NRT: There is too much money in our politics

Written By: - Date published: 3:27 pm, May 6th, 2015 - 60 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, election 2014, greens, labour, national, political parties, Politics, same old national - Tags: , , ,

no-right-turn-256Reposted from No Right Turn

The Electoral Commission released political parties 2014 donation returns yesterday. DPF has the usual breakdown here. The highlights:

  • National raised twice as much money as Labour and the Greens combined. They received significant funding from Auckland property develops and real estate agents. Which might explain why they’re opposed to doing anything about the Auckland housing bubble.
  • the Greens out-fundraised Labour for the first time. This hasn’t come at the cost of Labour – they raised slightly more money than they did in 2011 – but it suggests that the Greens have got a far more organised fundraising infrastructure than they did in the past. The Green’s donors were mostly MPs, as usual. Labour, as befits a labour party, was primarily funded by unions.
  • No-one accepted money from SkyCity this time.
  • the total amount raised (and presumably spent on getting elected) by parties last year was $14.36 million – over twice the $5.5 million raised in 2011. Even discounting the crazy millionaires, the amount of money raised by the parties has still increased by more than 40%.

The latter point is the most disturbing. Our political system is awash with money. There is clearly an arms race going on where the largest party is trying to spend everyone else into the ground. But this creates a perception of corruption and cynicism about our democracy. If we want to protect the latter and ensure a level playing field, we need to eliminate private money from the political system and replace it with public funding.

60 comments on “NRT: There is too much money in our politics ”

  1. whateva next? 1

    Money seems to have taken the priority over connection to voters….but was it money that brought about the “spirit of 45” reforms in the UK? or a groundswell against corruption?
    Money is needed for infrastructure of course, but seems like we have fallen for the Nats believing money is the KEY.

  2. Detrie 2

    Agree. Still, we’re not as bad as the US where politics is basically run by the wealthy, telling lies upon more lies to get a vote both at national and state level. Here’s the definition. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/plutocrat

    Yes we still have a democracy, of sorts, but we don’t make the rules. Chris Hedges in the US did a disturbing expose a while back. Something we need to keep an eye upon here.

    https://youtu.be/EfmiCLYweTQ

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Of course we have a class system. Representative Democracy was designed to leave the class system in place while giving the illusion of power to the people:

      In order to do this, the Patriot leaders of the Revolution used ‘a language inspiring to all classes, specific enough in its listing of grievances to charge people with anger against the British, vague enough to avoid class conflict among the rebels, and stirring enough to build a patriotic feeling for the resistance movement’ (1999: 68). But this was a difiicult game for the Patriot leaders to play because it required a balancing act, maintaining broadly popular support for the War of Independence and Revolution by appealing to universal notions of liberty and democracy, on one hand, while simultaneously defending the sanctity of property and the rule of a rich capitalist minority, on the other.

      History of Democracy by B. Roper.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Which might explain why they’re opposed to doing anything about the Auckland housing bubble.

    That and the land bankers on the outskirts of Auckland rubbing their hands together in anticipation of the tax free capital gains that they’re going to get as National push the borders of Auckland city further and further out against the wishes of most Aucklanders.

    But this creates a perception of corruption and cynicism about our democracy.

    Oh, IMO, it’s not just a perception. Our democracy is being thoroughly corrupted by the rich as they buy our politicians outright or via lobbyists preventing the majority of people being heard.

    If we want to protect the latter and ensure a level playing field, we need to eliminate private money from the political system and replace it with public funding.

    QFT

    And each party to have the same funding available to them no matter their size or voter support so as to ensure that they’re on a level playing field. Make sure that all parties have the same capability to get their views out.

    • Wayne 3.1

      I guess you mean Internet/Mana as the bought party

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Internet Mana weren’t running Cabinet Clubs to give access to ministers at $5000 a pop. Nor were they giving out Honours to restaurateurs for hosting dinners at $5000 per person which then got agglomerated into one donation allowing the donors to remain anonymous.

