Housing needs a builder not a crusher

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, March 12th, 2018 - 82 comments
Categories: Amy Adams, Economy, housing, Judith Collins, national, phil twyford, same old national, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

The take away line National wanted the media to take from yesterday’s reshuffle announcement was that Crusher Collins was going to make a mess of the Government’s housing policies and Phil Twyford was not going to be able to sleep at night.

My first response was somewhat incredulous because National has had made a mess of the housing market for the past nine years.  Never in the land of plenty did I think I would ever see so many kiwis sleeping rough and begging.  Or families with parents who have jobs sleeping in cars.  Or Marae opening their doors to do what the Government seemed to be incapable of doing, making sure ordinary people had a roof over their heads.

My second response was to marvel at the hypocrisy of National claiming that Labour was making a mess of housing when the Government is so new and was having to deal with National’s mess.  Let’s get real here.  It will take years for Labour to rebuild the numbers of housing corp stock sold by National.  Criticising Labour for not solving National’s mess quickly enough relies on a special level of stupidity.

Twyford’s response to Bridges was perfect.  First on Twitter:

Collins response to Twyford suggested that comprehension is not one of her strengths:

The media picked up on Twyford’s response.  From Claire Trevett at the Herald:

… Twyford said he would sleep fine and he was more worried about those who’d had to sleep in cars under National’s reign.

He referred to Collins’ nickname of ‘Crusher’.

“I think you need a builder not a crusher in the housing portfolio.”

“If there’s one thing National should have learned after nine years, it’s that Kiwis want more compassion. But Judith Collins is the epitome of the old-school, hard-hearted Nat. Housing is National’s Achilles heel. I wonder whether this is Simon Bridges setting her up for failure.”

If anyone should not be sleeping well it should be Simon Bridges. Because already his number 3 and number 4 have contradicted him on policy.

The background is that on the weekend Grant Robertson raised the prospect about a value capture tax, where landowners who benefit from infrastructure such as new rail lines are taxed on the increase in the value of their land holdings. Bridges has in the past spoken positively about the concept. But both Adams and Collins decided to attack the proposal.

From Henry Cook at Stuff:

National leader Simon Bridges says there is no difference between his views on a land value capture tax and the views of his MPs.

Bridges on Sunday said it was “pleasing” the Government are looking at a land value capture tax, despite his finance and housing spokeswoman criticising it.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson signalled the Government is interested in such a tax, which would fund infrastructure by taxing the people who benefit the most from it. This involves a special tax being levied on property owners deemed to have benefited from new infrastructure: for example, a row of shops, the value of which increased thanks to a new rail link.

The National Party explored the idea while in government but did not implement anything.

Then-transport spokeswoman Judith Collins tweeted on Saturday it was an “envy tax”, asking if NZ First was going to support it.

Finance spokeswoman Amy Adams tweeted on Friday: “Another day, another new tax being proposed by the coalition Government. Yet another attempt from Grant Robertson to make everyone else pay for all his promises.”

But former transport minister Bridges himself appeared to have quite a different take.

Speaking on Sunday after announcing his caucus reshuffle, Bridges said it was “pleasing” to see the Government looking at innovative ways to fund things instead of using broad-brush strategies like a petrol tax.

“I think it’s good. I think it’s pleasing to hear from Grant Robertson today that finally he has come round to the need for innovation in this area. This is like so many areas where we I think did quite a bit, we were moving in that direction, I was certainly excited about doing more,” Bridges said.

And here is the twitter evidence.

Good luck to Bridges keeping control of his caucus.  Already they look messy and disorganised.

 

82 comments on “Housing needs a builder not a crusher”

  1. Incognito 1

    I wonder whether this is Simon Bridges setting her [JC] up for failure.

    I believe I read somewhere that JC had asked for Housing to be hers.

  2. Tricledrown 2

    Bridges knows how to keep his enemies close.
    If Bridges fails to gain any inroads Collins will be waiting in the wings.

    • tracey 2.1

      He studied under John Key, he knows the value of having someone else running the lies and behind the scenes dirt

  3. Ad 3

    National’s leader Simon Bridges couldn’t survivi the weekend without being contradicted on the fundamental policy area of tax:

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/new-nats-leadership-contradicts-one-another

    Minister Robertson is exploring value-capture for capital increases around new infrastructure.

    Simon Bridges loved the idea in government, and still supports it.

