Cause of poverty and inequality found!

Written By: - Date published: 8:06 am, October 8th, 2014 - 36 comments
Categories: capitalism, housing, local government, national, poverty, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , , , ,

Good news citizens! The National government has revealed unto us today the cause of poverty and inequality:

Is it the neoliberal paradigm which has seen these problems skyrocket since the reforms of the 80’s/90’s? No!

Is it the broken economic system which rewards the accumulation of capital but not work? No!

Is it the broken tax system that encourages property speculation at the expense of productive investment? No!

Is it the poor social mobility that makes poverty and inequality an ongoing inter-generational trap? No!

Is it insatiable greed – “the love of money…”? No!

Is it 6 years of punishing the poor and rewarding the rich under the current National government? No no no!

The problem, citizens – This Shocking News will Amaze You! – the problem is local councils:

Councils blamed for home hardship

Finance Minister Bill English is pointing the finger at local government planning rules, saying they are a major cause of poverty and inequality because they drive up the price of houses.

What a farce this “government” is.

36 comments on “Cause of poverty and inequality found!”

  1. vto 1

    Couldn’t agree more r0b. What grates is the gall that in particular Bill English and John Key have in talking absolute bullshit.

    Example one: the one above of English.

    Example two: “Dirty Politics” was a left wing smear campaign. It was clearly all about right wing smear campaigns.

    The bigger the bullshit the more they seem to get away with it.

    • Murray Rawshark 1.1

      I’m pretty sure I’ve seen someone somewhere saying that the bigger the bullshit, the more people will swallow it. This is just one more example. What does worry me is how stupid people have to be to swallow what, to me, is such obvious crap.

  2. cogito 2

    The problem with Bill is that his statements are a bit like crack cocaine – he gets a high by making one outrageous one, and then he can’t resist the urge to make another. As the addiction worsens, his statements will likely become even more outrageous until he will finally self-destruct like Judith Collins.

  3. hoom 3

    What a fucking joke.
    Absolute codswallop.

    But unfortunately especially for poor people is this is the thinking that will shape the next 3 yrs of Govt policy.

    Key has all his big hitters in Housing related positions so they are going to royally fuck over housing/local govt.

    A lot of this is aimed at Auckland to try to make it impossible for Len to get a 3rd term.
    Expecting to see Rodney Hide or other extreme rightie put his name in for Mayor with universal wall to wall media praise.

    Edit: Or maybe even more likely, throw out the Council altogether & replace with Appointed extreme rightie Technocrats.

    Because you know, its a crisis & its most severe in Auckland.

    Doubtless will have an ex Nat/Act Cabinet minister with outrageous conflict of interest write a masively one-sided report to justify it first.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Or maybe even more likely, throw out the Council altogether & replace with Appointed extreme rightie Technocrats.

      That’s what they did with ECan so I’m pretty sure that they feel that they can get away with doing to Auckland and then the rest of the country.

    • ma rohemo 3.2

      ” Or maybe even more likely, throw out the Council altogether & replace with Appointed extreme rightie Technocrats”

      A precedent was made in Kaipara after the overspending on a sewerage scheme by council.
      The govt audit office failed to spot the extraordinary $50m loan during their annual inspection.
      Rates that had been levied illegally for the scheme were reinforced by National retrospective legislation that made all the illegal levies completely legal.

      When Natz took charge they cancelled the entire elected council and imposed a three man management team, which was quickly reduced to one.

      About a week before the Auditor General completed her 18 month investigation the statute of limitations expired for any claim against the govt audit office for negligence. Excellent timing for some.

      The new administrator established a $250 roading fund on top of our rates. Although it was ring-fenced for roading for the first year it was increased to $350 the next, and rolled into the general fund so that it was not guaranteed for roading.

      Roading was cut back in fact. Spending was reduced and the savings were paid as interest to the Aussie bank that carries the dodgy loan.
      As a result of this the roading spend has been lower than normal and the next round of central road funding will be reduced accordingly.

      The ratepayers also have a been levied a fee to repay the loan. This is in effect subsidizing absentee owners of Mangawhai holiday homes for extra value added to their properties now that they do not have to rely on septic tanks.

      My rates increased 42% in 18 months. Hard going on a fixed income.

      All this was done without any electoral voice for the ratepayers.

      Auckland could be in for a huge shock if the Natz succeed in taking control by means other than an election.

  4. karol 4

    And as Metiria Turei says, this from English comes after the Nats have been denying the existence of poverty for 6 years.

    Who is the chief spin meister now Ede has gone?

  5. Tracey 5

    Since when did developers pass on savings to purchasers? Any drop in costs is unlikely to go anywhere other than the developers margin.

