“Dark, dirty and heartless” – Nats & Nick Smith

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 pm, September 25th, 2013 - 52 comments
Categories: accountability, brand key, Conservation, david cunliffe, greens, labour, russel norman, same old national, water - Tags:

There were two very good speeches in the General Debate in the House today from opposition leaders.  Both of them showed just how dodgy Nick Smith’s record is, and why he should be, yet again, stood down as a Minister.

Russel Norman began his speech by comparing two agendas competing in New Zealand at the moment

1) “A smarter greener more compassionate New Zealand”. (clearly of Labour and The Greens.

2) Government’s agenda of “Dark, dirty and heartless”

Norman goes on to use the example of Nick Smith’s interference in the submissions for the proposed Ruataniwha Dam. (See Adam Bennett’s report a couple of days ago, on the pressure on Smith).

David Cunliffe also gave a very rousing speech, in which he makes a few jokes at the expense of Birther Hooton, and his clumsy and failed smear attempts.  Cunliffe is on fire here, and talks about the Key government having reached it’s tipping point, and “looking tired, ragged and desperate.

Cunliffe goes on to focus on the real issue the government is covering up, that of the Ruataniwha Dam and a Minister of Conservation who,

is such an endangered species that he couldn’t even claw his way into the chamber, Mr Speaker.

Cunliffe spells out three “capital crimes” of which the “endangered Minister” is guilty.

Self contradiction (with Smith’s changing story over the DOC submission)

Excess intervention

Repeat offending (Smith’s history of scandals, e.g his letter of support for Bronwyn Pullar, through the Exclusive Brethren, to being found guilty of contempt of court.)

How long before Key steps up and yet again removes this dodgy Minister from his portfolio?

And today Cunliffe raised further questions about interference to suppress the economic concerns about the Dam project as expressed by the Ministry of Primary industries.

“Dark, dirty and heartless” – indeed.

[Update] In continuing to support Smith, John Key (reportedly) makes a startling declaration about his own disregard for honesty. Adam Bennett reported yesterday: (h/t Tracey)

“I haven’t followed everything step by step, it hasn’t seemed necessary to be honest, but I have complete confidence in him.”

52 comments on ““Dark, dirty and heartless” – Nats & Nick Smith ”

  1. vto 1

    Yep, with each passing dodgy deal for mates

    and each passing lie of John Key and his bunch of goons

    their stink increases

    it is palpable in the streets

  2. vto 2

    And “dark, dirty and heartless” indeed…

    New Zealanders have finally become serfs in our land. Proof of this passing is cheerily provided by the Federated Farmers.

    When Lees Valley was sold to foreign US investors a week or so ago, Fed Farmers came out saying that they supported foreign ownership of our land “because New Zealanders cannot afford to pay for it”. i.e. the farm is too expensive for kiwis to buy.

    The irony and hopelessness encapsulated in this view is quite horrifying. For a start fed farmers can’t seem to appreciate that the only reason for such a situation is because foreign landlords have been allowed carte blanche to become our landlords, hence bidding up the prices to this unattainable level.

    Secondly, where does that leave us? Slowly being able to afford less and less of our own land. Serfs and tenants is what we have become. It is not something in the future – it has happened already (as with most tipping points, they pass before the populace realises they are passing).

    And of course the short minds of fed farmers cannot see that of course New Zealanders can afford to buy these larger operations – provided we ban foreign landlords. The problem is not the buyer situation it is the seller situation – they need to get realistic on price to fit within NZ. The foreigners can still invest in the farm business, just not the land itself. Business investment is after all what they crow that they want. Land value speculation is not part of that business investement. Or is it? Actions speak louder than words and if land value speculation is important to these foreigners then we should be very very very careful about such a situation.

    Let them be the tenants of us, not vice versa.

    We have become tenants in our own land and this sale and Federated Farmers view on it is evidence that this situation is now a reality.

    It is fucked in the head. So fucked in the head that my vote is following this issue to the ballot box.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      +1

      Need to ban foreign ownership now and we don’t need foreign investment either.

    • Tracey 2.2

      isnt meridian selling off land prior to the share buy up? Wonder who will buy it.

    • Roy 2.3

      If farm prices were based on what a farm can realistically earn (net) per year, rather than on anticipated capital gain, then farm prices would be a lot lower than they are.

      • vto 2.3.1

        And lower farm prices help everybody. Less of a farmer’s toil would need to go towards interest payments to a bank loan, or alternatively more of a farmers toil can be used for farming rather than just land ownership.

        More of the nations wealth stays with the farmers and the wider community when land values are lower.

        This is a simple truth. Why do people think high property values are good? I suspect the answer would be very revealing …….

  3. Tracey 3

    Quote from Key on the Nick Smith issue

    “it hasn’t seemed necessary to be honest”

    Says it all donthcathink?

  4. Harriet 4

    “…..Excess intervention….”

    Cunliffe is over reaching here I believe: DOC works for the Government, not the Green Party.

    National will now just stare Cunliffe and Norman down over that point.

    And they definetly will – they want a good quick kill where Cunliffe is concerned – and this looks very much like an easy one to me.

    just sayin.

    • vto 4.1

      Harriet you seem to imply that DOC must do what the current government tell them, no matter what the law says which DOC operates under. If so then you are in la la land and best go get some understanding about how the system works. This will highlight how Nick Smith, John Key and all the other little boys along for the ride consistently break the law and our constitutional system. For their own gain.

    • Delia 4.2

      Trouble is Harriet, all that ‘staring down’ is not working anymore. The public are seeing through it more and more, hence the latest Polls.

    • Suitably Clueless 4.3

      You are reaching here Harriet, the Department doesn’t work for any political party. It would make sense that the Department of Conservation would align a bit more politically with the Green Party than with any other party, I think you may be a bit confused with how the arms of government actually work. Look it up on wikipedia, who knows, you may learn something.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      Cunliffe is over reaching here I believe: DOC works for the Government, not the Green Party.

      Wrong, DOC works for us to protect our environment from deprivations from anyone – including the government.

      • Harriet 4.4.1

        Just listen to Norman:

        He wants to pour battery acid all over the NZ economy to dissolve the issue of nitrogen contaminating the water ways!

        They done the same thing with a carbon tax. No one is going to win from taking that approach – moreso the poor, the underpaid & the underworked. He’s an idiot.

        [lprent: If you want to quote facts, then link or source to it or face getting banned. Read the policy.

        I’d give you a warning. But basically in this case I suspect a simple minded lie by a stupid troll. So you have a 1 week ban unless you can show where Russell Norman said that he wanted to pour battery acid all over the NZ economy.

        I’m also concerned about your habit of diversion trolling. ]

        • vto 4.4.1.1

          yep harriet you’re onto it again. Just keep taking the environment and adding it to your dinner plate. I mean, it is what NZ has done the last 150 years, that is why we have shitted up waterways, might as well keep doing the same thing. Dunno what we will do when there are no river left to take though. Take something else perhaps? Maybe the national parks and conservation estate? There is a lot to eat there that’s for sure. And after that is taken? Any suggestions harriet?

        • vto 4.4.1.2

          oh mr prent, harriet was just becoming fun.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.4.1.3

          Nope, Norman and the Greens are doing what’s needed to protect the economy and making it so that we live within our means (otherwise known as sustainably). National are doing the exact opposite and making it so that the poor will be massively worse off in a few years time once our land is polluted beyond it’s capability to sustain us.

    • Roy 4.5

      DOC is supposed to work for the good of all New Zealand, not for any given government and certainly not for the National Party.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.6

      Thats not how it works, Minsters are specifically barred from interfering in operational decisions like this one. DOC has a statuary duty to give their best advice in many instances like this. The minister cant pick and chose on the ones he wants to interfere in. And last time I checked Smith is no expert on water quality science. The levers he can pull are legislative, change the laws.

  5. Tracey 5

    Pretty sure DOC works for parliament and therefore NZers. You remember them Harriet?

    You OK with Key’s lies which have cost taxpayer money and other aspects of NZ society.

  6. Harriet 6

    Submissions that DOC makes with regards to resource consents etc etc must be within the scope of general Government policy, so it is quite appropriate that the Minister can intervene if he sees fit.

    All company boards with far less revenue than DOCS operate in this way with regards to scope and the general direction of operations – more so if they hold government contracts! It’s nothing unusual – let alone unlawful. Councils do it too.

    • vto 6.1

      “Submissions that DOC makes with regards to resource consents etc etc must be within the scope of general Government policy, so it is quite appropriate that the Minister can intervene if he sees fit.”

      You are 180 degrees wrong harriet. Why have you simply repeated what you previously wrote?

      completely and totally and utterly hopelessly 0/100 wrong

    • Pascal's bookie 6.2

      Harriet, listen to vto.

      you are just wrong about this.

      Ask yourself why, (if what you are saying is true), Smith hasn’t replied to the questions by simply saying:

      “Sure I saw that draft report and told them it wasn’t what I wanted. So what?”

      He hasn’t said that, because that would be highly improper.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        I think that Harriet has very little idea other than that of corporate style rule. The concept of independent neutral advice seems to have escaped her.

    • Tracey 6.3

      You are wrong. If you were right there would be no discussion because DOC would never have contemplated a submission opposing Nick Smith’s preferred outcome. But they did contemplate it. Do you see your problem? It’s the contradiction.

      DOC is not a Government Board. Apart from anything else it is formed statutorily which a Company Board is not.

      I can understand why you don’t get this, 5 years of National’s brainwashing has got you believing NZ is a company.

  7. Harriet 7

    I was making a general opinion of the Greens.

    I also referenced it as a general opinion “..They done the same thing with a carbon tax…”

    C’mon, the general perception that the Greens themselves give out to the voters about the state of the enviroment is one of distortion, false claims, false scenarios, exageration ect. Everyone knows that.

    I was also of the understanding that this site is affilitaed to Labour. Not National. Not ACT. Not the Greens. And DaviD I believe has not ruled in or out a coalition with the Greens. They’re fair game.

    But yes, I will tone down my comments if you prefer.

    [lprent: It wasn’t expressed as an opinion, it was expressed as a fact. I really don’t care how you want to lie to yourself.

    What you were doing was putting words into the mouths of a politician and not making it clear that was what you were doing. It is a classic strawman technique. It is a technique to create a “general perception” because you can’t even state something is a general perception as being a fact unless you back it up with something like a poll.

    If you are going to make foolish statements, then make sure that it is clear that you are the dickhead saying it. Don’t put words into other peoples mouths unless you have a reasonable proof that they in fact made them.

    …this site is affilitaed to Labour

    No – read the about – we aren’t affiliated with the Labour party (and there are many inside the NZLP who’d be horrified if we were). We are part of the “labour movement”. The NZLP is just one part of that.

    It isn’t hard to argue that both the Green party and the Act party were partially formed out of that movement as well (less so for the Greens than for Act). In many ways it is easy to argue that the National party was formed to solely to provide opposition to the labour movement back when the Reform party and the Liberal party had to coalesce to try to stop the labour movement taking the government benches.

    And in any case it makes absolutely no difference to what the policy is on asserting facts without substantiation. That is just a tiresome diversion.

    Toning down your comments isn’t required. Just stop asserting facts that are not, get into the habit of linking those that are, and always remember that relying on the “common perception” is a good way me expressing my individual perception of how much crap that strawman is. All of those are irritating trolling techniques that I abhor. ]

  8. Roy 8

    It’s depressing to think that people like Harriet, who simply don’t understand how our system of government works, get to vote. I am increasingly of the opinion that we should have compulsory Civics lessons in school.

  9. Roy 9

    BTW Harriet I am a public servant and all the people who are telling you that you are wrong, are correct.

    • framu 9.1

      its funny how people cant distinguish between parliament and government

      well – not that funny – just rather sad

      its right up there with the idea that the biggest winner of elections under FPP is somehow the heir apparant, and that list candidates arent voted in

      civics all the freakin way – i always like this (true) example of the need for this.

      bus passenger 1 “so who are you going to vote for?”
      bus passenger 2 “i dunno, im just going to see whos ahead in the polls and vote for them”

      yes, that actually happened. Heard it with my own ears

      • Molly 9.1.1

        Our household has an (entirely unsubstantiated) theory that given our media and national obsession with sports, that NZers are indoctrinated into picking winning teams.

        When you rate yourself as successful for being supporters of the team that wins – without regard for sportsmanship or fair play – life becomes much easier. That one-eyed vision then translates to politics, which is why the constant polling and reporting thereof before election has more of an impact than it should on uninformed voters.

        Of the uninformed: A clear leader in the polls has a great weight if you are undecided, you will be on the winning team if you vote him in. However, if you see a leader in the polls to whom you are values unaligned, you will choose not to vote, and disengage (at least it means you have not chosen a loser!).

        As mentioned, entirely unsubstantiated – but in line with your anecdote and topic of good conversation for a while…

        • Rogue Trooper 9.1.1.1

          some merit

        • karol 9.1.1.2

          I am reminded of Bryan Gould’s latest article about the “hollowing out” of democracy.

          Very few seem to realise how thoroughly our civilisation has been transformed by the triumph of the “free market” ideology. They do not see that Western liberalism, which has informed, supported and extended human progress for perhaps 700 years, has now been supplanted by an aggressive self-interested doctrine of the individual which leaves no room for community and co-operation. Even the victims of this comprehensive and fundamental change seem hardly aware of what has happened.

          Fukuyama failed to recognise, in other words, that the threat to Western democracy came from within those democracies themselves. It came from the greed and self-interest of the rich and powerful and their ability to manipulate the “free” market to their own advantage, but also from the quiescence and apathy of that much greater number who fail to understand that democracy is necessarily sidelined if the market cannot be challenged. The substance of democracy has been hollowed out, so that only the shell, the forms, remain, because we have not cherished and made a reality of what was our most valuable protection and greatest achievement.

          So saddening.

  10. aerobubble 10

    So a department spent hundreds of thousands of tax payers money, highlight a very real risk to long term tourism and health costs, and this minister’s dept in the last moments before the submission was to be made exchanged it for a positive two paragraphs. Why hasn’t the Minister resigned or sacked one of his staff? Or could it be, the Minister has a record of not facing up to his errors and has a huge incentive not to be caught acting inappropriately as it will be his last days in parliament.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    lol

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/09/general_debate_26_september_2013.html#comment-1206484

    The difference betwwn this case and the ACC case is he intervened in an ‘operational’ matter in the ACC case. In the DOC case, any submissions DOC makes with respect to resource consents etc must align with general Government policy, so it is quite appropriate that the Minister can intervene if he so chooses. DOC works for the Government, not the Green Party.

    Therefore John Key and Nick Smith must just stare down Labour / Greens on this one and tell them where to stick it.

    So it wasn’t even original ignorance!

  12. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12

    “I haven’t followed everything step by step, it hasn’t seemed necessary to be honest, but I have complete confidence in him”

    This is a baseless smear. He clearly means that, to be honest, it hasn’t seemed necessary to follow everything step by step.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      Yeah.

      He’s just going on the record that Nick Smith’s shit sticks to Nick Smith, but as long as he doesn’t get busted he’s still golden.

  13. Rogue Trooper 13

    But wait, there’s more;
    MPI, who shared DoC concerns -” Dam makes no economic sense” , serious concerns about the economic merits of the RWSS and the likely phosphate toxicity occurring , also “watered down ” their submission to the Minister responsible.-RNZ Checkpoint.

    • vto 13.1

      So its not just the blind leading the blind among the supporters like Harriet above but it is the blind leading the blind among the proponents of the dam scheme too as well as the blind leading the blind around nick smith’s table.

      We have dishonesty piled on top of blindness.

      • Rogue Trooper 13.1.1

        blind to everything but their own economic survival and profit. Add up all the issues raised over this Dam, from the conflicting interests between local iwi who opposed and Ngai Tahu who want to invest, the seismic risks, through to economic realities and likely pollution and it appears to be blatant Crony Capitalism, amongst other criticisms. Just a shocking farce.And they wonder what drives people to civil disobedience. Urrrgh!

  14. tracey 14

    Gormless fool lost his sense of humour and perspective

  15. Sable 15

    Dirty politics from a so called government that knows nothing else.

  16. tracey 16

    just want to say that I know what key was saying. I know that the joufnalist didnt put the comma in. I was making a joke of how it was written and how the left coukd twist it if they had an idiot like hooten. for those who thought I was serious. wooooosh.

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    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    7 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago

  • New support for agricultural emissions reduction
    The Government and the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) are together committing an additional $8 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
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