    Completely contradicted within hours by Amy Adams and Judith Collins.

    Pathetic.

    • tracey 3.1

      Up there with him wanting some prisoners to vote, thinking that is what he voted for last year, and upon finding out he hadn’t and they can’t, decided he doesn’t want some prisoners to vote afterall.

  4. dv 4

    SO Amy and Jude how would you pay for the infrastructure then?

    • patricia bremner 4.1

      Amy and Jude (LOL) are too busy “Lookin’ good” to run ideas past their new boss.
      Guess the rowing team are out of sync? Catching crabs, making airshots or own goals. Luv it!!!

    • tracey 4.2

      If it can be concreted or drained Adams and Collins will find the money

  5. “I think you need a builder not a crusher in the housing portfolio.”

    If anyone should not be sleeping well it should be Simon Bridges. Because already his number 3 and number 4 have contradicted him on policy.

    L0L !

    National Party Ad – fixed it – YouTube
    Video for National party 2017 electoral ad you tube▶ 0:35

    • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1

      Very funny voice-over, especially the ponytail reference. “That’s how we roll.”

  6. mikesh 6

    The idea of a land value capture tax has some merit, though I think a straightforward land tax would be better. The latter would be taxing increased land values more or less forever, albeit at a lower rate, while the land value tax would apply only once.

    • Graeme 6.1

      Value capture is pretty much how local authority rates work. A property’s value goes up in relation to other property in the rating district and the rates go up. The property value is influenced by both private (owner) and public sector investment that benefits the property. That’s why RWNJs hate rates, they have to pay for their handouts.

      • Andrea 6.1.1

        This I cannot understand.

        The property’s value goes up. So?
        It’s still the same property and the amenities provided by the council haven’t suddenly improved or expanded – though their pay packets might have.

        Why should anyone be taxed on something they may never actually receive or benefit from? (Without all the patronising stuff about ‘benefitting all Kiwis’ – because it doesn’t.) More people pay off their mortgages, stay in the same house, than the smaller numbers of people borrowing and flipping.

        Any excuse to raise taxes instead of looking under the bonnet at what’s actually happening to rates and income tax monies. It feels like we’re not getting value for our dollars at all.

        • Molly 6.1.1.1

          If the land value tax is similar to an “equity uplift tax” this means that the increase of a property due to the rezoning by a local authority, which can be considerable and due to no investment or improvement by the property owner – can then be assessed and taxed.

          Overseas this tax is paid either when the property is onsold, or developed.

          A reasonable response to an increase in equity due completely to rezoning.

          This tax was discussed briefly during the Unitary Plan for Auckland, but for political reasons was dismissed. So, landbankers and many Aucklanders had unearned equity lift in their properties that they did not pay any tax on.

        • Graeme 6.1.1.2

          The value capture aspect of rating only happens when value is added to the property, either internally by the owner, any consented activity will increase the value by the cost of the works, or externally by council works, say streetworks or transport upgrades. Zoning changes are another way property values can increase dramatically. BUT, it’s an increase relative to other properties in the rating district, rather than an absolute value increase that puts the rates up.

      • mikesh 6.1.2

        I am assuming that a land value capture tax is an accruals based CGT, but levied on land rather than on the whole property.

        • Graeme 6.1.2.1

          It would be interesting to see what this, and the previous, government where / are looking at, and how it would be collected. Also how “value capture” would relate to the increases in local authority rates, GST and company and income tax that are levied on the increases in economic activity / profit resulting from government funded infrastructure development. I have seen economic analysis considering these issues done before the development as part of cost / benefit but haven’t seen anything assessing effect after development, other than rating valuations, which are pretty coarse and long term.

  7. Sacha 7

    The Nats are running a line already that the reason for housing problems is because Labour and other parties refused to gut the RMA. Unfortunately Twyford has gone a long way even before the election to agree with their stance that land usage rules are a more central problem than financial regulations have been.

  8. AsleepWhileWalking 8

    The housing crisis is severe enough to warrant cross party cooperation – best solutions, delivered at speed.

    Collins request and attack vibe has that offensive smell already.

    • alwyn 8.1

      Out of curiosity can you explain just when you decided that cross party cooperation would be a good thing?
      It wouldn’t be when Winston the First chose to go for the huge bucket of benefits and anointed Ardern would it? Can you show us where you called for such cooperation from the Labour Party when they were in Opposition. Reform of the RMA for example to make more land available perhaps.

  9. Anne 9

    Natonal’s longer term strategy is becoming clearer by the day. Sow the meme in people’s minds that Labour is the ‘waste and spend party’. That is why we saw on this site and elsewhere the other day… the right wing acolytes accusing Jacinda Ardern of “throwing money around like confetti” over aid money to the islands to help them rebuild after the devastating cyclones.

    It’s a meme that can be easily modified to suit any portfolio, so you can expect Collins to be accusing Twyford of… throwing tax payers money at the housing market wily-nily with a lot being wasted because he has no proper accounting procedures in place.

    It’s a pack of lies but easy to accomplish with the short memory span of the average voter. Also it worked with the Clark govt., so they’re hoping it will work again.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Labour would be best to front up to this meme and ‘own’ it – yes we are going to spend some money on the things that people desperately need, and also on policies that will assist a better economy and improving standards of living which have dropped under National’s penny pinching for you and hyped hundreds for them.
      Don’t deny it, go with it, luge down their slippery slope and have a good time.

      • patricia bremner 9.1.1

        I believe Robertson and Ardern have both said they will be sensible with expenditure, but will borrow or slow the repayment programme if required.

        .

    • patricia bremner 9.2

      Well if memory serves… Jude (I like that) massaged the stats when she wanted to look good so ….
      she’d best be careful throwing accusations about. some night boomerang back to her.

    • tracey 9.3

      They are in campaign mode for sure. and they have the coffers to campaign for 3 years unlike any other party.

  10. Delia 10

    Just keep reminding them of their disastrous record, especially on health and housing.

  11. james 11

    The ‘beauty’ of course is that Labour promised all sorts of things – but with Housing gave numbers.

    “Labour’s KiwiBuild programme will build 100,000 high quality, affordable homes over 10 years, with 50% of them in Auckland. Standalone houses in Auckland will cost $500,000 to $600,000, with apartments and townhouses under $500,000. Outside Auckland, houses will range from $300,000 to $500,000.”

    So all Labour have to do is deliver 5000 stand alone houses in Auckland a year costing between 500-600k

    Easy!

    As soon as they do that then Crusher will have nothing to beat him up on.

    IF however they don’t then they have every right to call them to account for it.

    • chris73 11.1

      https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/

      The running total needed this so far is 3760 built

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        I like this counter.

        As the process ramps up, they’ll have hits for a year or two.

        Then Collins will try to replicate the Jacinda Effect by knifing Simon Says (Loudly) two months out from the election, and discover that she’s not Jacinda.

        Then the next term the counter will disappear from the Penguin’s lair as the housing targets are blown out of the water, and it will be left to the minister for housing to announce the final totals.

      • dukeofurl 11.1.2

        labour never said it was 10K ‘each and every year’

        They have said it was a ramp up process and would be ‘something like’ 3-4K in the firts 3 years

        • Psycho Milt 11.1.2.1

          DPF knows that very well, but many dumbasses reading his blog don’t, which makes his counter excellent propaganda. Either Chris73 is one of the dumbasses, or he thinks we are.

    • tracey 11.2

      Thanks matthew

  12. chris73 12

    I would have thought the perfect response would to build some houses

    • mickysavage 12.1

      Shame Judith and National did not understand that years ago. And insisted in selling more state houses than it built.

      • chris73 12.1.1

        I know I mean the way National said they’d build a million homes over ten years and then didn’t, you’d think they’d know better than to over promise and under deliver

        Thanks goodness Labours not going to fall into that trap

  13. Stuart Munro 13

    It makes a lot of sense for the Gnats to put Collins in an attack role – those slavering jaws are safest directed away from the weak leadership team.

    Such a shame she’ll have Nick’s myth busting her bubble as a constant reminder of how few fucks the Gnats ever gave about housing.

    • chris73 13.1

      “It makes a lot of sense for the Gnats to put Collins in an attack role – those slavering jaws are safest directed away from the weak leadership team.”

      Unfortunately I agree with you on this, imagine what she’d do to Kelvin Davis (is he allowed to answer questions yet?)

      • Stuart Munro 13.1.1

        She can’t do much to him in his areas of responsibility.

        She’s in danger of irrelevance however – Labour’s greatest wounds – the TPP for example, are self-inflicted.

        • chris73 13.1.1.1

          Well I think signing the TPP is whats going to sustain this government, National can’t exactly accuse the government of being anti-trade

          • Stuart Munro 13.1.1.1.1

            So you haven’t done the math. Explains your consistent rightwingery.

            • chris73 13.1.1.1.1.1

              This far from out from the election any maths is pointless but I will say this will mean that Labour will bleed some votes to the Greens so they’ll be safe but if I had to put money on it (I’d rather not) I’d say NZFirst are goneburgers

              • Stuart Munro

                I refer to the TPP – doesn’t break even until 2030 and even that makes the Pollyanna assumption that tariffs removed appear in the black side of our ledger – so there’s half a billion per annum that won’t be happening.

                • chris73

                  Ok so far the sake of argument why did Labour sign it, I mean I wanted it signed but a lot of their supporters really didn’t want it signed so why sign it?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Mental laziness – it’s more common than is generally supposed – same reason Nick Smith did nothing on housing or rivers. They get the ministerial perks and spend their term in a comfortable alcoholic stupor – occasionally punctuated by paint stripper.

                    • chris73

                      So not happy about Labour signing it I take it

                    • red-blooded

                      Stuart, that answer is a great example of mental laziness. Just pick a trope and throw it about, don’t bother thinking through the other point of view…

                      I’m somewhat ambivalent about TPPA – it is a better deal than it was, and I do agree that it would have harmed Labour in the wider community (not with the people who regularly visit this site) if they had backed away. But more than that, there are issues of international engagement and interconnectedness to consider, and they will have been weighed up pretty damn carefully.

                      You don’t have to agree with the conc;usion reached, but it’s just too easy (and too ironic) to dismiss it as “mental laziness”.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Red Blooded

                      The onus lies with Labour to explain supporting a deal that is manifestly against the public interest, not with me.

                      I’m being pretty generous attributing it to booze really – where representatives act against the interests of their constituents the principle reagent involved is what Ambrose Bierce called ‘solicitate of gold’. They sold us out. It’s hardly the first time, but it’s no less shameful for that.

                    • McFlock

                      Option B: with the US out of the picture and their influence suspended, and with ISDS issues largely ameliorated, the margin-of-error economic benefits under the old TPP are now likely to be more significant, with few (if any) of the drawbacks. And it’s pretty much what they campaigned on.

                      Actually campaigned on, not the ‘they promised to eliminate all ISDS’ fantasy some folks have.

                      Any Labour voter who wanted the TPP completely torn up by NZ should have read the damned policies and voted Green.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Their weasely legalisms fall considerably short of anything that could be mistaken for good governance. Time will tell, and an ISDS action won’t do much for Labour longevity. The DP team will no doubt be trying to set one up even now.

                    • McFlock

                      I think there’s a line somewhere between “I read what I wanted, not what they wrote” and “weasely legalisms”

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @McFlock The “I read what I wanted” seems to lie with Parker.

                    • McFlock

                      I already knew it seems like that to you.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @ McFlock Oh you knew did you.
                      If that were so you wouldn’t have run the spurious line about confusing what they say with what I wanted them to say.

                      The TPP doesn’t meet the public interest standard – rendering any excuses Labour might choose to make moot.

                      You might have wanted to suggest I was overstating saying they sold us out, but I have not. Selling us out is explicitly what neo-liberalism does. Signing up for a trade deal with few or no benefits to the mass of New Zealanders is indeed a sell out – of democracy if not of pre-election promises. And pre-election promises don’t get them off the hook – they are paid and sworn to govern in the public interest, and on this matter they have chosen to fall short.

                    • McFlock

                      You’d previously made it very clear what your beliefs on the CPTPP were, so it was a logical extension that you view those people who disagree with you as being faulty in their interpretation of the data, be it through mental laziness, intoxication, or whatever else you’d put in place of considering the possibility that they’re rational and merely disagree with you.

                      So it’s obvious that it would seem to you that they read what they wanted to read rather than what was written on the paper.

                      Which they couldn’t do if they were “selling out”, by the way. Selling out requires a conscious abrogation of responsibility in favour of personal advantage, rather than than simply being wrong about the likely benefits and drawbacks of their actions.

                      Did they abandon their responsibilities, or did they try to do the good thing but were wrong?

                      So on the one hand I have Labour, who have been pretty much consistent between their promises and their actions. On the other hand, I have folks like you, who claim Labour lazily believe they’re doing good while at the same time selling out.

                      Consistency wins, IMO. Anti-TPP folk who voted for Labour are idiots.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      I think we can safely discount your suggestion of rational disagreement. Had they had rational grounds they’d have been able – and willing to make the case. Indeed we’d have heard little else.

                      “Did they abandon their responsibilities, or did they try to do the good thing but were wrong?”

                      Both in fact. The original sans US trade deal was not in a major sense objectionable, it didn’t include 6000 pages of corporate derogations of the powers of states. This was the conceivably good thing they once set out to do. Inheriting the negligent mess left by National they compromised too much and too often. They were too sensitive to NZ’s role in cobbling together that shambles to step away from it altogether and rebuild it on a state by state and equitable basis as they should have done. They were irresponsible not to do so.

                    • McFlock

                      Perhaps they’ve made a rational case, even put it against their five bottom lines point by point (maybe in the speech where they tabled the text), but you just didn’t see it as such.

  14. Michelle 14

    We know the gnats don’t care about NZers by choosing coal-man as their health person and now we have maggie the gardener as associate health when she didn’t even look after our environment how the f…k can she look after our health she is nicer to her plants than she is to people

  15. mike appleby 15

    Interesting to note the language in Bridges announcing this – picking someone who can ‘attack the government…’ where they are weak’…nothing positive or aspirational about doing a better job, just ‘attack’.

    Same language I heard from English, about the opposition is to ‘attack the government’, to do them ‘no favours’.

    Speaks clearly that are not in it for making nz a better place for all,, just good old narrow minded, bereft of idea attack politics.

    I can just hear them grating their teeth…this should have been yours….

    • chris73 15.1

      Labour should be able to bat anything National throws their way, if they’re prepared, so it shouldn’t be a big deal

      • Incognito 15.1.1

        Do you know how many fatal car accidents are caused by insects each year? The little suckers are harmless enough but they can distract drivers with fatal consequences. National plays a game of blue ass fly hoping that they can crush crash this Government.

        • AsleepWhileWalking 15.1.1.1

          Lol the blue ass…

          That’s about all they can do with housing which gives the Collins apptmt a Hegelian feel.

      • tracey 15.1.2

        The past has shown us that batting away lies once voiced is not as easy as some glibly suggest; hence national hang on to that particular strategy.

        Note this 2007 speech. The word crisis appears about 14 times.

        From 2008 to late 2017 the use of that label was denied by the same speaker and his acolytes.

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0708/S00336.htm

    • Michelle 15.2

      yes Mike your right but is it their teeth or a they false like them ( the teeth)

  16. timeforacupoftea 16

    The beautiful Joan Collins is just positioning herself for promotion 3 months out from the next election to give Jacinda a lesson, when Simple Simon has no traction for a National win.

    (My husband calls her the beautiful Joan, I think he fancies her, mind you he is 70.)

  17. R.P. Mcmurphy 17

    mr exceltium aka mathew hooton said on RNZ this morning that Phil Twyford will not build one house in the next three years. i think hooton needs his head read.

    • Keepcalmcarryon 17.1

      Why on earth would you believe a word coming out of Matthew wormtongue Hootons mouth? He’s a paid mouthpiece, he’s establishing a narrative, truth is irrelevant. he is a fascinating creature but don’t ever mistake his wisdom for reality.

    • patricia bremner 17.2

      No. Phil won’t personally build them. That’s just silly Hoot.

    • tracey 17.3

      HootOn is also in campaign mode. He is right that setting up KiwiBuild will take time.

      Presumably labour factored this in when making the promise

  18. peterlepaysan 18

    Interesting that there was never any housing crisis under the last nine years of national government.

    Presumably the shadow housing minister will use her extensive massive prison building and “double bunking” expertise to bear.

    Interesting to see what the nats corporate backers do with this.

    Bridges was on natrad saying that the governments housing plan was headed for disaster.

    Interesting that pre election there was no problem and now, post election, there is a housing disaster looming. Now it is Collins on Twyford, bugger the homeless.

    The boardrooms of the corporates will be vexed.

  19. Pat 19

    There is a continuing housing crisis in Christchurch although its causes and presentation differ from other regions. With the 3 billion regional development fund (correctly) unavailable to major centres there is a further opportunity for the government to do the right thing and ensure that all those who have had their homes under-scoped/ill repaired thanks to the incompetence of EQC/Fletchers are fully compensated and without further delay.

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    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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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