web analytics

National’s strong economic management …

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 6th, 2018 - 47 comments
Categories: christchurch earthquake, david clark, Economy, Gerry Brownlee, labour, Media, national, same old national, Simon Bridges, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

The daily release of hidden fiscal horrors is occurring at pace.  Clearly Steven Joyce was right about there being a $11.7 billion dollar hole in Labour’s fiscal policy update.  The problem for National is that a series of financial time bombs were hidden in the Government’s accounts and no one but them knew.  And the time bombs are only seeing daylight now.

We have already had the fiasco of the underspend in Health.  There was further bad news recently as Tom Curley on Radio New Zealand disclosed that a further three Middlemore Hospital buildings had serious issues.  From the article:

The extent of the Counties Manukau District Health Board’s building woes is even worse than first thought.

RNZ has been reporting on hospital buildings at Middlemore Hospital that are full of rot and potentially dangerous mould. There’s also asbestos present and raw sewage leaking into the walls.

The District Health Board has said it became aware as early as 2012 it had four badly leaking buildings; Scott Building, Kidz First, SuperClinic Complex and the McIndoe Building.

A briefing document to unions shows many more buildings are affected.

A 2017 facilities stocktake rates each of the DHB’s buildings from a high level of concern through to no concern.

While the SuperClinic was among the high concern buildings, the McIndoe, Kidz First were considered medium concern with leaky Scott Building only low.

Seven buildings were considered of “high concern” with asbestos, leaks, critical infrastructure problems and some seismic concerns.

The buildings include the Colvin Complex, which is home to patient wards, the Western Campus and the Otara Spinal Unit.

A total of 16 buildings are in the high or medium concern categories.

When asked for more details, Counties Manukau DHB did not directly address questions, instead saying they would be considered under the Official Information Act.

The primary cause of the problems is good old fashioned penny pinching.  It is international best practice for Health organisations to budget 3% of their total spend for maintenance.  Middlemore has been receiving less than half the amount it needed ($15 million) to do this work properly.  And the consequences are now appearing.

There are dozens of other examples.  Health Minister David Clark’s estimate that $14 billion would be needed to sort the problems out does not seem extreme in the slightest.

Simon Bridges is refusing to accept blame.  Maybe magic pixies were in control of the country for the past nine years and not National.

And other problems are now appearing and the former Government’s response is pretty underwhelming.  Two days ago it was announced that the cost of re-repairs for botched up Christchurch Eaerthquake repair jobs was $160m.  But then the kicker.  It was disclosed yesterday that the cash amounts paid out inflated this figure to $270 million.

Gerry Brownlee said in 2016 that it was $60 to $70 million.  The figure seemed to be far too low at the time.

And just remember.  This is not the cost of repairs.  This is the cost of fixing botched repairs and paying cash in compensation rather than fixing botched repairs.

And it may not be the end.  Local lawyers think that the final cost could double.

Comment was sought from Brownlee.  He replied by hanging up on John Campbell without giving us the benefit of an explanation.

National’s current spokesperson on the Christchurch rebuild, Stuart Smith, was more willing to discuss the matter. He says EQC should be seeking reimbursement if a contractor hasn’t lived up to its obligations.  There might be something in the small print of the contract that Brownlee negotiated that means this is difficult.  And given that logic I think there is a stunning case to seek reimbursement of Brownlee’s Ministerial salary because in my humble opinion he certainly has not lived up to his obligations.

Well done Radio New Zealand for its dogged following of this story.  Current political issues surrounding the broadcaster should not have occurred.  Radio New Zealand is a precious flower that should be protected from adverse criticism, warranted or otherwise.  And generating media noise is not helpful to the cause.

And National should hang its head in shame for suggesting that Labour was going to cut funding for the rebuild.

Here is the evidence, a statement from Nicky Wagner.  From the National Party website:

There has been widespread concern in the Christchurch community that Labour has rescinded some of the funding appropriated by National to support the rebuild of Christchurch, National Party Spokesperson for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner says.

“With Labour’s recent record of promise and back track, it’s not surprising that the Christchurch community was worried that the funding set aside by National for Christchurch may not be available,” Mrs Wagner says.

“Fortunately, in response to my questions in the House today the Minister for Greater Regeneration Megan Woods has confirmed that they will honour National’s funding appropriations for Christchurch.

How [deleted because it is a swear word] stupid do you have to [deleted because it is a swear word] be to [deleted because it is a swear word] suggest that Labour would [deleted because it is a swear word] [deleted because it is a swear word] around with funding for the Christchurch rebuild when every time it talks about the [deleted because it is a swear word] subject it [deleted because it is a swear word] says that [deleted because it is a swear word] not enough is [deleted because it is a swear word] being [deleted because it is a swear word] done and [deleted because it is a swear word] more should [deleted because it is a swear word] occur?

I mean there is politics and there is stupid.  Wagner’s suggestion Labour was not going to fund elements of the rebuild was conclusively in the second category.

But this example shows that the next few years are going to be rough.  Labour and the Greens are going to have to be on top of their game.  And as a starting point they should be reminding everyone every chance they get that National’s claim that it is a party with a history of strong economic management is hogwash.

47 comments on “National’s strong economic management …”

  1. roy cartland 1

    “Clearly Steven Joyce was right about there being a $11.7 billion dollar hole in Labour’s fiscal policy”
    -fify

    [Ta fixed – MS]

    • roy cartland 1.1

      Wagner’s suggestion Labour was not going to fund elements of the rebuild was conclusively in the second category.”
      fify

      [Ta fixed although Wanger has a ring about it! – MS]

  2. Keepcalmcarryon 2

    Lol the hard working MP Nicky Wagner who would rather be out on the harbour than helping those with disabilities, her actual job.

  3. cleangreen 3

    Steven Joyce was right the deficit was there but it was far bigger before the election so they hid it all as the bad press would have sent them out the door for 20yrs as the deficit is about to be released shortly when Grant robertson releases his budget and all those glossy figures previously forecast will vanish as we learn that NZ is simply broke and penniless now since nationals “strong economic management also will vanish into air as we learn all the unpaid bills the national Government left hidden in the closet from us finally appears.

    Damn the national party with their lies and deceit.

  4. SARAH 4

    Yet they borrowed $90 Billion! What [deleted because it is a swear word] did they spend it all on?

    • They never spent it. It was laundered / divied up to foreign offshore shareholders.

      • WILD KATIPO 4.1.1

        And if any of you people are actually serious about starting from a standpoint of understanding , – and not just palavering around because you find the conversation mildly stimulating to massage your egos about being some sort of ‘ intellect’…

        Then you would take seriously the historical origins of neo liberalism in this country , and moreover, – WHO did it , WHY they did it , and just HOW they did it.

        And you can read all about it right here :

        New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
        http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

      • Naki man 4.1.2

        Lay off the magic mushrooms spiderboy your hallucinating.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1

          No, that would be you as you continue to believe National’s lies.

        • SpaceMonkey 4.1.2.2

          Actually no… he’s spot on. The GFC and earthquakes gave National the perfect cover to loot the NZ economy for their donors in the form of bailouts and PPPs.

          • greg 4.1.2.2.1

            don’t forget nationals 2008 tax cuts that cost us billions.
            national has done it again they wreak the country every time they leave power

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.1.2.2.1.1

              And losing billions by their mismanagement of the super fund

        • cleangreen 4.1.2.3

          Naki man,

          Was Wild Katipo getting ‘to close to the truth’ for your “comfort”?

          So that would like as if you are one of the “New Right Fight” swindlers also.

    • Stuart Munro 4.2

      “Consultants”

    • Michelle 4.3

      Don’t forget they also sold million of dollars of our state owned assets Sarah and they borrowed heavily . And to top it of Mr Cullen aka Mr mick scrooge left the gnats a nice surplus. Now we have simon ten bridges saying once again they were good economic managers. The gnats hypocrisy is disgusting.

  5. Ad 5

    I love the heartfelt rage to this Mickey.

    I have a reasonably privileged life, and work reasonably hard to operate within the social and economic systems available. Usually. Apart from activism.

    But I am seeing more and more of what used to be a functioning society crumble faster at the edges in this last decade. It is damaging my wider family with hard drugs and with families torn apart and as a result children and their futures permanently damaged.

    My wider family is very, very conscious of its settler roots, and worked very hard like tradies, bushmen, fishermen, and drystock farmers do. But more of them are going backward – damaged, unhealthy, futureless, subsiding, and looking forward to the mere state pension. They have great networks and they support each other.

    It’s still not enough.

    The social and economic deficits from the last nine years are so huge, so damaging, so widespread, that it is very hard to describe the previous government as good at economic management.

    They certainly kept bits of the state alive and strong. But that’s not the same as a strong country. Or strong neighbourhoods. Or strong families.

    It beggars belief that previous Prime Minister John Key believes his greatest regret was not changing our national flag.

    This is a different start to a government, in that most major “reveals” of financial holes are done in the first PREFU. But what we are getting is what Helen Clark encountered 19 years ago: deficit after deficit after deficit, failure after failure, with the rare few creaming it and not giving a flying fuck about anyone else.

    I will try and keep my hopes up that this current government will start really leading, and not continually stumbling, but there is a very thin skin to scratch until you see that gaping mental damage underneath this society. Simply too many have been working their guts out and going backward, and that wreckage I can see all around me.

    • mickysavage 5.1

      Good comment. It has often been said that National is great at the politics but appalling at the governing …

    • Shona 5.2

      Right on the money Ad. My family are the same and utterly fragmented as we are now well into our second generation of FIFO workers . Since the 1830’s my family have worked on both sides of the Tasman and resided and raised their families in NZ and Aussie.We are now treated like filth in Aussie despite being skilled workers and professionals . treated like shit by authorities who haven’t resided in this part of the world for 180 years like my whanau have. That my great great grandparents achieved so much only to have their descendants made tenants in both NZ and Australia speaks volumes about how our political class has absolutely betrayed us.

  6. patricia bremner 6

    Grant Robertson would be within his rights to A. Call this a state of emergency, borrow 15 billion and to forgo fiscal restraint.

    B. place a surcharge on all incomes above $150 000

    C. Publish the repair/replacement costs with the name of the National minister and the builders responsible for the debacle.. Suing where possible, explaining why not where possible.

    The recent talk of the Coalition Government being in disarray was actually a picture of the last National Government and add ons. Especially Brownlee and Joyce.

    National allowed Fletcher’s building arm to do shoddy work and do contracting. They have allowed them to separate their liabilities in such a way the building arm is effectively a broken shell.

    How do these people engineer these scams and walk away?

    They have taken huge profits… now the taxpayer will have to pay again thanks to their perfidy.

    It is why they are a distracting chorus of “Look over here !” Hiding their own pile of poop.

    • dukeofurl 6.1

      Wait till the Auckland Convention Centre build is done and costs are all known and Fletcher chases up Sky City and then finds a clause in the contract meaning the government has to pay !

      The Government gave the 3150­-person Convention Centre the green light in May, after SkyCity came back with a new design that will not require a taxpayer top-­up.
      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/72177163/skycity-convention-centre-gets-green-light-council-grants-consent

      Looks like going over that cost would have meant Government funding ( One of Key and Joyces ‘deals’)….. oops look whats happened now , the cost is some $100’s millions over.

      • savenz 6.1.1

        The whole business premise of Sky City conference centre was that it was supposed to be able to hold large conferences, when they reduced the size that was not possible, the entire business case (which was fake anyway) did not stand up. Yet still they go ahead.

        I believe a poll showed over 90% did NOT want sky city to receive government money. Even the Natz voters thought enough was enough!

        • veutoviper 6.1.1.1

          I see that Colin Espiner, GM Communications, SkyCity has today replied to the claims you made in your comment in OM 27 March 2018 re Sky City and zero contracts and importing 600 chefs from overseas. An interesting read at

          Open Mike 27/03/2018

          • savenz 6.1.1.1.1

            Great to see you supporting Sky City – reposting on their behalf from quite a while ago. Very telling.

            But sorry I should have said SkyCity applied to bring in 40 chefs from overseas… and their pay rates at the time were very low, such as a commis chefs, a junior position that SkyCity paid $16.49 an hour for – only $1.08 more than the minimum wage.

            https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/08/07/must-read-migration-chefs-and-essential-skills/

            Also in relation to the 2.2 billion taxpayers are now paying in subsidies for low waged employees… link below

            http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/money/2018/04/minimum-wage-a-subsidy-for-business-owners.html

            It is an interesting link to read.

            • savenz 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Not sure if this is correct but apparently Greg Sawyers (Auckland councillor) is saying that Auckland council debt is skyrocketing to 2 million a day under Phil Goff.

              Auckland 10 year budget balloons to 12.6 billion and interest payments are nearly 1.3 million a day.

              Next year employee costs alone, will equate to 50% of the annual rates revenue.

              Plenty of articles about their IT is out of control, AT is out of control, Ports of Auckland is out of control, and now employee costs. Some incredible figures are spent on PR for a start as well as the CEO structure which should just be thrown out and we go back to the old days that worked. Mayor, councillors and the council has no COO’s with fat cat salaries…

              Then maybe they can cut out that spending money for Westfield malls, billionaire yachts marinas and their own salaries can be cut down and instead they solve the problems they created in conjunction with government to bring in so many people who need Auckland infrastructure, who should never have been given the go ahead until the money for the infrastructure was in the bank, the houses were already built, the roads and public transport working, the sewerage and waste water separated property and pollution under control and the hospitals and schools with free capacity for more people.

              They were bought in for companies like Sky City to keep wages as low as possible (applying to bring in 40 chefs does not seem to equate with the CEO views that they train chefs on site) , but everyone else has had to pay for cheap businesses, well beyond the 2.2 billion in government subsidies for just the low wages but also in council rates and ballooning debt and the much poorer quality of life, lowering everyone else productivity due to congestion, now more petrol charges, beaches closures etc.

            • veutoviper 6.1.1.1.1.2

              No Savenz – the reply was this afternoon 6 April. You just don’t like the fact that it challenges your assertions. I am a facts person not a lies person.

              • savenz

                Are you suggesting this is not true….

                “Occasionally, Unite gets consulted by MBIE over whether a particular company’s application for the right to bring in labour from overseas should be approved. In November 2014, we got one about the SkyCity Casino. It seems they wanted to bring in about 40 chefs of various sorts. I assume SkyCity, too, are claiming they can’t find people in New Zealand to do this work. Fourteen of the positions were for commis chefs, a junior position that SkyCity they currently pay $16.49 an hour for – only $1.08 more than the minimum wage.”

                https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/08/07/must-read-migration-chefs-and-essential-skills/

                I think that you are reposting SkyCity marketing communications from March says a lot about why you are on this site.

                • Lucy

                  savenz why did your figures go from 600 chefs to 40 with no explanation? We do need the discussion about why companies are bringing in so many workers and not doing any training, I am not sure of the claim of biggest apprentice amount of chefs except for the army from SkyCity but if there are no facts on the table then they can not be disproved.

                • veutoviper

                  From your 6.1.1.1.1.1 above
                  “Great to see you supporting Sky City – reposting on their behalf from quite a while ago.”

                  From your unnumbered immediately above that I am now replying to:
                  “I think that you are reposting SkyCity marketing communications from March says a lot about why you are on this site.”

                  Again, for the record, the comment I pointed you to was from Colin Espiner filed at 3.06pm yesterday, Friday, 6 April 2018 – not March!

                  Open Mike 27/03/2018

                  It is a reply from Colin Espiner to claims that you made in OM 27 March but his reply was not in March it was yesterday, 6 April.

                  You have now said in 6.1.1.1.1.that the 600 chefs you claimed was meant to be 40 chefs – ie in line with the quote you have provided in your comment immediately above – from The Daily Blog.

                  Now that is interesting because less than two days ago at 6.01pm on 5 April – on The Daily Blog – you were again making similar claims to those you posted here in OM on 27 March 2018, namely:

                  It’s like the PHD migrant gets rejected while the 600 Chefs at Sky City or the fake cafe worker on $16.50 p/h with no degree gets the green light from immigration.

                  https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2018/04/05/dear-green-party-of-nz-if-you-arent-too-busy-why-the-hell-are-the-overseas-investment-office-this-actually-maybe-i-should-just-go-straight-to-david-parker/#comment-422306

                  It was seeing that on TDB and then see Colin Espiner’s comment here on TS yesterday that actually drew my attention to your OM 27 March comments – hence my alerting you to the fact that CE had finally replied to your March claims, in case you missed it.

                  To be blunt I hardly ever read your comments because I usually find them riddled with unsubstantiated claims – and cannot be bothered with them. They are also usually Auckland focussed and I am a Wellingtonian and have never lived in Auckland. I have never been to Sky City and probably will never bother doing so if in Auckland.

                  As for being on this site, I was a reader right from its early days and took some years before commenting.

                  Espiner has also been a intermittent commenter here for many years, right back to at least 2009:

                  The myth of objective journalism

                  That post is an interesting one if only for the people who commented here on TS at the time – Eddie, the Sprout, Trevor Mallard, Lew, rocky, IrishBill, tiger mountain, Graeme Edgeler, Danyl McClaughlan, Russell Brown, Fran O’Sullivan. Some would say those were the days.

                  For many years, links to Espiner’s blog was also carried in the TS Feeds section in the right hand column. He and people like Lprent have had many interesting conversations here over the years.

                  But are you going to do the decent thing and also correct your very recent claims on TDB re Sky City’s 600 chefs? Bet you don’t.

                  Some of the Green Party members/supporters here on TS would probably be interested in your several comments re the Greens under that particular post – particularly Solkta whose comment here on TS you directly quoted under that post in your comment dated 6 April at 9.59am.

    • Ed 6.2

      Definitely.
      The government should declare a state of emergency.
      Then it should nationalise the banks, insurance companies and transport.
      A significantly progressive tax regime should be put in place and corporate bludgers should be shown the door – unless they pay a significant tax contribution.
      And as stated above a people’s court set up as a means to deal with the traitors who sold this country.
      The government should stop tinkering and act.

      • Stunned mullet 6.2.1

        😆 and 🙄

      • James 6.2.2

        “The government should declare a state of emergency.
        Then it should nationalise the banks, insurance companies and transport“

        And watch their government implode in a couple of days

    • greg 6.3

      there is more to come out about fletcher in Christchurch and where the money actually ended up.and there fat is chance of getting any of the money back in fact fletcher are unlikely to be a going concern.

      • Pat 6.3.1

        I very much doubt any NZ gov will want to be responsible for placing Fletchers into bankruptcy….thats why National raised the issue of suing them

    • cleangreen 6.4

      I am with Patricia on this, ‘This earthquake history is a globally recognised human tragedy already now.’

      And if the labour Caucus or Government refuse to “borrow yet another $15 billion from foreign banks “to forgo fiscal restraint.” – then Grant Robinson should follow his ‘coalition’ partner’s plan (Winston Peters) he will have to enact the “reserve bank Act”.

      ( As we have done before) and use (QE) as many others have already done, – to print the “emergency funds” (under the Reserve bank Act) to avoid more crippling foreign interest costs on the borrowing from foreign banks for this $15 Billion of “emergency” funding for our “essential services”.

      Why is it that NZ was among very few who have not yet printed money (QE).as most of our global trading partners have done so to give them “financial advantage over us”?

  7. savenz 7

    You forgot to mention their legacy of flooding NZ with hundreds of thousands of low waged workers

    Minimum wage a ‘subsidy’ for business owners

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/money/2018/04/minimum-wage-a-subsidy-for-business-owners.html

  8. Kat 8

    Another narrative that needs changing.

    If you voted for the National Party then you would have to believe they are the better economic managers. That then is what 44.5% of those that voted in the last election believe. That confirms in my mind Muldoon was partly right back in the 1970’s when he said most voters wouldn’t know a deficit if they saw one. The other part that is evident today is that a fair number of voters are essentially just plain greedy, easily conned and swayed by the PR merchants and corporate media.

    And lets face it, National’s prime agenda is to keep Labour away from the treasury benches.

  9. veutoviper 9

    I note that MS’s excellent post went up at 7am this morning and thus does not appear to provide a link to the section on Christchurch EQC this morning on Morning Report when, not to be outdone by Richard Griffin’s “performance” yesterday before the Select Committee, Brownlee put on his own piece of theatre. Well worth a listen!

    This RNZ News article which contains the link to the audio of the Morning Report Espiner/Brownlee interview is self explanatory:

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/354266/brownlee-on-eqc-repair-bill-blow-out-you-can-t-walk-away

    This follows the two excellent Checkpoint sessions on Weds and Thurs nights which MS has provided links to in his post, under these two paras in the post itself:

    And other problems are now appearing and the former Government’s response is pretty underwhelming .. Two links under ‘160m’ and under ‘270 million.

    National’s current spokesperson on the Christchurch rebuild, Stuart Smith, was more willing to discuss the matter. He says’EQC should be seeking reimbursement if a contractor hasn’t lived up to its obligations’. Link under this latter phrase in the post.

  10. Julie Berriman 10

    What I don’t get is why MSM keeps printing the lies,

    Who is pulling their strings?

  11. SPC 11

    National was advised to enact petrol tax increases in the 2017-2020 period to afford their transport programme, Simon Bridges says they rejected the advice and said they instead decided to re-schedule projects.

    My question is whether the voters were informed of this – as to which projects would have been deferred? Reminds me of the promise to build a new Dunedin hospital which which kept being repeated because …

  12. Ed 12

    The more we hear about the conduct of the insurance companies after Christchurch ( thanks Checkpoint for pursuing this) , the more it becomes apparent we should nationalise the insurance industry.
    They do not serve the citizens of this country.
    Instead they act on behalf of their shareholders – the finance industry.
    We should remove these corporations from our country.

    • Pat 12.1

      we could but ultimately they answer to the reinsurers whether nationalised or not…we could run our own reinsurance but I wonder if the political pressures would cause some very poor decisions

  13. greg 13

    that was a labour policy in 2014 called kiwi insure the idea was keep the premiums in new zealand and help reduce the deficit but the people loved the con man key.so here we are nact has pulled an enron style book cooking fraud.

  14. NZJester 14

    The story “Brownlee’s claim that repairs weren’t botched ‘outrageous’ – lawyer” on the RNZ News website shows the evidence that the penny-pinching of the previous National government even extended deep into the Christchurch rebuild and that Brownlee’s claims that subsequent repairs that had to be redone could have been caused by subsequent earthquakes or may not even have been structural is a false claim.

    Mr Brownlee said his government had met their obligations to homeowners.

    “The government never walked away from Christchurch.”

    Peter Woods said he had no evidence to suggest the National government had walked away and he believed EQC had responded well after the September 2010 earthquake.

    However he said he believed that changed in February 2011 when EQC figured out that it would not have enough money.

    EQC confirmed that staff numbers at its Christchurch office dropped from 389 in September 2016 to 285 by November 2017. It said the decrease reflected that the Commission had completed first time repairs and was focused on settling remedial claims.

    Mr Woods said this drop occurred even though the amount of work to be done was increasing, he said.

    There was a drop in staff numbers over successive years, even though the amount of work to be done was increasing, he said.

    “That doesn’t match with what Mr Brownlee’s saying was the previous government’s approach.”

    EQC appeared to adopt a strategy to do the least amount of work, he said.

    “It appears from the outside there was a drive for cost cutting and for doing assessments and repairs as cheaply and once over lightly as possible.”

    This proves that of course the previous government “never walked away from Christchurch”, no in fact far from walking they were just slowly sneaking away a little at a time!

    Read the full story here
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/354313/brownlee-s-claim-that-repairs-weren-t-botched-outrageous-lawyer

  15. Pat 15

    “However he said he believed that changed in February 2011 when EQC figured out that it would not have enough money.”

    “EQC appeared to adopt a strategy to do the least amount of work, he said.”

    “He said bad scoping was at the foundation of almost all the problems.”

    After the 2010 quake EQC were throwing money at claims like there was no tomorrow, then Feb 2011 hit and the reinsurers threatened to pull the pin, AMI was in the shit and EQC needed a new plan….that plan required a reduction in costs….both to the Gov and the Insurance industry.

    Everything EQC did from that point (aided by various other organisations) was designed to meet those new targets and involved deliberate refusal to consider any evidence contrary to their position all the way to the courts….a position demanded and facilitated by the Minister.

    That had the entirely foreseeable result of the vulnerable and financially challenged being left to carry the cost of those savings while those with the wherewithal used their ability to fight back on an individual basis (a long expensive and psychologically challenging fight in most cases)….your winners and losers, two speed recovery.

    Everything that has occured has been predicted since the very early days and dismissed by those in positions to remedy it as the ravings of a few disaffected individuals when in fact it was a systemic and deliberate policy….a search back over the multitude of news pieces and social media of the past seven years clearly demonstrate it.

    Fuck National and fuck Brownlee.

    • NZJester 15.1

      Every aspect of NZ has been penny pinched to where the rot is now just coming to light of all the stuff that National has been underfunding under their reign. The majority of the money they borrowed was just to pay for tax cuts and hardly any of it was spent on things it should have been. All that money John Key pissed away on his vanity flag referendum was money badly needed by the EQC and the health system. As the months roll on we will start to see even more of the hidden rot that National just painted a glossy coat of paint over to hide from the public. I do wonder how well built all those fancy roads they had put in are. Will they start to crumble and need major repair in just a few years time as well? Is any of that cheap steel they used even worse grade than they believed and going to come back to bite NZ in just a few years time?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Global warming is happening here and now
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Signs of global warming are being observed all over our planet. Thermometers measure surface warming. Buoys sunk to ocean depths measure heat building up in our oceans. Ice is melting across our planet, with ice sheets crumbling and glaciers ...
    6 hours ago
  • Whiteness, class and the white working class
    This essay by Kenan Malik, on the controversy over the funding of scholarships for white working class boys, was originally published in the Observer on 5 January 2020, under the headline‘Bursaries don’t help when it’s not their colour that thwarts these boys’. There is a scene in Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 hours ago
  • We have a date
    The Prime Minister has just announced the election date as 19 September. So, its a Suffrage Day election, and well before the Trump hits the fan in the US. The no-longer-new practice of announcing the election date well in advance is good, and puts everyone on a more even footing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • With the En-ROADS climate simulator, you can build your own solutions to global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections Killer hurricanes, devastating wildfires, melting glaciers, and sunny-day flooding in more and more coastal areas around the world have birthed a fatalistic view cleverly dubbed by Mary Annaïse Heglar of the Natural Resources Defense Council as “de-nihilism“. One manifestation: An increasing number of ...
    17 hours ago
  • The coronavirus outbreak in China: what a difference a week makes
    When it comes to emerging infectious diseases and outbreaks, so much can happen in a week. In the case of the coronavirus outbreak in China, I’ve gone from not being too alarmed, to thinking “oh, crap!”. But that still doesn’t mean we should all panic. As I’m writing this on ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 day ago
  • National cries wolf over Coronavirus
    Opposition MP Michael WoodhouseLast week, the current National Party leader, Simon Bridges, claimed that the Minister of Health wasn’t leading on ‘significant issues that matter to New Zealanders within his Health portfolio’ when commenting about the Government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak.This silly comment was made despite David Clark working ...
    2 days ago
  • Fluoridation and sex steroid hormones – or the mouse that roared
    All the recent research anti-fluoride campaigners promote as “evidence” of harm from community water fluoridation amount to cherry-picking a very few statistically significant results from a large number of non-significant results. The whole exercise is a bit like the “Mouse that Roared.” Credit: The Mouse that Roared – TMTR Intro ...
    2 days ago
  • Leave Neve alone
    Neve Te Aroha Gayford at RatanaI’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that the Ratana birthday celebrations this year were a well-attended event that went off without much of a hitch. This is in stark contrast to previous years, where some form of controversy has usually taken centre ...
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #4
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 19, 2020 through Sat, Jan 25, 2020 Editor's Pick The companies that have contributed most to climate change Thought-provoking readings on those most responsible for the pollution. Sometimes, ...
    3 days ago
  • The swimming pool paradox
    It’s another warm day, but the breeze isn’t helping much, so off I go to the inviting outdoor swimming pool (banner picture) at the other end of campus. It’s an unheated pool (well, there’s no artificial heat source), which means one thing: It’s going to feel cold when I get ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • 100 seconds to midnight
    The Doomsday Clock is a tracker created by he Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for how close we are to global destruction. Created in 1947, it got worse as the Cold War started, then improved as it cooled down, then got worse again as Ronald Reagan tried to confront the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A multitude of drops: Social tipping points in climate action
    If you’re here, you probably know that the climate crisis is upon us, that it’s getting steadily worse, and that attempts to address it haven’t worked yet. People are still driving and even advertising SUVs with impunity, and oil companies are exploring like crazy, even in New Zealand. Politically, socially, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • The Thoughtful Mr Parker.
    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    5 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    5 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    6 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    6 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    7 days ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    1 week ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Should I ditch my fossil-fueled car?
    Yes. Reducing the number of cars in your household, or switching from petrol/diesel to electric, will dramatically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the easiest and highest-impact climate steps you can take. New Zealand is being flooded with cars The New Zealand vehicle fleet is increasing rapidly. In ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin
    This interview with Quentin Crisp is part of a series of articles republished from Planet, the independent magazine I edited in the early 90s from a base at 309 Karangahape Road, along with Grant Fell, Rachael Churchward, Fiona Rae, David Teehan, Mere Ngailevu and others.Inevitably, you forget things, and over ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    6 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    6 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    7 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PM announces election date as September 19
    The 2020 General Election will be held on Saturday 19 September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the Government, which is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into constructionProvincial Growth Fund supports Waika...
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealand to support Pacific Public Sector Hub
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced New Zealand’s support for a Pacific-led hub that will strengthen public services across the region. “Strengthening public services is a core focus of New Zealand’s Pacific Reset, as efforts to improve democratic governance in the Pacific contributes to a strong, stable and more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago