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Key’s earthquake ‘fun’

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, August 29th, 2013 - 75 comments
Categories: disaster, Gerry Brownlee, john key - Tags:

I missed this news somehow – no doubt in the excitement of the Labour leadership contest – but the government suffered a major court ruling against it over their ungenerous Christchurch earthquake pay-outs.

Their 50% offer for uninsured land (including vacant land that cannot be insured) was ruled to be inequitable and not in accordance with the law by the High Court.  Gerry Brownlee wasn’t in the spirit of helping those who’ve struggled for 2.5 years in the quake aftermath though and immediately announced an appeal.

But Key went one further, threatening to pull even the 50% deal:

“One option is the Government says: ‘Thanks very much, it’s been a lot of fun. If you don’t want to take the offer, that’s where it’s at’.”

Yup, a devastating earthquake and then finding your land red-zoned and worthless and the government discriminating against you, leading to a long expensive court-case is ‘a lot of fun‘ according to John Key.

As Rebuilding Christchurch have it:



Key’s since issued a Clayton’s apology (‘sorry if anyone was offended’), but given his high words and promises to the people of Christchurch in the wake of the disaster, one can seriously understand why most Kiwis struggle to believe him.


75 comments on “Key’s earthquake ‘fun’”

  1. BM 1

    What’s the difference in investing in a block of land and investing in a finance company?
    The way I see it, there’s no difference at all

    How many of these people brought sections as investments?

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      Ahem. SCF.

      • BM 1.1.1

        Its that some precedent, some politician did something unbelievably stupid and from that point on, the tax payer has to pick up the bill every time someones investment goes pear shaped?

        • Pascal's bookie

          You implied that investors in finance compnaies don’t get bailed out.
          But they do. For a lot more money, and when they should have been aware of the risks.
          It’s not my fault your distrcation turned out to be a bit foolish.

          • BM

            So you think these people should get bailed out because of SCF.?

            That’s the bench mark, does seem a bit fiscally irresponsible, but hey it’s only tax payers money,right?

            Plenty more where that came from.

            • Colonial Viper

              bailed out not “because of SCF”, but because the government should be willing to help ordinary people out, not just multi-millionaire mates.

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              Its cheaper than Funding another RWC or Americas Cup

              Then theres Meridian and Rio Tinto.

              Rio Tinto got a $30 mill ‘Golden hello’ fornsticking around after their previous contract they signed ‘went pear shaped’

        • geoff

          It is called a double standard, BM. National is happy to bailout corporates but will it help a handful of
          earthquake victims? Nope. National hates people. You support National. Why do you hate people, BM?

          • BM

            They’ve offered these people 50%, they’re lucky to be offered that.

            Maybe you could stump up with the balance Geoff, if you care so much about these poor investors.

            • geoff

              Yes, we’ve already established you hate people but we still dont why. Not enough hugs as a child?

            • vto

              Why did Brownlee offer others 100%?

              You will need to think carefully and comprehensively, taking into account all factors around the earthquakes, the red zones and their purpose, insurance, insurability, and the CERA legislation, in answering this. Oh and also the High Court case.

              Somehow I suspect that is all too much for Brain Minimum. You’re a waste of space on this issue bm.

            • Colonial Viper

              They’ve offered these people 50%, they’re lucky to be offered that.

              Why did SCF multi-milionaires and FOREIGNERS get offered 100% of their money back PLUS INTEREST?

              Why do you prefer rich foreigners to be helped, but say that ordinary NZers can’t be helped?

              Your sicko attitude is why Kiwis are going to kick National out in 13 months time. It’s embarrassing.

              • BM

                Why did SCF multi-milionaires and FOREIGNERS get offered 100% of their money back PLUS INTEREST?

                Because Cullen let them, you’d have to be a mug not to take up that offer.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  “Cullen let them”? Are you sure, BM, because I’m sure I recall something rather different. You wouldn’t be telling lies, as a perfect expression of everything you represent, now, would you?

                  I note the High Court has ruled the government acted illegally. Why are you cuddling up to low-life crims, BM?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Cullen? Why are you lying? It was a National Government which resigned SCF then made those decisions, why doesn’t a National Government choose to help out NZers but choose to help out dirty rich foreigners instead?

                  Key has just lost National another 20,000 Christchurch votes with his cocked up comments. Another 45,000 or so lost, and National will win the next election. He just burnt up a third of the National electoral lead, with one quip.

                  You’re fucked mate, the Tory government deserves to go out on its ear.

                • Lanthanide

                  Actually the deposit gaurantee scheme covered the initial deposits only, not the investment returns.

                  National decided to pay the investment returns anyway. So you can’t blame that on Cullen.

                  Then there’s the whole fact that actually the 1st scheme Cullen had created expired, and it was Bill English that signed SCF up to the 2nd tranche of it, without doing due-diligence as to whether all companies invited into the 2nd tranche had been properly playing by the rules. Had due diligence been done, nobody in their right mind would have allowed SCF to sign up.

                  How much of the above is actually news to you, or did you just conveniently hope that none of us here know the details of what really went down?

                • Jackal

                  Even Fran O’Sullivan doesn’t think the SCF was bailed out because “Cullen let them” BM. But don’t let the facts of the matter hit you on the ass on the way out.

            • Tracey

              BM, let me interrupt you with some facts.

              Cullen did not enable the payout to foreign investors in SCF, John Key did.

              “the Government had extended the payout to cover people not in the scheme, such as foreign investors,…” John Key 31/08/2010 as reported on Stuff

              The government “offer” to the red zone residents was not a genuine offer

              “…red zone residents faced with a Crown purchase offer, had no or little option but to accept it. In the first place the offers were pitched at a level sufficient to make them attractive, given that the subject land was not only damaged, but within the red zone. Particularly as areas became depopulated, infrastructure fell into disrepair and essential services came under threat, the outlook for property owners was bleak. In reality, they had but Hobson’s choice.” [93] High Court decision

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              What about the CBD ‘frame’ . The government is compulsorily purchasing the land there.

              No red zone, its perfectly build able and well located, some still have occupied buildings

              But no , Nanny state has decided to prop up land values in the CBD by reducing the land zoned commercial. By government fiat they are given their land value wheter they like it or not

              Christchurch is riddled with inconsistencies like this. THis is the core of the Court decision

              • Tracey


                The core of the decision is condemnation of inequity and acting without authority. This government doesn’t care about the first and believes the second is ok cos they “know what’s best”

                That smacks not of nanny state but authoritarian state.

                I have read many legal decisions in my life. This decision is squarely accusing the government of being bullies.

            • quinnjin

              Land is not a risky investment, earth quakes are not relatively foreseeable market events. losses due to earthquakes are not down to mismanagement, unlike the SCF situation. Your comparing apples with oranges. therefore, your argument is invalid. Now quit your whining. National party fan boy.

              • quinnjin

                Also, the land owners are only asking for market value, also making your “investment risk” argument invalid.

    • Tracey 1.2

      In residential areas you can expect the land to have a home built on it.

      Bothered to read the decision yet BM?


      “I see no difference at all”

      The difference is outlined below.

      The Government drafted the earthquake legislation. They actually drafted two pieces, one after the first earthquake and another later. So they had two chances to get it right.

      They also made lots of statements in public and private about the intention of their legislation.

      The High Court decision is that they then dealt with these people contrary to the very legislation (and its purpose) that they (Govt) had prescribed.

      vacant land owners could not get insurance. It is not a question of them not wanting it.

      The bottom-line however is that this government made statutory promises through the ACT and its purpose and then acted contrary to it.

      Put it this way, the majority of vacant and uninsured have already been fucked by the Govt acting outside its power (and this decision wont change that), so you can take some solace.

      The total cost of to the country to top up the first unlawful offer by the government is


      BTW there is no proof, and none was offered by the Crown in its case that people will not insure if the govt pays the uninsured 100%

      Remember when the Govt paid out $20m to foreign investors in SCF? Wouldn’t a good kiwi bloke like the Pm think these Canterbury kiwis are more worthy of our support than the foreign folks taking a roll of the dice on investments? Investor beware and all that? AND this payout was done after English had a chance to cancel the govt guarantee scheme of Cullen… he knew the implications, he had advice it was going to fail, and he did it anyway.

      How about that for a precedent?

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.2.1

        Nice one Tracey. Keep hounding the lying little twerp.

      • vto 1.2.2

        Yes well spelled out Tracey, although there is one other fact worth highlighting….

        The cost to the taxpayer of topping up the 50% offer is $12 million.

        The cost to the taxpayer of paying out South Canterbury Finance investors was $1,700 million.

        To picture that difference try this… Here is one $ representing the cost for these red zoners


        Here are the $ representing the cost for SCF investors


      • bad12 1.2.3

        Yes the High Court ruling was based around the Governments own CERA Legislation, there cannot be then a precedent in Law from this decision which effects some future event or disaster,

        BM’s continual whine here is reflective of the little temper tantrum thrown by Slippery the Prime Minister and Brownlee as the CERA Minister over the High Court decision,

        Discriminating against property owners who had not taken out private insurance beforhand or had allowed their insurance to lapse is something we all ‘know’ might leave us without recourse should the house catch fire or some other ‘known’ disaster occur,

        Discriminating against people not insured because bare-land property cannot be insured in this country is another story entirely,

        The decision from the High Court was an excellent effort from the Bench relying simply on the clauses of the CERA Legislation to come to it’s conclusion and the cost to the Government is a mere raindrop in comparison to the total cost of the rebuild…

        • Tracey

          Mostly BM just doesn’t want to address the appalling machievellian response of Key to not “winning”.

          • bad12

            The only thing ever proved by the likes of BM and the other shills who wash up on these shores for an occasional burst of invective is that (a) the constant call for a better class of wing-nut is obviously based upon the fact that the current crop are basically useless, mere functional idiots,

            And (b), Did they really all go to private schools, if so they should all be demanding their money back and readying the bulldozers to demolish such shoddy institutions of learning…

        • vto

          “the cost to the Government is a mere raindrop in comparison to the total cost of the rebuild”

          I feel another representation coming on…

          Dollars to top up the 50% offer people


          Dollars the government is spending in Christchurch

          $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$ $$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$ $$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

          • bad12

            Vto,Lolz, Ouch, that does things to my eyeballs what eyeballs were not meant to suffer,

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.3

      In actual fact, BM, this is about Key’s clumsy, callous words, and more particularly his failure to apologise for them.

      I note that when your opinion differs from that of the High Court, it’s irrelevant, and when it agrees, it’s redundant.

      • Sable 1.3.1

        BM’s an ignoramus.Why waste words when the facts drown out his/her inane bleating.

        • Tracey

          Because, presented with facts, someone who believes BM’s drivel on this topic, might see through the bullshit.


          “All assets have now been realised from the liquidated finance company, with $774.4m recovered, the latest report from receivers Kerryn Downey and William Black states…

          The receivers were appointed on August 31, 2010, and on June 7 last year, liquidators PricewaterhouseCoopers were appointed.

          The 2-year receivership has cost $936,852 in legal fees.

          The six-month liquidation cost $50,000 in fees ” 2013 stuff.co.nz

          “While it laid out $1.775 billion yesterday, the Government expects its eventual loss will be reduced to about $600 million once the company’s assets are realised over three or four years. That is included in $900 million it has set aside to cover its net losses under the guarantee…


          * $1.7 billion

          What the Government spent yesterday bailing out South Canterbury’s investors

          * $1.17 billion

          What the Government expects to recover from South Canterbury’s receivership

          * $600 million

          Final bill for taxpayers”

          from stuff.co.nz in 2010 “

          • Sable

            So present your own argument Tracey rather than responding to BM’s. In that way you don’t validate their comments in any way…

            • Tracey

              um… okaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

              I feel like I just got caught running in the hallway.

