Darkhorse: Why selling infrastructure is stupid

Written By: - Date published: 6:51 am, August 23rd, 2011 - 59 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

Why selling infrastructure is stupid

Public infrastructure includes a range of assets and services that enable an economy to function. Many take the form of networks where completeness of the network is essential to its functionality. Networks allow the core of the economy to interact with the periphery.

  • Networks are required to always have spare capacity
  • Networks create opportunity not value

Infrastructures do not, at their optimum service level, usually operate profitably, they create opportunity for profit making activity. It is impossible to run an infrastructure to maximise returns to the owner while also maximising economic value to the economy.

Infrastructure is typically owned by a governance entity on behalf of the collective of those who benefit from it. This agency takes a number of forms but most typically is the state, local government, or an owner’s cooperative. This has been the case for as long as history because infrastructure is both a natural monopoly and also because the economic optimum level of service is well beyond the profitable level of service.

Infrastructure also has a large beneficiary class who benefit as much from its existence as its use (think roads). This is a problem for the owner as there is no direct means of capturing the value of the indirect benefit other than by taxation (or property rates).

This is why the mixed ownership model is unsound. Furthermore it is not possible to have two owners, the state and the investor, with conflicting expectations of value.

New Zealand is full of lost opportunities to maximise the economy because privatised infrastructure over-charges and under-provides. This means that both use and utility of the infrastructure are constrained and the entire economy constrained accordingly.

Public ownership of infrastructure was never a problem and management of publicly owned infrastructure was never the problem.

What we had and still have, is a governance problem.

Those who decide on the investment strategies and management policies were the problem. The fact that Parliament is still contemplating partial privatisation of infrastructure shows that Parliament still does not understand its governance role.

The privatisation of public infrastructure has become a popular concept. After several thousand years where the logic of public ownership prevailed, it has suddenly become a good idea to sell essential public services to profit making entities. Private business love this as it gives them an asset that it can either strip of capital then dump or can be run at a guaranteed profit as a natural monopoly. Often the new owners attempt both (as with NZ rail and to some extent Telecom) only to be eventually thwarted by deterioration of the function of the asset at which point the State has to restore it to public ownership (NZRail) or regulate the activity at a cost to the inflated capital value of the business or otherwise regulate and subsidise the restoration of its function (Telecom).

Private owners usually hit these assets savagely when they first take control, stripping out much of the bureaucracy that contains the organisation’s intellectual property. Service reductions are presented as efficiencies when they are typically cost transfers from the cost of operation out to the wider economy.

When communities or states sell their infrastructure they seem to view the proceeds as a windfall. The beneficiaries of these “windfalls” do not seem to understand that nothing is free.

The taxpayer and the infrastructure user are one and the same person.

The “windfall” must be paid for and the only ones who benefit from the services of the asset they have just sold is themselves. That they have sold an essential service, something they cannot do without – to some one who has no regard for anything other than profit does not seem to register in their awareness – until the first bill comes in.

Our leaders have in effect sold the right to be taxed forever in return for a once only payment. This is a Mephistophelian deal. In all cases it would be cheaper and much less foolish for the community owning the infrastructure that they wish to sell to go and obtain a loan against the asset and spend the money. They will have to pay the money back but at least they will still both own their infrastructure and have control of the cost of debt.

This thinking seems to have reached its ludicrous extreme when it results in the Victorian State government selling parts of its electricity reticulation network to a Singaporean based retirement fund.

Every time someone throws a switch in Victoria they make another small payment towards someone’s retirement in Singapore. It needs to be asked why is it that an agency of a foreign government can do a better job of owning and managing a strategic asset essential to the economic future of Australia than the Australian Government?

This is a statement about the relative competence and strategic vision of the politicians forming the Australian Government and the Singaporean Government rather than the relative merits of state versus private ownership.

We have the same problem.

At least the Aussies stood up to their government when it came to selling the Snowy River Scheme!

59 comments on “Darkhorse: Why selling infrastructure is stupid”

  1. Eddie 1

    Dead right.

    We’ve seen too much of what happens when infrastructure is run on a for-profit basis. The underinvestment of the 1990s in power, telecoms, and rail as private companies tried to extract a profit by cutting their biggest expense, new investment and maintenance, and upped prices.

