Gerrymania

Written By: - Date published: 7:37 am, July 31st, 2012 - 80 comments
Categories: disaster - Tags:

What is it with this government and convention centres? The international convention market is dying. The Nats are already doing a bargain with the cancer in the heart of Auckland called SkyCity to build one there that won’t be worth its cost to build. Now, they want to build another convention centre in Christchurch to compete for that dying market. It’s just one thing that’s wrong with Gerrymania.

There’s the mad $500m covered stadium. Christchurch has just built a $30m stadium (that was meant cost $20m). They can’t fill it – a quarter-final home game for the Crusaders had 5,000 of the 21,000 seats empty. So why build a 35,000 seat stadium for $500m (before inevitable cost blow-outs)? Stadiums lose money. Big expensive, unneeded stadiums lose lots of money. Just ask Dunedin.

You could build 2,000 homes or more on existing land for the cost this silly stadium.

Then, there’s the transport plan. Or, rather, the lack of one. The only gesture towards transport is replacing the destroyed bus interchange with a new, bigger one that – while hopefully having the advantage that buses going in won’t have to try to cross buses going out on a busy road – while actually be further from the new CBD. The opportunity to remake a truly modern city with smart transport was missed. Sure, it’s pretty and compact and merely being built of modern materials with modern design practices will make it better to live in but if you more or less ignore how people will move in or out of it, then you miss the crucial ingredient in making it really liveable.

The ‘frame’, the green space is nice but lets be honest about its purpose. The Christchurch CBD already had too much retail space before the earthquakes. With 10% of the population gone, the CBD doesn’t need to be rebuilt as big. That should mean big reductions in the value of the land (which could, in turn, lead to building of apartments and low rise retail, creating a vibrant environment). Instead, the taxpayer is going to buy out all the surplus land at present value – protecting the value for both the landlords who get bought out and those who remain. And the only one who pays is the taxpayer. Funny that nothing so generous was done for red-zoners. I guess that’s because they’re not Gerry’s corporate mates.

I also thought the glitzy launch full of boozing bigwigs was completely inappropriate. They were acting like they had solved Christchurch when there is no plan for the future of the suburbs and even the CBD plan has no work programme behind it. It stank of elitism. For the first time ever, I’m recommending watching Close Up for Mike Coleman’s comments to Sainsbury on the rebuild plan. He is utterly scathing. The strongest language I’ve ever heard from a man of the cloth: “All Gerry Brownlee does is deny there’s a housing crisis, an insurance crisis, there’s an EQC crisis, that there’s real estate problems. There seems to be no disaster at all, apart from the things that he wants to see. And that’s champagne in settings like this, at big functions like this.

80 comments on “Gerrymania ”

  1. Carol 1

    And here is a print report for the CloseUp segment on the ChCh plan:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/champagne-unveiling-new-cbd-does-nothing-homes-4996190

    Housing needs of residents being neglected? Never fear. Gerry says it’s just a plan and not to be alarmed by that protest. “Alarm” is not my response.

    “It’s’ not anything that is laid out with a work programme to deliver it. That comes later.”

    Brownlee said he can understand how the protesters feel because they want things done more quickly.

    But he said any suggestion that the residents have been abandoned or are not a priority is quite wrong.

    “We have lots of people trying to work through this issue which is largely the repair of properties in the TC3 areas.”

    “Don’t be alarmed by that protest. It’s people asking for progress because they want this city to be better.”

    Gerry understands how the protesters feel? Really? Too much champers talking there, Gerry!

  2. This article in the ODT during their stadium debate sums up the study

    http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/46073/why-future-doesn039t-need-stadiums

    There is also plenty of evidence that jobs in convention centres actually cost the economy as the gross earnings per employee are too low – it is peasant wages.  Stadiums are just vast loss making anachronisms.  This country has invested more than $2Bn in stadiums in the past five years – what is the return on that investment – If Dunedin’s stadium is anything to go by it wil be about -15% once cost of capital and depreciation are added in.

    Meantime we send our skilled work offshore -no money to support the Hillside Workshops building railway stock instead it is happy to subsidises Chinese manufacturers.

    And watch what happens to the Tiwai when they decide to close that -there wont be any “subsidy” for that enterprise even though it earns billions for the national economy.  Nothing!

    It seems National has no problem subsidising the consumption side of the economy but won’t provide any support for the productive side. 

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    Whats mentioned in the footnotes is the big ‘buyback’ of private land to create a ‘green wedge’.

