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Housing occupation not a stunt

Written By: - Date published: 7:22 am, November 11th, 2010 - 107 comments
Categories: housing, leadership, uncategorized - Tags: ,

Matt McCarten, standing in Mana, is still writing the book on how to campaign. Last evening TV3 reported:

McCarten takes over state house in by-election stunt

The supporters of a Mana by-election candidate have taken over an empty state house as a protest at what they claim is the uncaring nature of big government.

They have installed a young couple who previously have been living in a garage and are challenging Housing New Zealand to evict them. …

“These places are empty. There are people who are living in garages; it’s real,” Mr McCarten says.

That must have rattled some cages. By 10:35pm there was this second report:

Four arrested in Mana by-election stunt

Four supporters of a political candidate in the Mana by-election have been arrested tonight after they took over an empty state house. …

Mana candidate Matt McCarten and his supporters arrived at the Porirua police station this evening after they had been told four campaigners were arrested and charged with being on a property without permission.

“People are saying they can’t get any response, that they can’t get houses but then what we have is one protest and suddenly the housing corporation swings into action within minutes and people cleaned off and stuck in jail,” Mr McCarten says. …

Housing New Zealand issued a statement this afternoon saying Mr McCarten’s action was illegal and unfair on others waiting for a house and anyone on the property would be served with a trespass notice.

They told 3 News tonight that police have taken their own action; going one step further and arresting them, which they say is entirely appropriate under the circumstances.

I think it is wrong to call this action a “stunt”. To do so is to diminish the significance of the issue to which it was drawing attention. Call it a protest. People are living in squalor while state houses sit empty. Why?

It isn’t just Mana. After it was mentioned here in comments a while back I followed up on the situation in Dunedin (original doesn’t seem to be still online but Google cached version is here):

Readers query why state houses empty

EMPTY state houses being sold while people wait for accommodation is shocking, some readers of The Star say.

City residents have reacted with surprise and anger to news 143 Dunedin people are on Housing New Zealand’s waiting list. The government department should not be letting houses lie vacant, and nor should it be selling houses while there is a waiting list, they say. …

After reading last week’s stories (The Star, May 27), which said there was a waiting list for placement in Dunedin and Mosgiel’s 1485 state homes, of which 35 were empty, some readers contacted The Star with information and comments about Housing NZ properties that were vacant or for sale.

The stories included comment from young mother Alisha Hays, who was on the waiting list and said she was willing to take any house she was offered. Rebecca Kirby told The Star two state houses next door to her Barclay St, Pine Hill, home had been empty for 12 and six months respectively. …

In the context of the government’s “review” of state houses and plans for their sale, it all looks decidedly dodgy. It looks like houses are being kept deliberately empty to make it easier to flog them off. Meanwhile people are sleeping in wet garages. Is this the kind of country that we want New Zealand to be?

Matt McCarten has done us all a favour by drawing attention to these issues.

107 comments on “Housing occupation not a stunt”

  1. Lew 1

    While I agree with your reasoning about how important the issue is, I don’t have too much of a problem with it being termed a stunt; what I think is absurd is the notion that the protest has somehow been unsuccessful just because four of Matt’s minions have gotten arrested.

    Civil disobedience means challenging authorities to explicitly endorse or confirm their unjust policies; and making them actually exercise their monopoly right of coercive force to defend injustice. As far as I can see it, the purpose of this protest was to raise awareness of the housing issue; to demonstrate that the government is more concerned with procedural matters of laura norder than it is with housing the needy; to illustrate the government’s willingness to use force against civil disobedients; and to make a bit of a stink for the Mana campaign, boosting Matt’s profile among those who are disillusioned with the mainstream political offerings and the system which supports them. By getting arrested they’ve succeeded in spectacular fashion.

    L

    • higherstandard 1.1

      Undoubtedly a stunt, the kind we need a lot more of in this country.

      More power to ya Matt, I’d vote for you just to see the fireworks in the debating chamber.

      • travellerev 1.1.1

        Atta boy, you’re getting it.

        • higherstandard 1.1.1.1

          Unfortunately judging from your recent post you aint

          • grumpy 1.1.1.1.1

            I agree HS. Matt is the kind of lefty that us righties can relate to.

            • Rex Widerstrom 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Pity he’s not the kind of lefty that lefties can relate to, as evicenced by this post in which Eddie admits Matt is wiping the floor with Tweedle Trough and Tweedle Trougher but “I’d still vote Fa’afoi though”.

              Better that Glorious Labour Party Reign for a Thousand Years – or the Nats are spitefully denied a pointless seat (from the perspective of it making one iota of difference to what happens in Parliemanet) – than someone who truly gives a shit about the homeless and the poor gets anywhere near a seat in Parliament.

            • Fisiani 1.1.1.1.1.2

              All hail Matt. Matt for Mana

  2. Regardless of whether it’s a ‘stunt’ or a ‘protest’ it’s a welcome example of a genuine leftwing action that shows that parliamentary politics and election campaigns can be a bit more meaningful than our normal ‘business as usual’ politics. Thus it shows why we need to have Matt McCarten in Parliament representing the low income people of Mana for the next year. In the rarified parliamentary environment McCarten would clearly “kick against the pricks” and focus outward on building up grassroots momentum for real change.

