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$3 Billion

Written By: - Date published: 6:47 pm, July 31st, 2012 - 21 comments
Categories: debt / deficit, disaster - Tags: ,

The government unveiled their blueprint for Christchurch last night – beautifully in time for the 6 o’clock news, making it difficult for the media to organise covering the protests outside as they covered the story inside.  3 land owners who were positive about the plan were put up earlier to brief the media – those less positive, like Richard Peebles were still taking it in.

But in the TV coverage they were able to reveal that the government still has $3 billion on standby to purchase large amounts of land around the CBD.  $3 billion left out of the $5.5 billion that had been allocated to the rebuild.

That’s more than half the money spent while 30,000 people are desperate for housing.

That’s half the $6 billion Bill English ‘guesses’ we’ll get for Asset Sales (we’ll see if we get that much, particularly after costs & incentives…).

Are we selling off the family silver to buy a green strip around Christchurch?

Realistically we’re a low government debt (high personal debt…) country, we could fund proper housing and a green strip around Christchurch through a little extra debt and fix the structural deficit with a CGT, but this sends a terrible message about this government’s priorities.

I’m all for taking advantage of the rebuild to make Christchurch the world’s most liveable city, but this just shows National’s ideology up.

Even more so when they’re already pushing Christchurch City Council to sell their assets to pay for their share of the government’s grand plan – convention centre and all.

And if Christchurch are getting a big convention centre without socially-disastrous pokies, surely we should scrap the Auckland one?  Unless they want us to compete: cutting each other’s throats and wages to foreign corporates’ advantage like we do with our ports…

21 comments on “$3 Billion”

  1. Herodotus 1

    Bunji – you like many others believe that a CGT is the savor of this country. “round Christchurch through a little extra debt and fix the structural deficit with a CGT” you are misguided at best. The CGT that Labour were promoting (without any details because Labour had None!!) at the last election had more holes than swiss cheese.
    How can so many here on one hand decry that housing is over price (Which I agree) and then on the other hand expect to gain so much extra tax from this over priced housing to increase even more (which I question how property can increase given the macro environment that underpin NZ) ??
    http://www.interest.co.nz/property/54374/labour-run-capital-gains-tax-39-top-income-tax-rate-gst-fresh-fruit-and-vegetables-ta
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1107/S00170/labour-is-history-not-economists.htm
    Or have I missed something on how a CGT could fund this ?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      (without any details because Labour had None!!)

      Actually, they did. If they didn’t you wouldn’t be able to say the next bit had more holes than swiss cheese.

      • Herodotus 1.1.1

        I was referring to that there was to be post election “An expert’s panel would advise on the final design of the system, ”
        Yet there were already exemptions specified e.g. those poor blue collar family trusts that hold a bach/crib “The family bach would be caught by the tax, but only if it was sold. If it was handed down, no CGT would be paid.” Thus giving anyone with some sense to sell the crib to a family member at inflated/market price then selling to a 3rd party exempting themselves from paying any tax.
        So even Labour promoting a policy it did not have the system worked out, yet were able to produce what tax was to be collected !!!
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/5284934/Labour-reveals-its-capital-gains-tax-policy
        So tell me how Bunji is to fund his commitments by following a 2011 election pledge and how he/NZ is to fund this whilst we wait to collect this windfall?

        • McFlock 1.1.1.1

          Interesting. 
          “Sold to a family member” doesn’t mean “sold”? How does Australia deal with this denotational conundrum?
           

          • Herodotus 1.1.1.1.1

            Just following from the comment that was linked. There are some very smart accountants and lawyers that are paid extremely well to “protect” their clients. That is partially why the super rich increase their wealth at a far greater rate than you or I.
            So why were such exemptions catered for in the release of the policy? And I agree totally with you in that your example does mean SOLD !!!!!
            But I am digressing- I was wondering how Bunji was to fund this idea of his?
            Also why the insurance boys are not paying up on those in need. Should you or I miss a payment or 2 on our insurance they do not pay up, yet when an event that we are insured for happens that it could take over 5 yrs to be paid out
            http://www.rebuildchristchurch.co.nz/blog/2012/7/3news-co-nz-insurers-deny-dragging-feet-in-canterbury

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1.1

              So why were such exemptions catered for in the release of the policy? And I agree totally with you in that your example does mean SOLD !!!!!

               

              Actually, Australia has an exemption for death where the bequest is not taxed, but the property is valued at market rates at time of handover for if the inheritors subsequently sell (if I read my link correctly).
                   
