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Key’s comments a blank cheque for investors

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, July 13th, 2012 - 48 comments
Categories: law, privatisation - Tags:

Now, I’m no big city lawyer, but it seems to me that John Key may be walking on some mighty thin ice by telling prospective investors in Mighty River not to worry about the Maori Council’s water claim. If it goes wrong, isn’t he exposing himself (actually, us taxpayers) to some major law suits and very expensive damages payouts?

Here’s the scenario:

The Waitangi Tribunal does its thing and, in a month or two, finds that certain iwi have rights akin to ownership over water used (for free, at the moment) by Mighty River to make its profits.

Key says the Government will ignore that finding and presses ahead with asset sales, repeating his comments yesterday that investors have nothing to fear from the water rights issue.

49% of Mighty River is sold. About 90% of us get nothing, while a handful win out – they buy with the price reduced because of the risk created by the water claim hanging over Mighty River and then win out twice again from a reduced issuing price for retail customers and a loyalty bonus.

But the Maori Council has taken its case to court. The High Court finds in favour of the Maori Council. Mighty River is going to have to pay for its water – enough to knock a sizeable hunk off its profits. The share price drops 20%, and stays down as the appeals wind on for years.

Investors say, ‘hey, wait a minute, that Nice Man Mr Key, told us that this wouldn’t happen before we bought these shares off him. In fact, he said “I think the Government’s position will be upheld, and that is that no one owns water. I’m the Government’s major spokesperson and I need to spell out the Government’s position, and the Government’s long held, and very strongly held, view is that nobody owns water”

Like I say, I’m no big city lawyer but that looks a lot like an implied promise that Mighty River won’t have to pay for water. Isn’t that breach of contract?, let alone the much tighter rules around issues of securities? Would it expose the Crown to action under trade agreements? The experts giving evidence at the Waitangi Tribunal think so.

And what if it then comes out that the major shareholder, the Crown, had official advice on the likely results of a court battle that it hadn’t shared with prospective buyers and, later, its fellow shareholders – would there be insider trading issues there? Would that be analogous to the Facebook IPO, where information about Facebook’s deteriorating growth outlook was allegedly hidden from retail investors, leading to a multi-billion dollar law suit?

Key’s really making a mess of this. If he goes ahead, the rest of us are going to pay big time.

48 comments on “Key’s comments a blank cheque for investors”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    Another thing that could happen is that if the Crown acts to extinguish an iwi’s water right in some way, they could be taken to court under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Key signed up to and called “symbolic”.

    That could happen irrespective of Waitangi Tribunal findings; it’s a whole seperate recognition of indegenous rights

    • Populuxe1 1.1

      That’s pretty much what Labour did with the Foreshore and Seabed Act.
      Given that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should already cover everything, I’ve never really understood the necessity of a separate Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as being anything other than political. Article 1: “Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights law.”
      I regard Key’s signing of it as a cynical piece of politicking  – most of the content is covered within our own legislation, and that which isn’t doesn’t really relate because it largely only applies to indigenous populations that are not integrated with the larger community – in that sense it is symbolic. Nor is there any aspect that covers what happens when one Declaration comes into conflict with the other.

  2. Kotahi Tane Huna 2

    I suggest we simply refuse to pay. Tear up the TPPA, repossess our property and forward all complaints to Hawaii.

    Caveat emptor.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Eddie’s post points to a familiar scenario where public, ie taxpayer, money is used in court actions to try and deliver a result for finance capital. ‘The people’ pay to be disadvantaged. It is seen regularly in local government when ratepayers challenge developers.

    “We’ll take the assets back with no compensation” is what I would like to hear from Greens and Labour, that should scare the horses. That position is taken as read amongst Mana members I have talked to. The Waitangi Tribunal hearing, referendum petition and growing public feeling must have ShonKey’s toupee lifting.

    • Te Reo Putake 3.1

      “We’ll take the assets back with no compensation”
       
      I’ve been pushing a slightly less revolutionary line, TM. Immediate return of the 49% to we the people, with compensation at purchase price or current market price, whichever is the lower, over the next ten years. No interest payable, no right to dividends. 
       
      In other words, investors would risk their money becoming an interest free loan to the people of NZ, repaid over a decade, possibly at a sizeable discount to the actual amount invested. As they say in the UK: ‘Warning! Your investment can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invested.’ A lot less, hopefully.

      • Tiger Mountain 3.1.1

        Your ‘Real Politik’ approach may well prevail TRP. But you have to push it to the max I reckon at this particular time. The force is weak for a short time. The less ‘revolutionary’ line really just panders to ShonKey. Advance maximum demands and then there is always room to move.

        The Greeks folded, the Spanish folded and it has just become a bad habit imo for nations and organisations to fold after so many years of neo liberalism.

        There is a potential unity between Māori and non Māori here in opposition to asset sales despite the wedge politics the torys are running, an opportunity that should not be missed.

    • No responsible party would promote financial sabotage like that.

      If Greens or Mana choose to do it as a bottom line for coalition it would make it very difficult for Labour to commit to a coalition with either party – Labour know the realities and responsibilities of being in government, so I very much doubt they would be able to go there.

      • Te Reo Putake 3.2.1

        Well, if no responsible party will do it, perhaps United Future can give it a go, Pete 😉
         
        The point is to send a message to anyone thinking of ripping NZ off that they risk losing significant amounts of money on their gamble. Hopefully the MRP float will collapse under the weight of uncertainty and the other floats will not go then go ahead. That outcome would be beneficial for Kiwis long term and probably end this lame Government overnight. Win/Win!

        • Pete George 3.2.1.1

          No, it could actually cost the country quite a bit. Lose/lose money. Just because some hissy parties want to get their own way at any cost, despite our established democratic legislative process.

          I don’t think Labour would seriously consider anythjing like that, and if they did it would make it very difficult for them to have a serious shot at running government from 2014. I’m sure anyone in the party with any sense and say understands this, hence they’re not committing political suicide.

          It could be quite destablising for the party if some from within Labour promoted sabotage.

          • Ben 3.2.1.1.1

            “Just because some hissy parties want to get their own way at any cost…”
            Like NActUF and their idealogically driven desire to sell the power companies and AirNZ? I mean, there is no economics-based case which can be made for the sale (they’ve given up trying), yet Key etc are desperate for the sale to go ahead.

            Gotta make you wonder what the real agenda is. Bankers, eh? Who’d vote for one?

            You do have somewhat of a point, though: Saying for certain that you’ll buy back the assets for whatever given price, up front, is a risky thing to do – if the cost of borrowing goes up between when that assertion is made and when it comes time to pay the bill, it may not be such an attractive option for the government at the time. Backing out would then be seen as failing to live up to promises, etc etc.

            I think Labour are right not to jump on the same bandwagon as the Greens and MANA here, but they certainly should be making it clear that they won’t rule it out and would consider it as part of confidence and supply agreements.

            You just need to make enough rustling to spook the horses and drive the IPO share value down. That’s it. Remove the confidence and there is no market.

      • North 3.2.2

        Pete George you really are a fool of a man. No wonder UF is the widely accepted acronym for Utterly Fucked.

        “No responsible party would promote financial sabotage…….”

        For God’s sake open your idiot ears to the widespread and respectable opinion that what The Ponce of Wall Street/City of London and what your darling Le Bouffant are doing to NZ is seminal in terms of financial sabotage.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.3

        It’s not sabotage – it’s protecting our resources and our community. Selling them off is the sabotage.

  4. The High Court finds in favour of the Maori Council. Mighty River is going to have to pay for its water – enough to knock a sizeable hunk off its profits.

    I’ve heard differently – that if there is a successful financial claim for water then the Crown will be liable, no matter what the ownership structure of the power companies is.

    So taxpayers would end up paying whatever happens.

    • Pascal's bookie 4.1

      Where’d you hear that? And I’m not quite sure what you mean by ” financial claim for water”, but no mind.

      Seems to me that if it’s found that iwi own the water, then iwi and the Crown will have to work out what they are going to do. Any number of solutions would be on the table I would hope.

      • Pete George 4.1.1

        Some are saying Maori should be paid for water (financial claim), some are saying it’s not about money. Pita Sharples:

        What we seek in the hearings of the Tribunal is not about money, it is about relationships and respect, it is about acknowledgement of past wrongs, in the hope that we can move forward.

        http://yournz.org/2012/07/12/pita-sharples-honouring-our-ancestors-leading-with-our-hearts/

        And it’s not about exclusive ownership:

        “In one sense Maori own the water because of our whakapapa, our relationship with the environment, the forests, the mountains […] it’s part of our genealogy to be connected and our concept of ownership is not exclusive, it does not cut anyone else of ownership, it’s an obligation to use and look after,” he says.

        Dr Sharples says the Government has regulatory ownership of land, “so in some ways the Government acts like the owner” and says disputes about ownership have a wide-ranging definition.

        http://www.3news.co.nz/Maori-Party-wont-sever-ties-over-asset-sales/tabid/1607/articleID/260885/Default.aspx

        I presume others will have similar views to Sharples.

        • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.1

          I’m not sure how you get from what Sharples said to saying:

          ” that if there is a successful financial claim for water then the Crown will be liable, no matter what the ownership structure of the power companies is”

          And if you look at the context of his comments, he’s talking about whakapapa. It’s about the strength of the ties to the water, and the respect for it. It’s not about saying that he’s cool with the idea of waters being diverted, or sprayed all over paddocks to grow grass while the rivers die.

          • Populuxe1 4.1.1.1.1

            That’s debatable. Muriwhenua petitioned the Waitangi Tribunal for the rights to introduce channel catfish back in 1989. That would have been an eco-disaster. That doesn’t really scream “the strength of the ties to the water, and the respect for it” to me

    • Socialist Paddy 4.2

      Various Maori have said they are prepared for the Crown to continue to use the water ways because it is for the benefit of all of New Zealand.
       
      But privatising the shares means that some foreign merchant banker is going to benefit.
       
      So why wouldn’t Maori then be entitled to insist on their rights being respected.
       
      And why would the Goverment be so stupid as to sell well performing power companies to private interests so that it not only loses the asset but also gets the bill so that a private shareholder does not miss out?

      • Populuxe1 4.2.1

        As it stands, state ownership of water benefits all New Zealanders, including all Maori citizens of New Zealand. Handing over significant control to individual Iwi is no better than selling it to a private corporate because ultimately increased prices (profit) will be passed on down the line, and I’d suggest that Maori are most likely to be hardest hit by such hikes.

    • Tiger Mountain 4.3

      Genius, Pete.

      That is what I took from Eddie’s post. The taxpayer foots the bill to put themselves in a worse position via exported dividends adding to the Foreign Account Deficit and increased power charges sooner rather than later. Excellent.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    “Like I say, I’m no big city lawyer but that looks a lot like an implied promise that Mighty River won’t have to pay for water.”

    Water rights won’t be an issue for investors. Mighty River Power has existing 30 year rights for use of water.

    From the article:

    The Government addresses those genuine rights that Maori have through a variety of different mechanisms, but whether Mighty River Power is 100 per cent owned by the Government, or 51 per cent owned doesn’t alter the 30-year water rights they may have.

    I imagine most shareholders would be very happy for a 30 year window for profits from water generation.

    • Pascal's bookie 5.1

      That’s John Key’s position. Oh well then, everyone can just go home now then I guess.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    “That’s John Key’s position.”

    Given that he is in charge of marketing this, one would have to assume he has received some fairly authoritative advice on all this. So, do you have any reason to doubt what he says?

    “Oh well then, everyone can just go home now then I guess.”

    Pretty much.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Given that he is in charge of marketing this, one would have to assume he has received some fairly authoritative advice on all this. So, do you have any reason to doubt what he says?

      Just like the authoritative advice he received on the SkyCity convention proposal?

      Oh yeah, he made that particular one up off the top of his head.

      • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1

        And his idea that the UNDRIP is just ‘symbolic’.

        We might found out sooner than he’d like how that works out for him too.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.2

      “Given that he is in charge of marketing this, one would have to assume he has received some fairly authoritative advice on all this.”

      The only authoritative advice on this comes from the courts. That’s why we have them. Otherwise we’d just say “Oh hai, what does the crown reckon”.

      we know the Crown reckons Maori don’t own the water, but that’s in dispute, hence the tribunal hearing, and potential court case(s).

      If it’s found that the Crown cannot demonstrate that it took ownership of the water, then there is a strong claim that iwi own it. So where would the rights to water handed out by the crown stand?

    • McFlock 6.3

      So, do you have any reason to doubt what he says?

       
      Other than the fact his lips are moving, you mean?
          
      I’m sure he’ll do ‘whatever it takes’ to ensure the hydro stations will keep running. After all, selling the assets will create ‘170,00 new jobs’ and have us in ‘surplus by 2014’. 

    • Deano 6.4

      ts. try to keep up the whole question is: isn’t key setting us up for some major lawsuits if he goes ahead with the sales and then MRP has to start paying for water rights after he said they wouldn’t?

      Simply saying ‘john key says they won’t have to pay for water rights’ doesn’t address the question of ‘what if he’s wrong’. You seem to be extending some kind of papal infalliblity to Key that isn’t justified by the fact all the experts on the treaty and water are saying the opposite to what he says.

    • rosy 6.5

      “Given that he is in charge of marketing this, one would have to assume he has received some fairly authoritative advice on all this.”

      And he’s doing a really good job at talking down the price. Whose side is he on, again?

  7. tsmithfield 7

    That still won’t affect Mighty River Power if they have existing rights. However, some deal might have to be done between whoever issued the rights and Maori if it turns out that Maori are losing out due to the rights being issued. However, that would be the case regardless of whether the shares were sold or not.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.1

      Cite?

      • McFlock 7.1.1

        I wouldn’t put it past key to confuse an RMA consent with owning water rights, anyway. But whom did MRP get the “rights” from? Was it simply a transfer of stolen property?

      • tsmithfield 7.1.2

        Most contracts I have seen include a clause that the party offering the deal has the authority to do so. That being the case, MRP won’t lose out. Lets assume that the unlikely happens and there existing rights are annulled and they have to start paying Maori directly for those rights, then MRP will have a legitimate claim against who ever issued the rights for their loss. So, it shouldn’t affect their profitability at all.

        Personally, I would be happy to invest on that basis, although the yield is a bit too low to interest me.

        • Pascal's bookie 7.1.2.1

          Well done, you seem to have caught up with the OP.

          • tsmithfield 7.1.2.1.1

            Doesn’t mean it wouldn’t interest other people. Someone looking for a low risk investment option with a safe dividend return and the prospect of capital gain over time would go for this. It all depends on your sensitivity to risk balanced against the expected return.

            • Pascal's bookie 7.1.2.1.1.1

              I hear the pope wears a funny hat.

              • Colonial Viper

                ts is trying to reduce the decision to sell off our assets to routine capitalist investor speak.

                • tsmithfield

                  It never ceases to amaze me how lefties struggle with the concept of risk and return. Utilities offer investors a very safe option in uncertain times for parking their money somewhere that still provides a return and capital appreciation.

                  Compare that to Short-term US Treasury bonds where investors are willing to park their money at virtually no return (currently .07% pa on 3month bonds) just to keep their money safe.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Better example would be the longer term bonds that are actaully negative in real terms. It’s well enough undersood there ts, it’s just not relevant.

                    Thing that makes me laugh about many righties is that every string of thought leads to their own wallet, and if it doesn’t, they lose interest and start talking about their wallet.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I’m quite aware of the risk/return argument that capitalists and their sycophants use and would like to point out the corollary – no risk, no return.

  8. North 8

    TS is in fact obfuscating, unwittingly however.

    The patent fact that the issue is immensely bigger than – “It all depends on your sensitivity to risk balanced against the expected return.” – is missed on him completely.

    Ignore the greedy, blinkered wanker.

    • tsmithfield 8.1

      You obviously haven’t done much investing. If you had you would know that it is one of the few relevant considerations. That, alongside factors such as liquidity (how easy it is to cash up an investment). Shares in a large publicly listed company score quite well in that respect as well.

  9. Yes John Key may be opening the tax payer up to big law suits over water rights, but, it’s the tax payer who will pay not John Key so he just does not worry about it.

    We are only workers, that means in his book we are only there to keep the country working other than that he does not care a rats arse about us.

    He won’t have to pay anything so all is sweet.

    • McFlock 9.1

      once again gambling with other peoples’ money.

      • mike e 9.1.1

        McF bank of America involved in yet another scandal money laundering this time once again selective memory loss has occurred.

  10. RedLogix 10

    It’s just occurred to me that when it comes to hydro power generation to with the water and more to do with gravity.

    So who ‘owns the gravity’ again?

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    4 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    5 days ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    6 days ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    6 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    7 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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

  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
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