    In reality this is to boost the coffers of property owners as there is a ‘glut’ of vacant commercial land. I can imagine a few extra small parks on the scale of existing Latimer square would be helpful but this excess of green space at vast cost- which is hidden from prying eyes for the meantime
    I imagine this too will be the club this used to force the council to sell up its assets so they can pay for the property owners bailout.

    First the insurance company bailouts and now the commercial property owners as well. Crony Capitalism 301

    • Populuxe1 3.1

      And yet there are a lot of smaller property owners who have only now just found out that their single commercial properties, many of which have heritage value, are right where Gerry et al want to put their stadium and are not very happy about it.

      • Te Reo Putake 3.1.1

        Isn’t most of the land for the proposed stadium owned by Dave Henderson, the mayor’s mate? I heard last night mention of putting money into ‘Soul Square’, Henderson’s High St development, as well. I haven’t kept up with the saga of how the council bought a whole lot properties off him at ridiculous money a few years ago, but this sounds like more of the same.

        • Populuxe1 3.1.1.1

          He may have owned a substantial amount of it, but his holdings are mostly Council owned now. I’m talking about much smaller businesses and owners.

  4. Tigger 4

    Convention centers appear to have replaced cycle ways as National’s go-to ‘big idea’. They’re so visionless, so one-track that it is sad. And dangerous. Wait till mid-2013 when the economy has tanked and Gerry starts pulling out parts of this plan. Christchurch, you’re stuffed. It’s a tragedy.

  5. vto 5

    Having slept on it my initial reaction remains, plus others …

    1. The plan is simply too big. Too much buy-up taking 5 years to negotiate alone. (so there we go folks, gotta wait 5 years to get this mildly underway). Timeframes too long meaning an incoming government or council or world event will scuipper the plans. It is just too much for a govt bureaucracy to undertake.

    2. Relying on a government and/or council approach. Ha. I try not to be scathing about the limits to govt and council acilities these days but frankly I cannot see organisations like these completing this. There is no incentive. Wage and salary earners rarely act with the same accuracy and determination as private owners. Christchurch city council has already shown its uselessness at this with the Turners & Growers site, the Sydenham square site and other David Henderson pruchases. Any privtae investors wanting to develop around these projects is going to want to see action in the ground by government etc to be certain about their promises and abilities before turning the soil themselves.

    3. The bloody gigantic convention centre is right smack bang in the middle of the best part of town. No locals will go there, just convention goers and tourists, and that don’t sound like a vibrant city to me. Quite why it gets that importance lordy knows.

    4. The bloody stadium will never see the light of day. The ratepayers will see to that. What a gross overspend and subsidy to private business interests. What is it that rugby does not get about paying its own way?

    5. The point about buying up land to shore up property vaules is smack on the mark. Property values were set to drop off a clif reflecting the lack of demand and oversupply. Now the tax and rate payer are going to shore up these values.

    6. Notice the lack of residential? One tiny block of showcase housing. Say no more.

    7. Notice too that the Avon River Park is to be funded by “philanthropists”. Every other sector gets CCC and govt and other help, but not the one thing that local residents want. Say no more.

    As someone who has been heavily involved in central Chch for many years and is trying to do so again, I think they have taken a wrong track. Too big. Too much uncertainty. Timeframes which are too long. I, and I suspect many others, will watch from the sidelines to see whether they can do what they say (rare) before commiting my own valuable years to their grandiose schemes.

    The original Council plan was a great deal better for all the reasons outlined above, applied in reverse.

    Oh well. Maybe we too will move elsewhere until all this gets underway ……

    • Rich 5.1

      I suspect it’s all cover for the real plan, which is to remodel Christchurch city centre after Manukau: a big Westfield with associated car parking, council offices and a police station/court complex to deal with the underclass.

      • gareth 5.1.1

        Yep those big malls are a disaster for a city centre, they suck all of the foot traffic off the main street causing small operators who can’t afford the rent in the mall to die off as walk in’s plumit then before you know it the main street is just a collection of empty shops, dodgy lenders and takeaways.
        All the nicer cities/towns to visit are ones that still have vibrant main streets with a mix of chain stores and locally operated shops, cafes etc…. Napier is one of my favorites…

    • NickS 5.2

      7. Notice too that the Avon River Park is to be funded by “philanthropists”. Every other sector gets CCC and govt and other help, but not the one thing that local residents want. Say no more.

      What the fuck? Sure, accept some donations, but that green space is worth it’s weight in gold for it’s urban planning advantages.

