Much ado about nothing

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 pm, June 6th, 2023 - 227 comments
Categories: labour, michael wood, Politics - Tags:

Today the news was all about Michael Wood.

When he was a teenager he bought some shares in Auckland International Airport.

He declared them when he became a Minister but mucked up his register of pecuniary interests.  He should have declared them then but thought that they were owned by a trust.  He has been trying to get rid of them for a while but from the description of things he did not have his shareholder number.

He is busy.  No doubt this particular piece of paperwork was down the list of his priorities which include making the country a better place and having quality time with his family.

Yes he did receive a number of requests to confirm that he had sold the shares.

His response was probably similar to mine when I receive a speeding fine reminder.  A desire to fix it up immediately but it then just gets lost in other things that are more important.

His wife Julie Fairley has also been subject to some comment.

Given the proximity to Auckland Council’s vote on the sale of the shares the cynic in me wonders if the attacks are related.

And National is going to town on the issue.

I admire their ability to completely ignore the shitty stuff they have done and then suggest that something a Labour MP has done is really, really terrible.

Like how they can hide the report on how one of their MPs brutalised kids with a bed leg when he was younger, or an MP who engaged in a war of attrition with MPI using letterhead when they prosecuted her husband and son for animal cruelty.

National doesn’t care.  Creating a stench about politicians does not hurt them.  Their supporters are more interested in making money or getting grumpy about minorities to worry about ethics.

But their hypocrisy still rankles.

I trust that Michael sorts his paperwork out soon.  He is far too valuable an MP and the left need him to be on top of his game.

227 comments on “Much ado about nothing ”

  1. Micky,this will blow over quite quickly in the face of what is next in the disruptions. Michael has had a busy time but…….
    National have decided they are no longer supporting the farm emissions cross party co-operation. This is all designed to make Labour and the Greens look silly.

    They can not be trusted. First housing now emissions.

  2. newsense 3

    The fuckers, in all parties, on all sides of the house should be forced to divest their investment property portfolios, as these are what has led to the rapid social division and is the main way MPs are unrepresentative of their constituents. No one truly represents renters and those who are struggling to get on the property ladder.

    Watching someone with millions of dollars in property that has accumulated huge untaxed gains through parliaments’ inaction, and may gain much more from HIS regressive policy, try and take the high road here is sickening.

    Sloppy from Wood, slug-like from all the others.

    • Craig H 3.1

      Looks like there are a few MPs who don't own any houses in NZ so presumably rent. From that list, Marama Davidson, Ricardo Mendez-March (has a family home but it's in Mexico) and arguably Rino Tirikatene (interests in land but no houses – "dwellings" to use the legal term).

      • newsense 3.1.1

        A few, but parliament is very, very far from a representative sample of the population who do not own property.

        • bwaghorn

          This is going to sound really shitty.

          But if you're not together enough to to earn a decent income and by a house are you upto being a politician??

          (I'm a financial failure, it's probably a bus for me when I retire)

          • newsense

            We accept it for a large number of the middle class: nurses, police, teachers…

            Then we tell them to go further out to get a toe in and tell them they should have been more careful when their home floods repetitively.

          • Patricia Bremner

            bwaghorn, Your comment about a bus. Start looking, get to know the different good and bad points.

            While you are earning, join MZMCA and magazine, (you need two current members and they are happy to gain new members ) It gives buying help, POP help (Park over Properties) in the magazine. We were members for 5 years.

            Friends who owned a bus, did odd jobbing for lifestylers and some House Sitting through Kiwi House Sitters (Small joining yearly fee, but free accommodation to mind property and or pets all needs supplied.) in the winters. They would do their bus maintenance cleaning and improving during these stops.

            Doc also has good value offers as do many camp grounds.

            All the best, you need insulation, solar.
            Our smaller Toyota PopTop, was the most successful for us with just a car licence. We could park in town, but enlarge the space when camping. (It had a built in toilet) which can be purchased as a "ready to insert unit". There are Garages which do that certified work.

            You will meet a wide variety of members from farming business and financial fallout. They all mainly love the life. It is not a bad choice.yes

      • lprent 3.1.2

        Looks like there are a few MPs who don't own any houses in NZ so presumably rent.

        Not the only possible explanation. I didn't own property for about 6 months.

        We'd moved into my partners apartment in the same block as mine that she'd brought in 2017. I'd came along to help pay the mortgage and as the resident bed warmer and nocturnal music maker.

        I'd been renting out my apartment to pay my remaining mortgage because she didn't want me to sell it (just in case – we'd only been together for a decade at that point 🙂 ).

        But I sold it last year. The tenants cut short the lease (bit bloody irritating that). We'd been discussing buying a house for more office space, and I figured that I'd use the equity for the deposit. Plus I didn’t have to hunt for or deal with tenants. So I sold it – eventually to a renting next door neighbour for a decent rate and no real estate fees.

        By the time I'd gotten the settlement and the banks took more than 3 months to figure out pre-approval, the interest rates doubled, and the sales of properties had dropped markedly. So I paid off both of my partners mortgages when one of the interest rates doubled.

        So now I am a joint owner of property again. My point is that you can't actually tell from a register of interests who has property shares. I didn't for a while because I was living with my partner of 15 years. I wasn't on the title.

        But she had a interest in in the money I had in the bank from the sale of my property. It'd been her place of residence for a decade and therefore part of the relationship property. I had a interest in the property that she had a formal title to. This is all in the Property (Relationships) Act 1976.

        Having an actual title to property that you can declare and interest in is pretty a legal formality. Like getting married.

        Still looking for a house / office space. But I think we'll try next year. In the meantime my partner has found a workspace around the corner to get reduce the issues of having two people working from home in a small apartment (I'd done that for the previous year).

    • Foreign waka 3.2

      SPC, I completely agree. Todays news also shows that a Auckland councilor owns Airport shares to the amount of 3 Mill. !! and they about to vote to sell some of the Auckland council shares. Smells fishy too. The few thousand dollar shares from Woods pale in comparison. Who knows what else is going on with those in charge of NZ infrastructure and services. How many enrich themselves at the expense of the middle income highest taxed segment of the taxpaying workers we will never know. Trust is clearly not won with these dodgy dealings.

  3. Incognito 4

    I expect no less than a press release from Wood first thing tomorrow morning that all his AIA shares have been sold and that he’s donated the proceeds to a charity, preferably with a nice photo-op.

    • alwyn 4.1

      I wouldn't be at all surprised if that is precisely what the PM's office is telling him right now.

      But will he oblige?

      • Incognito 4.1.1

        The PM’s Office can’t tell him to sell his shares.

        Will he ‘oblige’?

        He’s not a 16-year old expelled school boy, is he?

        • alwyn

          What do they call the Chief of Staff and his colleagues?

          They can certainly give him an offer he would find it hard to refuse. "Sell them and give the money away by 2.00 pm tomorrow or you will be sacked from the Cabinet" would probably work. Would Hipkins tell them to do it though?

          "He’s not a 16-year old expelled school boy, is he". Well he certainly behaves like one. And, in base 37 arithmetic, he is that age.

          • Incognito

            The “Chief of Staff and his colleagues” cannot sack a Minister from Cabinet. It’s a red herring.

            In any case, if Wood loses his position(s) in Cabinet it will be because of his screw up with properly declaring his share ownership not because of the ownership per se.

            Clever use of base 37 numeric.

    • Craig H 4.2

      Looks he took your sage advice although it took him two days instead of one – Anglican Trust Charity apparently.

  4. Tiger Mountain 5

    The “bed leg basher” cruises on, and so do many other Natzos caught with their blue real estate pants down around their ankles.

    Mr Wood does need to sort things out quickly though. He has been caught out by the latest iteration of NZ National’s patented underwear sniffing, wheelie bin snooping Dirty Politics department which operates 24/7.

    Someone would hardly have believed their luck when scanning down the list of AA shareholders when a Labour Minister’s name popped up.

    There are not too many lefties in the Labour Caucus so Michael is certainly needed, and he is an achiever with Bus driver pay and Coastal shipping.

  5. Muttonbird 6

    This shows how desperate the National Party is for hits. Narrative from them is, ‘it’s a pattern’. Reality is people either don’t care or can see National is reaching and focussed on the wrong things, like digging dirt rather than forming policy.

  6. Alan 7

    Chippie has also had to deal with "sloppy work' from 1 ex minister and 2 current ministers over the last few months, he must be getting a bit tired of that.

    • Muttonbird 7.1


    • Belladonna 7.2

      He's also had to deal with his own office, not informing him in a timely manner of issues with the potential to be political bad news.

      Even if the Prime Minister had wanted to act quickly to deal with his Transport Minister’s conflicts of interest, he couldn’t because he was kept in the dark.

      It was four days before anyone sent the political headache up the chain to Chris Hipkins.

      On Friday Wood’s office sounded the alarm bell with Hipkins’ office about media enquiries, yet it was Monday night before Hipkins was finally informed (ahead of his morning media round and the publication of the NZ Herald story on Tuesday morning).

      Labour absolutely need to be operating a no surprises policy with the PM. If there is an issue (and Wood knew about this one on Thursday) – they need to be on the phone to the PM a.s.a.p – to ensure that the political management is as smooth as possible.

      If you stuff up (and that's all I think this is with Wood, a stuff up) – then trying to hide it makes things a thousand times worse.

    • Foreign waka 7.3

      And so is the average voter. Preaching water drinking wine its called.

  7. newsense 8

    Lol- not on the front page for Stuff or for RNZ. Minister doesn’t get round to divesting shares he was going to and promises he will presumably not much of a story.

    Herald predictably leading its website with a riveting (not) Bernard Orsman piece about Julie Fairey: get this farkn zinger, are ya ready, hold the phone:

    Late this afternoon, Fairey said she had updated her declaration form “to reflect my beneficiary title in the JM Fairey Family Trust, as I was not aware of this role until this morning”.

    Her updated declaration said: “Spouse M Wood has shares in Auckland International Airport Ltd and Contact Energy. I do not hold any shares directly.”

    Wow! Goteem. Opposition in sad desperate partnership with self-hating newspaper and reporter who has opposed anything vaguely useful any politician has suggested doing about the city since Len Brown.

    And of its top 3 stories two are about this non-story! Hmmm

  8. observer 9

    Compare and contrast …

    1) Christopher Luxon, today:

    "We want a leader and a prime minister [who's] going to do the right thing not wait until the media to actually make him do the right thing."

    2) And one year ago, the words of the Registrar of Pecuniary Interests:

    "Almost all members of Parliament submitted their returns to
    me in accordance with the requirements of Standing Orders, including in
    relation to timeliness. I regret to report, though, that one member,
    Christopher Luxon, submitted his return after the deadline.

    Standing Orders make it clear that members are responsible for submitting
    their returns by the deadline. … I am disappointed to
    have to draw to the attention of the House the existence of a late return, once
    It is not an onerous matter to fulfil this obligation.

    Link (PDF):

    That's right. The only MP in Parliament who can't "do the right thing" (his words) until he's told to, is the same one shouting loudest today.

    Imagine if he had a real job …

    • Man of the People Luxon, on RadioNZ this morning, said when he became leader he sold his $12 MILLION of Air NZ shares.

      This is where there is a potential conflict of interest. Not with a piddling $13k of shares that had been held since teenage years.

      Meanwhile Luxon refused to admit to Corin Dann that holding houses as assets (7 houses in his case) while making a decision to make tax changes that favoured property owners (removing the 10 year bright line test, reinstating interest allowability) could be a conflict of interest.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 9.1.1

        Man of the People Luxon, on RadioNZ this morning, said when he became leader he sold his $12 MILLION of Air NZ shares.

        Yep. Theres a big chunk of money right..there ! And what left voters… and all those who : "dont vote", "only encourages them", "not interested" "cant be bothered" ( ive heard it all, when trying my hardest to get them to actually vote !) should be actually seeing.

        Nact actually has plans to screw them. And NZ. Apart from the always… Few.

        Anway a link to Luxons $ ..12 Million etc…

      • newsense 9.1.2

        And it’s the housing issue that is destroying NZ’s equality and creating a two tier society with those on the ladder pre pandemic rolling in untaxed capital gains. And National is trashing what baby steps they did take, trashing the work of senior MPs so their houses make more money.

        >>>National to introduce a vote for houses as they consistently make more money than people.

      • Lynda 9.1.3

        Luxons hypocrisy has no bounds. NINE houses is not conflicting, apparently.

        [Luxon has declared seven, not nine, real properties.

        Please do not shout, but use italics for emphasis if desired, thanks – Incognito]

    • yes Priceless "Gotcha!!"Luxon with "Foot in Mouth" again!!

      Thanks Observer. Well spotted that Luxon was late reporting his interests to Parliament.

  9. tsmithfield 10

    He could end up before the privileges committee yet. Not a good look if that happens.

    From the article:

    Otago University Law Professor Andrew Geddis said because Wood did not immediately correct his declarations in previous registers it could mean he is investigated and eventually hauled before Parliament’s Privileges Committee.

    One of the big issues I think, is that, according to TV1 news tonight, Wood had been told on a number of occasions that the shares needed to be sold. And selling shares is not a difficult thing to do.

    And, I think it does call into question his judgement. I don't think there is any question that he made any decisions about Auckland airport because he owned shares. But, in his position as Transport minister, it should have been very clear that there was a perceived conflict of interest he needed to resolve.

    • newsense 10.1

      Yeh, quite clear he was in the process of doing it, but hadn’t put it at the top of the priority queue. It’s an oversight and a rap over the knuckles, but scarcely more than that.

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        I tend to agree. I don't think he should be sacked over this. But it isn't a good look, especially with an election coming, and other MPs in trouble.

      • Bearded Git 10.1.2

        $13,000 worth of AirNZ shares out of $2,630,000,000 (0.0005%) could hardly be called a conflict of interest. Wood owns one twenty thousandth of AirNZ. There should be some recognition of the SCALE of ownership in the rules.

        He revealed he owned the shares when he was made a minister and in another return. His only error was to be slack in getting round to selling them.

        • alwyn

          He doesn't admit to owning any AirNZ shares.

          He is supposed to have had shares in Auckland International Airport. Did you just get it wrong or do you know about some other shareholding he has?

          • Bearded Git

            oops apologies Alwyn you are correct. I've stuffed up …my calculation should have been on AIA not AirNZ.

            So I will make the same point with AIA.

            Auckland International Airport (AIA) currently has a capital value of $12.8 billion.

            Wood's $13,000 shares represent roughly ONE MILLIONTH of the value of AIA shares.

            Wood owns a miniscule part of AIA. This could hardly be called a conflict of interest. There should be some recognition of the SCALE of ownership in the parliament rules in terms of conflict of interest.

            • James Simpson

              I don't think you understand what a conflict of interest is

              • “A conflict of interest occurs when an entity or individual becomes unreliable because of a clash between personal (or self-serving) interests and professional duties or responsibilities. Such a conflict occurs when a company or person has a vested interest—such as money, status, knowledge, relationships, or reputation—which puts into question whether their actions, judgment, or decision-making can be unbiased.”


                When a person owns one millionth of an organisation, which is the case with Michael Wood, it is ridiculous/silly to suggest this in any way effects his actions or causes him to be biased or unreliable in regard to that organisation.

                Wood declared this miniscule interest when he became transport minister. This is a storm in a tea-cup and Seymour, Luxon and the MSM should hang their heads in shame for their pathetic behaviour in regard to this matter.

                • James Simpson

                  The size of your investment is completely irrelevant.

                  If you have a personal interest in the matter you are making a decision on as a minister, then there is a conflict of interest.

                  This is common and can be managed. Which is precisely why he was advised by cabinet to sell his shares – 12 times.

                  Its not that complicated.

                  • I say the rules are wrong.

                    For there to be a genuine conflict of interest the person's holding must be of a size where the vested interest is real. Nobody believes that Wood is benefitting from any decision he has made.

                    Providing a shareholding is disclosed there should be a committee/body that assesses whether this causes a genuine COI.

                    If you want to see an obvious and real COI look no further that Luxon proposing to end the 10 year Bright Line Test and reinstate interest deductability for tax purposes when he owns 7 houses.

                    • James Simpson

                      Luxon own 7 houses out of the 600,000 rental in New Zealand. Using your logic he wouldn't have a conflict.

                      I think you have clearly demonstrated he does.

            • Foreign waka

              Its not about the value of shares but voting rights and influence and hence a conflict of interest. But hey, NZ is more and more becoming a morass politically. This morning in the news, two Auckland councilors, one owning 3 Mill. dollars worth of Airport shares have been made to report. The council is about to vote today (!) on selling some of the PUBLICLY owned shares to fill the coffers. Smells of insider workings if you have the owners voting on assets owned by NZlanders. If sold, its very likely that private ownership will consequently increase the value. No wonder they didn't declare! Good lord, since when is something right or wrong by party color? Both of the latest reported owners of shares are minor party and/or independent. Dishonesty doesn't wear a flag.

              • Wood has roughly 1600 shares in AIA where AIA has about 1.2 billion shares in total. He has de minimis voting influence.

                I say again, in reality, he has no COI.


                And think I just heard on the radio (2pm) that the 3 Auckland councilors who have declared that they own AIA shares (some of them into the millions of dollars as you say Foreign Waka) are to be allowed to vote on the sale of AIA shares in relation to the council budget.

                This would seem to contradict National and ACT’s position on Wood’s AIA shares.

      • alwyn 10.1.3

        He has been in the "process of doing it" for about two and a half years now. That makes him even worse than I am when my wife asks me to do some maintenance around the house.

        At what point would you say that he really didn't make any attempt to sell them?

      • Phillip ure 10.1.4

        Rnz is reporting he was asked 12 times…to fix this up..

        That is beyond sloppy…

        • Belladonna

          Suspended transport minister Michael Wood was told to sell his Auckland Airport shares twelve times by the Cabinet Office, not “half a dozen” times as previously reported.

          Hipkins told Parliament; “On the 19th of November, 2020; 9th and 14th of December, 2020; 24th of March, 2021; 30 June, 2021; 17 December, 2021; 1st of March, 2022; 28th of March, 2022; 4th of May, 2022; 16th of January 2023; 6th of March, 2023 and 27th of March, 2023, the Cabinet Office sought to confirm whether [Michael Wood] had divested the shareholding. Throughout the process [Wood] confirmed that he was about to or in the process of divesting the shareholdings,”

    • alwyn 10.2

      "And selling shares is not a difficult thing to do."

      If you are like Wood it certainly seems to be. I sold some shares last week. It must have taken me all of five minutes to do so. Most of that was signing on to my share trading a/c and deciding what price I would accept.

      Given Wood's ineptness at his job as Transport Minister I guess we should not be too surprised he hasn't actually managed to do it in a mere two and a half years though.

  10. tsmithfield 11

    Events of the last few weeks are not really ideal for Labour when their opponent is attempting to paint them (in a future governmental mix) as a "Coalition of Chaos".

    • Sanctuary 11.1

      Your self-appointed role as a concern troll is really rather tiring.

      • tsmithfield 11.1.1

        Your self-appointed role as a concern troll is really rather tiring.

        It is election year. lol. Do you fundamentally disagree with my comment?

      • Bearded Git 11.1.2

        Agreed Sanc….tsmith's pathetic attempts to look even handed are laughable. Must try harder.

    • Foreign waka 11.2

      Don't worry, this type of profiteering when sitting on the desicion making table is not reserved to just one party. No, oh no…. when money comes into play, its a person character that will show color. Not many of those with a spine around mind you.

  11. Sanctuary 12

    The Herald is running hard with the story, most other outlets have it as secondary bit of reporting. I have been around long enough to guess this story is the result of the National party spending it's war chest on muck rakers in the knowledge they can launder it through NZME into a "scandal".

    • Sure you are right here Sanc-see my scale comment above.

    • AB 12.2

      Very likely – in which case we should expect more of it in the next few months. The Herald line will then be about how the 'cumulative effect' of individually trivial beat-ups is making the public distrust Labour. Which is a time-honoured propaganda trick – claim that the thing you want to happen is actually happening, with the objective of making it more likely to happen.

    • newsense 12.3

      It’s one of those special issues that would be cute- he’d put his childhood shares in a box in his wardrobe and forgotten about them- if he wasn’t a Labour polly in the Herald in an election year…

  12. Hunter Thompson II 13

    Memo to the Cabinet Office: when dealing with a minister who won't get off his or her backside and deal with a problem such as conflict of interest, just ask:

    "How would it look if the media learned of this?"

    That will get some prompt action.

    • Belladonna 13.1

      Apparently not. Wood knew this was an issue on Thursday. His office informed Hipkins office on Friday (so very low level coms here, certainly nothing urgent). Hipkins wasn't alerted by his own office until Monday evening.

      Effective risk assessment and prompt action doesn't appear to be anywhere in anyone's lexicon in this chain of events.

      • gsays 13.1.1

        I would add arrogance to the mix.

        On Tuesday I heard the man himself explain it away by implying that because an old e-mail was used the process came to a halt.

        Hipkins, around this time, says about half a dozen times Wood was reminded. The sun comes up and it is revealed that Wood was reminded/told 12 times in 2 1/2 years.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Arrogant? Wood? Maybe. I've never looked at a Register of Pecuniary and Other Specified Interests of MPs document [PDF] until now.

          For me, general elections are about trust, and in regard to MPs benefitting from trusts (see category 4), for 2023 the average number of trusts per MP is approx.:
          1.25 (Nat), 0.8 (Act), 0.65 (Lab), 0.0 (Green) and 1.5 (TPM; only 2 MPs).

          Trust that Trust [October 2021; PDF]
          A Practical Guide to Family Trusts in New Zealand
          Australasia is known to have a love affair with trusts. It is thought that New Zealand has the most number of trusts per capita of any country in the world – approximately one for every 10-15 people [0.08 per Kiwi]. Accordingly, they are integral to the fabric of not only our economy, but also of our society and have many uses as we will see.

          Some Kiwis sure love their trusts. Not Green MPs though, or Luxon (unlike Key.)

          Not much detail in category 6 (Real property) either, but anyone can add up the number of line items for MPs in each political party, correcting for multipliers, e.g.

          Residential properties (x2) – Auckland
          Residential property – Wellington
          Investment properties (x4) – Auckland

          and calculate a ratio of property line items to MPs – Nats win!

          Nats…. 3.3
          Lab…… 1.9
          ACT…… 1.9
          Green.. 1.2
          TPM….. 1.0

          How many MPs, or people commenting here, have no "Real property"? Not me!

          • gsays

            I'm well aware of the pecuniary interests register.