    R0B’s post is an excellent celebration of what will be a litmus test for another politicians – especially the other Mana candidates and their respective parties. For example, will Kris Faafoi, Phil Goff and his Labour colleagues, endorse and defend McCarten’s state house protest, or will they condemn it? Hopefully they’ll defend it, but my prediction is that they’re make the usual 1951-style “neither-for-nor-against” statement whereby they sympathize with the sentiments of it but say that people should work through “the system” or something else equally mealy-mouthed.

    • just saying 2.1

      Faafoi was on the 10.30 news last night declaiming it as a stunt,

      As I said before: Tory!

      Labour change with a rogernome at the helm? Yeah right. Wasn’t there a post yesterday about the overpaid having no empathy. How long has the Labour front bench been troughing and hob-nobbing with the jetset? More Bolly anyone?

      Go Matt, if you start a new party I’ll be out there working for it come the election campaign.

      • STGM 2.1.1

        Re. “the overpaid having no empathy”

        Stories of Kerry Packer’s generosity towards those less fortunate, eg. donating casino winnings to a croupier so she could pay off her mortgage, may not broadly generalise – but it may be more accurate to describe them as people with an exaggerated opinion of themselves, out of touch with the lives of many New Zealanders.

        If this is Matt’s swansong, it will be a good one.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Of course living in a society where the chance of getting a hand up wasn’t so random and capricious would be nice.

          But then I’m the kind of guy who thinks that Lotto is absurd for having a single $15M top prize; so many more New Zealand families’ lives could be transformed with fifteen $1M prizes.

        • just saying 2.1.1.2

          Yes “the overpaid have no empathy” was hyperbole on my part, but the research does show a clear correlation – very high pay – low empathy. (see post: “high pay makes elites see us as serfs”).

          As an aside I can think of quite a few potential reasons other than empathy for packer’s apparent generosity in this instance.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        Faafoi was on the 10.30 news last night declaiming it as a stunt,

        That is sickening.

        • felix 2.1.2.1

          Yeah it is. Fuck him.

          Anyone with left-wing or humanitarian values would’ve come out in support of the action.

          Fuck off back to your office job Kris.

          • Herodotus 2.1.2.1.1

            Do you think Chris’s comments were soley his or that the campaign team managed any comments that come out from his mouth?
            This is more than just a pr stunt. If is simple, cleaver and cuts to the chase. Perhaps there will be some longevity of life for this new party.
            Perhaps also now many cheer leaders from the left will see Labour of this century requires some stern analysis of what the party really stands for, and its actions give a stronger indicatio than its weak rhetoric. e.g. Requiring the govt to intervein in the NZ$:US$ as if we can really do much to a crapping out US$. Labour try and get real

            • felix 2.1.2.1.1.1

              It makes no difference if they’re his words or not.

              If they are, then he’s a useless seat-warmer.
              If they’re not, then he’s a useless seat-warmer.

              The rest of your comment, insofar as I understand it, I agree with. Labour need a swift kick in the pants right now.

              • Jim Nald

                I was planning to fly in from the future on my time machine (!) to comment on this.

                Anyone care to mull on appropriate historical progressive actions that have been taken?

                Any takers for the colonial British Govt of the day labelling Gandhi’s salt march a stunt??

      • Faafoi was on the 10.30 news last night declaiming it as a stunt

        One candidate pulls a stunt, while another acts like a…

        Way to demonstrate the real depth of his understanding of what it’s like to live the way the majority of his would-be constituents do.

  3. cardassian 3

    Good on Matt.

    He’s definately the kind of character we desperately need in New Zealand politics.

    If I lived in Mana he’d get my vote.

  4. Gosman 4

    “It looks like houses are being kept deliberately empty to make it easier to flog them off.”

    So let’s see if I have you correct on this.

    The Government has an agenda to flog off State Houses although there is yet to be any official announcement on this as far as I know.

    They have managed to convey this policy of flooging off State houses to the management of Housing New Zealand without any official record of this policy being noted or any information leaking out.

    Housing New Zealand is implementing this policy by deliberately denying people who need a place thereby keeping houses empty instead. This policy has been implemented without a murmer of dissent in Housing New Zealand or the media picking up on it.

    Matt McCarten and your good self have identified this secret agenda and have something backing up the claims beyond mere supposition.

    Is this right?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Well I won’t comment on your whole post but:

      The Government has an agenda to flog off State Houses although there is yet to be any official announcement on this as far as I know.

      They have managed to convey this policy of flooging off State houses to the management of Housing New Zealand without any official record of this policy being noted or any information leaking out.

      The Minister told HNZ to raise the bar for eligibility (or just interpret the current bar much more tightly) to keep more houses empty.

      Thats all which needed to be done, easy eh?

      All the extra stuff about selling off the houses, thats on a need to know basis and no one outside of cabinet needs to know. In fact, HNZ can be asked to empty the houses (to make it far easier to sell them), without even knowing.

      Like I said, easy eh?

      Matt McCarten and your good self have identified this secret agenda and have something backing up the claims beyond mere supposition.

      Since the NATs are so predictable in their agenda why the hell should Matt wait and leave the initiative to them? Nah mate, the fight back is starting. Good luck Matt.

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        So you have evidence that the Minister of Housing has instructed HNZ to raise the bar for eligibility recently? A Ministerial memo perhaps or something from someone in HNZ confirming this?

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Occam’s razor suggests that the conclusion is quite likely, and the scenario not as unlikely as you had tried to suggest. And that therefore, further EVIDENCE is not required at this stage.

          By the way, how exactly do you expect me to get a Ministerial Memo from my work place when Phil Goff has enough trouble accessing them? Or are you just putting up unreasonable burdens of proof for the sake of it?

          • Gosman 4.1.1.1.1

            I love how people abuse Occam’s razor to try and justify failure to provide evidence for bizarre claims.

            You claimed the Minister of Housing told HNZ to raise the bar for eligibility. You didn’t even put in the proviso that the Minister might have done so or that it was highly probable. You obviously believe this has happened i.e. it is a FACT. Where is the evidence supporting this claim?

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes my mistake, sorry. I was just trying to say it was as easy as that (no need to communicate a ‘secret agenda’ of selling assets off at this stage, just to get ready for it) and should therefore have added some qualifiers as you suggested.

              I don’t actually have any Ministerial Memos on hand, but if a relevant one passes across my desk I’ll be sure to fax you a copy.

              • felix

                You could just send it to David Farrar. That’s where Gos gets all his info.

                (and no Gos, I don’t actually have any EVIDENNNNNCCCCEEEE!!!11! that you get all your info via Farrar)

              • Gosman

                You don’t even need a Ministerial Memo. All you need to do to back up this claim is some sort of evidence that HNZ has tightened the eligibilty criteria recently.

                While not one hundred percent convincing, as the eligibilty criteria might be tightened for internal reasons outside a Ministerial directive, it would at least go some way to giving this view a semblance of credibility.

                Your problem, and those of many on the left, is that you have already decided what the motivations are and work backwards from that point of view. The National Party want to sell of State Houses hence they have instituted a policy of keeping State Houses empty to make this easier. The evidence for this? Well simply look at the empty State Houses that Matt McCarten and co invaded. Truly bizarre circular logic processes at work.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Gosman I already told you it was supposed to be a hypothetical. Are you going to pretend that I didn’t? Suggest you scroll up, if you can.

                  By the way it IS real easy to work backwards from where NACT is going because the Tories never change.

                  They may develop new ways of how to get to their destination, but their destination is always the same.

                • felix

                  It’s always the same story with people like Gosman.

                  Remember before the election when we all said a Nat govt would attack worfplace rights (‘cos that’s what Nat govts always do)?

                  The Gosmen of the world all cried “no, you have no proof of that, it’s not in their policy statements, there’s no right-wing agenda”.

                  And when the Nats got in they passed the 90 day fire-at-will act for businesses with 20 staff or less.

                  And we all said “Just wait, they’ll extend this to all employees”

                  And the Gosmen all did protesteth “It’s ONLY for small businesses, you have no PROOF that they’ll take it any further, you’re just making it up”.

                  etc etc.

                  We weren’t born yesterday mate. Some of us have been dealing with this shit from the Nats since before you were shitting in your pants. It’s obvious what the Nats want to do ‘cos it’s exactly what they always do:

                  * Structural unemployment to keep wages down

                  * Structural deficits to enable the shrinking of the public sector

                  * More authoritarian powers for the police to deal with the fallout.

                  It ain’t rocket surgery predicting this stuff Gosman. If you don’t follow the logic that’s your problem, not mine.

                  • Jim Nald

                    Hee …

                    Yeah, typical of parties from the right: “just a teeny weeny bit, no, it won’t hurt”

                    Yeah right, just a prick

                    Before you know it, you’ve been amputated. And consider your poor self quartered, drawn (disembowelled/dragged by their donkey) and hung.

                    We’ve seen this many times before and they don’t change

                    Hee haw.

                  • Gosman

                    Wasn’t the 90 Day trial period for small businesses in the National Party Manifesto?

                    Why would anyone on the right state that the Government wouldn’t go ahead with that?

                    Don’t you think they had a mandate for that policy?

                    • mcflock

                      I would be surprised if it was in their manifesto (where’s your evidence? right back atcha) because manifestos these days are largely a joke mix of “party … will encourage strong parental role models and social policy yadda yadda yadda” .

                      BUT even if it was explicitly described in their manifesto, the bulk of their “mandates”:

                      They had a mandate to smile and wave.
                      They had a mandate to keep students’ associations compulsory membership.
                      They had a mandate to not increase gst.
                      and so on…

                    • Gosman

                      http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleId=28271

                      “90-Day Trial Period

                      Introduce a 90-day trial period for new employees by agreement between the employer and the employee, for businesses with fewer than 20 staff. During the trial period, either party may terminate the employment relationship for performance, without a personal grievance claim being brought. Good-faith provisions will still apply, as will rights to sick leave, holidays, and health and safety provisions. Rules of natural justice and human rights legislation will apply. Mediation will be available in disputes, and
                      employers won’t be able to hire and fire the same employee every 90 days.”

                      Seems pretty clear to me that it was in their manifesto at the last election unless of course they have subsequently gone and altered it to look like it was. You know with these EVIL Tories nothing is beyond them. They eat their own babies I hear 😉

                    • Gosman

                      Where in their manifesto did they state they weren’t going to raise GST?

                      I don’t believe they made any committment around compulsory student association membership either. It is certainly against their idealogical position.

                    • mcflock

                      okay, so at best they don’t have a mandate to increase it beyond businesses of 20 staff.

                      Paul Hutchinson on VSM while campaigning: http://www.salient.org.nz/blog/nzusa-update-2-the-nats-announce-policy-kinda-maybe

                      Key on GST, just as categorical:

          • NZ Groover 4.1.1.1.2

            CV, you are undoubtedly the King (or Queen?) of blog posts in terms of the sheer volume of your posts.

            “from my work place”

            I’m feeling a bit sorry for your employer. You’re productivity must be shocking given the amount of time you spend on the blogs.

            p.s. Any jobs going there?

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Yeah if you like send your CV into The Standard and perhaps they’ll forward it on to me. Life is good eh? Cheers.

    • Joe Bloggs 4.2

      nup – it’s just another hysterical conspiracy theory from the loony left.

      The Mana state houses are empty because they have been wrecked by previous tenants. They’re waiting work orders for repairs to be completed before being relet.

      But for once I see eye-to-eye with R0B on one matter – the occupation isn’t a stunt – it’s a criminal act.

      • r0b 4.2.1

        They’re waiting work orders for repairs to be completed before being relet.

        Bullshit cover story. Houses are sitting empty for a year or more. You think in the current depressed economy that HNZ is having trouble finding workers to do maintenance?

        • Gosman 4.2.1.1

          Why don’t you submit an OIA request on HNZ policy regarding empty State Houses? While you’re at it you could also see if there has been a change to the eligibility criteria in the past two years. Nah, that would probably entail hard work and carry the risk your wacky theory could be wrong.

        • interested 4.2.1.2

          It’s hardly an issue of finding workers to do the maintenance. Do you have any idea how much money is spent on fixing up houses after tenants wreck them? And the bond they pay doesn’t come close to covering it. What about the tenants who blow up houses with their p labs? Most of those ones have to be completely knocked down and re-built.

          Also, one of the reasons housing nz are selling properties is to give low income families a chance at owning an asset. Housingnz properties tend to be the cheapest properties on the market and many tenants want to buy the house they currently live in because its been their family home for the past 30 years. This allows them to sell them off and then buy/build a new property (sometimes more than one) in an area that may be better suited. This means they have housed more than one family for the same cost. If you live in porirua you should have noticed all the work they have done in the east, with all the units that have been knocked down and nice houses built in their place. And what about the house in mungavin that was specifically built for a family of 10 who in the past had to have two units to accomodate the entire family.

          We are always quick to forget the good work that has been done and quick to point the finger.

          • felix 4.2.1.2.1

            Yes actually, I have a very good idea how much it costs to fix up houses, and it’s an insignificant amount compared to what the govt just spent paying the interest on investments for their mates who had money in SCF.

            And it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what the govt just gave their rich mates in tax cuts.

            It’s a matter of priorities. The money is available for spending on things they consider important. If they considered fixing these houses important then the work would be done.

            And seriously, meth labs? Sheesh, it’s not even worth reading the rest if that’s the best you can come up with. Srsly.

            Is Farrar on holiday or something?

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.2

        Sorry mate a state house in need of repair is still better than living in a garage.

        • insider 4.2.2.1

          There’s teh irony – if the govt did try that they would be accused (likely by the very same people saying not enough is being done) of putting people into substandard housing, being slum lords and treating state tenants as second class citizens.

          It’s a no win situation for a dept or the govt.

          • felix 4.2.2.1.1

            All they have to do is fix them.

            Heaps of people looking for work in the building trades.

            Heaps of time to do it.

            Heaps of money available (witness tax cuts for multimillionaires, SCF bailout etc)

            No excuses. They could fix it if they wanted to. They haven’t, so the logical conclusion is that they want it this way.

            • insider 4.2.2.1.1.1

              I’m with you in that it seems a disgrace that homes are empty for long periods. I don’t know what the reason for it is. That’s one possible conlusion. Whatever the answer, it better be good.

              • jcuknz

                I wonder if the root of the problem is that the Government is keeping the Housing Corp short of money in some way? I thought the idea of selling off state houses was so there was money to build new and better ones than the drafty ones they have inherited from the past. The fly in that argument is that new houses cost so much more these day. I wonder how many old houses have to be sold off to build one new one. In any case the old houses shouldn’t be sold off to provide private owners with a way to provide sub standard accommodation. We should be raising the standard of housing in NZ.. As long as there are people living in garages there is no possibility that sub standard houses will remain empty.
                As to if it is a stunt, protest, or illegal action doesn’t really matter … Matt gets full marks from me for creating a situation which got it on TV etc and in the public eye..

                • just saying

                  The HC funding was slashed in the budget.

                  Might “need” to sell houses to afford repairs.

            • Colonial Viper 4.2.2.1.1.2

              All they have to do is fix them.

              Heaps of people looking for work in the building trades.

              This would constitute the kind of socially based direct economic stimulus the Government would only consider if there was an earthquake.

  5. Tigger 5

    So McCarten gets credit for civil disobedience without taking the heat? Sorry guys you’re giving him too much credit. If he was actually doing the occupying with the family I’d be impressed but this is clearly a stunt on his behalf.

    • prism 5.1

      If Matt by inspiring others to do something and shame and force the do-nothing care-nothing politicians to stop playing their tactical games with each other and do something to serve the peoples needs, well he is the sort of polly I would like to see in NZ.

    • McCarten has been arrested countless times as an activist and unionist defending workers rights. So he’s hardly one to shirk any risk of being arrested.

      And being a man that holds the principle of solidarity very highly, I can imagine that McCarten will be supporting the arrestees as well as putting himself on the line to make sure that this state housing issue continues to be highlighted in this very political way. So if it comes down to an occupation situation, I can imagine he’ll be right in there.

  6. Go Matt, if you start a new party I’ll be out there working for it come the election campaign.

    count me in…

  7. socialist 7

    It is simply not true to say the houses are waiting repair orders. In fact they are kept empty because HNZ want to demolish the block of houses and are waiting for the last family to move out.

    • r0b 7.1

      There’s likely a range of reasons. The Dunedin houses vacant for 12 months reported in the OP are not part of any such block.

  8. Lats 8

    If state houses are empty for good reasons (unsafe to live in, etc) then no problems with them remaining vacant until brought back to a reasonable standard. But if all they’re lacking is a bit of polyfiller, a lick of paint and a bit of a cleanup then let someone move in, and supply the new tenants with the gear to fix it up. Most of us can manage to patch a few holes and run a roller over the walls. It seems bordering on criminal to leave state houses vacant for no good reason, and certainly demonstrates a significant lack of empathy from government.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      As someone who is paying taxes that go to the provision of state houses, I would rather have tradesmen do this job properly, thanks.

      However there’s no reason that a family can’t move in and be slightly inconvenienced for a few weeks while the repairs are carried out – I’m sure they’d prefer that over whatever other arrangements they are currently scraping by with.

      • Lats 8.1.1

        Sure, that’s the preferable outcome, but I was assuming govt arguments would be that tradespeople were scarce. I’ve done plenty of DIY home renovation work, and so long as it isn’t structural an amateur worker can do an adequate job. Its actually pretty simple to fill and sand a few holes in gib.

  9. john 9

    In London there are many empty houses whose rich owners are living overseas, knowing what a police state the UK has become, last I heard you can squat in them and it’s not a criminal action, the police can’t throw you out until the owners go through the legal procedures first, as that happens you just move on to another empty house. I definitely think there has been a huge overreaction here by the police and authorities. In a functioning,alive democratic process such actions should be quite normal. Matt is doing a valuable service by showing that we do need State Houses, they should not be sold off, in fact we need more of them.And families living in very poor conditions must be housed quickly! Compared with the direct action going on in France we are timid,except perhaps Maori protest.

    • cardassian 9.1

      Just on this topic, my friend works for a homeless charity in London.

      She says that if you mail yourself a letter and put up a notice of squatters rights on the door the owners have to go through due process.

      As a result there is a guardian scheme in London, where people get to stay in houses for below market rent (around 60 pounds a week) on the condition they’ll move out on short notice.

      This means that squatters can’t occupy as it is already occupied (and in the meantime provides cheap accomodation to people that need it).

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Fascinating. In NZ those people could just live in a garage, apparently.

      • Carol 9.1.2

        I lived in one of those squats in London many years back, for a few months. The owners also hadn’t disconnected their phone, which was a lilttle dumb of them.

  10. ak 10

    Cunningest stunt in a long while – classic Matt brilliance.

    Simple, effective, super-resonant with the target swingers. Empty houses, people living in garages. A no-brainer.

    And best of all the follow-up: “We don’t care about that. We’re from Unite. We do what’s right”.

    Watch and learn, Labour.

  11. Lez Howard 11

    Keep the pot boiling Matt. We have generaly become too apathetic.Keep NACT on their toes.

  12. M 12

    Sadly I’m in the adjoining electorate but there Matt’s signs are up with the $15 per hour message. The interesting thing is that when I took a drive around the Raumati area last weekend there were loads of Labour signs out on fences in streets where there is some mid-range and higher priced real estate so this is encouraging.

    If I lived in the Mana electorate it would be a tough call as regards my vote because I really like Matt but would have to consider how to best send a message – would it be to vote for Matt, split the vote and maybe have National get the seat but send a message to Phil Goff, or have Faafoi a shoe-in but with no real will to change things for people living in Mana especially if he’s labelled Matt’s action a stunt.

    • Jenny 12.1

      Vote Matt, it will make no difference to National’s majority, and send a clear message to the opposition to lift their game. And if you think whoever gets in is not doing the job. Vote them out at the next general election.

      M, to me it’s a no brainer what would there be to lose?

      • M 12.1.1

        I take your point Jenny, though I would resent the ego massage, not to mention the skiting rights it would give to National if they triumphed over the left.

        • swordfish 12.1.1.1

          @ M

          Precisely my thoughts. Except, for me, the dilemma’s all too real – I live in Mana.

          Huge fan of Matt, former Alliance Party-Voter (1996-2002), would be brilliant to see him in Parliament representing my Electorate, and yet he clearly won’t win or even come second (Labour’s vote simply isn’t going to collapse like that) and I just don’t want to see a Parata victory with all the consequent disastrous media fallout over the next year or so, right up to the next general election. Still not sure, though tending slightly in Matt’s direction. Might wait to see how the polls go (I’m pretty sure there’s one being conducted in Mana at the moment).

          Interesting comment about loads of Labour signs in up-market areas of Raumati. Here’s the Party-Vote there 2008:

          Raumati Beach 34% Lab / 46% Nat / 8% Green.
          Raumati South 34% Lab / 38% Nat / 17% Green

          • outofbed 12.1.1.1.1

            17% Green?
            There is life in Raumati South after all

            • swordfish 12.1.1.1.1.1

              17% Green in both Raumati South and Pukerua Bay.

              And a whopping 28% Green vote in Paekakariki (although I suspect half are former Alliance supporters, so could go Matt rather than Jan Logie).

              I think the only urban place more Green than Paekakariki is Aro Valley, Central Wellington.

      • The Voice of Reason 12.1.2

        What would there be to lose? Any momentum gained against NactM so far, that’s all. Right now, this government is steadily losing traction. If they win Mana, the small but steady gains Labour and the Greens have made will count for nothing and a message gets sent to their voters that there is no point voting for either in the general election because National are going to win.

        But hey, it’s worth it to see Matt’s ego boosted. And perhaps if Labour and the Greens dip out in Mana, they’ll realise their folly and put their support behind the $15 minimum wage campaign. Oh, wait, they already do. Hmmmm, nah, must just be about Matt’s ego then.

  13. felix 13

    Hey Gos,

    I might have missed it but I don’t think I recall seeing your alternate hypothesis. The one which invalidates CV’s use of Occam’s razor.

    Is your simpler explanation that the govt have let houses sit empty for a year simply because they’re a bunch of useless bastards?

    • insider 13.1

      Maybe they are giving time for the meth fumes to clear… 🙂

      • felix 13.1.1

        So you have no serious ideas either? Goodo.

      • Pascal's bookie 13.1.2

        Maybe they are giving time for the meth fumes to clear…

        …if it takes this long then maybe cabinet should go back to doing business over whisky in a smokey room.

    • Gosman 13.2

      There’s plenty of more believeable options than the wacky idea that this is all part of some secret plan by National to sell off state Houses.

      A number of them have already been mentioned by others here.

      – The Houses are waiting to be repaired before reletting.

      – The Houses are waiting to be demolished.

      – The Houses are deemed unsuitable for the people in the waiting list (e.g. too many or too few bedrooms for those applying in the area)

      – Pure old fashioned bureaucratic bungling by a State authority.

      If you asked me either one of the last two is probably the most likely. However I’m not the one making silly claims about some secret plan to empty State Houses so they can be sold off at some indeterminate time in the future without evidence. This means I don’t need to worry about trying to find evidence to support this.

      • felix 13.2.1

        It’s no secret Gos.

        Anyone who wasn’t born yesterday knows that running down state assets is the standard operating procedure of right-wing govts.

        You’re the only one looking for secret plans.

        • Gosman 13.2.1.1

          Bollocks. It is only a bunch of hard core leftists like yourself Felix who actuallybelieve this nonsensical secret plan idea. Noone in the mainstream media is following this line of thinking.

          But that’s right you think everyone who doesn’t think the way you do must be stupid therefore, via that piece of circular logic, the mainstream media is stupid. Heck the only smart ones on the planet must be the rather small number of people on the planet that think like you. It’s a wonder anyone else can manage to dress and feed themselves in the morning given how stupid they must be in your version of reality.

          Your intellectual arrogance is breathtaking to behold sometimes.

          Do you ever wonder why a lot of people think a large number of members of the left are up themselves w@nkers?

          • Bored 13.2.1.1.1

            Hi Gos, would be nice to say welcome back, but as a left wing w@nker, well why would I? Felix has a point about standard right wing operating procedure, there is no secret plan. That might require intellegence, and as we observed with NACT for the last God knows how long they leak like a seive. Better the same plodding ox predictability, no surprises.

            • Gosman 13.2.1.1.1.1

              So if it ain’t a secret why didn’t the minister of housing announce it when he was speaking to the media about the changes to housing policy a couple of weeks back? Everyone knows they have this agenda so he should have had no problem admitting it publically then.

              • felix

                It must be so simple in your black & white world where rather than carbon, the basis of all life is the false dichotomy.

                I won’t be joining you there though.

      • Armchair Critic 13.2.2

        …this is all part of some secret plan…
        It’s not secret, it’s just not openly stated. I’m sure you understand the difference.
        Running with your alternative explanations, here are some legitimate (IMO) questions:
        – The Houses are waiting to be repaired before reletting.
        Why are the repairs not underway? There are people who need the house right now.
        – The Houses are waiting to be demolished.
        Why are the repairs not underway? There are people who need the house right now.
        – The Houses are deemed unsuitable for the people in the waiting list (e.g. too many or too few bedrooms for those applying in the area)
        Why can’t families be put into a house that is too big for them until a more suitable house becomes available?
        What is the government doing to build houses that are suitable?
        – Pure old fashioned bureaucratic bungling by a State authority.
        What is the minister doing to eliminate bureaucratic bungling?
        It is the lack of action that is the most telling. The government are not managing the message and we are left to draw our own conclusions.

        • Gosman 13.2.2.1

          Your questions are better suited to someone within HNZ or the Minister of Housing. I have no idea why they don’t repair or demolish houses as fast as they should or why they might have a policy of only housing families in the right sized house.

          Perhaps if the Labour Party acted as an effective opposition party in Parliament they could ask these sorts of questions instead of trying to smear the reputation of Ministers of the Crown for doing nothing untoward like the recent attack on Pansy Wong.

          As for bureaucratic bungling well that is where we differ on matters of idealogy. I think that any State run institution is going to perform more inefficiently than a private run one in the long run. It’s the nature of the beast. It is probably why the Minister of Housing is looking at getting other groups involved in managing Social Housing. But of course you think it is because they just want to sell everything and make money.

          • felix 13.2.2.1.1

            Nah, usually they want to sell everything and lose money.

            But of course I have no basis for that assertion. (Apart from watching them do exactly that for several decades, but that counts for nothing eh Gooseman?)

            • Gosman 13.2.2.1.1.1

              Foolix,

              Considering Asset sales only started in the 1980’s and completed in the late 1990’s I don’t know how you saw them doing that for several decades

              (Did you see what I did there? I took your screen name Felix and merged it with Fool. I’m so very cleaver aren’t I? ;))

              • The Voice of Reason

                Yep, you’re cleaver, all right. Mad as a meat axe in fact.

              • Colonial Viper

                Asset sales aren’t completed by a long shot; there is no way that ACC should be run as an independent insurance company when it could be sold to fund tax cuts for the wealthy; same goes for Air NZ and Kiwibank.

                ASAP please Bill and John, your record on asset sales has been pathetic so far this term.

              • felix

                I like the pun, Goose. First bit of original thinking I’ve seen from you.

                The type of asset sales you refer to are just one of the ways that right-wing govts steal the wealth of the nation. (and as CV says they ain’t finished with that either).

                Don’t you remember what Muldoon did to the superannuation fund?

  14. Lew 14

    Matt knows how to hit the spot:

    “State houses are collapsing. Tenants have to pay for repairs themselves. And the rent is too damn high,” he said. “It’s time for action.” He plans to hold a barbecue at the house on Saturday.

    “The rent is too damn high!” Now where have I heard that before?

    L

  15. The latest news story on the occupation says that the Police have essentially banned Matt’s housing activists from the by-election:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4334174/State-house-takeover-activists-arrested

    Also:

    TV3 – The Nation: Fa’afoi under siege & what McCarten is up to
    http://www.scoop.co.nz
    On Saturday’s programme: With one week to go to voting in the Mana by-election Natasha Smith reports back on the mood in the electorate, on why Kris Fa’afoi is under siege and what Matt McCarten is up to. And we look at the the surprising relationship between Hekia Parata and Tariana Turia.

    • Big Dog 15.1

      Hekia and Tari, both hardcore Tories, jeez some journalists in this country are stupid and slow.

  16. johnbt 16

    The gummint spent $145 million last year fixing up state houses after a decade of deferred maintenance and created 1,000 jobs in the process. It is only a start, I hope. Thank God for those Tories doing something to help those less fortunate.

    • swordfish 16.1

      “Thank God for those Tories.”

      Yes, I believe he created Gerry Brownlee in his own image.

    • Vicky32 16.2

      Er, you know that how? I live in a State House and have been begging for maintenance for the past two years… Kitchen cupboards without latches. Fixed? Hell no!
      Trees cut back? Only after I called David Shearer’s office because said trees were interfering with power lines.
      But will they do inspections and threaten eviction because the lawn guy was a week late and the lawn wanted doing? Hell yeah!
      Deb

    • Colonial Viper 16.3

      The gummint spent $145 million last year fixing up state houses

      Yep. Needed to be done before they were sold off.

  17. roblyn 17

    I liked the comment from McCarten – summed things up quite well for me:

    Mr McCarten’s supporters say they have counted 27 vacant state houses in Porirua so they had no problems simply opening this one up to install Ms Harvey and her husband. “We’re from Unite, we don’t worry about those things, it’s about doing what’s right,” he says.

    It is about highlighting a housing need and availability of houses. I doubt the family were ever going to be able to stay in the house but the point was made. The place would have been made habitable it seems by volunteer labour.

    The only reason I can see for the house to remain empty is if it is shortly to be removed to make way for perhaps 2 new state houses on the land or there was another family who had been promised it.

    I agree with what McCarten & co did.

    rob

  18. burt 18

    It’s big balls like this that make me hope Matt McCarten does gets his own party going. This is good grass roots stuff. Nobody got hurt, I assume no property was damaged? Effective protest and local issue.

    When I see empty state houses, and there are a few around, I always wonder why people are not squatting in them. Now I know – they get arrested.

  19. Evel Knievel does stunts…

    Matt leaps over tall building issues in a single bound !!!

  20. Jenny 20

    From the pen of Chris Trotter:

    Time for electors to ‘vote as if they were free’

    Click here for the full comment from Chris.

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    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    13 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    5 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    5 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    6 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones annoyed at “elevated sense of entitlement from a lot of immigrant leaders”
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is defending Immigration New Zealand (INZ) after it instructed officials to stop granting visas as an exception to instructions. He has also lashed out at immigrant leaders upset with the tightening of the rules, saying they had an “elevated sense of entitlement”. Members of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand public likely to vote on euthanasia bill thanks to NZ First
    A change to the End of Life Choice Bill was passed in Parliament, meaning if politicians decide to vote for the law it must be approved by the public first. A binding referendum was a condition insisted on by New Zealand First, and Jenny Marcroft’s supplementary order paper (SOP) successfully ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
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    5 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Bede Corry as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “The appointment of a senior diplomat to this important role underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Mr Peters. “The United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
    An innovative approach to boosting the number of frontline Police has seen 20 new officers graduate from one of the uncommon training wings in Auckland. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of 20 constables today means that 1,765 new Police officers have been deployed since the coalition government took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Over 1.2 million hours of community work helps local communities
    Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the 1.2 million hours of community work completed by offenders in the last financial year has helped local communities right across the country. “Community work sentences are a great way for people to pay something positive back to society. There is a massive benefit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Te Huringa o Te Tai – Police Crime Prevention Strategy
    "A pathway for Police in leadership with Iwi Māori, to achieve the aspirations of Māori whānau." Police launch of Te Huringa o Te Tai, Pipitea Marae,  Thorndon Quay, Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou. Hello everyone, warm greetings to you all. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis getting higher pay
    Working New Zealanders are getting more in their back pockets under the Coalition Government’s economic plan. Stats NZ data today shows average weekly ordinary time earnings are up by $83 since the Government took office. This shows that working New Zealanders are getting higher take-home pay, and that employers are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for schools to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact
    The Government is supporting schools to cut down their energy consumption and reduce environmental impacts, with a quarter of all schools having their lights replaced with LEDs, a sustainability contestable fund and a plan to improve the environmental sustainability of all schools in the future. Education Minister Chris Hipkins and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s manaakitanga highlighted in China
    Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis heads to China on Friday to lead the New Zealand Government presence at the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism closing ceremony. The ceremony will take place at Canton Tower in Guangzhou on Sunday 10 November. “The Year of Tourism has been mutually beneficial for both New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Climate change research boost
    Should we plan for drought or deluge and how is CO2 released from the ocean’s floor? Several climate change projects were given a boost in the latest Marsden Fund investment of $83.6 million, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods said today. “Climate change is long-term challenge that requires out-of-the-box ...
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    1 week ago
  • Significant progress on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
    Leaders of 16 countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have announced the completion of negotiation on the text as well as agreement on virtually all market access issues between 15 countries. The leaders said they will work with India to resolve its outstanding concerns in a way that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Learn how to stay safe on World Tsunami Awareness Day
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare says World Tsunami Awareness Day today (5 November) is a chance for all New Zealanders to learn more about the tsunami risk in our regions and the right actions to take to stay safe. “All of New Zealand’s coastline is at risk of tsunami. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Formal recognition at last for paramedics’ frontline medical role
    New Zealand’s more than 1000 paramedics are to have their role as key frontline health professionals formally recognised and regulated in the same way as doctors and nurses, Health Minister David Clark says. The Government has agreed to regulate paramedics under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. “Paramedic leaders ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government improving protections for consumers and workers when businesses fail
    Changes to insolvency law announced by the Government today will include requirements to honour up to 50 per cent of the value of gift cards or vouchers held by consumers, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi says. “When a business is insolvent, these consumers are often left out of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Outstanding public service recognised
    Six New Zealanders tonight received medals for their meritorious work in the frontline public service. The Public Service Medal, established by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is awarded annually. “For the second year this Government has recognised public servants who have made a real difference to the lives of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Global trade, business promotion focus of Shanghai meetings
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker heads to Shanghai today for the China International Import Expo and meetings focused on reforming the WTO. Over 90 New Zealand companies will be exhibiting at the second China International Import Expo (CIIE), which runs from 5-10 November. “China is one of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Drivers to get more time to gain full licence
    Drivers holding a current five-year learner or restricted car or motorbike licence, expiring between 1 December 2019 and 1 December 2021, will receive an automatic two-year extension, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Over 144,000 drivers’ time-limited licences are due to expire in the next two years; 67,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago