Ferry sweary

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, June 27th, 2024 - 45 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, grant robertson, infrastructure, national, nz first, public transport, same old national, transport - Tags:

The Government is in a rather precarious position relating to the contract to replace the ageing Cook Straight ferries, which clearly need replacing.

The last Labour Government had a difficult time with the issue. The contract to replace the ferries with modern rail enabled ferries clearly was the right decision.

But the need to make sure that Wellington and Picton wharves were up to scratch and optimal made the decision more complex and more expensive.

You would think however that making sure that they are earthquake proof and climate change proof was something that should happen anyway. Perhaps Grant Robertson was right to push back on the actual scale and cost of the project. But it really feels like something that should be business as usual not something that could be avoided.

This Government chose to go to town on the issue and claim they were better financial managers and could save us all of this money and get a useable Toyota Corolla instead of the Rolls Royce they were depicting the new ferries as being.

But the recent grounding of the Aratere showed what bad shape the ferries are in and how vital it is that replacements should be obtained as soon as possible. This event clearly showed that the decision to purchase new ferries was the right one and they cannot arrive soon enough.

There are a couple of twists to the story.

The Government’s language around ending the contract is loose and the reality is there is something between a unilateral repudiation and a furious renegotiation around the scope of the project.

This has made us an international Banana Republic laughing stock. Who would do business with a sovereign state that will welch on contracts just to gain a political advantage over its rival? Good luck to National to find a firm to construct the ferries and deliver them in the near future.

And there are hints that behind the scenes there is a furious fight between anti rail forces in National and pro rail forces in New Zealand First.

Clearly National does not like the fact that the ferries are so rail enabled and will contribute so much to the rail system.

Why else would you appoint an advisory board that includes a director of a trucking firm and Auckland airport, the Nelson Airport Chief Executive, and a former National MP? Where is the rail expertise? Where is the advocate for sustainable and future focussed transport systems?

National is also dumping all over Kiwirail. Ad is right in contending that Kiwirail or aspects of it could be prepared for sale.

This is a big test of the Government’s commitment to use the power of the state to protect and upgrade the country’s important infrastructure. I get the horrible feeling they will fail miserably.

45 comments on “Ferry sweary ”

  1. Anne 1

    Who would do business with a sovereign state that will welch on contracts just to gain a political advantage over its rival?

    This is the crux of the argument. A bunch of disparate adults intent upon gaining power, are prepared to dump everything the previous government achieved for puerile, petty and vindictive electoral one-up-man-ship. It is more than enough to banish them from the treasury benches.

    It is also high time Labour rose to the occasion and spelt these betrayals out in forthright language that the voters understand. Academic discourse is fine for those who undertake serious research on such matters [as we see daily on this site] but it means nothing to the average voter. It is a lesson some in Labour still badly need to learn.

    • Tiger Mountain 1.1

      Agree, it is time to start gut punching the CoC Govt.

      These vandals may well oversee the severing of significant maritime/rail links between North and South Islands, unthinkable really with the geography of our nation.

    • gsays 1.3

      To add to the picture of economic ineptitude.

      I have been reliably informed the taxpayer is paying an on-going fee for the storage of the steel that is sitting in the ship builder's yard.

      National's management of the economy is up there with the tooth fairy and Father Christmas.

    • James Simpson 1.4

      I am not convinced that a Labour government would have done things differently in the past 6 months.

      The first time the government asked Kiwirail to consider their options was in July 2023 by the then Finance Minister Grant Robertson. He was clearly concerned with the project, after he was asked for a further substantial top up from Kiwirail.

      The Treasury then provided this advice to the new government in November:

      “Officials are of the view Project iReX no longer represents good value for money, and that lower cost alternatives more closely aligned to KiwiRail’s current business model have yet to be fully explored.

      Both governments were clearly concerned with the mounting project costs and they they were both asking their officials to consider options.

      • James Noble 1.4.1

        Asking officials to consider options is one thing.

        cancelling the contracts before you know what those options are is something else entirely

  2. ianmac 2

    "Has the Contract been cancelled?" the Opposition asked.

    Answer equivocal. Huh?

    As for the Advisory Board! Conflict of interest?

  3. Mike the Lefty 3

    The talk about "Toyota Corolla" instead of "Rolls Royce" is simply National political rhetoric and bears no relationship to the actual problem.

