Bye bye democracy

Written By: - Date published: 12:50 pm, May 19th, 2009 - 51 comments
Categories: auckland supercity - Tags:

democracy-under-attack1

So what is this Transition Board thing that National and Act created by ramming through legislation in a huge rush last week last week and only to get cold feet over appointing its members? Basically, it gives five people (rightwing businessmen) who are appointed by the government the power to veto spending decisions made by the elected councils of the Auckland region. It goes like this –

super-city2

5 unelected appointees vetoing the decisions of a hundred-odd elected officials. Doesn’t sound like democracy to me.
-Marty G

51 comments on “Bye bye democracy ”

  1. Bye bye analytical posts at the Standard …

    Here’s a helpful link so you understand the meaning of transitional:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/transitional

    The point of the transitional agency is to provide governance during a period of change. Dare I say it, but regardless of Labour’s plans (BTW what has Labour actually proposed??), there would need to be a similar transitional period.

    Ironically, the haste that is so despised can be seen as a feature not a bug – the shorter the transition, the sooner that the normal processes will take place.

    The people will still elect the mayor councillors etc but let’s not let facts get in the way of a beat up.

    The Nats have been woeful over the last week or two so I don’t see the need to concoct emotive beatups like this.

    • Tim Ellis 1.1

      Good points made Daveski. I don’t remember if Labour has said whether they support the Royal Commission’s proposals, or if they are in favour of a supercity at all, but the reality is that without a transition agency being established now, it wouldn’t be possible to have a supercity at the next local government elections.

      I suppose all of Labour’s filibustering really means that Labour doesn’t want a supercity by 2010, because there would be no means of implementing it if it doesn’t have a transition agency up and running now. Perhaps Labour’s problem is that they need another three years before they’re bold enough to think up what their policy might be.

      • Jasper 1.1.1

        Labour do support a supercity, just not the undemocratic farce that is now in place.

        No referendum, no supercity. That is the whole point Tim. Royal Commission report has been thrown out for Hide’s preferred plan.

        • Tim Ellis 1.1.1.1

          Thanks for the clarification, Jasper. So if Labour do support a supercity, they obviously don’t want that is ready by the 2010 elections, because there is no time to get the transitional arrangements up and running before then.

  2. Jasper 2

    What you don’t seem to get Daveski is that the unelected transitional authority also has the right to sell off any assets they see fit.

    • Tim Ellis 2.1

      What you don’t seem to get Daveski is that the unelected transitional authority also has the right to sell off any assets they see fit.

      I don’t think you’ve read the legislation Jasper. The transitional authority doesn’t own any assets. It can’t require any of the local authorities to sell assets. It has no power to sell anything on behalf of local authorities. In fact, local authorities aren’t even allowed to dispose of significant assets without the approval of the transitional authority.

      • Jasper 2.1.1

        Subsection 10 (3)
        For the purpose of performing its functions and duties, the Transition Agency has— (a) full capacity to carry on or undertake any activity, do any act, or enter into any transaction; and
        (b) for the purposes of paragraph (a), full rights, powers, and privileges.

        So “enter into any transaction” is giving them the right to sell anything they see fit.

        • Tim Ellis 2.1.1.1

          Those are functions and duties relating to its own activities. “enter into any transaction” means purchase an office printer for the transition agency. It doesn’t mean sell off auckland city council buildings or other assets that it doesn’t own, and doesn’t have any authority to sell.

          • Jasper 2.1.1.1.1

            Ah, no not specified as such, but in the bill as at 31 October territorial authorities cede their assets to the new Auckland Council.

            Only problem is that the territorial authorities have largely ceased to exist.

    • Daveski 2.2

      Jasper

      I made no such statement. I was arguing directly against the post which was making a number of blanket statements that are incorrect.

      Your point may be valid but it is a consequence of having sufficient powers to prevent existing bodies from being parochial and undermining the process.

      For all intents and purposes, it will still be business as usual.

