More snouts in the trough

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, August 4th, 2009 - 78 comments
Categories: corruption, national - Tags: , , ,

nat minister rortMore Nats have been exposed rorting the out of town allowance for ministers. Bludger Bill is claiming the allowance for living in his own house. The others are claiming because they felt like fancier digs.

McCully, Groser, Heatley, and David Carter all own homes in Wellington but have moved out of them into more expensive houses. Don’t have to dip into their quarter of a million dollar salaries to pay for the move. Nope, the taxpayer finances that choice entirely, in addition to their generous paypackets.

These ministers are now renting out the homes they own. So, the taxpayer is paying for their accommodation and because they are enjoying that largesse they are also able to pocket hundreds of dollars in rent each week. More than that, no-one can quite work out how they are managing to spend the $50,000 a year that they are claiming for their housing allowances including hundreds of dollars a week in running costs. Seems they’re padding the claims.

It’s like some kind of two-bit property scam where you and I are the mugs.

78 comments on “More snouts in the trough ”

  1. vto 1

    How about we see the details for the last labour govt too?

    Before that is done there is no absolutely no way you can clamber up on your rickety old ass-about high horse.

    End.

  2. Deciduous 2

    Bring back the EPMU/PPTA cartoonist you guys used to use.

  3. toad 3

    vto, I suspect there were similar arrangements when Labour was in Government, but we’ll never know because there was no requirement to disclose expenses then – that has occurred only now and only through the Greens’ initiative.

    But just because it may have happened in the past with a different Government doesn’t make it right.

    As I suggested here, the Ministers concerned could voluntarily pay the rents they receive on their own Wellington properties back to Ministerial Services.

    It’s not too late for Sir Roger (It’s an entitlement) Douglas to pay back the cost of his overseas holiday either.

    What chance?

    • vto 3.1

      Of course it doesn’t make it right mr toad, but the noisy clamour and pointing fingers of zet and eddie and marty etc are hypocritical until labours own trough snuffling is disclosed.

      Tell you one thing I dont understand – English has been an MP for a long time. He knew when he entered the game that he would be in Wgtn for years and years and years. With this in mind he should make arrangements to move house. Or have two abodes. After all, it is what every other worker in the country has to do if they accept work in another part of the country for many many years.

  4. Tim Ellis 4

    I agree Zetetic that I am uncomfortable with this situation. It appears to have been an ongoing issue for some time, going back to the last government where ministers owned property in wellington but lived in ministerial houses while they rented out their properties. Have a look at the registry of pecuniary interests.

    The difference now is that National has made the information about its own ministers public. Despite your outrage at this “rort” you don’t seem to have the integrity to call for the same exposure from Labour. It certainly explains why despite this being the biggest political issue of the day, Labour haven’t said zip on the issue. Do they have something to hide?

    If you were being consistent you would extend your moral outrage to Labour Ministers as well as National’s ministers.

    If there a clear precedents for this and an expectation from Ministers that this is normal, then we need to ask why.

  5. I understand that the information about Labour ministerial expenses is avaliable. Ministerial Services is bound by the Official Information Act whereas Parliamentary Services is not.

    I suspect the reality is that the lefties who are less sophisticated in money matters and who tend to be poorer did not engage in the same sort of behaviour, at least not in the same scale as the tories do.

    I will now stand back and let a surge of examples and “you did it to” comments erupt to try and blunt what is an exceedingly clear fact, the tories have been rorting the public purse.

    One further comment, the rules concerning trusts and the parliamentary register of pecuniary interests needs to be tightened up. Right now an MP needs to disclose a trust if they have a beneficial interest in it. This should be changed so that if any immediate member of their family has a beneficial interest then it needs to be disclosed. This is the only way that I can see English being able to claim that he did not have an interest in the trust that owns his family home. The timing also needs to be investigated however. The transfer showing change of trustees was registered on March 19, 2009 but the register was as at January 2009. Maybe there was a delay in registering the change of trustees, maybe he is still a trustee and not a beneficiary but it does seem rather odd.

    • Peter Johns - bigoted troll in jerkoff mode 5.1

      MS said-

      ‘I suspect the reality is that the lefties who are less sophisticated in money matters and who tend to be poorer did not engage in the same sort of behaviour, at least not in the same scale as the tories do.’

      So we now have it, the lefties are less sophisticated with money. And we want these people running the country?

      Own goal there matey.

  6. Deciduous 6

    As Tim Alludes, the UK Labour party found themselves MORE wanting than the Tories when it came to expanse rorting.

    It’s kinda like a political nuclear brinksmanship game. Who will win?

  7. coolas 7

    Isn’t claiming maximum personal advantage and benefit out of life a ‘key’ National message of what they stand for. Why is it so surprising that the Princes of Capitalism enrich themselves as much as possible. It’s what they stand for.

    • BLiP 7.1

      I think you’re right. It certainly confirms the “cognitive dissonance” of conservatives. On the one hand they exploit what resources they have available and on the other they rail against bludgers. And then they sleep at night.

  8. Deciduous 8

    “Isn’t claiming maximum personal advantage and benefit out of life a” – human condition.

  9. Deciduous 9

    Oh thats complete bollox red, the human condition is untreatable. You can mitigate its worst effects but man is a beast who looks to improve by any means at hand. It is called evolution.

    • DeeDub 9.1

      So… let’s fricking mitigate, already!

      Or should we just let this s**t stand because it’s ‘human nature’?

    • Pascal's bookie 9.2

      “It is called evolution.”

      wtf?

      • DeeDub 9.2.1

        Yeah, I think he might have also lost some marbles when the leaves dropped off this winter?

    • coolas 9.3

      It’s the mitigation the counts. That’s the point. If this Government is sincere about cutting costs Ministers especially should not be maximising their benefits. They too should be prudent. But no they allow personal greed to triumph over sincerity. It is deeply cynical.

  10. Deciduous 10

    Man is a beast – just look at the actions of the Labour party with respect sleeping with NZ first.

    • burt 10.1

      Or taking money from Owen Glenn and not declaring it until pushed. Umm it was an interest free loan… oh a donation…

      It is a human condition and rules are required to control it. Funny though the rules were just fine when Labour were taking advantage of them.

      But hey – Key has called for a full review – something dear leader never wanted to do.

    • DeeDub 10.2

      Ok I’ll bite. At the risk of wingnut misdirection of the highest order BUT, for the sake of clarity, WTF are you talking about?

      • coolas 10.2.1

        Funny. Labour did indeed ‘sleep’ with NZ First in a coalition but only after National had kicked them out of bed. Beastly behaviour all round. Firstly for Jim Bolger letting Winstone slip between the sheets and secondly for Helen mixing it with such a promiscuous fellow. Beastly!

        • Pat 10.2.1.1

          So by the time 2008 rolled around Winnie was well and truly rooted!

          • Armchair Critic 10.2.1.1.1

            There is a good precedent here. NZ First were the minor coalition partner in 1996 and were decimated in 1999. Then in 1999 the Alliance were the minor coalition partner and in 2002 they were wiped out. 2002 to 2005 with United Future, 2005 to 2008 NZ First again. With ACT as the junior partner in 2008 I am hoping the trend continues. Sir Dodger ha certainly helped the cause this week.

    • BLiP 10.3

      You may well be a beast which is perhaps why you can’t understand why Labour’s partnership with NZ First actually indicates an evolution where apparent enemies can, for the greater good, put aside those differences which prevent certain agreements so that they may focus on the agreements that they can have. Specifically, keep National Inc out of government. A good job too.

      The same can’t be said of National Inc who have, rather than sought a partnership, canibalised the Greens and neutered the Maori Party. The recent National Inc orgy in Christchurch could have seen the party evolve and demonstrate its commitment to enhancing Maori mana had they elected the best man for Party President. But, no. Instead they chose a good “fellow”, one “us and not some darky”. With tyical Crosby/Textor finesse the obvious racism was deflected with the talking-point that there could be a perceived conflict of interest given that Wiri’s “missus” was an MP. The opposite, however, is true; what better person to have as President than someone so intimately linked with the National Inc caucus AND able to reach over to the Maori Party?

      Its all good news as far am I’m concerned. Keep it up but don’t think you’re not being observed.

      • Pat 10.3.1

        Um – you don’t have to be Maori to be able to “reach over to the Maori Party”. Tokenism is best left for Labour.

      • Tim Ellis 10.3.2

        While you’re on your high horse about being respectful towards Maori BLiP, you might want to get the man’s name right. It’s “Wira”, not “Wiri”.

        • BLiP 10.3.2.1

          Good to know you’ve got that handy Crosby/Textor memory jogger right there by the keyboard next to your glass pipe. What’s their motto – something like “I don’t care what you say about me but spell my name right”?

  11. aj 11

    I notice Key’s passion when defending his ministers by using the ‘breaking up families’ theme….I’ve never seen that concern show about damage done ordinary kiwi families by job loss and dislocation before…

    • Bill 11.1

      I was heartened by the fact that Key acknowledged the impact that income, or lack of, can have on relationships.

      Waiting for the follow through….closing that wage gap with Oz by raising min wage and overhauling the ERA, raising those benefit levels….

  12. toad 12

    The Hon. Murray McCully, Hansard, 14 February 2001.

    Delightfully ironic that he’s one of the Ministers now in the firing line!

    • Now Toad – on which blog did you have come across that link 🙂

      Curious there is no obvious question about this in the house today. The media are all over it – they need to do a question tomorrow – if Labour and the Greens are not careful it may create an impression they have something to hide – rather than keeping the focus on National ministerial snoughts in the trough

      • toad 12.1.1

        Perhaps this question Joe:

        Hon TREVOR MALLARD to the Minister of Finance: What progress has he made on line-by-line reviews and what are his priorities for the next twelve months?

  13. Maggie 13

    Attempts by our Tory contributors to change the subject or pass the buck to a previous government are inventive, but don’t wash. The situation, particularly as regards Bill English, is so shonky even Tim Ellis has to admit some discomfort.

    Key starts by defending the indefensible, but as the public anger grows, comes up with: “Okay, then, we’ll review it” as a means of damage control.

    Quite simply we have a senior Cabinet Minister claiming an accommodation allowance designed for “out of Wellington” MPs, while he is living permanently in Wellington. That may not be illegal, but it is certainly dishonest.

    • grumpy 13.1

      Of course it’s shonky. National didn’t bring in these entitlements and have now had the guts to make them public.

      Compare Nationals 6 months of rorting the system to Labour’s 9 years!!!!

      Lets see the comparative trough guzzling for BOTH parties (maybe even the Greens – remember Bunkle?).

    • Daveski 13.2

      indeed, the righties seem to be the one’s who have the decency to admit its a rort.

      The Greens and Labour have been resolutely quiet on this one … I wonder why.

      • The Voice of Reason 13.2.1

        Except they are not admitting it’s a rort, Daveski. The usual suspects stuck pretty rigidly to the line that it was OK, right up till Mr Floppy announced that there’d be a review. Then we got some qualified comments about the need for a look at the whole system. I’m guessing the change in tack came about 30 seconds after the C/T email arrived.

        And as for the other parties staying schtumm on this one, the answer’s obvious. Don’t fix what ain’t broke. No need to comment when the media are shredding the Nats without having to be prodded into it. It’s refreshing to see a semblance of insight from these previously lacklustre lickspittles who have given the Nats such a soft ride till now.

  14. John Dalley 14

    What a crocked bunch of bastards. It matters not a jot that “the rules allow it” it unnecessary, unethical and seriously not a good look.
    I see finally the point has been discovered by the press that at least some of the crocked pricks have been effectively Double-Dipping and at the very least they should have been off setting their allowance by paying the rentals earned from their flats back to the Government/Public Purse.
    No less than there resignation should be be expected by the NZ Public.

    • Peter Johns - bigoted troll in jerkoff mode 14.1

      Why do you resign if you do nothing wrong, is any of this illegal?
      Morally wrong maybe, but everyone will have to resign if it comes down to morals.

      You lefty idiots seem to forget that 56% of the country love national. deluded dickhead.

  15. Maggie 15

    Ah, yes, Daveski, the Tories are wonderfully honest. They pick your pocket right in front of your face, then defend their right to do it.

    Grumpy needs to stop rewriting history. Firstly Phillida Bunkle was from the Alliance, not the Greens. Secondly she was stood down as soon as accusations were made against her. Thirdly, she was never reinstated, even though she was cleared of breaking the rules.

    • Daveski 15.1

      Not suggesting that the Nats are more or less honest that Labour.

      Simply pointing out that this is clearly something that the Greens and Labour do not want the public to look closely at THEIR use of the trough.

      I’m not defending them either. No one else gets such generous expenses.

    • grumpy 15.2

      Sorry Maggie but it’s been so long…. and it’s hard to tell who was Alliance and who is now Greens…. and weren’t the Greens part of the Alliance???

      Anyway, if English got the boot quite a lot of National voters would be ecstatic.

      A trough guzzler is a trough guzzler – regardless of what party they are from, it would pay the Left to acknowledge that.

  16. hang on,

    Haya Standardista’s

    Perhaps I’m very blond here but I noticed no information was given on how much John Key claims from the tax payer. Is that information available?

    • Tim Ellis 16.1

      Perhaps that’s because Mr Key lives in Premier House, just as Helen Clark did. I’m sure some of the commenters here can get very flustered about that arrangement and feign outrage about something that has been going on for a hundred years and say that he’s wasting taxpayers’ money and he should pay for his own house in Wellington though.

      • BLiP 16.1.1

        Premier House used to be the Dental Clinic when I was a nipper – glad to see The Goober is keeping up the tradition of making it an epi-centre of needless pain to the youth of the nation.

        It used to be that the Prime Minister stayed in Vogel House out in the Hutt Valley. At least under Aunty Helen the taxi chits for visiting MPs were chopped up.

      • Bright Red 16.1.2

        reading what’s not there again, eh Tim? can’t attack the authors on what they have said, so attack them on what you wish they had said.

      • Kevin Welsh 16.1.3

        That’s Ms Clark, to you Tim.

      • travellerev 16.1.4

        Tim,

        Thank you so much for explaining that to me.
        I, as perhaps you know, am from Dutch descent and only moved here some five years ago with my Kiwi husband of twenty two years.
        My knowledge of the intimate details of New Zealand’s ministerial arrangements is sketchy but I’m trying to learn. Added to that I try to learn with English as my second language.

        So the next time I ask an honest question about New Zealand politics perhaps you could dispense with the sarcasm when you answer.

        I promise I will do the same if you ask me something about Dutch politics written in Dutch.

        OK?

        • Tim Ellis 16.1.4.1

          Yes that’s fair enough, travellerev. My sarcasm was rude and unnecessary, and I apologise.

          • travellerev 16.1.4.1.1

            Is that apologise thingy part of the kit set instructions on how to avoid being branded a troll?

            • Tim Ellis 16.1.4.1.1.1

              No, travellerev, it was an apology for using sarcasm in a way that offended you. You don’t have to accept the apology if you don’t like, but that says more about you than it does me.

            • travellerev 16.1.4.1.1.2

              Fuckin hell Tim,

              You’re slick I’ll give you that, LOL, however almost but no cigar.
              You take the game of “I’m polite and reasonable but you are not and Oh, look at her being rude” to a whole new level.
              Too bad most people here ain’t buyin.

            • Tim Ellis 16.1.4.1.1.3

              In that case I withdraw my apology, travellerev. Your continued stupidity deserved all the sarcasm I gave.

            • travellerev 16.1.4.1.1.4

              Yep, slick manipulation. If you can’t play the rude card go for the stupid card. Something is bound to stick.LOL.

          • Deciduous 16.1.4.1.2

            Um, Ev, you are now the troll on this thread.

            • travellerev 16.1.4.1.2.1

              Actually D,

              It is not his thread. It’s Zetetic’s tread.
              Tim Ellis doesn’t and neither do I, own anything on this blog.

              Confronting someone about his behaviour and communications is not the same as trolling D, but willy nilly rude remarks such as labour sleeping with NZ first with no apparent motivation other then getting up the Standardista’s nose would be considered sailing close to the edge where I come from.

  17. kaplan 17

    According to the Herald the ever enterprising Wayne Mapp is managing to not only collect his own allowance but his fellow national MP Bakshi Singh’s allowance as well by renting the apartment that he already owns in Wellington to Singh while he rents another at our expense.

    Priceless.

