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Leaky homes

Written By: - Date published: 1:10 pm, May 26th, 2010 - 44 comments
Categories: housing, local government, national - Tags: , ,

Unchained from my desk in The Standard writer’s dungeon for my ten minute exercise break in the courtyard this morning, I noticed (through a gap in the watchtowers) that it was raining. Raining hard. Must be the government’s fault – I just need to find the angle!*

Seriously though. Take care in the wet people. In particular, drive safe. Too many of us are driving like idiots.

National isn’t responsible for the lousy weather, but it is to blame for how vulnerable we are to it. Thousands of homes are leaky and rotting, a legacy of the stupid deregulation of the building industry by National (including current Auckland Mayor John Banks) in the 1990s:

The leaky homes crisis followed deregulation of the building industry, where a resulting lack of rules meant problems with design and products left thousands of homeowners with ongoing problems. Issues included flaws in design, product, cladding, workmanship, rules and checks.

The costs are enormous – estimated at 11 to 22 Billion dollars. Recently the current National government, including some who were partly responsible for creating this fiasco in the first place, outlined their model for funding repairs:

Owners of leaky homes will have half their repair bill paid by central and local government under a new government plan announced this afternoon. The plan will see the taxpayer kicking in 25% of the repair cost, ratepayers another 25% and the owner, through a government guaranteed loan, the remaining 50%. The deal is dependent on the affected councils signing up to it and they have been given until the end of this month to do so.

There are no good solutions. The current owners aren’t to blame, but they’re stuck with enormous bills. The lucky old taxpayer / ratepayer isn’t to blame (except for electing National governments!), but they’re picking up half the bill. It’s a mess. (Remember this whenever deregulation or “voluntary” regulation of some industry is proposed.)

So now it’s crunch time for councils. And the realities are starting to sink in:

$87m leaky homes threat to Wellington rates
By AMANDA FISHER – The Dominion Post Last updated 05:00 26/05/2010

Wellington City Council’s bill to fix leaky homes has blown out to $87 million more than three times previous estimates. And ratepayers, including those still living in rotting homes, may have to pay for it with a rise in their rates.

The city council will vote tonight on whether to support the Government’s rescue package in which the Government and council will each meet 25 per cent of repair costs. There are an estimated 2115 leaky Wellington homes eligible for the scheme.

Estimates have tripled? And that is in Wellington, far from hardest hit by the crisis. This is a vote that will be watched with great interest around the country I am sure, but really, what else can Wellington do? What alternative is there, but to pass on the cost to ratepayers? There are no good solutions to this mess.

[* That was “humour” by the way. Exercise break is only five minutes.]

44 comments on “Leaky homes”

  1. grumpy 1

    The building industry is NOT deregulated – just ask anyone trying to build a house and the red tape from local councils and the monster that the New Zealand Building Code is.

    Leaky houses is one thing but it is the resulting rot that is the most serious. The stupid Greens driven decision by Labour to allow untreated pinus radiata is the cause of the real disaster.

    interesting that similar situation in Vancouver led to the government being held liable – as it should be here.

    • Jim Nald 1.1

      Haha. What a tragic comment trying to counter Rob’s blog. Illustrates the low creepy crawly levels to which the rabid Right would descend. Creativity with the facts has been fully twisted to the limit. Remember all readers: leaky homes = National disaster. Reflects the rot of the National political house.

      For those wanting to sheet the responsibility, blame and tragedy off National, note:

      * The Building Act 1991 was passed during the Jim Bolger-led National Govt. The Act became fully operative on 1 Jan 1993.

      * Sep 1995: Standards New Zealand approved NZS 3602 Standard – this allowed use of kiln-dried untreated timber for framing

      * 1 Feb 1998, Building Industry Authority approved NZS 3602 as meeting durability requirements – allowing use of untreated timber

      • Gooner 1.1.1

        Thanks Jim for pointing out three areas of regulation.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          Ah, the catchcry of the really stupid – “See, it wos the rugulation that did done it”.

          The first act by the then National government was the removal of regulation. The second two were really stupid standards passed with encouragement from industry. Industry wanted to decrease prices to increase profits and not treating the timber reduced costs.

          • grumpy 1.1.1.1.1

            but Draco – R0B’s post was about it being caused by “deregulation” – make your mind up.

            • Daveosaurus 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “but Draco R0B’s post was about it being caused by “deregulation’ make your mind up.”

              “The first act by the then National government was the removal of regulation.”

              I don’t think Draco is the confused one here.

        • Jim Nald 1.1.1.2

          Seems like more needs to be pointed out, including to you.
          That will have to wait when I have a mo.

  2. ianmac 2

    Treated timber is not a cause of rotting. A water-tight house or boat does not rot! The newish requirement to have only highly treated timber on exterior framing is a bit pointless.
    In the 90’s when the then National Government relaxed the Building Code, probably saying that Market Forces will weed out shoddy planning and workmanship, all hell let loose. Those who were in the Govt then like Bill English, Smith and Smith, and others should at least put their hands up and say ssssssorry and offer to pay for their damage!

    • lprent 2.1

      Treated timber is not a cause of rotting.

      It is irrelevant. The only difference between a leaking building with treated timber compared to untreated timber is the time taken for the rot to become irrevocable. The difference in time isn’t that great if the moisture is persistent. The problem is having structures that hold moisture in walls for longer thereby assisting with the rotting.

      The real issue with the style of building that went on in the 90’s was that it was far too susceptible to retaining water when water got inside walls. You got water in through a crack in a monolithic coating and it would sit in the insulation and wood providing a nice moist environment for bacteria and mould virtually forever. Older weatherboard houses didn’t have that issue because they were too draughty – they tended to dry out.

      That is why all buildings must now have a cavity wall system with drainage. I always remember drilling into a structural column with a 9mm drill – we got a stream of water coming out that took 15 minutes to stop. There was no egress for any water that got into the structure.

      The second and probably bigger problem is that pretty basic mistakes and violations of building codes were not picked up by inspection. In my apartment block there was insufficient underside water proofing on the balconies that didn’t conform to the code, and the bathroom waste pipe for the shower were not supported sufficiently for the code. Both leaked water into the structure and rotted them out. Both were inadequately inspected.

      Fortunately we were inspected by the city council. Meant that we got a settlement for the work we’d done just before it went to court. But I’d love to plonk the bill for the aggravation, frustration, and near bankruptcy on the pillocks in National who screwed up the building code. Since I can’t get them – I’ll concentrate on John Banks who was one of them.

      • prism 2.1.1

        “You got water in through a crack in a monolithic coating and it would sit in the insulation and wood providing a nice moist environment for bacteria and mould virtually forever. Older weatherboard houses didn’t have that issue because they were too draughty they tended to dry out.

        I understand there were two main problems, apart from some untreated timbers used as joists and decking. One was the monolithic cladding which appealed to the Living in Tuscany afficionados but unwise because NZ is not known for hot, dry year-long settled weather. There was no or very small eaves so numerous entry points for rain – at top of wall and along joins.

        Then there was the airtight nature of the design. It was decided that it would be more energy efficient not to have draughty houses and so walls and studs etc were sealed. But the moisture got in and then remained, couldn’t escape further down and couldn’t dry out as no moving air. What’s that called – anaerobic? Result nasty moulds. A health hazard that could have been predicted if the process had been thought through.

        But the old regulations were made by those civil servants who wore cardigans, scorned by Bob Jones in the 1980s, they lacked the smart, sharpness and uniform of the modern man with new ideas. Like copies of ‘The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit’ which was a book about the army of new men in business who had been demobbed after WW2 and their conformity to the hegemony of their time

        • lprent 2.1.1.1

          Yeah, when I brought in 97, I was quite careful to buy a place with good eaves and seals on the apartment block.

          The problem for us was that the inadequate underside water proofing on balconies was allowing water to walk backwards on the wood in the balconies into the wall. Once it was in the wall then it was all over.

          We could have removed the balconies, but the beams that supported them went right back into the wall of the building. To fix the balconies we had go all of the way into the wall. Since there were 60 balconies that wouldn’t have left a lot of wall untouched. So the whole front wall got replaced.

          The problem at the rear was that the bathrooms leaked because of inadequate fixing of the pipes, and did so into the back wall (which was otherwise completely protected from the weather).

          The walkways at the rear were also getting water in them from the downpipes in the supporting columns. That was because there were no compression joints in a 3 storey downpipe. When the roof settled a few centimetres it broke the top seals, and water went down the columns – which rotted them out, and the walkways that were attached to them.

          The underlying problem was that all of the building systems would have worked if the implementation was good. If anything was wrong, then you got systemic failures because there wasn’t any ‘failure’ systems to minimise how far the problems spread.

          Most of the leaky buildings I’ve had a look at have similar failure issues. They weren’t structurally built to deal with failures in any single part.

  3. big bruv 3

    Hang on Rob;

    According to Helen Clark there is no such thing as a leaky home, she said that it was a ‘beat up’.

    • Armchair Critic 3.1

      That’s the weakest “Labour did it too” argument I’ve ever seen.

      • big bruv 3.1.1

        Did I hit a raw nerve Armchair?

        It is a bit rich for the increasingly desperate Labour government to attack the Nat’s for this.

        Clark ignored the leaky homes issue for nine years because she could not see a lot of votes in it, the owners of these houses were not from the demographic that votes Labour.

        I do not agree with the solution as proposed by the Nat’s, but at least they are doing something.

        • Armchair Critic 3.1.1.1

          Did I hit a raw nerve Armchair?
          No, not at all, Labour’s failure to correct National’s fuck up over leaky buildings does Labour no credit at all.
          But it also doesn’t mean that it isn’t National’s fuck up. I’d love to see National to put their “personal responsibility” theory into practice and stump up with some of the cash themselves. Bet they are all words and no action, though.

          • big bruv 3.1.1.1.1

            Armchair

            On this subject (and sadly on many others under the gutless leadership of Neville Key) the Nat’s have forgotten all about personal responsibility.

            It is unforgivable that the tax payer is being forced to bail out the people who own leaky homes, my house does not leak, my neighbours house does not leak yet we are the ones who are going to have to pay a truck load of money to those who do have leakey homes.

            That is socialism at its worst, other peoples leaky homes are not my problem.

            • Armchair Critic 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Indeed, National’s solution appears to be to put the cost on someone else’s tab.
              My house leaks, and I’m pretty sure it’s made out of untreated timber. But it’s about 100, so the timber is matai and the leaks let water in and out pretty quick.
              Wouldn’t it be nice if the poor old taxpayer had some of their burden relieved, by a government who actually recovered costs from the responsible parties, like an insurance company would?

            • prism 3.1.1.1.1.2

              “we are the ones who are going to have to pay a truck load of money to those who do have leakey homes. That is socialism at its worst, other peoples leaky homes are not my problem.

              Other people’s leaky homes are everyone’s problem. The stock of homes from which we choose when wanting to move and change house, is now tainted with some having house ‘Aids’. They are diseased and if not cleaned up some unwitting buyer or renter will suffer ill health that may become chronic along with the house’s ill health. Yet it is beyond many owners purse to remedy this problem.

              Also in society our actions impinge on others, and when there is a big stuff up we are all affected by the individual’s tragedy. Failures in regulation like this also cause a loss of respect for government showing that they lack a duty of care to the citizens, and to carry out their duties in a responsible manner.

    • r0b 3.2

      I know HC is you hero BB, and you take every word she spoke as law. But you need to get over her. She was human, and she made mistakes. That was one of them. BB, you need to be strong, and find someone else to tell you what to think…

      • big bruv 3.2.1

        So Rob, are you admitting that Labour let down the people of NZ by ignoring the problem for nine years?

        If so there may well be hope for you yet.

        Keep going, keep opening your mind, soon you will come to realise that the left are always wrong and that the only way to really improve this nation is a strong right wing government.

        • vto 3.2.1.1

          ha ha, you two are like little kids at either end of the see-saw, which is always entertaining..

        • Clarke 3.2.1.2

          I love the way “keep opening your mind” is juxtaposed with “the left are always wrong” in the same sentence with no notable sense of irony … when it comes to keeping an open mind, should we do what you say rather than what you do, BB?

      • r0b 3.2.2

        So Rob, are you admitting that Labour let down the people of NZ by ignoring the problem for nine years?

        No BB, I’m admitting that when HC said, in 2002: “Having said that, the seriousness of the situation appears to be a fraction of what the beat-up in the New Zealand Herald implies”, she was premature, and that events proved her wrong.

        Labour didn’t ignore the problem at all. Labour fixed the building regulations, and was moving to deal with the financial mess that Nationals cock up created too, but they lost the 2008 election. So now National have to deal with their own mess (for a change).

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.3

        BB thinks? :O

  4. vto 4

    11 to 22 billion dollars across 4 million people equals $2,750 to $5,500 per person.

    That means for the average household of say 3 people $8,250 to $16,500.

    for fucks sake that is unseemingly unfair if you had absolutely nothing to do with new homes during that time.

    Rather than tax every person to pay for this the govt should tax all those who were active in the govt, local councils and building industry during that time. That would be far fairer fanks..

  5. stevo 5

    After building a rot proof and highly insulated concrete house at additional expense, which does sometimes leak (well the shoddy colorsteel roof does but with little consequence), eschewing the whole inadequate standard of homes that we generally build here…I initially resented any thought that I should be spending any part of MY tax and rates to fix a problem caused MOSTLY by the large building materials companies and their shoddy products and stupid systems based methods of using them, and to a lesser extent the councils, approving authorities and builders saddled with this nonsense.

    But, after further thought on this, if we cannot sue the arse off those companies mainly responsible for this mess, the only real recourse is to spread the burden of those most unfortunate enough to have this problem as thinly as possible across the whole population.

    The tax payer and the government must shoulder all the responsibility..period.

    And from now on, have a requirement for insurance cover for leaks based on the risk factors of the building method used in construction. The market can then decide if building out of polystyrene and no eaves is a good idea.

    • Armchair Critic 5.1

      There is less incentive to build houses with a life of more than 50 years after National removed the ability to claim depreciation on them. With every loophole reportedly closed, another opens.

      • stevo 5.1.1

        Well, after the last QV valuation done on our home with the associated letter explaining things like how permanent the materials used in construction affects the value, we’ll take that little win, along with low heating bills, low maintenance and a life exceeding 100years.

        • vto 5.1.1.1

          ya concrete is the one. Plenty of materials for it in South Island. In fact, with all the rain at the moment in Canterbury all you would have to do is drop cement all over the plains and the rain and gravel would turn the entire province into one large concrete pad. I’m sure nobody would mind – similar effect as all dem moo cows sprouting everywhere…

          • stevo 5.1.1.1.1

            so you are serious and want a discussion the relative merits of various construction methods in the various environments we have in NZ and you have something to offer on the way out of this mess?

            • vto 5.1.1.1.1.1

              yes

            • vto 5.1.1.1.1.2

              oh go on then. Having recently used about 60,000 tonnes of concrete I am quite a fan of it.

              thing is.. there aint no way out of this mess. It will drag on and on and on and on… Some homes will be repaired, but many will not and eventually die a sad death at the blade of Barry Bulldozer.

              • felix

                And for many of them that’d be the best thing, sooner rather than later.

              • RedLogix

                concrete I am quite a fan of it

                Same here vto. Built twice using Reid’s Nirvana system with great success.

                But where the hell did you put 60k tonnes of it???

                For my next project I really want to try Timbercrete.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        With every loophole reportedly closed, another opens.

        Especially when the NACT+MP government seems to go to great length to open them.

  6. tc 6

    There’s no winners here, we taxpayers/ratepayers cop it either way so I’m relaxed with the Nat proposal as at least 50% stays with the homeowner which I’m sorry to say is the loser here….someone has to sadly and it will not be the pricks who caused it that’s for sure.

    It’s the same old same old…..quick bucks, development at any cost and that moronic ‘market forces’ argument when the reality is you get what you pay for with those cheap apartments/units etc and to quote an experienced drainlayer the other day…” degregulation and the loss of experienced council inspectors allowed the cowboys out to rule the range ….you should see the crap I deal with these days it’s criminal”.

    the nat’s did this whilst killing off apprenticeships…..we now have a critical lack of skilled traedespeople to deal with it…..bravo banksie/williamson the masters of no vision and foresight.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      ‘ degregulation and the loss of experienced council inspectors allowed the cowboys out to rule the range .you should see the crap I deal with these days it’s criminal’

      That’s pretty much what my nephew, a builder, says. He’s sure that we’ll be having another leaky homes episode in about 10 years.

      we now have a critical lack of skilled traedespeople to deal with it…

      And the tradespeople we do have aren’t being adequately paid because the “market” has decided that they cost too much so even more cowboys are playing the field. One stop shop type guys doing building, plumbing and tiling that don’t have training in any of them.

  7. RedLogix 7

    A few weeks ago I was listening to one ex-builder telling me how his boss had him set out and tie down all the floor mesh for the inspector’s visit, then rip the uncut sheets up that evening, lay the concrete next morning…and re-use the same sheets over and again. Same for all the straight lengths of reo.

    Downright scary.

    • B 7.1

      Even worse, there seems to be an assumption that the inspection problem was confined to residential timber structures. Not the case! Structural concrete and steel in Auckland’s high rise apartments were subject to the same ‘de-regulated’ inspection regime. Some of these will be death traps in the event of an earthquake.

      • Armchair Critic 7.1.1

        Yeah, now there’s something you don’t see discussed much – what was the role of private building inspectors in certifying leaky buildings? IIRC the whole idea of private building inspectors didn’t last that long.
        Did they get legislated out of existence or did their insurers hike their professional indemnity insurance levies so high they became unsustainable?

        • lprent 7.1.1.1

          They got legislated out of existence in the first term of the last government. However that was after there were essentially none of them left. They were unable to get insurance.

          In my case we were lucky enough to have been inspected by the council. That meant we were able to claim a large part against the council and therefore were able to get paid for the all of the basic costs of reconstructing our building. The settlement effectively ignored the hardship and suffering by the people who owned those apartments in paying for the reconstruction while the council and other parties diddled around delaying as long as possible in getting a settlement.
          They were hoping that the money would run out…

          People who got inspected by private building inspectors are pretty well dead in the water. You might get a judgement. However they don’t have insurance and essentially no assets – that is if you can find them at all.

          Whoever the National moron minister was that thought private building inspectors was a good idea – that is a person that was dead from the neck up.

    • grumpy 7.2

      Seems true to me. A mate was building a house and the inspector put a hammer through the gib to find no insulation. Seems the builder was putting it in for the inspection, then taking it out. The electrician potted him,.

  8. jaymam 8

    The problems of leaking monolithic cladding were well known before the year 2000.
    Anyone who had such a house built after that date was a cheapskate and should not be entitled to compensation.
    Before spending a lot of money on something it makes sense to do a bit of research.

    • lprent 8.1

      Incorrect. The issue was that the architecture of the buildings was not able to cope with a single failure in any part of the building system. They required more inspection and checks.

      However the deregulation gave them less inspection and checks.

      See my comment 2.1.1.1 above

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    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    4 days ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    5 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    5 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    5 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago

  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
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