              • Sable

                Up to you Tracey but if you bite down on their comments it does tend to suggest they may have a point, even if its a bad one.

                • Tracey

                  how I felt when I got caught running in the hallway was

                  “Damn I know I shouldn’t do it but it’s hard to resist.” So, I took your comment onboard.

                  • Tautoko Viper

                    Great effort, Tracey. Keep running in the hallway. Sometimes you have to explain facts in several different ways before comprehension dawns. Teachers understand this.

                • Bastables

                  So we should just not pull up liers. One should never confront a lier at all . . .
                  Sod that if some one talks bullshit like BM he should be pulled up on it. Tracey bothered to and highlighted how much of a lier BM is, it is proper and right.

                • freedom

                  Sable, I think you are overlooking one of the many advantages of blogs in dealing with propaganda based lies, especially when those lies pertain to government spin junkies such as BM.

                  Although a casual visitor may agree with the view expressed by BM they may simply not be aware of the reality that contradicts it. By being exposed to the facts of a situation, such as those outlined above by Tracey, many people have their views challenged. I am convinced there are numerous posts all over The Standard that have been fundamental in building a platform of reconsideration for many National voters.

                  BM, srylands, and a few others are merely tools to be used in the constructive and practical presentation of fact based dialogue.

                  • bad12

                    It does become tiresome tho, we could be forgiven for suspecting that we are being ‘gamed’ by the shills who simply bring up the same old bullshit time after time and once the effort is put in to provide the proof to these wing-nuts that their bulls**t is just that a BM is then replaced with another and the process of education must start all over again..

                    • freedom

                      which is why some tools end up being thrown at the wall and you are left with the emptiness of wasted effort

                      so you pick up the next tool and try to learn from your mistakes 🙂

  2. Sable 2

    I remember a few posts back how right wingers were commenting on how no one could manage the Christchurch crisis like National and they were right. No one could handle it as badly or callously.

    I did say that Keys and co would face a legal backlash over their mishandling of the disaster and surprise, surprise, here we are.

  3. Appleboy 3

    BM has to take the prize for the right winger with the most vile and violent persona I have ever come across. I have never seen a thread of comments spewed forth so lacking in decency, caring or empathy. This much greed and self interest always gets them, one dayor obey won’t solve your issues.

    • Sable 3.1

      Take a look at the Whale Oil site if you want a real insight into how these people think. I don’t believe in concepts such as good or evil but these creeps are about as close as you will get to the latter in my humble opinion…

      • chris 3.1.1

        Sending people to read “Whaleoil” is inhumane punishment. Probably outlawed by the UN 🙂

      • Tracey 3.1.2

        don’t go there. You click and you are indirectly generating revenue and ratings for them.

        • Plan B

          agree re Whale Oil. yes someone has to make the sacrifice and go there so everyone else can know what they are on about but we should not all visit the site.
          1. It is pure poison
          2. It makes them money

        • chris

          I did not know that… thank you for the heads up.

          Rarely go anyway, but occasionally something has piqued my interest.

        • Pete

          And the vast majority of posts there are items reposted from Reddit

  4. burt 4

    Their 50% offer for uninsured land (including vacant land that cannot be insured) was ruled to be inequitable

    I added that emphasis ….

    It’s simply not fair that the government isn’t using more of our tax payers money to make sure private property owners who didn’t have insurance….

    Oh yes, lets make sure socialism rewards the land owners by extracting money from renters all over the country…..

    • vto 4.1

      Here is a representation of the number and complexity of issues involved in the red zone buyout offers;

      issue issue issue issue issue issue issue issue issue issue issue issue issue issue issue issue issue issue

      Here is a representation of the things Burt thinks are relevant in this matter;


    • Tracey 4.2

      I can’t find this statement “Their 50% offer for uninsured land (including vacant land that cannot be insured) was ruled to be inequitable” in the actual decision of the court.

      I did find statements from the judge that the issue of inequity was applicable to “ALL APPLICANTS”

      “[95] The lack of even-handedness argument however, has I think considerable merit. Clearly, the main impetus for the June 2011 decision to make 100 percent offers to insured property owners was the need to provide certainty and create the confidence necessary to enable people to move on with their lives, given that “many people have their life savings tied up in their homes”, to borrow the Prime Minister’s phrase. Importantly, these considerations apply equally to many of the applicants, particularly those who are the owners of uninsured house properties.

      Yet it is apparent that payments of 50 percent of the land rating value will not enable many property owners to make a fresh start. This is clear from the questionnaires completed by applicants in the Outcasts’ proceeding. Many owners are people of modest means, some are elderly and it is commonplace that their land and home is their one substantial asset. I am satisfied that the plight of this relatively small group has not been adequately considered in light of the purposes of the Act.”

      • Tracey 4.2.1

        sorry my attempt to bold the last part of [95] failed (so ignore emphasis added)

        “particularly those who are the owners of uninsured house properties.”

        [Bunji: I added the desired emphasis…]

      • vto 4.2.2

        Keep going Tracey, you’re all over it in highlighting the nastiness of John Key and Gerry Brownlee towards “people of modest means, some are elderly”

      • burt 4.2.3

        given that “many people have their life savings tied up in their homes”

        Yep, people who don’t earn enough to own a property should be having their tax used to insulate people who invested all their eggs in one basket – socialism at it’s finest … steal from the poor to give to the rich !!!!!!! Can’t have the rich loosing out on their poorly managed investment capital can we….

        • framu

          isnt the issue the forced aquisition of land by the govt and the recompense from that – not the issue of who had insurance and who didnt?

          • burt

            Perhaps the issue is people were compensated a lot more than the land is now worth but less than it use to be worth….

            Is it right for people to be compensated with tax payers money for private property investment that didn’t work out like they had hoped it would ?

            • Tracey

              Is it right for elderly and low income people to lose their home when the Govt promised (on behalf of us all) to allow them to get on with their lives.

              yes, one party is a developer, but it is a mixed group.

              The people I suspect you are really angry about have already got their 100% payouts.

              • burt

                I’ve not known many genuine low income people who own central city real estate – but hey – the expedient definition of low income is possibly something I’m not understanding?

                • Tracey

                  I was referring to your earlier comments as well, about the court decision or are you only talking about the CBD? Sorry, my confusion

            • framu

              burt – pull your head in and stop being a dick

              1) the council and govt through direct aquisition of land or by denial of services are forcing people of the land

              2) the red zone is more than the inner city

              sure theres going to be some uninsured, and some developers mixed in there but they arent the main issue here – its about the people who wrote law, not abiding by the law they wrote and not being consistant with the application of the law

              Would you change your tune if the govt made a retrospective change?

  5. Craig GlenEden 5

    Great Stuff Tracey thanks for all the work. BM totally owned what a twat.

  6. Adrian 6

    I think the point is that the Government is ” compulsarily acquiring” the land, with a view to development and sale or use in the distant future.
    Correct me if I’m wrong but the last time we did this, acquiring land for a fraction of value, a few muskets etc, it didn’t turn out all that well.
    A reverse corollary is the conversion of high country leases to freehold for huge capital gain for, oh bugger me, lifetime Tories. Fancy that.

    • Tracey 6.1

      Interesting points Adrian.

      definition of red zone in the HC decision

      “The red zone was reserved for areas where rebuilding was not likely to occur in the short to medium term due to significant land and infrastructure damage, and a high risk of further damage from aftershocks, flooding or spring tides.”

      “rebuilding not likely to occur in short to medium term.”

      and then

      “What will happen to my property if I decide that I do not want to accept the Crown’s offer?
      If you decide that you do not want to accept the Crown’s offer you should be aware that:
      The Council will not be installing new services in the residential red zone.

      If only a few people remain in a street and/or area, the Council and other utility providers may reach the view that it is no longer feasible or practical to continue to maintain services to the remaining properties.

      Insurers may cancel or refuse to renew insurance policies for properties in the residential red zones.

      While no decisions have been made on the ultimate future of the land in the residential red zones, CERA does have powers under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 to require you to sell your property to CERA for its market value at that time. If a decision is made in the future to use these powers to acquire your property, the market value could be substantially lower than the amount that you would receive under the Crown’s offer.

      Mr Brownlee and Mr Sutton made similar remarks to these in media interviews”

      • jaymam 6.1.1

        I can’t see if this is mentioned anywhere in the thread, but when land is originally subdivided into sections, the developer has to pay a rather large “reserve contribution” to the Council. I believe that means that the Council is therefore guaranteeing that the land is suitable for building on. So if the land becomes unsuitable, the owners should be compensated, out of the “reserve contribution”.
        In the case of Christchurch it is clear that the Council did not require the developer to have engineers test the land like other councils do, e.g. in Auckland. The known history of earthquakes in Christchurch from 1970, and allowing subdivisions near rivers makes the Council even more culpable. They should pay up!

  7. tricledrown 7

    Lanthanide don’t forget rio tinto’s $546 million bail out the appointment of trougher shipley at $400,000+.
    Rio Tinto get $476 million subsidized electricity $30 million cash .Nact govt covering up the real cost of meridian by selling $160 million wind farm in Australia.
    The Eastern suburbs of ChCh are labour strong holds that’s why MurKey and Brownoselee are laughing and don’t care.
    Remember Key and Brownlee promising no one will miss out every one will be looked after straight after the quakes.
    As per usual the only ones not missing out are Nationals mates.

  8. tricledrown 8

    Ed Hillary showed the world the selflesness sharing and caring that NZ is famous for!
    Now SmurKey is showing how selfish NZ is becoming under his narcisistic flipant bullying leadership!

    • burt 8.1

      Yes indeed. Developers and speculators owning bare central city land which they plan to develop for a large profit deserve to dip into the pockets of struggling renters when things don’t go their way !!!!!!!!

      • framu 8.1.1

        did you even read any of either the court decision or the articles linked to?

        your engaging in derailment and distraction – stop generating your usual one man, one trick side show

  9. BrucetheMoose 9

    In a nut shell, the government has abused it’s authority and used the earthquakes and it’s invented legislation to corner a minority and try and force them to give up their properties on the cheap. Now Key and His Corruptness don’t like being challenged on it and are throwing their toys out of their cots like spoilt brats that they truly are.
    If they thought it was “very very fair” and justified as they always claimed, then why did they deliberately wait to announce the decision so far down the track so as to make sure they were a smaller group to deal with?
    Why did they announce the decision on the same day as the school closure debacle to purposely create a smoke screen for the public and media diversion.?
    Why did they tell those who initially challenged the decision, specifically not to go to the media, and once the media did get traction on this subject, why did Brownlee and Sutton immediately embark on a concerted campaign of trying to portray most land owners as “Well off Developers” and irresponsible for not insuring their properties, when in fact most were honest hard working kiwi families and couldn’t insure their land even if they tried?

  10. RedBaronCV 10

    Pity John Key doesn’t reserve some of his odium for the insurance companies who are making out like bandits to the tune of about $1 billion a year from all us home owners.
    Link below is to an earlier post on this. I saw on a business page a comment that supported house premiums as being in the $750 to $1250 range.
    After all EQC had about $12 billion from our tiny $50 per house per annum.

    Visible text

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  • MFAT officials refuse to back Prime Minister on Saudi sheep claims
    An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker. “The ...
    6 days ago
  • Barry Coates on his first weeks in Parliament
    Week one in Parliament has been quite an occasion. I would like to share the experience. I had given up on the prospect of getting into Parliament before the election and had been enjoying the diverse work I was doing ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    6 days ago
  • Nats still planning to take Housing NZ dividend
    Housing New Zealand’s Statement of Performance Expectations shows that the National Government intends to pocket $237m from Housing New Zealand this year including a $54m “surplus distribution”, despite promises that dividends would stop, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “After ...
    7 days ago
  • Parliament must restore democracy for Ecan
    Parliament has a chance to return full democracy to Canterbury with the drawing of a member’s bill that would replace the Government’s appointed commissioners with democratically elected councillors, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods. “In 2010, the Government stripped Cantabrians ...
    7 days ago
  • Police struggle to hold the line in Northland
    Labour’s promise of a thousand extra police will go a long way to calming the fears of people in the North, says the MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis.  “Police are talking about the Northland towns of Kaitaia and ...
    7 days ago
  • Vote Sooty Shearwater/Tītī for Bird of the Year
    Sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) are amazing and deserve your vote in Forest and Bird’s Bird of the Year competition.  They make one of the longest known bird migrations, flying an annual round trip of 64,000 kms across the entire Pacific ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Urgent action on agriculture emissions needed
    Immediate action is required to curb agricultural emissions is the loud and clear message from Climate change & agriculture: Understanding the biological greenhouse gases report released today by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan ...
    1 week ago
  • Super Fund climate change approach a good start
    Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson and Climate Change Spokesperson Dr Megan Woods have welcomed the adoption of a climate change investment strategy by the New Zealand Super Fund. “This is a good start. It is a welcome development that the Super ...
    1 week ago
  • Energy use going in the wrong direction
    New data out this week from Statistics NZ paints a concerning picture of energy use across the economy under this National Government. You won’t be surprised to hear that there is some seriously worrying information here about how dirty our ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Raising the age the right thing to do
    The announcement today that the Government will leave the door open for young people leaving state care still means there is a lot of work to do, says Labour's Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern "The Government indicated some time ago ...
    1 week ago
  • Junior Doctors go on Strike
    Thousands of junior doctors took strike action for 24 hours this week for better working conditions and safer working hours.  The Green Party supports their cause, and particularly their claims to reduce the number of days worked from up to ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 week ago
  • Coleman plays down the plight of junior doctors
    Junior doctors are crucial to our health services and the industrial action that continues tomorrow shows how desperately the Government has underfunded health, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he has not seen objective evidence of ...
    1 week ago
  • Inflation piles pressure on National and Reserve Bank
    While many households will welcome the low inflation figures announced today, they highlight serious questions for both the National government and the Reserve Bank, Labour’s  Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson said.  "While low inflation will be welcomed by many, the ...
    1 week ago
  • Officials warned Nat’s $1b infrastructure fund ineffective and rushed
    Treasury papers show the Government rushed out an infrastructure announcement officials told them risked making no significant difference to housing supply, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Like so much of National’s housing policy, this was another poll-driven PR initiative ...
    1 week ago
  • More cops needed to tackle P
    New Police statistics obtained in Written Questions show John Key is losing his War on P, highlighting the need for more Police, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “New Zealanders expect serious action on P but today’s hodgepodge of half-measures won’t ...
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening our relationship with the Rātana movement
    It was a privilege to visit Rātana Pā last week with fellow Greens’ Co-leader James Shaw, our Māori Caucus and senior staff to meet with the leaders of te iwi mōrehu, to strengthen the ties between the Green Party and ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    1 week ago
  • MBIE docs show country needs KiwiBuild, not Key’s pretend “building boom”
    John Key’s spin that New Zealand is in a building boom does not change the massive shortfall in building construction as new MBIE papers reveal, says Labour Party housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We can fix the housing crisis, by the ...
    1 week ago
  • 1 in 7 Akl houses now going to big property speculators
    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disconnected thinking dirties the water
    Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Report back from Hands Off Our Tamariki hui
    This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke.  They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
    National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
    Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago