English in serious trouble

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, August 6th, 2009 - 70 comments
Categories: bill english, parliamentary spending - Tags:

Over at Red Alert, Trevor Mallard has posted a form that all MPs wanting an out-of-town allowance must fill out. It asks MPs to list their residential address, and asks “Is this residence the place you would normally go to when you are not on parliamentary business?’

If Bill English put down his Dipton farm and ticked “Yes”, he is in serious trouble.

As John A pointed out yesterday, English has not only been living in Wellington for yonks, he even told the companies office he lives in Karori. So if English put down Dipton on his Parliamentary form and said it was his ordinary residence, it suggests he has lied for his own monetary gain.

I’m not sure about the legal ramifications of that, but politically it’s suicide. The onus is now on English to release his form if he wants to clear his name.

70 comments on “English in serious trouble ”

  1. Pat 1

    When is a Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister “not on parliamentary business”. When he is on his holidays?

    With a decent defense (say Judith Ablett-Kerr!) there is enough ambiguity in the question to get out of it.

  2. IrishBill 2

    I think releasing the form is an important step towards “rounding the story out”.

  3. Bender 3

    Maybe a legal defence Pat – but the public sure as hell aren’t gonna stand for it.

    If English told parliamentary service that his primary residence was Dipton to get tens of thousands of dollars from the taxpayer, his ass is on the way out the door.

  4. vto 4

    In keeping with the “they did it too” defence, and “rounding it out”, lets see Helen Clark’s form with regard to her Auckland home too.

    Just because previous ministers are no longer ministers does it remove them from a possible fraud charge. Watch out you lot or you will end up shitting in your own nest.

    • Bender 4.1

      You’re stupid vto.

      • Pat 4.1.1

        No Bender. The public aren’t going to believe calls for English to be sacked, until they are sure all other MP’s are squeaky clean.

        There is one, and only one, clear winner that will emerge from all of this. His name is John Key. I am amazed that none of you can see it.

        • toad 4.1.1.1

          At least Key, to his credit, doesn’t claim the allowance, presumably becasue he decided he doesn’t need it.

        • Eric C. 4.1.1.2

          Well the public bought it when Marian Hobbs and Philida Bunkle were being trashed by the Nats and their buddies. And, we now know that English wasn’t squeaky clean then.

          You won’t find another case like English.

          Still, you are right Pat. Key will be a winner. When English goes there will be no one standing at his back holding a knife, just waiting for the right moment.

    • Bright Red 4.2

      Actually, Clark spent as much time as she could at her family home in Auckland, even in sitting weeks she usually went back on Thursday or Friday.

      She never liked Wellington much by all accounts. She certainly didn’t live there full-time like English does.

      • BLiP 4.2.1

        Yep.

        Helen never really “got” Wellington – whanganui-a-tara.

        She was always was an Auckland chick. I was always disappointed that Helen would inevitably chose going “home” rather than spending the weekend in Wellington. Of course, her busband lived there – (never got to know Peter) – but, when ever she was asked why she would rather go to:”Dorkland”, Aunty Helen always said: “the league are playing BLiP: as much as I would like to hang with you and your mates, I’m off to see Stacey Jones kick some Aussie arse.”

        She loved her footy.

    • Must … confuse … and … divert

    • Trevor Mallard 4.4

      Everyone knows that Helen and Peter’s primary residence was Cromwell St Auckland. TVNZ often interviewed her there. There is no they did it too defence available to this one.

    • lprent 4.5

      Don’t be a dork vto. She spend most sundays at home with Peter in Cromwell Street. On saturdays she’d do electorate work. On occasions, usually when there was a state occasion that Helen had to put up with, Peter would head down to wellington for the weekend.

      Peter worked at Auckland Uni, except for a stint at Canterbury in mid-00’s. Then both of them would usually commute to Auckland during the weekends so Helen could do electorate work but still spend time with Peter. Bloody hard workers both of them. Like Jarbury, I’d see them for one thing or another periodically.

      I’d suggest that you ignore the miserable misogynist liars of the right, especially that blowhard Ian Wishart who makes his ‘research’ up largely by imagining his fantasies and then jerking off on it. They simply couldn’t stand seeing women being effective and chose to blame it all on Helen.

  5. vto, except when Helen Clark wasn’t on parliamentary business she lived in Mt Eden. I used to see her Labour caravan in Sandringham every Saturday morning.

    • Pat 5.1

      I don’t think she was ever in it.

      • jarbury 5.1.1

        Considering I saw her standing out the front of it on many many occasions I think you’d be very wrong there Pat. I used to live on Eden View Road, very close to Sandringham shops and drop my girlfriend at work at 10am every Saturday morning. I’d often see Helen around there chatting to locals.

    • IrishBill 5.2

      And her husband lived and worked in Auckland.

    • felix 5.3

      The chap at the Indian takeaways round the corner from her place seems to think she lived there when she wasn’t in Wellington – and that her favourite is rogan josh.

      I don’t think a rogan josh would stay warm all the way to Wellington (depending how fast you drive, of course)

  6. Bender 6

    Can’t you buy stocks at ipredict on whether National will lose another Minister this year?

    In the words of the crazy Japanese tv show Banzai – PLACE BETS NOW!

  7. infused 7

    I think you’re wrong if you think you’re going to see bill go.

    • Chris 7.1

      yeah your right. He hasnt even the balls to say he was wrong. Gives the money back but says he was right all along.

  8. vto 8

    Don’t get me wrong – if English has been fraudulent then I dont see how he can stay, and he should go. And be charged appropriately.

    All I am suggesting is that fairness should prevail and all ministers etc should be open to the same scrutiny.

    Is that fair or not fair? Because to just select the odd one and leave out others is ludicruous in the extreme and would never fly (except in this funny place).

    • felix 8.1

      Then find another minister doing what Bill’s doing – claiming an out of Wellington allowance for living in his own family home in Wellington – and I’ll stand beside you and call for the same.

      Go to it.

      • vto 8.1.1

        1. No time or ability or desire. I’m sure there are others out there beavering away at it and will wait for that.

        2. People are getting ahead of themselves. Just allegations to date, nothing proved.

        • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.1

          1. Then until those beaverers actually find something it is not ‘selective’ to ignore what they find. Otherwise we can’t say anything ever, because who knows what some beaverer might find next week.

          2. Allegations with evidence, that haven’t been denied by anyone. Key was defending English till a couple of days ago. We are ignoring your allegation that some beaverers might find something similar to what English was doing in Labour’s camp untill those beaverers themselves front up with such an allegation. We do this because we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.

          • vto 8.1.1.1.1

            Ps B you are too clever – care to come over to the dark side? could with some more bwains over here..

            anyway,
            1. I aint ignored it, if you check my post above re calling for English to go, and be charged, if true.
            2. There aint no evidence here. The main post simply has a blank form, thats all.

            • vto 8.1.1.1.1.1

              woops, I mashed up 1. anyways, you know what i mean.

              must be the midday sun on my head…

            • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1.1.1.2

              I think it’s more about ethics and morality than legality, so I’m not sure if charges are the aim.

              There is no denying that he was:

              1. Claiming to have his residence down south.

              2. Living with his family in a mortgaged house he owns in Wellington.

              On 1, he claims to reside down south for two reasons,

              firstly to not be seen as a carpetbagger. Fair enough, it’s a polite fictio that most MP’s use if they’ve been in Parliament long enough.

              Secondly though, he is claiming that the house down south is ‘his residence’ to get extra money, money intended as a reimbursement for the extra costs he is supposed to incurr from living away from home. we know he is doing this, because he gets the money. That’s not a polite fiction, but a damn rude one, given his well established family life in Wellington.

              So that’s the evidence. As I understand it the form contains a question that he must have answered to get the money. That answer could be very politically awkward. I’m not sure about the legality.

              As for your kind offer about the switching, I’m sorry but I must decline at this point in time. Our music is better, our crazies less scary, and I just find that the left bettter suits my eschatological framework, if this all changes though, I’ll certainly consider the right as a potential provider.

  9. toad 9

    Been doing a bit more digging into this.

    Seems that 1989-90, when he was first seeking the National Party nomination for Wallace and then contesting the electorate, is the only time Sir Double Dipton has actually lived primarily in Dipton since 1987.

    And, in the words of English’s fellow National Party MP Jackie Blue, Mary English was a “Wellington general practitioner” as of 2001, so the English family were well established as Wellingtonians by then at the absolute latest.

    • toad 9.1

      Update: David Farrar is attempting to raise a defence for English that under section 72(6) of the Electoral Act, an MP does not become a Wellington resident just because they spend most of their time in Wellington.

      The problem with that defence is that the provision is specifically for the purposes of the Electoral Act. Parliamentary accommodation expenses are not paid under the Electoral Act. They are paid from parliamentary appropriations pursuant to the Parliamentary Service Act and the Public Finance Act.

      (6) The place where, for the purposes of this Act, a person resides shall not change by reason only of the fact that the person—

      (a) is occasionally or temporarily absent from that place; or
      (b) is absent from that place for any period because of his or her service or that of his or her spouse, civil union partner, or de facto partner as a member of Parliament; or
      (c) is absent from that place for any period because of his or her occupation or employment or that of his or her spouse, civil union partner, or de facto partner; or
      (d) is absent from that place for any period because he or she, or his or her spouse, civil union partner, or de facto partner, is a student,—

      even if such absence involves occasional or regular residence at another place or other places.

      • vto 9.1.1

        Now we’re getting somewhere. Some bones with meat attached. Onwards chwistian soldiers …

  10. Tim Ellis 10

    There are probably a lot of details that might provide context to this. Like whether Mr English sought or received advice at any point from the Clerk about his MP’s accommodation allowance.

    Nice of Eddie to jump to a conclusion though.

    As a matter of principle I think it is appropriate that an MP representing an out of Wellington electorate receive an allowance in Wellington. If that person is a Minister and has to spend most of their time in Wellington, I think the family should be able to move to Wellington so they can live together.

    I spent many years working in a consulting practice that frequently had consultants flying in for projects. We paid accommodation allowances for out of towners, and one of the priorities was to ensure families weren’t split apart unnecessarily.

    • Eric C. 10.1

      So, Heather Roy should be getting paid to live in her own home in Wellington too, then?

    • Pascal's bookie 10.2

      There are probably a lot of details that might provide context to this.

      Indeed there might be. I’m glad you agree there should be full disclosure.

      …consultants flying in for projects. We paid accommodation allowances for out of towners…

      What about 20 year projects where they bought a house and their spouse set up a profitable business in the city?

      • Tim Ellis 10.2.1

        In that case PB they weren’t out of towners as they relocated, but the firm paid relocation costs.

        From what I’ve seen the arrangements for MPs or Ministers are any more generous than mid-level corporate executives. Which is about what they should be.

    • BLiP 10.3

      timmytimmy . . . probably . . . timmytimmmy . . . might . . . timmytimmy . . . blame someone else . . . timmytimmy . . . matter of princple . . . timmytimmy . . . it happens in the business world . . . timmytimmy. . . families split apart . . . .timmytimmy

    • ghostwhowalks 10.4

      It was his choice to move his family to Wellington plus he gets the costs of travelling to Southland electorate paid by taxpayer.

      • Tim Ellis 10.4.1

        Yes Ghost I see you’re quite happy to see a father split up from his young family. Very decent of you.

        • jarbury 10.4.1.1

          FFS Tim, nobody’s saying that. We’re just saying he should have fessed up to living in Wellington and not claimed the extra money.

        • BLiP 10.4.1.2

          Ignoratio elenchi – you’re scraping the bottom of the barrell today, Timmy.

    • SPC 10.5

      So you think all non Wellington electorate MP’s should get free accommodation on top of their salaries. This regardless of where they live.

      If someone got salary + free accommodation in the private sector they would be paying tax on the value of their free accommodation.

    • Trevor Mallard 10.6

      And if the advice was incorrect then the money should be repaid – without interest. But one of the things one learns when a Minister is that when you sign a document you take responsibility – blaming advice is not good enough.

      • luva 10.6.1

        Just take him outside and punch him Trev.

        That is your way to settle disputes isn’t it.

        IrishBill: I’ve not seen you comment before and this is a troll comment. One more and you’ll be banned for as long as I see fit.

        • luva 10.6.1.1

          That is fair enough IB. My apologies for being a troll. Whatever the hell that is.

          It just annoys me when that thug starts preaching about what is acceptable in Parliament when his actions last year made the place look like a third world circus.

          And for the record I for one think Bill English should tender his resignation immediatley. I have no doubt that what he has done is technically legal and will use that as an excuse to stay there. But it is morally wrong. Especially when he is telling every other government department to be frugal.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    It’s fun, in a sick kind of way, to watch the right as they try to defend the indefensible perpertrated by their heroes.

    • vto 11.1

      Draco, if you look closely most of the ‘right’ are not actually defending anyone. What they are suggesting is due and fair process across all ministers, rather than a lynch-blog-mob.

      But you all do seem to be enjoying the mob mentality rush to the head ha ha.

      • Pete 11.1.1

        Remember the Winston Peters fiasco during the election vto?

        Sure it was a ‘bad look’, but he was found to have done nothing wrong. So glad there wasn’t a “mob mentality” then.

        Kudos to the right for their fariness and balance – it’s just such a shame us pinkos forget how generous you are with due process on the right.

        Apologies, the Winston thing was the first one I thought of.

        Oh, and my two cents is that I would actually like to see the expenses of all Ministers held to account – I don’t care what the colour of their flag is – if only because we are all under recessionary pressure.

    • Especially when you remember the way they shouted and screamed about corruption over the past 9 years. I thought the left’s response has been positively restrained in comparison.

      I have one question though.

      Can we expect an apology?

      • luva 11.2.1

        A Labour MP was found guilty of that this week. The screaming was therfore justified so why would anyone apologise

  12. ghostwhowalks 12

    English has claimed both Ministerial allowances ( to live in Wellington) and

    parliamentary allowances to travel back to Dipton – more likely Queenstown

    which is an hour up the road from Dipton

  13. Pat 13

    Let’s spell it out for you Lefties. If English is found guilty of fraudulent activity, he should be, and will be, sacked. No if, buts, maybes and Mallards.

    This is not Field Theory 101.

    • BLiP 13.1

      Surely English must step aside from his Finance portfolio until significant allegations in relation to fraud are resolved? Unless, National Inc’s new standards don’t apply in this case . . .

      • Tim Ellis 13.1.1

        Yes good idea BLiP. Let’s suspend all of Parliament until Mr Key’s investigation and recommendations come back for a month. Since the situation appears to cover most of Parliament.

        Or don’t you want the same standards applied to Mr Goff as you want applied to Mr English?

  14. Zaphod Beeblebrox 14

    Actually all this may prove to be useful distraction for him. Do you think he really wants to talk about presiding over the largest quarterly increase in unemployment in 20 years?

    I’d be more than happy to give him the money if it means he does his job properly.

  15. vto 15

    oh I give up.

    i agree it is a shockingly bad look, and possibly reality, for the minister of finance. and simply paying back some will not take it off the front page when the main issue is where his primary residence is / has been (and as ive said several times, many long term pollies appear to have two residences). that will need to be cleared up asap and i will be watching the msm closely the next day or so to see what magic this lot pull out of the bag to answer that.

    note tho that all ministers, current and previous, are up for this type of analysis and until it is all done and dusted everyone may as well play at mowing down the possums in the headlights (said reaching for top gear while peering thru the goggles for chris carter).

  16. Adrian 16

    There’s no work being done on righting the economy or even mitigating the effects of the recession because a shit scared Key has just about everybody in Wellington on inquiries and arse covering for the inept, corrupt, venal, philandering, immoral , hypocritical bunch of outright mongrels that he has around him [ like attracts like]. If there is already this much crap spilt in 6 months there has to be a brakeless, out-of-control night cart coming around the corner.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 16.1

      If they can have an enquiry to decide if Climate Change exists, they can have an enquiry into anything.

    • Kevin Welsh 16.2

      Comedy gold, Adrian 🙂

      • IrishBill 16.2.1

        I hear those inquires and the perks that started them have been added to the tally for the economic stimulus. Only 10 scandals more and we’ll have the 3rd largest stimulus package by percentage of GDP. I expect the Herald to celebrate centrist Key and his brave willingness to engage in Keynesian economics any day soon.

  17. BLiP 17

    I just find that the left bettter suits my eschatological framework,

    Yeah?

    Me too.

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  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    5 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    6 days ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    6 days ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    7 days ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    7 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago

  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 days 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 days 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 days 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 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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
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  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
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