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Dancing on a head of a pin on asset sales

Written By: - Date published: 8:36 am, June 5th, 2010 - 59 comments
Categories: capitalism, election 2011, national, privatisation - Tags: ,

On Wednesday, Jim Anderton asked John Key about two times when he explicitly ruled out ever selling Kiwibank and asked him how that meshed with his promise not to sell assets in the first term, with the clear implication that they will sell them in a second term (if they get one). Yesterday, Labour followed up with half a dozen more examples stretching over two years of Key explicitly ruling out selling Kiwibank.

So, once Kiwibank was definitely off the selling table forever, now it’s only definitely off for another year or so. A major reversal of past policy and a clear signal that the Nats are planning to sell it, eventually but not now.

After banging their heads together for a while, Key spinmeisters have come up with a little semantic trick to align the two positions: Kiwibank will never be sold, unless Key changes his mind.

In other words: I will never break my promise to you, unless I decide I want to.

Now, in all fairness, Key has said he will campaign on the issue at the next election if they decide to go ahead with sales. Probably. The term ‘seeking a mandate’ is a funny one. Doubtless, National will argue they have been mandated to allow mining on some areas of Schedule 4 land, for example.

Actually, I think what we’ll see is sales that aren’t sales. There’s more than one way to skin the public assets cat.

The government could require SOEs to issue non-voting shares or bonds and pay the proceeds to the crown. Or SOEs could be forced to parcel their assets into subsidiary companies that will then be sold. The ownership of the asset would stay with the crown but the ownership of the profit stream would go to the private buyers (mums and dads like Michael and Sarah Fay). Effectively, we’re left owning an empty shell but the Nats would argue they haven’t actually sold the ownership of the company so it isn’t an asset sale.

Expect more dancing on a head of a pin on this issue. National really, really wants to sell assets – it’ll be worth a fortune to their rich mates who can’t seem to generate any success on their own without a government hand out. But the public is firmly against asset sales. It would be an election losing campaign issue. So, National will play a game of ambiguous promises and confusing financial moves to sell without appearing to sell.

59 comments on “Dancing on a head of a pin on asset sales”

  1. Lazy Susan 1

    Agreed Marty G. National’s contortions around asset sales are extrordinary.

    Breaking News – Key’s flipped, or flopped, or fudged, or dodged on Kiwibank again. Now it’s no sale of Kiwibank “under my leadership”

    I’ve posted about this in Open Mike

  2. Jim Nald 2

    Yippee, now my wonderful National Party can claim to be aspirationally ambitiously ambiguous.

  3. Geo 3

    The real question is ,does J Key know something we don’t??
    Is there going to be a leadership change?

    “Prime Minister John Key has changed his position on the sale of Kiwibank and now says there will be no sale or part sale while he is Prime Minister.”

    capture:changed

    • Lazy Susan 3.1

      I don’t think so before the next election but this is a strong signal he will go if Nats win a second term.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        Which is especially crazy as Key was one of the main reasons they won the last election with as many seats as they did.

        That’s quite a bait and switch, unless of course they “seek a mandate” to change leadership in the election, too.

        • Lazy Susan 3.1.1.1

          That’s why he would stay to fight the 2011 election.

          No need to “seek a mandate’ to change leadership though – Key would hang on for 6-9months then just say something like “my work is done… time to move on… allow fresh blood to come through .. bullsit..bullshit” and quietly go.

          • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1.1

            Yes, but my point is that that the electorate would not be very impressed, I don’t think.

            *Especially* if the purpose of such a leadership change is to allow asset sales and superannuation changes that they had ruled out under Key. If you choose between Labour who won’t sell assets, or National with Key who won’t sell assets, and after you vote in National they get rid of Key and sell assets, you’ll be really pissed off, I would think.

            • Lazy Susan 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Hi Lanthanide. My point is that if National were to win a second term what would be more important to them?