              Doesn’t seem to hurt them too much. But then the semantics would be sorted out by the expert panel mentioned in your link. And loopholes that are subsequently found could be addressed as and when they come to prominence. 
                       
              Your protests of “full of holes” seem a bit highly strung. 
                   
              Agree about insurance companies, though. Same breed as bankers and exchange dealers.

        • Lanthanide 1.1.1.2

          Better that a political party say they will get an expert panel to formulate their policy post-election, compared to National who just blunder on through with their financial plans that don’t make sense which have been roundly criticised by almost all financial commentators.

        • Frank Macskasy 1.1.1.3

          “Yet there were already exemptions specified e.g. those poor blue collar family trusts that hold a bach/crib “The family bach would be caught by the tax, but only if it was sold. If it was handed down, no CGT would be paid.” Thus giving anyone with some sense to sell the crib to a family member at inflated/market price then selling to a 3rd party exempting themselves from paying any tax.
          So even Labour promoting a policy it did not have the system worked out, yet were able to produce what tax was to be collected !!!”

          Herodotus – what you’re describing is a tax-dodge.

          What do you think governments do with tax dodges? They close them down.

          So your “swiss cheese” argument is, well… it’s full of holes.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.4

          I didn’t say that it was a good policy but they did have details.

  2. Augustus 2

    I’d been wondering how they were going to get around the $100k limit for land value from EQC for high value properties.
    Eureka! We buy them out for a green strip. Sheer genius.

    • Herodotus 2.1

      http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/christchurch-properties-earmarked-acquisition-–-doubts-raised-ch-124760
      “Prices will be based on market values at the date the land is acquired rather than on rateable valuations, which was the formula used for residential red-zoned properties” Not sure how this can be manipulated to help those high value properties. Given past experiences when MOE acquired land I had some connection with. The added cost that had been incurred regarding obtaining consents were not taken into consideration as to the value attached to the land. SHould be a test for valuers to work out market value with no sales history !!!!

  3. fabregas4 3

    What ever happened to the donations (including my family and school community) made? I had imagined this would be used for folks in need. – not a convention centre and stadium for the rich.

  4. Steve 4

    yes it was…lovely…. the choreography on-top of the questionable geography…on-top of the still functioning geology. Warwick Issac the demolition guy has replaced the high vis vest and blue hard hat, for a sensible CERA (Ballentynes?)grey suit, he’s now putting it all back together. Like those blocks that roll backwards in the psychology experiment or the film run backwards as described in Slaughterhouse Five. Even more brilliant was good old Pete Townsend, who thinks we could have the best city in Australasia, although for a moment I thought I was back on old Manchester Street walking out of the new life church, incidentally, an old picture theatre, oh the rapture, he’s actually planning to live in the “new CDB” he’s so excited, by the new vision: the new vision…. a “blue print” that means “working drawings”, from a couple of centuries ago. Folks drew up boats, on blue paper in the 1800’s, but as with most things, now replaced by faster means and differing colours. The million dollar cost of the blue print included CGG as we flew overhead the new vision on the sex news with peter and psymon and blonde dolly, that’s not a blue print—that is a computer file. The covered stadium, looked like a Portuguese man of War, washed up on some hapless beach. Someone in the room piped up “who is going to keep that clean”…”how will the grass grow”..the shiny roof reflected sun rays thru and back, right to the CORE vision. Why, a blue print? We know it’s sad, but don’t you mean “Christchurch, Hard Disc Dreams”. We have all played Sim City, in that CGI world you make your own city with slim resources, pipes and water. You can even manage your emergency precinct. It was always not working when the fire, hospital, police and justice were all placed in the same precinct…hell yeah, when that CG earthquake rolled thru the game, all the roads broke, fires broke out and all services were caught in the Avon Loop. Terrible idea, look at Manukau, the cop station is right over the road from the Court, right beside Rainbows End.

  5. aerobubble 5

    weird radio interview, a business representative, in reply to the
    argument that productivity and wages are related so minimum
    wages should increase, counted that even the kids of the rich
    would get paid more when earning minimum wage. #!@#@@

    This when most managers argue they’ve
    earn their high bonuses despite not returning a stable national
    economy, without the necessary productivity growth!!!

    Is NZ business lobby deluded?? Do they continue to produce
    neo-liberal dogma, or what, off the cuff. Its a basic
    fact that higher wages nations increases demand and so grows
    the economy through multipliers, but lower wage nations where a
    few take huge bonuses
    actively reduces demand and the buying power of the masses.

    Chch new plan. Top down, super rushed committee, has put business
    before people. Sorry, but aren’t all great cities led by the people,
    how the people move through, how the people demand, builds the living
    city. That profit driven decisions are arse backwards, because
    say we over charge so much for seats in mega domes sport arenas, that
    somehow mega sports arenas ‘are’ us as a community. That because
    we are over charged, under paid, we somehow consent to our being
    over charged and under paid, and so consent to more of the same??

    Now don’t me wrong, I don’t want a top down socialist solution
    either, I would like a rational basis for ChCh rebuild. That
    ChCh re-building goes where the people are now, how the people
    are now, how the people demand now, how the people build the
    city now, despite all the calamity around them. That the central
    district should not be rewarded for producing so many shoddy
    buildings, that the same council processes that led to the CTV
    building collapse, even the same owners taking the cheapest
    design they could buy from the shameless building designers…

    ChCh rebuild plan, denies CHCh the opportunity to integrate
    the earthquake into itself. Do cities have rights like people,
    to grow organically and in response to their surroundings and
    their set backs?

    The Chch plan, is like the NZ plan, the reality of kiwis living
    in NZ is ignored, and a few get to play God, take charge.

    If the CBD wants the cash to rebuild, surely it should build
    cycleway, tram lines, light rail, to bring the passing trade
    and then, and only then has it justification for building
    and investing in public goods, like council and government
    under written stadiums. Its summed up for me, by a owner
    rebuilding of a heritage building only to find out it needs
    to be demolished as the high almighty have designed a new
    solution. where’s the invisible hand, where’s the market
    solutions (people demand), where’s the people’s city?

    This problem goes to the heart of the global crisis, a lot
    of balding fat men in committees seizing the invisible hand
    of the market as theirs, and then crushing that very hand.

    Markets are made from the masses of people, not some
    propaganda piece from a few media outlets choosing who gets
    to manufacture the consent. What’s wrong with CHCh becoming
    a number of towns for a few decades, and then growing a center,
    what’s the rush, I mean CHCh growth spread out over decades
    is better for all?
    i.e. should ChCh grow exponentially or organically?
    The plan on the table suggest a burst of activity that will create
    a ‘developer’ designed CBD while the people of CHCh have
    little say, since their collective effort, their habits, their
    needs, their demands, are dictated to them.

    And to another crisis of mismanagement, the housing sector,
    rewarding property speculators with tax free capital gains.
    Someone proposed a warranty for homes, why not, some
    naysayer suggested that home buyers did not have perfect knowledge
    about the homes they buy so would still be conned into taking
    the cheapest home package, and that builders like him who do
    a great job would not only be charging more for the warrenty
    but also be under cut by the cowboys. which is arse backwards,
    since it assumes that he isn’t a cowboy!! That NZ builders
    have perfect knowledge, leaky homes anyone!!! Like so many
    investment companies, big business elites who think bonuses
    work for the top end of town but not the bottom tail of society.
    when I buy a electronics device I get a instruction book.
    But when I buy a home, there’s nothing. How do you best care for
    your roof, or your timber framing home???? Sorry but our
    nation is designed by developers, for developers, and of developers
    only democracy, and why? because developers take their tax free
    representation to the bank, again and again, and then politicians
    declare that developers are making all the money despite decade
    on decade statistic showing we are failing to grow as much as
    we should, get the high wages our educated should be seeing…

    A CGT might won’t stop bubbles, or fraud, but at least when we
    do get bubbles they will be much much bigger, and when we do
    get fraud there will be masses more losses. Who said there
    wasn’t some silver lining in the low wage, damp leaky homes,
    poor investment opportunity economy, that it could have been
    so much worse, that we now are benefiting because we weren’t
    able to use neo-liberalism to decimate the NZ economy,
    despite all the trying of the business and media elites.
    There’s the core rub surely, that our home grown neo-liberals
    aren’t just stupid like all neo-liberals, they just more
    incapable than the average global neo-liberal. Stupid
    twats, they have to build a world class economy before they
    can trash it with their moronic economic visions.

    welcome to Nz, where bad governance is equally matched by its incapable
    weak uber neo-liberals. Is that why we accept Key’s far right policies,
    because he’s so damn pathetic it keeps us from harming ourselves
    overly. NZ the corp-pocracy.

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    Screw the people . . . again.
     
    People need housing, not public monuments which can only be built by large construction companies (i.e., wealthy companies).
     
    The poor pay the taxes and live in the streets.  The wealthy take the tax money to build non-essential public monuments.
     
    People of Christchurch, take to the streets!  Block all downtown construction until the government provides you with homes.  Stand in front of the bulldozers.

  7. Carol 7

    And it seems that selling Christchurch assets are on the table for funding Gerry’s manic plan:

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/0/6/2/50HansQ_20120801_00000006-6-Christchurch-Recovery-Potential-for-Sale.htm

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/canterbury-earthquake/112137/brownlee-admits-he-received-advice-on-christchurch-asset-sales

    The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister has been forced to concede he has received official advice on Christchurch City Council selling some of its assets to help pay for rebuilding the city.

    Gerry Brownlee has also indicated he supports the idea of selling the assets, saying the council has built up a strong set of books to provide for a rainy day.

    Mr Brownlee initially skirted around a parliamentary question from Green MP Eugenie Sage about whether he had received advice on the potential sale of council assets.

    But after being forced to concede he had, he then went on to suggest there would be discussions with the council about the matter.

    [SIGH] when will this nightmare of a government end?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      And it seems that selling Christchurch assets are on the table for funding Gerry’s manic plan:

      That was always going to be the case. The question that needs to be asked is Why aren’t the insurance companies paying for it? That is, after all, why insurance exists.

      The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister has been forced to concede he has received official advice on Christchurch City Council selling some of its assets to help pay for rebuilding the city.

      Those officials need to be fired for being too stupid to do their job with any competence.

      • ropata 7.1.1

        the earthquake was a bonanza for landlords with overvalued shitty old buildings in the CBD
        they don’t care about rebuilding; they took the money and pissed off to the GC
        (the skilled workforce was gravitating west towards the tech hub / university anyway)

        Bob Jones writes in the NZ Listener:

        Cities have many components – libraries, art galleries, council offices, theatres, halls and other public facilities. These comprise the indulgent element, paid for from the public purse. But they cannot exist in isolation and alone constitute a city. Rather, they emanate from the steady organic growth of a city centre’s commercial activities in the form of shops and offices. Christchurch’s retail heart was clearly in trouble, with empty shops abounding, while the remainder lived off office workers, who are now gone. The emergence of large suburban shopping centres killed off the CBD as a retail location, as has occurred in many cities throughout the Western world. New Zealand examples include Lower Hutt and, increasingly, Hamilton.

        For most CBD building owners, the devastation has proven a windfall. They have taken their insurance money and sensibly reinvested it in Auckland and Australia, as real-estate agents will readily confirm. Who can blame them?

        Furthermore, if the anecdotal evidence is accepted, most have received payouts based on replacement costs, which have been far in excess of their now-demolished buildings’ former market value. Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee expressed concern at this capital flight in mid-April, but the owners are simply acting rationally. The rebuilding of Europe’s bomb destroyed cities after World War II took two decades, but even then it was only possible because those cities had sizeable populations, which meant an instant market for new offices and shops. That is not the case in Christchurch, aside from the financing and insuring difficulties.

  8. AmaKiwi 8

    Are any of you from Christchurch?

    I am not and am not intimately acquainted with the details of this earthquake fiasco.

    Are there any community organizers working the streets of Christchurch? They would be the ones to help people organize protests for housing and the needs of the people (as opposed to the needs of the rich and their politicians).

    If you are from Christchurch and know of community leaders and organizers working with the citizens, please post here information about how we can help.

    It is one issue nationwide: Centralize decisions in the hands of the Parliamentary Dictatorship. Ignore the needs of the people but make sure the wealthy are secure. Raise regressive taxes on the masses. Cut taxes for the wealthy. Cut jobs, especially for workers and the middle class.

    Christchurch, your problems are the same as ours but the Dictatorship’s failure in your city is in the media spotlight and more graphic. If we can help you, you might start to turn the tide and thereby help all New Zealanders.

  9. Kevyn Miller 9

    If a catastrophic natural disaster of this scale (per capita) was to happen in Australia, USA, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Italy, France or Germany their laws would compel federal/state governments to pay for almost the entire replacement cost for public buildings and infrastructure so that their would be a 50/50 cost split between taxpayers and ratepayers per capita. New Zealand law leaves it to the discretion of Cabinet whether to pay more than 60% of the costs. Since there are 20 taxpayers for Christchurch ratepayer that 60/40 split is costing ratepayers over $10,000 (GST inclusive), Canterburys insurers $4.5 in GST and costing non-Canterbury taxpayers just a few hundred dollars. Using that $3bn the way it would be in civilised countries would avoid sinking the City and its ratepayers in an ocean of debt at no cost to other taxpayers.

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    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    25 mins ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    38 mins ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    19 hours ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    19 hours ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    20 hours ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    6 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
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