Fast-Track to Fast-Fail

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 pm, June 8th, 2024 - 35 comments
Categories: chris bishop, democracy under attack, Environment, Shane Jones, simeon brown, vision - Tags: ,

If one were to imagine a really bad re-make of The Fast and the Furious with really poor production execution and bad actors, one could realistically dream up something that would resemble the coalition government, despite the obligatory (imaginary) movie’s disclaimer. Such an exercise in fantasy land would inevitably end up as a Fast Flop at the box office. Heck, it even has a middle-aged bald actor with a greasy surname as the main lead, just like the coalition government.

The coalition government treats New Zealand society as a business that has to cut costs to make a profit and that has to satisfy its shareholders who are definitely not all New Zealanders.

Given the fast-track scheme, it is also possible the party regards democratic deliberation and consultation as a cost.

The coalition government’s business mentality sacrifices anything and everything (the means justify the end) for economic efficiency, which explains the crudeness of its political expediency such as pushing through laws and law changes under urgency in Parliament, cutting down time for Select Committees to ask for, receive, and review & discuss submissions from the public (including experts) and to report back to Parliament. In other words, the coalition government takes short-cuts and cuts corners to quickly push through its mendacious agenda. It goes without saying that this is intrinsically undemocratic and the Fast-Track Approvals Bill is the most mendacious move so far by the coalition government as it bypasses the RMA and other existing legislation and hands all decision-making power to three men who have shown to have little respect for due democratic process and only seem to be accountable to their parties and respective leaders.

Consultation, participation, and deliberation should be at the heart of the democratic process. However, these take time, sometimes considerable time. But time is money, according to business leaders who argue that we cannot afford holding up things as this would be damaging [to] the economy.

The coalition government’s agenda is more of the same boring stuff that lacks imagination and boldness. The four dreary D’s of the three dorky D’s (i.e. Chris Bishop, Simeon Brown, and Shane Jones) are: dig, drill, drain, and dairy. Exporting more raw products in larger volumes is not an efficient plan to lift this nation’s prosperity and it will be even less effective in lifting our health and wellbeing. Let’s spend $4 billion on potholes instead of funding cancer treatments.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic many of us have re-evaluated and rebalanced our lives and changed our perceptions and priorities of what is more and less important and urgent. This was perhaps a silver lining of the pandemic. Unfortunately, economic dogma has remained unchanged, as immutable as dogmas are. Less is more in our daily lives. We have become slaves to technology and have become more superficial too; it takes time to [learn to] appreciate and enjoy the good things in and of life.

More of the same boring stuff at an even faster pace is a recipe for unhappy workers who burn out even faster and more frequently. This doesn’t just apply to so-called knowledge workers but to all of us, including part-timers who may soon no longer enjoy enough sick leave to fully recover, which should give us pause to think.

Unlike good business managers, this coalition of mediocre neo-authoritarians, arrogant as they are, has not shown any signs of ability to learn from mistakes and is on a fast-track to fast-fail. However, we don’t need worry about them because no matter what, cosy jobs will await them on Boards where they can continue practicing their ill-fated foolishness.

35 comments on “Fast-Track to Fast-Fail ”

  1. Cricklewood 1

    I say better to leave it be, imagine what could be achieved by a left govt using fast track… better to suck it up for 3 years then use it to make the changes we really need.

    • bwaghorn 1.1

      Hmmm I wonder if Auckland would have had light rail if they had fast track

    • Incognito 1.2

      It is not the point what can be achieved with the Fast-Track Approvals Bill if/when it becomes Act, be it by the Left or Right – the means don’t justify the end. The point is that it is ostentatiously undemocratic and left unchallenged it opens the door to other even more anti-democratic actions by neo-authoritarian governments, present and future ones.

      Anne Salmond raised the issue again in her article in Newsroom today: https://newsroom.co.nz/2024/06/09/anne-salmond-undermining-democracy/.

      And I link again to the recent article by Alexander Gillespie: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/517329/fast-track-laws-parliamentary-urgency-treaty-tension-media-retreat-warning-signs-for-nz-s-brittle-democracy

      • Stephen D 1.2.1

        I’m really looking forward to Julie Anne Genter being Minister of Transport. Think of all the fast track cycle ways!

        • Bearded Git 1.2.1.1

          Good to hear you are coming over to cycleways Stephen. (sarc)

          And you may be relieved to know that under this government cycleway development is proceeding apace in Wanaka and Queenstown (and I believe in other places in the motu) because of the tracks already committed to by the previous government or local councils.