              (i) Selling assets, reducing taxes for the wealthy and running down and/or privatising the public sector i.e. neo-liberal ideology

              or

              (ii) Getting a third term (highly unlikely anyway)

              I would suggest the former and that all this is part of a long game.

              • Lanthanide

                Or, alternatively, they hang around for the 2nd term, get a 3rd term, and at that point Key resigns.

                But yes, it seems we both agree that doing such a change would gaurantee they’d lose the next election (and Labour would campaign to re-nationalise any assets sold without compensation to the buyers, as a result of National’s duplicitous bait-and-switch?) and IMO I just don’t think they would do that, whereas you think they would.

              • seth

                Reducing taxes for the wealthy? Ummmm…..why can’t you just say reducing taxes? Bitter much?

            • the pinkpostman 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Too bloody late after they have won .
              As discussed yesterday . Never ever trust the political Right.
              Tories are a devious lot , this with their close connection to Crosby/Textor and their bankers and big business friend make National a very dangerous and sneaky lot.
              As have said many times why ordinary working people vote for them I just cannot understand.Having said that ,the fact that they do shows just how clever and devious they are,

      • Jenny 3.1.2

        Hi Susan, Remembering that once Bill English was leader of the National Party I went to wikipedia to find out the reason for his demotion.

        This is what was revealed:

        In October 2001 English replaced Shipley as head of the National Party and thus as Leader of the Opposition…..
        In the 2002 elections, National suffered its worst electoral defeat ever, gaining barely more than twenty percent of the vote…..
        By late 2003, however, National’s performance in opinion polls remained poor. The party had briefly increased its popularity in the year following the election, but by October its support had fallen to levels only slightly better than what it achieved in the last ballot….

        It seems that no matter how much this immoral thug is admired inside the National Party, The National Party under his leadership is apparently unelectable.

        This was shown when as National Party leader at the nadir of his unpopularity, Bill English entered a charity boxing match to try and raise his profile. His boxing opponent, actor Ted Clarke delighted in giving English a sound thrashing. That Clarke’s delight was shared by the general public was not lost on the National Party.

        • Lazy Susan 3.1.2.1

          Thanks Jenny.

          I agree that the National Party is unelectable with English as their leader. We know that, the National Party knows that and so does English. That’s why (as I posted on Open Mike yesterday) he would be their man to step into Key’s shoes and do the dirty work.

          IMO he’s driven by ideology alone, with no regard for the electorate or what makes good policy for NZ.

  4. I always wondered who these fay, rich and white mums & dads were.

  5. Jim Nald 5

    As I posted elsewhere this morning:

    I’m not selling my mother .. while I call myself her son.

  6. john 6

    Private Investor money all round the World is in trouble with economic collapse and has had to be bailed out by the taxes of hardworking people plus the cutback in social services just to keep the Wealth Worship compound interest fiesta for the Rich to keep going. These rich want to make money from unproductive speculation and money for old rope interest, they do not invest all that money in productive enterprise which has high risk such as starting up manufacture of an alternative energy industry. Answer cannibilize for profits the Public Sector by Privatization making it into a for the rich money fiesta instead of a social asset for all Kiwis. We are already extremely divided in terms of wealth and income differences,This Act National Government want to continue the process of turning us into a feudalistic society of rich barons and poor serfs working for minimal wages and next to none social wage. Someone at the last Act Conference put forward the idea of privatizing hospitals! All this neo-liberal rubbish ideology originated in the USA which is in the most awful mess with 40,000,000 Americans on food stamps and whole States bankrupt and huge unemployment while being ministered to as they’re chucked out of their homes by Oprah who is a Billionaire twice over!!! Is that the type of society we want? Well you voted it in last election!

  7. tsmithfield 7

    So, where exactly have National actually SAID they are going to sell anything?

    Key has said that he is keen for the Cullen Fund to invest more of its funds in NZ. So, if the Cullen Fund were to purchase shares in Kiwibank, would that qualify as “selling” Kiwibank?