            My point is: it ain't the crime that gets you in the fertiliser, it's the cover up. Something I heard during, I think, Helen Clark's regime.

            While Wood's 'explanation' wasn't a cover up, it was certainly a 'nothing to see here'. Hence my claim of arrogance

            There is a wider point that you touch on, MPs that are lanlordsor have property 'intetests' should not be involved in attets relating to housing.

            If yr data is correct, we should have a 'greening' of tenants rights…

    • Foreign waka 13.2

      Why would this be necessary ? I mean a politician should have integrity. Oooops… wrong word.

  13. lprent 14

    His wife Julie Fairley has also been subject to some comment.

    Given the proximity to Auckland Council’s vote on the sale of the shares the cynic in me wonders if the attacks are related.

    That was pretty much my thought. This just reeks of the kind of dirty politics and the kind of data scraping that I associate with the right. Fits right into the kind of arsehole politics I have come to expect from Wayne Brown over the last 30 years.

    The probable target in my view was likely to be Julie because of the budget meeting on selling airport shares that was yesterday.

    I guess that I need to get interested again and start looking for the foul politics inheritors of Cameron Slater's mantle. I'm sure that I can assist in totally screwing them up again.

    I note that David Farrar is promulgating a theory that it was all a hatchet job by Chippie. That ‘explanation’ by Farrar is also completely par for the course for the dirty politics playbook. I might have to start watching that mischievous arsehole a bit more.

    He crawled his way out of it last time.

    • SPC 14.1

      Back in the day the leaks were via Whaleoil (Kiwiblog would do its spin off that source) and then it would go to MSM. These days dissemination via Twitter – so if Labour want a heads up they have to identify the Twitter vines (not the anonymous "leakers", but the ones who aggregate them and pass it on – those the journo's link to for that reason).

      • lprent 14.1.1

        Yeah. Doesn't look to me like twitter will be there in another year or two.

        It looks to me like it is going the yahoo route from ubiquitous to irrelevant based on their spiral downwards and profitability levels.

      • Anne 14.1.2

        Back even further, the dirty politicking from the Right were via that scurrilous rag called "The Truth".

        They indulged in the same kind of illegal activity in order to snare their prey that is currently being exposed in the British High Court. And they did so with the blessing of the top politician of the time.

        No wonder that slime-ball Slater wanted to resurrect that newspaper. He would have been in his element.

        • Phillip ure

          Truth ended it's time as a waste of space scandal rag.,.but earlier iterations were more 'left'.. for want of a better word..

          One example of this is their exposes on elder poverty helped cement in the imperatives for national super..

          • Anne

            … "earlier iterations were more 'left'.. for want of a better word.."

            Yes. I believe it started out as a left wing newspaper but at some point was hijacked by the right. and that's when the rot set in.

            Currently there are high profile Court Cases in London re – the unlawful hacking of phones and the hiring of private investigators to capture the lowdown on all manner of individuals for all manner of reasons. One tabloid went down the gurgler 10 years ago, and it remains to be seen what happens to the rest of them.

            I will be very interested in the outcome of those cases. But that's a story hopefully for the future.

    • Sanctuary 14.2

      It says volumes about how cooked the likes of Farrar are these days that projecting everyone into a moutache twirling super-villian is their first response.

  14. John irving 15

    Landlord Luxon is even more conflicted by promising new tax laws that will reap even greater returns on the investments in his 9 homes

    • SPC 15.1

      Not exactly – Luxon with his Air NZ share sale revenues owns all of his property without a mortgage. Of course under his proposed rules for property (2023 on) he would be able to leverage his existing property ownership to borrow to buy another 6 (at the bottom of the market) and claim it as a cost against rent income. Then with the market recovery sell after 2 years, to make an untaxed CG, all by 2026.

      Those of a certain worldview believe that prosperity is a sign of God's favour for the righteous. A faith that "the Lord" helps those who help themselves to a greater and greater share of the national wealth. Narrow is the rapture gate that includes only the righteous few meets another saying – something about a camel and the eye of a needle or something. Then again, no one ever said that Pentecostals were mainstream (the concept about being born again and raptured into heaven at end time judgment being a direct contradiction about the kingdom of heaven not being of the realm of the mortal human dominion).

  15. Ad 16

    All the best to the new Minister of Transport Kieran McAnulty.

    Pretty damn crap to have another little policy initiative (vaping) smashed by crap Labour political mismanagement.

    Wood should have been the Leader-In-Waiting and this essentially means he's peaked. That's the stupid tragedy of this.

    Kieran will be a great rural foil for Hipkins.

    • SPC 16.1

      Peak Key, you reported I had 30,000 shares – it's not my jobs to correct you and say it was 100,000. He was re-elected and remained PM.


      • Ad 16.1.1

        Not sure you've responded to the right comment there SPC.

        • SPC

          I have.

          Key had shares in TranzRail while … way worse than the case of Wood.

      • Incognito 16.1.2


        • SPC

          Re-elected in 2008 and became PM afterwards. Better?

          • Incognito

            Like Ad, I can’t see what your comment @ 16.1 has got to do with Ad’s @ 16 to which you were replying. They seem entirely disconnected.

            The only possibility is the rather innocuous mention of “Leader-In-Waiting” by Ad @ 16. Is that it?

            • SPC

              Did you fail to note him saying Woods is to be/will be sacked as Minister of Transport. And that Wood's career has peaked. Yet, John Key did worse in the same area and later became PM.

              • Ad

                So firstly disabuse yourself of any fairness in political operations. Not ever useful.

                Secondly you need to educate yourself on Hipkins: he is one of the purest lizard-brains we will ever see.

                He has no caucus allies. He has no kitchen cabinet supporters. He has pretty much known nothing except Parliament in his professional life. He sacrificed his marriage during COVID response. He stands for nothing. His modus operandi is total expediency. No detectable policy goal at all. No major Ministerial success outside of the COVID standup. No principle. No value. Just survival.

                Hipkins will not just throw you under a bus. He will hold you down and ensure you keep getting run over.

                When he bleeds it is metallic blue, his phrasing is as clipped and cold as his tongue allows, and his stance on anything has about the same stability as an Iguana.

                Hipkins has nothing to do except win and survive. On his record absolutely nothing is getting in his way, and this week Wood got in the way.

                • SPC

                  That reminds of the saying, a good prosecutor gets the conviction, a great one has an innocent man convicted on hearsay, appealing to the bigotry of the jury and claim to special knowledge.

                • alwyn

                  Now I understand how he became the Labour Party leader.

                  It reminds me a little of the question addressed to Abraham Lincoln's wife. "Apart from that little unfortunate incident Mrs Lincoln how did you enjoy the play?"

                  With Hipkins I suppose we say. "Apart from a couple of minor flaws what do you think of him as a leader?"

                • Ad, Chippy did not do this, Woods has caused this by prevaricating.

                  Surely Chippie's blood is red???? What are you on????

                • Anyone who is alarmed by Ad's description of Chippie should reread his maiden speech, in which he states his values and beliefs quite clearly.

                  • PsyclingLeft.Always

                    Good morn Patricia. How are you ? Well apparently Ad is "provocative"…or, something ? : ) Im not sure how many grains of salt you'd need. Possibly a lethal amount.

                    • devil Hi PLA all good thanks…the sun is outsmiley,

                      Well Ad has at times played the Devil's Advocate" to stir the pot.

                      He has removed Chippie's humanity which is a little too extreme. imo. So I suggest look at Chippie's Maiden Speech. His beliefs shine through.

                      Of course Chris Hipkins is trying to win in spite of events dirty politics a tired electorate and an untrustworthy opposition which is flip flopping.

                      Ad is reverting to hyperbole. His arrows should be aimed at Luxon et al, but as usual he is playing the Leader rather than the situation in my opinion, as he did when Jacinda faced difficulties. Letting off steam?

                    • Anne

                      He plays devil's advocate.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    We must forgive Ad's Ad homs on Chippie.

                    Taking potshots at Luxon is about as thrilling as stalking a tapioca pudding. We really need a better opposition.

              • Incognito

                I see, you think that Ad implied that Kieran McAnulty interim position as acting Minister of Transport is or will become permanent.

                Yes, you could be correct. However, Wood still has several other Ministerial portfolios.

                I also agree that it may be premature to suggest that Wood has peaked and will be out of the race/contention for being the next or a future leader of Labour.

                In relation to John Key, Labour is not National, and it has (slightly) higher standards, I’d like to think. I also like to think that Labour voters can see through this screw-up turned into a beat-up, which is quite different from the welcoming & embracing of John Key by Nat voters, which frankly was and still is sickening.

  16. Corey 17

    National are absolutely disgusting hypocrites on this matter.

    However, lefty's should tread with caution before calling $13, 000 "nothing" in a country where so many people who genuinely have NOTHING.

    Even workers on 60 k a year are on the bones of their arses working just to rent a shitty cold house.

    Then you have the legions of working poor and thousands and thousands of kiwis in motels.

    An insignificant amount would be a beneficiary getting their benefit cut cos they can't explain where an extra $50 they get from a relative comes from

    …nor a beneficiary getting their benefit cut because they didn't immediately respond to a request.

    $13000 is not trivial, it is a lot of money and I think those who say it isn't, aren't reading the mood of the country.

    Im glad the prime minister is taking the heat out of this issue and removing him from this portfolio while the issue is rectified.

    Wood seems like a really good bloke and hopefully this is a learning experience for him and other mp's to fully go through their finances and register them with the releavent authorities.

  17. tsmithfield 18

    I think Wood could be in trouble now. Turns out he declined the application by North Shore airport application while holding shares in Auckland airport.

    The problem I see here is not so much the value of the shares, but the possibility that Wood may have had a unconscious predispostion against the North Shore application due to an unconscious sense of ownership in Auckland airport.

    To manage this sort of conflict, I think he should have been proactive and have had his decision independently reviewed, to ensure his decision was the right one. Even disposing of the shares may not have been enough.

    • SPC 18.1

      Shall I compare thou to … 100,000 shares in TranzRail and 1500 shares in Auckland Airport

      Or do I have to quote the first thought of David Seymour of the day before – who basically said why would anyone on a ministerial salary be influenced by a piddling amount of shares bought on a teens income.

      • tsmithfield 18.1.1

        Whataboutism doesn't make this right unfortunately.

        As I have said a number of times, the issue isn't about the fact the shares were owned by Wood, or the number of them. It is the fact that the conflict of interest wasn't declared, and now it turns out he has made at least one decision where that conflict could be seen as material.

        Imagine being someone who was pushing for the North Shore proposal finding this out now. They would undoubtably feel pissed off, and maybe suspicious of Wood's motivations in making the decision.

        In my view, I don't think it likely that owning the shares actually affected Wood's decision-making. But many may well be thinking that way. Hence the problem.

        Hopefully, this case will be a lesson to other MPs about the importance of dealing properly with perceived conflicts.

        • newsense

          I mean I understand you have to back your teams play and chase the ball and no Nat needs an excuse to take a potshot at a Mt Roskill Labour guy.

          It’s another paintball, but given they own Auckland property and given his reputation for public service it’s hardly a big one. Unless there’s enough endless clammering and enough interests aligning. We’ll see.

          Ad’s description of Chippy above was frankly terrifying and sounded like that of someone who was personally familiar with him.

          The long term is apart from the CRL, Auckland might be getting shafted by both main parties and the Mayor for good measure. But the rate rises will be contained and the non flooding suburbs will do fine.

      • James Simpson 18.1.2

        SPC – You either call both Key and Wood out, or excuse them both.

        I am not sure which of those options you are choosing.

    • Ed1 18.2

      You may well be onto something here, tsmithfield – unconscious pre-dispositions can lead to repetition of previous posts, with no added content, but you do raise an important issue – that policy may be distorted by the personal experience and financial interests of Members of Parliament. In this case the decision regarding an extension of air services was probably based on departmental advice, but there is the issue of the charging tax on capital gains on the sale of only some assets – this may be giving an unconscious predisposition to enable such an exemption by most members of parliament – indeed you may have seen comment about this before. I do not know of any other country that has such an inconsistency in its taxation system. Then there is the issue of how those elected to parliament can ensure that they do not have such potential biases – this is an issue that may affect most members of parliament. Still, your advice to have decisions pro-actively reviewed could be worthwhile – and I suggest it could also apply with just as much validity to your posts to The Standard.

    • Anker 18.3

      even if owning the shares played no role in Woods declining the North Shore application (and it probably didn't) this makes it significant now.

  18. Sanctuary 19

    Now Chris Darby? The timing stinks. Brown hasn't got the numbers to sell the airport shares so he is throwing an orchestrated dirty tricks campaign to try and force these two ccouncillors to say they won't vote on the matter.

    How does the mayors office think it is going to agreement on anything after this? A pathogical bully will run into a wall of resistance.

    • Ad 19.1

      Does Mayor Brown have the numbers for his budget?

    • Foreign waka 19.2

      They all had plenty of time to clean up their act. In an election year these things are expected. Integrity would be a sign of character, none of those involved have any. The public will notice, especially those who are battling every day and have no millions to count.

  19. John Francis 20

    Council staff playing the Money Changer never goes well. Please re-read the article – Derivatives trading cost 5 times the Brown hole in finances.

    Please read this and send on.

    If the Airport is sold then you will have NO say in it – don't complain if you have flights overhead at 2 in the morning – private enterprise does not care.

    Marston Point closing is a case in point. This is not a decision any sane government would take but an Australian lawyer in charge makes the decision and we are all going to suffer for it because WE HAVE NO SAY.

    [Please do not shout, but use italics for emphasis if desired, thanks – Incognito]

  20. barry 21

    Venality is excusable, stupidity is not

    • Foreign waka 21.1

      I would say the opposite. Corruption is not acceptable in any shape or form.

  21. Mike the Lefty 22

    Martyn Bradbury on The Daily Blog points out that David Seymour made "an honest mistake" in 2021 when he made a virtue of owning no property and then had to correct his mistake when he found he was a financial beneficiary in three properties via a trust.

    Also he said that John Key lied about his shareholding in Air New Zealand.

    So when you compare this with Michael Woods' mistakes it kind of brings it back into perspective doesn't it?

    • georgecom 22.1

      woods should have declared the shares earlier and should have gotten rid of them to be seen to do the right thing. some sloppy work. National and ACT have been calling for his sacking.

      A few years ago a National Prime Minister made comments and ask questions regards Kiwirail and then forgot he owned shares and then forgot how many he owned. I can't remember National standing him down nor cries from National or ACT for him to be sacked.

      Sure, woods has some cleaning up to do. The sanctimonious opposition should check on a bit of fairly recent history before they open their mouths too much more

  22. Stuart Munro 23

    My understanding is that MW is one of the better Labour ministers, and that his shareholding is, in the greater scheme of things, relatively insignificant. But I fully approve of his being stood down until he sorts it out. We should not allow our partisanship to lead us to playing favourites.

    Key's insider trading of NZRail shares was much more serious, and he should have had the fucking book thrown at him. Luxon's not dodgy but lazy failure to provide a list of assets should have seen him lose his speaking rights until he complied.

    Having clear and enforced rules around such conflicts tends to incrementally decrease corruption – letting them slide sets a very unhealthy precedent.

    • alwyn 23.1

      "Key's insider trading of NZRail shares".

      You clearly haven't the faintest idea what insider trading is.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 23.1.1

        Key keeps lying – when will it end? [24 Sept 2008]

        [Key claims that] He only took part in select committee meetings regarding rail and Tranz Rail after he issued an order to sell the shares which he claims (but has produced no evidence of) was made on 9 June 2003

        o Fact: John Key attended select committee meetings on 27 March and 30 April 2003 that directly involved Tranz Rail

        o Fact: At the 30 April meeting of the select committee, Richard Prebble [ACT] disclosed his conflict relating to Mainfreight while Mr Key sat silent

        Mad Dog and the Smiling Assassin might be besties now – 'funny' old world.

        And ‘blind’ trusts are handy.

      • Stuart Munro 23.1.2

        Oh really – do enlighten us then, great pretender.

        • alwyn

          Insider trading is buying or selling shares in a company where the person doing so has information that is material to the shares value but which is not generally available to the public.

          To accuse Key of insider trading you would have to show that when he bought or sold shares he had such information. I can see no such evidence.

          It is quite different to someone having a conflict of interest.

          • Foreign waka

            You mean like sitting at the council table that votes on shareholding sales and meanwhile holding the same shares privately too?

          • Stuart Munro

            If you taken the trouble to read the link I provided, you would have noted that Key made use of his role as an MP, and his presence on a transport subcommittee, to request and obtain a substantial amount of information that was not available to the public.

            Though the legal test may differ slightly, using your definition, Key was certainly guilty of, or in the process of attempting to conduct, insider trading.

            This is a species of conflict of interest, and had Key been a scrupulous individual rather than a born to hang financial wide-boy, he would have taken pains not to obtain insider information, recused himself from discussion of Rail, while he held shares, or disposed of the shares. Oddly, he did no such thing, in fact going out and buying more.

            • alwyn

              Well I have read it again and there is nothing there that tells me anything other than that Cullen had a very well developed imagination.

              There is nothing there than shows that Key had access to any information that was both confidential to the company and was material in respect to the value of the shares.

              There is nothing there that shows that while having access to any such material that Key either bought or sold shares in the company.

              Thus Key cannot be accused of insider trading.

              • Stuart Munro

                Look, we realize you a knee-jerk ultra righty that sees nothing wrong with corruption and insider trading anyway – but Cullen had knowledge of what was covered in those meetings – which you do not. If the material was sufficiently sensitive to deter even the not-notably-scrupulous-at-the-best-of-times Prebble, it ought to have sufficed to budge Key.

                But by all means, embrace the lower standard – that is how self-serving neolibs do.

  23. Stefan 24

    Thought they were in a trust? So did he not read who the dividends were issued to each year for 20 + years? Or more worrying considering he is a Associate Finance minister did he not collect his dividends?

  24. newsense 25

    Over $1300 dollars? Omg

    the housing rort of the last decade and particularly the government secured growth of the COVID period has been millions if not billions in growth.

    And it will be accelerated by National’s recent flip flopping.

  25. tsmithfield 26

    DPF gives an interesting comparison between the Key and Wood share controversies.

    I don't think anyone seriously believes that Wood has made decisions in his capacity as Transport Minister to benefit himself with respect to his share holding in Auckland Airport.

    I think the bigger questions now are around his competence and judgement.

    As was disclosed in question time yesterday Wood was actually asked twelve times if he had sold his shares. Selling shares is not at all difficult to do. So it is hard to fathom why it has taken so long for him to comply. And, he has made at least one decision in his capacity as a minister that was technically conflicted with his share holding in Auckland Airport.

    I think Hipkins is now in the horns of a dilemma. Either he sacks Wood and makes his government look weak. Or he keeps Wood on and makes himself look weak.

  26. Sanctuary 27

    NZME is riding this issue hard, but it isn't registering anywhere else. Their vocal audience of far-right boomers lap this sort of thing up of course.

    What it SHOULD be telling labour is NZME and National and in cahoots to run a dirty tricks campaign of trumped up accusations and headline this election and they'd better make sure their political radars are sensitive to that.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 27.1

      ‘ What it SHOULD be telling labour is NZME and National and in cahoots to run a dirty tricks campaign of trumped up accusations and headline this election and they’d better make sure their political radars are sensitive to that.’

      I kinda hoped the Labour crew would have been well aware of that?

      Nact Willis is hopping from foot to foot and Nact Seymour is well, twerking over it ?

      From this..( a silver coloured lining) Labour should finally get it? Its really on !

      Fucks sake. Keep tight. and Fight back !

      I do not want these Nact slime in govt !

    • tsmithfield 27.2

      I think you are misreading the situation a bit.

      Firstly, the only reason this is a story is due to Wood himself. Not the media. And, it really isn't very good, from a competence and judgement perspective, from someone who's job it is to make good decisions for the country.

      Secondly, National has also been focus of media attention in similar circumstances. From my perspective, probably more so than Labour. For instance, the saga was well into TV1 news last night, not leading it, as has been the case with National in similar circumstances. So, I don't think there really is a case for bias in the media.

      Thirdly, this is just another incident in a long saga of misbehaving/misperforming ministers lately. So, it is just part of a trend. People may not be overly interested in individual instances. But, they probably get a general impression of the state of the government.

      • pat 27.2.1

        "But, they probably get a general impression of the state of the government."

        …only if they are still listening …and without tribal ears.

        My sense is that many have put all political consideration aside until nearer the election when they will be forced to assess.

        • tsmithfield

          Put it this way, if you were in Hipkin's shoes, would you have preferred that all this stuff hadn't blown up over recent months?

          If nothing else, all this stuff is drowning out positive messaging.

          • pat

            Undoubtably, however s stated im not sure that the all important non tribal voter is listening any more so the impact may be somewhat limited.

            • tsmithfield

              I agree. The thinking of tribal voters, for Labour anyway, is likely represented here. And, right wing voters likely won't change very easily either. There could be some drift from Labour to the Greens though.

              But, I think the swing voters in the centre will be taking more notice of this. If the economy was doing well (fuel taxes coming back on, economic slowdown etc), and crime wasn't such a concern at the moment, and hospital waiting lists weren't increasing, then likely those voters would shrug it off.

              But, in combination with other trends that aren't going too well, swing voters might join the dots.

              • Foreign waka

                Confirmed, they do and I am one of them after always voting left.

              • pat

                It is the day to day concerns that are distracting (or annoying) the non tribal voter from the beltway pedantry I would suggest…at least that is the impression I get from those i interact with….the likes of Woods and Tinetti are just considered an annoyance of little import….the price of food and rent however garner much passion.

                • tsmithfield

                  As I said, it becomes an issue if voters rightly or wrongly link the dysfunction in the government with their day to day problems.

      • newsense 27.2.2

        No? It’s a bit silly, but doesn’t refer to misbehaving the way there is a clear pattern of misogyny and misbehavior around privacy and recording amongst National candidates.

        You pop in here, quote a DPF piece and then claim that it’s all on Wood.

        If this were a Nat it might not have even made dispatches.

        It’s an issue because it was raised in the house. It’s an issue because of the Auckland budget. And because of how Hipkins has reacted, imo.

        It either indicates sentimentality or a misguided deprioritisation, nothing more.

        • tsmithfield

          I actually think it is a bit sad that Wood has got himself into so much trouble over such a trivial issue. But, it was within his power to have resolved that yonks ago, but didn't. So, yes, I do think this is all on Wood.

    • Ad 27.3

      It's all the media's fault.

      Always works.

  27. tsmithfield 28

    Peter Dunne gives a good analysis of the situation. He points very much to the dilemma that Hipkins is facing at the moment with this situation, as I pointed out earlier.

    From the article:

    “If he fires Wood, he gets some kudos for being decisive but then that’s another blow – and another minister promoted and the image of a Government in shambles,” Dunne told AM Early host Michael O’Keefe.

    If there already hadn't been a string of issues with MPs, I think Wood would likely be sacked, as that would have framed Hipkins as strong and decisive. But, recent history has made this situation much tougher for Hipkins.

    • newsense 28.1

      Christopher Luxon is one of Labour’s greatest assets-says Richard Prebble.
      Old man says- Luxon bad!

      Perhaps you could quote some text from that- I’m not paying for premium at the Herald online!

      Remember when the Greens outpolled Dunne’s party in his own electorate?

      What does Russell Marshall think? Or Jonathan Hunt?

      Just because you’ve never left the public eye, doesn’t mean your opinion carries mana or even interest and you don’t have to be constantly in the public gaze to have mana.

      • tsmithfield 28.1.1

        Dunne is a reasonable commentator because his party was intentionally central. So, he is quite balanced in his opinions.

        Yeah, I am not paying for the Herald Online either. But the article you point to was dated late April. A bit has happened since then.

        • newsense

          As is Nicola Willis, and I’d love to know her honest opinion of Luxon right now. What’s happened? More Luxon flip flopping on areas of rapidly approaching future need.

          MRDS was a policy very easy to agree to from either side. Proper urban planning is not particularly aligned to workers or capital. A failure of planning means greater costs for all down the road.

          I wonder if your assessment of plain Petey is the same for Winston- the logic is the same after all…

          • newsense

            I’ll give you the other version- disliked by all for asking pertinent questions, Mr Bernard Hickey from the Kaka on National’s continued failure:

            National has released its infrastructure policy for the election, opting for a tweaked version of a bipartisan and 30-year-long low-infrastructure-investment and low-public-debt strategy that created our housing and climate crises and has dug a $200 billion infrastructure hole for future generations to live with or fill.

            Plus the 24 billion and rising in climate obligations that can’t be paid with dodgy international credits.

            Or 1300 in airport shares. Guess which I deem more important. The commentariat can interview themselves to attack a more unapologetically left wing figure, but they still have to have substance when it comes to the issues of the day and decade.


            • tsmithfield

              Look, everything you say might be 100% accurate. But, it doesn't change the situation that Hipkins is in now.

              Even though I am from a right wing perspective, I do try to be balanced (most of the time), and I do put the boot into National myself from time to time if I feel it is warranged.

              • newsense

                For me housing and the closely related climate change and transport policies are so important and such a touch paper. I would hazard a guess you’re probably sitting in a position where none of those policies would have an enormous potential effect on your lifestyle or life choices.
                I think this probably explains most of the differences. Similar approaches, but different circumstances.

                • newsense

                  For example today I had a salesman try to get me to look at a brand new, well-designed and swiftly built, slim 3 storey townhouse. It was 5 minutes or less from a train station and has several parks within a 5-15 minute walk.
                  That city should have been Auckland, but it wasn’t.

                  • tsmithfield

                    All of what you say may be 100% accurate. But again, it is not relevant to the point being discussed. And, probably wise not to guess about my circumstances.

        • SPC

          This is my personal experience of Peter Dunne.

          He wrote an article in which he said explained his (United Party) liberal values, I wrote a letter to the editor saying that an explanation of liberalism that did not include the words human rights, civil liberties, environment or conservation was a limited one.

          He responded by claiming I was an extreme left wing fellow traveller, one of that ilk.

          I would suggest that anyone who associates human rights, civil liberties, environment and conservation with being extreme left is no liberal, but a poseur.

          This was back in 1999.

          No liberal responds to criticism with the language of McCarthyism.

        • Stuart Munro

          So, he is quite balanced in his opinions.

          The logic is promising, but his judgment proved to be rather poor. Dunne understood procedure, and thus had the semblance of a decent politician – but he was an obstacle to dealing with the more obvious failing of Rogergnomics. A white butterfly – and just as good for our brassicas.

        • Anne

          "… a reasonable commentator because his party was intentionally central."

          You mean he and his party sat on the fence and leaned whatever way the political wind was blowing.

    • Peter 28.2

      Ah, the same Peter Dunne of 'I was unwise, even stupid'.

  28. Ffloyd 29

    In my opinion PM Hipkins needs to learn the art of short and to the point. Key used to just to pop up and use short answers to question. Like yes…and no…. Smirk. Also the old chestnut ‘this was dealt with last week and we have moved on’ …..smirks . Media says sure John, no worries. How’s your wife and kids? All good? Wonderful.

    If Hipkins says the matter has been looked at, and he has accepted the statement of Wood and proper process will be followed, that he stands by his Minister and that HE will decide on future actions. Then that is all that needs to said at the moment. Knee jerking is not a good look. Jacinda was also very good at deflecting. There is any amount of buried treasure in the National vaults can be brought up and used as a bullet. For example. What about Luxons handling of the Uffendull vicious uncalled for assault against young defenceless boys. Review that he alone decided was nothing that needed to go into the public arena. No one, I gather, has ever seen it. Why was this horrific assault buried? If he and Nicolas want to go after Wood for his admittedly sloppy handling of his shares , in which nobody was physically hurt then he should front up to the media and publish it. I for one would not trust Uffendull in any situation. Transparency for EVERONE Lux and Nic. Stay calm Chippy.

    • Tiger Mountain 29.1

      Yep, “bed leg basher” Uffindell cruises on. NZ Labour has to bite back.

  29. Tiger Mountain 30

    I noted the take by another commenter this morning that Mr Wood was collateral damage in Mayor Browny’s witch hunt to take out dissenting councillors.

    But regardless of that it now appears the Natzos dirty politics department has had an inadvertent “win” because of Michael Wood’s own actions or lack thereof.

    Sad shit given the positive results the Minister has achieved for Bus Drivers and Coastal Shipping.

    Labour of course will not go on attack mode and do a bit of “whadda–bout…” whadda–bout Sirkey of course being a main offender. Labour have dun it to themselves again, just as they squandered the 2020 MMP majority chance to bury Rogernomics, which will not happen again soon.

  30. tsmithfield 31

    My pick is that Wood is not going to be sacked, because, who is there to replace him?

    • JohnO 31.1

      Kieran McAnulty. The next one off Labour's endless conveyor belt of game-changing Mr Fixits!

      In reality, the cabinet is held together by a core of about 4 overworked ministers, with the rest of them there to fill gaps in the photo ops.

      • tsmithfield 31.1.1

        In reality, the cabinet is held together by a core of about 4 overworked ministers, with the rest of them there to fill gaps in the photo ops.

        LOL. Probably not far from the truth. And I bet they are hoping that McAnulty doesn't stuff up, or what will they do then?

      • Ad 31.1.2

        Hipkins was and is holding up at least as much as Kevin Spacey in Season 1 of House of Cards.

        Otherwise the broadest shoulders are Robertson, Dr Woods, Little, Verrall, and Parker.

        • tsmithfield

          Yes, I think Hipkins becoming leader definitely had its upsides and downsides.

          The upsides are that he is the most capable and relatable person for that job.

          The downside is that it has left a big gap to be filled. And that problem is becoming painfully obvious at the moment.

  31. Anker 32

    Perhaps it is time to change the headline "much ado about nothing" on this post.

    When you read what happened as Bryce Edwards sets out quite factually, there is indeed a lot of to be having an ado about.

    I must claim a certain amount of schadenfreude about Mr Woods plight. To sum it up two phrases; "a river of filth" and "incorrect world view"

    • bwaghorn 32.1

      Funny I don't recall edwards calling out the 5 hats, share owner of forgotten shares, hair fondling douche slime key, but sure go after the slightly dipping $13000 dollar man.

      • Incognito 32.1.1

        The choice of words (e.g., “integrity” 8×) is quite telling and aims to cast aspersions of moral shortcomings both at the individual and team/government level. That’s subjective speculation and personal bias on behalf of Edwards, which has become his MO; simple as that.

        • bwaghorn

          Yip he's no use. But hipkins is weak he should have told them all fuck off ,

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 32.2

      I must claim a certain amount of schadenfreude about Mr Woods plight.

      That says so much about you….

    • Louis 32.3

      Minister Wood was referring to right-wing ideology, not people.

      "There are some people who have been hurt over the past couple of years and they're lashing out.

      "We feel for those people. But underneath all of that, there is a river of filth.

      "There is a river of violence and menace. There is a river of anti-Semitism. There is a river of Islamophobia. There is a river of threats to people who work in this place and our staff."

      "I would say that there is a river of genuine fascism in parts of the event that we see out the front of this Parliament today," he said. "I just urge colleagues in this House – decent and honourable members of the centre-right parliamentary parties in this Parliament – that a lot is actually on them to not give succour and comfort to an emergent and dangerous far-right movement. I just ask those members to reflect upon that."

      • Incognito 32.3.1

        It doesn’t matter how often you repeat this fact, some commenters here continue to stick to their own favoured narrative even though it requires twisting words & meanings and warping reality.

        • Louis

          Very true that.

          • Anker

            As another commenter said at the time, it was the river of filth comment that stuck though.

            The river of filth comment was aimed at smearing the protesters (all of them). It seems to be a tactic Labour uses with its opponants
            I think most of us do stick to our own favoured narrative. That's pretty normal actually. I am probably one of the few people on this site who hasn't stuck to my own narrative. I use to support labour without exception. I have enough of a critical mind to challenge my thinking on that.

            Woods "incorrect world view" comment is pure 1984

            Anyway the facts that have unfolded about Wood and his airport shares make his return to the cabinet, certainly in this term untenable. Lying to the PM is not good

    • Bryce Edwards has long been a covert National lackey.

      So don't believe a word he says.

  32. Ad 33

    Someone needs to do a cartoon of Minister Wood as St Lawrence of Rome.

    Chippie will just wait for the probe to finish.

    Jacopo Palma the Younger, The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence

    [image resized – Incognito]

  33. gsays 34

    Wood would be glad it was a 3 day weekend.

    He started the week with some paperwork that needed sorting, oversight you see, and ended it facing an inquiry conducted by the registrar of pecuniary interests Sir Maarten Wevers.

    In the meantime made his boss look like an ass and was revealed to have told porkies to Newsroom.

    Imagine if it had been a 5 day week.

  34. Louis 35

    "While the shares had previously been estimated to be worth about $13,000, he received about $16,400 for them when sold and clarified the sum had been donated to the Anglican Trust for Women and Children"

  35. Anker 36

    Did you read my link to Bryce Edwards article at 32? The shares looked bad, but when it first came out, I thought ho hum.

    Its the ignoring 12 requests for him to sell them by the cabinet office, telling the PM he had sold them, telling the media he had sold then, ploughing on with light rail to the airport and turning down the North Shore application for another airport.

    He's either incompetant, arrogant, a fool and he certainly had an "incorrect worldview' in what is acceptable behaviour for a Cabinet Minister

    • Or he thought he had better things to do for the country than worry about shares that were worth a piddling amount-one millionth of the capital value of AIA.

      I repeat, for the n'th time, there is no COI.

      • Belladonna 36.1.1

        Unfortunately for your point of view, the Cabinet office, the Cabinet Manual and the Prime Minister all disagree with you. Which is why Wood was instructed to (and agreed to) divest himself of the shares when he became a Minister in 2020. Unfortunately, for himself (and his party) he failed in this basic task.