    • toad 17.1

      kaplan, your link doesn’t seem to work – it’s this one:

      Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said his previous apartment had been very small and was not suitable for him and his wife, now he was spending more time in Wellington as a minister.

      He confirmed the apartment was owned by his superannuation trust and was rented to National MP Bakshi Singh, for $400 a week.

      As an MP Mr Singh can claim up to $24,000 year in accommodation costs from Parliamentary Service.

    • Bright Red 17.2

      and Singh’s not even there. He’s been off sick at home in Auckland for a couple of months.

  18. Murray 18

    Phil Goff did his best to suggest that the rules under National have changed, and that Labour minister cost the taxpayer a lot less than the current lot, which is, of course not true.

    The annual leases of Labour ministers’ taxpayer funded ministerial homes last year has just been released and are totally comparable to the present ones.

    Goff admitted that he and other Labour Ministers had been in the same category as Housing Minister Phil Heatley who has accepted a house at taxpayer expense and then rented out his old flat – the only difference being that Heatley has rented his out to an MP and Goff hasn’t.

    • grumpy 18.1

      Jeepers Murray! Does that mean that if John Key changes the rule for National Ministers, that the previous Labour Ministers will have to pay their’s back?

      Wouldn’t be a good look for true socialists to be rorting more than the tories – would it?

  19. Murray 19

    The point is that this is something that appears to cross party lines and while it is apparent that what has happened is not unlawful, it is time for a change and a review of these so called expenses and entitlements.

    As a self employed contractor who only gets paid when we work. It would be good if these same sort of entitlements were available across the board for similar circumstances.
    However if we tried this IRD would be down on us like a ton of bricks.

    I guess MP,s are one step above us mortals.

    Still I think a change is comming and it will happen

  20. vto 20

    Hey zet.. see tv one news????

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    you guys are fools. In fact you’re worse than that because you make out you have brains and so should know better.

    Labours been at the trough.

    suckling at the trough.

    making pigs of themselves at the trough.

    God knows why you lot tried to claim that its only nats that rort the system.

    Credibility out the window yet again. The core reason for the lack of quality of debate so often.

    • Pascal's bookie 20.1

      “God knows why you lot tried to claim that its only nats that rort the system.”

      Define ‘you lot’ please vto. With quotes. That sort of generalisation is IMHO the core reason for the lack of quality of debate so often.

      • vto 20.1.1

        Ps B, most every author on here the last few days. Scroll back down the main page and you will find zet, eddie, ayb, sprout, and then all the attendant dittoheads in each thread, stating clearly that “nats rort the system”.

        • Pascal's bookie 20.1.1.1

          So are you saying that “nats rort the system’, means “that its only nats that rort the system”?

          I’m only asking because you asked me to read you very carefully, so I’m doing so. To help me do so in the future, it’d be great that if instead of saying things like ‘you lot’, you might address specific complaints against specific people. That would save me calling you a liar and stuff.

          Thnks. 😉

          Also, looking back, I see that most of the complaints have been about English, rather than the nats in general. I think that the English situation is a little different, what with the trust, and the ‘not being a wellingtonian’ thing.

          • vto 20.1.1.1.1

            Ps B, yes.

            This whole matter is somewhat overblown imo. There are some ludicrous arguments being thrown around, when the final result aimed for is simply recompense for accommodation in Wgtn for those who live outside of it.

            However if there are suspicions of actual ‘rort’ eg Bill English’s case then they should be checked out.

            I noticed it was only a page 5 item in our paper this morning. It will end up mostly a beltway issue and get deflected by the next big news item and then Key will get all the credit when new rules are announced.

            • Pascal's bookie 20.1.1.1.1.1

              “are you saying that “nats rort the system’, means “that its only nats that rort the system’?”

              “Yes”

              Eh? I must be a bit thick this morning, but I’m not following…

            • vto 20.1.1.1.1.2

              Now I’m getting confused too…

  21. vto 21

    and before anyone cries “oh the old they did it too so it makes it ok argument”, if you note carefully most of the ‘righties’ on here have called the rort for what it is, nat goon or labour goon or act goon.

    smelly house on here tonight – poooeeeeeee !

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    3 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    4 days ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    5 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    6 days ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    6 days ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    7 days ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    7 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    37 mins ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    57 mins ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
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