    • Marty G 7.1

      they haven’t said they won’t sell assets despite being repeatedly asked. It’s pretty clear what they want to do.

      “if the Cullen Fund were to purchase shares in Kiwibank, would that qualify as “selling’ Kiwibank?”

      Yup. because the Cullen Fund is due to start selling down its assets in 2030. Anyway, if it wasn’t privatisation, what would be the difference from keeping it where it is now?

      • Emp 7.1.1

        You’re so dishonest Marty. Key has repeatedly said there are no plans to sell any state assets, and if National makes any plans to do so National will go to the electorate with those plans.

        What a stupid campaign you’re running. What’s even more stupid is that as a labour party hack you’re ignoring that Goff was a senior minister in a labour government that sold more state assets than all other governments combined, and they did so WITHOUT AN ELECTORAL MANDATE.

        Key’s word is trusted which is why he’s the most popular prime minister ever. Goff isn’t, which is why he’s the least popular opposition leader ever.

        • Marty G 7.1.1.1

          No. Key has repeatedly said they will not sell assets in the first term. There’s only one logical way to read that: they want to sell assets in the second term.

          It’s not my job to defend Goff and I’m more interested in today and the future than 20 odd years ago.

          • Emp 7.1.1.1.1

            Marty if you want to play that game then Goff won’t reduce GST because he hasn’t said he will, only they will “consider it”, won’t reverse the tax cuts because they haven’t made firm commitments, won’t change ACC back to the shambles it was in 18 months ago etc etc. How dishonest is that, to go around the country saying “axe the tax” when you have no intention of doing it.

            Government priorities change over time. It’s the responsibility of political parties to adjust to the changing economic environment and seek mandates for their changes. That’s what key will do. Refreshing from Goff and Labour that just went ahead and did it anyway.

            • Marty G 7.1.1.1.1.1

              The ‘not in the first term’ line clearly means ‘in the second term’. your cliched newbie attempt at trying to run distraction doesn’t change that.

              National is planning asset sales, that’s what this post is about. Come out and say whether you support asset sales or not, rather than trying to distract from the issue.

              • Emp

                Bullshit marty. You can’t say National is planning asset sales any more than I can say Goff is planning no tax changes. Your repeated campaign just makes you look like a stupid hack. Give your readers credit for not being stupid.

                I think some assets should be sold if the electorate is told up front what assets will be sold and the benefits laid out for voters to decide. I don’t support governments being silent and doing it anyway without an electoral mandate. Goff didn’t have a mandate in the 4th labour government but he championed it anyway. That’s why goff has no credibility but key does.

                • Marty G

                  i don’t support the 4th labour or 1990s national asset sales either. and there is no economic case for privatisation

                  • Emp

                    Tell that to most economists marty. What sweeping bullshit you talk. “No economic case for privatisation”.

                    For a guy who believes government should run up debt to gamble on banking operations you really have no idea of economics.

                    • Marty G

                      yes, i do. and i’ve seen plenty of arguments for selling that will enrich the wealthy and foreigners but none that will boost economic growth

                    • Emp

                      That’s because you always conventiently ignore any evidence that doesn’t support your partisan opinion. That makes you a partisan hack.

                      Go and read more. There’s plenty of evidence that says state asset sales improve the performance of those assets and therefore economic growth. In fact the large body of evidence overwhelmingly supports this position. It is as overwhelming as the scientific opinion on man made climate change.

                      Yes you can dispute that asset sales benefit the country but carrying on with your partisan bullshit that the economics doesn’t support asset sales makes you look as stupid and irrational as the folk who say climate change isn’t happening.

                    • lprent []

                      There’s plenty of evidence that says state asset sales improve the performance of those assets and therefore economic growth.

                      Where? You’re asserting that you can point to such evidence – I bet you’re just fetching the claim from your navel lint.

                      As far as I can see almost everything shows that there are few benefits to the public from privatizing natural monopolies, and a whole pile of downsides to the public who originally owned those assets. Sure it may be useful in the short-term to initial shareholders as they flick the asset to suckers. The buyers usually seem to get screwed as well if they hold those shares for too long as the assets are stripped.

                      Cite something or brand yourself as a simple bullshit artist who really doesn’t have any idea what you are talking about – which is what you appear to be.

                    • kelsey []

                      Probably the only thing that Jim Anderton’s said that I agree with is that the only thing worse than a state monopoly is a private monopoly.

                      Despite everything, there’s a lot the left and right can agree on – where there isn’t a market, privatisation isn’t a great idea. It wouldn’t make sense, for example, to privatise the police.

                      However the notion that the only difference between a state owned organisation and a private one is the profits the private one needs is false. The difference which seems to be ignored by Marty and others is that of behaviour. State owned organizations are significantly constrained in their behaviour which leads to less dynaminism and matching of services to demand. This is where private organizations can do better. As a silly example, do you really think your local coffee shop would do better as a KiwiCoffee-government-owned enterprise?

                      What if it’s a company with exporting ambitions, and wants to borrow capital to set up foreign operations? Is that a sensible use of tax payer funds if they compete with, say, health and education? Does it make sense to increase taxes on everybody, or let those with surplus cash fund these expansions (i.e., they can invest, rather than forcing middle NZ with debts to invest)

                      If you don’t, then the question becomes where do we draw the line between what would benefit from being state owned and what would not.

                      Kiwibank would seem a good candidate since it operates in a competitive environment with other private players. The reality though is that the goverment has over 50b of assets in the form of companies. So to a large extent the debate is a bit irrelevant – the focus for the government has to be on making the performance of these organizations get up to speed. The government claims to have most of its efforts in this arena, despite the fact that if successful they would in fact undermine a lot of the supposed motivation to float said assets.

                    • Marty G

                      Emp. you’re a guest here. Watch your manners.

                      You don’t know how much I’ve read on this topic or how I’ve read it. It is my opinion that none of the economic evidence supports privatisation. No-one has made a case that NZ would be better off with more asset sales.

                      You can see my reasoning in any number of posts on this site under the category ‘privatisation’

                      You can judge what I write and offer your opinions on it. And you’re welcome to, as long as you don’t act rudely.

                    • Akldnut

                      Emp
                      There’s plenty of evidence that says state asset sales improve the performance of those assets and therefore economic growth.

                      Yep classic examples would be a Tranzrail, BNZ, Telecom, Forestries……..

                      Can you actually name any that have improved our economic growth more than putting profits into multinational bank accounts?

                      Serious question BTW

                • The bullshit is yours Emp.!
                  Key has said many times that he will not sell Kiwi Bank “This term”(sic,) as Marty says there is only one way to interpret that “he wants to sell it next term The Nats have hinted at other SOE sales .including State TV, radio , the Concert programme is in grave danger of being sold of to advertising companies. ACC that’s a certainty ( Lord bloody Michael Ashcroft my bet to buy) .
                  I could go on .The fact is privatization is in the DNA of the Nats and thats what they want to do.
                  Of course one could ask how anyone can believe Ky at any time ,when he cant even tell the truth about his winery ownership.

        • r0b 7.1.1.2

          Key’s word is trusted

          Wrong, just ask Tuhoe.

          which is why he’s the most popular prime minister ever.

          Wrong, when did he top Clark’s 59%?

      • tsmithfield 7.1.2

        “they haven’t said they won’t sell assets despite being repeatedly asked. It’s pretty clear what they want to do.”

        I haven’t said I won’t murder a hundred children sleeping in their beds tonight. That means I’m going to, right?

        • Marty G 7.1.2.1

          If you were asked if you intended to break up with your partner or sell your car and you said ‘not now’ then the reasonable conclusion is you will eventually.

          • tsmithfield 7.1.2.1.1

            No, thats not a conclsion, Marty. Its a possibility. One of many. I might eventually decide not to sell my car, but overhaul it instead, or go to relationship counselling rather than break up with my partner.

            “not now” does not imply an inevitable course of action will eventually occur.

            What you are doing is mounting a strawman argument with no foundation whatsoever. Why not wait until the Nats say what they actually intend to do before launching into a half-baked attack.

            • Marty G 7.1.2.1.1.1

              keep telling yourself that, ts.

              interesting how you’re so desperate to believe that the nats aren’t for pro-privatisation. I assume you’ll be joining me in strongly opposing the privatisation that they will put forward.

              • tsmithfield

                I actually think they probably are favourably considering privatisation of some things. However, I’ll reserve my position on whether I think the Nat’s plans are a good idea or not until I have actually seen something concrete from them. I think it would be a good idea if you did the same rather than constructing strawman arguments based on the worst possible incarnation of privatisation that you can imagine.

                For the record, I am not actually in favour of privatising every state asset. There are certain things I think are better in public ownership. The power network would be an example of something I think should never have been privatised.

                • Marty G

                  my assumptions are based on what happens in real privatisations, not a worse case scenario.

                • felix

                  Shorter tknorris:

                  “The Nats haven’t said they want to privatise. Therefore I don’t support privatisation.

                  However I believe they will announce their intention to privatise at some point. At that point I will support privatisation.”

                  You really are a sad little weed.

  8. Ed 8

    Selling assets is, at least currently, politically unacceptable – the excesses of the ‘within living memory’ real life examples are too numerous, but we some seem to think w cannot learn from our mistakes. Outsourcing is of course quite OK. It’s a well established way to access specialist leadership and expertise without the costs of trying to develop that expertise yourself. That expertise does not of course come without a small market premium however – who could begrudge paying the market price for those skills and that knowledge. In some cases, the government has spent a lot of money in the past developing infrastructure; and there may be capital costs that have been incurred in the past, and may be in the future. Rather than burdening government finances with the costs of raising further capital for maintaining a facility, the private market can supply that with a lot less fuss – and again there may be a small margin for that skill and expertise that we are buying in, but who would begrudge that. So we can have an outsourcing contract that provides better service (private contractor is have to be more efficient; as they need to survive and grow a competitive market – but some commentators do seem to be confused about what they are more efficient at doing). If the total cost to government is less than they were previously paying (including capital charges for infrastructure), isn’t that a win win for everyone?

    To give a good example, our government must be spending a bundle in the new prison on Auckland. Lets suppose the total capital costs are the equivalent of $x million a year, and the costs of running the current prison are $y per year. If we could persuade a private company to manage the new prison for say 80% of $(x+y) per year, that would be a huge saving, wouldn’t it? And if we can get such a good deal, it only seems reasonable to give a long term contract of say 25 years. By then the prison may need to be refurbished, but that is something our government can do as efficiently as the private sector, so having the government come back in at that stage seems only fair, and in the best interests of us all.

    You just know a public private partnership can give the best of both sides contributing to take our nation . . .

    • Marty G 8.1

      why can the private provider provide the same service for 80% of the price while making a profit? If it has ways of saving money, the public system can do them too with no profit on top

      • Ed 8.1.1

        Sounds too good to be true? Shame on you to have so little faith in private companies. Its all in the negotitations, MartyG. Compare the income equivalent of the capital costs of building the new prison (equivalent to the interest plus capital repayment costs if it was all financed from borrowings), plus the costs of running the current prison (which is known to be inefficient) with the running costs alone of a new prison (yes you would include an adjustment if the new prison was ‘larger’, but that’s a minor detail . . .) . Would you find 90% to be more believable? Comparing apples with pears you can make the numbers sound really really good. Perhaps I could convince you that if the private contractor raises the capital (at higher costs than the government) that it is reasonable to keep all the assets and liabilities off the government balance sheet . . .

        • Marty G 8.1.1.1

          I’m not arguing with your made up numbers.

