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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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  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    6 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    5 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 mins ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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