Another partial privatisation that has failed

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, July 18th, 2022 - 37 comments
Categories: assets, privatisation, Privatisation, sport, uncategorized - Tags:

I watched the Rugby test on Saturday night.  One side played with passion and vigour.  Their forward pack dominated and the defensive effort from the backs was superb.  The four tries they scored were the direct results of unrelenting and sustained pressure.

The other side was the All Blacks who displayed all the passion and vigour of a National Party conference.

The All Black coach Ian Foster is getting a lot of stick.  When you earn the big bucks you live and die by the results.

For me however the thing that was evident was the lack of passion showed by the All Blacks.

And this is not a one off .  The results over the past couple of years have been decidedly ordinary.

What else has been happening during this time?  Agreed that Foster has been coach.

But during this time New Zealand Rugby has been engaged in a process to sell its soul and a stake in its assets to US Investment Firm Silver Lake.

I analysed this deal in April last year and said this:

We are left with the situation where something born of our communities and nurtured and supported by our local and central governments is potentially being sold off to a US private equity firm.  Just so that television audiences can be entertained and profits made.

If the sale happens it will be a very dark day for New Zealand rugby.  The word “grassroots” will no longer be able to be applied to the national game.

There are other theories about what has happened.  Texters to Morning Report thought it was the result of a rampant woke culture.  The funny thing is that most people claim wokeism is a worldwide phenomenon.  If so then I would be keen to understand how Irish wokeness has had less impact than New Zealand wokeness.

New Zealand Rugby’s major problem is that it is now a made for TV commodity played by well played gladiators where the dollar is the driving force.  And as it has evolved it has lost some of the passion that used to be such an integral part of every All Black performance.

37 comments on “Another partial privatisation that has failed ”

  1. Bruce 1

    'well played gladiators ' I think you mean payed

    But yes I agree big pay cheques seem to stifle passion, contrary to what the capitalists tell us.

    • Cricklewood 1.1

      Excepting of course that the most of the Irish will be earning considerably more than the Abs with their clubs… which are privately funded….

    • Belladonna 1.2

      Really? I don't think that a lack of passion is a characteristic of the really big sport franchises internationally. Look at NBA or Club Football (Soccer) in the Europe. They're the guys who get the really big money. Plenty of passion to win (not least, because they get a really nice bonus when they do) – but also because they know their international reputation is reflected in what they get paid.

      Suspect that the ABs (like all international teams) are going through a bad patch. It happens. Sometimes it's the coach. Sometimes it's other stuff. It's rarely the money.

  2. Maurice 2

    "And this is not a one off . The results over the past couple of years have been decidedly ordinary.

    What else has been happening during this time?"

    We have had a 2nd term Labour government which does not have to rely upon the Green Party!

    Note that it was a “Green” team which sunk the All Blacks

  3. bwaghorn 3

    Na we just need a coach with a pulse ,a forward /captain willing to die for the win and a center that's 4 ft across the shoulders who scares the opposition backs witless.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    Scotty Stevenson over at thespinoff sums it up:

    "…I have no desire to revisit the harebrained arrogance of the New Zealand national body which has, over the last decade, decimated club rugby, killed the National Provincial Championship, homogenised Super Rugby, burned Australia, Argentina and South Africa… …what happens when you package up 120 years of respected representative sporting success, call it a brand, and sell it off to Oxbridge dudebro buddies in an act of ego-inflating, nausea-inducing corporate capriciousness…

    "…In the meantime, there’s nothing that can be said other than once upon a time, innovation underpinned the game here in New Zealand. All Blacks teams consistently imposed their tactical superiority on others, convinced (and rightly so) that an abundance of athletic and technical ability existed within the nation’s broad church of styles. That broad church has been reduced to a cult, a one-size-fits-all approach informed not by variety but by reactionary methodology and protectionist ideology…"

    One of the biggest problems is the NZRFU strategy for 20+ years has been one of managed retreat, where everything – club rugby, the mass player base, the NPC, even Super Rugby – has been subordinated too and sacrificed for the sole aim of buying time for the All Blacks. That has IMHO imbued the NZRFU with a passive-aggressive and defeatist siege mentality.

    Every egg went into one particular basket. The model was simple – forget about rugby as "the game of the people" in return for money, money, money. So the game has been locked behind a paywall for a generation and given to a truly awful monopoly in Sky TV – a company so dependent on rugby for survival it actually has done a business deal with the NZRFU, but also a business now so far off the pace in technology and so reviled by it's customers it knows it would go broke overnight without rugby. So a generation of kids have grown not watching the game, which means the pay TV audience is now aging – I think what happened to NASCAR is similar to what has happened to rugby:

    So now if the All Blacks fail they've got nothing. The days of 25,000 rabid fans keen on revenge on the aulde enemy packing a stadium for a provincial home game for a second leg clash between, say, Hawkes Bay and Taranaki are gone. The days when you might not follow club rugby that much but by George you know you didn't want those swine at Old Boys defeating your guys in Pirates are so much ancient history.

    I played rugby in the 1980s at high school with two future All Blacks (the fact that I did play rugby as a kid means I have kept up an interest in the game), and we had a reasonable first XV that was competitive with everyone. Now I see my old school regularly on the receiving end of 50+ hidings. This destruction of competitive participation at all levels was meant to be compensated by an elite academy system with talent scouts producing a conveyor belt of talent into Super Rugby from school rugby. Only that hasn't worked. Schoolboy rugby has been hijacked by a tiny coterie (about fifteen schools completely dominate) of elite schools who only want one type of player – big bulldozing early developers – so they can win first XV competitions. Everyone else – late developers, kids who just want to play, converts from other sports who might want to dabble – are largely doing something else now. And those elite high school kids? They've had a red carpet rolled out for them from the age of 13-14 years old. All they've ever had to do was step along it. When they get to professional rugby they are very entitled and mostly neither mentally tough enough or that interested in being an All Black, beyond maybe a season or three to burnish their CV before going on the rugby diaspora for better money.

    So no new talent, and no one watching. How ironic that the country that was the keenest for the game to go professional is mostly likely to be the one where that hubris leads to the sports destruction.

    • James Simpson 4.1

      I agree with you.

      In most other sports and in other rugby playing nations, the club competition is the basis for everything. Look at the NRL, the English Premier League, France Top 14 etc. There you have strong tribal rivalries between fans. Then from there the best players get picked to representative honours.

      New Zealand rugby has it backwards. It is the All Blacks first, second and third. The best payers are wrapped in cotton wool and required to rest during Super Rugby, which has the effect of killing that competition. And they never play NPC.

      What we have is professional competition that is nothing more than a training exercise for the All Blacks.

    • Puckish Rogue 4.2

      Preach brother!

    • woodart 4.3

      very good post . the comparison to nascar and its aging declining audience is valid. as are the forgetting of the amateur base of both sports . I wonder if nz rugby is trying to hard to be like nfl(american football). that sport is now struggling with a small number of amateur players and a changing audience demographic. comparisons to the nats? both nz rugby and the nats are run by the same sort of conservative thinkers, who do the same old, same old, expecting a different result.

  5. Incognito 5

    Passion and vigour only get you so far when you‘re [still] at the top. Skill and leadership matter as much if not more – they are not mutually exclusive, of course, but need to be integrated – especially when the competition is tough & tight.

    The National Party doesn’t have what it takes except for their insatiable hunger for power and a whatever-it-takes mentality to win.

    Labour and also the Greens have some skills and some leadership to offer but they lack passion and vigour; they look like an old troupe of tired damaged players who cannot wait for the bruising season to be over. That doesn’t inspire the grassroots!

  6. Populuxe1 6

    It's increasingly less and less relevant to the majority who thanks to technology can now follow other sports, or better yet, have lives of their own.

  7. Margaret Costello 7

    I concur with everything 'Sanctuary' said. Sky viewing of Rugby, denied so many of us without access to Sky to enjoy the game of Rugby in our home, with the whole family engaged.

    • Sanctuary 7.1

      Sky is hopelessly legacy technology. Even the English Premier League, the very pinnacle of sporting excess, recognises that you need to have a few free live to air big matches to keep the interest up via Amazon Prime or whatever platform.

    • SPC 7.2

      There are free sports streaming sites – not the same as a TV in the home – but online.

    • nzsage 7.3

      This sums it up perfectly for me MC.

      Corporate greed wins over family and community spirit… again.

  8. Mike the Lefty 8

    Blaming the All Blacks loss on "woke culture"?

    Sounds like denial of responsibility to me.

    Fact is the Irish played better than the All Blacks. It was not the fault of the ref, the conditions, the rules or "the woke".

    The rugby establishment might blame "woke culture" on rugby's convoluted rules but actually the rot settled in some three decades before the word "woke" meant anything more than the moments after you finish sleeping. New rules were introduced, most ostensibly to prevent serious player injuries but they also had the effect of making the game slower and more difficult to referee.

    I remember a TV ad for Vogels bread that featured All Black legend Colin Meads commenting "these new rugby rules have ruined the game, its still called rugby, but its not the same".

    Watching the teams set their lineouts and scrums in the modern game is like watching bad acting in a movie – totally choreographed, predictable and somewhat tedious.

    If I watch rugby, I prefer to go down to the local park and watch the boys playing in the mud – not for money or glory but simply because they love the game.

  9. Corey Humm 9

    This is a country that historically votes out the incumbent govt if the all blacks lose. That always makes my head explode.

    The deputy PMs comments about how "you can't win when you make so many mistakes" sounded like he was talking about the Labour party's second term hopefully we get "glimpses in the second half" of this term.

    I think the left should stay away from rugby in general, we always underestimate it's popularity, last week the left were calling rugby fans "the rich" and raining misery and being the fun police and attacking 70% of the people in a city of half a million people for wanting a much delayed stadium to be built without delay so we dontt have to go to another city to see a concert or abs game.

    Tbf I'm a lefty who hates and despises rugby 🤣 lol I'm just not sure an overweight deputy leader of a floundering government facing certain defeat despite being elected in an earth shattering landslide less than two years ago has any right to be criticizing elite athletes athleticism or game match fitness.

    • Mike the Lefty 9.1

      I’m of the political left but I don’t hate rugby. I just don’t buy into the professional branding corporatism that pervades the game at the top level. The best rugby to watch is club level which you can watch (usually for free) at your local sports ground where the level of honest commitment is real.

  10. newsense 10

    There’s a great video on YouTube analyzing the Wallabies decline and insights on WR team success in general. Cohesion in the team is important.

    I don’t think it’s a mystery though that Sam Cane isn’t in the Richie McCaw bracket. Few are. Foster isn’t as good at head coaching as the three coaches before him.

    In general event television is waining and the number of people who play or follow rugby like a religion is on the wain. Maybe.

    But the competition structure is almost as confusing as cricket. Getting 5k or less along to games indicates a force declining. Sport requires active participation to keep going: refs, volunteers, fans, coaches, players, sponsors… that’s an awful lot of active good will you don’t get after being trained to be on the couch.

    and yes leaving behind a colonial identity where our biggest stars are South Africa, Australia and sometimes Britain may mean rugby declines too. Or it thrives. But it needs something better than this.

    • In Vino 10.1

      I don’t think it’s a mystery though that Sam Cane isn’t in the Richie McCaw bracket. Few are. Foster isn’t as good at head coaching as the three coaches before him.

      Unfair to Sam

      As I remember, McCaw was a bloody useless captain at first. Remember that time the French knocked us out of the World Cup because Wayne Barnes didn't see a forward pass?

      For the last 15 mins or so the dumb All Blacks hammered away at a determined French defence, and lost. McCaw (fairly new as captain) never even thought of trying a drop goal, or any different tactic. Useless.

      It took McCaw quite a long time to learn how to be a good captain. Sam Cane has not yet had that privilege

      • Puckish Rogue 10.1.1

        That was 2007, Richard was first made ABS captain in 2004

        • In Vino 10.1.1.1

          So McCaw was a shit captain for at least 3 years?

          Sam Cane is getting a rougher deal than I had thought!

          • Puckish Rogue 10.1.1.1.1

            Maybe your powers of recollection are not what they once were…

            • In Vino 10.1.1.1.1.1

              OK. I don't really know or care much about Rugby: I just remembered McCaw's failure in that game and thought that Sam Cane may be getting judged harshly in that light.

              If you have greater knowledge, please feel free to elucidate.

  11. Stuart Munro 11

    This process of gentrification in sport has been going on for centuries. Horse racing was a popular passion back when everyone rode or wished to ride horses – now it's a shadow of what it was in its its heyday.

    Rugby was the football of the nobility, and when it became NZ's national sport, that was an assertion of our society's egalitarianism. Roger Douglas et al put paid to all that. The RSEs that pick the fruit and milk cows here now don't build their dreams of accomplishment around H shaped posts.

    The sport can recover – but if it wants to be truly national again it has to offer something in the way of intangible benefits. Something that reaches down as far as the women that might like their children to play something that makes less clay-stained gear to wash and somehow dry through the rainy part of winter.