    Developers already have a fast track process for their consents not available to owner builders….

    • aa 5.1

      A developer needs at least a 20% margin to get money to develop (much like you need a deposit to get a house – except much higher risk to a bank). That’s the lenders buffer in case things don’t go as planned. Any drop in costs means means they can sell cheaper not just by the saving, but also the associated lending costs. Unless specifically aiming for the upper ends of the market developers want to sell, build and settle on their projects in the shortest possible time (as time/funding is one of their major costs – that’s where many go bankrupt). The cheaper they can sell the quicker they can sell (cheaper means a bigger market) the more likely they will succeed.

      Probably about 1/3 of developers lose money, 1/3 end up where they started and 1/3 make money – mostly depending on timing. Over the 2 or so years it takes to do a project the market can change significantly.

      Of course I’m not suggesting they are anything other than greedy and evil etc.

      • bearded rawshark 5.1.1

        I think you are making this up aa. Around Wanaka subdivisions have been a licence to print money for the last 20 years apart from 2/3 years after the GFC.

        • MrSmith 5.1.1.1

          In my experience I think aa is pretty much on the money and lucky you Bearded if you own your own home down south.
          Property development is a risky business and like aa points out the finance costs are high, people seem to think these people have wads of cash, but that cash is normally on loan and if the market gets the jitters then you can be left holding a massive debt, I know a couple of property developers that went under after the GFC, these were hard working family men that now still owe a lot of friends and associates money, money they may never be able to pay back in their life time, all because of something that happened they had no part in, that’s the risk these people take. People like to blame the person out in the arena taking the risks for the housing problems, but this lot are usually playing Russian roulette and will pull the bullet sooner of later, as usual the bankers are making the money here and if the banks profits where going back into the country that wouldn’t be so bad but they aren’t, nationalize the banks!

        • Karl's Marx 5.1.1.2

          Take a look at this commentary on interest.co.nz from a developer including detailed cost breakdowns for a recent subdivision.

          An 8% profit-margin only achieved because of rising house prices. Council plus consultant costs ($3.3 million) of close to $100,000 a unit.

          If that is the case, something is seriously broken with our current land use/ council/ development pricing model.

          http://www.interest.co.nz/property/72319/john-bolton-shows-what-property-developer-against-when-constructing-houses-costs-syst

          • MrSmith 5.1.1.2.1

            Well yes and no, unfortunately people will be people and without any oversight from council and regulatory bodies they tend to go for the lowest denominator in search of profit.

            I can tell you there is still more quick profit in a straw house.

            People tend to complain about the bureaucracy and cost of housing until they find themselves living in a leaky house with storm water and sewer drains that back up every time it rains or polluted drinking water, phone and power supplies that crash, there is nobody sitting around making piles of cash out of all this, it’s just the price we pay for the things we take for granted.

        • aa 5.1.1.3

          Just what I’ve noticed from 20 years of working for developers (who I’m not insinuating are anything other than greedy and evil) on thousands of dwellings. Another thing I’ve seen a lot is presales are needed at say 70% to get funding. So they want to make these sales ASAP to start project (and minimise holding costs) so they sell as cheap as they can, then get caught by rising construction costs and/or Council delays. Then they are stuck with contracts that don’t cover their costs.

  6. wekarawshark 6

    Farce yes, but is this also tragedy? ie National gearing up for more local body reforms?

  7. greywarshark 7

    In the last housing post I put some stats showing how important a driver in the economy housing is. I’ll enlarge on them here. (I can’t put the graphic from NZ Stats because I don’t know how. Haven’t acquired enough skills sorry. But have labouriosly copied out for you.)
    I have arranged the industries in descending order. Housing and peripherals come first. I’ve included most of them, any left out are at the lower end.

    [lprent: This one? Just give the URL and ask. ]

    Number of NZ Enterprises by industry in 1,000s
    Feb 2013
    Rental, hiring and real estate services 100
    Agriculture, forestry, fishing 65
    Professional, scientific and technical services 45
    Construction 45
    Financial and insurance services 25
    Retail trade 22
    Wholesale trade 18
    Acommodation and
    food services 19
    Administration and
    support services 17
    Transport, postal
    and warehousing 16
    Health care and
    social assistance 16
    Information, media
    & telecommunicatiions 4
    Education & training 5
    Arts and Recreation 4

    Few in –
    Mining
    Electricity gas water and waste
    In the last housing post I put some stats showing how important a driver in the economy housing is. I’ll enlarge on them here. (I can’t put the graphic from NZ Stats because I don’t know how. Haven’t acquired enough skills sorry. But have labouriosly copied out for you.)
    I have arranged the industries in descending order. Housing and peripherals come first. I’ve included most of them, any left out are at the lower end.