    The problem is that the Cook Strait ferry rail freight system has become a vital part of NZ's transport network. If ever there was a "road of national significance" this is it.

    To try and save money by making new ferries that are not rail capable will slow down freight movement between the two islands heaps, because everything will have to be loaded into smaller capacity trucks.

    It will also increase freight costs, which inevitably will be passed onto the consumer, when National were pledging at the last election to lower the cost of living, not raise it.

    National are playing a political game here – and the losers will of course be us!

    • Graeme 3.1

      Kite flying and cat (deceased) swinging is how the Nats develop policy and construct consensus.

      The Key government played that way for nine years.

      They freaked at where the costs project were going and tried to find a cheaper way. To be fair Robertson was asking questions too. They might find a cheaper option, they might not

      • mpledger 3.1.1

        The problem is that people devoid of any maritime knowledge are going to choose the cheap option over the option that has the essential features. And noone with the right knowledge to choose will be listened too.

  4. Ad 4

    Kiwirail needs to be merged inside NZTA as part of an agency.

    Being a Crown corporation enables all politicians to pick it apart. As it is now. And avoids another set of political appointments.

    The merger should be Green and Labour manifesto.

    Would need MoT to be beefed up as rail regulator.

    But otherwise reflects current Auckland integrated operations at ATOC.

    And enables full road-rail efficiency as a single system. And heads towards tracking full rail+car electrification of NZ.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    The government canned the project because an additional 1.47 billion was requested for the project above what had been budgeted.

    That is a huge amount of money that could go into health or any other critical function that kiwis need. At some point any government will pull the pin if the blowout is big enough. Mickey, if $1.47 billion wasn't a big enough blowout to cancel the project, then what blowout would be large enough for you to cancel it? Because there would be a point where it is just getting too expensive.

    Another issue is that the existing ferries had been required to go slow through Queen Charlotte sound due to the effect of wash on the shore line. I can only assume the wash from much larger vessels would even be worse. Hence, they may not have been viable from an environmental standpoint anyway.

    I don't think anyone disagrees the existing ferries need replacing. But, I think the most sensible option is to replace them with newer ferries equivalent to the ones we already have. Plus, I think increased use of coastal shipping is something that also needs to be explored to reduce the amount of road freight.

    • gsays 5.1

      You are being a tad disingenuous conflating the ferry build with $1.4B.

      Most acknowledge the price for the ferries ($551M, from memory), was a very good price.

      Where the 'blowout' came about was from the infrastructure build. That is happening because after 40 years of neo liberalism the state no longer has the capacity to build basic infrastructure.

      If the NAct coalition was half as good as they claim, they could streamline the process and get it done.
      In reality they know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

      • David 5.1.1

        The blowout is due to the total package, this includes the new ships as well as the port infrastructure at both ports. The new ships are much larger than the current ships.

        Im in no way a shipping expert, so I don’t have any knowledgeable opinion on what size ships we should be using. However since the’90’s there has been regular commentary regarding the environmental impact of large ships (current sized ferries as well) have through the sounds on the way to Picton.

        This may be a odd question, but would freight ferries from Wellington to the port close to Christchurch be a better alternative? I’m sure most of the freight southbound is headed to Christchurch and further south.

        • gsays 5.1.1.1

          Christchurch could well be a netter alternative along with further bolstered coastal shipping.

          As to blowout see BGs comment below.

          This is a multi-generational investment. Worth twice as much as the ticket price.

        • William 5.1.1.2

          Lyttelton port is about 11 or 12 hours sailing time from Wellington, so to provide the same capacity there would need to be maybe three times as many ships, or much larger ships. That's a big extra capital outlay that is merely duplicating the existing rail line and road. Larger ships would of course require new shore facilities at both ends, Lyttelton would need a new terminal anyway. Sounds similar (but magnified) to the situation that caused Nicolla Willis have conniptions six months ago.

        • aj 5.1.1.3

          Current ferry length range from 150m to 182m. The new ones apparently 40m longer. Larger cruise ships measure up to 300m.

          Speed generating wake in the sounds is an issue for all large vessels and is tightly regulated for both safety and environmental reasons. As it is in any harbor area.

          The CoC is stoking up misinformation around all aspects of the previous governments (wise) decision to upgrade these ferries. Unfortunately it's all about politics, not the long-term benefits to New Zealand.