          Given that this is looking like a one-term government, especially in light of the 20,000 people marching in Auckland against their ridiculous fast-track bill (though I do accept that the previous Labour government opened the door for this with its own somewhat milder but also mistaken fast track bill*) the next tranche of cycleways will be able to be developed by the new left-of centre government in 2026 almost seamlessly.

          *Labour's fast-track bill, among other things, enabled a whole host of intrusive subdivisions near Queenstown contrary to the district plan. The Greens did not support fast-tracking.

  2. Jim Skeats 2

    If Global Warming/ Cooling/ Raining/ Warming/ snowing/ flooding/ changey things is indeed the greatest threat the Left Luvvies are scared about, why in the last 6 years were there so few approvals for offshore wind? Onshore wind? Solar? Why -because The Watermelons are a bunch of geriatric white feminist town planners, aka Angry Julie Genter. Not delivering jobs for Maori is simply racist. Thats why your Fast Track complaints can never be taken seriously. Shane Jones delivers jobs and renewables while you white boys just talk the talk but never walk the walk.

    • Mike the Lefty 2.1

      Try rewriting this so it actually makes a tad of sense, if you can.

    • mickysavage 2.2

      Hmmm denies climate change then complains about offshore wind when there is 1.5 gw of electricity worth of consented or likely consented on shore wind farms to be built.

      The problem is not the RMA. It is market conditions.

    • Grey Area 2.3

      Please DNFTT.

    • lprent 2.4

      why in the last 6 years were there so few approvals for offshore wind? Onshore wind? Solar?

      The Transpower electricity grid isn't currently designed for nor been upgraded to handle large amounts of renewable power from locations spotted all over the country and on the continental shelf.

      Approvals and financing is mostly contingent on being able to actually put power into the electricity grid. That is based on where the grid is currently able to accept power and where that power can get to without excessive transmission power losses.

      That is the main reason why the major push for new sources of renewable energy has been from geothermal over the last couple of decades. The plant sizes have been reasonably large and conveniently located near other generating facilities of the same type. That meant that it was relatively inexpensive to hook on to their connections to the grid, relatively near the major population and production centres further north.

      The solar options are largely north of Auckland where the sunshine is more productive, Unfortunately there is virtually no generating capacity in the north and also limited capacity for transmitting power to Auckland.

      Currently most of the offshore wind interest (as I understand it) are focused on the shallow seas of the South and North Taranaki brights. The area has had limited generating facilities and consequently limited grid transmission capabilities, and none currently for connecting the grid to offshore installations. The linked report is notable for never actually talking about how the grid should be connected and upgraded. In particular who pays for the upgrades to support offshore connections.

      As with any onshore generation development, the capacity of the national electricity grid at the connection location is an important consideration. Transpower has advised that a 200MW offshore wind development in Taranaki waters may be able to fully export to the current grid while a large 800MW (or greater) offshore development would require either a grid upgrade or a dedicated connection to a regional industrial plant.

      Taranaki does have a offshore industry developed on the oil and gas. However they also still have oil and gas extraction going on and proposals for strip mining the seafloor. All of which tend to conflict with using the same area fr

      Shane Jones delivers jobs and renewables while you white boys just talk the talk but never walk the walk.

      Bullshit. Which is exactly what Shane is mostly known for. Great on rhetoric. Never delivers anything significiant.

      This "white boy" looks at mostly actual engineering and economics. Shane Jones jut looks at how he can roll his vowels and if it gives him a hard on to be at the front of the room. All of the crap that I have ever heard Shane Jones sprout on is not doable as soon as it gets above putting up a small sport centre in a tiny town. That is because he never looks at feasibility of anything.

      That was what he was like in Labour – so much so that I pegged him as a bag of hot air who has a bad leak the very first time I heard him speak. Aspirations are all well and good, but his "solutions" were old economic retreads from the 1950s where he clearly didn't understand the underlying logic.

      It is what he was like a chair at Sealord. Strip-farming out the company so that it ran with a poor to minimal profit as its infrastructure declined and with some really piss-poor offshore investments.

      The provincial growth fund was an unmitigated waste of value because it never delivered any actual growth, and never looks likely to do so. Great if you want a sports centre in a town. Doesn't increase growth.

      In my opinion, the only thing that Shane Jones has ever managed to realistically achieve in his lifetime has been to self-promote his own interests.

      Why -because The Watermelons are a bunch of geriatric white feminist town planners, aka Angry Julie Genter.

      Clearly you're part of the "too lazy to learn" blowhard brigade as well. Can I suggest getting an inflatable sex toy, so you can use your hot air productively? But be careful of how it is charged…

      Genter is often somewhat enthusiastic about timescales and is often loose on how to pull the political capital together to actually achieve something. But she does do enough detail work on the economic and engineering so what she proposes would probably work.

      There really isn't any comparison between Jones bullshit and Genter's enthusiasm for anyone with the competence to evaluate the projects. Jones is a just a useless dickhead out for grabbing a margin for himself. Genter's projects have real possibilities of achieving the capabilities that they are intended to achieve.

    • Ad 2.5

      There is no regulatory system in place for offshore wind power. There is also no system yet for allocating blocks for wind generation (as they have for oil and gas exploration).

      Both those will require new legislation, not armwaving from any Minister.

      There are four offshore wind proposals going through data collection on ocean currents and current layering, and wind measurements. One is NZSuper. Discussions with ports and iwi and locals have been going on for over two years already.

      Victoria does have an offshore regulatory system in place, but they are finding the port upgrade requirements very hard and are in their third round of onshore proposals with that state.

      The tasks are with MBIE, Transpower, Ports of Taranaki, Kiwirail, NZTA, and others before you get to investors and a solid proposal to build.

      However you will be aware that the Labour government saw a massive acceleration of onshore wind and onshore solar generation.

      Come back for more facts when you're ready.

  3. Anne 3

    Exporting more raw products in larger volumes is not an efficient plan to lift this nation’s prosperity and it will be even less effective in lifting our health and wellbeing. Let’s spend $4 billion on potholes instead of funding cancer treatments.

    I remember my Dad sounding off about the idiocy of exporting raw products back in the 1960/70s. So 60 yrs on, the "dreary dorks" still haven't cottoned on. Too hard for their dried up brains to contemplate.

    I mean look at that photo. Do they give you a feeling of confidence? I could say more about that but would get me into trouble. 😉

  4. AB 4

    Let’s spend $4 billion on potholes instead of funding cancer treatments.

    Oh ye of little faith Incognito! Others disagree – Kerre Woodham for instance says that "the pothole fund gives me hope".

    Now I had always thought that poor old ST Coleridge had written one of the finest lines in the language on this topic when, in a state of dejection, he recalled his youth: "For hope grew round me like the twining vine…"

    But Kerre outshines him with this: "What utter joy checks and balances and targets are… hopefully, there will be measures in place … to ensure that every cent goes into actual repairs and not into layers and layers of management and orange cones"

    ST just identified the problem, but Kerre goes beyond that and delivers.

    • Anne 4.1

      From the link:

      “This a step change. This is about actually ensuring that the funding goes into not just the patchwork quilt we've seen on our roads under the last three years of the last government.

      That was as far as I read.

      So, does she think that because many of those pot holes appeared after the Labour Govt. came to power they must be to blame? Did it not occur to her they were the result of cheaper, inferior material being used to repair the roads under the previous National Govt? Is she that thick?

      It would seem the "dried up brain" theory extends well into the rank and file of the NAct acolytes.

      • Maurice 4.1.1

        Did it not occur to her they were the result of cheaper, inferior material being used to repair the roads under the previous National Govt?

        The rot set in after the Refinery was closed and substandard imports could not be rectified locally. Don't think that was done by the "previous National Govt."

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/464410/nzta-tight-lipped-on-plans-for-importing-bitumen-but-z-energy-confirms-it-will-leave-market

        Waka Kotahi's move raises questions similar to those debated at the refinery, about the security of supply, but also as to whether other importers, such as Downer, will also pull out, and if NZTA has the expertise to negotiate bitumen deals in the world market.

        RNZ approached major road contractors Downer, Fulton Hogan and Higgins for comment, but got none.

        Also, the storage of all that bitumen might be a headache if NZTA has to secure a lot of tanks.

        It is also up in the air how any subpar bitumen will be dealt with; previously, the oil refinery could be called on to tweak it so it was usable.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 4.2

      Ol' Kerre, what a case ! Back in the day (wayy back)..I had some time for her, but she must finally have found her true nature as shown.