        That was all National.

        • Wayne 3.1.1.1

          Not much influence can be bought for $5,000 compared to $3,500,000.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            A hell of a lot more actually as it’s direct to the minister while having a face to face about laws and policies. Meanwhile, the $3m that KDC donated fully transparently has had no effect upon the laws at all.

            And, no, I don’t like the fact of $3m donations. The maximum amount should be $1000 per year per person if we don’t go to full public funding.

            • Realblue 3.1.1.1.1.1

              “Has had no effect on laws”, it had no effect on the election result other than the removal of the excreble Hone Harawira. A roaring success in my opinion. Seriously though if money has no effect, why was Mana drooling at the prospect of KDC and his millions. In the hands of competent people that money would have been, to use the well worn phrase “a game changer” sadly competence and Mana are mutually exclusive.

              • Murray Rawshark

                As opposed by the competence of NAct, who can’t even seem to help selecting people under police investigation for dubious activities and then cost the country heaps for a byelection? Or have a Minister of Climate Change who considers facts to be refutable? Or revere a leader who can neither keep his hands to himself nor tell the truth?

                I’ll take the “execrable” Hone Harawira over any of your right honourable lying and ignorant dung beetles.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.2

            One seat for each company staff member in attendance – the money all from the same source – and those numbers add up pretty quickly. Of course the big spenders get more face time, don’t they.

            Stop pretending you don’t know how it works, Dr. Mapp. You a law commissioner and all.

            • Tracey 3.1.1.1.2.1

              and the media excluded meeting of select companies hosted by elected reps of aussie and nz… politicalky neutral naturally

          • Tracey 3.1.1.1.3

            What about the influence Alan and Jenny Gibbs over the years, they must have purchased quite a bit by your “reasoning”.

          • Tracey 3.1.1.1.4

            Are you saying there was only 1 Cabinet club Wayne? That’s very misleading of you.

          • newsense 3.1.1.1.5

            so what you are saying is that we need to bring in a provision in the consumer guarantees act for those trying to buy influence through Cabinet Clubs and in fact getting taken for a ride and receiving 2/5ths of fuck all?

            Those people were lead to believe that in a low-wage, low-price economy like NZ $5000 actually meant a lot to an MP and minister. Are there larger amounts of money coming in from elsewhere that make Kiwis attempts at buying influence ridiculously small?

          • DoublePlusGood 3.1.1.1.6

            The $3.5 million was transparent. No problem with that, you can see really clearly and obviously where the money came from and you are able to draw your own conclusions as to what influence might be placed on the party from that funding source. (Indeed, with Dotcom, so obvious that no one can really claim that it’s secret who is financing the party). It’s also really clear for matters of conflicts of interest.
            By contrast, Cabinet Club obfuscates who is financing the National Party, so it is not fully transparent as to who seeks to influence National. As a result the public cannot be assured that there are no conflicts of interest undeclared, and the public are not fully aware of who may have influenced policy.

        • alwyn 3.1.1.2

          “restaurateurs for hosting dinners at $5000 per person which then got agglomerated into one donation allowing the donors to remain anonymous.”

          That shows a total misunderstanding of the law. If there had been no “agglomeration” there would have been no need to declare the donation at all, except as merely part of the general category of small amounts. There would not have been a single donation of a hundred thousand or so, that has to be declared specifically, but a series of $5,000 donations that do not have to be individually identified at all.
          Instead of a single line in the return that said there were 658 donations between $1,500 and $5,000 there would have been 669 (I think there were 11 people at the dinner concerned). The donors would have been even more anonymous.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2.1

            But does the agglomerated money count towards the total donation by a single person that needs to be declared?

            A series of donations, or contributions of more than $1,500 to donations, made by one person that adds up to more than $15,000 must also be declared.

            Because if it doesn’t then individual donors could remain anonymous despite the rules saying that they need to be declared.

