Nowhere to Hide

Written By: - Date published: 2:05 pm, December 3rd, 2008 - 37 comments
Categories: national/act government - Tags:

“Far too much irksome regulation is putting unnecessary burdens on households and businesses,” says Rodney Hide. Problem is, for all his rhetoric, Rodney can’t actually name any ‘irksome’ or unnecessary regulations.

Now, he is “appealling” to us to stop him looking like a puffed up idiot. He wants us to do his job for him by identifying bad regulations. One would think that he would already have a list as long as your arm. After all, he has a Bill that is meant to stop all these terrible regulations from being made. And ACT campaigned on being able to increase GDP growth by 0.25% a year by getting rid of “all nutty regulations”. To calculate that gain ACT must know which regulations it is talking about… unless it just pulled the number out of its arse.

Look, there are always improvements that can be made to regulations, just like everything else, but there is no evidence that it is a major problem that can’t be solved by incremental improvements as per normal. What is clear is that Hide is way out of his depth. Being the blow-hard in opposition is easy, governing is hard and serious work. Hide just isn’t up to it, he can barely string a coherent idea together (did you see this mess of an op/ed yesterday?); a real strategy to make improvements in such a complicated and multi-faceted area as regulation is beyond him.

On a deeper level, we see that Hide’s empty puffery on regulation is just another example of the Right appealing to the reactionary moron in us all. The Right (and, too often, the media) encourages us to engage with politics in a dumb, fact-free, cliched way: ‘all this red tape is strangling us’, ‘this PC Nanny State is wrecking my life’, ‘they waste all our tax on beaurucrats’. They fight on these dishonest cliches because they don’t have anything else.

The problem National/ACT is now discovering is that you might be able to win power with endless repetition of this rubbish but, once you’re in power, you have high expectations to meet and no substance with which to fulfil them.

37 comments on “Nowhere to Hide ”

  1. toad 1

    He could start with the law prohibiting the possession of cannabis for personal use Steve.

    That one wastes heaps of Police, Courts and Corrections resources, as well as making criminals out of people who have done no harm to anyone.

  2. ianmac 2

    My nephew works for a house building company in Christchurch. His job is to get all the required information teed up ready for the Consent process for all the houses that they build. “Is it a long and drawn out procees?” I asked.
    “No. Not at all. And in Ch Ch if some element is missing from an application, they hold your place in the process while you get the missing bit. With some Councils if a piece is missing, then they put you back to the beginning of the queue. That would certainly delay things.”
    So sounds like Wodney would not get much joy in Ch Ch.

  3. gingercrush 3

    Yes Christchurch Council is pretty good at holding onto money and helping out near bankrupt businessman they’re also good at increasing our rates unnecessarily particular when we’re one of the few councils to actually have surpluses. Nonetheless, I don’t really like Hide myself so I won’t get upset at the Hide bashing.

  4. Francois 4

    I request that you call National/Act it’s proper title: MACTIONALUF.

    If the Maori Party didn’t want to be associated with National they wouldn’t have propped them up.

  5. Toad. Yeah, you should write to him about that.

    They should also repeal the Civil Unions Act and amend the Marriage Act to allow same-sex marriage, that’s got to cut down on a bit of admin conplexity.

    We should get a wee list of these going and I’ll send them to Rodders.

  6. Rex Widerstrom 6

    While I agree with the main thrust of your post Steve I take issue with your assertion that:

    there is no evidence that it is a major problem that can’t be solved by incremental improvements as per normal.

    There is a morass of bullshit laws on our books and making a concerted effort to identify them and get rid of them is always going to be more effective than incremental change because incremental change almost never happens. People just sigh, shrug their shoulders, and keep wading through the paper work.

    Geoffrey Palmer did something similar, remember? It got rid of a bunch of irrelevant laws (though not nearly enough) because it focused attention on the problem as a specific problem (i.e. anachronistic laws) rather than as part of a wider problem (building approval delays, say).

    So I’d give him 9/10 for the idea, but 2/10 for the execution. As you say, who’d launch a campaign with no concrete examples?!

    Seems like he desperately needs some decent advisors, as does Key and several other Ministers. Are there none left in Wellington?!

  7. vto 7

    couple of high profile examples;

    1. new regulations following leaky homes. Over the top and poorly constructed.
    2. dog micoro-chips.

    I do recall some minister some years ago saying she was looking at the regulation / registration of boating. Reason given when asked – it is an area that is unregulated.

    other possibles;

    1. vehicle registration.
    2. requiring driver licence when driving.

    I dunno – isn’t this someone else’s job?

  8. Scribe 8

    They should change the bestiality laws as well. After all: “it makes criminals out of people who have done no harm to anyone.”

    And as far as cannabis not hurting anyone, ask these people

  9. lprent 9

    vto: As a person having to suffer from the National party fuckwit minister with an anti-regulation fetish who changed the building regs in the early 90’s – I’d prefer MORE regulations about buildings.

    I have a leaky apartment and it may get to court next year. That is about 11 years after building. About 4 years after we detected a problem. About 2.5 years since I started paying for the repairs.

    Basically this has made my life hell over the last few years

    Guess what – if I see a ACT fuckwit starting to reduce regulations about building plans or inspection, then I’ll lead the campaign for mandatory hanging for idiot ministers.

  10. vto 10

    lprent, fair enough re the anger over your place. Sorry to hear. I have suffered too as part of the industry. However, imo the problem arose for 3 main reasons – the changed regs you refer to, the construction fashion methods of the time and builders taking shortcuts at a time of extremely low profitability.

    More regulation is not needed. That just makes homes more expensive without necessarily achieving anything. Just less regulation the way it used to be pre-90’s.

  11. lprent 11

    The building design wasn’t a particular problem in my case. The problem we got were ones of insufficient inspection to catch simple building errors and a council that wasn’t doing their job in enforcing the building codes. At the time they were trying to offload the inspections to 3rd party inspectors because the regs allowed them to do so.

    Fortunately in my case the council itself did the inspection. The 3rd party inspectors are long gone along with their inadequate insurance. Auckland city alone thinks that they have over 300 million outstanding in liabilities that haven’t made it to court yet.

    Basically I have the tar and feathers and hemp necktie ready. I’m sure I can get people to assist with the responsibility attribution this time. Frankly I’d be helping generations unborn…

  12. They should change the bestiality laws as well. After all: “it makes criminals out of people who have done no harm to anyone.’

    I never picked you as a beast-f*cker Scribe!

    Although now I think about it it does explain lot…

  13. insider 13

    I’ve heard builders stories about the overcompensation as a result that far too much is controlled on building, and everything is over designed meaning large additional costs as councils are paranoid. Earthquake proofing in homes was one – steel inputs have increased substantially without any evidence that there is a significant risk being avoided. There was another story in the Hutt that windows would have to be glazed by an approved person, so no more puttying your own windows. Not sure if that ended up going anywhere though.

    I would have thought some form of liability insurance would have been on the cards to cover those invisible long term issues around faulty building.

  14. vto 14

    You know of course that builders are pretty much the powest paid tradesmen out there. I think that leads to a lot of the problems people have with building.

    Also, virtually every new place I have known has a problem of one type or another. A result of the nature of buildings etc.

    But I digress… It does seem a bit odd that Wodney doesn’t have his own well publicised list of regs and legislation that he wants to attack. Or maybe he does? (must remember to not rely on the std as a reliable news source). If he doesn’t he may very well end up with egg given his strident opinions in this area over the last many years.

    I always said that if I was PM for a day and could make one new law it would be ‘no more laws for the next 5 years’.

  15. QoT 15

    I got as far into that “op-ed” as the bit where he seems to be implying that “community” and “ratepayers” are mutually exclusive entities and got scared.

    It’s all a bit sad, really. All the pre-election bluster about waste and excess red tape, and now he needs other people to tell him where it is? Christ, Rodney, how long have you been IN the system you’re trying to “clean up” again?

  16. ianmac 16

    Wodney did say “That people should be allowed to do what they liked in their own property.”
    As a DIY enthusiast I would hate to think that his idea was followed as sooner or later someone else would become the owner of the mess that I made.
    Actually I built a room onto a bach with Council Consent and my neighbour was great in making sure it was built well. The Council Inspector made 3 visits and he was very helpful and very positive. But Wodney’s free run could be a disaster!

  17. vto 17

    insider, there is definitely overcompensation. The exampples you mention. Plus the excessive stainless steel requirements for nails and fixings if you live within 100miles of the sea (very expensive), bracing requirements are always being beefed up (compare to old days of one piece of 12×1 per wall), etc.

  18. ianmac 18

    Stainless has not been mentioned in my area and I have property 50metres from the sea. Also the bracing has been superseded by Gib Bracing as being far stronger than the diagonal metal or wooden bracing.

  19. Tigger 19

    I don’t think it’s right that I can’t drive the wrong way down Wellington’s one way streets – it’s inconvenient regulation that makes my trip to and from home longer. I’m emailing Rodney about that today.

    And agreed, that op-ed piece was was atrocious mess. If you’re going to leap into print then you could at least have the decency to compose a piece that makes sense!

  20. vto 20

    ianmac, where we are there is no galv allowed now. It all has to be stainless steel. And that encompasses areas up to 500m from the sea (and further in other areas I am aware of). Do you know the cost difference between galv and s.steel? It’s like a multiple of 5 or something grotesque.

    And just taking that example a little further – in one of the areas I am aware of where the same rules apply the local community recently replaced the local church roof for the first time since it was built in the 1860s or 70s. The original hand hewn iron nails were still in very good condition and are now on display in the museum – evidence of today’s overcompensation.

    And not everyone wants to line the inside with yucky old gib too.

  21. TimeWarp 21

    Loved Rodney’s article in the Herald. Most entertaining piece of illogical trash I have read in a long time.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10545999

    The highlight was this:

    “For example: should a ratepayer organisation be involved in any way in the financial arrangements for a visit by a US football team?”

    Standing alone in the article. No evidence that this has actually happened, that if it has happened that it is part of a broader more consistent trend, no indication of the cost of it happening and how significant that cost is relative to council budgets, etc…

    What rubbish! This from a trained economist, speaking as leader of the party of the supposedly economically pure. It’s an outstanding example of the worst of dog-whistle politics.

  22. Rich 22

    Recently replaced the local church roof for the first time since it was built in the 1860s or 70s

    And you consider that acceptable? There are Saxon churches in England that date back to 900AD or so. Anglo-Saxon building codes FTW!

  23. ianmac 23

    Timewarp: I took it to be a reference to the Soccer game with Beckham sponsored/supported by the Wellington Council about a year ago on the grounds that it would benefit Wellington Commerce. Isn’t Auckland doing the same thing for next Sunday?

  24. lprent 24

    Insider: I wouldn’t mind deregulating if the people doing the task were then required to pay the full liability insurance (including the councils) into escrow accounts for the expected life of the building.

    However as this would be a lot more than they currently pay the councils, I suspect that neither the the builders or the councils would be in favour of it.

  25. Rex Widerstrom 25

    Timewarp says:

    The highlight was this:

    ?For example: should a ratepayer organisation be involved in any way in the financial arrangements for a visit by a US football team??

    Standing alone in the article…

    Caused me to do a double take too. It just sort of sits there, anchored to nothing that comes before or after. It might however be the result of some very shoddy subbing at the Herald… having had many a well-crafted argument murdered in the name of filling the exact space between one ad and another.

    Of course we could tell if, having gone to the bother of writing it, they bothered adding it to the Ministerial website [NSFWL*] but clearly the government’s advisors haven’t caught up with such basic functions as yet. *rolls eyes*

    *Not Safe For Weak Lefties, as it has a picture of Rodney on the page 😀

  26. insider 26

    ian

    I have a friend in Ngaio, Wellington, screened from any sight of the sea by a large set of hills. They are having to use ss for their deck bolts, because we obviously have decks collapsing all over Wellington through rusty bolts. Insane. We are overcompensating for the minutest of risks.

    I’ve been told to build a second storey on my place I would have to build a massive steel subframe – extra piling would not be acceptable, even if the walls could cope.

    Lynn

    That’s the kind of thing I was thinking of, but you are probably right about opposition to it. Ultimately the consumer will pay no matter what was decided.

  27. toad 27

    Scribe said: They should change the bestiality laws as well. After all: “it makes criminals out of people who have done no harm to anyone.’ And as far as cannabis not hurting anyone, ask these people

    Scribe, your link was to an instance of driving while under the influence of cannabis. I don’t support anyone driving under the influence of any drug that impairs their ability to drive. Your logic would suggest we should ban alcohol because people drive under its influence too. It is not the drug that is the issue, it is what people may do when under the influence of it that should be the subject of the criminal law.

    As for the bestiality bit, I am an animal lover – and not in the perverted sense that you imply. I might have been a bit lax with my wording “no harm to anyone” – should have been “no harm to anyone or anything”. The sexual violation of an animal is very obviously harmful [to the animal], as is the desecration of ecosystems to all species.

    These things should all be subject to the criminal law. Smoking dak, as long as you behave in a manner that does not potentially harm anyone or anything while under the influence, should not.

  28. Quoth the Raven 28

    “For example: should a ratepayer organisation be involved in any way in the financial arrangements for a visit by a US football team?’

    Why doesn’t Wodney mention the wugby world cup?

    Wascally wabbit.

  29. lprent 29

    Insider: That is my point really – one way or another it gets paid for. What is a real problem is that there isn’t enough insurance being carried at present to cover the potential problems. The general response has been for the councils to cover themselves by regulating (since the leaky homes saga started).

    The problem at present is the person purchasing the property relies on the inspection by the councils and the workmanship of the builders. Most of the problems are hidden during building – eg pipes etc. To deregulate in this area will require that the potential liabilities are covered. That means that the producers (councils and builders) need to pay up front for covering that liability. Based on past performance and what has been going through the courts, that won’t happen. At present the purchaser is the one who gets squeezed with the litigation costs etc.

    I favour more regulation – give the council an ability and responsibility to license and check the builders. They are the authorizing agent for buildings in their area and are responsible for the safety of the buildings for 60 years or so after building. Put a absolute liability on the councils.

  30. QoT 30

    Cannabis law, fallacious separation of marriage and civil unions, the Abortion Supervisory Committee … oh wait, I think Rodney means “regulations that inhibit and stifle rich white heterosexual men who just cannot live without spending unnecessary money on inefficient lighting”.

  31. TimeWarp 31

    Thanks Rex that would be it, and yes you may be right that the problem is the journo’s.

    Quoth makes a very good point. So where exactly do you stop treating expenditure as ‘waste’? I think if a country were to follow the Hide/Douglas philosophy to it’s logical conclusion, all government expenditure would cease because it is wasteful, the market works better, etc etc.

    Then of course all the ACT supporters have a problem because they have no roads to drive big european SUV’s or sports cars on, and no services to get them to a hospital when they crash.

  32. Aj 32

    Everytime Hide had a microphone in front of him while talking about red tape, I was waiting for a followup question, like, ‘name 5 examples you are going to change’

    Never happened. Surprise.

  33. Greg 33

    Iprent – this is a classic example of people expecting the government to provide a solution when the private sector would provide a far more efficient one. Get rid of all the regulations and council inspections – this reduces the costs of homes and rates significantly. Then pay private inspectors to check out the house (the incentives are in the right place for them to do a good job too, because if they don’t they lose business unlike the council), if you want further protection – purchase ‘leaky home insurence’ or something similar. I guarentee to you that the difference in house prices will be far more than the money you fork out for these two options.

    This concept seems to work pretty well in the used car market. We don’t expect the council to inspect cars!

  34. MikeE 34

    Toad,

    I think you will have found rodney has said prohibtion is a failiure many times, and ACT would hopefully vote inf avor of reform of cannabis laws providing the put responsibility onto the user and not the state. Heck his book “my year of living dangerously” even comments on this.

    The problem is the Nats and UF would never support it.

    Remember, ACT voted against the silly party pill legislation, Nats and Labour voted for it.

    see:

    http://www.act.org.nz/blog/rodney-hide/prohibition

    “Posted on 21 Feb 2006

    The Maori Party is at least consistent: they want to ban tobacco smoking because it’s addictive and kills.

    The PM and the anti-smoking lobby are against the ban: they say it won’t work.

    And the prohbition on P and cannabis does?”

    and on medical pot

    “Turei said that while it is “unusual’ for a bill to sit for so long “because most MPs will let their bills fail,’ she does not want the Bill to simply fail the first time it is read out. “We relied on chance to get the Bill in, and it finally got picked So the plan is just to keep it on the order paper so it doesn’t die, because if I let it get voted down then I’d have to do another members bill, and who knows when it would come up again.’ Only Act have pledged to vote with the Greens during the Bill’s first reading. Turei says that many MPs believe medicinal marijuana is “the ‘thin end of the wedge’ for recreational use’ because they “don’t understand that it does have a proven scientific use.’ Act’s Health Spokesperson Heather Roy says the Bill is “absolutely the right thing to do’ but is not surprised other parties have simply not looked at the evidence in support of marijuana’s medicinal benefits.”

    http://www.salient.org.nz/features/medicinal-marijuana

  35. tracey 35

    Can rodders guarantee that the behaviours of the folks who led us to having all these ‘Irksome’ pieces of law has changed? That is the economic bottom line is not the be all and end all in decision-making anymore… yeah right

    polluted waterways, leaking buildings, to name a few.But that was the past, everyone is really honest and thoughtful now

  36. Greedy Pig 36

    “On a deeper level, we see that Hide’s empty puffery on regulation is just another example of the Right appealing to the reactionary moron in us all. The Right (and, too often, the media) encourages us to engage with politics in a dumb, fact-free, cliched way: ‘all this red tape is strangling us’, ‘this PC Nanny State is wrecking my life’, ‘they waste all our tax on beaurucrats’. They fight on these dishonest cliches because they don’t have anything else.”

    This “red tape” is all about the battle to develop. Ask yourself who funds National Act (and Labour)?

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    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    4 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    4 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    5 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    6 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 weeks ago

  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
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