        It's not the initial share ownership which is the issue – it's the incompetence in dealing with the issue, and, it now turns out, lying, which ensued.

        Making a mistake is one thing – lying about it, gets you into a much greater degree of trouble.

        Are you proposing that each MP can make an independent decision over which of their assets are 'relevant' when filling out the pecuniary interests register? Or which of their assets are potential conflicts of interest when they become a Minister? Really?

        • Bearded Git

          Yes I am saying the rules are wrong-they are too black and white.

          The Cabinet Manual and pecuniary interests disclosure should be able to take into account whether the value of an asset is likely to affect somebody's decision on an issue. Owning one millionth of AIA does not compromise Wood in his decision making ability because he will never benefit from this shareholding in any meaningful way….perhaps a couple of hundred dollars at most. He would obviously not jeopardise his $300k a year salary to make $200. Hence, no COI exists.

          " A conflict of interest occurs when an individual’s personal interests – family, friendships, financial, or social factors – could compromise his or her judgment, decisions, or actions in the workplace."

          Luxon on the other hand will have a massive COI if he changes the rules with regard to the bright line test and interest allowability for tax purposes if he is elected as PM because he has a $16m property portfolio and stands to gain millions from the law changes.

          • Belladonna

            Well, no.

            There is already the capability for conflicts of interest to be evaluated and managed. It's regularly done, and is explicitly covered by the Cabinet Manual.

            It just requires the interest to be declared. Which Wood failed to do up until he became a minister in 2020.

            If MPs can decide which asset or association is 'important' and needs to be declared – then there is a huge gaping hole through which people of ill-intent (I do not include Wood, in this, BTW) – to conceal their bias.

            Requiring everything to be declared is the simplest and best solution.

            In this case, the agreed action between Wood and the Cabinet Office, was for Wood to divest himself of this shareholding – in order to be scrupulously neutral. I don't think it was necessary – I think that the conflict could have been managed without a sale – but, importantly, this was the action that Wood agreed to.

            Again Wood failed to take action, and then lied about his failure.

      • Louis 36.1.2

        yes Bearded Git. "He said he had put selling the shares "to the side" while he focused on his work." See link @ 37.1. During 2020 – 2023 govt ministers were focused on the global pandemic, the recent floods, and a cyclone and this is on top of an already heavy workload. People seem to have forgotten about those events.

    • newsense 36.2

      What’s this? A contest to see how many times we can say Bryce Edwards?

      All that that shows me is he goes in the basket with DPF and Dunne as people who hold no respect.

      The people with the biggest incentive are here making the loudest noise. Showing some of them to be idiots prepared to put anything out of context and prepared to do the bosses work for them.

      Wood as a minister has sheparded fair pay agreements this far and this is his reward. Damn those low paid workers finally getting a little back their way! Increase their rents! I’m listening to Farrar and Edwards!

  36. Anker 37

    "To make matters worse, it appears as though Wood has also misled the Cabinet Office on the issue of divesting his shares. According to the Prime Minister, “One of the challenges is that the Cabinet Office had been advised by [Wood] on a number of occasions that he has divested himself of the shares, that clearly hasn’t happened. That is quite a material issue”. From the link I posted at 32 from Bryce Edwards article.

    Hipkins is stuffed. Dammed if he does dammed if he doesn't. He must be really, really pissed with Wood.

    • Louis 37.1

      @36/37 "Wood said he had not been across "detailed information" and it was an "error" and he had not "deliberately misled".

      He said he had put selling the shares "to the side" while he focused on his work.

      “I do acknowledge these are major errors on my part. I deeply, deeply regret them.”

      He said he welcomed Parliament's inquiry into the matter.

      • Ad 37.1.1

        Put a fork in him he's done.

      • tsmithfield 37.1.2

        @36/37 "Wood said he had not been across "detailed information" and it was an "error" and he had not "deliberately misled".

        It isn't much of a defense for a minister of the crown when the explanation is "I didn't deliberately mislead, I was just incompetent".

        That argument might have been believable if it had been once or twice. But twelve times??

        Hipkins is in such a difficult position over this. He either sacks Wood and makes his party look weak. Or he keeps him on and makes himself look weak.

        IMHO I think the best course of action is for Hipkins to sack Wood. But with the qualification that Wood could come back into cabinet in the future. That would indicate to voters that Labour still has talent in the team going forward.

        Labour's brand is very Leader dependent. And if Hipkins is himself undermined, then they haven't got much left. So, Hipkins appearing strong is really essential.

        The other thing Hipkins should do, is offer an amnesty to other MPs to come clean about any potential issues right away. That is better than having things continually dripping out.

  37. observer 38

    Here's the latest news about the "river of filth". Yes, it is the same people.

    If you think Michael Wood is worse than a democracy-hating misogynist mob, then your moral compass and perspective is broken beyond repair.

    • Ad 38.2

      Michael Wood failed to front up as a democratically elected representative to disaffected people at Parliament. He just shielded behind calling them names.

      Hardly a surprise that no one from his transport ministry let alone the whole of government would fail to front to an angry crowd about the consequences of car addiction.

      • Gabby 38.2.1

        Nobody's obliged to make nice with a howling mob.

        • Ad

          Well sure no politician is obliged.

          Though if they stop going to meetings they can in no way be democratic.

          And simply calling them names instead of fronting up is what you do when you can't face the consequences of your own policy.

      • RedLogix 38.2.2

        The 20 minute city is a perfectly ordinary, non-controversial idea. Most of our smaller towns and cities reflect this principle already – at least to some degree.

        The problem is that COVID over-reach has caused a fraction of people to become disillusioned, losing trust in the motives of public officials. It's all sweet for the laptop class or those who were not impacted by extended lockdowns, destruction of businesses, vaccine mandates and the like to pretend it was all for the 'public good' – but there were plenty of people who bore the costs of these policies and have not forgotten.

        Easy and lazy to smear them all as 'conspiracy theorists' but this is what you get when you gaslight people and ignore them – you are teaching them not to trust. From there on in they will think the worst of anything you propose – and in this case the '20 min' city looks to them like a geographically extended version of lockdown – loss of freedom to move only with somewhat larger boundaries and permanent. With COVID over-reach still fresh in recent memory, they will rightly suspect "how long before this morphs from a planning guide into an enforcement regime?"

        • Ad

          321 people per day not taking a car from Hamilton to Auckland is a start, but honestly it's a fairly small start.

          Otherwise Hamilton's Orbiter is the only frequent bus in existence.

          • RedLogix

            I get your point – it seems like a very long bow to draw from the reality of a nascent train service and a few busses to get to a world in which you have to present papers and ask permission to leave your '20 min neighbourhood'. (But then again there is historic precedent for this – the Soviet Union being one proximate example.)

            But this kind of hypersensitivity to perceived threats is exactly what you get with people who no longer trust. I don't know if there is an easy public scale solution to this – it may well be just one of the trade-offs arising from what we did to them over the past three years.

            • Anne

              "{… it may well be just one of the trade-offs arising from what we did to them over the past three years."

              What we did to them RL? It was my sense that the govt. made 'saving lives' the number one priority during the pandemic. We will never know how many lives were saved before mass vaccination of the populace was complete, but most estimate it was thousands.

              As someone in the senior bracket I say a huge thank-you to the govt. for possibly saving my life. That there are some 2 to 3% of people in this country who were/are apparently too stupid or irrational (or both) to comprehend the necessity to take drastic action is unfortunate but it was nobody's fault but their own.

              • Ad

                Yes that's the same logic coming out of Act and National about beneficiaries. Scummy filth.

              • RedLogix

                It was my sense that the govt. made 'saving lives' the number one priority during the pandemic.

                And in hindsight it was all a lot less use than was trumpeted at the time. Extended lockdowns achieved little at high cost, the vaccine mandates much the same. Most people I talk to will quietly agree with this.


                As I suggested above – the costs of these policies were very unevenly spread, and now we get the consequences of this.

              • Belladonna

                It was my sense that the govt. made 'saving lives' the number one priority during the pandemic.

                No, they made protecting people from possibly catching Covid number one priority.

                I know (personally) three people who have subsequently died of treatable cancer – all of whom did not have it diagnosed and treatment begin, because of lockdown in Auckland.

                The Government didn't make saving their lives any sort of priority.

                Lockdown is a very large hammer. And it may have been the best solution the government could have come up with in April 2020. But it was a poor tool for the subsequent extended lockdowns in Auckland (and other North Island areas) – which failed to contain Covid in any case.

              • Louis

                yes Well said Anne.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Thanks for that Anne, and thank goodness our govt largely followed the science, particularly given the constraints on public health professionals.

                COVID-19 vaccination and governance in the case of low, middle and high-income countries [5 June 2023]
                Regarding the governance indicators, as a whole, the highest average is found at the RQ [regulatory quality] level (49.745), Singapore, New Zealand, Finland, Luxembourg, Australia (over 97) being ranked in the upper hierarchy…

                When it comes to the CC [control of corruption], the mean of all sample states is 48.16, with maximum values in Denmark, Finland, Singapore, New Zealand, Sweden (over 95)…

                A global analysis of the effectiveness of policy responses to COVID-19 [6 April 2023]

                A chorus of Plan B-like hindsight wallahs will drone on (and on) about how they always knew best – flitting from 'herd immunity is the answer', to 'it's over thanks to treatment X (or Y, or Z)', 'mRNA vaccines are too risky', 'masks are pointless', 'travel restrictions are onerous' – just the monotonous whine of the inconvenienced entitled 'Freedums' mob, imho.

                For as long as I'm able to look back on Aotearoa's 'COVID experience', I'll be grateful to 'ordinary' Kiwis who made govt policy work for me.

                Assessing COVID-19 pandemic policies and behaviours and their economic and educational trade-offs across US states from Jan 1, 2020, to July 31, 2022: an observational analysis
                [22 April 2023]
                COVID-19 magnified the polarisation and persistent social, economic, and racial inequities that already existed across US society, but the next pandemic threat need not do the same. US states that mitigated those structural inequalities, deployed science-based interventions such as vaccination and targeted vaccine mandates, and promoted their adoption across society were able to match the best-performing nations in minimising COVID-19 death rates. These findings could contribute to the design and targeting of clinical and policy interventions to facilitate better health outcomes in future crises.

                Thanks to what's been learned during COVID-19, many countries may mount improved responses during future pandemics, but will NZ's response be any better? Time will tell if we can maintain a pandemic 'value consensus', although that seems unlikely given the recent trashing of two too short-lived examples of political bipartisanship.

                When the role of uncertainty is… uncertain [24 May 2023]
                Specific economic sectors may have been more concerned with disrupted operations or financial losses than with the overall health of the population.

                In summary, Shea et al. have demonstrated that scientific and epidemiological uncertainties were not barriers to formulating optimal disease control policy early in a pandemic caused by a novel virus. I suggest that the greater barrier to good policy in the United States and elsewhere was lack of value consensus, at least behind closed doors. Given current pandemic threats on our horizon, perhaps we need to apply the same attention and study to issues of values, ethics, and equity during pandemics as we have successfully applied to questions of epidemiological uncertainty.

                The Act Party hopes to win 20% of votes in the election and force National to scrap more Labour policies [10 June 2023]
                The National Party have been in power for 47 of the last 74 years, or something like that, so you can’t be critical of NZ’s current state without being critical of the National Party,
                – Seymour

                Even now, some still don't appreciate just how lucky most Kiwis have been.