            • alwyn 3.1.1.2.1.1

              I assume you are suggesting that someone gave $12,000 in their own name and $5,000 via a meal?

              I think that they would have to be declared, if the total by any individual came to more that $15,000. If they didn’t have to we would still have the situation where you could have something like the Waitemata Trust (I think it was called) that could simply gather up donations and pass them on in bulk.
              That has been banned and I don’t see any difference to the agglomeration by the restaurant owner. (I’m not a lawyer so I don’t claim any particular authority for this argument).
              There might be a debate about who supplied the goods I suppose but I will definitely leave that argument to the lawyers. He might run a good restaurant but I can’t believe that $5,000 was not above fair market price. Again that not counting as a donation to the party would allow a Trust to accept the donation money in return for a lollypop and keep secrecy wouldn’t it?
              ps. I originally suggested 11 donors. If the amount was $5,000 each and the total was over $100k there would have to have been at least 20 wouldn’t there?

              • Draco T Bastard

                So what we’d need to see is the records of the restaurant or National showing that did actually keep those details of the agglomerations (there was more than one instance of this type of thing).

                Then there’s the fact that we have to confront the ethics of such raising of monies as it really is face time with the minister. IMO, such needs to be banned because people should not get preferential treatment to see ministers because they happen to have made a large donation/went to an expensive organised event.

      • Murray Rawshark 3.1.2

        Once again, you guess wrong.

      • Stuart Munro 3.1.3

        Perhaps – National though has clearly long since SOLD it’s last shreds of dignity – cuddling up to pedophiles… selling NZ to China… whoring our soldiers out to the phoney war in Syria… National has become an abusive party suitable for a country with low self-esteem – and its traditional supporters must be ashamed of them.

  4. Tracey 4

    ACT is still the Gibbs party I see…. Between Jenny and Alan…

  5. Anne 5

    There is clearly an arms race going on where the largest party is trying to spend everyone else into the ground.

    Of course. Its gone on for decades and is the reason why National is in power more than Labour. It’s a case of the rich whose chief obsession is to grow richer… so they ply the party who is going to make them richer with even more money. While Labour tries to play the same game they are always going to be on the losing side.

    …this creates a perception of corruption and cynicism about our democracy. If we want to protect the latter and ensure a level playing field, we need to eliminate private money from the political system and replace it with public funding.

    To begin with, only politicos care about democracy. The masses don’t really know what democracy is. As a result, cynicism of the system is applied by them across the political spectrum. The Labour Party and its allies have been rabbiting on about the need for public funding since the beginning of time. Nothing happens.

    Labour can’t and never will be able to match the Nats when it comes to money. But what Labour does have is a diverse across the board membership (and supporters) including many very clever individuals whose expertise in various fields could be of great value to them. Problem is they rarely get a look in, and their advice is frequently ignored. After a month of major controversies you would think the Opposition parties would have had a ball in the House yesterday. Instead, Labour was insipid and I’m not sure the Greens and NZ First were much better. Andrew Little started so well but he has not been firing on all cylinders for a long time now.

    Time to get going again Andrew otherwise you’re going to be left behind!

    • jenny kirk 5.1

      Zero hours for workers at Parliament – 9am this morning.
      Gone by 5pm this afternoon. Andrew Little on the ball !

      • Anne 5.1.1

        I’ve been out most of the day jenny so if that is correct, I’m really pleased to hear it. Don’t let up for a minute Andrew. There’s plenty of punches to land on the bastards. Don’t give em a chance to come up for air from now through to 2017!

  6. Puckish Rogue 6

    This is bollix, if people thought Labour were worth supporting they’d support it, hell even the Greens managed to raise more but now you want public money to make it fair?

    How much money did Labour raise in the 60s, 70s or 80s, more or less than today? I’d guess more so it suggests that Labours chickens have finally (finacially) come home to roost

    You want to raise more than you better go out and ask for it, Mike Williams managed it for Helen Clark or are your collective memories so bad you forget that?