    Private companies, especially foreign ones, have no interest in the long-term economic health of the country, not if they can extract larger profits sooner with vampire tactics.

  2. vto 2

    Where is our glorious Prime Minister’s similarly well considered and mature outline of the case for selling these assets?

    Has anyone ever seen it?

    Has he done one?

    • vto 2.1

      So, this was a serious question. If anyone knows easily … where could I find a considered written piece by Key or English on why this privatisation is a good thing and that answers the counter-questions?

      If it doesn’t exist then it has occurred to me during a morning drive in the exquisiteness of a blue blazer Canterbury morn that you labourites could take this and other arguments to the people. Weekly, in each of the main newspapers publish something which outlines the arguments around your main policies. Every week, same place and time in the papers. This would then surely force the nats into making their arguments in return… no?

      If they refuse to debate these things as they are now then you are letting them set the scene. Take the debate to them. Force them to answer in more than two sentences.

      Has John Key ever addressed an issue in more than two sentences that is not pre-prepared?

      • AAMC 2.1.1

        +1

        Start to take ownership of the debate, but although more than two sentences is desirable, it still needs to be short and sharp and in layman’s terms.

      • Puddleglum 2.1.2

        Very good idea (obviously a bit of expense involved).

        What I like about it is that it:

        (a) forces deeper analysis into the public mind (there’s always someone who’ll get the argument and want to look smarter than his or her friends/workmates!);

        (b) it provides a further lever in what I detect is an emerging ‘meme’ in the mainstream media – that Key and his ministers are trying to avoid debate and sleepwalk to the election (a ‘don’t rock the polls boat by substantively discussing anything‘ approach).

        • AAMC 2.1.2.1

          “Very good idea (obviously a bit of expense involved).”

          group funding, it works for journalistic and art projects, just needs some clever techie person to set up some sort of donation site and a bunch of us with facebook, twitter and e-mail to draw attention to it, full page ads, totally separate from any party, a citizen like Darkhorse (assuming he/she’s not a member of a political party?) to write it, with some help to keep it succinct.

          Except, buying space in a paper is more than a bit expensive.

          or, street press! Print a small A6 2 color magazine, design it nice and put them in cafe’s, mag shops, community centers, gyms, hand them out to your mates…

          and, A3 posters, simple white, black text, asking simple questions, pasted everywhere.

          Go old school, the media won’t have the debate, so force it!

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1.1

            Looting with the lights on

            We may be coalescing around a very similar group of concepts 🙂

            Would comprise two parts, a printed newspaper, small format, weekly, 8-16 pages long. This paper would be sold for $2 each, the seller would keep 50c, the remainder would go back to the publisher.

            The second part would be an internet TV channel which does interviews with important NZ figures, analysis of latest events and critiques of the NZ 4th estate at large.

            • mik e 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Maori television would be a good option here Carol Hirschfelt would be the perfect producer prime time , good income earner for them .

          • vto 2.1.2.1.2

            About $4k for a double-sided single sheet to go into the Press, plus printing costs.

            Dunno, is that affordable for the left?

            • AAMC 2.1.2.1.2.1

              Teenagers and twenty something’s all around the world produce street press around music and culture.

              Recently in nz ‘Presence’ mag which has a double as a blog, which ties into CV’s idea. That allows video’s, interviews to sit amongst the txt/stories.

              Presence funds itself through story sponsorship as far as I can see.

              Funding is the issue, I think it needs to be something with no financial barrier, rather something you pick up free because it looks interesting, take it home, leave it on your coffee table, somebody else picks it up…..

      • Blue 2.1.3

        Of course no such piece by Key or English exists. Why would they bother creating something like that?

        They don’t need to convince themselves that asset sales are a good idea. Their ideology told them so. They don’t need to convince voters, who are still prepared to vote National in record numbers on Nov 26th. And they don’t need to convince the Tory media, who think asset sales are a great idea.

        And then of course there’s the fact that explaining themselves, being accountable and fronting up is anathema to them. They know that all they have to do is avoid, deflect and divert and they’ve got the election in the bag. Who will hold them accountable? No one.

  3. Jim Nald 3

    “What we had and still have, is a governance problem.

    “This is a statement about the relative competence and strategic vision of the politicians forming the Australian Government and the Singaporean Government rather than the relative merits of state versus private ownership.”