      I once did have a listen to her on "talkback". As I also tried some of the other "Hosts". Have to say…I had an uneasy sense my neurons were depleting with every word.

    • Incognito 4.3

      Kerre has gone a bit potty waxing lyrical, as if she’s drooling over a 70s boy band from her youth.

      I’m not the only one of little faith: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/518641/cancer-patients-dubious-government-will-deliver-on-promise-to-fund-new-drugs

    • SPC 4.4

      Every new road the heavier trucks allowed on the roads by National is one more requiring pothole maintenance.

      Financial sink hole.

      • mpledger 4.4.1

        Yea, National let heavier trucks with more axles on the road. Everyone told them it would screw the roads but they didn't care. Now the problem has come to a head and they socialise the cost of road repairs rather than make the businesses that cause the problem pay the cost. And all at the expense of people with cancer.

        Why do they give away money to businesses that are already successful – ECE sector, road haulage, landlords. And all these are all service industries where the scope for growth is pretty limited – they all depend on importing more people. And unless NZ companies get to do the extraction, the extractive industries aren't of much benefit to NZ either, everyone else makes the profit and the tax back is usually a pittance – not enough to cover the harm done.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 4.4.2

        And… pothole made, repaired, made, repaired. Repeat.

      • gsays 4.4.3

        Yet another ripe opportunity for the opposition to be reminding the electorate of this regimes hypocrisy.

        Crickets

  5. Incognito 5

    Fast-Track this: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/519057/auckland-floods-some-homeowners-left-waiting-until-2025-for-buyout-news

    I’m sure Auckland is not the only area lagging and I’d imagine a similar situation dragging on in the Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne regions, as usual.

    • adam 5.1

      Tory governments are good at delay tactics, the screaming broke, and labour did it. Seems to work with some people.

  6. Champagne Socialist 6

    The brilliant Gary Stevenson – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dY7eBjqsA8

  7. Ad 7

    Cabinet should be wary of this term "fast track".

    Back in 2009 Minister Nick Smith pulled the Turitea Wind Farm in form direct Ministerial decisionmaking.

    That was after years of planning and hearings. It still took further years for a decision from Smith and relevant agencies to confirm it. The final design was far smaller than originally proposed, and the delays and redesigns required a new change of investor to even get going.

    It was not until 2022 that the thing was constructed and finally added tot he national grid.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that "fast track" will go the same way as "nuclear free moment" and "transfiormational".

  8. Mike the Lefty 8

    We've already seen that despite all the good reasons why National shouldn't do tax cuts (for the already pretty well off) they went ahead and did them anyway.

    The same will happen with this fast track legislation and the reason will the same as the first: because one of their coalition partners has demanded it thus they will get it.

    And when one of National's promises comes up for implementation – the cancer drugs – it gets the heave ho. That's all folks! come again next year.

    National voters thought they were electing a National-led government. (laughter)

    Doesn't take a rocket scientist to see who is really running this government.

  9. Anker 9

    https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/fast-tracked-wind-farms-will-cut-emissions-and-create-jobs

    can someone explain to me the difference between Labours fast track approach (including during Covid 19 when David Parker was just one Minister fast tracking approvals and the coalition has three ministers) and the continuation of this fast tracking under labour post covid?

    • Incognito 9.1

      I think you’re not properly informed.

      Wait, haven’t there been fast-track consenting laws in New Zealand before?

      Yes – during the Covid pandemic in 2020, the previous Labour government put a similar law into place. For a limited time, in order to stimulate the economy, the resource consenting process could be expedited for specific “shovel-ready” projects that were under the RMA. If the minister for the environment accepted a proposal, it was referred to an expert panel, which could ask councils and iwi, among others, for input, with the panel then delivering a decision within 70 days.

      Under the 2020 legislation, ministers decided which applications went to the expert panel, but the panel had the final say. The law was also time bound, with a clause that meant it expired after two years.

      The current bill, on the other hand, gives ministers the ultimate decision. Instead of just applying to consents under the Resource Management Act, it would also allow projects to skip nine other laws and regulations.

      https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/07-06-2024/whats-going-on-with-the-controversial-fast-track-approvals-bill

  10. Anker 10

    Thanks Incognito. I think the fact that I asked for clarification indicates I didn’t pretend to be well informed. I haven’t followed the fast track bill much

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    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    7 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
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    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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. ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
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    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
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  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
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