    Little says Labours good for business, well let him prove by raising some money or is he all talk?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      That’s me convinced: get the bribery out of politics. This witless gimp thinks it’s ok for MPs to do their own fundraising.

    • Tracey 6.2

      ” I’d guess”

      rather than google or try to find the truth…

      LOTS of people donate to Labour and greens but they donate less, primarily because they earn substantially less. You can probably see how that can make for a disparity that is not related to numbers of donors per se?

      Ever wondered why the VERY wealth donate to National and ACT PR consistently and for huge amounts? Cos they know that 1 person 1 vote doesn’t work for them as well as 1 person donate enough money to manipulate lots of votes.

    • dukeofurl 6.3

      The Greens ‘raised more’ as they have compulsory tithing from their MPs.

    • Charles 6.4

      “…if people thought Labour were worth supporting they’d support it, hell even the Greens managed to raise more but now you want public money to make it fair?…”

      No one said it was fair, or that it had to be fair. There is no universal equivalence of value between what people morally support and what they throw money at – either one way or the other. The idea of public funding is to reduce the propensity to “game the system”. In this case, risk reduction doesn’t make something “more fair”, it makes it “less easily corruptable”.

    • DoublePlusGood 6.5

      You assume that people who support Labour have enough money to support a particular party. Essentially the end result of your ideology is that politics gets to be only for the wealthy.

  7. Sanctuary 7

    You can’t bitch about Whanua ora getting large amounts of public cash and then turn around and support political parties getting large amounts of public cash with a similar lack of oversight.

    State funding of politically parties will simply reinforce their current status of cut off, elite cadre organisations and make them even less dependent on voters and even more remote from the concerns of ordinary citizens.

    Sure, ban ALL funding off political parties from third parties. But then if you do bring in state funding link it to total, paid up membership. So cap the total you can charge for membership (say $100 PA) and for, say, every member you might get a $50 top up from the taxpayer every year. 20,000 members paying an average of $25 PA each = $500,000 plus an additional $1,000,000 top up plus something for poll figures ($10K per percentage point averaged out over the year? So Labour would get $250,000, National $500,000 extra?). ACT would lose out big time – 550 members would get them $55,000 plus $5,000 for their .5% in the polls. No more Alan Gibbs for them…

    FORCING political parties to recruit new members, and keep them happy, will automatically lead to better parties and bigger parties, and better and bigger parties will have better candidates and better policies.

    • lprent 7.1

      Agreed. If a political party has no members then it doesn’t exist.

      But I’d go for an even more radical procedure. Only allow money to be raised from members, and cap the amount at something that is very low, like a few percent of median income per annum.

      Make the membership lists and the donations public, or at least given to the electoral commission (in the latter case make any commission employees or past employees get a mandatory year in prison for a conviction for disclosing details, and for any person receiving, reading, or processing those details).

      Don’t allow *any* other fundraising including fund-raising of goods and services.

      I’d bet that would tend to clean up undue influence issues and to provide an incentive to improve median incomes.

      • b waghorn 7.1.1

        Full transparency is the only way to stop power/money hungry shit bags twisted the system and buying influence. Imo

      • Pasupial 7.1.2

        That proposal seems quite thorough. But it does miss the situations where ex-MPs (and other former government office holders) get high paying employment at the end of their period of “public” service, in lieu of a campaign donation upfront. Also, any change to political donations will have to be instituted by politicians who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo cash flow.

      • Liberal Realist 7.1.3

        +1

        In addition, a public transparent registry of all lobbyists, full disclosure of what is being lobbied for, why, when and who they’re lobbying for.

        • gsays 7.1.3.1

          here here liberal,
          i have long said a transparent lobbying register of who where when and how much.
          this is to include meals trips and bottles of wine etc.