      • Anne 38.2.3

        You are prone to memory lapses Ad @ 38.2

        Security told all MPs NOT to front up to that mad crowd. There were crackpots galore – any one of whom could have taken to them with an axe or something similar. No Nat MPs fronted up. No ACT MPs fronted up. No Greens fronted up. And no-one from Labour fronted up.

        To single out Wood and chastise him for not fronting up is disingenuous to say the least. Sure his wording was strong but he was correct. It was "a river of filth" in more ways than one. Filthy living conditions (as seen during the clean-up phase), filthy language (degrading and inflammatory) filthy unlawful actions taken (too many to start listing) and attempts to invade parliament and kill the Prime Minister.

        It was a rabble the like of which this country had never seen before and imo they were allowed to get away with far too much. There should have been more arrests and much stronger sentences handed down in an attempt to stop any such behaviour being contemplated again.

        • Ad

          I bet 'security' told all MPs not to front up to the Foreshore and Seabed hikoi.

          But they didn't. They fronted and were accountable for their own hard policy choices.

          You clearly don’t remember that Labour ‘rabble’ in unruly protests for over a century were and are the main reason we’ve got progress in this country.

      • Louis 38.2.4

        Minister Wood didn't call members of the lynch mob names. See link @32.3

    • Louis 38.3

      That's pretty delusional and crazy. There are some deeply unwell people there.

  38. Gabby 39

    'if they stop going to meetings' – Is that one o them strawman fings?

    • Ad 39.1

      Fear Of Baptists must run strong.

      All those scary pikelets with jam and cream.

      • observer 39.1.1

        You could imagine that, or more usefully, you could just read the statements of people who were there, as provided above. People who have nothing to do with Michael Wood.

        It wasn't pikelets.

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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Litanies, articles of faith, and being a beneficiary
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past two weeks.Friday 29Play it, ElvisElection Hell special!! This week’s quiz is a bumper edition featuring a few of the more popular questions from last weekend’s show, as well as a few we didn’t ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Litanies, articles of faith, and being a beneficiary
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past two weeks.Friday 29Play it, ElvisElection Hell special!! This week’s quiz is a bumper edition featuring a few of the more popular questions from last weekend’s show, as well as a few we didn’t ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • The ‘Recession’ Has Been Called Off, But Some Households Are Still Struggling
    While the economy is not doing too badly in output terms, external circumstances are not favourable, and there is probably a sizeable group of households struggling because of rising interest rates.Last week’s announcement of a 0.9 percent increase in volume GDP for the June quarter had the commentariat backing down ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong direction
    This week the International Energy Association released its Net Zero Roadmap, intended to guide us towards a liveable climate. The report demanded huge increases in renewable generation, no new gas or oil, and massive cuts to methane emissions. It was positive about our current path, but recommended that countries with ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Racism” becomes a buzz word on the campaign trail – but our media watchdogs stay muzzled when...
    Buzz from the Beehive  Oh, dear.  We have nothing to report from the Beehive. At least, we have nothing to report from the government’s official website. But the drones have not gone silent.  They are out on the election campaign trail, busy buzzing about this and that in the hope ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Play it, Elvis
    Election Hell special!! This week’s quiz is a bumper edition featuring a few of the more popular questions from last weekend’s show, as well as a few we didn’t have time for. You’re welcome, etc. Let us press on, etc. 1.  What did Christopher Luxon use to his advantage in ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Pure class warfare
    National unveiled its fiscal policy today, announcing all the usual things which business cares about and I don't. But it did finally tell us how National plans to pay for its handouts to landlords: by effectively cutting benefits: The biggest saving announced on Friday was $2b cut from the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Ask Me Anything about the week to Sept 29
    Photo by Anna Ogiienko on UnsplashIt’s that time of the week for an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session for paying subscribers about the week that was for an hour, including:duelling fiscal plans from National and Labour;Labour cutting cycling spending while accusing National of being weak on climate;Research showing the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 29-September-2023
    Welcome to Friday and the last one for September. This week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Matt highlighted at the latest with the City Rail Link. On Tuesday, Matt covered the interesting items from Auckland Transport’s latest board meeting agendas. On Thursday, a guest post from Darren Davis ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Protest at Parliament: The Reunion.
    Brian’s god spoke to him. He, for of course the Lord in Tamaki’s mind was a male god, with a mighty rod, and probably some black leathers. He, told Brian - “you must put a stop to all this love, hope, and kindness”. And it did please the Brian.He said ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Labour cuts $50m from cycleway spending
    Labour is cutting spending on cycling infrastructure while still trying to claim the higher ground on climate. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Labour Government released a climate manifesto this week to try to claim the high ground against National, despite having ignored the Climate Commission’s advice to toughen ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Greater Of Two Evils.
    Not Labour: If you’re out to punish the government you once loved, then the last thing you need is to be shown evidence that the opposition parties are much, much worse.THE GREATEST VIRTUE of being the Opposition is not being the Government. Only very rarely is an opposition party elected ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #39 2023
    Open access notables "Net zero is only a distraction— we just have to end fossil fuel emissions." The latter is true but the former isn't, or  not in the real world as it's likely to be in the immediate future. And "just" just doesn't enter into it; we don't have ...
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter: Losing the Left
    IN THE CURRENT MIX of electoral alternatives, there is no longer a credible left-wing party. Not when “a credible left-wing party” is defined as: a class-oriented, mass-based, democratically-structured political organisation; dedicated to promoting ideas sharply critical of laissez-faire capitalism; and committed to advancing democratic, egalitarian and emancipatory ideals across the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Road rage at Kia Kaha Primary School
    It is not the school holidays yet at Kia Kaha Primary School!It can be any time when you are telling a story.Telling stories about things that happened in the past is how we learn from our mistakes.If we want to.Anyway, it is not the school holidays yet at Kia Kaha ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Road rage at Kia Kaha Primary School
    It is not the school holidays yet at Kia Kaha Primary School!It can be any time when you are telling a story.Telling stories about things that happened in the past is how we learn from our mistakes.If we want to.Anyway, it is not the school holidays yet at Kia Kaha ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Road rage at Kia Kaha Primary School
    It is not the school holidays yet at Kia Kaha Primary School!It can be any time when you are telling a story.Telling stories about things that happened in the past is how we learn from our mistakes.If we want to.Anyway, it is not the school holidays yet at Kia Kaha ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Hipkins fires up in leaders’ debate, but has the curtain already fallen on the Labour-led coalitio...
    Labour’s  Chris Hipkins came out firing, in the  leaders’ debate  on Newshub’s evening programme, and most of  the pundits  rated  him the winner against National’s  Christopher Luxon. But will this make any difference when New  Zealanders  start casting their ballots? The problem  for  Hipkins is  that  voters are  all too ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    6 days ago
  • Govt is energising housing projects with solar power – and fuelling the public’s concept of a di...
    Buzz from the Beehive  Not long after Point of Order published data which show the substantial number of New Zealanders (77%) who believe NZ is becoming more divided, government ministers were braying about a programme which distributes some money to “the public” and some to “Maori”. The ministers were dishing ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • MIKE GRIMSHAW: Election 2023 – a totemic & charisma failure?
    The D&W analysis Michael Grimshaw writes –  Given the apathy, disengagement, disillusionment, and all-round ennui of this year’s general election, it was considered time to bring in those noted political operatives and spin doctors D&W, the long-established consultancy firm run by Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. Known for ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • FROM BFD: Will Winston be the spectre we think?
    Kissy kissy. Cartoon credit BoomSlang. The BFD. JC writes-  Allow me to preface this contribution with the following statement: If I were asked to express a preference between a National/ACT coalition or a National/ACT/NZF coalition then it would be the former. This week Luxon declared his position, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • California’s climate disclosure bill could have a huge impact across the U.S.
    This re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Andy Furillo was originally published by Capital & Main and is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. The California Legislature took a step last week that has the potential to accelerate the fight against climate ...
    6 days ago
  • Untangling South East Queensland’s Public Transport
    This is a cross post Adventures in Transitland by Darren Davis. I recently visited Brisbane and South East Queensland and came away both impressed while also pondering some key changes to make public transport even better in the region. Here goes with my take on things. A bit of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Try A Little Kindness.
    My daughter arrived home from the supermarket yesterday and she seemed a bit worried about something. It turned out she wanted to know if someone could get her bank number from a receipt.We wound the story back.She was in the store and there was a man there who was distressed, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • What makes NZFirst tick
    New Zealand’s longest-running political roadshow rolled into Opotiki yesterday, with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters knowing another poll last night showed he would make it back to Parliament and National would need him and his party if they wanted to form a government. The Newshub Reid Research poll ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • September AMA
    Hi,As September draws to a close — I feel it’s probably time to do an Ask Me Anything. You know how it goes: If you have any burning questions, fire away in the comments and I will do my best to answer. You might have questions about Webworm, or podcast ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bludgers lying in the scratcher making fools of us all
    The mediocrity who stands to be a Prime Minister has a litany.He uses it a bit like a Koru Lounge card. He will brandish it to say: these people are eligible. And more than that, too: These people are deserving. They have earned this policy.They have a right to this policy. What ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • More “partnerships” (by the look of it) and redress of over $30 million in Treaty settlement wit...
    Buzz from the Beehive Point of Order has waited until now – 3.45pm – for today’s officially posted government announcements.  There have been none. The only addition to the news on the Beehive’s website was posted later yesterday, after we had published our September 26 Buzz report. It came from ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • ALEX HOLLAND: Labour’s spending
    Alex Holland writes –  In 2017 when Labour came to power, crown spending was $76 billion per year. Now in 2023 it is $139 billion per year, which equates to a $63 billion annual increase (over $1 billion extra spend every week!) In 2017, New Zealand’s government debt ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • If not now, then when?
    Labour released its fiscal plan today, promising the same old, same old: "responsibility", balanced books, and of course no new taxes: "Labour will maintain income tax settings to provide consistency and certainty in these volatile times. Now is not the time for additional taxes or to promise billions of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • THE FACTS:  77% of Kiwis believe NZ is becoming more divided
    The Facts has posted –        KEY INSIGHTSOf New Zealander’s polled: Social unity/division 77%believe NZ is becoming more divided (42% ‘much more’ + 35% ‘a little more’) 3%believe NZ is becoming less divided (1% ‘much less’ + 2% ‘a little less’) ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the cynical brutality of the centre-right’s welfare policies
    The centre-right’s enthusiasm for forcing people off the benefit and into paid work is matched only by the enthusiasm (shared by Treasury and the Reserve Bank) for throwing people out of paid work to curb inflation, and achieve the optimal balance of workers to job seekers deemed to be desirable ...
    7 days ago
  • Wednesday’s Chorus: Arthur Grimes on why building many, many more social houses is so critical
    New research shows that tenants in social housing - such as these Wellington apartments - are just as happy as home owners and much happier than private tenants. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The election campaign took an ugly turn yesterday, and in completely the wrong direction. All three ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Bennie Bashing.
    If there’s one thing the mob loves more than keeping Māori in their place, more than getting tough on the gangs, maybe even more than tax cuts. It’s a good old round of beneficiary bashing.Are those meanies in the ACT party stealing your votes because they think David Seymour is ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • The kindest cuts
    Labour kicks off the fiscal credibility battle today with the release of its fiscal plan. National is expected to follow, possibly as soon as Thursday, with its own plan, which may (or may not) address the large hole that the problems with its foreign buyers’ ban might open up. ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Green right turn in Britain? Well, a start
    While it may be unlikely to register in New Zealand’s general election, Britain’s PM Rishi Sunak has done something which might just be important in the long run. He’s announced a far-reaching change in his Conservative government’s approach to environmental, and particularly net zero, policy. The starting point – ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – How do human CO2 emissions compare to natural CO2 emissions?
    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
  • How could this happen?
    Canada is in uproar after the exposure that its parliament on September 22 provided a standing ovation to a Nazi veteran who had been invited into the chamber to participate in the parliamentary welcome to Ukrainian President Zelensky. Yaroslav Hunka, 98, a Ukrainian man who volunteered for service in ...
    1 week ago

  • Youth justice programme expands to break cycle of offending
    The successful ‘Circuit Breaker’ fast track programme designed to stop repeat youth offending was launched in two new locations today by Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis. The programme, first piloted in West and South Auckland in December last year, is aimed at children aged 10-13 who commit serious offending or continue ...
    17 hours ago
  • Major milestone with 20,000 employers using Apprenticeship Boost
    The Government’s Apprenticeship Boost initiative has now supported 20,000 employers to help keep on and train up apprentices, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced in Christchurch today. Almost 62,000 apprentices have been supported to start and keep training for a trade since the initiative was introduced in ...
    18 hours ago
  • Government supporting wood processing jobs and more diverse industry
    The Government is supporting non-pine tree sawmilling and backing further job creation in sawmills in Rotorua and Whangarei, Forestry Minister Peeni Henare said.   “The Forestry and Wood Processing Industry Transformation Plan identified the need to add more diversity to our productions forests, wood products and markets,” Peeni Henare said. ...
    20 hours ago
  • Government backing Canterbury’s future in aerospace industry
    The Government is helping Canterbury’s aerospace industry take off with further infrastructure support for the Tāwhaki Aerospace Centre at Kaitorete, Infrastructure Minister Dr Megan Woods has announced. “Today I can confirm we will provide a $5.4 million grant to the Tāwhaki Joint Venture to fund a sealed runway and hangar ...
    20 hours ago
  • Updated forestry regulations increase council controls and require large slash removal
    Local councils will have more power to decide where new commercial forests – including carbon forests – are located, to reduce impacts on communities and the environment, Environment Minister David Parker said today. “New national standards give councils greater control over commercial forestry, including clear rules on harvesting practices and ...
    21 hours ago
  • New Zealand resumes peacekeeping force leadership
    New Zealand will again contribute to the leadership of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, with a senior New Zealand Defence Force officer returning as Interim Force Commander. Defence Minister Andrew Little and Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced the deployment of New Zealand ...
    2 days ago
  • New national direction provides clarity for development and the environment
    The Government has taken an important step in implementing the new resource management system, by issuing a draft National Planning Framework (NPF) document under the new legislation, Environment Minister David Parker said today. “The NPF consolidates existing national direction, bringing together around 20 existing instruments including policy statements, standards, and ...
    2 days ago
  • Government shows further commitment to pay equity for healthcare workers
    The Government welcomes the proposed pay equity settlement that will see significant pay increases for around 18,000 Te Whatu Ora Allied, Scientific, and Technical employees, if accepted said Health Minister Ayesha Verrall. The proposal reached between Te Whatu Ora, the New Zealand Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi ...
    2 days ago
  • 100 new public EV chargers to be added to national network
    The public EV charging network has received a significant boost with government co-funding announced today for over 100 EV chargers – with over 200 charging ports altogether – across New Zealand, and many planned to be up and running on key holiday routes by Christmas this year. Minister of Energy ...
    3 days ago
  • Safeguarding Tuvalu language and identity
    Tuvalu is in the spotlight this week as communities across New Zealand celebrate Vaiaso o te Gagana Tuvalu – Tuvalu Language Week. “The Government has a proven record of supporting Pacific communities and ensuring more of our languages are spoken, heard and celebrated,” Pacific Peoples Minister Barbara Edmonds said. “Many ...
    3 days ago
  • New community-level energy projects to support more than 800 Māori households
    Seven more innovative community-scale energy projects will receive government funding through the Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund to bring more affordable, locally generated clean energy to more than 800 Māori households, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. “We’ve already funded 42 small-scale clean energy projects that ...
    6 days ago
  • Huge boost to Te Tai Tokerau flood resilience
    The Government has approved new funding that will boost resilience and greatly reduce the risk of major flood damage across Te Tai Tokerau. Significant weather events this year caused severe flooding and damage across the region. The $8.9m will be used to provide some of the smaller communities and maraes ...
    6 days ago
  • Napier’s largest public housing development comes with solar
    The largest public housing development in Napier for many years has been recently completed and has the added benefit of innovative solar technology, thanks to Government programmes, says Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods. The 24 warm, dry homes are in Seddon Crescent, Marewa and Megan Woods says the whanau living ...
    7 days ago
  • Te Whānau a Apanui and the Crown initial Deed of Settlement I Kua waitohua e Te Whānau a Apanui me...
    Māori: Kua waitohua e Te Whānau a Apanui me te Karauna te Whakaaetanga Whakataunga Kua waitohua e Te Whānau a Apanui me te Karauna i tētahi Whakaaetanga Whakataunga hei whakamihi i ō rātou tāhuhu kerēme Tiriti o Waitangi. E tekau mā rua ngā hapū o roto mai o Te Whānau ...
    1 week ago
  • Plan for 3,000 more public homes by 2025 – regions set to benefit
    Regions around the country will get significant boosts of public housing in the next two years, as outlined in the latest public housing plan update, released by the Housing Minister, Dr Megan Woods. “We’re delivering the most public homes each year since the Nash government of the 1950s with one ...
    1 week ago
  • Immigration settings updates
    Judicial warrant process for out-of-hours compliance visits 2023/24 Recognised Seasonal Employer cap increased by 500 Additional roles for Construction and Infrastructure Sector Agreement More roles added to Green List Three-month extension for onshore Recovery Visa holders The Government has confirmed a number of updates to immigration settings as part of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Poroporoaki: Tā Patrick (Patu) Wahanga Hohepa
    Tangi ngunguru ana ngā tai ki te wahapū o Hokianga Whakapau Karakia. Tārehu ana ngā pae maunga ki Te Puna o te Ao Marama. Korihi tangi ana ngā manu, kua hinga he kauri nui ki te Wao Nui o Tāne. He Toa. He Pou. He Ahorangi. E papaki tū ana ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Renewable energy fund to support community resilience
    40 solar energy systems on community buildings in regions affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and other severe weather events Virtual capability-building hub to support community organisations get projects off the ground Boost for community-level renewable energy projects across the country At least 40 community buildings used to support the emergency response ...
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 funding returned to Government
    The lifting of COVID-19 isolation and mask mandates in August has resulted in a return of almost $50m in savings and recovered contingencies, Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Following the revocation of mandates and isolation, specialised COVID-19 telehealth and alternative isolation accommodation are among the operational elements ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointment of District Court Judge
    Susie Houghton of Auckland has been appointed as a new District Court Judge, to serve on the Family Court, Attorney-General David Parker said today.  Judge Houghton has acted as a lawyer for child for more than 20 years. She has acted on matters relating to the Hague Convention, an international ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government invests further in Central Hawke’s Bay resilience
    The Government has today confirmed $2.5 million to fund a replace and upgrade a stopbank to protect the Waipawa Drinking Water Treatment Plant. “As a result of Cyclone Gabrielle, the original stopbank protecting the Waipawa Drinking Water Treatment Plant was destroyed. The plant was operational within 6 weeks of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt boost for Hawke’s Bay cyclone waste clean-up
    Another $2.1 million to boost capacity to deal with waste left in Cyclone Gabrielle’s wake. Funds for Hastings District Council, Phoenix Contracting and Hog Fuel NZ to increase local waste-processing infrastructure. The Government is beefing up Hawke’s Bay’s Cyclone Gabrielle clean-up capacity with more support dealing with the massive amount ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taupō Supercars revs up with Government support
    The future of Supercars events in New Zealand has been secured with new Government support. The Government is getting engines started through the Major Events Fund, a special fund to support high profile events in New Zealand that provide long-term economic, social and cultural benefits. “The Repco Supercars Championship is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • There is no recession in NZ, economy grows nearly 1 percent in June quarter
    The economy has turned a corner with confirmation today New Zealand never was in recession and stronger than expected growth in the June quarter, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. “The New Zealand economy is doing better than expected,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s continuing to grow, with the latest figures showing ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Highest legal protection for New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs
    The Government has accepted the Environment Court’s recommendation to give special legal protection to New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs, Te Waikoropupū Springs (also known as Pupū Springs), Environment Minister David Parker announced today.   “Te Waikoropupū Springs, near Takaka in Golden Bay, have the second clearest water in New Zealand after ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More support for victims of migrant exploitation
    Temporary package of funding for accommodation and essential living support for victims of migrant exploitation Exploited migrant workers able to apply for a further Migrant Exploitation Protection Visa (MEPV), giving people more time to find a job Free job search assistance to get people back into work Use of 90-day ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Strong export boost as NZ economy turns corner
    An export boost is supporting New Zealand’s economy to grow, adding to signs that the economy has turned a corner and is on a stronger footing as we rebuild from Cyclone Gabrielle and lock in the benefits of multiple new trade deals, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “The economy is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding approved for flood resilience work in Te Karaka
    The Government has approved $15 million to raise about 200 homes at risk of future flooding. More than half of this is expected to be spent in the Tairāwhiti settlement of Te Karaka, lifting about 100 homes there. “Te Karaka was badly hit during Cyclone Gabrielle when the Waipāoa River ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Further business support for cyclone-affected regions
    The Government is helping businesses recover from Cyclone Gabrielle and attract more people back into their regions. “Cyclone Gabrielle has caused considerable damage across North Island regions with impacts continuing to be felt by businesses and communities,” Economic Development Minister Barbara Edmonds said. “Building on our earlier business support, this ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New maintenance facility at Burnham Military Camp underway
    Defence Minister Andrew Little has turned the first sod to start construction of a new Maintenance Support Facility (MSF) at Burnham Military Camp today. “This new state-of-art facility replaces Second World War-era buildings and will enable our Defence Force to better maintain and repair equipment,” Andrew Little said. “This Government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Foreign Minister to attend United Nations General Assembly
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta will represent New Zealand at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York this week, before visiting Washington DC for further Pacific focussed meetings. Nanaia Mahuta will be in New York from Wednesday 20 September, and will participate in UNGA leaders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Midwives’ pay equity offer reached
    Around 1,700 Te Whatu Ora employed midwives and maternity care assistants will soon vote on a proposed pay equity settlement agreed by Te Whatu Ora, the Midwifery Employee Representation and Advisory Service (MERAS) and New Zealand Nurses Association (NZNO), Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “Addressing historical pay ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides support to Morocco
    Aotearoa New Zealand will provide humanitarian support to those affected by last week’s earthquake in Morocco, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “We are making a contribution of $1 million to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to help meet humanitarian needs,” Nanaia Mahuta said. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government invests in West Coast’s roading resilience
    The Government is investing over $22 million across 18 projects to improve the resilience of roads in the West Coast that have been affected by recent extreme weather, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today.  A dedicated Transport Resilience Fund has been established for early preventative works to protect the state ...
    3 weeks ago

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