      And yeah, I agree with you fully, this is a fucking disaster for Christchurch.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Wage and salary earners rarely act with the same accuracy and determination as private owners.

      Bollocks. If wage and salary earners aren’t acting responsibly it’s probably due to the business owners cutting corners and preventing them from doing so.

      • vto 5.3.1

        Well we will have to disagree there Draco. Although bear in mind that acting responsibly is different from acting with accuracy and determination. My point is that an owner works and acts in a different manner than an employee. Their end goals are entirely different so it stands to reason that they will act in different manners. That is not to bag on employees, merely to state that expecting employees (of government and Council in this instance) to act in the manner required to get this central city plan going is expecting the wrong thing.

  6. Glg 6

    VTO have you forgotten that other national mantra? Public Private Partnerships. A way to billed a city for years and years to come. Don’t forget a quote of Gerrys a few months ago, when he said no we won’t be selling assets in CHch, it will be “a much more elegant solution”. Be afraid, be very afraid.

    • vto 6.1

      Yes Glg, public private partnerships … what that says to me is an opportunity to get something done with more guarantee of income and less carry of risk. Think I might have to don a suit and tie and go enter the Bob and Gerry circus tent …….

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2

      The private sector will get ‘bonus shares’ in the Council controlled business in return for selling big bits of vacant land

  7. Glg 7

    And kiss some butt. A small donation to the cause wouldn’t be forgotten either.

  8. fatty 8

    This is socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. Centralised control of business, whereas the needs of the people (such as housing) is left to the market…and the public gobble it up like hungry pornstars.
    This is not set up for the people, this city plan is for capitalist accumulation for the few based on business and sport. If this plan was for the people then this plan wouldn’t exist, housing would be the priority.
    This vomit inducing video is offensive to anyone with a brain http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10823289

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    Surprise!!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/city-blueprint/7383419/Council-asset-sales-on-the-cards

    ”The council is going to have to find a lot of funds,” Brownlee said.

    He then congratulated the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce for putting options on the table that he thought the city council should consider.

    The business group has been encouraging the council to consider the sale or partial sell down of its assets to lower the level of debt it is going to take on to finance its share of the city’s reconstruction.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Yep, more economic theft from the many by the rich. Exactly as predicted.

  10. Kevyn 10

    From paper “Post-disaster Housing Reconstruction: Are there common threads in the successes and failures that New Zealand can learn from?” currently in peer-review. Following are the costs per taxpayer compared with other extreme natural disasters in other OECD countries, column 5 is per homeowner/ratepayer. Why are we the only country that punishes local residents for having built in the wrong place?

    (per registered taxpayer)
    1 – Economic Cost
    2 – Private Property Damage
    3 – Emergency, welfare, housing assistance
    4 – Infra-structure repairs (taxpayer)
    5 – Infra-structure repairs (ratepayer)
    6 – Nett Central Government Expenditure

    Christchurch 10500 6667 1600 633 6810 388
    Japan Tsunami 6686 4011 1203 998 485 1917
    Kobe 2769 886 499 409 783 811
    Italy (1980) 1531 918 1148 149 620 1265
    Katrina 965 386 434 165 616 599
    Andrew 819 574 410 62 320 472
    Northridge 418 167 146 40 392 186

    Footnotes
    column 1 – NZ = property damage $20bn + sundry insurance costs $5bn + infrastructure damage $3bn + CERF (nett) $3.5bn as estimated by Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Bollard & Hannah, 2012).
    column 1 – The contribution from re-insurers ($3700 per taxpayer) is included as part of the economic cost, however the New Zealand Treasury considers that amount to be a benefit to the New Zealand economy.
    column 2 – This cost is actually funded from property owners savings and insurance but is shown as a per taxpayer amount for comparative purposes.
    column 4 – Central Government share of infrastructure repair costs.
    column 5 – Local government share of infrastructure repair costs.
    column 6 – Total spending by central government less GST collected on disaster spending, reprioritised Government spending within the disaster region and petrol taxes collected within the disaster region during the rebuild .

  11. The bus station is for the tourists and the convention centre and stadium for crowd control – remember New Oleans.

    • Populuxe1 11.1

      Actually the bus station is probably for people who take the bus. Jus’ sayin’

    • MrSmith 11.2

      or should that be for social control Dave

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.1

        the stadium will never be completed.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.1

          /agreed

          The land will be paid for, the building started and then it’ll be left as an uncompleted shell at some point as people realise that there’s more important things than watching rugby and idolising the rich.

          • Populuxe1 11.2.1.1.1

            I hope you get sufficient comfort out of you amazing arrogance and snobbery. God forbid people liking things that you don’t – where will it end?!?!

            • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.1.1.1

              Got nothing to do with liking but to do with economics. When people realise that the stadium can’t be built without cutting out something they think is more important then it won’t get built.

  12. Roy 12

    If New Zealand is to have an international convention centre at all, it should be somewhere people would actually want to visit anyway, like Queenstown. However, while I don’t think the international convention market will ever die completely, it is definitely shrinking and convention centres are a stupid investment. We can’t get around the fact that it is long, expensive trip to visit New Zealand.

    • fatty 12.1

      Conventions create temporary, part-time, low paid work which perpetuates poverty and increases inequality. They are part of the problem, not the solution

  13. Fortran 13

    The Convention Centre can have some Pokies in it make a profit like Sky City.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      The Convention Centre plans can be razed to the ground, which will make the country a lot of money.

  14. NickS 14

    The original council plan was so much smarter, mixing residential, retail, commercial, green areas and transport in a way that could have made the central city very liveable, rather than this stale, half-life of a central city that’s for merely visiting and working that CERA’s put forward.

    On the stadium – Stupid idea, CHCH doesn’t have the population to support it, nor does the Canterbury region and large, indoor venues are already provided for. Definite white elephant. Stupid location too.

    On the sports centre – what happened to using the Red-Bus depot site? Hagley has massive traffic issues and there’s little room for parking, that isn’t already taken up via workers and those living in the area. And with the bus depot now slated to be a fair bit away from it, I don’t see it as being easy to get to.

    On the Bus Depot – it was placed in the central city for a good reason you idiots, as so to make it very convenient for residents to use. And while placing it at the edge of the central city does have some slight traffic routing advantages, without connecting shuttle services covering the whole central city, it’s going to become rather inconvenient.

    On the Convention Centre – White Elephant. Also what the fuck is wrong with rebuilding at the old site? Especially as the new location eats up the current central library site, and takes up rather important frontal locations in the square that could be better deployed as retail, for bars, cafe’s and have been commercial shows and get-rich-quick/self-help bullshit artists.

    On the height restrictions – good luck trying to fill those office buildings, top floors will likely go unfilled, and the shift of many office sites elsewhere into lower height buildings means that rents that don”t meet the market will lead unto fun.

    On building design – Gone is the original plan of preserving and recreating some of the character of the old city, replaced with “cheapest build” mentality it seems, so say hello to more glass and concrete monoliths and goodbye to the more human masonry, brick and wood. Let alone more organic architecture.

    On the Green Belt -What. The. Fuck? Totally useless on the edge of the central city, more so as one big band. Needs to be split up into multiple small parks as others have said. Combined with the lack of residential areas to, it’s going to be a bloody ghost land. Ideally you’d use smaller parks as the centre point for clusters of mixed residential/retail, or as public courtyards.

    On the Avon Park – great, but why exactly does it have to be funded via donations? As from an urban planning perspective it’s worth it’s weight in gold and from a land-stability perspective, it’s a great way of keeping buildings off land prone to flooding and lateral spreading.

    On the Cultural Centre – Great! Only problem, where the fuck is the central library?

    On the Omissions – No mention of the Arts Centre, nor of what they’re going to do vis the strip of bars or the gaggle of great cafes and niche shops and bars etc that thrived along high street and the city mall. Nothing about managing the entertainment seeking populace either.

  15. Why are cities so important? David Harvey and Richard Wolff interviewed.
    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12474

  16. Wayne 16

    Presumably the old AMI stadium was insured, as with the convention centre. I guess the bulk of the money for the new replacements will come from insurance payouts, not taxpayers or ratepayers. Anyway are you seriously suggesting a city the size of Christchurch should not have a stadium.

    The Library is going to front the square, its in the documents. The plan doesn’t have to design bars etc, its an overall outline. Investors and businesses will actually build the commercial buildings.

    If you look at the green belt it actually has a whole lot of campus type buildings, esp between the hospital and the Polytech. That will attract a whole bunch of intersting businesses, and can leverage an innovation precint. Mayor Bob has some very interesting ideas on this.

  17. mike e 17

    Wayne 75 million doesn’t come close to $500+ million required for an indoor stadium.
    Facts right wayne

  18. Wayne 18

    The Dunedin stadium cost $200 million for 30,000 seats, but that is clearly more than $75 million.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      So the Christchurch Stadium is going to be 30,000 seats like the Dunedin stadium is it?