      • RedBaronCV 7.1.4

        I’d modify that a bit to allow parties to take heavily capped donations from individuals only and maybe those who are citizens and eligible to vote in the next election or something similar.
        Personally to get elected I think you should have to traipse around every two bit freezing hall in the country to speak to real people. Not just stay in that sanitised TV studio.

    • Gosman 7.2

      Why would anyone on the right of the political spectrum support that proposed change to electoral finance laws?

      • Macro 7.2.1

        Because they want to live in a democracy?/sarc

        • Gosman 7.2.1.1

          Ummm… denying people the right to support the politicial party of their choice through a monetary donation of an amount that they want to give doesn’t seem to be terribly democratic. Neither does the State funding existing political parties leading to any new parties having a barrier to entry.

          • Macro 7.2.1.1.1

            On the contrary allowing the wealthy to buy elections is precisely undemocratic. But allowing everyone an equal voice through equal funding is precisely what democracy is all about. As always you have very little understanding of what it means to live in a truly democratic society. Your perception is based upon your experience of living in what we now have which is an oligarchy, if not a plutocracy.

  8. Rosie 8

    Ha! What did I say yesterday? Developers- cabinet -club- palm- greasing- b*stards!

    http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-05052015/#comment-1010038

    No wonder Nick Smith had his grumpy face on yesterday threatening to over ride the council and go ahead with SHA’s in Akld. Might as well be honest and say”we have a responsibility to our shareholders, er, um I mean developer mates who fund us”.

  9. dukeofurl 9

    Strangely Key, donated $30,000 in 2008 but doesnt seem to have repeated the offer

  10. Wayne 10

    Although National had the most money, the majority of it was not big donations.

    The reality is that National has a large membership base, significantly more so than Labour. Most of the money comes from members, not just the annual fee, but campaign donations, lunches, breakfasts, etc. It is simply expected that if you perceived as a person who can contribute, then you should. Peer pressure and all that.

    But you don’t expect anything for it other than that National will win, Not guaranteed of course.

    But no-one is going to support National (or indeed any other party) unless the party’s policies and values largely align with their own.

    So it is not that National is cravenly doing the bidding of property investors or anyone else for that matter. National for 80 years has opposed a CGT, because National is a relatively low tax party and believes in free enterprise. People know that and support it accordingly.

    Of course those more on the right think National is too centrist and therefore support ACT, a point made vociferously to me by ACT supporters.

    Naturally I don’t expect any of the usual contributors to believe any of this, because you all know that National is evil and corrupt.

    • Skinny 10.1

      Human nature says what is in it for me, your piss taking about Nat donations, Judith Collins rewarded her sponsors.

      Of note is the vast difference of who benefits most from political donations given by business and Unions (workers). Individuals from the business sector stand to gain significant profiteering while workers achieve minimal gains, crumbs in comparison. It is quite sickening the way the Right howl at Unions funding Labour, the Greens and too a lesser extent NZF.

    • Such a quaint view you present here for us, Wayne.

      I know how corrupt Nats can be and witnessed first hand the appalling shenanigans that ensued in Levin many years ago in early 1970’s to keep useless Nat Minister Allan McCready in office when he was challenged for electorate nomination by a very able Shannon constituent whom I was vocal about supporting.. (Shame to say I was then a young Nat, out of sheer boredom.)

      I was threatened in person and by phone. Businesses I and another colleague were closely associated with had large orders for rural equipment worth thousands of dollars cancelled the day of the electorate meeting. Anonymous phone calls said it was just the beginning of our problems unless we voted for McCready to maintain the Nat nomination in the electorate.

      Neither of us voted. MacCready was re-nominated as votes were disguised and mis-counted.

      Please don’t get me started on the filth of it all. Keep your quaint view going Wayne .. I’m sure you are a decent man, but open your eyes for heaven’s sake !

    • DoublePlusGood 10.3

      “The reality is that National has a large membership base, significantly more so than Labour”
      Actually it means that National has a larger membership base of people who can splash a $1000-plus donation without worrying about whether that means they now can’t afford to live.

