Gutting Southern health care is wrong

Written By: - Date published: 8:29 am, July 17th, 2015 - 75 comments
Categories: class war, health - Tags: , , ,

Last month the Southern DHB were sacked – scapegoats for systematic underfunding of the health sector. A commissioner has been appointed to cut spending. Cuts don’t apply to the commissioner of course:

Southern DHB commissioner called in to cut costs gets pay increase – to $1400 a day

That’s a lot of hip relacements, as the saying goes. But it’s not even the most interesting part:

The Government-appointed commissioner at the Southern District Health Board has had her pay boosted to $1400 a day because the cost-cutting measures she’ll embark on put her personal and professional reputation at risk.

If taking certain actions is putting your personal and professional reputation at risk, isn’t that a pretty clear indication that those actions are – you know – completely and utterly wrong?

75 comments on “Gutting Southern health care is wrong ”

  1. cogito 1

    Blood money…. in the health sector.

    • AmaKiwi 1.1

      We are Greece.

      Key is Merkel.

    • Save NZ 1.2

      Lets take away money to help the sick to enrich commissioners. My what a strategy being seen taken by the Nats across all sectors. Cronyism and privatisation by stealth yet again.

  2. vto 2

    living in la la land

  3. red-blooded 3

    The SDHB covers the largest, most sparsely populated area and has to find a way to provide accessible services to a population who don’t all live conveniently clustered around Dunedin but who may have to travel 3-4 hours to access care. They’ve already merged with the Southland board, gutted services in Invercargil and smaller towns and made significant cuts across the board. They operate out of an old, poorly designed building and maintain a high level teaching programme alongside their ordinary programme of care. They deserve support but are going to get more of the same old slash-and-burn. That this woman is being established with the acknowledgment that her actions will damage her professional reputation is appalling. Here’s an idea: how about giving her the resources to help the Board to meet their obligations to the community they serve? Then her precious reputation would be safe (& so would the population of Otago and Southland).

    • cogito 3.1

      And it’s an ageing population as well.

    • dukeofurl 3.2

      Is that the answer, get rid of the medical school and its overheads drop

      • David H 3.2.1

        And who’s going to teach the Medical staff? Or do you reckon we should go back to the 1300’s where there were fuck all doctors, and a disease bourne on the Fleas, riding on a Rat, could wipe out up to 75% of the population. Or the early 1900’s where the Flu had a devastating impact on the world population.

        Maybe it’s the Rich pricks medical version of “Let them eat cake”

        http://www.historytoday.com/ole-j-benedictow/black-death-greatest-catastrophe-ever
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic

        Imagine trying to deal with things like this, with a depressed health sector. You Can’t.

        You need the Medical Schools!

        • dukeofurl 3.2.1.1

          Obviously they identify the overhead due to medical training and ask the university to ‘pay for it’

          Many years ago up in Auckland, I was surprised how much time was spent by regular staff in ‘research’. These werent medical staff who were both professors and surgeons but run of the mill registrars and consultants.

          Even nurses are onto the research bandwagon

          Future research is obviously good but this was for the most part ‘file and forget’ research.

          For me , I would restrict research to clinical staff who were good at it, and was had some real benefit to NZ and wasn’t being done elsewhere. There are certain areas that would be unique to NZ.

          • McFlock 3.2.1.1.1

            yeah, lots of staff wear multiple “hats”, even down to 0.2EFTE – not just between uni vs DHB, but to between departments within either organisation (e.g. 0.4 clinician, 0.4 teaching, 0.2 uni research project).

            It actually makes it worthwhile to bring some staff down – the DHB gets a clinician, the university gets an academic, and the person gets a decent whack of varied work.

            And some of them work insane hours, because the HR department for each organisation have plausible deniability so let them work 60/80 hours per week even after their time as a registrar. Fucked if I could be bothered with that, but I’ve never been cursed with ambition or self-discipline.

      • NZJester 3.2.2

        Actually get rid of the medical school and they will not have as many cheap student doctors on call to cover all the shifts. Having to employ fully qualified doctors would very likely mean costs would go up by quite a lot.

    • Ergo Robertina 3.3

      What services have been withdrawn from Invercargill?

  4. vto 4

    self-justification is truly a sight to behold….. the things people, especially politicians like Nick Smith, bring themselves to believe is sometimes so bizarre they become a laughing stock.

    as here

  5. RedLogix 5

    Of course all this does is make matters worse. Before she could have claimed she was implementing unpopular measures that she genuinely believed were nonetheless the right thing to do.

    Now she’s just made it plain that she knows they are wrong and had to be paid to do them.

    And everybody knows.

    • yep – so the framing has made the situation worse and she has backed herself into a corner – I really don’t think anyone is worth that daily amount – no one is that valuable even if they are driving through unpleasant, unwelcome and ultimately unwanted changes.

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        Of course the construction of this frame may be even darker. After several months on what must be a very unpopular and unpleasant job – perhaps she went back and either demanded more pay or threatened to resign.

        And the framing of this announcement is a public pay-back?

        • marty mars 5.1.1.1

          hmmm yep one must never discount that style of interaction – could be some blowback now the numbers are in the public arena

          • Sacha 5.1.1.1.1

            Isn’t that the same daily rate (outside all state sector remuneration formulas) that Brownlee decided to bestow on Jenny Shipley for her advice on ECan?

  6. Gosman 6

    Once again the solution from the left seems to be throw more money at the issue. That is what led to the problems in Greece as previous governments just spent money without regard to controls and checks.

    • Pat 6.1

      Bollocks…an internal trade imbalance within the Eurozone caused Greeces problem and the powers that be simply looked the other way until circumstances forced them to turn their heads and acknowledge the fact, and even then they deliberately misdiagnosed….somewhat akin to whats happening to the regions within NZ

    • vto 6.2

      ha ha that is very funny

    • dv 6.3

      You mean like throwing $1400 day at the problem?

    • McFlock 6.4

      That is what led to the problems in Greece as previous governments just spent money without regard to collecting taxes from wealthy people and corporations.

      FIFY

      • Gosman 6.4.1

        Not really just wealthy people. Pretty much anybody who could get away with it. However the overspending the Greeks did was as bad. They didn’t keep track of how much they actually spent, only how much they were planning on spending. In that sense they had a situation similar to the Southern DHB as they spent far more than they originally planned to do.

        • vto 6.4.1.1

          You’re obsessed man… and losing sight of shitloads of realities about the situation….. damaging the credibility of your views

        • Chch_chiquita 6.4.1.2

          I really don’t get all these stupid people down south, why do they insist on being sick and in need of more service than the DHB have planned for?

          • McFlock 6.4.1.2.1

            on the contrary, the commissioner is an excellent idea, because the DHB keep planning on providing services it can’t afford, like clinics and leak-free operating theatres. Bad management is the problem!

          • The Chairman 6.4.1.2.2

            Indeed. Hospitals perform far better without patients.

            https://youtu.be/UxGsay6OfFk

        • Tracey 6.4.1.3

          get back on topic gosman.

    • Stuart Munro 6.5

      Once again the tiresome apologist for the fascists delivers his unthinking diatribe. The southern region is very productive – munting it will prove very costly indeed. But when did these wreckers ever care about the damage they do.

    • Once again the solution from the left seems to be throw more money at the issue.

      No, Gosman, that parroted cliche only works if you’re “throwing money” at;

      * CEOs, with their multi-million dollar bloated salaries,

      * tax cuts at the wealthy,

      * corporate welfare to Rio Tinto, Warner Bros, Saudi businessmen, South Canterbury Finance, et al,

      * MoBIE fit-outs

      Spending on healthcare is an investment. Like, you know, preventing people getting sicker and sicker until they drop dead in the streets, or just don’t wake up in their beds.

      It helps if you think through your really stupid comments before opening that mouth of yours. Parrots talk, but haven’t a clue what they’re saying.

      • Gosman 6.6.1

        How would you fix the problems at the Southern DHB then Frank? I don’t even mind if it involves taking money from the Commissioner but there has to be some other place you can find it.

        • Wonderpup 6.6.1.1

          Hold on, I thought we sold a whole lot of assets to build new hospitals. Where are they then?

          • aidan 6.6.1.1.1

            ghost hospitals? ghost schools?oh yeah ghost surplus

          • Tracey 6.6.1.1.2

            plus 1

          • Puckish Rogue 6.6.1.1.3

            Of course we won’t mention the billion that was lost because of the futile attempt by the left to sabotage the sales

            • dukeofurl 6.6.1.1.3.1

              Sabotage ?

              Who but a fool would try and sell 3 power companies in a row ? Thats what depressed the price.

            • NZJester 6.6.1.1.3.2

              Sales that made no real long term economic sense. For a quick money boost to their books to try and make it look like they had a surplus, National sold of assets that made the NZ tax payer a lot of money. Now a lot of money that used to go back into our economy is instead going overseas.

        • aidan 6.6.1.2

          well i don’t know, how bout establishing an appropriate amount of funding to supply adequate services? sdhb has been chronically underfunded for years because of continuous slashing cuts. there hasn’t been any fat to trim for years, but they keep on cuttin’

        • Stuart Munro 6.6.1.3

          The big problem is our Treasury morons never balance their books. You let in foreign workers you lose the money that would’ve been spent in the local economy by local people, nevermind the income tax.

          The staff in Otago are world class, they can double their pay just by crossing the ditch, and most of them can earn 5-10x as much in the States if they choose. But pretending to be a business instead of a government, the kleptocrats send in an overpaid hatchet-wonk. If they collapse the med school they’ll claim it as a victory. It’s rather like the stupid push to seize meals-on-wheels: fuck with the people and the volunteers will withdraw the free delivery.

          I keep hearing that the Gnats are economic experts – well they ought to have plenty of money then. Fact is that they are always broke. Their economic pretensions are as threadbare as Gosman’s arguments.

          Labour are infinitely better economic managers, and Labour are nothing special. These fools really suck.

    • Detrie 6.7

      Indeed. Squandering money away on sick people and medical resources in the provinces (as opposed to lavish pensions, tax avoidance and corruption that got Greece in trouble), is the way to go then? And why not punish the children too… Hold on, we’re on track with that one. And don’t forget the $25m on the flag is really, really critical to our nations health and well being…..

    • Tracey 6.8

      its cheaper to let people die and suffer from disease gosman?

    • red-blooded 6.9

      Actually, the way I understand it, Gosman, the SDHB has lost a lot of funding due to the stringent application of the “population-based funding” model, and that has seen resources sent up North to more densely-populated areas. At first glance, that seems logical (put the resources where most people can benefit from them), but it ignores the special challenges of operating within such a large and challenging geographical area, with such run-down facilities. While the formula claims to be adjusted for “rural populations” the fact is that this doesn’t account for the needs of people in Invercargill (for example), who aren’t “rural” but are still more than 3 hours away from Dunedin. I also seem to recall that when the two previous health boards merged, there were debts from the Southland Health Board (originally a stand-alone body) that were then imposed on the new Southern District Health Board. Unsurprisingly, they have never been able to free themselves of the burden of this debt.

      I have dealings with multiple hospital departments on an all-too-regular basis, and I can tell you that we’re not living lives of luxury down here.

      I don’t mind the idea of a commissioner, if it’s a truly independent person with trusted expertise in a problem-solving role and if there’s a commitment from government to front up with more funds or forgive some debt if the commissioner deems it necessary. We always knew that it was unlikely that the commissioner would actually have this status or function, though, and the latest announcements have made that very obvious.

      Once again the solution from the Right seems to be to suck more money away from the needy. ‘Cos it’s not like THAT’S ever caused any problems in NZ or the wider world, is it..?

      • Sacha 6.9.1

        Population-based funding adjusts for proven health determinants like poverty, ethnicity and age – not density.

        Given that some other DHBs around the country manage with dispersed populations, I still have not seen any reasoning why SDHB is so unable to meet its budget compared with all other similar organisations.

        • Ergo Robertina 6.9.1.1

          Can you name a DHB in a similar situation Sacha?
          Bear in mind a geographically large DHB like Waikato serves a massive number of inter-district patients, which increases revenue.
          Southern does seem to have some unique challenges. Do you dispute that?

          • Sacha 6.9.1.1.1

            I haven’t seen anyone describe what those unique challenges are. Links welcome. I do know inter-district flows were certainly not regarded as a bonus by Auckland DHB, which has most of them.

            • Ergo Robertina 6.9.1.1.1.2

              Well perhaps you aren’t conversant with the DHB’s characteristics, but they aren’t a big secret. They include a land mass of more than 60,000sqkm, two base hospitals, a high-volume tourist area, multiple rural hospitals, a tertiary hospital with low inter-district in-flows but high out-flows, and PBF adjusters that yield less for its rural and aged aspects than other rural-based DHBs with older populations.
              Can you please give examples of the DHBs you claimed were doing well with dispersed populations?
              Maybe your poster child of a dispersed population is West Coast DHB – it certainly is dispersed. It’s also a long-time basket case that’s now under the wing of Canterbury.

