Joyce’s holiday highway

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, January 28th, 2010 - 60 comments
Categories: transport - Tags:

Steven Joyce has announced plans for a  motorway from Puhoi to Wellsford at a cost of $2 billion ($1.4 billion in today’s money).

The route is used by just 15,000 cars a day (and that has been falling the last few years) and is estimated (optimistically) to save just 15 minutes off the travel time. The New Zealand Transport Agency charged with building the thing says it will deliver just 80 cents of benefit to the country for every dollar the Government spends on it. That means we would be richer as a country if we left the money under a mattress.

Jarbury, who for my money is the best transport commentator out there, has excellent analysis of the so-called “holiday highway” and sums it up like this:

If this is allowed to continue National can quit calling itself the party of economic sense and change it’s name to the ‘We Let Steven Joyce Destroy NZ’s Wealth Party’. As we’ve seen with the approval of the Transmission Gully project he isn’t afraid to write $1.1 billion dollars out of the NZ economy with one stroke of a pen, what is a paltry $400 million dollars compared to that?

Much like Transmission Gully, this monsteriously expensive motorway is meant to clear congestion that simply doesn’t exist most of the time. The only time there is congestion is on the 27th of December and 2nd of January. Even then we’re only talking 22-23,000 cars a day. It might be nice to relieve some of the congestion that exists on one or two days a year for a few thousand people but it simply isn’t worth $2 billion and there are things we could spend the money on that return benefits many times greater than the cost.

This road is basically a way for the rest of us to subsidise a few people heading up the coast to their bachs in summer. We pay, they get a few minutes off their travel time, the country ends up $400 million worse off. Now, who has holiday homes that they could drive to on this new motorway? Why, Steven Joyce and John Key. What an amazingly happy coincidence for them.

[Update: a commenter notes that this motorway will be in Rodney electorate. Lockwood Smith is likely to retire from the seat next election and Joyce is lining up to replace him. Pork barrel politics at its worst]

60 comments on “Joyce’s holiday highway ”

  1. toad 1

    Marty, there is another pork barrel aspect worth considering. Lockwood Smith is the current MP for Rodney electorate. He is likely to retire at the next election.

    Stephen Joyce lives in the Rodney electorate and would no doubt love to replace Lockwood as the electorate MP.

    What better way to ingratiate yourself with the local National Party movers and shakers than to give them a brand new motorway even if it is at an overall cost to the economy of $280 million.

  2. PT 2

    porkbarrel is clark wasting a billion on tunnel through her area

    • schrodigerscat 2.1

      Hey PT, stay up with the play, that seems to be what the Nats are doing too.

      • PT 2.1.1

        nats arent spending a billion more than needed on wv to save a few state houses cat

        • schrodigerscat 2.1.1.1

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10622065

          There is lying going on here somewhere

          • Tigger 2.1.1.1.1

            PT – even assuming you are right and that Helen Clark was somehow going to benefit from that tunnel, that makes what Joyce doing also porkbarrel (you imply somehow it isn’t) and more expensive porkbarrell at that.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          Neither was the Labour Party. The TOTAL cost was a little over $1B and the added cost of the tunnel was a couple of hundred million at most. But it still returned more value than was being spent. National don’t do that – they spend more than it’s worth quite literally throwing money away.

    • lprent 2.2

      Are you really that much of a f*ckwit?. Helen didn’t even want the damn thing (nor do I – Mt Albert electorate is where I grew up). The Westmere extension does nothing for Mt Albert – there isn’t even an off-ramp in the new section.

      No-one living in an existing suburbs wants a whacking great big motorway shoved through their houses and parks.

      However the MOT proved that it was required for the REST of Auckland. So she worked with MOT to something that wouldn’t intrude quite so badly into Mt Albert. Even after a more expensive option, it still came out positive – unlike these projects that Joyce is wasting money on.