  19. millsy 19

    Why doesnt the private sector build a convention centre? The seem OK at putting up hotels, apartment blocks, shopping malls etc without government involvement (apart from consents, etc), why is there a supposed ‘market failure’ in building a convention centre?

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      Because convention centres lose money. Why is the government so keen on building them? IMO, because the capitalist class still want them to prove that they’re “special”.

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        The stone statues of Easter Island.

      • Populuxe1 19.1.2

        By “capitalist class” I’m assuming you mean anyone with a job that doesn’t involve going down a coal mine – except that coal miners have professional associations and unions and are supported by the vast breadth of service industries with their own professional associations and unions.

        • Colonial Viper 19.1.2.1

          except that coal miners have professional associations and unions and are supported by the vast breadth of service industries with their own professional associations and unions.

          wtf is up with you?

          Did you notice who held the clear balance of power and fear in the operation of Pike River? That’s right buddy, the corporate employers.

          • Populuxe1 19.1.2.1.1

            What the fuck has that got with the premise which basically is that I’m sick of your bigoted class consciousness and general misery leading you to make sweeping generalisations and misrepresentations about human beings based on the minimum grain of truth for justification, and no one calling you out on how hateful and childish it is.
            It’s completely irrelevant if conference centres lose money – all public facilities do. And it’s not just the financial elites who have conferences, not by a long shot, so kindly can the bullshit unless you’re going to back it up with real world examples and cite sources.

            • ropata 19.1.2.1.1.1

              and how dare anyone criticise the holy writ of Brownlee.
              it is inspired by our infallible corporate overlords

              hail Pope Gerry

            • Colonial Viper 19.1.2.1.1.2

              It’s completely irrelevant if conference centres lose money – all public facilities do

              What fun/useful/socially oriented family or citizen or community events is the conference centre going to organise and hold for free or near free?

              You know, since public pools, public libraries, public schools, museums and art galleries tend to have those really fundamentally for-the-public-good characteristics.

              Because otherwise you are FULL OF SHIT

              • Populuxe1

                I love it when you get all self-righteous about what constitutes a useful member of the community, CV. Because of course public pools, libraries, schools, museums and art galleries never charge for anything, do they – they never have to secure funding by renting out their spaces for private events or charging users for services or anything like that do they. Because you are the expert on the public good and contributing there to, although as you gleefully tell us you actually do sweet fuck all aside from moaning on here about the collapse of civilisation.

                • ropata

                  basically a library or a swimming pool would be used every day by thousands of people

                  a new conference centre or stadium would be used only occasionally and cost ten times as much

                  no brainer

            • NickS 19.1.2.1.1.3

              It’s completely irrelevant if conference centres lose money – all public facilities do. And it’s not just the financial elites who have conferences, not by a long shot, so kindly can the bullshit unless you’re going to back it up with real world examples and cite sources.

              /facepalm

              The problem with the current proposal for me comes down to it’s size and it’s location, not the fact they’re rebuilding it.

              Frankly, the market in NZ for large convention centres is non-existent and so such a large building with one sole purpose would have difficultly remaining in the black financially. While rising air-fares (in the long term + carbon costs) and NZ’s remote location make the economics of holding large global conferences here problematic.

              As for the location, it occupies economically and culturally valuable space in the square, which would be far better suited to other uses. In short, unless the land at the old site is well and truly stuffed, it’s probably better to site the new convention centre there, as it was fairly well sited vis hotels and traffic.

              On “It’s completely irrelevant if conference centres lose money – all public facilities do” – lolwut? It’s a private facility, not a public one idiot, that merely hosts conventions rather than serves as a multi-use facility, and in that context it does matter if it looses money. Otherwise someone else has to bail it out. As for libraries et al, these are facilities the public pays for directly via rates or indirectly via rent and provide cultural and recreational spaces. And pools can generally pull their own weight easily if well sited.

  20. What is it with this government and convention centres? The international convention market is dying.

    This may come as a shock, but lots of people in NZ work in professions and their professional associations have conferences. They tend to lack interest in forging new lives as hippies, and they expect the country’s main centres to have conference facilities.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      So why aren’t they building them then?

      • Psycho Milt 20.1.1

        Hilarious to see all the freshly-minted user pays evangelists on this thread. It must be a prick for the socialists when you guys turn up at council meetings to demand that the people who want to use libraries, swimming pools, sports fields etc pay for them themselves.

        • felix 20.1.1.1

          ‘… to demand that the people who want to use libraries, swimming pools, sports fields etc as part of their business pay for them themselves.’

