Here we go again – from leaky homes to porous pipes

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 pm, March 21st, 2016 - 24 comments
Categories: housing, national, same old national - Tags:

Key blighted future

It seems inconceivable so soon after the leaky buildings debacle that we are slithering down a similar slippery pipe thanks to this government’s neo-liberal deregulation ideology that states just about anything goes in the building industry and buyer beware.

The leaky homes fiasco cost the country by various estimates between $11 billion and $22 billion – not counting considerable health costs and untold mental anguish.

National Plumbing and Pipelaying Standards Committee chairman Darren Waith​ said this month that up to half of the country’s homes could have unregulated plumbing products installed.

Like the use of low grade cladding and untreated timber, that caused leaky homes, shonky pipes are pretty hard to detect when you buy a house, but can have dire consequences years later.

Waith called for compulsory performance requirements in New Zealand to match the Australia’s WaterMark system, where products have to comply with a standard. New Zealand has voluntary system thanks to our neo-liberal ideology.

Installation of poor pipes is “very widespread especially in Auckland and most likely in Christchurch now, because there is a lot of pressure to drive down the price of the products and there are some big contracts,” Waith said.

A minimum performance standard for plumbing should be enforced in New Zealand rather than rely on consumer laws which were the “ambulance is at the bottom of the cliff”, he said.​

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which in 2012 incorporated the Department of Building and Housing, said it is aware importers were bringing in shonky plumbing fittings.

But Housing Minister Nick Smith dismissed claims the country could be heading towards another “leaky homes”-type crisis.

He said the ministry had made inquiries but found no major problems. He said plumbers were responsible for deciding whether the products they installed met New Zealand standards.

Every single piece of plumbing work has been certified by a plumber, and if that work is found – two, three or five years hence – to be substandard, that plumber is in the gun and potentially has his registration up for loss if he has not met those Building Code requirements,” Smith said.

The public should be wary of claims about substandard foreign products, because it could just be local companies trying to reduce competition from overseas, he added.

When you find out several years after buying a house that all the pipes are shot, I can just see you getting restitution paid by the plumber who installed the product.

Whether this turns out to be on the scale of the leaky homes fiasco or not, this is a repetition of the same issue – deregulation in the name of cost cutting and slashing red tape.

It also lay behind the Pike River tragedy, where 29 men lost their lives. The genesis of that was the  National government’s decision in 1992 to water down health and safety rules in the Department of Labour in the name of cutting bureaucracy and costs.

The PSA-v fiasco in the Kiwifruit industry, that cost the industry over $1 billion, was essentially the result of lax biosecurity where deregulation allowed pollen to be imported against the government’s own policies and procedures.

A class action claim against the government by 212 kiwifruit farmers, had a “smoking gun” of evidence of negligence by the government in its $375 million claim, according to Auckland University legal expert, Professor Bill Hodge.

Then last week, we had the extraordinary case of Steel and Tube admitting that for four years it had produced steel reinforcing mesh installed in thousands of buildings, falsely signed off as being certified to standard by top accredited lab, Holmes Solutions.

Chief executive of the publicly-listed company, Dave Taylor, said Holmes Solutions’ logo was left on the test certificates inadvertently four years ago, in a mistake that was only revealed this month.

The mesh was developed as a direct result of the Christchurch quakes. It is put in load-bearing walls and floors of high-rise buildings to hold the concrete together during an earthquake. Taylor tried to give assurances the mesh was okay but how do we know?

Greg Wallace, chief executive of Master Plumbers said New Zealand was fast becoming the Wild West of building products.

He has called for urgent talks with the government to address the burgeoning “grey market” in non-regulated building products.

“It’s impossible to say how many residential, commercial, industrial and public buildings contain these ‘dodgy’ products, ranging from plumbing pipes and fittings, to electrical items and lights, where we simply don’t have any idea of their quality, safety or longevity … New Zealand’s a bit like the Wild West when it comes to building products, because we do not have a mandatory product quality certification standard as they do in Australia.”

He called Housing Minister’s Nick Smith’s response as “ill-informed” and refuted Smith’s claim that a licensed plumber had to sign off  a job and a local authority inspector had to sign for the plumber’s work.

That’s incorrect. The plumber has no way of knowing if piping products are of sufficient quality without an external regulation certification of manufacturing quality.”

He said his organisation has been urging the government to act on this for years.

The government can simply no longer ignore industry concerns.”

Wallace accused Smith of “disingenuously implying”’ that plumbers were protecting their patch. He said non-regulation of the building industry was a cross sector issue.

Ultimately, it’s much cheaper to invest in a product that lasts 50 years than buy cheap non-regulated products that fail and lead to significant early replacement costs,” Wallace said.

That is the nub of the issue.

Smith, John Key and their mates taut themselves as good financial managers, but their ideological adherence to deregulation has cost the country tens of billions of dollars.

No matter what your view is of Key and Co, the one value – probably their only bottom line value – is that money matters.

So you have to ask yourselves why do they persist with these absurd policies? The only semi-plausible answer I can arrive at, is that deregulation helps those inNat’s constituency, whether they be developers in the building industry, importers or wide boys in a deregulated finance industry, wanting to make a fast buck.

When the mess is exposed, the companies that created it have disappeared, the fast buck banked, and the taxpayer, is left to pay the bill.

(Simon Louisson is a former journalist who reported for The Wall Street Journal, AP Dow Jones Newswires, the New Zealand Press Association and Reuters and was a political and media adviser to the Green Party.)

24 comments on “Here we go again – from leaky homes to porous pipes”

  1. esoteric pineapples 1

    “The only semi-plausible answer I can arrive at, is that deregulation helps those inNat’s constituency, whether they be developers in the building industry, importers or wide boys in a deregulated finance industry, wanting to make a fast buck.”

    Yep, this government is the feral child of previous Monetarist governments with no real ideology except making a profit for its supporters. It is in essence a government version of the asset stripping companies of the 1980s like Brierley Investments. Its aim is to plunder what’s left of assets still in New Zealand ie what is owned by public. It is no coincidence that we have a Prime Minister who came out of that era.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      Today Key admitted that he was wrong to conclude the teapot tape was deliberately taped,though obviously that was why it was there, that his staff were managing the event, and the owner of the device agreed Key did wrongly conclude.

      What strikes me about neolibs is really they are just Muldoonists. Muldoon classic tv clip of a drunken repeating of the question asked. Key is likewise drunk on profits, incapable of questiinng what he has believed his whole career, publuc and private. That people are rational, that free is better than managed, that Key did not embrace Ambroses entrepreneurism and move to accept free discourse, rather he ran to the oppressiveness of law, to effect a victim stance now we’re all told there was nothing in them. Key people managed the op, trapped a device in the PM vicinity and then manufacture the politucal victim event of the election. Killing off the bad polling from meeting Banks for tea. Key isn’t about substance especially substance that alters the status quo. Neolibs isn’t about deal with crisis, its about looking at the forest a remarking about the color in a way to provoke sustantive consideration.

      For thirty years torys have claimed the benefits of cheap oil come from their handling of the economy, this is contradicting their own free market belief, that its the market, like cheap oil had nothing to do with growth. Butat it would have happened anyway by better management and regulation building sustainable outcomes we’d not have lost billions in SCF, or leaky homes, or Dairy collapse, etc. Removing bad givernance frees markets and is good, removing good governance however creates a free for all for short term exploitation and long term hidden costs.

      Key is a professional at half heartedly dealing with the merits and leaving off the detail.

  2. TC 2

    Building in this country is a wild west of sfa regulation, unproven materials poorly installed and alot of badly executed if any inspection and compliance activities.

    Councils run by nactiods play their part as one inspector is known as ‘drive by dave’ doesnt even leave his council vehicle and rubber stamps the compliance.

    • JonL 2.1

      Bullshit! As an ex- inspector I’ d refute that claim. Yes, there are fucktards amongst the inspectorate, as in all organisations. In Auckland City when I was there, out of 20 inspectors, there were 17 who were knowlegable and pretty diligent in their work without being too heavy handed – the other 3 were………not so….but we knew who they were and tried to work around them. There are always going to be the tales of the ” drive by Daves”, but they are not the norm!

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        lol

        It’s the old story – someone who does a good job passes unnoticed, if someone does a bad job then the tale is told to 20 people

      • RedLogix 2.1.2

        I tend to agree. After a 40 year career in both the private and public sector, I don’t hold one to be superior to the other. They are different, with different drivers and values underlying their business models … but fundamentally the people are pretty much the same and there is no evidence to suggest one is innately more efficient or better than the other.

        They’re just good at different things.

  3. saveNZ 3

    The scary thing is the cost of plumbing materials which are about 7x the cost price retail, now allegedly sub standard. The commerce commission does not seem to care about this overcharging, even though the government seems to be desperately concerned about the less than 1% of resource consents not going through in the RMA and making SHA areas which now house million dollar mansions in some sort of cruel blow for the first home buyers.

    As to the incredible cost of building as well as the lack of regulation which led to leaky buildings which protect the public – the government is not interested.

    Plumbing costs impact on house costs and rent costs for repairs.

    I was told by a plumber that the pipe had to have some sort of brand on them to be used or the council will not pass it. (This was to justify the level of cost of the plumbing work).

    Who knows what to believe!