          “Compare the income equivalent of the capital costs of building the new prison (equivalent to the interest plus capital repayment costs if it was all financed from borrowings), plus the costs of running the current prison (which is known to be inefficient) with the running costs alone of a new prison…. Perhaps I could convince you that if the private contractor raises the capital (at higher costs than the government) that it is reasonable to keep all the assets and liabilities off the government balance sheet .

          The government wants a prison built and run. All the capital and operational costs of that must ultimately fall on the government. It’s just a matter of when it pays and to whom.

          So, can outsourcing the operations to the private sector save money?

          No, it shouldn’t. Any money savings that the private sector government can make the government can make too – there’s no such thing as private sector magic that means they can save where the government can’t. Plus the private sector needs to make a profit.

      • seth 8.1.2

        You’ve obviously never worked in a government department Marty……. having experienced it during the peak years of the previous Labour government, it was a complete and utter joke the amount of money being pissed away……

        Thats how you provide 80% cost for the SAME services when privatisating, as well as turning a tidy profit.

  9. randal 9

    the government must stay on national. it is not the nineties where the whole kit and kaboodle was given away because no one could see into their machinations and more importantly publish them.
    now with the net they are open to supervision and the opposition must oppose.

  10. richgraham 10

    Thee is an extensivee article in the NZ herald Business section today about Kiwibank, in which the reasons for all of this political shilly-shallying over Kiwibank are identified. Why don’t you all go and read that article “why Kiwibank is hungry for capital” chaps/chappesses (the author is Mr Gaynor), and get your feet back on the ground.
    This blog entry by Marty and many the comments in it, to me typify why the left continues to lose ground in NZ, and will end up being unelectable for aeons.
    Come on Labour wake up !

    • Marty G 10.1

      no-one’s arguing that Kiwibank doesn’t need more capital. it’s a question of how it gets it. the cheapest way is by holding on to its profits for a while, not paying dividends to the govt – that’s effectively borrowing at sovereign rates

      • Fisiani 10.1.1

        The cheapest way for Kiwibank to get more capital is to break it’s contract with the Government. The best way for Kiwibank to get more capital is to have it raised by NZ investors. The best way to have NZ investors is to offer them share options. Offering them share options is not selling Kiwibank. If it owned in whole or in majority by the Government then it is not sold.

        • Marty G 10.1.1.1

          do you know what a share option is? at some point, they mature.

          What contract with the government are you talking about?

          Any investor or lender demands a rate of return that varies with, among other things, who they are lending to. the lowest rate of return is always on sovereign lending, much lower than the rate of return private investors via the stockmarket demand.

        • Lazy Susan 10.1.1.2

          And so pass ownership from all Kiwis to a few and ultimately to the competition i.e. Australian banks. I usually respect Gaynor’s ideas but this one’s dumb.

          It’s fraught with regularatory difficulties and has the additional overheads of a share float and being a public listed company. In addition, as Marty G has pointed out, it’s unnecessary to raise the very small amount of capital required.

          Interesting how National is now interested in growing the bank they never wanted started!

  11. BLiP 11

    Great post MaryG. This privatisation-by-stealth program by National Ltdâ„¢ is evident in the way it has gone about selling Auckland – set up a committee of cronies, load the body with huge debt ($200m+ already) and leave whatever comes behind with the TINA argument to sell off vast chunks. Meanwhile, in Christchurch, National Ltdâ„¢ hasn’t even bothered to pantomime democracy and has effectively removed any obstacle to the privatisation of regional assets. The other tactic in play is the privatisation by a thousand cuts vis-a-vis Whanau Ora, ACC and now WINZ.

  12. Nick C 12

    “National really, really wants to sell assets it’ll be worth a fortune to their rich mates who can’t seem to generate any success on their own without a government hand out.”

    Actually what was worth a fortune to the rich was Labours buyback of kiwirail. Deal of the century.

  13. Jenny 13

    Most businesses make a surplus, often called profit. Who gets this surplus and what they do with it depends on who owns the business.

