Hypocrite

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, November 20th, 2019 - 74 comments
Categories: election 2020, election funding, elections, electoral commission, electoral systems, jacinda ardern, national, nz first, politicans, same old national, Simon Bridges, uncategorized, winston peters - Tags:

LPrent has posted this morning on the latest involving the New Zealand First electoral donations problem.  I set out my initial view yesterday that the arrangement appeared to be cute but legal.

There was a further disclosure this morning, that the foundation paid for the campaign headquarters and staff overtime.  From Matt Shand at Stuff:

Expenses records for the foundation seen by Stuff show [the NZ First Foundation] collected more than $500,000 in donations from April 2017 to March 2019 that could be in breach of electoral donation laws, particularly if the foundation was paying party expenses. 

Many of these apparent donations to the foundation do not appear on the party’s electoral returns. 

Invoices, seen by Stuff, reveal the foundation spent $325,000 in about 18 months to March 2019 – with most of the money appearing to directly benefit the NZ First Party.

About $28,000 was spent with Prime Property to rent campaign headquarters. Emails arranging to obtain swipe cards to the headquarters show the staffer collecting them identified himself as working directly for NZ First leader Winston Peters. 

The same staff member bought $1736 worth of office furniture and later added a $169 document shredder and a $99 coat rack.

Another $10,000 was spent on staff overtime and $920 on a picture of lost sheep.

It does not appear this spending was declared to the Electoral Commission by the party.

If the headquarter expenditure was made from the loan made to the party that year then this is ok as the expenses do not appear to be election expenses. But if it is not then it is a donation and should have been declared. And if the money came from multiple sources then if they were over the threshold the contributors should have been disclosed.

There was also talk about a dispute concerning an internet bill.

Reporters should ask about the dates. If the bill was paid outside the statutory period then unless Court leave was sought it may have constituted an illegal practice.

But this story has wings. And Winston’s traditional means of dealing with this sort of problem is not going to make it go away. Clearly there is a lot of information being leaked and releasing it bit by bit will make this story continue for a while.

How is National handling this?

The only word that springs to mind is hypocrites.

From Jason Walls at the Herald:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is under pressure to order an investigation into allegations swirling around donations to New Zealand First, as the saga risks hurting her coalition Government.

Allegations of electoral donation wrongdoing levelled against the coalition partner also appears to have put a dampener on the National Party’s chances of working with NZ First after next year’s election.

NZ First leader Winston Peters is remaining defiant after reports that the NZ First Foundation – a secretive body which collects party donations – appeared to have hidden political donations worth almost half a million dollars.

National Party leader Simon Bridges says if the allegations are true, they would be the “most significant allegations of this kind we have seen in New Zealand’s history”.

There is this other matter being investigated that involves money for list seat positions being partitioned into non discloseable chunks that I thought was just as significant.

And this is a matter for the authorities to investigate. There should be no political directions given. To even suggest this is totally bizarre.

To cap things off Bridges suggested that the episode would make it harder for National to work with NZ First in the future. Clearly they are still prepared to work with a party Bridges thinks has committed the most significant breach of the electoral law in the country’s history.

What weak standards he has. Although if he did rule out working with New Zealand First he would also have to rule out working with the National Party given its recent behaviour.

If you want to witness a beating then listen to this interview of Bridges by Kim Hill. I love the way she slows down her questions at the precise moment she delivers the coup de grace.

It is funny that the leader of the party being investigated by the SFO for rorting the election system should be demanding that the leader of the party who is not accused of anything should take action against the leader of a third party that appears to have been really cute with the law but has not necessarily done anything illegal.

What is that word starting with “H” again?

74 comments on “Hypocrite ”

  1. weka 1

    Funny as farce, but also sad that this is the state we are in politically as a country.

    Has Peters fronted up yet? I thought he was meant to clear everything up by end of yesterday.

    Whatever formal processes need to happen separate to the Labour Party, is there not also and issue here of the leader of a party being accused of some serious electoral breaches being the Deputy PM?

    I don't think we're at resignation yet, but I am not clear how this works politically if Ardern maintains neutrality and then has to ask for his resignation later and where the coalition agreement may present a clear conflict of interest. Even more so if the legalities end up being grey but there are still serious ethical issues.