    Number of NZ Enterprises by industry in 1,000s
    Feb 2013
    Rental, hiring and real estate services 100
    Agriculture, forestry, fishing 65
    Professional, scientific and technical services 45
    Construction 45
    Financial and insurance services 25
    Retail trade 22
    Wholesale trade 18
    Acommodation and
    food services 19
    Administration and
    support services 17
    Transport, postal
    and warehousing 16
    Health care and
    social assistance 16
    Information, media
    & telecommunicatiions 4
    Education & training 5
    Arts and Recreation 4

    Few in –
    Mining
    Electricity gas water and waste
    In the last housing post I put some stats showing how important a driver in the economy housing is. I’ll enlarge on them here. (I can’t put the graphic from NZ Stats because I don’t know how. Haven’t acquired enough skills sorry. But have labouriosly copied out for you.)
    I have arranged the industries in descending order. Housing and peripherals come first. I’ve included most of them, any left out are at the lower end.

    Number of NZ Enterprises by industry in 1,000s
    Feb 2013
    Rental, hiring and real estate services 100
    Agriculture, forestry, fishing 65
    Professional, scientific and technical services 45
    Construction 45
    Financial and insurance services 25
    Retail trade 22
    Wholesale trade 18
    Acommodation and
    food services 19
    Administration and
    support services 17
    Transport, postal
    and warehousing 16
    Health care and
    social assistance 16
    Information, media
    & telecommunicatiions 4
    Education & training 5
    Arts and Recreation 4

    Few in –
    Mining
    Electricity gas water and waste
    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/businesses/business_characteristics/BusinessDemographyStatistics_HOTPFeb13.aspx

  8. greywarshark 8

    Thanks for that lprent. I did originally manage to clean up the repetitions in the window but see they have come back again. I will make the effort to get the method of picking up the graphic straight in my mind. Will talk to my son so if I forget he will know.

  9. So, no mention of low wages; lack of job security; attacks on trade unions and collective bargaining rights; inadequate work hours for part-timers; lack of support for beneficiaries; poor access to training and educational opportunities; intergenerational cycles; imbalances between male and female wages and between Māori, Pacifica and others; lack of support for employment in small towns and cities; lack of funding for research and development that would allow NZ firms to develop, compete and employ more people, or unbalanced tax policies and practices from Bill, then.

    I’m sure he just overlooked these factors…

  10. aerobubble 10

    With the drop in demand for dairy and logs from China, housing rebuild in ChCh and returning population are the only thing keeping our currency from falling. And should it, the full effects of the GFC would impinge on the NZ economy, the real financial signal from higher petroleum prices would hit mum and dad mortgage holders. Small businesses, retail, would all feel the contraction in peoples wallets. To some extent we are already with the drop in confidence.

    So you can see why National would target ‘housing’ as the problem. But even when they act entirely politically they still continue to select the wrong tool. Take selling state homes to charities, like charities have seen how government works, they destabilize existing charities, reduce funding, etc. So what are these new charitable home owners going to be expecting from government, but drops in income from government. Should those charities fail, government has already off loaded its worst stock, and sucked up charitable funds.

    So National are consistent, they not only draw up the ladder, they undermine and distort the market, embedding poor governance. Take sprawl, without proper purposed public transport, utilities, we get everything from power cuts and urban ghettos. I mean what our many regional towns in NZ without their state housing ghettos, caused by central government failure to grow the whole NZ. There is no long term group thinking in our parliament, and why/ no upper house, small number of senatorial politicians (Dunne the worst of the batch), and a three year turn short term lottery (had Hone and Dunne swapped wining for losing – due mainly because the left won’t sell the idea that split tickets means better outcomes, i.e 120 seats + 70 electorate = 170?). While Epson gets three representatives, Seymor, Goldsmith and Genter.

    But back to the point. Key is a corporate raider, carefully targetting and sell of prime assets, and reorganizing the rest to look good on paper, so he gets re-elected. Though over time his legacy will leave a toll on NZ that will keep clipping the NZ growth ticket, as costs have been hidden, supports undermined and sustainability lost.

  11. Poission 11

    “it’s pretty much illegal to build a house, or has been until recently illegal to build a house under half a million dollars in Auckland”. says English.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11338730

    What he (or the reporter asks( is why,

    The answer is building covenants made by private developers to ratchet up prices.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      What he (or the reporter asks( is why,

      Fails to ask?

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        English is implying that Councils have been soooo unreasonable and bureaucratic that it is they who have acted as gatekeepers preventing buildings going ahead. Yet how much land lies unused for years in places regarded as being prime for the future while the speculator leases it for grazing?