          • Populuxe1 20.1.1.1.1

            Ah no, what about teachers – are they in “business”? They have conferences. So do surgeons. All sorts of charities and NPOs have conferences.
            And in any case, people do use libraries as part of their business, and certainly professional athletes use sports fields and swimming pools as part of their “business”.
            Really you have no ground to stand on.

            • felix 20.1.1.1.1.1

              lol yeah it’s for teachers and charities.

              • Populuxe1

                Yes, among others – that’s what the “public” means in “public facilities”. I would point out that a lot of small businesses have conferences also.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yep, they’ve been having them for years at hotels, motels, racing clubs and other such places. Now all of a sudden we need dedicated convention centres paid for and maintained by the public.

                  This smells fishy to say the least.

                  • Populuxe1

                    In case events of the last two years have passed you by, we have sweet fuck all of any of those left in Christchurch.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Still doesn’t mean that you need a convention centre.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Quite right. Fuck the whole city and everyone in it as an object lesson.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Don’t be an asshole populuxe.

                      You’d have some credibility batting for the people of Christchurch if you were advocating for hundreds of millions to be spent on restoring and upgrading basic services to neighbourhoods and incentivising small employers to reopen, start up and lift hiring.

                      Instead you are going to bat for a fucking useless white elephant where most of the public monies spent will be sucked up by big construction corporates based outside of Christchurch.

                      I mean, WTF

            • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.1.1.2

              IQ has dropped substantially around here recently.

              The convention centre is going to be a money losing white elephant. That’s why, as usual, the private sector wants the tax payer to carry it.

              • Populuxe1

                That’s probably because your cloth cap is on too tight and the chip on your shoulder may be contributing as well.

          • Psycho Milt 20.1.1.1.2

            I’ve never owned a business. Is user pays the new watchword for leftists, or is it just a “four legs good, two legs bad” thing?

            • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.1.2.1

              You are smart enough to determine if something is a rort on the taxpayer with monies going purely to benefit private construction companies and land owners, right?

              For fuck all social benefit in return?

              Or do you just like repeating catchy bullshit.

      • Populuxe1 20.1.2

        If they pay taxes, they will be building them.

        • Colonial Viper 20.1.2.1

          Bullshit. Its the tax base of NZ which is going to be paying. Socialisation of costs for the benefit of a few private interests. The motto of a National Government.

          • Psycho Milt 20.1.2.1.1

            Socialisation of costs for the benefit of a few private interests.

            Funny, that’s exactly what the libertarians say about libraries and swimming pools. You guys really do have a lot in common.

            • Colonial Viper 20.1.2.1.1.1

              *facepalm*

              I guess you’re one of those people who doesn’t believe in the social and community benefits of learning centres like libraries.

              WTF do you know about “libertarian” philosophy anyway? You’re just repeating neoliberal slash taxes for the wealthy bullshit and calling it some fancy name.

              • Huh? You’re the one peddling user pays here, guy. I love the fact my taxes and rates go towards publicly funded infrastructure like libraries, parks, schools and convention centres. The idea that public infrastructure shouldn’t exist unless those using it pay the full cost is a shit one.

            • felix 20.1.2.1.1.2

              I’m fast going off the idea of public swimming pools since I discovered that they’re primarily used by professional athletes.

    • felix 20.2

      ‘…and they expect the country’s main centres to have conference facilities paid for by everyone else’

  21. Zaphod Beeblebrox 21

    The poor ratepayers of ChCh are going to be paying for the upkeep of a lot of open space. All that open space will have to be maintained, unless you want it to be taken over by weeds. The Rec/open space dept is going to need a lot of expansion.

    Large stadiums are also expensive to maintain. And they need refurbishment every 20 years. Who the hell is going to pay for its upkeep for 2 rugby tests and 10 super rugby games every year? The NZRU? I don’t think so.

  22. Treetop 22

    I wonder what a Feng Shui expert would make of the plans for the Christchurch CBD?

    No harm in consulting one, apart from the cost.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 22.1

      Actually from the look of it- its morte likley they consulted the ghost of Ebenezer Howard. Planners still have the obsession with the 18th Century Garden City.

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  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 hours ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;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 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    3 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘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 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    3 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    3 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    3 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;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 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;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 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    6 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    6 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    7 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response

    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment

    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President

    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Questions from God

    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The politics of money and influence

    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity

    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?

    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    1 week ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?

    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.

    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago

  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

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  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions

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