    We are too small
    We are isolated
    We can’t do this
    We can’t do that
    This is not profitable
    That is not profitable
    This is out of our control
    That is out of control

    Indeed, we need to be more competent, more visionary, and much smarter about governance.

    It’s time for a mindshift – with the Government!
    And with Kiwi voters come Nov 26!

  4. Please forward this article to Bill English’s office.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      I’m pretty sure he already knows all of it. Especially this bit:

      Our leaders have in effect sold the right to be taxed forever in return for a once only payment.

      He knows damn well that selling state assets/infrastructure just adds massive dead weight loss that his rich mates can profit from.

  5. queenstfarmer 5

    A good example of pure ideology. No assessment of the circumstances where the state should fully own an infrastructure asset vs where it might make sense [edit: not] to do so. No assessment of the very specific, targetted partial privatisation plan the Govt is seeking a mandate on. Just a blanket statement that “selling infrastructure is stupid” – which conveniently fits on a road sign.

    • marsman 5.1

      ‘Very specific, targeted partial privatisation’ Specific? Where? How? English and Key refuse to debate the issue and English keeps saying they haven’t worked out the specifics yet.
      Where is Nationals detailed analysis of their shitty little plan???

    • marsman 5.2

      National’s shitty little plan IS pure ideology.

    • Bored 5.3

      Read my comment below on rentier behavoir.

      There is also the old adage of “follow the money”. In this case those with capital are running scared and looking for a safe haven in the face of a major financial crash. At the same time the Nats have to pay for tax cuts for the same holders of capital through borrowing.

      In short the whole exercise has nothing to do with economic theory or ideology, it is a pure rort of the whole population for the benefit of the few. It is a mirror of the larcenous behavoir of the finance sector world wide. What Key and his cronies are looking for is a zero balance asset transfer of a “good renter” to themselves.

      • marsman 5.3.1

        Agree with you Bored but I do think that Neoliberalism is a rort disguised as an ideology.

    • Ianupnorth 5.4

      QSF, you probably only want to buy the shares, sell them on and then use the profit for a golfing holiday on the Gold Coast…..

    • mik e 5.5

      Qf Because its such simple idea countries more successful than actually invest. You will need more proof than a description from a dictionary and a bit of Ryalling to lever these high performing assets from New Zealanders .Just to make a quick buck for the govt of the day which has borrowed to the hilt to make its self look good now that is Stupid.When a company is going through restructuring they definitely don’t sell their best performing assets that would be really really stupid.I’m not completely against asset sales but we as investors have a right to get a true price for our assets .Air New Zealand for example is an under performing asset as far as its income is but the value to the overall economy is huge and the last govt recognized that when it went belly up . But now we should sell down for not fire sale prices to fifty one percent their it would reduce our risk and the likes of a larger carrier like Singapore airlines which is largely govt owned as well be cause they recognize that govt has a roll in helping businesses to be successful rather than the laissez fair effectively do nothing and everything will be all right Yeah right. No planning just borrow and hope. Lets just go through the portfolio of govt assets and sell off under performing assets, while being careful not to damage downstream areas of our economy. Thats how a major corporate would operate . But when you put an inside trader in charge we taxpayers are going to get ripped of big time.John Keys investments in NZRail while he was spokes man for rail for National he pretended he didn’t Know a thing netted him $10s of thousands of dollars

  6. Bored 6

    It never ceases to amaze me that the “market” proponents who propose privatisation have not read Adam Smith on this subject. He and the classical economists were reasonably clear about what “rentier” behavoir is. Privatisation is not about governance (even if that is an issue), it is about capital seeking a safe return in a near monopolistic way, pure rent seeking.

    This of course does nothing to create wealth by way of considered risk taking: the fool who runs the NZSX seems to think asset privatisation will “grow” the economy and his humble little share trading operation. Better growth or capital efficiency would result if the output of state infrastructure was zero profit rated and the output at cost was used to help new capital investments to succeed.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      the fool who runs the NZSX seems to think asset privatisation will “grow” the economy and his humble little share trading operation.

      I’m pretty sure he believes the latter, and knows that the former is bollocks.

      • mik e 6.1.1

        Now May Chen is getting in on the ACt saying she’s neutral.Yeah Right her firm is one of the biggest benefactors v in govt asset sales

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      It never ceases to amaze me that the “market” proponents who propose privatisation have not read Adam Smith on this subject.