    A good coaching team and things'll come right for a while. It might be though, that there's a better obsession out there for the 21st century.

  12. SPC 12

    I don't see much connection between the state of the game (administrative or amateur), and the performance of the AB's, let alone wider society.

    The latter is a function of the talent available and utilisation of it, as players in a team and the team coaching/management.

    We have not won at U 20 level for some time, so will have to live off a historic winning record against all nations … as we fade down the rankings. It will make winning easier to savour, as it will occur less often. But it will mean that we lose more and more of our players going north for money (as the status of the long AB career wanes)*

    It was inevitable that at some point that we would lose our amateur era advantage – which was the NPC/provincial game (South Africa had the Currie Cup). South Africa has made the strategic decision to abandon the south for the money of the north (to retain players it was losing and better time zones). This will give them a competitive advantage over us and is something we can do nothing about. We will try and retain international players in a Tasman bubble, but at some point if we lose too much talent will allow players over ** or after ** tests to go north and remain eligible for the AB's (so we remain as competitive as we would like to be).

  13. Binders full of women 13

    Rugby's toast– no kids are playing. Mums rightly concerned about MCE & dementia. But it's not just the conservative Nats that get wooed by the old salts in blazers. In my town field hockey and basketball are pumping but the facilities are so lacking that kids are training and playing at 9 30 at night. The Labour Govt came to town with $6mil for sports- the council had identified 6 priorities. The Govt went with #7! a new roof for the rugby grandstand . So 100 spectators can stay dry at 4 'Heartland' home games while watching early onset demetia. The cronyism is sickening.

  14. Ed 14

    Excellent article on this matter by John Minto over at the Daily Blog.

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2022/07/18/forget-the-fans-its-the-sponsors-calling-the-tune-on-the-all-blacks-series-defeat-to-ireland/

    Forget the fans – it’s the sponsors calling the tune on the All Blacks series defeat to Ireland

  15. Descendant Of Smith 15

    Rugby was always going to turn professional at some stage – people like Norm Hewitt were taking payments under the table and moving from club to club, French league were complaining about union pinching their players, the Japanese had jobs at ports that were simply fronts to play for their rugby teams with allowances like $6,000 to buy furniture for your flat – loopholes exploited everywhere.

    There had always been some of that – back in the 60's/70's players were lured to play in Wellington by being put in as managers of certain clothing shops.

    There were plenty of other drivers though to reduce playing numbers:

    1. Rogernomics opened up working on weekends and working longer hours to earn the same amount which not only reduced peoples ability to play and practise but meant for some they simply weren't even available on Saturday. Lots of community organisations were affected by this – Jaycees, Lions, Rotoract, etc. Rogernomics also decimated jobs in rural areas and so the demise of country clubs was basically set in stone. Small towns died and so did their rugby clubs. Rugby and cricket are pretty much urban sports now.
    2. The aging population was moving through and further reducing player numbers.
    3. We started seeing the overlap of cricket and rugby seasons – was a pain having to make choices between one or the other for at first practise and then actual playing.
    4. Sky for all the moaning about it above opened up coverage to a whole range of other sports barely seen on TV previously. This started to give kids other options.
    5.Immigration moved away from Britain to some extent to countries where rugby wasn't a sport. This exacerbated 4.
    6. TV rights shifted the games to night which lots of us didn't and still don't like. Loved 2:30 games in daylight but the money was in Europe and games for TV could not be scheduled to play at the same time in order to maximise viewing and sponsorship – so now it is one after the other after the other.
    7. We had already seen the decline of playing in the UK of soccer players past school age – if you hadn't been spotted young you stopped playing. It s still an issue even if you are spotted even today with 5 out of six youth given initial contracts are no longer playing by 21 or worse.

    "Chris Platts, whose 2012 doctorate for Chester University was based on questionnaires and interviews with 303 17- and 18‑year‑olds in 21 clubs’ academies, says only four have professional contracts now – a drop-out rate of 99%. "

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/06/football-biggest-issue-boys-rejected-academies

    It isn't any surprise to see professional rugby go down the same track.

    The criticism of the rugby union is I think a little unfair. A spokesman for the Irish team was saying only recently that their rugby improved enormously after following the NZ model where players are contracted to the union not the clubs. I do think it is a much better model. Where I do think it can be improved from the club scene is by the addition of transfer fees based on duration of time for a club or province or country as well as the quality of the player. I do think it is fair that those that invest in the early training and development should be recompensed in some way.

    That being said I do think the tactics and coaching is poor at the moment – it is the deliberately playing out of position in particular that gets me. That and the incessant kicking. I find it as annoying as when Fitzpatrick was captain and we wouldn't take points on offer when we still needed to score twice – I'd have gone penalty then go for the try every time but it was always go for the try then hope for another penalty – so often we stuffed up the lineout, etc when we could have taken the three.

    Ireland are playing well, far less dropped ball, much more cohesive and much better kicking. Our old tactics of winning in the last twenty minutes simply are not up to it anymore. Teams have caught us in fitness terms – somewhat helped by substitutions with impact players only needing to be fit enough to play 20 minutes at high pace.

    I don't mind losing if we play well – I think that is the main issue most fans have – we are losing AND not playing well.

  16. tc 16

    Money changes everything.

    All blacks are like Barcelona FC imo.

    A team with a winning style and structures replicated by others keen to have similar success.

    With others now caught up selling off parts of the farm to fund the future is what Barca have done now as the Petro backed clubs are financially setting the pace.

    No guarantees it's going to end well for them.

  17. Hunter Thompson II 17

    No-one wins every time.

    Look at Brazil's soccer team – humiliated by Germany in a 2014 World Cup semi at 7 goals to 1. Yet soccer is the game Brazil was meant to be the world's best at.

    The Northern Hemisphere teams caught up with the ABs years ago and now have passed them. Brains will beat brawn every time.

    Mind you, the Ireland series could all be part of a cunning plan to make the ABs' opposition over-confident at the next RWC. Perhaps Baldrick is on the coaching panel?

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    The revitalisation of Auckland city centre, especially around Wynyard Quarter, Te Komititanga, and Queen Street, is top of mind for Greater Auckland readers – but other cities around Aotearoa New Zealandare installing people-friendly streets. This guest post by Jessica de Heij, who grew up in the Netherlands and is an ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    4 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    4 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    5 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
    Last week at the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee, Kiwirail gave an update about the state of the network and the work they’re doing to get it ready for the opening of the City Rail Link. There were a few aspects that stood out to me so I’ve pulled them ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
    Photo by City Church Christchurch on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 8:00 am are:Scoop: Waipareira Trust political donations probe referred to Charities Registration Board NZ Herald-$$$’s Matt NippertScoop: Migrant whistleblowers speak out after ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
    This article by Robin Kundis Craig, Professor of Law, University of Kansas is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Federal Chevron deference is dead. On June 28, 2024, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old legal tenet that when a federal ...
    5 days ago
  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
    Note: This is a long readPolitical discourse on social media taught me that bad faith operators and tactics are not only prevalent, they are widespread and effective.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Their objectives are much narrower than one might imagine.The ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
    Hi,I am about to wing my way back to New Zealand for the Webworm popup this Saturday in Auckland — can’t wait to see some of you there! In the meantime, I highly recommend the latest pet thread over on the Webworm app. All I’ll say is that readers here ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
    Photo by Alex Zaj on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, news conferences reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 9 are:Politics: Full news conference: 'Please resign', Chloe Swarbrick tells Darleen Tana RNZ VideoPaper: Increasing speed ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
    The fundamental weakness of the waka jumping legislation is once again on display, as the Greens seem reluctant to trigger it to remove Darleen Tana from Parliament altogether. Tana has been suspended from the Greens Caucus while it had barrister Rachel Burt investigate allegations that she had been involved in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    Kāinga Ora’s “independent review” was carried out by the same National Party leader whose own administration’s inadequate housing build – and selling of state houses- had caused Kāinga Ora to embark on its crash building programme in the first place. To use a rugby analogy, this situation is exactly like ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • “Laser focused on the cost of living crisis”
    Cartoonist credit: Christopher Slane ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the elections in France, Iran and Britain
    As Werewolf predicted a week ago, it was premature to call Emmanuel Macron’s snap election call “a bitter failure” and “a humiliating defeat” purely on the basis of the first round results. In fact, it is the far-right that has suffered a crushing defeat. It has come in third in ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The UK needs proportional representation
    Like a lot of people, I spent Friday watching the UK election. There's the obvious joy at seeing the end of 14 years of Tory chaos, but at the same time the new government does not greatly enthuse me. In order to win over the establishment, Starmer has moved UK ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Chorus for Monday, July 8
    TL;DR: Thanks for the break, and now I’m back. These are the top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so:Chris Bishop’s pledge to ‘flood the market’ with land to build new houses both out and up remains dependent ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • French Left Wins Big
    Usually I start with some lyrics from the song at the end of the newsletter, to set the mood. But today I’m going to begin with a bit of a plea. About six weeks ago I decided to make more of my writing public with the hope that people would ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Satire: It's great our Prime Minister is so on the ball
    ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • This is the real reason David Seymour needs to reinterpret the Treaty of Waitangi
    This is republished from an earlier write upDavid Seymour is part of the ACT Party. He's backed by people like Alan Gibbs, and Koch money. He grew up as a right wing lobbyist - tick tick tick. All cool and fine - we know.What's also been clear is a fervent ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Going for Housing Growth: Filling the housing donut?
    Hot take: it should be affordable to live in Auckland. You may not be surprised to learn I’m not the only one with this hot take. Indeed, the Minister of Housing recently took the notable step of saying house prices should come down, something common wisdom says should be a politically ...
    Greater AucklandBy Scott Caldwell
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Monday July 9
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 9, the top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so are:Scoop: Probation officer sacked for snooping is linked to alleged spy Jian Yang. Corrections dismissed Xu Shan over his ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What has the Government done for you so far?
    List effective 1 July 2024Consumer and household (note: road and car costs are under infrastructure)Cancelled half-price public transport fares for under-25s and free fares for under-13s funding, scrapping the Labour government-era subsidies. The change will not affect pre-existing discounts funded directly by councils.Cut funding for free budgeting services. One third of the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 8
    Photo by Amador Loureiro on UnsplashTL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 8, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days were:Local Government Minister Simeon Brown announced the Coalition Government would not be responding to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is travelling to Washington this week to attend a NATO meeting running from Tuesday to Thursday. Parliament is not sitting this week.The RBNZ is expected to hold the OCR on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 30, 2024 thru Sat, July 6, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is brought to us by Dr. Ella Gilbert, a researcher with the British ...
    7 days ago
  • The Great Splintering: Thoughts on the British Election
    I can remember 1997. Even living on the other side of the world, having a Scottish father and Welsh grandfather meant I acquired a childhood knowledge of British politics via family connections (and general geekery). And yes, I inherited the dark legends of that evil folk-devil, Margaret Thatcher. So when ...
    7 days ago
  • 2% royalties for mining? Deal!
    Snapshot postToday, Shane Jones was courageous enough to front Q&A with Jack Tame. Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Jack Tame is a bit of a legend. And that’s only because he strikes me as a good journalist i.e. well ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Aotearoa Says – No Diggity.
    Strictly biz, don't play aroundCover much ground, got game by the poundGetting paid is a forteEach and every day, true player wayOne month ago tens of thousands of Kiwis took to the streets to protest against the coalition’s Fast Track legislation. Concerned that it would prioritise some people making a ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Strangers and others
    For a moment yesterday I thought I might have been trailing my old friend Simon Wilson across the Danube, over cobbled stones, and into the old town square of Linz. Same comfortable riding style, same jacket, same full head of hair, but no, different friend of cycling.There is a kindred ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Killing the Golden Goose of New Zealand's economy
    IntroductionIn New Zealand, the National party generally retains a reputation of being pro-business and pro-economy.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.The underlying assumption is National are more competent economic managers, and by all accounts Luxon and his team have talked ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago

  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today announced three appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Kevin Jenkins has been appointed as the new Chair of the NZQA Board while Bill Moran MNZM has been appointed as the Deputy Chair, replacing Pania Gray who remains on the Board as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
    A further $3 million of funding to Wairoa will allow Wairoa District Council to get on with cleaning up household waste and sediment left by last week’s flooding, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell says.  In Budget 24 the Government provided $10 million to the Hawke’s Bay Region to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today thanked the outgoing Secretary for Education. Iona Holsted was appointed in 2016 and has spent eight years in the role after being reappointed in May 2021. Her term comes to an end later this year.  “I acknowledge Iona’s distinguished public service to New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has concluded the Future for Local Government Review and confirmed that the Coalition Government will not be responding to the review’s recommendations.“The previous government initiated the review because its Three Waters and resource management reforms would have stripped local government of responsibility for water assets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
    Associate Health Minister for Pharmac David Seymour says today’s announcement that Pharmac is opening consultation on new cancer medicines is great news for Kiwi cancer patients and their families. “As a result of the coalition Government’s $604 million funding boost, consultation is able to start today for the first two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
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