    • Bearded Git 5.2

      We all need to stop framing the ferries in terms of "cost blowout" and look at reality.

      The $3 billion price tag for two new state of the art large and rail capable ferries and associated infrastructure that will serve NZ for several generations on the most important transport link in NZ is PEANUTS when compared with the $16.5 billion the COC is proposing to spend on RONS.

      Gordon Campbell gets it right as usual, especially:

      "The decision taken last December to cancel the contract for the two purpose-built Cook Strait ferries – without having a Plan B in mind, let alone in place – has been a calamity that’s going to haunt New Zealand for decades to come, long after the Luxon government has been consigned to the dustbin of history. The contract …had locked in the building cost for ferries large enough (a) to carry rail economically and (b) carry passengers in relative comfort. Crucially, the vessels would have been big and sturdy enough to handle the constant hammering from Cook Strait’s fierce weather conditions, for the next 30 years or so."

      http://werewolf.co.nz/2024/06/gordon-campbell-on-cancer-drugs-and-the-great-ferries-cancellation-disaster-of-23/

    • joe90 5.3

      At some point any government will pull the pin if the blowout is big enough.

      Wonder how much of the cost blowout was associated with ferries and passenger facilities and how much was associated with other functions.

      Ad station and system design, we have pointed out that stations for Second Avenue Subway Phase 1 dug a cavern twice as long as necessary for the train, for the benefit of extensive back-of-the-house spaces, where in non-UK Europe and in China, the digs are typically a single-digit percent longer than the train.

      […]

      The same is true when nobody bothers to say no as each operating department demands more back-of-the-house space until half the station dig is about providing high-cost underground break rooms and storage rather than about providing space for trains and passenger circulation.

      https://pedestrianobservations.com/2024/06/22/meme-weeding-high-wages-and-baumols-cost-disease/

    • Ad 5.4

      It was cheap.

      Only gets expensive when you leave it for a couple of decades.

      Will now get more expensive.

      • tsmithfield 5.4.1

        Ad, I am not convinced the large ferries will ever be a solution.

        A few decades back there was a major issue with ferries causing wash that was eroding beaches etc. Hence the ferries had to slow down.

        Surely even bigger ferries will cause a larger wake. Thus, the erosion issues are likely to make the speed they can travel untenable through Queen Charlotte Sound.

        Unless they go to moving the ferries out of Picton There was a proposal that for that option a number of years ago. To somewhere near Blenheim I think. I can't remember exactly.

        • Ad 5.4.1.1

          Yes they examined Clifford Bay, over about a decade. It was dead even before the Kaikoura Earthquake truly buried the idea.

          Also Nelson is way too shallow.

          We're not going to shift our core exports by plane ever, and we won't ever have a bridge or tunnel connecting us.

          2 rail capable ferries, with Bluebridge doing some passenger and some domestic freight, is as optimal as you're going to get.

          • tsmithfield 5.4.1.1.1

            I think coastal shipping would be a great addition. This would reduce a lot of trucks on the road which would be a great thing.

            • Tony Veitch 5.4.1.1.1.1

              Coastal shipping will never be an option when you consider how much the truck lobby (in various forms) donates to the CoC!

        • Simbit 5.4.1.2

          Remember the court case (two UC geog lecturers testified, for opposite sides I recall). The solution was noted above: Lyttleton. (Took this ferry in '74). Smaller ferries for Marlborough/Nelson passengers. But agree with other comments re: canceling a large contract. Corporate negotiators follow the basic headlines read the tea leaves and will push up gossip through their personal professional networking. I'd add 10% to even pick up the phone.

        • bwaghorn 5.4.1.3

          It was the high speed cats doing the damage, but I expect you know that.

          • joe90 5.4.1.3.1

            Cracker memory there, bwags

            N.Z.Rail was sold, purchased by the American multi-national Wisconsin Rail and re-named, Tranz Rail. Unfortunately, the 14-knot speed limit agreement was dishonoured and discontinued.

            1994 saw the introduction of the ‘Albeyzen’, a high speed mono-hull, by a company called Sea Shuttle, owned by Brooke Mckenzie and capable of travelling at 36 knots or more. Tranz Rail saw this as a serious threat to their monopoly, moved quickly and leased the ‘Lynx’, a first-generation high-speed catamaran capable of travelling at 38 knots. This was the beginning of a new era in shipping, one that everyone was excited about. New technology: We are all fascinated by speed.