      Joyce, a National party wanker who normally couldn’t give a shit about wasting money on futile projects (see post above), decided that he’d save money by making the motorway extension as noisy and intrusive as possible. Probably because the electorate doesn’t vote National. Presumably so he could waste money in his own prospective electorates.

      I gather the the SH20 extension is slowly heading back to tunnels.

      • PT 2.2.1

        its porkbarrel because helen wanted to spend twice what its worth to put in a tunnel prentice, roskill didnt get a tunnel

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          I should have read this reply – you really are a delusional f*ckwit and just not worth engaging.

    • Marty G 2.3

      PT. she didn’t waste a dollar. Waterview wasn’t built, no money was spent on it.

      Meanwhile, despite all your fluster over Clark, you seem quite happy for Key and Joyce to waste hundreds of millions on holiday highways.

      • TightyRighty 2.3.1

        Marty is right PT, waterview was a sop to that electorate, but not pork barrell politics. now if you want pork barrell politics Interest Free student loans is a much better example, with a side of WFF.

      • PT 2.3.2

        labour would ha ve built waterview maybe you missed the byelection m, labour would have wasted a bill just to save a few crummy state houses thanks labour. we need good roads not overexpensive waste like labours waterview. good on joyce for finishing roading network, labour would have wasted the money on welfare

        • Sam 2.3.2.1

          Yes because people who live in crummy state houses deserve to be homeless.

        • lprent 2.3.2.2

          The houses aren’t a major issue.

          Motorways are incredibly noisy, so it affects thousands of houses either side. Having lived in a street close to the NW motorway in Kingsland during construction and use, it turns quiet residential areas into incredibly noisy corridors. For some reason the governments never want to either compensate for reduced quality of living or reduced asset values.

          This motorway go straight through part of the greenbelt that is a critical part of that part of the city. It destroys several parks, playing fields and other amenities.

          The government will be plagued with claims for decades if they proceeded with Joyces original plans – pushing the price up a *lot*. That is probably why they’ve now reverted to an under priced tunnel option.

          You really do look like a mindless idiot mumbling lines without engaging your brain.

  3. Scribe 3

    Marty,

    I’m not sure if you thought no one would look at your link, but the NZTA analysis says, and I quote:

    The standard BCR (which is 0.8) measures the direct transport benefits arising from the road. The scale of these corridor investments means that it is appropriate to include wider economic benefits (WEBs); that is, the flow-on effects from the transport improvements. The result is to increase the BCR (to 1.1).

    Were you economical with the fact on the Transmission Gully figures as well? Just curious.

    • PT 3.1

      haha good one scribe

      • jarbury 3.1.1

        The wider economic benefits are pretty “airey fairy”, and NZTA have not actually conducted much research into how real they are yet. So I’d take them with a seriously large grain of salt.

    • snoozer 3.2

      so if we include these WEBs then we’ll get $1.54 billion of benefits over the life of the motorway for spending $1.4 billion?

      Mate, we could just put the money in the bank and do better than that after a couple of years.

      • Scribe 3.2.1

        Oh, and it’ll save lives, too, fixing roads in two fatality crash hot spots. What price do we put on that?

        • Armchair Critic 3.2.1.1

          They will be in the B/C.
          Last time I read the manual (admittedly it was many years ago) the value of a life was something like $5 million. I expect the manual will be available online through the NZTA website and anyone who is curious would just need to read the manual.
          The B/C will also include injury and non-injury accident costs/savings, based on a reasonably comprehensive database of motor vehicle accidents.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2.1.1.1

            The roading cost benefit analysis should only be used to compare roading projects.
            I dont think there is any basis to moving the numbers outside to investment in the bank say.
            the lives saved are minuscule to say what the investment in health dollars would do

            The real waste is the roading projects elsewhere that have better numbers that will miss out.

            • Scribe 3.2.1.1.1.1

              The real waste is the roading projects elsewhere that have better numbers that will miss out.

              Genuine question: What other projects that are in the pipeline have better B/C ratios?

              • Armchair Critic

                I’ve had a look through the NZTA website and the best I can do is this:
                http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/national-land-transport-programme/2009-2012/docs/nltp-2009.pdf
                They don’t seem to be big on providing B/C figures, so I can’t answer your question directly, except to say that I identified some highway projects with B/Cs of between 3 and 6 in the late 1990s and even today most of them are still waiting to be built. And they have white crosses and flowers on the fence lines. Higher priorities, I guess.

              • Bright Red

                Come off it scribe. You really think the best the government can spend its money on is a motorway with a -20% or 10% return over its life time?

              • Armchair Critic

                And if there genuinely are no projects with a better B/C than this one (at 1.1) then it must be time to stop investing money in roading.

    • killingingthenameof 3.3

      If something is funded out of general taxation it needs to have a BCR greater than 1.17 (though estimates vary) to make up for the loss of efficency from taxation.

  4. Many thanks for the link and kind words Marty. It was actually my trusty lieutenant Jeremy Harris who wrote that particular post though.

    Regarding Waterview (what a typical sidetrack that is), the latest plans are for something very similar to Labour’s proposal, but apparently for half the price. I am rather suspicious that delivering such an option for the said price is impossible.

  5. Pat 5

    “The only time there is congestion is on the 27th of December and 2nd of January”

    Oh, so all the other times I’m sitting in queues of traffic, I must be imagining things.

    • Scribe 5.1

      True, Pat. Where do you live, Marty? (City name fine, don’t need street address :D)

    • PT 5.2

      sundays and fridays that road is a nightmare partly because some plonker put lights in and some stupid person put road works in at busiest time of year

      • Tigger 5.2.1

        A nightmare? Really? Are there meterors flying from space at you and dinosaurs running across the road? Or is it just a bit busy, like almost every major road in Auckland at certain times? And is it worth the investment, the losing investment, that Joyce wants to sink into it? No. There are other projects of better value or that would return better economic benefit. But Joyce is building this to improve his and his mates’ situation.

        • Scribe 5.2.1.1

          Where do you live, Tigger?

          • Armchair Critic 5.2.1.1.1

            Why do you care where people live, scribe?
            I live in NZ – tax dollars I have paid will be used to fund this extravagance, and I would rather they were better spent.

            • Scribe 5.2.1.1.1.1

              I’m just wondering if these people have ever driven this road and have any idea what they’re talking about. In fact, looking at the figures quoted about 22,000 cars in peak times, I wonder if the transport people have ever driven the road or counted vehicles.

              • snoozer

                of course they’ve counted the cars, that’s how the minister got the number.

                how did you get your number?

              • Armchair Critic

                I used to drive it all the time. It does get busy, especially on the Friday evenings of a holiday weekend (tomorrow should be packed) and the last day of holiday weekends. I don’t see how it is relevant whether any particular person has driven the route or not.
                The post seems to be about the low B/C for the project and the idea that the promoter of the project could run as MP for the electorate where it is to be built. Coincidentally, of course.
                I’ll take your word for it that the B/C could be 1.1, rather than 0.8. Which leads me to the question of whether there are any other projects with higher B/Cs anywhere in the country. I would much prefer see the money spent on 400 projects at an average of $1million each with B/Cs of at least 2.
                If there are no projects anywhere with B/Cs greater than 1.1, surely we should stop investing in roading infrastructure.

              • Bright Red

                exactly, armchair critic.

                Rather than spend $1.4 billion over nine years on a motorway, I bet you could make a programme for the same money over the same period targeting children at risk of under-achivement and falling into crime that would have a BCR ten times as great.

                Someone wrote about a small programme like that on the Standard a while back. Why not upscale it instead of building a useless motorway where traffic volumes are falling?

              • Armchair Critic

                “Why not upscale it instead of building a useless motorway where traffic volumes are falling?”
                I agree.
                Righties tend to think of investment in social programmes as money down the drain and I was trying to stick to the point, focus on infrastructure investment. One million dollars can do a fair bit of what was termed “minor safety improvements” on roads, cutting back banks to improve visibility around corners, resealing with a different seal to improve traction, upgrading signage, etc. It is not as glamorous as a big new motorway extension, but much more effective. Less opportunity for politicking, but better value for money. Perhaps that explains the desire to build the motorway.

      • snoozer 5.2.2

        PT. So traffic is a little slow for you some days. Why should the rest of us pay build a white elephant to make your life a little easier? It’s nice for you but the minor benefits for a few people just don’t justify the cost to the country.

        There’s so much more we could do with $1.4 billion that would crate many times that amount in benefit.

        captcha – unnecessarily – yup

        • PT 5.2.2.1

          its not a white elephant snoozer youre being stupid again, cost benefit is better than public transport. if you dont like money being spent on roads then protest about public transport spending too

    • Sam 5.3

      Get on a bus.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.4

      tell that to the suburban Aucklanders who are in queues morning and night.

      • Sam 5.4.1

        I do! 😀

      • lprent 5.4.2

        I’m in queues whenever I drive.

        But these days if I don’t need the car during the day, I just get a bus. Doing two buses with the bus lanes takes about 30 mins to get to work very consistently.

        Taking the car takes between 20 minutes and 45 minutes (worst was about 70 minutes), depending if there is a crash on the harbor bridge.

        The bus is no stress, I can read my iphone, and I don’t have to park at the end. It is also a lot cheaper than driving, maintaining, and owning a car.

        The only downside is that I have to use an umbrella to get to the bus stop if it is pissing down with rain.

        • PT 5.4.2.1

          what a stupid idea prentice, how many public transport buses go to warkworth. a big fat zero

  6. Pat 6

    The trouble is Joyce is too green in NZ politics. He doesn’t understand that a minimum 20 year talkfest is required before any motorway can be built.

    Damn his Australian-like Do-it-now attitude.

    • snoozer 6.1

      damn his ‘let’s spend more money on projects than we get in benefits’ attitude

      and you realise that by ‘do it now’ you mean ‘do it in 9 years’ eh? because that’s when the motorway will be done, if (big if) everything goes to plan

  7. I wish they would stop wasting so much money on roading projects and used these billions of dollars they apparently have lying around free to throw away on saving a few minutes of traffic time for some job creating instead.

  8. Clarke 8

    It appears Joyce’s ridiculous roading projects are being given the slap-down elsewhere – Wellingtonians are now comparing them with Muldoon’s Think Big.

  9. Bored 9

    At the risk of being very boring what is the f***g point of investing megabucks building roads?????? it might be wiser to invest the remaining oil based energy in alternatives such as rail. And dont give me the normal techno triumphalist or market rationalist bollocks about “alternatives” (unless of course you can demonstrate realities that dont break the laws of thermodynamics, are sustainable and also meet todays scale of deployment at a price the “market” can deliver at).

  10. Brett 10

    Trains suck arse.

    • Armchair Critic 10.1

      “Trains suck arse”
      Which says more about your arse than it does about trains.

  11. There is a possible link here between Nat’s attempts to exclude parts of Rodney from Auckland Super City and this motorway because it otherwise makes no sense. The start of the motorway (Puhoi) is approximately where the boundary would have started.

    The rumour that I heard was that wealthy supporters of the Nats with substantial land interests wanted the northern part of Rodney excluded from the Super City so that subdivision of their land would be easier. There is an article about the ARC and a map showing the area here.

    Building a motorway near their land is perhaps compensation.

    • Pat 11.1

      Another possibility is that the existing Puhoi to Wellsford road is a 40km windy goat track which contains several notorious black-spots, two sets of traffic lights, and the craziest intersection known to man.

      Just a rumour. I’m sure your rumour about the motorway being a sop to disgruntled fat cat developers is more accurate.

