web analytics

Getting some accountability at PoAL

Written By: - Date published: 6:51 am, April 5th, 2012 - 80 comments
Categories: social democracy - Tags: ,

Darien Fenton has announced a members bill that would put public ports back on the Official Information Act. They were effectively removed in 1980’s – presumably because they were being prepared for privatisation.

It’s outrageous that billions of dollars worth of public assets can be run without any public scrutiny at all. Even more so when they’re being run against the public good by a bunch of unaccountable cowboys as is the case at PoAL.

Fenton’s called on the government to support the bill and I think they should to struggle to refuse to:

Regardless of what you think of the dispute, or where you sit on the political spectrum, it’s very hard to argue that ports’ ability to spend public money without public scrutiny is acceptable in a modern democracy.

Let’s hope the bill’s drawn soon.

As an aside, this bill had its genesis in work done by I/S over at no right turn – it’s bloody good to see Labour picking up good ideas from the wider community and running with them.

80 comments on “Getting some accountability at PoAL”

  1. james 111 1

    Getting Some profitability back into POAL
    This should be the headline will the bill deal with being competitive with your opposition, and putting a platform in place that allows you to be competitive including labour rates.

    Or will that be totally forgotten about and left off the Table. Let the rate payers of Auckland effectively subsidise the Wharfies wages by the poor return that POAL hands back to the rate payers of Auckland 2.2% versus 18% that the rate payers of Tauranga get.

    • James you should try something really unusual.  Go and read up the figures and come back with a reality based argument.  It will do wonders for your credibility.

    • Eddie 1.2

      Aren’t you running late for school? Maybe you’ll learn to do some elementary research there today.

      The post just returned a healthy $18m half-year profit for the period before it went to war with its workers. And it has signalled profits will be way down (probably non-existent, actually) as a result of its actions in the second half of the financial year.. The port’s actions have cost over $20m so far and counting. Permanent lost contracts might be $25m a year.

      All of this in an effort to transfer $6m of wealth from the workers (Auckland raterpayers) to the owners, Auckland Council. It doesn’t make any sense.

      • james 111 1.2.1

        Eddie thank you for totally justifying my position

        The Port has assets well over 200,000,000 18 million return on that assets base is less than 2%. Tauranga using the same measurement is 18%. Auckland Port isn’t performing and the profit doesn’t even cover cost of funds employed in the business

        • framu 1.2.1.1

          return on asset base?

          i was always taught that profit is income minus expenditure

          can you explain how this return based on asset base thing works? cause it sounds a bit voodoo economics to me

        • mickysavage 1.2.1.2

          Feck james.

          If you go over to the POAL website you can look up the latest financials and you will see that POAL has $721 million in assets and $320 million in liabilities.

          Where the feck did you get your figures? 

          • framu 1.2.1.2.1

            ” $721 million in assets and $320 million in liabilities”

            ahh – i think i get what james is on about now.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2.2

            Out of his arse and his sums were wrong as well. 18m/200m *2 (because of half-yearly result) = 18%

        • Psycho Milt 1.2.1.3

          He gets the figures from people like Matthew Hooton, who’s keen to get the port moved off that prime central Auckland real estate so it can be re-developed. Using a return on assets figure not only helps with propaganda claiming the port should be de-unionised or privatised as it’s barely profitable, it also highlights how much the real estate the port sits on is worth.

          To people who don’t have an obvious axe to grind, the port is generating a good profit.

          • shreddakj 1.2.1.3.1

            I thought the port land wasn’t actually worth much since it is reclaimed land and development possibilities are limited?

        • Eddie 1.2.1.4

          Jesus. Maybe it’s maths class you need to get to. 18m is 9% of 200m. And that’s a half year profit. Double it for annual return.

        • Eddie 1.2.1.5

          Jesus. Maybe it’s maths class you need to get to. 18m is 9% of 200m. And that’s a half year profit. Double it for annual return.

          Not sure you’re right on the port’s equity -what else have you been right on? – think it’s higher

    • IrishBill 1.3

      You should support this bill, jimmy. It would give you the chance to OIA the port to get some facts – you’re clearly in need of some.

    • framu 1.4

      “18% that the rate payers of Tauranga get.” – evidence? – cause that sounds pretty fantastical

      even hong kong only returns around 7%

      and james – you do realise that the port is currently run as a profit seeking company dont you?

      all this bill seeks to do is bring it under the OIA just like all other council owned entities.

      Why are you so anti shareholders knowing whats going on with their investment?

    • mikesh 1.5

      This is just a red herring. Whatever opinion one may hold about the port’s profitability and how it may be improved has no bearing on the question of public scrutiny. I would suggest that James111 stick to the topic.

  2. Yes. it’s good to see ideas picked up from the wider community. But it’s premature to call for government support, I doubt they will consider their position unless the bill is drawn.