            The buzz didn’t last long however. Because of the size of their wake, the effects the new “fast ferries” had on the environment and the threat to human safety were catastrophic!

            http://www.guardiansofthesounds.co.nz/2008/ferries/fast-ferry-debacle-in-the-queen-charlotte-sounds/

            • I Feel Love 5.4.1.3.1.1

              Travelled on the Lynx a few times, it was quick, 1 & a half hours sometimes less, couldn't stand outside without falling over holding onto something.

            • bwaghorn 5.4.1.3.1.2

              Fun while it lasted

              • I Feel Love

                It was, & the wake was huge. The first time I travelled on it I saw a guy outside in full wet weather gear, the big yellow hat everything, like he was on top of an oil rig thinking the guy was an eccentric or whatever, then when the ferry really got going & we all had to leave the deck the guy was hanging on the rail the whole trip laughing his head off having a blast.

    • bwaghorn 5.5

      That is a huge amount of money that could go into health or any other critical function that kiwis need

      It's a shame it went into tax breaks for landlords then ain't it?

      • tsmithfield 5.5.1

        You mean treating them just the same as other businesses?

        • Ed1 5.5.1.1

          I agree T Smithfield. Our capital gains tax requirements do have a few exemptions, but the exemption for commercial investments by landlords is the most conspicuous exemption that has distorted our capital markets for a long time – to the detriment of investment in many of our local companies, and a shallow share market with a lot of overseas owners. That giving priority to increasing a major anomoly in our investment markets in favour of the incoming Prime Minister and other landlords and donors to the coalition parties is blatantly against the principles of tax neutrality that even those political parties have pretended to support in the past.

        • bwaghorn 5.5.1.2

          Don't care houses are for living in not profiting from, labour did the right thing guiding investors into new builds and investing in productive sectors.

  6. Stephen D 6

    A generation ago, Labour had a complete transport policy integrating coastal shipping, rail, and road. Who knows what happened to it?
    Fish hooks everywhere. Rationalising coastal ports, redeveloping railheads, fighting off the roading lobby.

  7. adam 7

    Welcome to the Banana Republic of Nu Zild.

    Where idiocy of ideological purity is on full display.

  8. thinker 8

    Seems to me the game is to make rail freight as uncompetitive as possible to trucks.

    Truckers, road building, oil, PPPs, would all be happy with ferries that can't easily do rail.

    • joe90 8.1

      Stopped clocks etc etc..

      However, a former minister of railways, Richard Prebble, said ditching rail ferries could mean the end of New Zealand's rail freight altogether, as moving freight on and off trains would not be economic.

      And that would cost exporters, importers, industry, tourism and by extension the entire country, he said.

      "Without the rail, we'd be putting thousands of extra heavy trucks on our roads, which aren't built to take it.

      "The country's roads cannot take the heavy trucks that would be needed to shift freight from the North to South Island. It would cost hundreds of millions of dollars in extra funding for our roading network.

      "From an ordinary motorist's point of view, if you think it's hard being behind a heavy truck today, you're going to be stuck behind a queue of heavy trucks all the way from Auckland to Christchurch."

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/520436/aratere-ferry-failure-final-straw-for-residents-farmers-and-truckies

      • mac1 8.1.1

        À propos of Richard Prebble, I heard him as Minister of Railways talking in Parliament about the stupid complaints he got in his mail box. One was from a commuter in Wellington who complained that every time he came in on the train all he saw were workmen leaning on their shovels. Prebble wrote back saying that it was not Railway policy to have men working on rail lines whilst trains travelled over them…..

        People with their 'reckons' instead of informed, thoughtful, researched and well-discussed policy!

    • Powerman 8.2

      Thinker maybe to push privatisation of rail?

  9. Binders full of women 9

    Julie Ann Genter and Dharleen Tana are the wise heads that can solve this crisis. They know transport.

  10. newsense 10

    Amazing to find out who is an expert in rail and coastal shipping amongst the RW interference runners!

    We badly badly badly need some quality satire.

    I do wonder though if the possibility of a hot air balloon service across Cook Strait has been entirely discounted? Along with a pod transport system and trackless trams along the Auckland waterfront to service the stadium which will float on jet skis, a balloon system is being trialed in a Canadian town.

    Most importantly it will free up car parking spaces as it will not provide for vehicular passage.

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    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    4 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    4 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    4 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
    Last week at the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee, Kiwirail gave an update about the state of the network and the work they’re doing to get it ready for the opening of the City Rail Link. There were a few aspects that stood out to me so I’ve pulled them ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
    Photo by City Church Christchurch on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 8:00 am are:Scoop: Waipareira Trust political donations probe referred to Charities Registration Board NZ Herald-$$$’s Matt NippertScoop: Migrant whistleblowers speak out after ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
    This article by Robin Kundis Craig, Professor of Law, University of Kansas is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Federal Chevron deference is dead. On June 28, 2024, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old legal tenet that when a federal ...
    5 days ago
  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
    Note: This is a long readPolitical discourse on social media taught me that bad faith operators and tactics are not only prevalent, they are widespread and effective.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Their objectives are much narrower than one might imagine.The ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
    Hi,I am about to wing my way back to New Zealand for the Webworm popup this Saturday in Auckland — can’t wait to see some of you there! In the meantime, I highly recommend the latest pet thread over on the Webworm app. All I’ll say is that readers here ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
    Photo by Alex Zaj on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, news conferences reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 9 are:Politics: Full news conference: 'Please resign', Chloe Swarbrick tells Darleen Tana RNZ VideoPaper: Increasing speed ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
    The fundamental weakness of the waka jumping legislation is once again on display, as the Greens seem reluctant to trigger it to remove Darleen Tana from Parliament altogether. Tana has been suspended from the Greens Caucus while it had barrister Rachel Burt investigate allegations that she had been involved in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    Kāinga Ora’s “independent review” was carried out by the same National Party leader whose own administration’s inadequate housing build – and selling of state houses- had caused Kāinga Ora to embark on its crash building programme in the first place. To use a rugby analogy, this situation is exactly like ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • “Laser focused on the cost of living crisis”
    Cartoonist credit: Christopher Slane ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the elections in France, Iran and Britain
    As Werewolf predicted a week ago, it was premature to call Emmanuel Macron’s snap election call “a bitter failure” and “a humiliating defeat” purely on the basis of the first round results. In fact, it is the far-right that has suffered a crushing defeat. It has come in third in ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The UK needs proportional representation
    Like a lot of people, I spent Friday watching the UK election. There's the obvious joy at seeing the end of 14 years of Tory chaos, but at the same time the new government does not greatly enthuse me. In order to win over the establishment, Starmer has moved UK ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Chorus for Monday, July 8
    TL;DR: Thanks for the break, and now I’m back. These are the top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so:Chris Bishop’s pledge to ‘flood the market’ with land to build new houses both out and up remains dependent ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • French Left Wins Big
    Usually I start with some lyrics from the song at the end of the newsletter, to set the mood. But today I’m going to begin with a bit of a plea. About six weeks ago I decided to make more of my writing public with the hope that people would ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Satire: It's great our Prime Minister is so on the ball
    ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • This is the real reason David Seymour needs to reinterpret the Treaty of Waitangi
    This is republished from an earlier write upDavid Seymour is part of the ACT Party. He's backed by people like Alan Gibbs, and Koch money. He grew up as a right wing lobbyist - tick tick tick. All cool and fine - we know.What's also been clear is a fervent ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Going for Housing Growth: Filling the housing donut?
    Hot take: it should be affordable to live in Auckland. You may not be surprised to learn I’m not the only one with this hot take. Indeed, the Minister of Housing recently took the notable step of saying house prices should come down, something common wisdom says should be a politically ...
    Greater AucklandBy Scott Caldwell
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Monday July 9
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 9, the top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so are:Scoop: Probation officer sacked for snooping is linked to alleged spy Jian Yang. Corrections dismissed Xu Shan over his ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What has the Government done for you so far?
    List effective 1 July 2024Consumer and household (note: road and car costs are under infrastructure)Cancelled half-price public transport fares for under-25s and free fares for under-13s funding, scrapping the Labour government-era subsidies. The change will not affect pre-existing discounts funded directly by councils.Cut funding for free budgeting services. One third of the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 8
    Photo by Amador Loureiro on UnsplashTL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 8, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days were:Local Government Minister Simeon Brown announced the Coalition Government would not be responding to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is travelling to Washington this week to attend a NATO meeting running from Tuesday to Thursday. Parliament is not sitting this week.The RBNZ is expected to hold the OCR on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 30, 2024 thru Sat, July 6, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is brought to us by Dr. Ella Gilbert, a researcher with the British ...
    6 days ago
  • The Great Splintering: Thoughts on the British Election
    I can remember 1997. Even living on the other side of the world, having a Scottish father and Welsh grandfather meant I acquired a childhood knowledge of British politics via family connections (and general geekery). And yes, I inherited the dark legends of that evil folk-devil, Margaret Thatcher. So when ...
    6 days ago
  • 2% royalties for mining? Deal!
    Snapshot postToday, Shane Jones was courageous enough to front Q&A with Jack Tame. Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Jack Tame is a bit of a legend. And that’s only because he strikes me as a good journalist i.e. well ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Aotearoa Says – No Diggity.
    Strictly biz, don't play aroundCover much ground, got game by the poundGetting paid is a forteEach and every day, true player wayOne month ago tens of thousands of Kiwis took to the streets to protest against the coalition’s Fast Track legislation. Concerned that it would prioritise some people making a ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Strangers and others
    For a moment yesterday I thought I might have been trailing my old friend Simon Wilson across the Danube, over cobbled stones, and into the old town square of Linz. Same comfortable riding style, same jacket, same full head of hair, but no, different friend of cycling.There is a kindred ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Killing the Golden Goose of New Zealand's economy
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    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Newshub Signs Off
    Wait for the night, for the light at the end of an era'Cause it's love at the end of an eraThe last episode of Newshub, the final instalment of TV3 News, aired last night. Many of us who took the time to watch felt sad and nostalgic looking back over ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today announced three appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Kevin Jenkins has been appointed as the new Chair of the NZQA Board while Bill Moran MNZM has been appointed as the Deputy Chair, replacing Pania Gray who remains on the Board as a ...
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    5 days ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
    A further $3 million of funding to Wairoa will allow Wairoa District Council to get on with cleaning up household waste and sediment left by last week’s flooding, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell says.  In Budget 24 the Government provided $10 million to the Hawke’s Bay Region to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today thanked the outgoing Secretary for Education. Iona Holsted was appointed in 2016 and has spent eight years in the role after being reappointed in May 2021. Her term comes to an end later this year.  “I acknowledge Iona’s distinguished public service to New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has concluded the Future for Local Government Review and confirmed that the Coalition Government will not be responding to the review’s recommendations.“The previous government initiated the review because its Three Waters and resource management reforms would have stripped local government of responsibility for water assets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
    Associate Health Minister for Pharmac David Seymour says today’s announcement that Pharmac is opening consultation on new cancer medicines is great news for Kiwi cancer patients and their families. “As a result of the coalition Government’s $604 million funding boost, consultation is able to start today for the first two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
    A half-century after pursuing self-government, Niue can count on New Zealand’s steadfast partnership and support, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says. “New Zealand and Niue share a unique bond, forged over 50 years of free association,” Mr Peters says. “We are looking forward to working together to continue advancing Niue’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
    Acting Internal Affairs Minister David Seymour says wait times for passports are reducing, as the Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) reports the highest ever monthly figure for digital uptake in passport applications.  “As of Friday 5 July, the passport application queue has reduced by 34.4 per cent - a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Roads of National Significance moving at pace
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news that the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is getting on with the Government’s first seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS) projects expected to begin procurement, enabling works and construction in the next three years.   “Delivering on commitments in our coalition agreements, we are moving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New school for Flat Bush
    The Coalition Government is building for roll growth and easing pressure in Auckland’s school system, by committing to the construction of a new primary school, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. As part of Budget 24’s $456 million injection into school property growth, a new primary school (years 1-6) will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Rotorua
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Announcement of Mental Health Targets and Mental Health and Addiction Community Sector Innovation Fu...
    Kia Ora Koutou, Tena Koutou, Good Morning. Thank you Mahaki Albert for the warm welcome. Thank you, Prime Minister, and thank you everyone for coming today. When I look around the room this morning, I see many of our hard-working mental health and addictions workforce from NGO and Community groups, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Expert panel appointed to review Public Works Act
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