  12. BLiP 12

    National :Ltd®’s overseas banker mates financing the roading must be dancing in delight for it seems this government is humming:

    ” ♫ ♪ . . . The white line is the life line to the nation.
    And men like Joyce and Rodney make it move

    ‘Cos

    Jammin’ gears has got to be a fever.
    And men become addicted to the grind.
    It takes a special breed, to be a road buildin’ man
    And a steady hand to pull that load behind! . . . ♪ ♫”

  13. jarbury 13

    The thing is that 95% of the problem could be fixed by building a pretty simple $50 million bypass of Warkworth. Warkworth’s the problem, so bypass the place – sounds pretty simple to me.

    Instead for some unknown reason we apparently need to spend 30 times that amount on a 38km motorway so the Joyce and Key can get to their beach-houses faster. Sounds crazy to me.

    • lprent 13.1

      Or even if you want to be really cheap – just get rid of the damn lights at Warkworth

      • jarbury 13.1.1

        What really confuses me is why NZTA are spending millions widening SH1 through Warkworth when they’re going to bypass it in just a few years? Does Warkworth really needs a 4-lane superhighway cut right through the centre of town if that road isn’t even going to be State Highway 1 in a few years’ time?

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    4 days ago
  • The censors who’ll save us from ourselves… yeah right!
    Nick Hanne writes – There’s a common malady suffered by bureaucracies the world over. They wish to save us from ourselves. Sadly, NZ officials are no less prone to exhibiting symptoms of this occupational condition. Observe, for instance, the reaction from certain public figures to the news ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • The case for commissioners to govern the capital city
    Peter Dunne writes – As the city of Tauranga prepares to elect a new Mayor and Council after three and a half years being run by government-appointed Commissioners, the case for replacing the Wellington City Council with Commissioners strengthens. The Wellington City Council has been dysfunctional for years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Thoughts about contemporary troubles.
    This will be s short post. It stems from observations I made elsewhere about what might be characterised as some macro and micro aspects of contemporary collective violence events. Here goes. The conflicts between Israel and Palestine and France and … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On Blurring The Lines Around Political Corruption
    It may be a relic of a previous era of egalitarianism, but many of us like to think that, in general, most New Zealanders are as honest as the day is long. We’re good like that, and smart as. If we’re not punching above our weight on the world stage, ...
    4 days ago
  • MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Bryce Edwards writes – Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • King Mike & Mike King.
    I built a time machine to see you againTo hear your phone callYour voice down the hallThe way we were back thenWe were dancing in the rainOur feet on the pavementYou said I was your second headI knew exactly what you meantIn the country of the blind, or so they ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The register published on Tuesday contains a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • How much climate reality can the global financial system take without collapsing?
    Microsoft’s transparency about its failure to meet its own net-zero goals is creditable, but the response to that failure is worrying. It is offering up a set of false solutions, heavily buttressed by baseless optimism. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 24-May-2024
    Another Friday, another Rāmere Roundup! Here are a few things that caught our eye this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, our new writer Connor Sharp roared into print with a future-focused take on the proposed Auckland Future Fund, and what it could invest in. On ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Earning The Huia Feather.
    Still Waiting: Māori land remains in the hands of Non-Māori. The broken promises of the Treaty remain broken. The mana of the tangata whenua languishes under racist neglect. The right to wear the huia feather remains as elusive as ever. Perhaps these three transformations are beyond the power of a ...
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, May 24
    Posters opposing the proposed Fast-Track Approvals legislation were pasted around Wellington last week. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: One of the architects of the RMA and a former National Cabinet Minister, Simon Upton, has criticised the Government’s Fast-Track Approvals bill as potentially disastrous for the environment, arguing just 1% ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to May 24
    There was less sharing of the joy this week than at the Chinese New Year celebrations in February. China’s ambassador to NZ (2nd from right above) has told Luxon that relations between China and New Zealand are now at a ‘critical juncture’ Photo: Getty / Xinhua News AgencyTL;DR: The podcast ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Beijing troubleshooter’s surprise visit
    The importance of New Zealand’s relationship with China was surely demonstrated yesterday with the surprise arrival in the capital of top Chinese foreign policy official Liu Jianchao. The trip was apparently organized a week ago but kept secret. Liu is the Minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) International Liaison ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • UK election a foregone conclusion?  That’s why it’s interesting
    With a crushing 20-plus point lead in the opinion polls, all the signs are that Labour leader Keir Starmer will be the PM after the general election on 4 July, called by Conservative incumbent Rishi Sunak yesterday. The stars are aligned for Starmer.  Rival progressives are in abeyance: the Liberal-Democrat ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2021
    Open access notables How much storage do we need in a fully electrified future? A critical review of the assumptions on which this question depends, Marsden et al., Energy Research & Social Science: Our analysis advances the argument that current approaches reproduce interpretations of normality that are, ironically, rooted in ...
    4 days ago
  • Days in the life
    We returned last week from England to London. Two different worlds. A quarter of an hour before dropping off our car, we came to a complete stop on the M25. Just moments before, there had been six lanes of hurtling cars and lorries. Now, everything was at a standstill as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Forget about its name and focus on its objective – this RMA reform bill aims to cut red tape (and ...
    Buzz from the Beehive A triumvirate of ministers – holding the Agriculture, Environment and RMA Reform portfolios – has announced the introduction of legislation “to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling development in key sectors”, such as farming, mining and other primary industries. The exact name of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • More National corruption
    In their coalition agreement with NZ First, the National Party agreed to provide $24 million in funding to the charity "I Am Hope / Gumboot Friday". Why were they so eager to do so? Because their chair was a National donor, their CEO was the son of a National MP ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Submit!
    The Social Services and Community Committee has called for submissions on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Wednesday, 3 July 2024, and can be made at the link above. And if you're wondering what to say: section 7AA was enacted because Oranga Tamariki ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Reading the MPS numbers thinking about the fiscal situation
    Michael Reddell writes –  The Reserve Bank doesn’t do independent fiscal forecasts so there is no news in the fiscal numbers in today’s Monetary Policy Statement themselves. The last official Treasury forecasts don’t take account of whatever the government is planning in next week’s Budget, and as the Bank notes ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Charter Schools are a worthwhile addition to our school system – but ACT is mis-selling why they a...
    Rob MacCulloch writes – We know the old saying, “Never trust a politician”, and the Charter School debate is a good example of it. Charter Schools receive public funding, yet “are exempt from most statutory requirements of traditional public schools, including mandates around .. human capital management .. curriculum ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Paranoia On The Left.
    How Do We Silence Them? The ruling obsession of the contemporary Left is that political action undertaken by individuals or groups further to the right than the liberal wings of mainstream conservative parties should not only be condemned, but suppressed.WEB OF CHAOS, a “deep dive into the world of disinformation”, ...
    5 days ago
  • Budget challenges
    Muriel Newman writes –  As the new Government puts the finishing touches to this month’s Budget, they will undoubtedly have had their hands full dealing with the economic mess that Labour created. Not only was Labour a grossly incompetent manager of the economy, but they also set out ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Rishi calls an Election.
    Today the British PM, Rishi Sunak, called a general election for the 4th of July. He spoke of the challenging times and of strong leadership and achievements. It was as if he was talking about someone else, a real leader, rather than he himself or the woeful list of Tory ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Photo of the Day: GNR
    This post marks the return of an old format: Photo of the Day. Recently I was in an apartment in one of those new buildings on Great North Road Grey Lynn at rush hour, perfect day, the view was stunning, so naturally I whipped out my phone: GNR 5pm Turns ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    5 days ago
  • Choosing landlords and the homeless over first home buyers
    The Government may struggle with the political optics of scrapping assistance for first home buyers while also cutting the tax burden on landlords, increasing concerns over the growing generational divide. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government confirmed it will dump first home buyer grants in the Budget next ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Orr’s warning; three years of austerity
    Yesterday, the Reserve Bank confirmed there will be no free card for the economy to get out of jail during the current term of the Government. Regardless of what the Budget next week says, we are in for three years of austerity. Over those three years, we will have to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • An admirable U-turn
    It doesn’t inspire confidence when politicians change their minds.  But you must give credit when a bad idea is dropped. Last year, we reported on the determination of British PM Rishi Sunak to lead the world in regulating the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps he changed his mind after meeting ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Can we really suck up Carbon Dioxide?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Is carbon dioxide removal - aka "negative emissions" - going to save us from climate change? Or is it just a ...
    5 days ago
  • Public funding for private operators in mental health and housing – and a Bill to erase a bit of t...
    Headed for the legislative wastepaper basket…    Buzz from the Beehive It looks like this government is just as ready as its predecessor to dip into the public funds it is managing to dispense millions of dollars to finance – and favour – the parties it fancies. Or ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Why has Einstein Medalist Roy Kerr never been Knighted?
    Rob MacCulloch writes – National and Labour and ACT have at various times waxed on about their “vision” of NZ as a high value-added world tech center What subject is tech based upon? Mathematics. A Chicago mathematician just told me that whereas last decade ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Contestable advice
    Eric Crampton writes –  Danyl McLauchlan over at The Listener on the recent shift toward more contestability in public policy advice in education: Education Minister Erica Stanford, one of National’s highest-ranked MPs, is trying to circumvent the establishment, taking advice from a smaller pool of experts – ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How did it get so bad?
    Ele Ludemann writes – That Kāinga Ora is a mess is no surprise, but the size of the mess is. There have been many reports of unruly tenants given licence to terrorise neighbours, properties bought and left vacant, and the state agency paying above market rates in competition ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    The scathing “independent” review of Kāinga Ora barely hit the table before the coalition government had acted on it. The entire Kāinga Ora board will be replaced, and a new chair (Simon Moutter) has been announced. Hmm. No aspersions on Bill English, but the public would have had more confidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Our House.
    I'll light the fireYou place the flowers in the vaseThat you bought todayA warm dry home, you’d think that would be bread and butter to politicians. Home ownership and making sure people aren’t left living on the street, that’s as Kiwi as Feijoa and Apple Crumble. Isn’t it?The coalition are ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Getting to No
    Politics is about compromise, right?  And framing it so the voters see your compromise as the better one.  John Key was a skilful exponent of this approach (as was Keith Holyoake in an earlier age), and Chris Luxon isn’t too bad either. But in politics, the process whereby an old ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – How does the Medieval Warm Period compare to current global temperatures?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result of his non-disclosure could even see ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Get your story straight, buddy
    The relentless drone coming out of the Prime Minister and his deputy for a million days now has been that the last government was just hosing  money all over the show and now at last the grownups are in charge and shutting that drunken sailor stuff down. There is a word ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • A govt plane is headed for New Caledonia – here’s hoping the Kiwis stranded there get better ser...
    Buzz from the Beehive Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to riot-torn New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home. Today’s flight will carry around 50 passengers with the most ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Who is David MacLeod?
    Precious declaration saysYours is yours and mine you leave alone nowPrecious declaration saysI believe all hope is dead no longerTick tick tick Boom!Unexploded ordnance. A veritable minefield. A National caucus with a large number of unknowns, candidates who perhaps received little in the way of vetting as the party jumped ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • The Four Knights
    Rex Ahdar writes –  The Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, likes to trace his political lineage back to the pioneers of parliamentary Maoridom.   I will refer to these as the ‘big four’ or better still, the Four Knights. Just as ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Could Willie Jackson be the populist leader that Labour need?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  Willie Jackson will participate in the prestigious Oxford Union debate on Thursday, following in David Lange’s footsteps. Coincidentally, Jackson has also followed Lange’s footsteps by living in his old home in South Auckland. And like Lange, Jackson might be the sort of loud-mouth scrapper ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago

  • Minister to Singapore for defence, technology talks
    Defence and Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Judith Collins departs for Singapore tomorrow for defence and technology summits and meetings. First up is the Asia Tech X Singapore Summit, followed by the Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers Meeting and wrapping up with the Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
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