      Market economists wouldn’t know what an economy was if it bit them. If they did they wouldn’t be spending so much of their time postulating on money and finance.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    As Bored has noted, it is now ‘loot the till’ time.

    The elites can see that everything is unravelling globally and are desperate to use this last opportunity to take control of anything that might provide them with a cushion during the collapse.

    Key is just the local agent for looting and is an opportunist. The only thing we do not know is how big a cut he and his cronies will take for the sabotage they are orchestrating. Of course, if rioters carry out looting they are charged and jailed: if elites carry out looting they are rewarded and given honours, since the whole system is corrupt (and has been from the outset).

    Governments have repeatedly got away with implementing polcies that benefit corporations at the expense of the common people by churining out the appropriate propaganda. That is the system. Governments are masters at lying to the people. Practically everything the government says is either an outright lie or is founded on some kind of lie or fabrication. Until people wake up nothing will change. Unfortunately, the chance of people waking up before everything crashes is close to zero.

    I see that gold has now broken $1900. The collapse of the economic system is relentless and is accelerating. But the Dow is up a tiny bit for the moment, so ‘everything must be okay and we must be about to see a recovery’.

    ‘selling infrastructure is stupid’

    People are stupid. That’s why governments can get away with what they do.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Equity funding is quite a cheap source of funding for future expansion of infrastructure. That is because in the case of infrastructure, the investor has to take a very long-term perspective, and may not get a return for a number of years. Compared to debt funding where the servicing costs must be “paid as you go”.

    Although equity returns tend to be higher, a NPV calculation may show the costs to be similar because of the longer delay in return for the equity investor. Also, there are less risks for the owner in raising funds through equity because the owner controls whether dividends are paid or not, whereas raising funds through debt obliges the owner to fund the servicing costs whether the cashflow is available or not.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Equity funding is quite a cheap source of funding for future expansion of infrastructure. That is because in the case of infrastructure, the investor has to take a very long-term perspective, and may not get a return for a number of years. Compared to debt funding where the servicing costs must be “paid as you go”.

      And both methods you state are more expensive than raising the money through taxation.

      The Government has to pay zero to private shareholders in that case, and has to pay zero or minimal interest to foreign banks because there is at most short term (<5 year) debt.

      • tsmithfield 8.1.1

        Except you forget the opportunity cost. Funds soaked up in taxation for some future project that might not reap benefits for 10 years or more could have been used for creating jobs in the economy now.

        • Bored 8.1.1.1

          Equity partnerships longer term are about sharing the profit. You will see if you read what I said about the use of capital that it is merely trying to find a safe home with a steady return. Rentier behavoir versus productive risk.

          The real issue is that infrastructure owned by NZ taxpayers can borrow at the same or preferential rates than the private sector can: so why pay out the returns to rentier capital? Surely that money would be better used to increase the use of these infrastructural assets through being deployed to the general economy.

          • Bored 8.1.1.1.1

            PS TS you will note that I do not think raising cash from tax for this is necessary or useful.

            • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1.1

              So…how else would you fund the spending where you would not have to pay back a loan plus interest to private capital?

              I can only think of two ways
              – You tax it
              – You print it.

              If you borrow it you are then paying 5% pa or so to private bond holders.

              • Bored

                You print it…no that is inflationary. What you do instead is to make fractional banking the concern of the people i.e. credit can only be created by the central state owned bank. The future debt created to build infrastructure is reversed out as it is repaid, and the benefits create more real wealth…owned by you and me via the state.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.2

          Funds soaked up in taxation for some future project that might not reap benefits for 10 years or more could have been used for creating jobs in the economy now.

          ? uh…building a bridge, rail line or fibre network which is government owned and operated creates jobs right now. As it is built, then operating the infrastructure, then seeing wider economic benefits from it.

    • Afewknowthetruth 8.2

      tsmithfield

      ‘future expansion of infrastructure’

      Now that is a nice delusion.

      I suggest you read some material on the end of growth. In 1972 the idea was introduced into the public forum as ‘limits to growth’. 35 years later, having ignored the obvious, the ‘idiots’ in charge pushed the economic system to the limit and hit the wall of peak oil.

      The game is almost over. Any attempt to expand infrastructure is futile and is just pouring yet more resources down the drain.