              • Sacha

                I was thinking more of MidCentral and Tairawhiti, but they don’t have the same hospitals configuration I guess.

                • Ergo Robertina

                  Yeah, they’re not the same – especially Tairawhiti – it only serves 46,000 people.
                  You also compared Southern with Auckland, in that the latter didn’t look favourably on inter-district flows. You can’t really compare them.
                  In Southern, the extra patients might spell the difference between a specialty being able to sustain a clinically safe level of staffing (3 specialists) compared with a clinically unsafe level (2).
                  Obviously AK doesn’t have specialties at risk in that way. But the key point is that if it did – it’s a stone’s throw away from a number of other DHBs on its doorstep.

      • Ergo Robertina 6.9.2

        You’re right on PBF. Areas with rapidly growing pops accrue funding regardless of their actual costs, while DHBs with stagnant pops face a vicious circle — stagnant funding + consistent overheads (and quite possibly growing demand despite pop numbers).
        It’s not like the community suddenly expect fewer services because there are fewer people!
        Sacha’s repeating the political spin deployed by National and Labour (except when either of them are in Opposition).

        • Sacha 6.9.2.1

          The CTU has released projections showing the whole health system has been underfunded year after year. I believe that is not OK.

          • Ergo Robertina 6.9.2.1.1

            What’s your point?
            Are you suggesting all DHBs are faring equally because of the underlying under-funding?

            • Sacha 6.9.2.1.1.1

              Other DHBs are managing restricted budgets. I do not believe any of them should be under that much pressure. That’s where my own view might diverge from the political parties you cite.

              • Ergo Robertina

                You’d probably be surprised by how much DHB spending is set by things like national employment agreements – there’s not that much you can change without withdrawing services. I doubt southerners are wildly over-treated – but then I guess we’ll know more next year when the new ‘unmet need’ figures they’re collecting start to filter out.
                No-one can say any area is fairly funded compared with the others, because the Ministry of Health won’t release the workings of the PBF formula, which seems to have weird anomalies between regions.
                Otago University researchers even went to great pains to clarify it and failed, and their report would be worth reading (this is a press release, couldn’t find the full report: http://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/otago033152.html

  7. millsy 7

    When National was last in power (back in the dark days), they sacked every AHB in the country and installed commissioners who proceeded to embark on slash and burn programs.

    I think Mackasy (sp?) posted a news clipping a week or so ago from 1990/91 about how the commissioner that replaced Auckland’s board was shifting elderly patients from public geriatric wards into private rest homes.

    Im guessing we will see more privatisation in the SDHB.

    • dukeofurl 7.1

      That was the ‘corporatisation’ of the public health service.

      It cost hundreds of millions as in some cases a regional based hospital service with small offsite head office overhead was replaced with each large hospital having its own management structure and staff.

      Then on top of that there was 3 separate health service ‘funders’ covering large parts of the country, all with expensive managers and consultants to dish out the money.

      They implemented a ‘cash registers in wards’ program as the funding shortfalls were to me made up by patients as they left hospital ( much like you would pay for car parking). It was stopped by public outrage.

  8. Aidan 8

    Um. She’s only been on the job, what, couple of months? Already a pay rise? 1400 a day? RIP SDHB

    • weka 8.1

      I’m not sure if $1400/day is the amoutn of the increase or the total amount she gets.

  9. weka 9

    That’s fairly rage inducing news. Time to get back out on the streets Otago and Southland. Remember what happened with neurology?

  10. Malconz 10

    There’s a doco about rural health care scheduled on TV3 at 9.30pm on August 13 . It covers a year in the life of a rural Otago hospital, and shows how staff work ever longer hours to paper over the cracks created by under-funding… at precisely the time that the SDHB was being pressured to cut budgets even more!

  11. Aidan 11

    Also, Gosman why try and tie everything to Greece? Are you stupid?sdhb NEEDS money to serve the public, what’s with the right always trying to steal money and cut public services? I’d hardly call providing adequate funding ” throwing money at it”

  12. Aidan 12

    Weka, the fight for neurology merely postponed the inevitable. Watch as the “commissioner” cuts this and plenty more. Sets the stage for privatisation wouldn’t you say

    • weka 12.1

      The fight for neurology showed the mainstream what happens when they mobilise. This govt won’t ignore another 10,000 people marching through the middle of Dunedin (bearing mind we’re talking about a SDHB rohe that includes some big National electorates). Of course they’ll try and get away with whatever they can, that’s what Key’s govt does. Doesn’t mean we have to let them.

      • aidan 12.1.1

        i wish i shared your optimism weka, but i think the role of this commissioner is to do as she’s instructed despite any public outcry, hence the pay hike. also along these lines watch the ttp go through despite what is going to be overwhelming opposition from the public. reminds me a little of asset sales?

  13. Aidan 13

    From the post I,d say 1400 is the total, but oh my gosh! Funny how the right hate “throwing money” at services yet are comfortable with obscene pay checks for the lackeys and lickspittles of the powerfull

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    The government can simply issue (or borrow, or tax) the money it needs any time it wants, to pay for anything it deems to be a high enough priority.

    Meanwhile, there must be a yacht team out there who needs another $30M.

    • NZJester 14.1

      This government is to busy spending money on a flag change we can not afford.
      The referendums are only the tip of the iceberg of money that will need to be spent. If to many vote to change the flag in the second referendum we are going to be in for a big cash drain as all the flags at our government buildings and embassies are changed. The shoulder patches on our soldiers uniforms are pulled off and new ones put on. Brand new textbooks printed for schools. Some government forms changed as well as new passports issued. Expensive international advertising to let people in other countries know we have changed our flag.
      Then there will be the money that most international trading NZ companies will also have to spend. Any that use the NZ flag in advertising material or packaging will need to spend a lot of money changing it all.
      All that money wasted would be far better spent on boosting the funding to our hospitals.

      • cogito 14.1.1

        I agree. The whole flag thing is just a cynical Key ego trip. It absolutely stinks.

        • NZJester 14.1.1.1

          I actually don’t think it is a Key ego trip. It is more of a smoke and mirrors to make it look like National is doing something and to give their right wing pet so called journalists something to fill the papers with so they can hide all the important stories away from the public eye.
          Why print stories about the gutting of the Southern DHB when you can print a story about the flag referendum and what flags are available to pick from.
          Hide the stories about the important stuff about Nationals bungling and cutting of services away from the public.
          We should all do a write in vote for a red fish on a white background as it is all just one big red herring.

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    Yesterday the government released the advice on its proposal to repeal the offshore fossil gas exploration ban, including a Climate Implications of Policy Assessment statement, Cabinet paper, and Regulatory Impact Statement. I spent some time looking at these last night, and the short version is that the government's plan is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A criminal minister
    RNZ reports that cancer minister Casey Costello has been reprimanded and forced to apologise by the Ombudsman for acting "contrary to law" in her handling of an OIA request: Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced to apologise for trying to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
    New Zealand is one of six countries invited as onlookers to this week’s NATO summit in Washington. As such, PM Christopher Luxon will be made aware of the pressure on the 32 NATO member states (a) to increase their Defence spending (b) to become less militarily dependent on the US ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
    The revitalisation of Auckland city centre, especially around Wynyard Quarter, Te Komititanga, and Queen Street, is top of mind for Greater Auckland readers – but other cities around Aotearoa New Zealandare installing people-friendly streets. This guest post by Jessica de Heij, who grew up in the Netherlands and is an ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    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 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    4 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    4 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    5 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
    Last week at the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee, Kiwirail gave an update about the state of the network and the work they’re doing to get it ready for the opening of the City Rail Link. There were a few aspects that stood out to me so I’ve pulled them ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
    Photo by City Church Christchurch on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 8:00 am are:Scoop: Waipareira Trust political donations probe referred to Charities Registration Board NZ Herald-$$$’s Matt NippertScoop: Migrant whistleblowers speak out after ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
    This article by Robin Kundis Craig, Professor of Law, University of Kansas is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Federal Chevron deference is dead. On June 28, 2024, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old legal tenet that when a federal ...
    5 days ago
  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
    Note: This is a long readPolitical discourse on social media taught me that bad faith operators and tactics are not only prevalent, they are widespread and effective.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Their objectives are much narrower than one might imagine.The ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
    Hi,I am about to wing my way back to New Zealand for the Webworm popup this Saturday in Auckland — can’t wait to see some of you there! In the meantime, I highly recommend the latest pet thread over on the Webworm app. All I’ll say is that readers here ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
    Photo by Alex Zaj on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, news conferences reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 9 are:Politics: Full news conference: 'Please resign', Chloe Swarbrick tells Darleen Tana RNZ VideoPaper: Increasing speed ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
    The fundamental weakness of the waka jumping legislation is once again on display, as the Greens seem reluctant to trigger it to remove Darleen Tana from Parliament altogether. Tana has been suspended from the Greens Caucus while it had barrister Rachel Burt investigate allegations that she had been involved in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    Kāinga Ora’s “independent review” was carried out by the same National Party leader whose own administration’s inadequate housing build – and selling of state houses- had caused Kāinga Ora to embark on its crash building programme in the first place. To use a rugby analogy, this situation is exactly like ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • “Laser focused on the cost of living crisis”
    Cartoonist credit: Christopher Slane ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the elections in France, Iran and Britain
    As Werewolf predicted a week ago, it was premature to call Emmanuel Macron’s snap election call “a bitter failure” and “a humiliating defeat” purely on the basis of the first round results. In fact, it is the far-right that has suffered a crushing defeat. It has come in third in ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The UK needs proportional representation
    Like a lot of people, I spent Friday watching the UK election. There's the obvious joy at seeing the end of 14 years of Tory chaos, but at the same time the new government does not greatly enthuse me. In order to win over the establishment, Starmer has moved UK ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Chorus for Monday, July 8
    TL;DR: Thanks for the break, and now I’m back. These are the top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so:Chris Bishop’s pledge to ‘flood the market’ with land to build new houses both out and up remains dependent ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • French Left Wins Big
    Usually I start with some lyrics from the song at the end of the newsletter, to set the mood. But today I’m going to begin with a bit of a plea. About six weeks ago I decided to make more of my writing public with the hope that people would ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Satire: It's great our Prime Minister is so on the ball
    ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • This is the real reason David Seymour needs to reinterpret the Treaty of Waitangi
    This is republished from an earlier write upDavid Seymour is part of the ACT Party. He's backed by people like Alan Gibbs, and Koch money. He grew up as a right wing lobbyist - tick tick tick. All cool and fine - we know.What's also been clear is a fervent ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Going for Housing Growth: Filling the housing donut?
    Hot take: it should be affordable to live in Auckland. You may not be surprised to learn I’m not the only one with this hot take. Indeed, the Minister of Housing recently took the notable step of saying house prices should come down, something common wisdom says should be a politically ...
    Greater AucklandBy Scott Caldwell
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Monday July 9
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 9, the top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so are:Scoop: Probation officer sacked for snooping is linked to alleged spy Jian Yang. Corrections dismissed Xu Shan over his ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What has the Government done for you so far?
    List effective 1 July 2024Consumer and household (note: road and car costs are under infrastructure)Cancelled half-price public transport fares for under-25s and free fares for under-13s funding, scrapping the Labour government-era subsidies. The change will not affect pre-existing discounts funded directly by councils.Cut funding for free budgeting services. One third of the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 8
    Photo by Amador Loureiro on UnsplashTL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 8, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days were:Local Government Minister Simeon Brown announced the Coalition Government would not be responding to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is travelling to Washington this week to attend a NATO meeting running from Tuesday to Thursday. Parliament is not sitting this week.The RBNZ is expected to hold the OCR on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 30, 2024 thru Sat, July 6, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is brought to us by Dr. Ella Gilbert, a researcher with the British ...
    7 days ago
  • The Great Splintering: Thoughts on the British Election
    I can remember 1997. Even living on the other side of the world, having a Scottish father and Welsh grandfather meant I acquired a childhood knowledge of British politics via family connections (and general geekery). And yes, I inherited the dark legends of that evil folk-devil, Margaret Thatcher. So when ...
    7 days ago
  • 2% royalties for mining? Deal!
    Snapshot postToday, Shane Jones was courageous enough to front Q&A with Jack Tame. Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Jack Tame is a bit of a legend. And that’s only because he strikes me as a good journalist i.e. well ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Aotearoa Says – No Diggity.
    Strictly biz, don't play aroundCover much ground, got game by the poundGetting paid is a forteEach and every day, true player wayOne month ago tens of thousands of Kiwis took to the streets to protest against the coalition’s Fast Track legislation. Concerned that it would prioritise some people making a ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

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