        How many planned subdivisions offering a mix of two to four storey apartments with wide cul de sacs and space around each house for a fenced off garden and open area that the residents can share? Nice low high-rise and near services, a dairy and bus to the shopping area? With a school nearby that has a separate hall for the children, and that can be used by the community as well. Would anyone who knows of one like that built inthe last twenty years tell me where?

        In the old days a speculator would build one of a set of plans that was chosen by the prospective owner. Now two storey edifices are lined up pre-built looking less homelike than an educational hall of residence. All to the convenience of the speculator.

        Of course when the leaky homes saga was on, it was theyCouncils which had not been bureaucratic enough.to ensure their suitability. The prevailing idea then was not to stand in developers way. They were the innovators, the investors, the business people who had the expertise and it wasn’t the job of any government entity to tell them anything, and what they did tell them should be expedited because any delay just added to the cost and put the price up as the bulders wanted to get their full 100%? working profit out of the house. Builders have often been able to build a fifth house for half the normal cost say, using bits and pieces ‘left over’ from other jobs and paid for by those owners.

        • red blooded 11.1.1.1

          Good point re the turn-around in attitude towards councils and building regulations, greywarshark.

          Of course, accommodation costs around Canterbury are also high because so many are displaced because of the earthquakes. The council’s planning office may or may not have been running well (they were replaced to speed up commercial developments), but they certainly can’t be blamed for the costs imposed by this naturally disaster. I wish the same cold be said about EQC, Southern Response and the other insurers.

          • greywarshark 11.1.1.1.1

            @ redblooded
            Yes Chch is in a special position. Brownlee had an opportunity to show his talents helping the people and businesses there to adjust and regroup but unfortunately he didn’t have many.

            Some of the stories are mind-boggling. I think that if CERa didn’t have a trouble- shooter with staff, they should have done. The job would have been to keep tabs on the anomalies as they cropped up. And look over figures and see what was proceeding well and where the holdups and mishaps were, then go and deal with the easiest and start on the harder ones at the same time.

            All long-standing problems would have been reviewed after say six months with the intention of getting finality within six months. This would have been extended when there was a later couple of heavy earthquakes. But every problem would have been under scrutiny then. It sounds good anyway.

  12. Sue 12

    So this is one of the ‘fresh ideas’ JK asked for to help tackle child poverty – undermine local authorities and the RMA so developers can really let rip! Hmmmh – and here was me thinking that our low wage economy and ‘flexible’ (=insecure for workers) job market had something to do with it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      How does the saying go? If at first you fail like a Tory, fail, fail and fail and fail and fail again and again and again. Or something like that.

      Just between us, Blinglish has a secret: it’s got fuck all to do with poverty and everything to do with policies that were bought and paid for on the golf course, by property developers.

      Our next policy to tackle child poverty is to see to it that the police are provided with stronger surveillance powers.

  13. BLiP 13

    . . . Finance Minister Bill English is pointing the finger at local government planning rules, saying they are a major cause of poverty and inequality because they drive up the price of houses . . .

    And so it begins: the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key working in collusion with the foreign-owned MSM to hard-sell the rewriting of the RMA to remove any practical consideration for the protection of New Zealand’s environment.

  14. irascible 14

    Expect English’s commentary and position to be the precursor for legislartion to “reform all local government” by consolidating into administrative districts over seen by the Minister of Local Government. Such a reform will conveniently remove the embarrassment of local body elections and local bodies daring to challenge the dictats of “Dear Leader” in the future… after all the Dear Leader’s National govt is dedicated to efficiencies best achieved through centralising all decisions.

  15. Tim O 15

    His idiotic comments no doubt precede an imminent all out attack on the RMA – not to help rich developers to bypass bylaws, ignore people’s concerns clear trees, and root the environment, but to help the poor people, of course ! National – the caring party !

  16. Foreign Waka 16

    I heard on the radio today a comment (sorry, don’t know the lady’s name) that Mr English comment might initiate the change of the RMA?

  17. Barfly 17

    Shrug …perhaps it’s a prelude to an all out attack on Local Government so as to asset strip Local Government Bodies and forward an agenda of privatizing water supply…..very little surprises me these days…..sadly

  18. Lindsey 18

    You would think that some Journalist – if we still had any, might ring the Auckland Council and see if there were any actual – you know – figures on this. Building Consents are charged on a % basis of the value of the building work so they will have a pretty good idea how many dwellings are built at what cost. You also need to look at what is being built. Particularly on the North Shore, everything has 5 bedrooms and six bathrooms. But there is no law saying that is what you have to build.

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    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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