      Unfortunately, since we do have ‘idiots’ in charge they will keep doing it till they can’t….. probably 2015 the way things are looking.

      • Bored 8.2.1

        AFKTT, Growth per se may have ended, but capital still needs to be invested in transition and economic development there of.

        I dont have any issue with capital being made to take risks and consequent rewards in this transitionary phase to steady state economics. Investment going forward will be more about how invest effectively in production in a restrained energy environment.

        What we dont need is for capital to be used tying up profits for those who dont earn them actually “doing” stuff.

        • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1

          I dont have any issue with capital being made to take risks and consequent rewards

          The free market is not going to give the correct price signals to capital IMO. For ex. it is still more profitable to take infrastructure, societal or environmental capital, break it down, and sell it off and consume it than to invest in long term projects for sustainability.

          transitionary phase to steady state economics.

          What suggests to you that “steady state economics” is achievable from our current state space? How long will it take before we hit that SSE space?

          Investment going forward will be more about how invest effectively in production in a restrained energy environment.

          1) Who is going to make this investment and why would they?
          2) The salvage/scrap economy (cf brand new production) is going to be an increasing sector of the overall economy.

          • Bored 8.2.1.1.1

            CV, I think we might disagree on the role of capital: short of a complete revolution we are going to have to put up with it in its death throws. It is however important how we use corporate capital as it crumbles.

            What worries me most is that we need to produce and distribute, and I cannot envisage any system that does not have a “market” of some variety. The fear i have currently is that capital needs to be put to good use, not plundering rents. If that involves risk and reward, new ways of production with less energy then good. Let the risk takers get a reward.

            The corollary holds aswell, if capital seeks a safe home lets penalise the shit out of it.

            • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1.1.1

              There are very few ways to usefully apply capital at the moment. New ways of production is a bit generic to be my first choice. I would choose:

              1) Electrified rail everywhere, for freight and people. Other public transport systems where that is not feasible.

              2) Electricity generation from renewable sources. Several GW of it.

              3) Energy usage reduction initiatives. Insulating homes etc.

              4) Prepare low energy mining, refining and fabrication infrastructure.

              5) Sustainable low fossil fuel farming.

              6) Building up local industry and suppliers to do each of the above.

              Needs about $30B of investment over the next ten years, and a shedload of Government leadership.

              Unemployment problem? What unemployment problem?

  9. randal 9

    Yes well, all the bigmouths on the National party side have never taken a risk in their life. thats why they entered politics so they can get a free lunch and new elastic for their tight underpants.

  10. Treetop 10

    Killing the golden goose which lays the golden egg is what selling any shares from energy companies will do.

  11. clandestino 11

    Now I know why they don’t teach economics/finance in schools…so they can keep ripping us off and getting away with it

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      The orthodox economics that would be taught in schools is worse than nothing.

      Linear and curvilinear price/supply curves my ass.

  12. Ianupnorth 12

    On the radio this morning it was noted that Contact energy had made $300 million profit, despite losing customers because it was the most expensive energy provider. Admittedly $150 million was from the sale of assets to Genesis Energy, but I would rather the $3 million per week profit went to treasury rather than overseas.
    Now multiply that figure by the number of companies threatened with sale and tell me it is sensible to sell a profitable going concern.

    • marsman 12.1

      Heard on the news at noon that Meridian made a large profit as well, way up from last year, yet the head of the company said prices were unsustainable, they would have to rise! Did I miss-hear that?

      • darkhorse 12.1.1

        And once the whole lot was run perfectly well by one outfit with a CEO paid a few hundred thousand and no electricity commissions and the electricity was distributed by locally owned lines companies and retailers. And if the country needed more electricity they built some additional capacity (political interference excepted).

        The whole show was built so that we could have a modern society and a modern dynamic economy.

        Reliable, sufficient and reasonably priced Energy is vastly more important than profit. As a “factor of production” any constraint to to energy supply is a constraining limit on total economic output.

        This is exemplified by the cost of dry years when power shortages occur. The GDP effect of the supply shortages has a greater cost to the economy than building additional capacity but the supplier doesn’t have to carry the cost of lost productivity and is rewarded by scarcity pricing.

        • Ianupnorth 12.1.1.1

          Add to that one (locally based) call centre, locally based management, etc… The money saved by not duplicating roles could be used to build other sustainable means of generation (hydro, geothermal, wave, wind, etc)

          • darkhorse 12.1.1.1.1

            Actually it was even worse than that – when ECNZ was broken up it was done by engineers and they lumped the engineering lemons into the Contact basket thinking that they were being clever not realising that some such as Wairakei had an essential economic role in conditioning power after it was moved north through the DC link. The whole system needs to work as one because of the nature of the system individual power stations can hold monopoly power over elements of the grid.

  13. justme 13

    The thing is, not only does it make no sense to sell infrastructure in order to rent it back, it also makes no sense to have energy SOE’s run in their current form i.e. required to make a profit from the people they are supposed to be serving as extensions of the state.

    I think the argument that we shouldn’t sell Contact etc. because they are profitable isn’t quite the whole story – they shouldn’t be profitable in the first place. It is even more true that they shouldn’t be sold to foreign owners, who will probably run them at greater profit levels with the associated decrease in service.

    The fact that they are run as they are currently may just be making them juicier targets for privatisation.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      I think the argument that we shouldn’t sell Contact etc. because they are profitable isn’t quite the whole story – they shouldn’t be profitable in the first place.

      /Agreed

      Generally speaking infrastructure should be supplied though taxes with some pricing structure to allow people to budget their use of the supplied resource.

      • rosy 13.1.1

        Generally speaking infrastructure should be supplied though taxes with some pricing structure to allow people to budget their use of the supplied resource.

        Pricing needs to incorporate future costs – i.e. investment capital so some sort of return is required. My main objection to the competitive model is that it prices for return to investors, not investment in future supply until it’s critical. In the competitive model better returns never really gets re-invested back into the company so then we get the big rounds of price hikes

  14. sinus 14

    Partnerships in the longer term actions are the sharing of profits. You will if you read what I said about the use of capital that it is simply trying to find a home with a steady return. Annuitant behavoir against the risk productive.

  15. Drakula 15

    What Trans-rail (which was owned by a Wisconsin company) did to the rail network was absolutely dangerous. Workers were getting killed by being overworked and under staffed.

    I knew a worker there who had the absured job of welding in the gaps on the rails so that the carriages won’t go clickty-clack. I’m not kidding.

    So what happenes in the summer when all the steel rails expand with the heat?

    Yes that’s exactly what happened.

    • mik e 15.1

      Drakula When they had finished asset stripping NZRail they shot through

    • KJT 15.2

      Welding is cheaper than fish plating.

      No good for the long term reliability of the network, but of course the thieves just wanted to take the money as quickly as possible, then run. Like NACT!

  16. Jum 16

    Please enlighten me about China wanting to buy NZ farm land. Do they still refuse to sell land to foreigners? Fonterra says they are investing in China and so China should be able to invest in NZ.

    But, is Fonterra actually buying LAND in China? If not then China has no right to even think about buying land in NZ. Also, is China intending to buy that land with US$? Are the US dollars of much value? Isn’t gold the safer currency? Gattung seems to think so.

    Globally, how many countries allow the selling or leasing of their most valuable land resources? Is there a percentage rule of the amount of land, etc. that can be owned by foreigners not living/working/paying taxes in New Zealand. That would include the expat cretins who still try to control New Zealanders’ lives but don’t contribute towards NZ; instead they are extracting profits from NZ.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Fonterra says they are investing in China and so China should be able to invest in NZ.

      But, is Fonterra actually buying LAND in China?

      You’ll find that all of Fonterra’s investment deals with China have to be done in JV’s with local Chinese companies (hence the poisoned baby milk debacle).

      Part of the reason that this is necessary is because the Chinese company has to be the one to own the land, not the foreign company. Fonterra might be allowed to own (invest in) the buildings on top of the land, or the machines in the factory itself. But definitely not the land. (Closest they might get is a long term lease).

      Basically the Chinese Govt is smarter than the NZ Govt. And less shy to act in their nation’s own self interest. Whereas NZ has turned into a mediocre country of supplicants.

      • Jum 16.1.1

        Thanks Colonial Viper. This really annoys me because the media leave out that info deliberately to make New Zealand sound unfair in their dealings with China.

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    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    3 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    3 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    3 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    4 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    4 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    4 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    5 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    6 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    6 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
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