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    He said plumbers were responsible for deciding whether the products they installed met New Zealand standards.

    And how the fuck would they know?
    Can’t say that I know of many plumbers that have a full scale laboratory for testing plastic pipes in the garage at home.

    So you have to ask yourselves why do they persist with these absurd policies? The only semi-plausible answer I can arrive at, is that deregulation helps those inNat’s constituency, whether they be developers in the building industry, importers or wide boys in a deregulated finance industry, wanting to make a fast buck.

    And it also means that when the brown stuff hits the whirly thing they’re not held responsible. They get to pass the buck while keeping their ill-gotten profits.

    Nick Smith says that the plumber signs stuff off? Well, plumbers are usually sub contractors using supplied materials and they don’t actually get the choice of using other materials. It’s the main contractor (which has probably closed by then anyway) that buys the cheap shit but it will be the plumber that installed it that will take the heat.

  5. saveNZ 5

    Basically we are turning into the USA, where there is zero regulation and a litigateous society where the little public and little guy carry all the risks. Big players can do whatever they want and get away with it.

    In response to Pike River, the National government have now got principals and non profits able to be sued for safety issues.

    They really are masters of confused legislation!!

    Not sure how having a dangerous mine which should never have been built and killed so many people can somehow make a school principal liable for injury.

    Bit like the builders being blamed for leaky building and now liable under law, but Fletchers got that sweet deal from the government and still producing similar products.

    • Expat 5.1

      saveNZ

      And what about the recent Health & Safety reforms, where “worm farming” is considered more dangerous than “Beef and Dairy” farming, and on the day the reforms were approved, another farmer lost his life in quad bike incident, and weeks later, another one, all this to save the farmers a few bucks on compliance, I would suggest the Lives of these farmers is worth far more than a few bucks, and what about the families, that’s the worst thing of all.

      With regard to the Pike River mine, any govt worth anything at all would have chased down the “principles” and held them accountable for their irresponsibility, instead, they get away scot free, didn’t Key say he would do that?

  6. crashcart 6

    We had this issue. We were getting some work done on our driveway and when they ripped it up we got a plumber to check the pipe work from the meter to the house. What he found was that when the house was built they used internal piping for this job and it was falling to pieces. God knows how much it had cost us on our water rates over the years.

    We didn’t build the house and wouldn’t have a clue how to track down who did the work. I doubt they are even an operating business any more. It cost us a lot of money to get it repaired and we were just lucky we were ripping the driveway up any way. I would hate to think how much it would have cost to just get the job done.

    How can the minister say with a straight face that the plumbers will be held responsible after what happened with leaky homes. How hard would it be for the same tactic of winding up a business and starting another one to cut off liability for all this sort of crap.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      How can the minister say with a straight face that the plumbers will be held responsible after what happened with leaky homes.

      A practised liar?

  7. Expat 7

    Australia is having a similar problem right now over imported electrical cable for use in residential homes, the Aus standard is very high for local manufactured cables, but because Abbott reduced the number of staff at the border to check products meet the Au standard, they now have a problem with imported cable, the insulation is cracking and breaking off after only a few years, there is a recall, but the cable is already installed in thousands of homes, and the problem is a serious fire risk.

    You would think NZ had learnt it’s lesson after the “leaky homes saga” but it looks like de ja vou, all imported products should be tested to ASNZ standard before approval for use, allowing substandard products in the “back”door only benefits the importer.

    • Gristle 7.1

      Don’t think that this problem is restricted to Australia. I have seen containers of TPS cable coming in to New Zealand.

      IMO the mode of failure is insulation breakdown as the chlorine migrates out of the plastic. And the result is fire at worst, or re-wiring the whole house. This process is accelerated by the presence of heat, sunlight, some building products.

      A standard house will have 600m to 1,000m of cable in it, so the cost saving per house was around $500 (but it is more likely to be put in the contractors pocket.). Re-wiring a house will cost around $5,000.

      The Smith resolution route is rubbish as often the signing electrician is not the person specifying the cheap Chinese product.

      Standards give you the minimum performance level. Talk to experienced tradespeople and find out what they would use on their house and what way they would use it.

      • Expat 7.1.1

        Gristle

        It’s sad to hear that the same products have made it to NZ, thorough testing of the products to ensure they conform to the required standard before being released into the market place is the common sense approach.

        I didn’t like to identify the country of origin, as many here don’t like the identification of the offending culprits.

        The raw materials used in the manufacture of cabling (extrusion process), the outer insulation is a PVC (poly vinyl chloride) material, but the actual wire insulation is nylon, this is the insulation that is failing, due to the low quality of the raw materials, hardening with time, and unable to sustain any bending without fracture, unusual for nylon, as it’s a hydroscopic material (absorbs moisture after processing) which actually provides the flexibility in the finished product, recycled nylon and the addition of plastisizers can often lead to a much lower structural integrity and may be part of the problem as well.