    • freedom 10.4

      “not big donations”

      Not sure what world you live in any more, most kiwis still live in New Zealand, but perhaps you have residency now on Planet Key? For folks in these parts, $100,000 is a pretty big donation. Antoine’s really loves NAtional huh!

      But it wasn’t really from Antoine’s was it Wayne? Even after Antoine’s admitted selling individual seats and no doubt clawed back every cent of tax it could from the costs of the event, it still got listed as a lump sum donation from Antoine’s.

      I wonder if the IRD ever got around to checking up on that situation? nah, probably too busy chasing lawnmowers and window-washers and anyway, what does John key call it… oh yeah – “legitimate tax avoidance”!

      It must be nice to afford real accountants. Too bad for the hard working Jo working three jobs and juggling bills to find $50 for the mate’s kid who knows how to work MYOB. What a sucker eh! Working so hard to meet broken promise G.S.T. rates, and find the cash for the growing ‘donation required’ total at their kid’s school, only to be hit with a roughly 300% increase in the govt cut of the annual hospo manager’s licence that helps the family scrape by. That spruce goose surplus sure has a lot to answer for.

      Yet there they are, day after day, still doing whatever it takes. Trying to pay the sky-rocketing rent, fill the car, or simply allow themselves three minutes of peace and quiet to figure out why a litre of milk is now $3.35 at the supermarket. Yup! 1 litre: $3.35. Lucky thing there are no dairy farmers who are members of the National Party. They could be seen to be profiteering from the intensification of Dairy eh! People might start to think all sorts of things. Oh is the payout dropping again? Those poor farmers who overstocked and planned on greed not common sense. That’s ok though, the silver lining is as tough to remove as the seal on that $3.35 litre of milk. What silver lining ?? the one where the costs of losses and gains both get covered by the modern consumer. Which of course means that extortionary retail price of $3.35 for one litre of milk is about to jump even higher. Too bad for the farmers who can’t handle the drop though, but that’s ok, those lovely new banks that Jenny and Don run will be there to catch everyone, so that’s nice.

      Meanwhile, back at Antoine’s, the money donated was collected from the anonymous donors who simply paid $5k a head for a dinner. Or was it $10k? Or was that the other dinner a couple of weeks later? Maybe it was the Cabinet Club lunches the previous Tuesday I am confusing it with.

      It must be easy to tell yourself these are just small donations, and they are of course, when looked at as individual acts. Who doesn’t have a spare $5k to throw into the bucket every few weeks. But they are not individual acts are they Wayne, they are complex and manipulative programmes of deception, where hundreds of thousands of dollars are donated time after time after time. Often from the same persons or organisations and the millions of dollars that accumulate are filtered through numerous similar opportunities so as to remain anonymous. How they keep track of it all and stay within the rules is really quite impressive. That is the bit your hypocritical Party Members really love though, to be seen to be following the rules.

      From dairy farming to building supplies, from water theft to insurance scams, from vertically integrated agricultural industries wholly owned by foreign interests to billionaires who need a hand building boats, it’s all golden and everything is fine, as long as you are seen to be acting within the rules.

      • thank you, freedom. as it is. exactly as it is.

      • Wayne 10.4.2

        Don’t know where you all get your image of the National Party from. But it is a long way from reality.

        The National Party has many tens of thousands of members. A very large percentage pay around $50 per year, but in election year will pay anywhere from around $100 to $1000 depending on their circumstances and their enthusiasm. So it is pretty easy to see why the donations return has the great percentage of money coming from people (mostly members) paying less than $1000.

        Of course there are some large donors just as there is with all other parties (possible exception of NZF) but they are all disclosed. Basically anything over over $1000 is disclosed.

        The current legislation on electoral finance and disclosure is essentially a consensus result of the parliament as a whole, though of course the Greens could have voted against.

  11. reason 11

    National like the torys in England is the party that looks after tax dodgers and rich criminals …… http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8515361/Money-trail-leads-home-to-New-Zealand

    What the Nats say and what they actually do are two totally different things in many cases …..

    Pretending to be tough on crime yet opposing laws which would harm pedophiles ( and themselves ) is one of their worst examples ……. http://nzfirst.org.nz/news/government-spikes-removal-paedophile-name-suppression-bill

    Its hard to say if all the booze money which flows to National had anything to do with roastbusting not being a crime under this National Govt ………………

  12. SMILIN 12

    On the article its called” buying power” not funding or supporting your party as a democratic right
    All this old language that the nats use to create a sense of security for
    the SHEEPISH voters is BS a con and lies
    People such as Key are born liars and manipulators just look at his history and the Nat party is full of them.
    We need to be demanding about having all donations logged and in everyone’s face as NEWS so that the slimy bastards who manipulate the elections are tracked to the max and that the situation outlined about the housing boom are jammed as far up Keys butt until he tells the truth.

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    TL;DR: I’m casting around for new ideas and ways of thinking about Aotearoa’s political economy to find a few solutions to our cascading and self-reinforcing housing, poverty and climate crises.Associate Professor runs an online masters degree in the economics of sustainability at Torrens University in Australia and is organising ...
    The KakaBy Steven Hail
    21 hours ago
  • Reported back

    The Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back on National's Local Government (Water Services Preliminary Arrangements) Bill. The bill sets up water for privatisation, and was introduced under urgency, then rammed through select committee with no time even for local councils to make a proper submission. Naturally, national's select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Vandrad the Viking, Christopher Coombes, and Literary Archaeology

    Some years ago, I bought a book at Dunedin’s Regent Booksale for $1.50. As one does. Vandrad the Viking (1898), by J. Storer Clouston, is an obscure book these days – I cannot find a proper online review – but soon it was sitting on my shelf, gathering dust alongside ...
    23 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Biden Withdrawal

    History is not on the side of the centre-left, when Democratic presidents fall behind in the polls and choose not to run for re-election. On both previous occasions in the past 75 years (Harry Truman in 1952, Lyndon Johnson in 1968) the Democrats proceeded to then lose the White House ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 day ago
  • Joe Biden's withdrawal puts the spotlight back on Kamala and the USA's complicated relatio...

    This is a free articleCoverageThis morning, US President Joe Biden announced his withdrawal from the Presidential race. And that is genuinely newsworthy. Thanks for your service, President Biden, and all the best to you and yours.However, the media in New Zealand, particularly the 1News nightly bulletin, has been breathlessly covering ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 day ago
  • Why we have to challenge our national fiscal assumptions

    A homeless person’s camp beside a blocked-off slipped damage walkway in Freeman’s Bay: we are chasing our tail on our worsening and inter-related housing, poverty and climate crises. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Existential Crisis and Damaged Brains

    What has happened to it all?Crazy, some'd sayWhere is the life that I recognise?(Gone away)But I won't cry for yesterdayThere's an ordinary worldSomehow I have to findAnd as I try to make my wayTo the ordinary worldYesterday morning began as many others - what to write about today? I began ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • A speed limit is not a target, and yet…

    This is a guest post from longtime supporter Mr Plod, whose previous contributions include a proposal that Hamilton become New Zealand’s capital city, and that we should switch which side of the road we drive on. A recent Newsroom article, “Back to school for the Govt’s new speed limit policy“, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Monday, July 22 are:Today’s Must Read: Father and son live in a tent, and have done for four years, in a million ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Monday, July 22, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:US President Joe Biden announced via X this morning he would not stand for a second term.Multinational professional services firm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 14, 2024 thru Sat, July 20, 2024. Story of the week As reflected by preponderance of coverage, our Story of the Week is Project 2025. Until now traveling ...
    2 days ago
  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    5 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    5 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago

  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

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