  2. Incognito 2

    Minor typo:

    Although if he did working out working with New Zealand First he would also …

    [Oops, typed on a train … now fixed – MS]

  3. michelle 3

    Its not Jacinda job to do this let hope she leaves this to who is responsible.

  4. Sabine 4

    Maybe we need public financing and no polticial donations what so ever?

    Too far left for anyone to propose?

    • lprent 4.1

      It has been my position for a while.

      Mainly because whatever changes go in, they always seem to leave some interesting loopholes for donations.

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        Mine too. Why should we rely on private largesse. The current system guarantees that wealthy voices are the loudest.

        • Sabine 4.1.1.1

          Well, you have all the connections in the world. Tell labour to get something done that will benefit everyone for once. If they have the guts to deny all that 'free cash'.

          and yes, i bought a bottle of whisky from J.A. at an auction before the election and she even signed it. Not that that has any value.

          • Paaparakauta 4.1.1.1.1

            The PM is a whisky drinker ? I hope she can make better decisions than a Tamaki boy called Rob Muldoon !

    • Ken 4.2

      It makes sense.

  5. tc 5

    Maybe we should place the 'H' on soimons forehead rather than Dave's now.

    Dave's made a genuine contribution with the euthanasia issue whereas soimon's been a shit stirring knuckle dragging luddite in playing to his 'audience'.

  6. Gosman 6

    This:

    National Party leader Simon Bridges says if the allegations are true, they would be the “most significant allegations of this kind we have seen in New Zealand’s history”.

    If the allegations are true then they are no longer allegations.

    Idiot

    • Sacha 6.1

      Using the word 'history' was also unwise. #doh

    • tc 6.2

      The way he mangles terms and the language that he should have down pat after years of actually practicing law is a skill he's really worked on.

      • Sacha 6.2.1

        Imagine how bad he must have been as a lawyer.

      • ianmac 6.2.2

        He never actually practiced courtroom law according to Winston and Simon has never refuted that. Simon said yesterday that he does not have practicing law certificate which was his excuse for dodging the detail of his allegations with Kim Hill.

    • You_Fool 6.3

      Actually you are right… makes sense… the allegations about Bridges are true, so not allegations… The allegations against NZF are the most signifigant allegations!

    • NZJester 6.4

      These allegations pale in significance to shifty donation allegations that have been levied against the National Party and some of its MPs including Simon in the past so hardly as he claims the most significant in NZ History.

      But then an allegation is just an allegation, not a fact.

  7. Sacha 7

    I/S notes an opportunity for Bridges to back up his public statements of distaste: http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2019/11/bridges-should-put-his-money-where-his.html

    … sounds like he supports change. Which is great, because there's an Electoral Amendment Bill before the Justice Committee right now which could be amended.

    If Bridges wants greater transparency and more enforcement powers for the Electoral Commission, he should put his money where his mouth is and publicly suggest appropriate amendments.

    The government will be basicly backed into a corner on this and be forced to either support them, or taint themselves with the public by backing the obviously broken status quo. But of course Bridges won't, because the last thing any establishment party wants to do is let the public know who is bribing them…

  8. Stuart Munro. 8

    I think he's better described as "optimistic" in this context.

    Labour is much too mature to fall for a series of allegations the status of which is as yet undetermined. They are obliged to wait and see, neither acceding to Hooten's frothing enthusiasm for a snap election, nor endorsing NZF until the facts are in.

    In this interlude, while the worst of the feral 'gotcha' media pack are occupied elsewhere, Labour can enjoy the pleasant, not to say auspicious spring weather, and ignore the interminable bleating of the member for Tauranga, and by doing so show solidarity with the great mass of New Zealanders who also ignore him.

    • Alan 8.1

      about 46% of the voting population actually does take notice of what he says

      • Stuart Munro. 8.1.1

        On a daily basis? I doubt it.

      • AB 8.1.2

        No – up to 46% of the population (probably less) will vote for him through gritted teeth no matter what the clown does or says, because they perceive it to be in their economic/class interests to do so. The majority of them are probably wrong in that perception but that's an aside.