        If the problem has been identified, then all imported cabling product should be quarantined till thorough testing has been carried out and approved by the standards watchdog before being released into the market place.

      • kendoll 7.1.2

        Huge amounts of electrical fittings and cable have been imported into NZ by the big boys which apparently meet Aus standards but have not been tested and are sub standard. So the rort continues on and the consumer is the bearer of the cost of faulty product. Please check with your sparky when having work done he can verify quality of product, if not tell him to fuck off, same with plumbers and sub quality copper pipe, be ruthless about what you are being sold or told….

  8. Tautuhi 8

    Substandard plumbing products from Asia are going to cause a number of homeowners a big problem in the future.

    We really have a bunch of turkeys in positions of power who make the regulations in NZ, we used to have the best tradesmen in the world now we have cowboys and hammer hands?

  9. Keith 9

    To this very day there are plastic wrapped buildings everywhere, a tribute to Nationals sheer stupidity and probably that of the voters.

    “Wallace accused Smith of “disingenuously implying” “. That sums up Nick Smith nicely, the imbecile who is supposed to be doing something about Auckland’s housing crisis. Disingenuously of course, doing something to fix the problem, not so much.

    This fool was around in the last National government that gave us the Leaky Home, the disgrace that never stops giving. The bullshit given to us at the time was there was no need for regulation as builders reputations were on the line and no one would build substandard buildings. Yeah right! Builders and their companies went out and back into business like yoyo’s and few if any have been held accountable. Just the poor bastards left owning the rotting shit holes and the long suffering rate payers. National haven’t paid a cent for their dumbness.

    And the savings in so called unnecessary costs like treated timber would be reflected in savings in the buildings cost. Yet all that happened with the use of inferior materials was that it got absorbed into their profits.

    How is the innocent buyer supposed to know what rubbish has been used in plumbing, hidden deep in the walls and under a building until the day it leaks and potentially destroys their asset? Who will know what plumber installed it and even then how will you prove that plumber knew the product was rubbish because of lazy short term profit driven government can’t be arsed regulating, instead taking a hands off approach that will guarantee problems in the future.

    How did we not learn from history on this subject? The answer for the Leaky Homes was that no one from the era was ever held accountable and put on public display for their brain dead decisions to “leave it to the market” rather than regulating, so they got away with it and when crooks get away with things, well they keep doing it don’t they?

    • Expat 9.1

      Keith

      It was McCully who was the minister for housing at the time that approved the building standard changes which lead to the “leaky home syndrome”, as recent as two years ago he was still denying culpability and blaming the “consultants” for their phony advice, as you can expect, there was a correction to the building standards, but it was a knee jerk correction, it went from ridiculously low standards to ridiculously high standards, over compensation, but I suppose the latter is preferable to the former.

      The govt should have compensated the affected owners from a fund raised from the manufactures of the faulty products (who lobbied the govt in the first place), at least this would help the owners for the financial trauma, but that still leaves the mental trauma, which is often more devastating than the costs.

  10. dave 10

    you cant trust the new Zealand building industry if there going to be a government backed building program then i would sud-jest we work to a strict set of standard designs off the shelf and as much work as possible done in a factory environment where quality control is handled by process and repetition .our current building industry model is hopeless and needs a radical re think it attracts bad actors where the quick buck and cheapest possible price are the driving force plus our home designs consume far to much labor are high maintenance no way will alot of the new homes last 50 years there lucky if you get 10 years with no big bills

  11. Visubversa 11

    Lots of the new houses in Auckland are being built by gangs of Chinese builders. You go to a building site and it you are lucky, one person will have some English. The materials arrive by the container load from China. Good luck finding anyone to make a claim against in 5 years time.

  12. Smilin 12

    Its bad enough having a shortage of good well grown pine which has been the crux of the problem with leaky homes rotting and the expensive price of oil causing a huge increase in the price of tanalising for the best part of 30 yrs
    I know of many small tanalising operations who just couldnt compete with the cost of production and the result being excessive price of transporting timber around the country hence the exorbitant costs of building to standard and the use of the so called new technologies that we were all were assured that the use of untreated timber would be ok
    Yeah greed and lies as we all know now

  13. That’s so true that many tend to take advantage of the technology by selling services that doesn’t last long. Not only it hurts the pocket of a user but also there are hassles involved in transporting the material again.
    Hamilton Gasfitter

  14. That’s so true that many tend to take advantage of the technology by selling services that doesn’t last long. Not only it hurts the pocket of a user but also there are hassles involved in transporting the material again.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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