‘mandate’ is meaningless in the context of this debate, all it means is they announced the policy prior to winning the election.”

              Yep, which means they can and will try to go ahead with the sales. Sucks, but if people cared so much they should’ve voted accordingly.

              • Chris73

                I’d support a binding referendum on this subject if lefties agreed that if it came out in favour of the sales (and it will because who do you thinks a better salesman, Key or Shearer) they’d accept it and try something else (massive public works program, asset buy backs etc etc)

                • felix

                  Off you go then. You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you if you want to get a binding referendum organised.

                  Me, I’m ok with the one we’re already having.

                  • Chris73

                    I just think that any referendum that goes against the left will be ignored and excuses made

                    • felix

                      And if it goes against the govt?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No, if the referendum went with the Tories we’d accept it. I don’t believe that would be true of the Tories. In fact, the fact that we’re not having a binding referendum on it and that they will ignore the result of the CIR would suggest that they know that the referendum will go against them.

              • geoff

                No I don’t mean he is against the content of the referendum, I mean he is arguing that the referendum is undemocratic. In what mental world does attempting to have a referendum equate to being undemocratic? See his response to Penny Bright’s post above: http://thestandard.org.nz/worst-negotiators-ever/#comment-611445

                • felix

                  I took that to mean he thought it was undemocratic to argue that National don’t have an electoral mandate to sell the assets, which it kinda is, because they kinda do.

                  But arguing against our right to hold a referendum is equally undemocratic, if that’s what he was doing.

    • handle 16.2

      Boycott CAPITALS!

      [lprent: indeed. ]

  17. If we keep the Aluminium smelter open then we are competing with China who has the worlds largest Aluminium smeltering plants and that is crazy. We cannot produce aluminium as cheap as China.

    Close it down.

    • Jenny 17.1

      +1

      In the long term this plant can only compete with China, if the management can impose similiar shockingly low wages and dangerous conditions and long hours. Enforced by state violence and repression as this communist dictatorship.

      Close it down now!

      • Wayne 17.1.1

        Jenny, you can’t actually believe that. If that was true cars would only be made in China, not Germany. There is a bit more to competitiveness than wage rates. In the case of aluminum smelters the key point issue is the cost of power, that is the major input.

        And Manupouri was built specifically for Tiwai, and it has an extremely low cost of generation. But of course there is a high valuation on the station, since it is calculated on the marginal cost of future generation in a new plant. That of course is why power costs what it does in NZ, and if a generator is not building a new station, there are high profits in the meantime.

        • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1.1

          If that was true cars would only be made in China, not Germany.

          So, why aren’t we producing cars in NZ? We have the skills and resources to do so.

          IIRC, it was because we couldn’t compete with Japan but Japan is no longer making as many cars as a proportion of the world market – Korea and now China are moving in to it because they have cheaper Labour.

          As I’ve said before, Comparative Advantage is a load of bollocks and the capitalists are competing in Absolute Advantage terms and using the price of labour to do it. A factory has the same efficiency no matter where it is in the world or its size. All that really happens is that the manufacturing base expands beyond demand which lowers profit (pesky thing that competition) and so the factory gets moved to where labour is cheaper.

          But of course there is a high valuation on the station…

          A value that shouldn’t have anything to do with the price of electricity in NZ as it was paid for through taxes as a Public Good. When we do things like that as a community the cost of producing it meaningless as the return that we were after was the Public Good. Replacement of the plant will be paid for the same way – through taxes.

  18. Pete 18

    I am so pleased they never got around to building one at Aramoana. The smelter has been a boondoggle since day 1.

    • freedom 18.1

      My first ever attendance at a protest action was against the Smelter at Aramoana. Well, second if you count my refusing Holy Communion when I was six, I stated I did not understand what the whole thing meant and what did it have to do with god? The next time I was to partake of the ritual I subsequently witnessed the firm and steadily shaking fist of my loving mother as it was explained that this time I am doing what I am told or there will be serious consequences.

      looking at this deal, I am not sure all that much has really changed

      • fender 18.1.1

        Blasphemy!

        Didn’t you see the weirdos outside Parliament the other night telling all that their imaginary friend was real and that he didn’t want people to marry the people they are in love with!

  19. Chris73 19

    felix …
    29 March 2013 at 7:01 pm

    And if it goes against the govt?

    Most likely I’ll bitch and moan about for a bit, say most people are idiots then accept it and move on (whilst taking whatever crap is thrown at me in good grace)

    • felix 19.1

      Perhaps that was too subtle. I mean what do you expect the govt to do, if not ignore it and make excuses?

      • Chris73 19.1.1

        Not sure to be honest, yes they’ve broken some promises but this is one of their main election promises.

        On the other the anti-smacking referendum was ignored…

        • felix 19.1.1.1

          So you think it’s ok for the govt to ignore the result if it doesn’t go their way, but not ok for some unspecified group called “the left” to do the same?

          Interesting.

          I agree with you that the govt have an electoral mandate (not bothered about the exact definition, it’s a mandate in effect) to sell these assets.

          The referendum will test that mandate. Update it, if you like. Find out what the voters think now.

          If you object to that legitimate democratic process, then it’s about time you stopped claiming that the election provides a mandate. Either they both do or neither does.

          • Chris73 19.1.1.1.1

            Well you asked me what I thought the govt would do, not whether I agree with it.

            I always think the govt of the day should listen to the people first and act accordingly but the anti-smacking referendum (for me anyway) was quite interesting.

            IMHO the anti-smacking referendum was quite a blunt statement to the govt that should have been heeded but it wasn’t.