    • tc 8.2

      Hooten's a paid frother for his supper. National paymasters good, Greens bad, Labour very bad, NZF see Hollowmen party central for todays position.

  9. Karol121 9

    Simon Bridges now appears to have caught the; "Legend in his own mind" disease.

    What a let down. He once, sort of, appeared to be balanced and realistic.

    BTW: On the New Zealand First fiasco. For what it's worth, and could somebody assist me with this by way of URL link to clarify just what the New Zealand First Foundation is, (as an entity), for myself and others?

    It is a difficult horse to put form to and handicap: Where it is stabled, bloodline, trainer, who owns the beast, etc?

    Regarding party sole, (not funders), an Anne Martin, (either Tracy Martin's mother who indicated via media in 2015 that she would be "outski" from any integral role with the party, or perhaps Tracy Martin herself with a correspondence address of Brown Rd, Warkworth), was clearly formally engaging with the accountants working for the party (Lennie & Associates, of Symonds St, Auckland), and declarations pertaining to New Zealand First Incorporated as late as April 2018. From then, I guess, Mrs Elizabeth Witehera (of Hikurangi) took over as Secretary General for the party.

    That's the party itself, but The New Zealand First Foundation being a separate entity, of course; just a bit of a dark horse until recently, and still.

  10. greywarshark 10

    I put this up in Open Mike yesterday. But it is sikmon's domain the splashing round in put-downs and tghe building up of disturbed trivial judgments.

    From OM 19/11.

    noticed the immediate use of slush fund as the story broke by a journalist who wouldn't know at this stage whether using an emotive term like that was justified.

    Matt Shand on Stuff at 10am 19 Nov 2019: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/117510705/why-the-nz-first-slush-fund-could-breach-electoral-law-expert

    Matt Shand at 5am 19 Nov 2019: NZ First Foundation dodging electoral rules? Records suggest breaches.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/117509589/nz-first-foundation-dodging-electoral-rules-records-suggest-breaches
    Almost half a million dollars in political donations appear to have been hidden inside a secret slush fund controlled by a coterie of Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters' trusted advisers.

    Unattributed NZ Herald 19 Nov 2019 at 7.40 am: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has refused to be drawn on claims that an electoral slush fund run on behalf of NZ First may have breached the Electoral Act.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12286329 – 'Looks to be in contravention of the Electoral Act': Law professor weighs in on NZ First donations

    NZ Herald seems to have slush-fund at the top of its favourite terms for journalists, this being from 2018 by Claire Trevett:
    PM Jacinda Ardern and Shane Jones launch $3 billion fund …https://www.nzherald.co.nz › nz › news › article
    Feb 23, 2018 – It has already been described as a "slush fund" for NZ First and scrutiny of it will be intense. There was also be a close watch for any signs of …

    August 2019 from the National Party newsletter on Economic matters from the mouth of Simon Bridges National Party leader:

    Meanwhile it’s wasted billions on a slush fund for Shane Jones and on Fees Free which has resulted in fewer university students.
    https://www.national.org.nz/tags/author_simonbridges?page=4
    Further on:
    Page 5: “The reality is this Government has wasted billions of dollars on Shane Jones’ slush fund and Fees Free tertiary and so isn’t prioritising lifesaving cancer drugs

    Page 6: “The Associate Transport Minister needs to be honest about how much money her plan will actually take from Kiwis’ back pockets, and what she’ll do with her tax bounty if it isn’t paid out in subsidies. Another slush fund to keep NZ First happy perhaps?

    Page 8: “Taxpayers are forking out $2.8 billion for fees-free tertiary which has resulted in fewer students, $3 billion for Shane Jones’ slush fund and $2 billion on KiwiBuild which has resulted in next to no houses.

    Page 11 (Jan 2019): It’s wasting $2.8 billion on fees-free tertiary education for students already going to university, another $3 billion on a slush fund that NZ First is shamelessly using to buy votes, and almost $300 million on working groups because Labour didn't do the work in opposition.

    Note: 'Slush fund' also used on Page 12 and 14 so is a comfortable fall-back term for National. (I couldn't be bothered going back beyond a year ago.)
    .

