Key gambles with Aucklanders’ future

Written By: - Date published: 11:51 am, July 27th, 2010 - 53 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack, john key, local body elections, local government - Tags:

John Key glibly admitted yesterday that the Supercity is “risky”. We’ve been saying it all along and the evidence is all that the Supercity will be expensive, unrepresentative, and unresponsive to local needs. So, if it’s so risky, why the hell is Key doing it?

Where is the promise of benefit to outweigh the costs (which Rodney Hide once said will be minuscule and are now in the hundreds of millions of dollars)? Like Zetetic asked yesterday: ‘where’s their evidence?’

Where is the Nats and Act’s evidence that the Supercity will improve the lives of the people of Auckland? We’ve had all kinds of spurious, vague promises but where’s the evidence to back them up?

I think those promises of growth and better transport are reliable as Hide’s promises that the change over would be cheap.

And if Key is now admitting that forming the Supercity is a risk we have to ask a) why the rush and b) why didn’t Aucklanders get to decide whether it was a risk they wanted to take.

You’ll recall that Key and Hide took the 800 page Royal Commission Report on Auckland, tore most of it up and produced a lightweight, vague document in a matter of weeks with no research behind it and no detail to follow. Then, they passed legislation under Extraordinary Urgency that denied Aucklanders the right that everyone has under the Local Government Act to a referendum when council mergers are proposed.

The Supercity is a huge risk, a potential disaster. Aucklanders deserved to be able to make an informed choice on whether to take it. Instead, our money trader, our middle management banker turned PM, decided he would take the gamble. And, just like in money trading, it’s the ordinary people, not Key and his mates who will pay if he has bet wrong.

There is, however, one choice he didn’t take away from the people of Auckland (as he did from the people of Canterbury). Aucklanders will still get to choose who governs the Supercity that has been imposed on them.

53 comments on “Key gambles with Aucklanders’ future ”

  1. zimmer 1

    The Labour version would also be just as risky, there is always risk in undertaking tasks like this. To think otherwise is just plain nievity.

    • Kevin Welsh 1.1

      So you’re saying that Labour would have bypassed the consultation process, ignored the Royal Commission Report, not held a referendum and passed this under urgency?

      • burt 1.1.1

        precedent says Labour would have done whatever was in their best interests to get re-elected. (or to excuse them from accountability when the AG said they broke the law)

      • ZB 1.1.2

        No, he’s saying Labour would be worse than National, instead of a few getting huge tax cuts and the many all paying more to cover them. Labour would be worse! The few would pay more tax and the many would get richer. Think about that for a second, how awful, having to share the shopping malls with riff raff! Its take them thirty years to get the economy running right, where only the choosen few can afford to consume. Neo-liberalism is great!

    • ZB 1.2

      What has this to do with Labour? Your favored party hey? who you think are so great they’d be no better or worse than National! Geez, grow a backbone! Browning your nose again I see.

      Its pretty simple, Burma, has no freedom of speach and large multinational companies come and go as they please. Whereas we have a free press and huge debts. Now I was taught that a free press were supposed to provide a check on the avarice of the stupidly greedy who selflessly trash the common wealth for our ‘economic good’, trust them. Now we should be more like Burma, they don’t consult about a super city, the chosen Randian few don’t pay taxes, the press actually works in Burma to support the economy by keeping silent and not pressing home neo-liberal shit. Wouldn’t it just be easier to have a military dictatorship here without this pathethic glee club show trying to pass off a Democratic process over the stupid city.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Playing devil’s advocate, I do believe that the majority of Aucklanders want a supercity in general (although possibly not NACT’s or any other particular vision for one), so spending money on a referendum with a foregone conclusion is a waste of money.

    • lprent 2.1

      Sure most Aucklanders probably want a super-city, just to get around some of the regional development issues. However it would have been more like a revamped ACC without the idiotic vetos that made it ineffective.

      The referendum would have been on differing implementations of the super-city. The Royal Commission had several alternative implementations after going through extensive consultation. Essentially they came back with what Aucklanders thought would work. Which was a ACC regional type structure.

      However the NACTs essentially ignored all of those to come up with their piss-arse legislation. They literally imposed an solution on Auckland that we’re bloody sure won’t work effectively. It was another act of ideological stupidity by this idiotic government. They rammed it through parliament using urgency, and ignored the select committee submissions (where they held them at all).