    • Even for you Petey that comment was totally inane.  Of course the Government will oppose the bill.  They are totally against transparency and access to information.  And they would sell the Ports off in a whisker if they had a chance.

      • marsman 2.1.1

        They have already opposed the introduction of the Bill that’s why it’s gone into the ballot. See Darien Fenton’s post on Red Alert.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.2

      Why not?

      This seems like a bill that is sensible and resoundingly common-sensicle.

      Why shouldn’t Peter Dunne, for example, support it as a sign of his acceptance of good ideas up for discussion?

      • Pete George 2.2.1

        I’d guess that Peter Dunne would consider it on it’s merits if it get’s drawn from the ballot. He’s done it before, soon after the Mondayisation bill was drawn (a Labour bill) he indicated support.

        Whether he supports this one or not will depend on whether it has sufficient merit.

        If I was considering it I would start from the transparency angle as that’s an important priority, but would have to balance commercial interests against that. There’s a big difference between “organisations ranging from schools to public libraries” and competitive operations run as businesses.

        I wonder if Fenton would support similar levels of “transparency and accountability ” with unions.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.2.1.1

          Do you think up these red herrings on your own, Pete? Unions are privately owned entities. What business do you have with their internal affairs? Transparent and accountable to their members, I should bloody well hope so, but to you, not so much.

          • Pascal's bookie 2.2.1.1.1

            “Do you think up these red herrings on your own, Pete?”

            Yeah, I’d say he does.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.2.1.1.1.1

              I am disappointed. It looks like he got the line from Whaleoil.

              • felix

                Oh, at gotcha.co.nz?

              • I beat Whale to it by half an hour, but he goes in to a lot more detail.

                Don’t unions at least owe it to their “private owners” to comply with statutory reporting requirements?

                • framu

                  what makes you think they dont?

                  and its memebrs not owners

                  • Kotahi Tane Huna said “Unions are privately owned entities”, that did seem an odd way to describe them.

                    I’m sure some unions operate properly, but there’s documented examples of union alleged malpractice:

                    Inland Revenue is chasing unionist Matt McCarten’s Unite Support Services Ltd. for $150,750 in unpaid taxes after the department forced the company into liquidation last month.

                    http://www.thelawreport.co.nz/news/4268/ird-chasing-mccartens-unite-union-over-taxes-26-july-2011/

                    • framu

                      one story about unpaid tax – whoop-de-doo

                      doesnt change the fact that it has nothing to do with the topic

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Pete George. perhaps one day you will show me exactly how much public money goes into funding unions, not.

                      Even your pathetic attempt at diversion falls over, since the appointment of a liquidator will indeed see Unite Supports Services accounts opened up to external scrutiny. Inability to pay tax is not “malpractice” by the way, that’s just another example of you regurgitating the gutter water you swim in, a baseless smear just like the baseless smear you attempted yesterday and the day before that. No wonder you are completely unelectable – not only are you ignorant of basic governance (who can forget your thinking that Mallard and Little would seek public funds), but as you keep on reminding everyone after your convenient amnesia kicks in, nasty doesn’t win elections.

                      But really, what is the point of attempting to discuss the Port of Auckland or indeed, anything at all, with you, Pete George, when all you offer in return is a Gish gallop of weasel words and diversion?

                    • felix

                      I’m sure some middle-aged white men in the South Island are decent people, but there are documented examples of such people being involved in armed white-supremacist groups.

                      etc yawn.

                • bbfloyd

                  so “mondayisation” is as significant as bringing port companies under some kind of oversight?

                  i would suggest there is no relativity between the two…..

                  rather a pathetic defense of what has been an unedifying spectacle of self serving, craven, political chameleanism up to now….

                  pete knows as well, or better than most, that peter(useless shite) dunne would never have the spine to stand up to his hero’s over anything that was truly important….

                  i know people with iq’s barely above room temperature that argue over what dunny uses to wash the stain off his tongue regularly…..

                  clue: the word “dunny” is a pointer to what is the most popular guess…

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  So, now you’ve admitted you thought it up on your own, PG, what part of “red herring” don’t you understand? We are not discussing your silly notions about unions. We are discussing the requirement that the publicly owned Port of Auckland be legally transparent accountable to its owners, rather than to a tiny minority of right wing clowns.

        • Frida 2.2.1.2

          Oh dear Pete George shows his lack of knowledge of Government yet again with another inane and nonsensical comment. Have you ever looked at the OIA Petey? More specifically, have you ever looked at the Schedules to the Ombudsmen Act where the entities subject to the OIA are listed. I think you’ll find that there are more than just “schools and libraries” which are subject to the OIA.
          Just to enlighten you because you’re probably too lazy to go and look it up. But Solid Energy (as one example) is an SOE that is clearly a commercial enterprise yet must comply with the OIA.
          Furthermore, “commercial sensitivity” is not even a reason per se to decline to disclose documents under the OIA. Relying on this reason must be balanced against the public interest in disclosure (the premise of the OIA).
          Thank goodness you never made it to Parliament, you clearly have no idea how Government works.

        • Idiot/Savant 2.2.1.3

          If I was considering it I would start from the transparency angle as that’s an important priority, but would have to balance commercial interests against that. There’s a big difference between “organisations ranging from schools to public libraries” and competitive operations run as businesses.

          “competitive operations run as businesses” are already subject to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act by default, if they are majority council-owned. If you live in Christchurch, you can LGOIMA your local bus company. If you live in Dunedin, you can LGOIMA its forestry company, investment group, or the Tairei Gorge railway (its airport is already covered under the OIA). Why should ports be specifically excluded from that?

          (The reason is IMHO historical. The 4th Labour government expected all the ports to be rapidly sold, so it excluded them. Local councils had other plans. So we have council-owned assets which are excluded from public transparency)

  3. For the past few weeks I have been trying to get information out of POAL regarding the fiction that is the $91,000 average Stevedore wage.

    My original request for information from Auckland Council was then redirected to  ACIL.  Their response was that POAL was not subject to the Local Government Official Information obligations.

    I have since been directing the questions at ACIL.  The rationale is that surely ACIL would be asking these questions and it should therefore disclose the information.

    • DH 3.1

      I’m reasonable sure that the $91k is correct, it’s just not put in the proper context. The POAL release stated that the $91k was for average 49hr weeks which meant they were all doing significant overtime. They were being paid for 2548 hours each year when the standard 40hr week is only 2080hrs, not hard to rack up the $$ when you’re working regular overtime.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        False cherry picked data. “All doing significant overtime” – what 100% of the workers on the wharfs, even the ones with significant family or external commitments???

        • DH 3.1.1.1

          It looks to me to be more wilful misrepresentation than cherry picking, although they’re probably guilty of that too. When workers put in 10hrs overtime each week you’d expect them to take home a decent pay packet. They’ve distorted and misrepresented the figures to hide that the $91k is down to long hours (plus the extra in super payments etc).

          It wouldn’t surprise me if the average was 49hrs, when overtime is offered most of us are happy to take it for the extra bucks. If POAL really wanted to get that $91k down they should hire more workers & cut down on the overtime.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1

            If POAL really wanted to get that $91k down they should hire more workers & cut down on the overtime.

            What?! And have even more union members on site??? *puke*

  4. DH 4

    This is good to see;

    Lee lashes out at Ports of Auckland ‘incompetency’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10796780

    His comment about ACIL removing experienced POAL directors is interesting, hadn’t heard about that.

    I don’t know much about Mike Lee but I like the way he sticks up for his principles.

    • muzza 4.1

      “Lee refused calls by councillors George Wood, Cameron Brewer and Dick Quax to withdraw and apologise for what they called “offensive remarks” and he called “fair and reasonable”

      What a shock, George Wood, Cameron Brewer and Dick Quax! Christine Fletcher must have been an apology!

      Well done Mike Lee for refusing to accept the snivelling calls of the councils shills (include Fletcher in that), from causing “offensive remarks. Who or what are they trying to feign offence on behalf of!

  5. LoveIT 5

    OMGee! We’re like, O, so DETERMINED here.

    Yes, thats the word – determined.

    Determined to do what, exactly?

    Please tell me, my sides hurt.

  6. Dr Terry 6

    Well, as usual the debate focussed all around Pete, how much he will enjoy it! How is it that he gets to so many? He must have some points to his favour in that so many rise to the bait!

  7. james 111 7

    Sorry have been away for a while you wanted some information on the 2.1% return this article from Bryan Gaynor really explains it well. POAL is getting hammered by POT
    As the accompanying figures show, POA has been hammered by POT in recent years: POA’s ebitda has fallen from $92.6 million in 2003 to $74.4 million, whereas POT’s has increased from $69.5 million to $95.0 million; POA’s ebitda margin has fallen from 55.3 per cent to 40.5 per cent while POT’s has increased from 47.6 per cent to 51.2 per cent; most importantly, POA’s dividend has declined from $34.5 million to $17.6 million while POT’s has increased from $22.8 million to $40.2 million.

    This is a huge concern to Auckland ratepayers as the $17.8 million POA dividend represents a return of only 2.1 per cent on POA’s $848 million 2005 takeover value.

    The biggest difference between the two companies is in terms of costs as they both have fairly similar total revenue, but POA has had total June 2011 year costs of $109.4 million compared with POT’s $90.3 million.

    This is where the argument about internal employees and outsourcing comes in, the issue at the heart of the current industrial dispute.

    In 2010, POA had total employee expenses of $51.9 million compared with only $18.5 million at POT and last year employee benefits plus pension costs were $54.9 million at POA compared with POT’s $25.3 million.

    The big difference between the two companies is in terms of contracting out.

    POA has 522 employees whereas POT has 160 permanent and 30 casual employees and, at any one time, a significant number of contractors working for it. These contractors are not included in the employee expenses quoted above.

    There is little doubt that the employees/contractors mix at POT works much better than the employees-only model at POA and it is not surprising that the current industrial dispute continues to escalate because POA and the Maritime Union have entrenched views on contracting.

    Contracting gives a port company greater ability to reduce costs when business is static or declining, as POT showed between 2003-07.

    But the poor performance of POA can also be attributed to the company’s board, management and politicians.

    The board’s capital management has been poor as dividend payouts have been too high. As a result, POA’s debt is much higher than POT’s and the former had net interest costs of $20.7 million in the June 2011 year compared with POT’s $10.6 million.

    POT’s senior management team has always been open, energetic and visionary while POA’s management team has been haughty and insular, and must take some of the blame for the company’s poor performance.

    Politicians have also interfered too much with POA. They have extracted too much cash in the form of dividends and this week Auckland Mayor Len Brown and former Auckland Regional Council head Mike Lee couldn’t resist having their say on the company.

    Lee made the ridiculous statement that POA and POT should act in an anti-competitive way by working together to get better rates from shipping companies. He went on to say that the shipping cartel Maersk and Fonterra “have kept prices right down by playing Tauranga off with Auckland” – yet Lee was primarily responsible for stopping merger talks between POA and POT.

    The politicians should stay out of the industrial dispute and leave POA and the Maritime Union to sort out their differences. However, the dispute looks like it will be long and ugly because Ports of Auckland must reduce its cost structure if it is to provide any competition to Port of Tauranga.

    • framu 7.1

      “These contractors are not included in the employee expenses quoted above.”

      kind of raises many questions doesnt it

      so your saying they do it cheaper with less staff – but dont even notice the fact that “These contractors are not included in the employee expenses quoted above.”

      carry on

    • lprent 7.2

      The big difference between the two companies is in terms of contracting out.

      Bullshit. The biggest differences are the scale of the operation, the direction of movement, the location, age of equipment, and strategic direction.

      PoT is a lot smaller in operation’s. Normally the majority of it’s traffic is export rather than the more balanced import/export loadings at PoAL with somewhat more imports than exports. PoT has a relatively shallow harbour which I suspect limits what traffic it can handle. For instance it is a lot faster to just load a vessel rather both than load and unload it.

      Each of these things affects the operations at the port and tends to make most of your actual minimal content about operations meaningless.

      Then you appear to have missed a whole pile of costs by concentrating solely on the PoT accounts. For instance are all of the labour costs listed as labour in the accounts? I’ll bet they aren’t because they are services hired from a contractor (you silly dork). Not to mention that the contractors may be directly providing the services to the shipping company and just using the ports facilities.

      When you are looking at EBITA and other such measures, the key thing to also look at is where the value is going. You can’t just compare two companies on the basis of numbers alone unless you look at their strategics.

      etc etc.

      Comparing apples with oranges is a bloody silly idea.

      In short, I’d suggest that you go and learn how to analyse balance sheets and P&L’s before you try telling a business grad such total superficial crap.

      Not to mention that Tauranga is way way past capacity, having to ration their capacity especially in Auckland, and having problems with empty containers just by even having the some of the overflow from Auckland due to the bloody stupid unlawful lockouts by PoAL. There are a hell of lot of reasons for having a port in Auckland. Not having to do the massively expensive shipping from Tauranga is one of them.

      Lee made the ridiculous statement that POA and POT should act in an anti-competitive way by working together to get better rates from shipping companies. He went on to say that the shipping cartel Maersk and Fonterra “have kept prices right down by playing Tauranga off with Auckland” – yet Lee was primarily responsible for stopping merger talks between POA and POT.

      You really are a fool aren’t you. The problem is that the shipping companies are allowed to collude in an anticompetitive way by legislation. The ports are not allowed to do so because they are subject to different legislation.

      Either both sides should be subject to the courts and the commerce commission or neither should. The current situation makes it easy for the shipping companies to do what ever they want playing one port against the other which is why they have managed to drive container costs down to close to half of the aussie ports where they are subject to anti-competitive legislation.

      Perhaps you should take some time to actually read what the issues are rather than just wanking in public.

    • KJT 7.3

      Just shows James does not know what the fuck he is talking about.

      POAL has over 800 000 box moves annually as against 500 000 in Tauranga.
      Of course Auckland’s total costs will be more than Tauranga’s.