  3. cocamc 3

    And Marty G – do you know how the transition members are? If so then please share cause as far as I know there has been no official annoucement

  4. Simon 4

    of course if the new structure isn’t in place by the next scheduled local elections, they could just extend the life of the (transitional) Junta…

    I’m sure rodders hasn’t thought of it…..yeah right!

    • Jasper 4.1

      they can

      10 (2)
      The Transition Agency is a body corporate with perpetual succession

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    “BTW what has Labour actually proposed.”

    A referendum for starters.

    And of course it’s a feature not a bug, the more artificially created pressure there is to ‘return to a democratic process’, the easier it is to bulldoze through the desired structure with less actual debate and consultation. Glad you spotted that, it’s what folks here have been saying.

    And no one cares what you think of the Standard dave, less is more on that front as repition makes the complaint too obviously hackish.

    It’s like you’ve got nothing else to say anymore but “can’t defend tories, standard suxx, what would labour do, deflect, deflect”

    • Daveski 5.1

      PB Calm down mate

      The post is clearly wrong and it would be decent of you to acknowledge that. The transitional authority serves a short term purpose after which elections will be held. As I pointed out, if these changes aren’t “rammed” through OR elections postponed, it won’t be in place until 2013 and imagine the uproar then.

      It’s a reasonable question as to how else a transition could be effected.

      Your other comments aren’t particularly sporting given my normal contributions here. I have pointed out that there has been a culture change since the election – where in the past, there was a strong analytical presence (I think especially of SP) and scorn at opposition without policy, it has all changed since November.

      On one specific point I will pick you up. I have never adopted a Standard sux motto – far from it, I’ve been outspoken about the general climate here and the robust debate etc. Perhaps we should return to the topic which was the focus of my initial post.

      • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1

        In what way is the post wrong? Facts I mean. You have a different opinion about why things are being done the way they are. Fair enough, but so what? Just gainsaying so doesn’t prove so.

        I am calm, but you seem defensive. I was noting that most of your comments since the election have changed as well dave, just as posts here have changed in your view. Very often you start with your no doubt sincere concern that the Standard is slipping in your view. I was merely noting that I’m having similar thoughts about your commentary. Irony huh.

        Last year, when there was a lot of comment here asking for Nat policy, there was an election campaign on, and National was asking for votes. The question was what are we voting for? This government is only a few months old, and I think we can assume the next election is still some way off. You often like to lecture us that we don’t know why we lost, and that blah balah blah, to turn that around you don’t seem to realise the Labour is in opposition now. See how easy this is? And tiresome? That’s all I was saying.

        Anyway, enjoy your day.

        • Daveski 5.1.1.1

          Ironic indeed and I agree it is a matter of roles reversed.

          And with your last words, you underline the strength of this site as I have noted. I will likewise calm down and do some work.

      • r0b 5.1.2

        The post is clearly wrong

        How?

    • Tim Ellis 5.2

      Thanks, PB for the clarification. So Labour’s interests are dragging the transitional agency through a select committee process, meaning it wouldn’t be ready by September. And a referendum, to be held at some point in the future, with no response until some later point in the future.

      In short, Labour’s plans are for no supercity by 2010, because it wouldn’t be possible to have things up and running by then.

      It’s hard for voters to interpret what Labour’s policy is by their words. I guess we can only go by their actions.

      • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1

        No Tim, stop putting words in my mouth. Labour, it seems to me, seems to want to take the time to do it right, and use the democratic system we have to put the governments proposals through the hoops as it were. Checks and ballances Tim.

      • r0b 5.2.2

        Is it better to do it fast, or do it right?

        2010 is an arbitrary deadline, chosen only to create an artificial sense of urgency so this whole undemocratic boondoggle can be rammed through before the public wake up.

        • Daveski 5.2.2.1

          A quick final word on this topic.

          Yes 2010 is an arbitrary deadline and I think a root cause of the problem. Having said that, as I’ve noted below, an extended period of change leads to different problems.

          To digress but not deflect slightly, a root cause of the timing problem is our three year election cycle for both central and local government. In my view, our decision making would be markedly improved if there was a 4 year cycle (you can keep a three year cycle for labour if you like ;))

      • inpassing 5.2.3

        In your mind, Tim, what’s with this 2010 elections timeframe..?

        Do you buy it wholesome..? or in part..? if so what and where do ‘democratic’ limitations impose themselves..

        And what of future ratepaying funders.. whether at large (let’s say residential) or specific (let’s say the business community..?

        • Tim Ellis 5.2.3.1

          Interesting questions inpassing.

          There is always going to be a period of limbo between the work of the current councils and the new Auckland Council. That’s what the transitional agency is set up to work through. We are already seeing a number of council projects that face uncertainty, and will continue to have uncertainty, until a transitional agency is set up to approve them.

          Labour’s proposal for a referendum and select committee process for the transitional agency would place even more uncertainty on these capital projects. We’re not just talking a couple of months here. If the transitional agency isn’t up and running soon, then they won’t hit the 2010 deadline for local authority elections. That would mean the new council couldn’t be set up until 2013. That would mean an extra three years of limbo.

          There are tight time frames involved with the There is time for consultation on the powers of the Auckland Council itself which will follow the normal select committee process. But if Labour had its way (and it seems to change fairly regularly), there wouldn’t be an auckland council in time for the next local body elections. I think that kind of feet-dragging is damaging for Auckland.

          • r0b 5.2.3.1.1

            You didn’t answer the question Tim. Is it better we do this fast, or do it right?

            2010 is arbitrary, and being used only to create false urgency.

            But if Labour had its way (and it seems to change fairly regularly)

            Pick one line of pin and stick with it Tim. Can you point to examples of Labour’s policy statements, and how they’ve changed?

          • Tim Ellis 5.2.3.1.2

            It is better to do it quickly and right, r0b. If there isn’t a transition agency up and running very soon, then it won’t be able to be done at all by 2010.

            I don’t think 2010 is arbitrary. It’s to coincide with the local body elections. If the 2010 deadline isn’t met, then it will be pushed out to 2013. That creates three more years of limbo for Auckland.

            The Labour Party might be used to pushing difficult issues out into the long term (like scheduling a royal commission to report back just after the general election) but this government is intent on getting things done. I don’t expect the Labour Party to get with the programme, but they will be a long time in opposition if instead of advocating a policy, they simply try and block everyone else’s.

            Labour seem to have a lot of problems putting together a clear message on the supercity at the moment r0b.

          • r0b 5.2.3.1.3

            It is better to do it quickly and right, r0b.

            Starting to look like that’s impossible Tim. At least, you can’t get there from here.

            That creates three more years of limbo for Auckland

            It creates three more years of democracy for Auckland. And anyway, it’s easy enough to extend or transition from 2010 to whatever date chosen. We’re talking about decades of future – why rush for 2010?

            this government is intent on getting things done.

            So intent on getting things done that it is in severe violation of democratic process. Nice try at spin, but once again, more important to get it right than get it fast. Unless blind-siding democracy is your real goal of course.

            Labour seem to have a lot of problems putting together a clear message on the supercity at the moment r0b.

            Pick one line of spin and stick to it Tim. Could we have links please to these Labour statements of policy that you say keep changing?

          • inpassing 5.2.3.1.4

            Thanks for your 4.52pm response, Tim.

            I’m curious about your “limbo” w/o a TA, as you say. Howso..? What would this look like..? in local authority actions terms..?

            Right and quick (relating rob’s point) appears adroit, but denies expression to what has clearly been a pre-emptive assault on local authority democracy. Do you see this, accept it as perhaps risk against ‘quick’ process?

            What risk/s of a consequential nature do you perceive arising… and how might any such risks relate to your sense of ‘right’..?

  6. Pat 6

    PB – it becomes tiresome that for 12 months or more the Left have been issuing dire warnings on the Evil Key (Evil Key-nival!) and still it goes on unabated. Fair enough I suppose if it spins your wheels, but you can’t expect the NZ public to take it seriously when there has been no substance to any of it. The polls suggest the conspiracy theories from the Left are having little effect.

    In many ways Key and Hide have staked their political careers on the Supercity, because if they f*ck it up they will lose the Auckland centre vote in 2011. It is complete BS to suggest that they are gearing up the Supercity to slash and burn, cut and run, and fleece the city coffers for a small cabal of mates. It makes for a good conspiracy theory, though.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      Maybe they are not right wingers Pat it’s true, but I suspect Hide at least has an ideology.

    • inpassing 6.2

      In many ways Key and Hide have staked their political careers on the Supercity, because if they f*ck it up they will lose the Auckland centre vote in 2011. It is complete BS to suggest that they are gearing up the Supercity to slash and burn, cut and run, and fleece the city coffers for a small cabal of mates. It makes for a good conspiracy theory, though.

      Pat, the above an example of oneway traffic behind which accountability and responsibility can be (and has been elsewhere the case) disposed of.

      Does it not enter your head that make rich quick is the high risk play in accessing the prime and profitable components of Auckland’s assets and earnings..?

      Faced with make rich slow and a rapidly global call to greater governance regulation wheresoever the need arises (and yes, enzed also if only to play along or parallel trading partners etc) it would not constitute conspiracy theory to assert how today’s imprudent dramatic political dynamics will surely fall for their consequences on others. Successors. Not perpetrators.

      QED: make rich quick, and to hell with socialized losers!!

  7. Maynard J 7

    Daveski I looked at the ‘transitional’ link you gave and there was no mention of ‘undemocratic’, ‘unelected’, ‘veto powers’ or any of the other features of this specific ‘Transitional’. Not very analytical of you. Why not try to justify the terms of transition if you support it, using better justifications that ‘fast is good’. An armed coup would be a million times faster than some PC transition agency, shall we dial one of them up?

    Tim, I don’t imagine Labour or anyone else wants a supercity by 2010 if this is the price to pay. ‘bold’ is your new adjective you are going to use everytime urgency or other unnecessary and undemocratic measures are used? Ok spin, but it does not quite wash. Labour’s ‘actions’ were to set up a Royal commission. National’s have been to ignore it and pick a new scheme out of Hide’s arse. I know which action I prefer.

    • Daveski 7.1

      Let’s keep to the facts.

      During the transitional stage (key word that), ultimate power rests with the agency. After that, the elected bodies have all the power. Quite simple.

      This is not what the original post implies and completely overlooks the fact that this is transitional.

      The other issue is more interesting and perhaps could be a worthy post. On the other hand, is the quick method which has the benefit of reducing long term uncertainty. The alternative is to drag it out for say 5 years and I can only imagine the uproar if that occurred.

      With change, speed is important. People don’t like change (we can agree on this) to the longer the period of change the worse it is.

      As I understand it, the changes to local govt in the late 1980s helped lose Labour an election yet no one would want to go back to the way it was previously.

      • Maynard J 7.1.1

        Why not spell out the proposal and the time line, let the public decide on it or at least have some input, and then set up a transitional agency so everyone knows what they are going to do? What would it matter if from start to finish it was five years?

        Simple. Fast is not better.

      • r0b 7.1.2

        This is not what the original post implies and completely overlooks the fact that this is transitional.

        You mean apart from the place in the very first line where it refers to “Transition Board thing”?

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 7.1.3

        I agree that the TA is unlikely to want to get involved with controversial decisions, after all its members are only human and would not like their names dragged through the political mud.

        Any decisions they make could easily be reversed by the elected council any way, so they will be as restrained by existing councils when making decisions with long term consequences. The TA and the existing councils will also need each other to get things done, by picking fights they will get nothing done so I cannot see too many major clashes- unless Rodney starts interfering.

        Why the rush? The big bang approach simply leads to confusion, chaos and poor decision making. I would have thought an incremental transfer or responsibilities could occur to regional government would be the logical approach- transferring the activities with the biggest marginal benefit first leaving decisions of what to do with more local significance for later.
        Is there any need to throw the baby out with bathwater?

  8. Chris Diack 8

    The TA authority can’t sell what it doesn’t own it doesn’t own Council assets.

    Of course the biggest privatiser is Mayor Bob Harvey (former President of the Labour Party) who wants to liberate public assets in Waitakere into private hands.

    Regarding Labour’s preposterous claims about a referendum of course the Royal Commission recommended against one and of course in favour of At Large seats (which Labour opposes). Thus Labour strongly disagrees with the Royal Commission on at least two significant counts.

    More interestingly, Labour could have made the Royal Commission findings subject to a referendum but strangely given its loud concern for democracy now did not do so at the time of establishing the Royal Commission. Anyone of Labour’s frontbench who were in Cabinet on the day that Helen Clark announced the Royal Commission could have requested a referendum at the morning Cabinet meeting did they?

  9. ak 9

    But gee aren’t we lucky to have a staunch independent fourth estate keeping an eye on all of this for us.

    Labour passed a law stopping wealthy cabals from drenching us with propaganda prior to an election, and we got full red-front-page screams and pictures of Lenin alongside the PM…

    Barely 18 months after electors have chosen their local leaders, National rams this obvious and dictatorial breach of contract with voters through and it’s “Greens to help implement cycleway policy”….

    Meanwhile, Winnie was pack-raped for months for an alleged fib, while North sails on unchastened…..

    It’s a blatant information monopoly, in the icy grip of the “free marketeers”. Supergranny for the super-city.

  10. Tom Semmens 10

    What is so magical about the 2010 date? What is it about 2010 that the gerrymandered oligarchy has to be in place by then? Whats the damned hurry, unless it is a blitzkrieg by plutocratic shysters who know that if people get time to organise their coup d’etat will fail?

    Here is an alternative timeline for you:

    – Select committee

    – Referendum at the same time as the next local body elections – which would also stop this appalling legislative destruction of the current democratically elected councils.

    – Super City (if Super City wins) and elections held by 2013-14.

    That allows all the current structures and planning to transition smoothly without any need for ACT’s plan – a plan that frankly is more and more resembling the sort of hard right fascist coup you’d expect somewhere like Paraguay, complete with our own little capering Mussolini, every day.

  11. Natpicker 11

    History teaches that Hitler seized power, WRONG he was democratically elected in the system of the day. Then he used his majority to force through the unnacceptable, junked democracy and gave everything to his mates……our own Jonkee and his mate Wodders were also elected with a majority in the democratic process of our day……I wonder what they will do next????????

    • bilbo 11.1

      Comparing the Nats with Hitler is about as sensible as comparing the previous government with Stalin.

      Both this Nat government and the previous Labour government have far more in common with each other than they have (or will ever have) in common with Hitler, Stalin or other silly comparisons people frivolously enjoy making.

      • Natpicker 11.1.1

        Got your attention, no its not sensible EXCEPT that they all share the same disregard for democracy, AND all aimed at the same thing, unfettered power.

        • bilbo 11.1.1.1

          What fucking twaddle.

          • inpassing 11.1.1.1.1

            so kind of you to admit in passing, bilbo, how Milton Friedman got it wrong..

            implication is such an astute prejudicial force wouldn’t you agree..!

          • Pascal's bookie 11.1.1.1.2

            ayek also is quoted as preferring (economic) liberalism (his def.) over democracy, given the choice.

  12. Akldnut 12

    I’m still waiting for a line like “We wont sell any assets in the first term”

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    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    3 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    5 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    6 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    7 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
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