      The only hope that NACT had of legitimizing heir plan would have been to front up and let Aucklanders vote on it or to have some real consultation. Since they knew that they wouldn’t win that debate, they tried an evasion. They’re going to get shafted for it in the next election – especially after the rate rises come in next year to pay for this idiotic over-centralization.

      Rodney Hide and Act in particular are history unless they win a seat outside of Auckland. Good riddance to ideological nitwits is all I can say.

      • burt 2.1.1

        lprent

        Both major parties behave like this in govt, that’s not making it right though. As fas as passing innefective or shabby legislation to push an agenda is concerned the only issue is that partisan people defend it in their team and complain about the other team. The day when the first consideration is the legislation rather than the team passing it is the day this situation will start to change.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          Ah, no burt, they don’t. Labour, despite being centre right, does as a matter of fact base their decisions on research. Whereas National and Act both base their decisions on their beliefs – all of which have been empirically proven false.

          • burt 2.1.1.1.1

            Yes of course dear, that’s right. Labour good, National bad.

            (research = internal polling to make sure it won’t effect the next election in a negative way….)

            • george 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t think that you can say everything Labour does is good Burt. I agree with you that they are generally better than National but you sound like an ideologue when you make such a black and white statement.

              • Draco T Bastard

                He is an ideologue – a RWNJ in fact.

                • burt

                  So I said that National and Labour are much the same in this regard and you said that Labour are good and I’m the nut job. Do mirrors really scare you Draco ?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    No, mirrors don’t scare me. Not like the truth and fact scares you.

          • Rharn 2.1.1.1.2

            Absolutely. Nat and Act policies are ideological driven. Just look at the National Standards that is being pursued on the basis that it will improve our children’s education when research overwhelmingly shows that it will not.

            • burt 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Yes compare that to the complete calm and acceptance that NCEA had when it was implemented… No dissent there was there…

              A muppet has a better memory than most people who just base their position on the colour of the party logo making the changes.

              • Zaphod Beeblebrox

                Good proposals will always attract dissent- nothing wrong with that. NCEA is actually a really well researched and thought out system that seems to be standing the test of time. Don’t see Tolley acting to reform it despite all her bluster in opposition.

                One of the criticisms of the Supercity is that the has been no evidence-based rationale for anything that has been proposed. If you know of some studies or paralell cohort analyses that support anything that has been done (Toronto? Graeter London? Ottawa? for eg) I would be interested to see.

                The ever changing rationale (sort of like the justification for invading Iraq really) back of the envelope calculations which are later downgraded to estimates and fact that they needed a massive number of amendments (over five hundred from memory) to fix the mistakes of the Auckland Bill when drafting the Auckland Act tell you everything.

              • logie97

                berk. just as an aside – NCEA was introduced by National – what is your point? – the can for their poor implementation was carried by the last government. And while we’re at it, what about separating your argument as well? NCEA is secondary level – and business driven. Standards is primary level (but seemingly still business driven).

                • Poor implementation nothing. NCEA is a fantastic system.

                  • logie97

                    take a deep breath Christopher. The system may well be wonderful. It’s introduction in the 90’s was apparently a shambles and took many years of refining for which the last administration took the “caning”.

        • lprent 2.1.1.2

          Yeah? You’re deluding yourself. I’ll only bother with one example because you only seem to be able to deal with one idea at time (exhaustively and retrospectively)….

          As an exercise go and count the number of times and number of hours that the labour led governments from 1999-2008 used urgency in the house. Then have a look at how many hours and time the NACTs have used it in 2009.

          Tell me how you can justify that crap…

          Urgency is meant to be used for a particular purpose. Specifically for passing time sensitive legislation where ambiguity will cause external issues. However NACT views it as a way of shutting down debate on the their questionable ideologically driven stupid legislation.

          • burt 2.1.1.2.1

            lprent

            No argument about urgency. Look at some previous comments I have made about the use of urgency, if you can find any partisan support for urgency (other than piss taking the “It’s OK when Labour do it” brigade) then I’ll donate $1 to the standard for every time I have done that. I have been told there was nothing to see about urgency many times when the red team were doing it – so be a total tool pretending I can’t understand more than one issue if you need to prop yourself that way – but the facts speak for themself on urgency.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.1.1

              burt, this may come as a surprise but urgency is a valid necessary part of government. National and Act abuse it. The left leaning parties don’t.

              But I don’t really expect you to understand that as it goes against your beliefs.

            • burt 2.1.1.2.1.2

              The left leaning parties don’t.

              And you call me a nut job….

  3. marsman 3

    heard Key on the radio yesterday saying the supercity would be more efficient and cheaper to run.(!) But we all know he’s a liar and the whole thing should be called The Supercity Scam.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.1

      Interesting that eficiency and cheapness were never the criteria mentioned after the RC findings were released and the rejected.

      Then again, it would have been bit hard to argue that totally dismantling all the existing structures and trying to start from nothing was ever going to be efficient.

      Anyway its good he’s finally admitted that we are getting the cheap and crappy version rather than anything of any quality.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        It may be the cheap and crappy version but it’s going to cost us an arm and a leg.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.1.1.1

          I had a car like that once. My mechanic put his children through private school as I never could admit my mistake buying it and I needed it to get to work. I never added up what I spent fixing it but it probably will have put back my retirement five years.

          We’ll never know how much stuffing up Auckland’s governance has and will cost our economy, but each little bit we have to fix will be a constant drain on all NZers.

          • comedy 3.1.1.1.1

            Auckland, North Shore, Manukau, Waitakere – have stuffed governance at present, rates go up every year services change very little and we get a variety of twats of differing political persuasions in power all looking after themselves and their mates and playing loose and fast with the long suffering ratepayers coin- will this change under a super city fat chance it will be the same old gormless bureaucrats and a mayor chosen from a line up of buffoons………. spray them with hippo pheromones and chain the lot of them up in the enclosure at the zoo.

            • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Auckland…stuffed…definitely…..North Shore….perhaps. Manukau and Waitakere well.. they have had very stable councils (and mayors) that keep getting re-elected keep rolling out new libraries, sports facilities, social services etc… Waitakere even has its own film studios.

              Don’t think we need to tar everyone with the C and R/Auckland City/ARC disaster.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Key gambles with Aucklanders’ future

    Well, DUH! We already knew that – he had Rodney Hide design the new authoritarian government structure for it.

    b) why didn’t Aucklanders get to decide whether it was a risk they wanted to take.

    Dictators (NACT) don’t ask – it gets in the way of them doing what they want and in this case that means selling off all of Auckland’s assets to themselves and their rich mates.

  5. Jim Nald 5

    Hah …
    Dear Auckland voters, collectively, … you will need to wake up.
    So you gave the show donkey your votes and he has been gambling away your political capital for himself. The risks and losses are borne by you.
    And the rest of NZ will be held to ransom to bail you out.

  6. Rharn 6

    Frankly all of the Nat/Act policies are a risk.

  7. deemac 7

    wonder if the bookies are offering odds on the supercity actually saving money? I’d fancy a punt on costs going up!

  8. Bored 8

    The whole big is beautiful argument really needs examination particularly with regard to local body politics. Super city in my mind equates to distance from and under representation by elected representatives. Add to this Hide (and the nats) determination to hoof off with the silver (aka any assetts still owned by the ratepayers) and its a bad deal all round. All I smell is larceny and a power grab. Its not a gamble, its a rort.

  9. Firsttimereader 9

    The royal commission did a lot of research. That’s what the basis of the supercity is. Any move of this size is risky. If labour had done what the royal commission asked for it would still be very risky.

    • Bored 9.1

      The Royal Commission from what I understand did as you say a lot of research without ever reaching any unanimity about the desired outcome. Hide by comparison knew exactly what his backers wanted, power to drive political / economic agendas and control over assets so as to sieze them for private purposes.

      What is very obvious now is that the people of Auckland are thoroughly divided over the whole issue, nobody has a clear mandate. In these circumstances it would be highly suspect politically for any interest group to ram through changes to their own benefit. Without that mandate the status quo is a preferable option.

      • Firsttimereader 9.1.1

        yeah that’s why support for the national government is at an all time low in auckland, because voters aren’t giving the government a mandate.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      It would still have been risky but at least it would have been well researched and it wouldn’t have been rushed. Unlike the NACT process that wasn’t researched at all and pushed through as fast as as possible.

  10. ZakC 10

    evidence.. you ask for.. where’s the evidence.?

    And the answer mon amis is: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.. see !

    But of course, neither are ye judge and jury on this case.. or are ye?

    One thing for certain arises.. that neither the PM nor his Minister of Local Government are Keynes fans. For if they were they would know his learning: namely that those who mess with a stable structure to make a riskier bet (a la casino in style) will attain the job ill-done.

    • burt 10.1

      ZakC

      But to adhere to maintenance of the stable structure because all restructure is risky creates the ineffective bloated model that eventually ties itself up in its own importance and becomes ineffective. Balance and process, both have been lacking but that’s not one in the same issue with the need to restructure stable but ineffective governance.

      The identification of the requirement for change was not Nationals, the implementation is.

  11. Gooner 11

    Why didn’t you reproduce the speech and comments of the Lord Mayor of Brisbane?

    I know why.

    He’s a glass half full person, and most here are glass half empty types.

    • loota 11.1

      Not only is the glass half empty, some people are determined to let private enterprise sell for profit what little water remains!!!

      • burt 11.1.1

        The glass is as full or empty as you imagine it in a socialist nirvana. Please please don’t put me on a water meter, I’ll need to stop watering my 1/2 acre of gardens over summer. God forbid I need an expensive unsightly rain water collection system destroying the clean lines of my kiwi dream. Please let the people in neighbourhoods with dead cars rather than trees on their lawn keep subsidising the watering of my garden.

        • loota 11.1.1.1

          I should say that in contrast, a capitalist nirvana only holds enlightenment for 5% of the population, another 10-15% find it vaguely tolerable, the remainign 80% are frakked.

          “You load 16 tons and what do you get…another day older and deeper in debt”

          • Jim Nald 11.1.1.1.1

            With the Government led by John Key

            so far, I can only see

            New Zealand on track for economic nirvana

            befitting that of a republic of banana.

      • Armchair Critic 11.1.2

        Having noted that only half the glass is in use, National are legislating to privatise the unused half of the glass. This will free up unused capacity and make the glass more efficient.
        The only issue left to sort out is whether the glass should be cut vertically or horizontally. If the glass is cut horizontally, you get to keep the top half and the bottom half will be sold.
        In any case you get to keep the water.

        • Jim Nald 11.1.2.1

          That’s clever!
          Thanks to John Key’s fresh approach, banana nirvana here we come.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 11.2

      Get in quick and you make some money from that water!

  12. tc 12

    The comment about Sideshow and Hideous gambling with other folks services / infrastructure / communities sums it up and fits the M.O. of NACT whereby the agenda was known before election 08 and we’re seeing it being executed using urgency and that good old fashioned arrogance muldoon would be proud of.

    Aside from all this is the fact that councils are now blowing money as a last hurrah and F’You to Hide and Co….I came home last night to find my street having perfectly fine footpaths and driveways being replaced and not one of the workers knows why…..thanks Wodney you plonker.

  13. RobertM 13

    I’ve been living in Auckland for 7mths and it is a gamble, particularly with the probability that Len Brown will win and make the city even more suburban and pacific oriented.
    The justification for the super city is transport coordination but I doubt that either the rights idea of more motorways or the lefts of electrified light rail and a underground city loop linking low cost apartments, is the answer .Both are too expensive and extravagant.
    To me Waitakere, North Shore, Auckland and Manakau represent four distinct cultural and geographical areas and would probably have been best left seperate, particularly as the demography of the super city means power will be ceded to left everywhere in the city. Maybe Hide is clueless and Laila Harre had a clue.
    Good public tranport in Auckland does not extend furthur than the city buses running on the old tram and trolley bus routes. Rather than an extravagant rail system it might have been far better to relay the l950 tram network and extend it ofn 4ft 8 inch gauge to the Airport from Onhenugha and eventually on a new bridge to the North Shore.
    But really I view Len Brown as having even worse ideas than Rodney. The Len Brown idea seems to be the social worker police state, creati ng jobs for ordianry people and restricting alcohol and entertainment licences particularly in the inner and polynesian suburbs. It surely will make Auckland even less exciting to international talent and take us back to pre l967.

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    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    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 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    5 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    5 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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, ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago

  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 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
    7 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins

    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended

    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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