      Labour cost per box ARE CHEAPER IN AUCKLAND.

      Claiming Aucklands costs are greater while excluding costs of contractors in Tauranga is absolute garbage.

      That Auckland needs much better management is probably correct.

      The differences in standards of co-ordination, by management, between the two ports are obvious.

      Logistics and the value of waterfront land in Auckland means Aucklands accounting ROI could never equal Tauranga, even if Auckland became much more efficient.

      And allowing Mearsk to ratchet down port costs between Auckland and Tauranga does not benefit either port, or New Zealanders.

  8. ad 8

    The fastest route to accountability is to dissolve Auckland Council Investments Ltd, making the Ports of Auckland Company directly accountable to the Council.

    While there are minor tax disadvantages to doing this, the increase in democratic accountability would be stark.

    If the Council wanted to take that a step further, it could dissolve the Ports complany completely (since it is 100% owner) and simply turn the whole thing into a Council Department, like Stormwater or Parks.

    That would erase most of its entire corporate structure, but also increase political engagement/interference. The side benefit of dissolving the Company is that the asset could never be sold off, other than through the tortuous Special Consultative Procedure for such things.

    Whether there are the political numbers to do this, well, it would probably it would need another election. However none of the above requires any legislative change at all.

  9. james 111 9

    What I want to know is how come POT can do its volumes with 330 less staff than POA there are some real savings in Labour cost there alone.

    • James you are an idiot.  Tauranga has contractors too that are outside the list of employees.
       
      POAL in 2010 spent $51.9m on employees.  Tauranga spent $25.3m but a further $33,9m on contractors and $5.8m on transport contractors.  Depending on the work covered it looks like Tauranga spent MORE than Auckland on its Labour force.
       

  10. james 111 10

    What we are saying is then POA $24,900,000 profit / by 522 employees = $47,701 profit per employee
    Tauranga $57,900,000 / by 190 employees =$304,736 profit per employee given that the bottom line includes all operational labour costs if you were the employer which ownership model would you want to follow
    As Bryan Gaynor says the differences are so stark no one can argue with it not even you Micky . No not an idiot just go into things with my eyes wide open rather than a view tainted by ideaology

    • framu 10.1

      “What we are saying is”

      no – your saying that. everyone one else is pointing out that youve got a big hole in your employee numbers

      from your own quote
      “POA has 522 employees whereas POT has 160 permanent and 30 casual employees and, at any one time, a significant number of contractors working for it. These contractors are not included in the employee expenses quoted above.”

      do you not read the replies or something?

      • james 111 10.1.1

        Framu
        Doesnt matter profit is profit records all operating costs divided by the number of employees you cant argue with the figures. Tauranga is way more efficent and productive on a proft per person basis than POA

        • KJT 10.1.1.1

          Don’t know where you studied accounting, but you should ask for your money back!

          • james 111 10.1.1.1.1

            KJT
            Those are the profit results as reported divided by the Staff numbers given that in the Profit result all operational costs are recorded . Tell me what is wrong with the figures. I know they dont make happy reading for POAL or MUNZ

            • KJT 10.1.1.1.1.1

              We have told you what is wrong with your figures. Sorry if that is too complicated for you.

              Whatever the profit difference. It is not due to the Labour force.

              Have a think about how much is due to land valuations for a start.

            • mickysavage 10.1.1.1.1.2

              I can’t figure out if james is really that stupid or if he is just trying to disrupt the thread …

              • Te Reo Putake

                No, he really is that stupid. And it’s backed up by science; racists have an IQ that is, on average, 4 points lower than normal people. I’d suggest Jim Jim’s homophobia has shaved off a few more points, too.
                 
                In Simpsons’ terms, he’s somewhere between Ralph Wiggum and Cletus Spuckler.

              • felix

                Not necessarily an either or…

            • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.1.3

              Tell me what is wrong with the figures.

              It’s that you’re missing half of Tauranga’s costs and then saying that because those costs have suddenly disappeared (they haven’t really) that Tauranga gets more profit.

        • McFlock 10.1.1.2

          You can’t honestly be that stupid.
                 
          Let’s say PoAL contracted out 400 of 500 staff with no change in efficiency – i.e. the 400 staff being paid directly simply move to another expense line item to perform the same amount of work. They would therefore have the same profit level on work being done by the same number of people. According to your logic, the 100 remaining employees are five times more efficient. Even they’re still only doing a fifth of the work that generates the profit.
               
          Seriously, not even you can plausibly pretend to be that dumb.

          • james 111 10.1.1.2.1

            All the costs to hire the workers will have come off before the NOP line so the profit is still the profit. Costs of contracting are taken into account in the POT bottom line. You cant tell me they dont included them as that would be breaking all auditing standards and not reporting an accurate bottom line.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.2.1.1

              But reducing the number of direct staff which you believe means “there are some real savings in Labour cost there alone.”. The trouble is that any “savings” in the labour cost line item are balanced by a corresponding increase in the “contracting out” line item. So the “profit per employee” metric is meaningless in this context – it’s just a filter to exclude counting staff based on an arbitrary line item label, rather than any difference in type or quality of work.

        • framu 10.1.1.3

          no you cant argue with the figures your quite correct, im merely trying to point out that your figures are incorrect because your deliberately leaving out the contractors

          so the fact your not counting the contractors in your “profit per person” is bogus because your not counting all the people who have worked there.

          divide the profit of POT by ALL people who worked there – maybe some variables for hours worked and other such factors then come back with a profit per person

          • james 111 10.1.1.3.1

            Right I agree with that but that isnt POT worry anymore they belong to the Contractor all the profit can be recorded against their full time numbers as the cost of the contractor is already alowed for in the expenses. How the contractor runs his business is entirely up to him. What I am talking about is the difference in profit and return to the rate payers between the two business models and it is huge

    • Craig Glen Eden 10.2

      But james the figure 190 is not real get it! Divide what ever you like by a number thats not real and it makes the answer bullshit. James wake up. The individual numbers of contract workers would have to be added in to give any relevance to your argument.

  11. ghostwhowalksnz 11

    Telecom outsourced its entire IT division , along with employees, to EDS many years ago. Now its bought them back.

    Sub contracting isnt the be all by any means

  12. Fenton’s bill missed the ballot this time round.

    The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn:

    22 Illegal Contracts (Unlawful Limitation on Regulators’ Powers) Amendment Bill Hon Lianne Dalziel
    45 Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months Paid Leave) Amendment Bill Sue Moroney
    30 Lobbying Disclosure Bill Holly Walker

    Could be something worth supporting in amongst that.

    • james 111 12.1

      Definetly not worth supporting the first two anyway.How could employer pay for six months maternity leave at the moment I ask you

      • Pete George 12.1.1

        They don’t, it’s paid by Government.

        This Bill extends paid parental leave to 26 weeks, which supports the
        WHO recommendation that exclusive breastfeeding is recommended
        up to 6 months of age.

        The ability for parents to choose to care for newborn babies is an es-
        sential part of supporting families to develop nurturing relationships.
        Extending paid parental leave from the current entitlement of 14
        weeks to 26 weeks would support families and also create jobs
        across the economy as employers engage staf f to replace those on
        paid parental leave.

        As the majority of paid parental leave is uplifted by women, it has the
        added benefit of creating jobs in areas of the economy where women
        work, while supporting families and the well – being of children.

        This Bill recognises the fiscal implications of this additional entitle-
        ment, by staging the implementation of 26 weeks paid parental leave
        over the course of 3 years, adding an additional entitlement of 4
        weeks from 2012–2014.

        This sounds reasonable to me. There is likely to be fiscal resistance but it would phase in as the recovery kicks in (hopefully).

  13. Don’t know how practical it would be but on a principle of more transparency and open government this seems worth giving some attention to.

    Lobbying Disclosure Bill

    This bill seeks to bring a measure of transparency and public disclosure around the lobbying activity directed at Members of Parliament and their staff, and in so doing to enhance trust in the integrity and impartiality of democracy and political decision-making.

    It seeks to ensure that lobbying takes place in as open a way as possible, and in a way that protects the interests of the public, and to establish ethical standards for lobbying activity in New Zealand, with the prospect of sanctions if rules are broken.

    http://www.greens.org.nz/bills/lobbying-disclosure-bill

    If it could be made to work without being too restrictive then it could be good.

    • McFlock 13.1

      how is “disclosure” restrictive?
           
      Personally I’d increase the penalty by a factor of at least ten.

  14. captain hook 14

    these kiwi soe’s seem to have become the repository for goon squads and “grabbers”.

  15. RedBaron 15

    Just read Jimmie3 at 1.11 p.m.

    Hahaha – I don’t believe that he analysed the Financials and wrote this in the few hours he had available.
    It’s the typical sort of crap written by accounts who are suddenly required to justify a decision that the Management has already taken. Contains a nod to the fact that there are other points of view but of course concentrates on those points where there is some specious rebuttal readily available.

    Come on Jimmie3. Cut and paste doesn’t take that long. Use ctrl C, ctrl V and please let us know -who did write this???

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Looks to me like he got English’s office or Treasury to help him with those numbers, judging by the accuracy.

  16. RedBaron 16

    Had a quick look at the Financials – can’t see the staff numbers broken down there although there should be disclosure on the upper salaries. That has come from somewhere else, and they are set out fairly accurately.
    The other thing that caught my eye, was the exposure to derivatives and that appears to be around interest rates.
    They have little FX exposure which, unless they are making a major offshore purchase of equipment would be as expected, the price list would be in NZ dollars I suppose.

    However, the interest bill is around $0.5m but there seems to be derivatives in place of around $4.5m.
    I haven’t perused every thing in detail so there might be a simple explanation – if there isn’t then what are they expecting??

  17. John72 17

    Today’s readings :-
    Mark 15:10 – 15 Luke 23:18 – 25 John 19:12 – 16
    The crowds were just as irrational 2000 years ago as they are today. We like to think that we are more educated now, but no one needs a martyr to arouse the rabble in this day and age. I hope that no one participating in the P.of A. dispute considers themselves a martyr. Both parties keep refering to “what is in it for me.”

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • RCEP trade deal risks repeating TPPA mistakes
    The lesson from the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) should have been that it is time to re-think this type of so-called trade agreement. But despite warnings from internationally-recognised experts, there are more secretive “trade” negotiations happening this ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    41 mins ago
  • Education for All?
    This year I have been focused on getting a better deal for kids and families with learning needs such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, and autism spectrum. We had a Select Committee inquiry into the issues faced, but the Government was too ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 hours ago
  • Economy must deliver a fair go for New Zealanders
    The latest Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) provides further evidence that the economy that the National Government and Bill English have is sitting on shifting sands and leaves many people behind, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says today. ...
    1 day ago
  • A Billion Better Things
    Earlier this week I posed some questions to Finance Minister Bill English about his support for the government’s plan to spend a billion dollars on a new prison. I was pretty disappointed in his answers, all of which flew in the face of his own ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    1 day ago
  • Govt already in ‘holiday mode’ on $2.3b owed to Kiwi workers
    The Government is dragging its feet while working New Zealanders are still missing up to $2.3 billion collectively owed to them through underpaid holiday pay entitlements, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “The cover was blown on this issue ...
    1 day ago
  • Why is New Zealand still the exception on deposit protection?
    I took the opportunity to question the Reserve Bank Governor, Graeme Wheeler, about New Zealand’s lack of deposit protection in front of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee in Parliament yesterday. Why does the Reserve Bank continue to oppose protecting ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 day ago
  • Statement on proposed United Nations role
    “There has been a high degree of media interest in New Zealand about a possible post with the United Nations. “My name has been proposed to the United Nations Secretary General to be his Special Representative in South Sudan. ...
    1 day ago
  • David Shearer proposed for UN peacekeeping role
    Mt Albert MP David Shearer is being proposed for a demanding and exciting role heading the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “David has kept me fully informed about this opportunity and we are ...
    1 day ago
  • Karori Kids and Campbell Kindergarten must be saved
    The Minister of Education needs to show some leadership and secure the future of two not-for-profit early childhood education centres that could be faced with closure as the land they sit on is up for sale, Grant Robertson Labour MP ...
    1 day ago
  • Ministry reveals shocking charter school results
    NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated with documents revealing many students leaving school without basic NCEA level two qualifications despite this being a main educational target for the Government, says Labour Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Documents obtained ...
    1 day ago
  • Minister must protect MSD staff
      The Minister of Social Development should immediately implement safer work practices to ensure tragedies such as the Ashburton killings don’t happen again, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.   ...
    2 days ago
  • A vote for the Māori Party is a vote for National
    Comments made by the Māori Party leadership in the wake of John Key’s surprise resignation make one thing clear: a vote for them is a vote for a fourth term National Government, and the increasing inequality and poverty for Māori ...
    2 days ago
  • Collins and English split over police funding
    The bloodletting has already begun with splits and divisions emerging after the Police Minister knifed the Finance Minister via the media, says Labour Police spokesman Stuart Nash. ...
    2 days ago
  • Next Prime Minister must tackle foreign speculators
    The public rightly puts much of the blame for the housing bubble at the feet of foreign speculators, and the next Prime Minister must listen to their concerns, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ student performance slips in international study – again
    The continuing fall in Kiwi kids’ performance in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study shows the damage being inflicted by National’s cuts to education and one-size-fits-all approach, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “For years, National has ...
    2 days ago
  • CYF reforms dangerous backward step
    Child protection has taken a massive step backwards today with the Government passing a Bill that will give significant powers to unspecified ‘professionals’ or contract holders, says Labour’s Acting Children’s spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    3 days ago
  • Improve workplaces, and address domestic violence
    Last week the Productivity Commission put out a report about how to grow “weak labour productivity”. These views are being criticised as being straight out of the 1980s. What is a real problem is that we have a problem of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Palm oil industry implicated in human rights abuses
    The Green Party has campaigned for several years for mandatory palm oil labeling to give consumers choice. Most consumers do not want to support a palm oil industry that is destroying tropical rainforests and contributing to dangerous climate change emissions. ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    3 days ago
  • Syphilis on the rise in NZ
    Cases of syphilis are increasing in Auckland. You read that right, syphilis!  RNZ reported today that rates of syphilis have increased by 71 percent (between 2013-2015). We have known about the increase in syphilis figures for a while, but nothing ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • We need to work smarter not longer
    The charade of this Government’s sound economic management is unraveling. Misleading GDP figures, pumped up by property speculation and high immigration, have given the impression that all is well, masking our continued productivity decline compared to OECD countries. In fact, ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    4 days ago
  • Statement on John Key’s resignation
    Labour Party Leader Andrew Little has acknowledged John Key’s contribution to Government.  “John Key has served New Zealand generously and with dedication. Although we may have had our policy differences over the years, I respect the Prime Minister’s decision to ...
    4 days ago
  • Positive plan secures victory
    The victory of Labour’s newest MP, Michael Wood, in Mt Roskill is the result of a well-organised campaign run with honesty and integrity, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “I congratulate Michael Wood on his great victory. He will be a ...
    6 days ago
  • Wave of support for Kiwibuild continues to grow
    Apartment builder Ockham Residential has become the latest voice to call for the government to build affordable homes for Kiwi families to buy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Helen O'Sullivan of Ockham has now joined prominent businesspeople like EMA ...
    7 days ago
  • Cuba Si Yankee No – Fidel Castro and the Revolution
    The death of Fidel Castro is a huge historical moment for the older generation who grew up with the toppling of Batista, the Bay of Pigs debacle, the death of Che Guevara and the US blockade against Cuba. For younger ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Government slashes observer coverage, fails snapper fishery
    The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has more than halved the number of fisheries observers in the East Coast North Island snapper trawl fishery (SNA1). This reduction in observer days, combined with major failures in an unproven and controversial video ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • ‘Exemplar’ Māori Land Court under siege
    TheMāori Land Court, hailed as an “exemplar” by the Ministry of Justice chief executive and Secretary, Andrew Bridgman is under siege by the Government through Māori land reforms and a Ministry restructure, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 week ago
  • He Poroporoaki ki a Te Awanuiārangi Black
    Kua hinga he whatukura o Tauranga Moana. Kua hinga rangatira o te iwi Māori. Ka tangi tonu ana te ngākau nā tāna wehe kei tua o te ārai. E rere haere ana ngā mihi aroha o mātou o Te Rōpū ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • CYF reforms ignoring whānau based solution
    When approximately 60 per cent of children in state care are Māori processes need to change in favour of whānau, hapū and iwi solutions, said Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “Widespread concern about Government reforms of Child Youth and ...
    1 week ago
  • Hip and knees surgery takes a tumble
    The statistics for hip and knee electives under this Government make depressing reading, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Under the last Labour Government we achieved a 91 per cent growth in hip and knee elective surgery. Sadly under this ...
    1 week ago
  • Parata’s spin can’t hide cuts to early childhood education
    No amount of spin from Hekia Parata can hide the fact that per-child funding for early childhood education has been steadily decreasing under the National government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “In the 2009/10 year early childhood services received ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats will jump at chance to vote for KiwiBuild Bill
    National will welcome the chance to vote for a real solution to the housing crisis after their many, many failed attempts, says Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. Kelvin Davis’s Housing Corporation (Affordable Housing Development) Amendment Bill was ...
    1 week ago
  • Million dollar houses put homeownership out of reach of middle New Zealand
    35% of New Zealanders now live in places where the average house costs over a million dollars, and it’s killing the Kiwi dream of owning your own place, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Latest QV stats show that Queenstown ...
    1 week ago
  • Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs
    The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. The reading ...
    1 week ago
  • Solid Energy must open the drift
    Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.  “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000 at risk students “missing”
    A briefing to the Minister of Education reveals 20,000 at-risk students can’t be found, undermining claims by Hekia Parata that a new funding model would ensure additional funding reached students identified as at-risk, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Crime continues to rise
    Overall crime is up five per cent and the Government just doesn’t seem to care, says Labour’s Police Spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off
    The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. "New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with ...
    1 week ago
  • National slow to learn new trade lessons post TPPA
    Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise. In welcoming a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Skilled migrant wages plummeting under National
    Wages have plummeted for people with skilled migrant visas working in low-skilled occupations, driving down wages for workers in a number of industries, says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Documents acquired by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal that ...
    1 week ago
  • Child abuse apology needed
    The Government's failure to act on recommendations from Judge Henwood, based on years of work by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) will further undermine any faith victims may have put into the process, says Labour’s Children’s Spokesperson Jacinda ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank again highlights National’s housing failure
    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    1 week ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    1 week ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    1 week ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Tairāwhiti says No Stat Oil!
    Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti are have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 weeks ago