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Like Solid Energy, hubris behind Landcorp’s predicament

Written By: - Date published: 2:22 pm, August 22nd, 2015 - 54 comments
Categories: Economy, farming - Tags: , , , , ,

By Simon Louisson

Brace for another State-Owned Enterprise debacle when Landcorp releases its annual result next week.

Solid Energy was this month placed in Voluntary Administration following its financial collapse.

Landcorp may not be in quite the same pit as the coal miner, but negative cash-flow and rising debt will almost certainly mean it has breached banking covenants.

The Government has opted on a laissez faire attitude to its assets, so Landcorp will be forced by its banks, ANZ, ASB and Westpac, to sell assets at the bottom of market to repay debt.

The predicament of both companies is due to the same underlying factor – management hubris and inept governance.

Solid Energy, under former CEO Don Elder built grandiose plans on coal prices staying close to the multi-year highs they reached in the late 2000s despite all the historical evidence saying otherwise.

Under Dr Elder’s direction, Solid Energy, valued at $2.5 billion, invested heavily in alternative energy. It also built headquarters in Christchurch akin to one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces that housed hundreds of highly paid head office staff.

To the seeming surprise of Dr Elder, but not to experienced observers, coal prices fell so the cost of maintaining the $400 million of debt accumulated to fund Dr Elder’s grand plans became unmanageable. It had to flog off its alternative energy assets, but these were only at the fledgling stage and as the price of oil and coal had collapsed, were far from attractive.

There are many similarities with Landcorp. Spurred by the rise in price of milk powder, Landcorp has bet heavily on dairy, committing multi millions to converting sheep and forestry land to dairy farms.

Already holding a big dairy exposure, it took a long lease on the Wairakei Estate in the Central North Island where forests and nine dairy farms, previously owned by wealthy Auckland investors, will be expanded into 39 farms carrying 42,000 cows by 2021. The 26,000 hectares of conversions will cost “hundreds of millions of dollars,” according to SOE Minister Todd McClay.

Last year’s annual report shows contracted capital for conversions will cost $35 million until 2019 and it then escalates to $229 million.

The problem with Wairakei Estate, Landcorp’s General Manager of Dairy Operations, Mark Julian, told The Waikato Times recently, is the first 10 years will be “pretty tough”. The land is problematic for dairying because it has high production costs and poor levels of dry matter grown, he said.

In 2013/14, costs ran at $4.82/kg of milk solids against Fonterra’s forecast payout this year of $3.85/kg. And that’s before debt servicing costs.

Landcorp was already struggling with negative cashflow in the first half year. While it traditionally generates more positive cash in the second half, in the six months to December 31 it had receipts of $109.3 million, of which $57.5 million was milk, but payments of $121.6 million – a deficit of $12.3 million. Milk receipts are going to fall steeply.

There are other interesting aspects to Landcorp’s accounts. Its operating profit was $1.0 million, down from $13.1 million in the year ago period, but its net profit of $62.7 million, down from $109.3  million a year ago, included $62.6 million of unrealised gains on the value of its livestock.

I know only about enough of farming to distinguish sheep from cows, but my guess is that if milk prices are as dire as Fonterra’s Global Dairy Trade auctions show, then it is likely to affect cow prices.

Landcorp had debt of $359 million at December 31, up from $320 million at June 30, 2014. It has equity of $1.4 billion, but former CEO Chris Kelly pointed out on Radio NZ this week that the problem is that Landcorp, like most farmers is farming for capital gain and is cash poor, but Treasury has insisted it pay high dividends.

The Government extracted a $7 million dividend in October, up from $5 million a year earlier, and it has consistently taken out higher dividends than cashflow warranted.

The end result of this is that Taxpayers will have to endure the lunacy of a Government entity investing heavily at the top of the market and, having got into trouble, watch as the Government sits with its hands in pockets refusing to help, while Landcorp conducts a fire-sale of farms at the bottom of the market.

“My concern is that if you start making short-term decisions based on short-term commodity prices then you are just going to jump all over the place and will have no long-term strategy at all,” Mr Kelly said.

Foreign buyers, such as Chinese company Shanghai Pengxin, which purchased the Crafar farms, will salivate at the prospect of basement bargains.

Questions must be asked about governance. How is it that the managers and boards of SOEs such as Solid Energy and Landcorp get so excited about the normal waves of the commodities cycle that they over-invest and risk the Government’s (taxpayers’) billion dollar businesses?

Where is the oversight from the directors, each of whom is paid over $35,000 for 11 meetings a year while Chairwoman Tracy Houpapa collects over $50,000? What has Treasury’s Crown Ownership Monitoring Unit done to rein in the grandiose plans of SOE bosses and do their most basic job of protecting the taxpayers’ assets?

And what has SOE Minister Todd McClay done to earn his huge salary?

During the 1970s, former Prime Minister Robert Muldoon saw oil prices soar and, egged on by his advisers, spent many billions of dollars on his “Think Big” energy projects that aimed to cash in on the oil boom . But it ended in unmitigated disaster when oil sank to US$ 10/barrel.

Then in the 1980s we had state owned entities including the Bank of New Zealand, Development Finance Corporation and NZ Insurance being driven to the wall trying to ride the property boom.

It seems the more our politicians, managers and advisers swill at the trough, the greater the mess.

54 comments on “Like Solid Energy, hubris behind Landcorp’s predicament”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Privatisation by Crisis.

    Next up DoC. Parachute in a political cronies, run the organisation into crisis mode – sell out.

    • hoom 1.1

      Indeed.
      Was Nick Smith SOE Minister for a while?

    • Ad 1.2

      No, the ones to watch are Kiwirail, National Radio, TVNZ, and Kiwibank.

      English has ruled out further SOE privatisations this term, but he has been pretty clear that those are on the block if they get in next election.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    It seems the more our politicians, managers and advisers swill at the trough, the greater the mess.

    RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us
    Really, we should be paying directors, CEOs, and MPs about the average hourly wage.

  3. Keith 3

    Was Landcorp forced by the government to borrow money to pay dividends to the government, as per Solid Energy?

  4. b waghorn 4

    The best thing landcorp could do is start to liquidate there live stock and lease there farms out to kiwi resident farmers. This would be very popular with rural voters as landcorp has few fans outside there own gates.
    It would also reinvigorate an ageing farming population as our best and brightest would see a pathway to ownership which is denied most young kiwis .
    It is well known that landcorp is all but a not for profit operation who over capitalize there farms .

    • lprent 4.1

      Tell me, what exactly is the historic mission of Landcorp?

      They create or upgrade land and farms to workable economic farms and then sell them to young farmers. Your idiotic strategy would simply mean that process of improvement simply wouldn’t happen…

      Even these days they do the same thing, albeit less explicitly.

      Perhaps you shouldn’t comment on things that you are too stupid to understand.

      • b waghorn 4.1.1

        I like to chuck ideas out to see what happens it always, amuses me when I get arrogant old fuckwits like you playing the man and not the idea..
        While I do base my views on mostly anecdotal evidence there known for under performing compared to owner operates.
        Still sweat as if key sells them off a?

        • Shona 4.1.1.1

          Their not there! Learn to spell. moron! Your spelling and grammar is on a par with your thinking.

      • Weepus beard 4.1.2

        That mission statement is interesting.

        You would think that is government strategy to be applauded but instead National party lapdogs are baying for Landcorp’s blood, presumably in order to balance Blinglish’s books short term.

        I can only assume Farrar and co. would prefer these new farms to be sold to the Chinese rather than to young Kiwis.

      • b waghorn 4.1.3

        “”Properties that have ceased to have strategic value will be sold. In
        all instances market value will be sought through valuations from
        registered valuers and where appropriate through a competitive
        tender process.””
        This is from there strategic plan , I’ve could find no mention of selling to young farmers .

      • Gosman 4.1.4

        Is that in their mission statement or explicitly stated anywhere?

    • weka 4.2

      “The best thing landcorp could do is start to liquidate there live stock and lease there farms out to kiwi resident farmers.”

      according to wiki they already do.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landcorp

      • b waghorn 4.2.1

        They lease land off others of which some is the environmental vandalism their carrying out in south Waikato. I’m not aware of any helping hands being given to independent kiwis but would be trilled to be proven wrong.

        • weka 4.2.1.1

          ok, thanks for clarifying that.

        • Tracey 4.2.1.2

          use them as a base for training and then low cost loan some farmers onto their land? or run a kind of share milking scheme?

          • b waghorn 4.2.1.2.1

            Just a straight out lease to the best and brightest kiwi resident farmers at commercial rates.Possible with a few rules to keep the big players from cutting out new entrants.
            By keeping them in government ownership they get a income, the rates payed and can set the rules around environmental issues.
            The average age of kiwi farmers is rapidly increasing and staffing farms in some areas is becoming a real issue due in part to there being no pathway to ownership.
            There is alreaedy a training industry in nz , taratahi , smedley , whanganui atihau and aratiatia the last being a landcorp one .
            Edit, I was thinking sheep and beef , but yes 50/50 for the dairy farms would be good, its a system that’s works well.

  5. Detrie 5

    Seen this sort of thing when we worked in the Corporate & SOE sectors years back. Greed, managerial gut instincts and the promise of riches always outweighing common sense. Directors only seeing the profit estimates and commissions. I suspect there were middle mangers in these organisations that provided them ample market and risk analysis, but most likely brushed aside as being too ‘negative’.

  6. Jenny Kirk 6

    Who is Simon Louisson ? Its a good article, but what are his credentials for writing it ?

    • Simon Louisson 6.1

      In regard to who is Simon Louisson, I am a former journo who worked for Reuters, NZPA, AP Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal, The Press and The Jerusalem Post

      • Redbaiter 6.1.1

        Amazed to find this article on the Standard.

        Very informative and well done.

      • lprent 6.1.2

        My apologies. I meant to write a intro comment (I’m a bit vague in my 4th cold this year damnit).

        https://www.google.co.nz/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=%22Simon+Louisson%22

        He was also a political and media advisor for the Greens for some months, now retired to doing Shotts?

        I remember his business reporting before that.

        Because of that previous political connection when he sent me a post back at the budget, it got auto-filed as a press release. Eventually he wrote a sarcastic email and attracted my attention 🙂

        BTW: I like how the SEO has the search for his name with The Standard up on the first page in the google. Means that I have that working pretty well.

      • Jenny Kirk 6.1.3

        Thanks Simon – that clarifies it. And you will no doubt have noticed in today’s Sunday Star Times Rod Oram saying similar things about Landcorp.

  7. mickysavage 7

    I think the Government should be held at least partially to blame for Solid Energy’s demise. In May 2009 then SOE Minister Simon Power wrote to the Solid Energy Board and said this:

    “I am disappointed with the forecast decline in Solid Energy’s financial performance over the next three years, in particular the dramatic decline in profitability and dividends. While this is understandable, given the significant decline in forecast coal prices, it is far from clear why Solid Energy forecasts [redacted].”

    So Solid energy was getting bearish in its views but National insisted on the increased dividends being paid.

    $130 million in dividends were then paid including $30 million in a year when a hefty loss was recorded.

  8. BM 8

    The directors only see what the senior management is willing to show.

    Company could be crashing and burning and the directors wouldn’t have a clue.

    • Ad 8.1

      All SOE Boards should be “refreshed” every two years.
      Just good governance, done in a carefully managed sequence.
      Helps keep the CEO fully on their toes, under threat of replacement.

      Also, if a Board hasn’t figured out how to “deep dive” into specific areas of performance, then they are incompetent.

  9. Ad 9

    +100

    To have a look at what local capital can do with a set of dairy farms in a similar Taupo area, have a look at: http://www.miraka.co.nz

    Just a tiny little iwi really, but gutsy and determined to make dairy farming work for Maori. So they built up difficult central North Island land, converted to dairying, made it successful, but most importantly, instead of bowing to supply Oh Wise Monopoly Fonterra, they decided to go it alone and form their own little dairy factory.

    That meant scraping together their own capital, schooling up their own expertise, doing it small, but winning prizes, going international by themselves.

    Whereas Landcorp, as usual, too the easy way out. And are paying for it. There is absolutely no reason that a public shareholder could cut their dividend requirement, allow them to aggregate their own capital, so long as the focus was less on bulk commodities and more on higher value exported products.

    It’s also incomprehensible why Landcorp don’t their voice heard much louder around the table of the Fonterra Shareholder group. They’ve got enough of percentage. It’s as if it’s impossible for the interests of the state to be shouted loud and clear to our largest company.

  10. Saarbo 10

    This could get interesting, it does seem that Key/Nats will force Landcorp to sell farms, assuming that they want to make a material dent in its Debt of $359m, then they will have to sell at least $100m of farms. Very few farmers in NZ will be in a position to purchase these as the scale of these farms are very large, and placing a number of farms on the current market could be disastrous. If they do sell in this market then this will be another classic Kiwi government sale, the buyer will make all of the money out of it.

  11. Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 11

    How many farms in NZ trace back to land ballots of Crown land by egalitarian governments?

    http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nzlscant/run.htm

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/1966/land-settlement/page-6

    • weka 11.1

      egalitarian if you were white 😉 (and male).

      • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 11.1.1

        Yes that was a flaw of the 1891 -1912 Liberal government -they believed Pakeha could more productively use land than Maori would. There was an implicit racial superiority belief system.

        The male part was a little more complicated. The Liberals gave woman the vote, which was the first in the world. No doubt this continued a liberalising trend but it was also because they wanted to support family farming as part of their agrarianism political and economic belief system. They believed small, competitive, anti-monopolistic, egalitarian family farms would be the basis for a successful democracy and economy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Liberal_Party#Agrarianism

        I suspect Mackenzie/Liberals thought women who were wives of male farmers would vote for the family farms self interest -which of course would be for the Liberal party.

        The Liberals won 7 consecutive elections, they are the longest serving government administration in New Zealand’s history. They had a huge impact on NZ society, our belief system, our economy, even to this day.

        The Liberals failed because they became a staid conservative party. Aspects of the Liberal party are now split between National and Labour.

  12. saarbo 12

    @brendan Harre

    Many. It would have been a great move for Key/Nats to do Ballot out of these except I think they are too large.

  13. saarbo 13

    @brendan Harre

    Many. It would have been a great move for Key/Nats to do Ballot out of these except I think they are too large.

  14. amy 14

    More evidence of why governments should keep out of business. Will be beneficial when Chinese buyers no doubt buy solid energy and landcorp. Nz lacks the capital, the managers and the attitude to run very large business.

    No doubt the racist trolls will jump on me but there are many ways to achieve the ends that most on this sight share. It’s just a pity some extremists don’t tolerate non abusive discussion on the means. And as I have previously stated on here I am ethnic Chinese so bring on the racism guys!

  15. DH 15

    I’m not so sure that terms like hubris, incompetence, idealism etc are appropriate here. These people aren’t fools, they know what they’re doing and to suggest they’re just left Landcorp to its own devices for the last 7 years is a bit naive IMO. English in particular is a micro manager, he tries to control everything.

    Their treatment of assets doesn’t make sense unless there’s agenda(s) we don’t know about. NZ’s ability to borrow is reliant on our positive balance sheet of which the asset register is largely comprised of physical assets such as Crown enterprises and large land holdings etc.

    If NZ didn’t own significant assets English would have been unable to borrow like he did when the Nats came into power. Without assets he’d have struggled to get anyone to lend to us and what loans we would have been advanced would have been at usurious rates of interest.

    Fortunately for us we had enough assets to borrow against to weather the GFC storm and work our way back to surplus again. But now we’re left with a very low balance sheet which needs to be replenished to insure us against a future GFC which is 100% certain will happen sometime.

    In selling off our assets this National party is effectively sabotaging the nation’s future ability to borrow and that doesn’t make any sense to me. But… when you consider that the parties responsible will be doing very nicely for themselves then maybe it does start to make sense.

    • Ad 15.1

      Oram’s point today in newspaper was precisely how English should back off Landcorp because they have made a success well beyond any one commodity cycle.

      Exact opposite of Solid Energy; too little too late.

      National incompetent either way.

  16. Ad 16

    Oram made comparable points in SStar today.

  17. I know everyone goes on about how Solid Energy made a big mistake investing in renewable energy/biomass, but nobody seems to recognise that the National Government did move the goalposts here, by removing the mandatory biofuel legislation that Solid was relying on as a market for its biofuels.

    Sure, Solid’s actual rollout of planting was pretty flawed (remember the John Campbell piece down in the McKenzie country were all the farmers were laughing at Solid), but the goalpost moving was Government-driven.

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    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
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    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.
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    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
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    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
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    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
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    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks 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
    33 mins 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
    2 hours 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
    4 hours 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
    5 hours ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours 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
    8 hours ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours 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
    1 day ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
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    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
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    3 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
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    3 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
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  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
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    4 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
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  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
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  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
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  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
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    6 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
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  • Shooting in Kurow
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
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  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago