Ministers’ housing claims up 17% as rorts continue

Written By: - Date published: 12:22 am, November 4th, 2010 - 45 comments
Categories: corruption, national/act government - Tags:

Weren’t Bill ‘Double Dipton’ English and other  ministers caught rorting the housing allowance system last year? Didn’t the Government revamp the system by giving ministers capped allowances, supposedly to save money and stop rorts? Why then are we, as I predicted, paying more than ever while ministers blatantly rip us off?

Bill ‘Double Dipton’ English’s landlord obviously took pity on him after his housing scandal because he’s no longer claiming $914 a week rent. He claims zero now. Jonathan Coleman, too has suddenly discovered he doesn’t have any housing costs to claim either, despite claiming $477 a week in the first six months of last year. The fact that their claims have evaporated after the rort scandal is more evidence they were never legitimate at all.

Other ministers have also been able to magically reduce their rent claims, which is really lucky: Judith Collins from $886 a week to $775, Anne Tolley from $847 a week to $719, Wayne Mapp from $726 to $500, Paula Bennett from $719, Rodney Hide from $732 to $719, (hmm, that’s a popular rent, eh? We’ll come back to that), Philip Heatley from $946 to $575. Isn’t it awfully convenient that these ministers are able to cut the amount they’re claiming after an expenses scandal. But does the new amount they’re claiming bear any relation to reality? Again, the suspicion has to be they were claiming illegitimate expenses under the old system and are claiming the most they can now, regardless of their actual costs.

Meanwhile, eight ministers have actually increased their housing cost claim: Murray McCully from $495 a week to $719, Tim Groser from $344 to $719, Steven Joyce from nothing to $719, Georgina te Heuheu from $306 to $719, Pansy Wong from $676 to $719, Kate Wilkinson from $694 to $719, John Carter from $607 to $719, Nathan Guy from nothing to $575.

Hmm, I think we’ve found what Lockwood Smith didn’t want us to see. All those ministers claiming $719 a week are claiming precisely the maximum that they can under the new rules. It seems highly doubtful that all that second group of ministers suddenly had huge rent increases, or that the first group had big rent cuts. No, this looks the ministers are simply claiming as much as they can, no doubt for most of them their actual housing costs are much lower.

The same applies for the four ministers all claiming $575 a week each, which bears no resemblance to what they were claiming before. They are clearly claiming as much taxpayer dosh as they can within the new rules, regardless of their actual housing costs.

You can count on two fingers the ministers who aren’t Wellington-based or in Crown-owned houses and haven’t maxed out their housing claim: Wayne Mapp and Jonathan Coleman. I’ll leave you to decide which fingers.

As a result of this mass rorting, the cost of Wellington housing for ministers has ballooned from $9782 a week in the first six months of last year to $11,484 – a huge 17% increase in just over a year.

We were promised that this new system would save us $200,000 a year while preventing Double Dipton-style rip offs. I warned that this new system would be ripped off and would cost us more. I haven’t been proved wrong; the ministers are clearly rorting us still and it will cost us over $60,000 more this year than last.

What we need is a PM with standards and the backbone to bring this gaggle of rorting ministers to account. They’ve been on notice and their behaviour has actually got worse. Now heads should roll.

Just don’t hold your breath waiting on John Key to act.

PS. how much was being claimed under Labour in 2008? $7923 a week.

45 comments on “Ministers’ housing claims up 17% as rorts continue”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Good on Double Dipton for coming clean at last. Sort of. Any idea how many tax payers dollars he got for his Karori “rent” over the years? Would three hundy $K work as a first guess?

    • Sean 1.1

      Last year Trevor Mallard postedJohn Armstrong’s article on the subject. Armstrong put the cost at $24 K per year before his big blow out when he got back on the ministerial benches.

      Given the Member for Wallace 1990-1996, and then Clutha Southland would have been claiming that allowance from day one – it would all add up to near half a million. Which is a fair bit of money to pay Bill English to live in his own house.

      Then there is the whole setting up of his family trust, so he didn’t have an interest in it, which, perhaps coincidentally, meant he could claim more allowance around living in his own home. Article linked here.

      Bill English never explained why that move was necessary. On the Right, Cactus Kate thought this move was a vehicle for rorting. Quote linked here.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Thanks Sean, appreciated.

        BTW I can’t seem to get your last two links to come up…any chance you could check them?

  2. Irascible 2

    “I’m perfectly relaxed about these claims.” says John Key, smiling & waving to passing tourists, interviewed today at his holiday home in Hawaii. “My ministers are following the Cabinet manual so I’m not worried about the cost to the taxpayer after all my Hobbits are in need of subsidies just like the country’s new owners, Warner Bros.”

  3. jcuknz 3

    This seems a common result of all the nit-pickers trying to save the taxpayer a few dollars … this pre-occupation with saving actually costs and helps to destroy the systems effectiveness.
    As a friend told me the other day .. he could use $25,000 for a machine to assist him to cure people in our public system but no the bean counters would rather take on another of their ilk to count every cent and meanwhile sick people suffer longer for lack of proper treatment.
    So what I’m saying is that if people had not cried about DD’s perks of old we would have saved more in the long run.
    I would prefer to see some waste or rorts rather than the failure of the system through excessive accounting.

    • Marty G 3.1

      or, they could just stop ripping us off.

      If National’s policy is ‘let us get away with rorts or we will change the rules and rort even more’ that’s pretty sad.

      • jcuknz 3.1.1

        It is human nature and I’m sure most would react in a similar way except for paragons of virtue and altruism such as yourself Marty 🙂

        In any case I never considered they were ripping us off but rather accepting the perks of a highly stressful and difficult job. We apparently have now set a limit and they are claiming to that limit. So challenge the limit but not the claimants.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          In any case I never considered they were ripping us off but rather accepting the perks of a highly stressful and difficult job.

          Yep. Sounds like the rationale Richard Fuld used after he walked away with US$484M in accumulated pay and bonuses after destroying Lehman Bros and tens of billions of global value.

          Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that MPs are particularly well paid, no siree. But taking the piss like Karori based Double Dipton, claiming for living in Southland when he hasn’t lived there forever? That’s bad.

        • Marty G 3.1.1.2

          or, they could just stop ripping us off.

          A 17% increase in housing allowance claims when the new system was meant to save money shows that they’re rorting us.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.3

          It is human nature…

          Actually, it’s not. Most people (~80% IIRC) are actually honest and would most likely claim the proper amount (linky to quick and nasty study but I’ve also read proper research that says the same thing). The people who claim more than they should are not the norm and are, at the very least, mildy psychopathic.

  4. Craig Glen Eden 4

    Bluddgers the lot of them lowest of the low, taking from us hard working tax payers to line their own pockets, they sit around all day doing nothing, eating food that I cant put on my table, I bet they have sky TV to. Getting fatter and fatter drinking alcohol bloody disgusting bluddgers.

    Don’t get me started on their lack of parenting skills either what do they do with those snotty nosed kids that they produce, send them off to boarding schools that we subsidize . Bluddgers low life scum sucking of you and me.It makes me so mad aye. I bet they claim everything they can to really max the system out, cars, food, travel, accommodation bloody scum.

    Man Im gonna vote National cos they cant stand low life bluddgers, they stand for personal responsibility, oh hang on??????????????????

    • Nice one CGE.

      This story has that stench of hypocracy about it.

      Capcha, “steal”. How does the computer do this?

      • Spy vs Spy 4.1.1

        i’ve figured it out Mr Savage,
        Project Ecehelon has a warped humour circuit that pre-jacks the servers’ capcha tags when its predictive algorithms have already seen what you are going to write

      • Bright Red 4.1.2

        plus, Irish watches you while you sleep.

    • Anne 4.2

      Well put CGE. The following may not be directly related, but I learnt recently that the Nats run a “candidates college” where potential politicians are “trained”. That explains a lot doesn’t it. Brain-washed robots!

      They learn how to spin the facts and believe what they are saying (Hekia Parata on Back-benches last night was a good example). They are imbued with a sense of superiority and entitlement which enables them to rort the systems with no feelings of guilt or remorse. They think it’s their right. And when the rest of us complain we’re told it’s our own fault.

      Perhaps the saddest aspect is that so many, many people still can’t see through them.

  5. kriswgtn 5

    Cos to them

    ITs all about the mooloah and how much they can rip us off

    they dont give 2 f***king stuffs- theyre in it for the $$$$$

  6. Carol 6

    They shouldn’t be rorting and trying to avoid being noticed, and they should be held accountable under transparency. However, it isn’t the biggest political issue we have.

    The hypocrisy of many on the right is staggering though. There were constant howls about the little misdimeanours of the last Labour-led government, and escalation of its relevance to claims of the Clark government being an undemocratic dicatorship. So many on the right are silent about the widespread ways in which this NACT government is undermining democracy, ACTUALLY putting though laws that make dictatorship ACTUALLY possible, as well as relative silence about the NACT spending rorts. It shows how much they relie on spin and distortion & don’t give a s***t for democracy and transparency.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Still say the best thing we could do is build an apartment complex that the MPs who live outside Wellington can stay in while in Wellington. Stop giving them actual money as it becomes a vehicle that they can then rip us off through.

    • Jim Nald 7.1

      Mmm good idea

      But “apartment complex”?
      What say put them in a kind of multi-tenant state housing?
      And we’re not talking about Buckingham Palace please.

      • Craig Glen Eden 7.1.1

        Apartment complex? Good Idea how many nice warm shipping containers do you think they would need DTB?

        • Jim Nald 7.1.1.1

          Ah, double-bunking the current lot of cabinet MPs.
          Wotta suggestion!

          • Craig Glen Eden 7.1.1.1.1

            I was not thinking double bunking but now that you have suggested it the mind boggles. Jim you are awful but I do like you as Dick Emery use to say.Ha we need a good political satire show its sadly lacking at present.

  8. KJT 8

    Time we dismissed the lot. Follow the Swiss and actually have democracy.

  9. Jared 9

    Remember Phil Goff and his apartment that he owned while living in another the government paid for?
    He told us he would be selling it off shortly.
    Earlier this year I asked on Red Alert whether he had sold it like he promised, after his criticism of other National MP’s for the same abuse. I was subsequently banned from Red Alert for even asking.
    Turns out he still owns the apartment (Look it up on Companies Office under Mansfield Towers)
    Hypocritical much?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Meh, links please if it ever happened at all that is.

      • Jared 9.1.1

        http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/mps-housing-perks-cause-controversy-2887032

        “Phil Goff also rents out his Wellington flat whilst living elsewhere in the capital on the public purse. When asked by ONE News why he doesn’t just live in the flat and not claim public money, Goff said “Because the flat is currently tenanted and I plan to sell it.” August 2009

        Still listed as holding shares in the Mansfield Apartment Building in Thorndon.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          I wonder how Bill English’ double dipton scheme compared.

          • Jared 9.1.1.1.1

            So its ok for Phil to do as he has criticised others for doing?

            • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1.1.1.1

              So how about that 17% increase since the system was fixed Jared?

              Did you read the post, or is it because you read it that you are dragging up irrelevant nonsense?

              Even if it was relevant to the post, you haven’t provided a link to Goff criticising people for doing what he was doing. Maybe he did, there are plenty doing what he is doing afterall, but English got the most flack, and he was doing something completely different.

              So even if Goff is a hypocrite, which you haven’t shown, why does that matter? Goff isn’t here, and he didn’t write the post. Goff didn’t rewrite the rules and oversee a 17% increase, which is what the post is about.

        • Bright Red 9.1.1.2

          there’s nothing wrong with owning a rental property, whether in wellington or elsewhere. If Goff is planning to sell the apartment he owns sometime, then bully for him.

          The problem with Double Dipton was he was getting his family trust to ‘rent’ the home to his family and asking us, the taxpayers, to pick up this fictive bill he had created.

    • KJT 9.2

      I fail to see how the ownership of other properties anywhere affects his costs in Wellington.
      Double dip was pretending to live in elsewhere so he got paid twice.

      I could own 15 flats in Wellington. My boss would still pay for me to stay there if I had to relocate temporarily from my normal house.

  10. Vicky32 10

    Those who think MPs are not well paid – well, I can’t see that myself! You could say “It’s all relative innit, but does anyone actually *need* any more than $65 000 pa? Want however, is another thing…

    • KJT 10.1

      Well. I am a bit baffled as to how anyone survives on a family income under 60k.
      We never seem to have any left over on a lot more than that.

    • KJT 10.2

      Definitely sympathise with anyone on a benefit the way groceries, power and housing are going up.

      • budgetbob 10.2.1

        a lot more than 60 000 and nothing left over? what – over 2000 a week? baffles me too
        we could try and work out where all your money goes ay?
        any holidays overseas in the course of the year? investment portfolio?
        meals out?
        shows, concerts?
        high tech toys? pricey hobbies like offroading, boating?
        guest wings in yr palace, I mean house. Private schooling, horse riding? skiing trips?
        bach at the beach?
        eight kids? sponsors of a hospital ward in Vanuatu.
        meat five night a week, leisurely cafe brunches on the weekend

        some or none of the above? c’mon we can do this – expensive drug habit? gambling? addiction to prada?

        nice to have you sympathise with beneficiaries tho’, shows class

        • KJT 10.2.1.1

          60k is about the median family income. More like $900 a week after tax.

          Not much room for ski trips etc after feeding 3 kids etc etc.

          Shows how much real income has dropped in NZ.

      • Vicky32 10.2.2

        I brought up one and a half children on a DPB, which came to under $20 000 a year. (What I mean by one and a half is that I got “paid” to bring up one of them, but had the other one with me occasionally. Looking back, I don’t know how I managed but I did!

        • KJT 10.2.2.1

          Spent two years at varsity recently while paying for a mortgage and the 3 kids. Still seemed to find money for coffees though.
          Now back being paid and seem to have less money. Go figure?

          • Jim Nald 10.2.2.1.1

            Dear Vicky32 and KJT
            Rest assured – it may not be obvious to some yet but Jonkey is doing everything he can to ensure you are raising your kids to be well groomed to cross over the ditch to earn better Aussie salaries and have a better future than you.

            • Vicky32 10.2.2.1.1.1

              My youngest son is planning to go to the UK next year to nurse, because he has friends and ex-colleagues there… However he has definitely chosen the wrong time to do that!

        • Colonial Viper 10.2.2.2

          Ah, the good old days, right before a block of cheddar hit $14.

  11. PC Brigadier 11

    This makes me tea party-like mad.

  12. Drakula 12

    Id give the buggers nuthin but tea chest at bottom of garden so my cousin Draco is right give them accomodation with naught cash, but I wouldn’t get too flash like I said maybe two tu a tea chest!!!

  13. Chris73 13

    Yeah thats right Labour, keep scrambling around for something, anything to gain some traction

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 hours ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    12 hours ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    4 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    4 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    4 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    5 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    7 days ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    7 days ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.