Dispatches from the Mirror Universe: Herald vows to fight super-council

Written By: - Date published: 1:18 pm, April 10th, 2009 - 36 comments
Categories: Media - Tags: ,

democracy-under-attackToday, The Herald relaunched it’s ‘Democracy under attack’ campaign with a front page editorial. The editorial is damning of National/ACT’s plan for an Auckland super-council. Here are the main points:

  • 12front200“everyone, regardless of their political hue must oppose the removal of representation without consent”
  • “the precedent is that when a merging of councils is proposed there should be a referendum for the people to decide”
  • “Key and Hide can not claim that the Royal Commission report constitutes the people having their say. Especially when the plan they have unveiled bears no real resemblance to the Royal Commission’s proposal”
  • “the local boards will be useless. They have no powers and appear to have been created merely to give the appearance of democracy”
  • “There is a reason why National and ACT have proposed this scheme and Left-wing groups have opposed it. The design of the super-city will clearly favour Right-wing candidates by excluding the voices of the many”
  • “The super-mayor and super-council will, in all probability, be white, rich, business owners, and male. Others will find it impossible to be viable candidates. That’s not democracy as we understand it in modern New Zealand.”
  • “This is not about politics, this is about democracy. The Herald will oppose the creation of an undemocratic super-city without consent every step of the way”

Back in the real world, The Herald showed it’s hysteria last year was not really about democracy at all, it was about getting National into power.

36 comments on “Dispatches from the Mirror Universe: Herald vows to fight super-council ”

  1. Tom M 1

    “The design of the super-city will clearly favour Right-wing candidates by excluding the voices of the many’

    Just putting this out there, but didn’t the Right just win an election? That seems to me like the ultimate expression of the voices of the many.

    Otherwise though, I agree that a ‘supercity’ is a bad idea.

    • People don’t know the difference mate, and most peopled don’t even vote; local elections are even more flawed than national-level. This will simply be another a case of those getting into power not necessary representing the interests of the people, rather interest of big business.

      Politics 101

  2. lprent 2

    I don’t think much of the super-city. There is a post of mine sitting in the queue where I’ve looked at it from a campaigning perspective.

    The basic problem is that they have made the interface between the voters and the councilors far far too coarse. The proposed local boards are useless. The wards are ridiculously over sized and the at-large votes for councilors and the mayor are just ludicrous.

    Not to mention the donation systems etc.

    Be nice if the Granny actually believed in democracy – but I suspect that they are just interested in headlines

  3. gingercrush 3

    I wonder to what extent the Mt. Albert by-election will be run on the Super City issue.

  4. Gooner 4

    I keep hearing that the local boards will be “useless”.

    How does anyone know that without the legislation being drafted?

    Th shrill of the Left in the last week has been priceless though.

    • lprent 4.1

      It is pretty straight forward. They have no control over either budget or revenue gathering. Tell me, what use can they be?

      If you ask me, they are both useless and Worthless (He can’t Hide).

  5. The Baron 5

    But your beloved labour party started this process, guys… and the “evil” nats ignored the local representation aspects and are planning to implement something far more palatable in that regard.

    Really though, it is incredible to read some of the comments on this blog sometimes. It appears that the only “valid” outcome that you guys can see is one where the left win elections, be them national or local. Anything else is explained by big business bias, or evil machinations of some vast right wing conspiracy (heh), or some mass delusion amongst the populace. If only everyone knew as well as you lot eh!

    Simply put, it appears that the majority of people like these proposals. Just like the majority of people like the national party. If that is the case, then what is a viable strategy for the left to run – knocking, and automatically siding with a minority? Or positing a better idea, and trying to convince the majority.

    The above is the difference between being bad at opposition, and good at it. You lot, and the labour party, need to learn how to do the latter.

    • Pascal's bookie 5.1

      “The above is the difference between being bad at opposition, and good at it.”

      Shit mate, we’ve only been at it for a few months. You and your’s had 9 years remember.

      As for the rest, if you really want to discuss wether the right or the left is more prone to conspiracy talk, I’ll gladly take you up on that.

      • The Baron 5.1.1

        Hahaha quite on the conspiracy point… though in my opinion, too many on both sides engage in conspiracy instead of analysis. I frankly hate arguments based on such things, regardless of the colour…

        But hey, you guys may be good at it after nine years too… you’ll certainly have longer than three to get used to it at this rate!

    • lprent 5.2

      To date it has been hard to find anyone who has anything good to say about them apart from Key/Hide. It will be interesting how people think after looking at the proposals in more detail.

      • The Baron 5.2.1

        If you’re referring to the current mayors/concillors/community board chairpersons, then I’d argue that they are hardly objective commentators. All of them will be too petrified that there aren’t as many sinecures as their once was. And please, that comment applies to the C&R side as much as the Vision side.

        I’m relying on anecdotal comments – as far as I am aware, there has been no real objective “test” of what the people of Auckland think of the idea.

        So, I am prepared to admit that my statements are not at all scientific, and merely a statement of my opinion. Are you guys prepared to say the same about your “everyone hates it” statements?

        • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1.1

          though in my opinion, too many on both sides engage in conspiracy instead of analysis. I frankly hate arguments based on such things, regardless of the colour

          Good-o

          If you’re referring to the current mayors/concillors/community board chairpersons, then I’d argue that they are hardly objective commentators. All of them will be too petrified that there aren’t as many sinecures as their once was.

          hmmm. 😉

          • Lindsey 5.2.1.1.1

            Sinecure, hah! About $10,000 pa for Board members at Auckland City and $20,000 pa for Board Chairs. You do not do it for the money

    • Sean 5.3

      “But your beloved labour party started this process, guys and the “evil’ nats ignored the local representation aspects and are planning to implement something far more palatable in that regard.”

      The problem is National has ignored the conclusions of the Royal Commission and come up with its own supercity.

  6. gobsmacked 6

    Baron

    “Labour started this process … ” – demonstrably false.

    Labour appointed the Royal Commission. National are ignoring the Royal Commission (including the Commission’s proposals for consultation). Do your homework.

    You state: “it appears that the majority of people like these proposals”

    Evidence?

    • The Baron 6.1

      Gah, to the substance man – the larger point is that your sour grapes approach to politics is NOT GOING TO WIN ELECTIONS.

      But to your counter arguments – why did Labour appoint the royal commission then? They wanted to blow $5m for the hell of it? Or because they wanted some recommendations? Recommendations were given, and the nats are implementing them! Hell, they’re even modifying them to increase local participation, which I would have thought you lot would piss your pants over.

      But no no, while I may need to do my homework, maybe you could take off your red tinted glasses and see that the majority of New Zealand no longer thinks your friends have the answers to these questions.

      As for my comment regarding the popularity of the proposals – I worded that in such a manner that shows it is not a fact based opinion. See the use of “APPEARS”. Do you have any evidence that the majority of Aucklanders don’t like these proposals?

      • lprent 6.1.1

        No they aren’t implementing the Royal; Commission’s plan (bad as that was). They are implementing their own that bear virtually no relationship with the commissions. It is less democratic, more venal, more expensive and difficult to implement as well. In short – another Key fuckup (with Hide as a sock-puppet)

        Tell me, have you read anything on this subject or are you just excreting this bullshit without bothering with such difficult things as facts or learning?

        • The Baron 6.1.1.1

          Hey, I’m open to be educated – can you point me to the “facts” that I should be reading about this subject to educate myself?

          Because having read the Royal Commission’s report, and the release that the Govt came out with following, I can certainly see plenty of similarities. Anything that changed was on the basis of feedback offered, particularly on the local representation/engagement changes.

          But hey, if I missed a better source, please point me to it. Links would be nice – I’ll read them tonight and come back with some new comments.

          • lprent 6.1.1.1.1

            Try No Right Turn. Or wait until tommorrow when I point out some flaws you can drive a bus thru. It is scheduled for about 10am. I’m at the movies so ….. NRTis on the blogroll Left

          • BLiP 6.1.1.1.2

            You cannot be making the comments you are if you have read the report.

  7. r0b 7

    the larger point is that your sour grapes approach to politics is NOT GOING TO WIN ELECTIONS.

    Isn’t it? The “New Zealand Sucks” campaign won an election for National…

    I’d much rather the Left was always upbeat and positive, but the sad fact is that negative campaigning does work.

    Excellent post btw, was wondering when something would come out on Auckland. Key’s determination to ram this through without any public consultation is yet another example of his contempt for the democratic process.

  8. Gooner 8

    “The problem is National has ignored the conclusions of the Royal Commission and come up with its own supercity.”

    That’s not a problem, that’s a solution.

    The Commissioners proposals removed grass roots democracy – Community Boards – and kept in place monolithic bureaucracies that were simply renamed local councils. The Government’s proposal is to reverse this and put in place much more democratic institutions through the local boards. Democracy is always served best by, through and with communities. It was absolutely nonsensical to give councils a name change and keep them in place while at the same time demolishing community boards. No one has any idea what the powers of the local boards will be because the legislation hasn’t been drafted yet. How anyone can comment that they are “useless” without their parameters set is beyond me. You’re just playing politics with this, nothing else.

    And the Government has reduced the elected-at-large component of the Commission’s report from 10 to 8. That’s an improvement on the report.

    Honestly, the debate around this is not very intelligent, and that doesn’t just include this blog. It will be important for the local boards to have a lot more power than the current community boards and I reckon that’ll happen. If it doesn’t then I agree that criticism would be warranted.

    • lprent 8.1

      The government has made a virtually powerless community board system into a totally powerless local board system. At least the community board members could get to talk to the far larger number of councilors.

      With only 20 councilors across the whole city, and running a completely different type of campaign, the opinions of local board members will be worth nothing. The only thing that they are there for is to give voters something to blame that isn’t the councilors.

      Since the councilors do all of the money allocations across the local boards, I’d expect that some kind of reward system would run. Any local board that disagreed with allocations and spoke about it is going to get their resources chopped.

      Essentially the local boards should be avoided at all costs by political or public spirited people. You cannot do anything from that position apart from being a patsy.

      • jarbury 8.1.1

        The number of councillors proposed by the Royal Commission is virtually the same as the number proposed by government. The difference is the 3 Maori councillors – which is a whole different issue that has side-tracked most debate so far.

        Does anyone know what powers the ARC thought community councils should have, when they made their submission to the Royal Commission?

  9. There are many ways in which the governments plans are similar to what the Royal Commission came up with. These are big things like one unitary authority, one District Plan, one water agency, one rates bill and one transport agency. In fact, the majority of the commission appears to have been implemented by the government in their “response”.

    HOWEVER, there are some crucial aspects that have been changed. I’m more of a fan of the 20-30 boards than I was of the 6 local councils – however that’s only on the proviso that the 20-30 boards actually have some realistic power. For example, they could have the right to levy a targeted rate on their area for a local project. This is something that the Auckland Council shouldn’t be able to say no to. Getting the powers of the local boards sorted out will be a crucial process, and I certainly hope they end up being more than just glorified (and definitely more than gutted) community boards. In terms of ensuring the “local” in local government, surely a local board with 80,000 people is better than a local council with up to 400,000 people as your most local point of contact.

    The other main thing the government has messed with is the structure of the Auckland Council, and how it is elected. I think the original split was 10 councillors at large, 10 from wards and 3 Maori. That’s changed to 8 at large, 12 from wards and 0 Maori. Clearly Maori have been disenfranchised, but putting that aside we now actually have fewer “at large” councillors than before. I would clearly prefer a situation where they were all elected at large – but I think it’s incorrect to say the government has made this situation worse than what was proposed by the royal commission.

    Labour should be focusing on wanting three things here:

    1) More power to the local boards
    2) All councillors elected from wards
    3) Return of the Maori councillors (though it’s not totally clear what their opinion on this is).

    Other losses, such as transport funding not being “outcome based”, and the loss of more say into social spending, seem to have been largely ignored.

    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath-water here in critiquing the Super City. There is a lot right with what’s happening here, it just needs a fair amount of tweaking.

  10. lprent 10

    Apart from the super-city stuff. Does anyone actually expect the NZ Herald to do any kind of stand for ‘democracy’ when it doesn’t involve advertising revenue.

    I personally thought that their spirited defense against the EFA was mainly motivated by lost advertising revenue and a desire to have a more compliant government in power. To date I haven’t seen a damn thing at an editorial level (apart from keeping Rudman) that makes me even consider anything different.

    As the post says, the Herald is an Auckland paper. To date (with the exception of Rudman) I don’t think that there has been any serious analysis of the effects of this change on the local ‘democracy’. Mostly what I’ve seen a reprints of press releases – including in the editorial pages. For instance the announced detail on the ‘grassroots’ local boards essentially says that they are powerless. The Herald from what I’ve seen still seems to think that it has a place and purpose – for what exactly?.

    For instance Fran O’Sullivan has largely been repeating the mantra from the business community. That almost entirely ignores representation issues apart from the fact that business people are looking like pigs in a trough. And yes I’d agree that the business community will be well represented. The proposed system is perfect for businesses to buy councilors for stupid events like road races to screw our traffic.

  11. jarbury 11

    lprent, I thought that Thursday’s herald felt like the final straw. The day after parliament’s first debate on the super city and the day after Helen Clark’s valedictory speech we get a herald editorial advocating for the removal of all school zoning. I mean seriously WTF?

    • lprent 11.1

      The Granny is pretty much a waste of effort these days… It does represent a part of the thinking in Auckland – their readers. Relatively affluent, highly conservative, and diminishing.

      Can’t think why anyone would bother advertising there. Much faster, cheaper and more effective on trademe. I managed to rent my apartment out in a few days, cost buggerall, and was minimal effort.

      • ak 11.1.1

        Yep, Lyn, the granny’s been a total joke for quite a while. The Lenin/Helen faux-hysteria sealed it, and the continuing “your views” farce confirms her current readership and inevitable demise.
        SuperAuk is a genuine and obvious travesty of democracy – the boards a pathetic and blatant sop – but hey, who cares? – less community power means less community spirit – and powerless, spiritless, atoms of production are the basis of the balance sheet: the essential, pliable commodity of granny’s advertisers….who also buy the rag, and whom she also fired up to toss out Helen with the ludicrous “death of democracy” crap!
        And now, faced with a genuine attack on Democracy, the classic boy who cried wolf.
        Shuffle off, gran: you’re a sad joke.

      • BLiP 11.1.2

        The NZ Fox-News Herald only cares about filling up the space left behind after the ads have been sold. The Herald is a foreign owned publication dedicated to the maximising of returns to shareholders.

  12. Irascible 12

    Just watch the social services of the present cities disappear under the super sucker city system… no more free library services, swimming pools and community support systems … here comes the NACT agenda “USER PAYS + BIG RATES INCREASES” Welcome to the right wing world of selfish agrandisement by media “stars” and the like.. no way I want to have welcome holmes or can you banks on it representing me and my community.

  13. Pat 13

    Len Brown said it best on Radio Live when he asked why everyone expects John Banks to become the Supercity mayor. As he pointed out, the Left have the numbers if they all pull together behind one left-leaning mayoral candidate (presumably himself). Then the Lefts biggest fears about the Supercity can be quelled and they can make the changes from within.

    That is the challenge – can the Left pull together under one voice.

  14. BLiP 14

    The model for the Auckland Super City is the National Party’s wet dream for what they want for New Zealand. The rewrite of the Royal Commission’s report and recommendations has morphed into a CEO, a Board of directors and impotent consumer feedback. The whole thing is a perfect set up for the wholesale distribution of the city’s infrastructure to John Key’s overseas mates.

    And who said he would stick up for the weakest and most vulnerable? Why, its Double Dipper Sam “Lotto” Iinga . And what’s he got to say about the situation? Sweet fuck all.

    Thanks National.

  15. DeepRed 15

    The ultimate embarrassment for Minister Hide would be the election of a Ken Livingstone figure for Greater Auckland. And even more so if Rodney de-merges Greater Auckland in an act of spite, like Thatcher did with the real Mayor Livingstone’s Greater London Council in 1986.

  16. jarbury 16

    Who is that person going to be though? Mike Lee – doubt it after the whole Beckham incident; Len Brown, who?; Andrew Williams – LOL.

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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    5 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    6 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    7 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Wednesday June 5
    TL;DR: The public health costs of human-caused air pollution in Aotearoa-NZ is estimated at $38.8 billion a year because it kills 3,300 people each year, which is almost ten times more than the death toll on roads from accidents. Yet the Ministry for the Environment has just one staff member ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 1
    This is the first of a two-part guest post by Grant A, a long time reader and commenter with a keen interest in all things urban, especially cycling and public transport. He’s been thinking about how to fix Broadway. Stay tuned for Act 2! Readers might remember the pre-Christmas traffic snarl-ups in ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Road trance
    Sometimes technology is your friend and sometimes it can’t be bothered with you. Once you’re away from home and your dependable wifi, well, there’s no telling what will happen. I’ve been going in and out of high-speed and low-speed no-speed Internet pockets all over England and France and look, I’m ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • You Can't Undo Fake News
    Hi,I’ve been thinking a lot about Corey Harris, the 44-year old man who went viral after Zooming into his court appearance while driving. The headlines generated were basically all the same: “Man With Suspended Driver's License Dials Into Court Hearing While Driving”. The headlines said it all, and most people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week 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
    5 hours 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
    6 hours 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
    6 hours 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
    6 hours 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
    6 hours 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
    22 hours 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
    22 hours 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
    22 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Visit to Viet Nam strengthens ties
    New Zealand and Viet Nam are focused on strengthening cooperation by making progress on mutually beneficial opportunities, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. “Viet Nam matters enormously to New Zealand," Mr Peters says. "Our countries enjoy broad cooperation, in such areas as defence, security, trade, education and tourism. We are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers funding boost to fix potholes
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to boost funding for pothole prevention, with indicative funding levels confirmed by NZTA showing a record increase in funding to help fix potholes on our State Highways and Local Roads, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The NZTA Board has today confirmed indicative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government making fuel resilience a priority
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will halt work on procuring reserve diesel stock and explore other ways to bolster New Zealand’s diesel resilience, Associate Energy Minister Shane Jones says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will also begin work on changes to the minimum fuel stockholding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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