            I agree with the anti-smacking bill and what its trying to do so the govt was right to go ahead with it but were also wrong to go ahead with it… (gee that sounds a bit screwy)

            and of course the harsher penalties for criminals referendum was ignored so maybe all referendums should be made binding (maybe we could have a referendum on it ;))

            • One Tāne Huna 19.1.1.1.1.1

              “…the harsher penalties for criminals referendum was ignored…”

              No, it wasn’t.

              Harsher treatment is introduced with respect to the more serious forms of offending, while at the same time other elements of the Sentencing Act represent a more rational and moderate approach to sentencing reform.

              Although, since “get tough” policies create more crime (yes, they do), I think the authors of the referendum should have faced prosecution for inciting violence. One of them, of course, got banged up for something else entirely

              • Chris73

                Should have got a bit more than banged up…

                • fender

                  This must be one of those ‘worse than Whaleoil ‘ comments you were moaning about.

                  • Chris73

                    I’m prepared to accept that wanting Graham Capill to get a decent hiding is a bad thing and makes me a bad person

                    • One Tāne Huna

                      But will it make you stop and think the next time you’re going to parrot some blatant falsehood, that maybe a little fact-check is in order?

            • felix 19.1.1.1.1.2

              “IMHO the anti-smacking referendum was quite a blunt statement to the govt”

              That’s the trouble though, it wasn’t blunt at all. It was a twisty turny inside out and backwards statement to the govt.

  20. Andrew Wallace 20

    Rio Tinto, owner of the Tiwai Point smelter, has threatened to close the plant and quit NZ if they don’t get cheaper electricity from Meridian Energy. The world aluminium price is down and Rio Tinto wants to renegotiate it’s contract electricity rate. (Funny that – when my circumstances changed on reaching 65 no one would give me cheaper electricity!).
    For 40 years Tiwai Point has been subsidized by the NZ taxpayer, enjoying electricity rates believed to be about 70% below what everyone else has to pay.
    The smelter consumes 14% of NZ’s power production. Closure of the smelter would release over 600MW to the national grid – lowering power costs nationally to the benefit of the consumer and to business growth.
    Anyone thinking Rio Tinto has the interests of their workers foremost in their mind – think again. Profit is king – ‘world’ 2011 net profit: $14.2 billion.
    If they don’t get what they want they will leave. Why then should NZ subsidize a huge, wealthy, foreign corporation – with a dismal environmental and human-rights record (worldwide), well documented in the 1972 book ‘River of Tears’ by Richard West? Not a pretty history.
    Will Meridian (ie.NZ Government) capitulate to a corporate giant?
    Probably.

  21. xtasy 21

    Well, Meridian’s manager’s negotiating skills may well be lacking, but in all honesty, is this not rather a question of pure blackmailing and attempted extortion by they Tiwai smelter’s owners (Rio Tinto behind it)?

    Naturally this stupid government created the ideal scenario for this, offering the electricity companies for sale to the market. The time for renegotiation of the supply deal with the smelter’s owners must have been well known beforehand, to all involved. Also was it known to the government, that the world economy (and with that demand for aluminium) would be suffering from the GFC for many years!

    So really, it is a total stuff-up by a “drunk with personal success and ambition” John Key and his ministers that always follow him like Blackadder’s lackeys. That has nothing to do with negotiating skills, but all with steering a ship full knowingly into foggy waters, not preparing for any icebergs.

    This exposes brilliantly the standard and quality of “leadership” and “government” that NZers now “enjoy” (well, that is the ones also “drunk” on ideology and economic madness, at top shelf level)!

    Welcome aboard the Titanic, aka the Dictatorship of Aotearoa NZ!

  22. freedom 22

    When your global turnover is over 50 billion USD you do not need the subsidies of a small Pacific nation whose entire GDP is only 160 billion. This is nothing but big business jonesing. Think Big was the pusher and we were all just blockboys. Today though things have changed. There are other corners doing better with more clients and cheaper hits. No longer the best gear in town Tiwai knows anyday could be the last, so better cut what it has as far as it can. This behaviour is the reslut of decades of addiction to our resources. Ask yourselves; if you don’t like seeing pushers in your neighbourhood why the hell do you accept it from the Government ?

  23. Raa 23

    It gets worse.

    A Hollywood ploy to insert DRM into HTML5 …

    http://www.defectivebydesign.org/we-dont-want-the-hollyweb

  24. Ad 24

    Just fully agree with the original post.

    The next 3 weeks, as the Tiwai Point negotiations blow cold hard wind onto the Mighty River Power initial listing price, are just going to be excruciating.

    I hate incompetent politicians who are clearly out of their depth.

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    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Climate change: The cost of past inaction
    For the past 20 years, New Zealand's climate change policy has been one of inaction and delay. While we've seen no less than four failed attempts at putting a price on carbon (including the current ETS), we've never really tried...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • Policy of fear
    Community groups have a vital role in New Zealand. In addition to speaking out on social problems such as poverty, mental illness and addiction, they also often have a direct role in fixing them via government funding. Unfortunately there's an...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47A
    A carbon tax could bolster wobbly progress in renewable energy A dam revival, despite risks Congress is about to sabotage Obama’s historic climate deal David Cameron urges Tony Abbott to do more on climate change G20 pledges lift Green Climate...
    Skeptical Science | 19-11
  • ‘Consult on promotions policy’: TEU to Auckland VC
    TEU is asking the vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland to engage in a process of consultation on the university’s Academic Grades, Standards and Criteria policy and other policies so the two sides can avoid further litigation. Earlier this month the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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