    For instance Telecom which makes an annual profit approaching $1 billion
    to do with as they wish.

    Whatever that is, it is not for increasing infrastructure, that’s for sure.

    That’s being left to the taxpayer.

    The role out of broadband in this country, which Telecom refuses to invest in and which the lack of is widely acknowledged as a crimp on economic growth, is having to be paid for by the taxpayer at a cost of, according to last month’s budget of $248 million over 4 years.

    How can this be considered better for the country?

    What else could Telecom’s almost $1 billion surplus have been used for, if it was controlled by the public sector.

    The 2010 budget reveals that the taxpayer pays $4.2 billion for tertiary education. Tertiary education is a public good providing the highly skilled people needed to maintain a modern economy. Yet universities up and down the country are having to put caps on student enrollment, not because these students are not qualified to go to university but because the universities are facing a short fall in funding for the demand they face.

    Without the benefit of higher education according to the universities, due to the recession most of these young people will go straight on the dole.

    Not only will this be a tragic waste of human resources it will act as a further brake on the economy.

    How can this be considered better for the country?

    Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has admitted:

    Enrolments were naturally higher during a recession, “but the reality is that that is all the funding we have”.

    In response to this lack of ‘funding’, Steven Joyce’s government is determined to cut government income further with privatisations, which allied with tax cuts will lessen the government funding not only of education but health care and other social provisions. This is all in line with the blindly political, (and self serving), neo-liberal mantra about the need for smaller government provision, and that private provision is better. (Returning huge surpluses and profits to their mates is never mentioned, and if it is, only as a happy side effect of privatisation.)

    If we were able to take the $248 million needed for broadband roll out from Telecom’s profits, this would still leave more than enough to fund a place in university for everyone qualified and willing and able to enter higher education.

    Thousands of extra highly qualified graduates could make the difference between a successful economy and a failing one.

    But oh no, the private interests of Telecom come first.

    And so it will be with any other privatised state assets.

  14. Jenny 15

    While these parasites are living it up.
    A week after the robber budget, the Sunday Star Times goes all apocalyptic warning for the rest of us:

    Brace yourselves – the four horsemen of a grim winter of rising bills are on their way

  15. Adrian 16

    Is’nt that the point Kelsey, state orgs are constrained in their behaviour so that they don’t regularly fall over because of personal issues, such as greed,disinterest or incompetence of owners or managers. They have to answer to a fairly tough board.. Cabinet usually, who mostly have an eye on the next election.

  16. Jum 17

    What was all that about this morning on the business section of The Nation with the guy espousing a Kiwibank cooperative? That’s still a slippery slope; look at the dairy cooperative shareholders with all the pressure of getting capital from the market place and in danger of losing their control over their own businesses.

    Let’s do what Sam suggested; government could issue the amount needed to bring Kiwibank up to par with their rural lending expansion – about two days worth of government spend according to him.

    The garbage this government is spreading is untrue; there is a great future for Kiwibank as long as it stays in New Zealanders’ control under government/public ownership. This government’s backers’ greed is showing and their plan is to cut out competition which leaves money in New Zealand and not in Australia, or elsewhere.

    The liar Jkeyll will sell our bank because that is what he has been instructed to do. Pesky Kiwis mustn’t be allowed to stand in the way of market forces and conservative, authoritarian world government by the stateless, immoral and unethical moneymen.

    The heathens are at the gate and they wear armani.

  17. felix 18

    Interesting reading the comments from Ed, emp, and others on this topic.

    It’s like we’re supposed to pretend that the 80s and 90s never happened and we have no real world experience of privatisation in this country, and their ideas are new, bold, brave and untested.

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    RedlineBy Admin
    15 hours ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    20 hours ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    24 hours ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    3 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    3 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    4 days ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    4 days ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    4 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    5 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    6 days ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    6 days ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    7 days ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    15 mins ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 day ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    6 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    6 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    7 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
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