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Lest we forget

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, September 4th, 2011 - 41 comments
Categories: election 2011, energy, privatisation, same old national - Tags:

In the lat-90s, National’s Max Bradford started the privatisation process of energy companies, setting up the SOEs and selling Contact. Electricity prices have risen at two and a half times inflation since then. Now, National wants more privatisation. Have we forgotten why we voted them out in 1999?

– image from Frank M

41 comments on “Lest we forget”

  1. Afewknowthetruth 1

    Some of us remember all the way back to Think Big and how that was going to save us, to the deregulation [Labour] government of the mid-80s and how that was going to save us, to the muddling along years of Jim Bolger, to the scandal-a-week government of Jenny Shipley and to the much-hated government of Helen Clark that was going to save us.

    There has been one consistent theme over the decades. No government does anything for the long term benefit of New Zealanders but they all like to tinker.

    Other things I have come to realise are that most people seem to have difficulty remembering something that happened a month ago and an awful lot don’t care.

    Of course, they’ll all be complaining bitterly when they lose most of what they have a few years from now.

  2. Peter nickle 2

    But I thought this site wants higher power prices so we can leave a smaller carbon footprint?
    What do you want, lower prices and more burnt carbon or vice versa? The message is not clear to me.
    9 years of Labour did what tell me to decrease power prices?

    [this site doesn’t want anything nor is it responsible for Labour. It’s not a choice between more carbon and lower prices. 80% of our power is carbon free already. Eddie]

    [lprent: The Standard doesn’t have an opinion or wants – it is machine. Read the policy about the difference between people and machines. Use that particular stupid tactic again and I will demonstrate what it is like to annoy the person running the machine. ]

    • crashcart 2.1

      Wow great straw man. Of course those higher prices will be to reduce consumption and not to fleece private investors? I am sure the private investors will push for money to be invested in more green power production.

      The RWNJ’s are really getting desperate for excuses as to why this is a good idea.

    • Peter nickle 2.2

      You confuse me with someone who gives a fuck what you think and do on your site.
      You are a complete thick ignaramous who thinks your interlect intellect is greater than reality.
      Enjoy your next few years whinging about the National Govt.

      [lprent: Always nice to find someone so illiterate that they are unable to use their automatic spellchecker on their browser. But hopefully that was just because the gobbets of spittle obscured the word? I fixed it for you. ]

      • Ianupnorth 2.2.1

        Oh, you’re hard!

      • mikesh 2.2.2

        You missed fixing “ignaramous”.

      • McFlock 2.2.3

        His argument’s so powerful he doesn’t need to spell properly. Or take rabies shots.

      • Perhaps Peter is Max. All these years he’s been scouring the internet looking for any mention of his name, increasingly pissed off that he has fallen into the abyss of obscurity. Now, while sipping strained tea laced with his daily laxative at The Retirement Home for Former National  Lapdogs he finds someone has remembered him – but not in a good way.
        After being energized by the old German man with a Chaplin moustache frothing at the mouth next to him (who is in a chatroom arguing against people who blame a failure of leadership for the failure of the invasion of Russia in 1941), Max logs into The Standard under an assumed name to present cogent arguments in support of Max Bradford.

    • ropata 2.3

      @peter nickle, perhaps you’re confused by National spin doctors.
      It’s not a binary choice between low power prices vs. low CO2 emissions, both are possible with energy conserving measures and good infrastructure governance rather than naked profiteering.

      New Zealand’s electrical energy generation, previously state-owned as in most countries, was corporatised, deregulated and partly sold off over the last two decades of the twentieth century, following a model typical in the Western world. However, much of the sector remains under government ownership as state-owned enterprises…

      All of the governments energy assets originally came under the Public Works Department. From 1946, the management of generation and transmission came under a new department, the State Hydro-Electric Department (SHD), later renamed in 1958 as the New Zealand Electricity Department (NZED). The reformist Fourth Labour Government corporatised the department as a State Owned Enterprise in 1987, as the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ), which traded for a period as Electricorp. In 1994, ECNZ’s transmission business was split off as Transpower. In 1996, ECNZ was split again, with a new generation business, Contact Energy, being formed. The Shipley Government privatised Contact Energy in 1999. From 1 April 1999, the remainder of ECNZ was split again, with the major assets formed into three new SOEs (Mighty River Power, Genesis Power and Meridian Energy) and with the minor assets being sold off.

  3. prism 3

    @AFWKTT Pity you can’t work with a shorter name say Know the Truth, much easier to handle. The Think Big projects did build some stuff right here in NZ using NZ labour etc and did build infrastructure.

    • joe90 3.1

      Yup, Think Big wasn’t all bad, the tripling of my wages when I scored a job at Motonui allowed me the luxury of paying my way out of my 17-23% home loan interest rates.

  4. I had given up hope that people would ever mention the name of that odious man again.
    Let alone remember that he was behind taking SOE’s returning some $280 million per year in 1990/91 dollars into the absolute balls-up of an industry today.
    Why has he escaped the “radar of blame” when he boldly promised us cheaper power from the implementation of free market ideology?
    Not only was he ideologically wrong but he was incompetent in its execution. What he created wasn’t a free market but a dog’s breakfast (sorry dogs!) collection of private companies, monopolies, SOE’s, virtual monoplies that has not produced any evidence of cheaper power being in our future. Just the opposite.
    I can only assume that Labour thought it too much of a fragmented and complicated a mess that it would have been too expensive to clean up and would have involved some re-nationalisation of former state assets.
    Certain Gerry “I’m-sorry-but-I-cant-protect-the-equity-in-your-home-after-all” Brownlee has done sweet FA to fix it all.
     
    I had dealings with Maxy Boy when he was representing the Bankers Association and the impression he left me with was that I saw his sojourn in politics as more of the same – brown-nosing those who had power and could think for themselves, never having an original thought of his own, and way out of his depth as a minister.
    Maybe I had him wrong – but I have always been surprised that his reputation remained intact and I still curse him every time I get a power bill.
     
    Imagine a small country at the bottom of the south pacific that uses the green technology that it’s grandfather’s built to provide electricity to it’s people and especially it’s industry and transport in the formula of
    cost + R&D and future development + return to government = retail price.
    No more no less. All state owned as a public good.
    Industry with cheap energy – electrification of public transport and freight.
    Grandmothers aren’t discovered dead of hypothermia in their snuggle sacks when the power company calls to cut off their power.
     
    As Jim Anderton in the very beginning “Who are the going to complete against? The candle makers!”
     
     

    • Lindsey 4.1

      Yes, so did I. He was always an arrogant prick.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      …brown-nosing those who had power and could think for themselves, never having an original thought of his own, and way out of his depth as a minister.

      That describes National to a tee. Watch them. They always kowtow to authority figures and whine when people don’t do what the authority figures tell them to do without question. Pure Right Wing Authoritarian.

      Works with Act, the “liberal” party, as well.

    • millsy 4.3

      Sure is a dog breakfast. Really.

      It seems to be that the best place to introduce competition into the system would be the generation side, not the retail side.

  5. millsy 5

    The power industry is a crock.

    Since 2006 I have been working for a company that reads the power and gas meters on behalf of the major power companies (in the office — I work on getting the data out to the meter readers from the companies and the reads from the reader, back to the companies), and while our company has a good reputation, and all the workers give their best and work hard, and we have some brilliant people doing brilliant things, I just cannot help but think that the way things are set up its all a great big bloated mess. with all sorts of people clipping the ticket on the way through. I really don’t see anything wrong with the local network companies handling the billing, etc.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    prism

    ‘Think Big’ got NZ’s finances so far out of kilter the incoming [Labour] government had to devalue overnight to prevent the economy collapsing. Plant originally costed at $800 million ended up costing $2,000 million because there were so many ‘cock-ups’ and so much wastage.

    But, as anyone who knows anything about international finance knows, ‘the game’ is to get communitiies and nations into as much debt as possible.

    When ‘Think Big was being promoted there were promises of downstream industries and tens of thousands of long term jobs, none of which eventuated.

    And the Think Big projects squandered precious fossil fuel resources in processes that were 50% efficient.

    For instance, it would have been a lot cheaper and a lot more efficient to GIVE EVERY MOTORIST IN NZ a CNG conversion kit than build Motunui. But that woud not have provided short term contracts and long term profits to global corporations. Nor would it have provided huge ‘back-handers’ to people liike Bill Birch.

    I use ‘AFEW’ because so few people do know the truth or bother to work it out.

    Most people take whatever nonsense they are presented with by governments, politicians, political parties, local government, global corporations, economists etc. and accept it as truth.

    • prism 6.1

      @Affktt You’re right but I think you are too critical. The Motonui thing was surely a genuine attempt to provide for our future fuel when things were looking bad for supplies from the traditional sources. It was not efficient as obtaining petrol from these sources but meant we couldn’t be cut off drastically.

      As for jobs, there is always a big hoo-ha about what opportunities building infrastructure will provide, but when it’s finished so are those jobs. But useful infrastructure supports increased business activity through the extra amenities of better transport conditions etc. so there should still be extra jobs if the amenity has been properly sited and planned.

      And wasn’t one of the reasons for the economy being fragile that there had been a long period of high inflation and yet a drop in employment and business activity, and also wasn’t our currency over-valued. That combined with Muldoon’s failure to officially hand over the reins of finance immediately to the new government allowed time for capital flight before decisive moves to devalue could be made by the new Labour government.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        And wasn’t one of the reasons for the economy being fragile that there had been a long period of high inflation and yet a drop in employment and business activity,…

        Stagflation hit every single developed country in the late 1960s/70s as, from what I can make out, the markets became saturated and the governments went on a spending binge financed by borrowing to maintain employment and consumption. Even now the biggest complaint about the economy around the world is how consumption isn’t increasing. It’s the Crisis of Capitalism that Marx predicted and the response throughout the world is to use up even more of the limited resources that the world has to prop up profits and the delusional Fractional Reserve Banking system exactly as I predicted (specifically I said that profit driven free-market capitalism will use up all resources as fast as possible resulting in catastrophic collapse of the economy, the environment and that such a result is inevitable no matter what restraints that we manage to put on it).

        The sale of state assets is also a response to the Crisis of Capitalism which we saw in the 1980s/90 and again now as it puts natural monopolies into private hands forcing people to over pay for what is an essential service/good while also removing community restraints over the use of the resources that the natural monopoly uses allowing those resources to over exploited. Selling the state assets is nothing more than a transfer of the communities wealth to the rich.

        …and also wasn’t our currency over-valued.

        Yes it was specifically due to the 3rd National governments borrowing and Muldoon refused to reduce the value. Muldoon’s refusal to hand over the reigns of power probably resulted in an even bigger loss to NZ but Labour had already hinted that they would lower the value after the election and so many people had speculated into the NZ$ just before the election resulting in about $700m being transferred from NZ to the speculators. Big Business did very very well out of the policies of the 4th Labour government and Roger Douglas – the workers and the community got shafted.

        • prism 6.1.1.1

          @DTB
          Thanks for comment. Meaty reading (I’m not a vegetarian.)

          Labour had already hinted that they would lower the value after the election and so many people had speculated into the NZ$ just before the election resulting in about $700m being transferred from NZ to the speculators.

          Was it a mistake then for Labour to have discussed this sensitive matter of devaluation before the election? Knowing that it is irresistible for many with the know-how of the financial world to speculate to our detriment.

    • mik e 6.2

      The Clyde dam was supposed to cost $450 million it cost $2.5 billion Incis was supposed to cost $10 million it never worked and cost $120 million National gets away with ripping off New Zealand by the billion yet when labour is in power they are not aloud to be openly gay{as opposed to nationals closeted type there aloud ] speed help raise funds for a charity with out the main stream media taking them apart

  7. Jonathan W 7

    I find this cartoon extremely offensive. Using a phrase commemorating the memory and sacrifice of those who served their country for a cheap political point is truly pathetic.

    • lprent 7.1

      As an ex-soldier I don’t find it offensive. In fact, it sounds pretty much why the phrase was used in the first place as a response to the ode of remembrance. But I could go and ask my slightly deaf gunner (El Alamein) great uncle mike , the few other remaining WW2 servicemen left in the family, other vets, or the ones currently serving if they’d find it offensive. But I suspect that they’d find your attitude pretty damn silly.

      Sounds to me to be more like you just don’t like the cartoon.

      • mik e 7.1.1

        JW This is politics not war even though they are both dirty business. Complain to Tremain his wife is an act member.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, hence, Lest We Forget.

    • Colonial Viper 7.3

      I find this cartoon extremely offensive. Using a phrase commemorating the memory and sacrifice of those who served their country for a cheap political point is truly pathetic.

      Hey braniac those who served and sacrificed for NZ didn’t do so in order for NZ to be sold off bit by bit to foreigners.

      You see, selling this country out is what is truly pathetic and disrespectful.

      Your pretence of false sentimentality has no idea of the NZ ideals that those old soldiers actually fought and died for.

  8. ropata 8

    Which is worse?
    a) selling off assets built by our parents and grandparents and liquidating our childrens’ future
    b) a satirical cartoon

  9. hoom 9

    Why can’t Labour put out a policy for a real solution to the Electricity Market problem?
    Minimal tinkering that they did in power is no solution.

    Pretty much everyone out there is hankering for some kind of big change that will reverse the endless price increases, phoney ‘competition’ & market gaming that currently plague the market.

    My suggestion:
    -Rejoin the 3 SoEs and transmission company.
    -Mandate the new entity to generate & distribute wholesale electricity with these priorities:
    1: Reliability (no more artificial crises)
    2: Clean sustainable generation (because we can & should)
    3: Energy efficiency & minimal cost to the consumer (better insulation, more efficient appliances = less demand = less need for new expensive generation & lines = lower costs)
    4: Neutral or minimal profit (current profits to Government is nice but you could call it tax by stealth & far too much of the revenue is funnelled into Executive/Accountant/Marketing bank balances)
    -Return retail to regional Line trusts.
    -Contact will have to compete across the existing market system against that.
    (Being a privately owned company that is inherently drastically more efficient than state owned companies they shouldn’t have any issue becoming the dominant player right??? I mean after 15 years there can hardly be more than a few % of consumers left who have not switched to the naturally more efficient Contact)
    -Offer to buy Contact shares at some low-ball price if shareholders are unhappy about it.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Agree with #4. Natural monopolies such as telecommunications/power should be state owned and have close to zero profit. Actually making a profit in such a position is just taxing by a different name.

      Return retail to regional Line trusts.

      There should be no such thing as retail or, to be more precise, everyone should pay the same charges. Use a block charge system to encourage people to use less. Smaller blocks cost less than larger ones (basic supply and demand) and going over the amount signed up for costs a huge amount.

      Offer to buy Contact shares at some low-ball price if shareholders are unhappy about it.

      Just tell them that they’ve had their fun and that they now have to hand it back – no compensation.

      • hoom 9.1.1

        Well a regional monopoly trust would not really be retail but I meant remove the current Retail market.
         
        I don’t think we are quite at compulsory Nationalisation somehow, hell selling off these assets hell or high water is giving Nats 60% polling.
        By forcing the private enterprise to compete we get an actual market.
        Rather than just sit on their 1/4 of the 4 way artificial market they will either actually try to beat price of the bigger player = win for citizens, or their shareholders will want out through ‘normal free market forces’.
        A standing low-ball offer would just make that way out more attractive.

        • mik e 9.1.1.1

          Show me large companies that compete in NZ. There are Monopolies duopolies oligarchies colluders in pricing there is no real competition its a figment of your imagination.

  10. hoom 10

    Motonui has been a great success.
    Not as originally planned but under its privatised name Methanex & reworked to produce Methanol.
    They took great advantage of fixed price contracts to gobble up 80% of Maui gas for dirt cheap.
    Now they even get Carbon Credits for it too!

  11. Tom Gould 11

    Anyone noticed how Max has taken down his website content bragging on the benefits of electricity market dergulation and privatisation, especially the old stuff about how much power charges would fall as a result?

    • Max Bradford 11.1

      No he hasn’t. It’s still there at http://www.maxbradford.co.nz. And by the way, power prices did fall from 1999 to 2000 or thereabouts, when they exploded under Labour’s policies….power prices went up by 72 percent far in excess of inflation, from 2000 to 2008 when they were tossed out of office. Labour’s policies were the cause of the power price rises, not the creation of an electricty market.

      If you want to find out the facts, send me your email address and I’ll send them to you.

      [lprent: Looks legitimate. ]

      • “If you want to find out the facts, send me your email address and I’ll send them to you.”

        Why not post the details here, so we can all look at them. If the data is accurate and from an impeccable, non-partisan source, wouldn’t you be very keen to make them public?

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    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
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    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
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    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    15 hours ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    16 hours ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    17 hours ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    6 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    7 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
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    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
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