    National's Paul Goldsmith refers to 'slush fund' in this report from Scoop in 2018. Shane Jones needs to explain what conflicts were declared before the Government gave $6 million to a trust led by a former NZ First MP, and why his slush fund is leading to private gain, National’s Regional Economic Development spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says. https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1807/S00120/integrity-of-govt-slush-fund-in-serious-question.htm

    And the Otago Daily Times August 2018 chose that term for it's headline. https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/rnz/its-slush-fund-govt-support-race-tracks-slammed
    Paul Goldsmith (National MP) in 2018. 'Mr Goldsmith described the provincial growth fund criteria as being "as loose and as billowing as the deep blue sea''.
    "Well what we've seen is that it's an all-purpose political slush fund and you can fit anything into it,'' he said.'

    • mickysavage 10.1

      Thanks Karol. And yes the biggest slush fund is National's …

      • Sabine 10.1.1

        So the coalition is going to advocate for State funding of political parties only?

        Yes?

        Because it really does not matter that one may have a bigger slush fund then another, it matters that both are in the wrong. Or are we so down low now that we discuss the legality of issues based on size?

  11. Jackel 11

    Hypocrite and ironic. The so called party of big business should know that if the money is flowing in thick and fast and the tills are ringing hot then you must be doing something right. Maybe they're jealous because their tills are quiet and Bridges is emptying their coffers and fast bankrupting their party with his lame attempts at headline grabbing etc. Tories go figure.

  12. mosa 12

    Meanwhile while we wait for the outcome from the electoral commision the bad publicity does its work.

    Bridges has got a cheek demanding an independent inquiry when
    1 They are facing an ongoing investigation with the SFO

    2 They never undertook inquiries or investigations when they blatantly broke the law in some very dubious cases before and after 2008 !!!

  13. Sanctuary 13

    It will be interesting to see if the MSM and the print media- in this case, Stuff – has the power it had just a decade ago to bring down a party. I suspect it will not.

    The atomisation of readership, the loss of authority brought about by the relentless trivialisation of news and the rise of social media all make me think this Stuff story will ultimately huff, puff – and blow itself out in a miasma of indifference before Xmas.

    This is probably not, on the balance, a good thing.

  14. aj 14

    RNZ: Bolger supports state funding of political parties. Good on him.

    • greywarshark 14.1

      +1000 aj

      • aj 14.1.1

        And it's worth noting that Jim Bolger shares this concept of party funding with Bernie Sanders.

    • Lettuce 14.2

      This is the perfect opportunity for the government to bring in state funding of political parties. They can also ban foreign donations and donations associated with foreign entities while they're at it (just like Australia and the US have done).

      National's howls of outrage at losing one of their primary funding streams would be delightful – hoist by their own petard.

  15. michelle 15

    As for the act see more party going to the police. Our police numbers are low they are struggling to do there job

  16. greywarshark 16

    Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams were interviewed this morning by Kathryn Ryan. Matthew talking with gravitas about NZFirst and how our PM should be thoroughly investigating particularly as the Dominion Post had featured the loans/Trust matter on the front page and Fairfax papers, being serious papers, not like Whaleoil. He referred to our constitution as if there was one, then referred to the constitutional regs of the Cabinet manual. He is not biased, and donates to all three parties, so that proves it. The academic chosen to comment also is Andrew Geddis, a Professor of Public Law at the University of Otago, specialising in electoral law.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018723366/fresh-new-zealand-first-foundation-revelations

    A news items coincidentally today, is about the bright eyed little predators of our NZ environment. Its headline and the view of the little alert stoat brought Matthew Hooton amongst others, to mind!

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/403775/new-traps-and-lures-a-pivotal-step-towards-predator-free-future

    An earlier item was about human relationship changes. I think it stands as an analogy for the changes we need to bring about in the way we run our society, before we find that we don't have any meaningful input as citizens. https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018723102/navigating-relationship-joys-and-challenges

  17. Dean Reynolds 17

    Just listened to Kim Hill's interview with Bridges. I cannot believe that a jibbering, brainless fool like Bridges is the best leader that the National Party can produce. If Bridges is their best, then the rest of the Nat caucus is clearly full of joe averages, wannabes & brain dead light weights

    • Wensleydale 17.1

      He isn't. He's a place-holder. The human shield. He's the guy they've propped up in front to take all the hits while they rearrange the seating in the back. He's an expendable resource that's just about tapped out.

  18. Peter 18

    Nick Smith kindly invited focus on National's hypocrisy re funding. He probably won't get home tonight, shake his head and ask how the hell it happened that the Labour MPs had an orchestrated response which got him big time.

    He'll be pleased Simon wasn't there to be tarred though.

  19. ianmac 19

    Yes Nick Smith must be pissed off! A barrage of questions re the National Electoral spending tricks of the Electoral Act was the response to Nick Smith trying to trap the Minister of Justice. Brownlee tried to block the Government response. Brilliant.

    And the multi-million dollar warning that should Smith or Bridges repeat outside what they said in House, they will be sued for defamation.

    Question 9 https://www.parliament.nz/en/watch-parliament/ondemand?itemId=210160

  20. mosa 20

    What about the Waitemata Trust and its HUGE slush fund too influence National party policy.

    Lets have some transparency in this argument.

  21. mosa 21

    Winston and Jones just as bad as the others who profit from political influence.

    http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2019/11/if-shane-jones-isnt-corrupt-he-is.html

    • greywarshark 21.1

      Edit
      Is the above correct, from Mosa's link? Is a NZ First-connected company profiting from political influence? Or is it just a case of a NZ company applying to do forestry business in NZ with seed funds from the government! Are they not as entitled to carry out business and apply for funding as are other companies some of whom are not even NZers? I think this is a case of super-suspicion from Labour oriented people who forget that businesses are how organised things are done, and capital is required to carry out large schemes, either private or organised by government. I feel that the criticism of NZ First and muddying Shane Jones' name over it is a beat-up and not a good look from lefties with airy-fairy ideas.

      This is a small country, and people who want to get any project or business done have to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. They need to be active in the enterprise business and doing the mahi that makes something, do something that earns their salaries and provides employment to local people and provides upskilling. And that must be what happens if this company gets funding. Those prepared to work should get it, and those not fit, should get some practice work so they can get regular employment. Then they won't get used as examples by the wise, informed people I meet so often who know for a fact that NZs don't, won't take up jobs.

      While searching Google for some unbiased comment on the NZ First- connected forestry firm's application for funding, which I didn't find, I came across this full report on the proposed new rail link to Marsden Point, Northland. It is called the North Auckland rail line or NAL. So we can get some facts about something from this interchange!

      PDF] Upgraded North Auckland Rail line – Ministry of Transport

      https://www.transport.govt.nz › Our-Work › Documents › Northland-Rail-BC

      May 9, 2019 – Project reference: NAL Business Case ….. Benefits of the preferred way forward (Rail Connected Port) . …… Figure 47. Northland and north Auckland commercial forestry plantations . …… Shane Jones, and is funded by the Provincial Growth Fund. …… The first cruise ship to berth at Northport in Whāngārei is.

  22. Paaparakauta 22

    How many houses does Bridges currently own through corporate vehicles ? It escapes me at the moment ..

    [You have two moderator notes to which you have not responded. Therefore, I put you in Auto-Moderation and if that doesn’t help, you will be Blacklisted and lose your privilege of commenting here altogether – Incognito]

  23. Paaparakauta 23

    Where am I supposed to find these 'moderation notes' ?

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  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • The politics of managed retreat
    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Some changes are coming
    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • About fucking time
    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking
    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.
    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    2 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?
    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.
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    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent
    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac
    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation
    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...
    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz
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    3 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again
    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister
    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    3 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.
    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won
    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16
    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16
    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother
    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?
    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    4 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)
    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.
    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1
    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor
    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15
    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15
    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?
    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    4 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution
    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky
    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?
    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ
    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    5 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response
    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment
    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President
    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Questions from God
    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • The politics of money and influence
    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity
    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    6 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Women in Space.
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago

  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns
    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'
    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs
    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals
    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset
    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • School attendance continues to increase
    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights
    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language
    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery
    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
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    2 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki
    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
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    3 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston
    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety
    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
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    3 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
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    4 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
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    4 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers
    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
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    4 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
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    5 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
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    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
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    1 week ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
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