Message from Christchurch: Send Help Now

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, August 5th, 2014 - 36 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, christchurch earthquake, community democracy, democracy under attack, Environment, Gerry Brownlee - Tags: , ,

christchurch city

As the government and the media start their crusade to sell off the council’s assets, the Press has also found time to champion one of the Right’s other pet causes: council amalgamation. One council could well be the answer – but it depends what the question was. Maybe it was “how can we give the people of Canterbury even less say in the decisions that effect their daily lives?” While this was just a short opinion piece from the Press council reporter Lois Cairns, it managed to contain an heroic number of omissions.

First up, what she is suggesting is a merger of the city council (CCC) with the regional council (ECan). This makes it seem like these are the only two bodies in play. ECan is the territorial authority for all of Canterbury – from Timaru to Kaikoura. There are TEN councils in the area covered by ECan, and so merging two of them would create a multitude of issues for the other 9 councils. Surely the Press knows this, so one wonders what might have led them to omission.

Secondly, the comparison to the Auckland Supercity is a fatuous one. The key reason for bringing the supercity together was that Auckland consisted of a number of city councils. While there were also rural and semi-rural ones, and the Auckland regional council, this was about making a city work together as a city. The CCC and ECan have two, almost exclusive, spheres of influence at the moment – rebuilding a city, and expediting water extraction for dairy farming, Why on earth would anyone want to join these two together?*

Thirdly, when comparing Christchurch to the supercity, Cairns has completely overlooked the twin elephants in the room: Selwyn and Waimakariri. If you were going to create one council (and, if you haven’t picked this up already, we most definitely shouldn’t be) then you would start by bringing the two councils that are making bank out of the CCC being severely compromised by the quakes. Selwyn and Waimakariri are opening up huge amounts of land – fabulously fertile farmland – for cookie-cutter subdivisions on the outskirts of Christchurch. They get the rates from these sections, but the people who live there benefit from their proximity to a city to which they don’t contribute rates to.

But of all the crap in this opinion piece, this takes the cake:

Opponents to a unitary authority have cited concerns about the loss of democracy. That argument holds little sway as ECan has been democracy-free since the Government stepped in and appointed commissioners in 2010. The Government has shown little appetite for changing that situation, so if we went down the track of a unitary authority we wouldn’t be losing democracy, we would be regaining it.

So. The government took away our vote, denying us a right that is protected under a UN charter. They then used the tragedy of the earthquakes so they could postpone our rights again – and all so they could hand as much water over to dairy farmers are possible. But don’t worry – this argument has little sway with Lois. Phew. There was me thinking it was the role of the fourth estate to try and speak truth to power. Nope. Instead of being outraged by the removal of our rights, Cairns manages to spin her little proposal as one that gives us more of a vote, not less. In her mind, 1 vote is greater than 2.

This opinion reads like one that came straight from the top floor of the Beehive. No one in Christchurch is asking for this. But on top of the fight we have to save our council assets – which the council are being pressured to sell, so they can build millstones for their own neck like stadiums and convention centres – we’re fighting EQC and insurance. We’re battling against rents going up at crazy rates. We’re struggling around on pot-holed, clogged roads. We’ve got whole suburbs going under water which the government wants us to believe has nothing to do with the quakes. And all the while, extensive, extractive dairy farming is turning our great rivers into open sewers.

We’re fighting on every front, and we’re tired of it. We’ve gone on like this for the best part of four years, living in a state of semi-permanent stress. We need your help. If you’re swinging about who to vote for, have a look down here and see what it means to us. We don’t have a say in what happens to our environment. We have say in our council, but our council doesn’t have much of a say in how our city is run any more. Power has been concentrated into the figure of one man – a man who has in recent weeks shown that he thinks he is above the rule of law. You might think your one vote doesn’t make much of a difference – but it is everything to us here. Another three years of National and Brownlee, and we might not have a vote at a local level at all. Under a Labour led-government, we’d have new elections for ECan, and we’d be passing power back from CERA to the council. It looks like it is the only thing that can stop the relentless march towards turning this city and this region into a wholly owned business subsidiary of the government.

If you think you can help with my campaign, or want to know more, you can sign up here

  • except maybe if you were the government, and you wanted to combine the only two things that were driving economic growth into one beast with complete Beehive control, no environmental restrictions and no means by which to democratically express their dissent. Putting all our eggs in the one basket, then placing the basket in front of a bulldozer for which only Gerry has the key

36 comments on “Message from Christchurch: Send Help Now ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    I hope this gets as wide a readership as possible.

    • Tom Gould 1.1

      Assured if you could get the small army of taxpayer funded spin doctors at CERA and CCDU and other places to tell the truth about the recovery and the insurers for once? It’s hard to blame the media when they are confronted with a daily deluge of orchestrated ‘good news’ about all the wonderful ‘progress’ being made, and constant bullying from Gerry and his cronies. I hope the good folks of Canterbury can see through it all.

  2. Ann 2

    The rest of New Zealand need to read this story !

  3. vto 3

    “… living in a state of semi-permanent stress …”

    This is most definitely the case. The things just keep popping up and making the head explode. Rebuilds, repairs done badly, no repairs, bumpy roads, road cones in crazy places, cbd like a bomb site… on it goes as everyone knows…

    good thing is the cbd looks like being about to flower soon and that is exciting. Methinks it will be quite something, eventually.

    bad thing is the children who have suffered. Have mentioned a few times how if you are an 8 year old then half of your life has been living with earthquakes and blown apart city and homes. That is significant and real. A quake a couple nights ago set one of our multiple off again – easy to tears.

    Mind you – at least we aint at war. Imagine that..

  4. fambo 4

    I hope Christchurch residents stop voting for National but I reckon a sizeable lot of them will anyway, no matter if it is their school that closes or their house that sinks under the water. They seem to believe that National is the one true government and like going to see the King, their only means of bringing favourable change is to beseech John Key, Gerry Brownlee and whoever else belongs to the Court. They are living in a pre-democratic state of existence in their minds.

  5. tricledrown 5

    The best help New Zealand can give Christchurch is to get rid of bully Brownlee and cronies like Jenny Shipley who is in the taxpayers trough to the tune of $450,000 for a few meetings a year.
    While Brownlee has wasted $100 of millions on Dodgey repairs that will have to be done all over again.
    Now he’s bullied the ChCh city council into selling off income earning assets .

  6. Pete 6

    Hi, while I am a commentator from the right, this call goes out to all sides of the political divide. It is clear that there is an orchestrated plan by left supporters to systematically destroy National election signs in the Port Hills and Lyttelton Harbour areas (and others). While this may seem like a useful activity, in reality is simply perpetuates the views by many that the left are an angry mob willing to resort to criminal activity to support their position. Would Labour and The Greens like it if national supporters defaced their election signs? What message does this mindless vandalism send to our community and the youth voters who will lead our nations future? Perhaps if both sides were willing to condemn this activity we would all be the better for it, and fairness would prevail on the campaign trail?

    • minarch 6.1

      Enough of your obvious concern-trolling Pete

      Those signs are being vandalized up and down the country, In my area they have had to put all the National signs on private property rather than the road side as they only last a couple a nights when the public can access them freely

      nothing to do with any “orchestrated plan by left supporters” , just resentment from the general community toward the incumbent parliament.

      • Tracey 6.1.1

        No problem with a prime minister caught in hundreds of lies since 2008 though…

      • Pete 6.1.2

        If my intent was to troll you’d know about it! Wake up, it’s criminal activity, and you’d cry like only the left can if it happened to your own signs. I’m sure you’ll be condoning the continued attacks, just want to confirm that’s the position of the left.

    • Molly 6.2

      Another spin on the “… if yer no wi’ me, yer agin’ me..”.

      “It is clear that there is an orchestrated plan by left supporters to systematically destroy National election signs…

      Show the proof if you have it. If not, have you just considered that those who are doing the destruction are just doing it?

      No orchestration is needed when graffiti happens – and it doesn’t indicate an organised collective of tidily painted walls.

      It is the nature of elections that public hoardings are vulnerable to defacing and attack. From a personal point of view it serves no political purpose, and I would not do it.

      That’s it.

    • karol 6.3

      So you consider some damaged billboards are more important than the topic of this post – the lives of people in Christchurch destroyed by the earthquake, followed by the Nats destruction of democracy, and poor help to the people devastated by the quakes?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.4

      Pete, you don’t have to confess to being right-wing: it’s obvious from your feeble grasp on logic and reason.

  7. ianmac 7

    One solution is to get rid of this Government and regain democratic ECan. Without Brownlie maybe better priorities would emerge. Less the stadium and no huge Conference Centres at least until after the essential rebuilds have happened.

    What happens to dear Christchurch is a blueprint for a city near you.

  8. tricledrown 8

    Dalziel is just protecting her chances of winning the next Mayoral Race

  9. Bill 9

    Unfortunately, and very disquietingly, that loss of democracy with its granting of power to Brownlie received cross party support. Just saying.

  10. johnm 10

    This government bailed out SC for a billion dollars – private speculators. If I were government I’d gift CHCH a billion dollars and enable them to hold their assets. Why so mean to NZ’s second city? The rest of NZ has a duty to help. Neolibralism and privatised greed will kill us as has happened to the shell society the U$.

    • Chooky 10.1

      +100…a caring society would bail Christchurch out of all earthquake debt and restore all the old buildings …especially the Cathedral

      ..we dont need John Key NACT’s motorways

    • vto 10.2

      exactly.

      Christchurch should say fuck off and we aint paying no more until we can afford it.

      That is the conservative position after all.

      If the rest of you want more then you pay for it

    • john 10.3

      The government insured the finance sector because many companies were falling over and thousands of small investors were losing their life savings. Companies were failing, not because all the companies were bad, but simply because everybody was pulling their money out.

      Those in the scheme paid the government around $750m in premiums, and the govt recovered nearly $1b from SCF.

      So the scheme was highly successful as stopping good companies falling over, and even with the massive losses from SCF and a couple of other companies, the whole scheme will take in virtually the same amount as it paid out.

      • Colonial Viper 10.3.1

        The government should not have paid out any interest at all, and especially not to the get-rich-quick types who heard that a bailout was underway.

        It would also have been appropriate to cut in half each dollar of payments to depositors over say the $200K mark, in order to safeguard ordinary Mum and Dad investor savings, but also tax payers’ interests.

        • john 10.3.1.1

          That would have failed badly right from the start.

          Why would people keep their money in a company if they were only guaranteed to get half of it back?

          • Colonial Viper 10.3.1.1.1

            In the scheme as I proposed it, someone with $500,000 invested in a dead finance company would have got $350,000 back. That’s a pretty good bailout. Better than waiting for 5 years of court action to get 11 cents on the dollar eh?

            So the only people the scheme would have failed would have been very wealthy people with very large sums foolishly invested in risky, over leveraged, under capitalised institutions that they didn’t do appropriate due diligence on.

            And of course in future they wouldn’t re-invest in such risky institutions; they would keep their excess funds in proper banks that are regulated by full Reserve Bank oversight.

            • john 10.3.1.1.1.1

              It would have failed badly.

              Because those with large sums would have pulled their money out.

              So dozens more companies would have failed ANYWAY, even with the scheme.

              But the taxpayer would have had to them fund billions of dollars more in payouts to all the smaller investors (who made up a big part of the billions lost in the 60 or so companies who failed BEFORE the scheme).

              • Colonial Viper

                How can those with large sums “pull their money out” when a statutory freeze on all large transactions is activated?

                What makes you think that there was any liquidity in any of these shonky institutions to even support 5% of withdrawals?

                An orderly unwinding of institutions too shaky to last is an easy and well documented process to institute.

                • john

                  So you would have legally forced people to keep all their money in a company that was likely to go bust – with due respect, that’s totally nuts.

                  The problem was a quarter of all deposits were going into finance companies, and when they started to have problems that dropped suddenly to just 1% of deposits by mid 2006.

                  So by the time the Labour Party designed the deposit guarantee scheme in late 2008, finance companies had been starved of new funds for over two years, but all the while people had been taking their money out – a 5,10, or even 20% liquidity was never going to cope with that.

                  Which is why 60 finance companies went under, and the only way to stop the dominoes was a guarantee scheme.

                  And it worked very well. Only around three more companies failed, and the money taken in premiums and recovered from the failed companies was virtually the same as that paid out.

          • vto 10.3.1.1.2

            john it is clear you are from the nether regions of our fair lands which benefited from the fraudulent underwriting of South Canterbury Finance. Your view is distorted. Especially in light of your uninhibited glassy-eyed view of Bill English.

            Have you sucked his cock?

            • McFlock 10.3.1.1.2.1

              nah – he’s previously claimed to live in auckland. Don’t blame us for him 🙂

            • john 10.3.1.1.2.2

              If you get frustrated with your own inability to put forward an intelligent argument you could always give up trying to be intelligent and just resort to abuse.

      • vto 10.3.2

        you are a fucking lunatic

        please install an insurance scheme which underwrites my business by the taxpayers, you useless communist prick

        • john 10.3.2.1

          No – a lunatic would let the whole financial sector melt down and bankrupt thousands of ordinary Kiwis simply because people were full of panic, when a scheme that cost virtually nothing in the long run could stop it.

          And the government does already underwrite businesses – we pay ACC so the govt covers our workers if they get injured, we pay EQC in case our business in damaged in an earthquake, and we pay a fire levy so there is a fire service to protect our businesses.

          Businesses also pay tax, despite many getting virtually nothing from the government for that tax.

          • Colonial Viper 10.3.2.1.1

            Sorry John, don’t try and hold the economy hostage with the “financial melt down” card.

            Capitalism is based on business failures and buyer beware. Small investors should be protected but large investors should know better.

            We’ve seen time and time again that reckless behaviour increases when the private sector thinks that it is backstopped without limit by the tax payers pocket.

            All I’m doing is proposing some sensible limits.

            Businesses also pay tax, despite many getting virtually nothing from the government for that tax.

            They can leave the country if they don’t want to operate here. Other people who understand opportunities better will quickly fill the gap.

            • john 10.3.2.1.1.1

              No – it’s not sensible in the slightest.

              The whole point of the scheme was to stop companies falling over because of people pulling money out.

              If you only fully guarantee the small investors, but the bigger ones stand to lose half their money, then of course they will pull their money out – and the company would fall over, so the scheme would fail.

              And then the taxpayer would be left to pay our billions to all the small investors who left their money in.

              That’s why unless the scheme guarantees ALL money, in a company, it would be worse than pointless as it would certainly fail, and cost the taxpayer billions.

  11. Ad 11

    Not enough people care about local government voting for this line of argument to have much force any more.

    Better to concentrate on the practical everyday concerns of people, and how they link pretty well to Labour’s solutions in housing, skills training, and insurance.

  12. OwTim 12

    @ Bill
    ….. raises another issue, and one that most don’t seem too concerned about, or willing to address.
    WHAT (if anything) are political parties of the left going to do to preserve various democratic institutions in future?
    How has it become so easy to
    – destroy public service broadcasting and any sort of legitimate public sphere
    – sell/privatise assets owned by the public – effectively move their value from the hands of the wider electorate into the hands of the few and provide those few with the legalese of property rights that trump a voting public
    – pass legislation that does not conform to BORA, The Treaty, etc (in the abscence of a formal constitution)
    – use urgency to pass legislation at will, and to give equal effect to it as would that which had gone through ‘normal’ process
    – demolish (in this instance corporatise) the public service institutions such that elected representatives can use excuses such as “I cannot interfere in operational matters”, AND/OR various other (now cliched) excuses to do nothing when various government corporate feifdoms fail their public so blatantly and poorly
    – allow the permanence of all the above to have existed for so long
    ??
    Surely – given that the left-right pendulum has swung so far right over the past 30 years that the Natzis are referred to with a ‘centre’ prefix, the means of preventing a future repetition should be paramount. I’ve yet to see any ‘left’ slash ‘liberal’ slash ‘progressive’ party address this.
    It’s probably also why I cannot give Labour my party vote until I next see their record – post this election

  13. Ad 13

    OwTim
    About a third of people don’t vote in central government elections, and over two thirds don’t vote in local elections. Democracy is no vote winner.

    You are essentially asking if the decline in the entire public sphere can be reversed. My experience is that it takes pretty charismatic leaders to achieve that. Plus at least a decade of work. Check the strength of National’s membership, because of John Key, and the surge in Labour membership due to a refreshed democratic process and a strong, smart leader in David Cunliffe.

    They need to be in government for three terms, have committed activist Ministers, and a public service who are motivated. That’s a whole bunch of stars to sustain in alignment.

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    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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