Open mike 02/03/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 2nd, 2013 - 274 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

274 comments on “Open mike 02/03/2013 ”

  1. geoff 1

    Chris Trotters latest piece (and aftermath) worthy of a post on the standard?

    • karol 1.1

      I’d post on it if I had something else to include, like my own take or analysis, or it’s relevance to some other article…. and when I had the time.

      However, I think Trotter’s post is excellent on its own, and people can add their comments on Trotter’s blog or here on open mike.

      • Colonial Weka 1.1.1


        I wish Trotter would disable anonymous commenting.

        • geoff

          Yes that. Why should he get rid of anonymous commenting?

          • Colonial Weka

            The whole anonymous @ 3.48 thing means lots of scrolling and jumping back and forth, esp on long comment threads.

            Plus if he disables anonymous and leaves only pseudonymous/real names and logins, then it’s more likely people will use a consistent handle, which makes it easier to follow debates.

        • Colonial Viper

          For those who are unaware, this is where Trotter’s title comes from.

          If there is to be revolution, there must be a revolutionary party. Without a revolutionary party, without a party built on the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary theory and in the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary style, it is impossible to lead the working class and the broad masses of the people in defeating imperialism and its running dogs.

          What we do not have in Labour today is not a revolutionary party it is a party of the mainstream status quo.

          The last time Labour was revolutionary was in the 1980’s, when they sided with the capitalist running dogs.

          • Mary

            Yes, and a practical example is Labour’s stance on beneficiaries and social security. For as long as Labour and National stand side by side on this issue the longer we’re saddled with relentless nasty attacks on the poor. Regardless who the government is.

            • Colonial Viper

              This is a very very big problem.

              Combined with zero vision of New Zealand able to deal with the oncoming twin storm of climate change and energy decline.

              The Government of the 21st century isn’t going to be dealing with just financial problems. The problems are going to be very real and very physical.

          • Anne

            Clare Curran’s reported riposte to Chris Trotter:

            Well, I’ve known Chris Trotter for quite a long time, and I think he’s a great writer, ah, I think he might be, um, better at writing fiction these days, ah, and, but I think he’s also a bit like a dog with a bone, and he tends to live in the past a bit in his writing, and, ah he also has hasn’t been a member of the Labour Party for a very long time, but he likes to give us the benefit of his very strong views, so I guess that’s what I’ve got to say I mean, um, you know that’s not the way I um saw it, and ah you know we had a great conference, and we’re a united party moving forward.”

            “… a bit like a dog with a bone”… better at writing fiction…” Don’t you love it when someone in describing someone else, are in fact describing themselves.

            “… we’re a united party moving forward.” One of those senseless sayings. Moving forward where? To the top of the cliff?

            • Arfamo

              Just moving forward. Not sideways. Not backwards. Just forward, on the same circular path. Nobody, it seems, is moving with them. And they won’t, unless & until they know when they are going to break out of the circle, where they are going, who is actually driving, and whether they have the skill to drive.

            • Colonial Viper

              Anne – I heard today that on a no-affiliate basis, the Greens paid up membership base numbers a few thousand now.

              Without giving too much away…the Greens will probably be able to match or beat Labour’s paid up membership base by elections 2014.

            • Mary

              “Dog with a bone” is code for “we know you’re right but we’re never going to admit it so we have to dismiss what you say without debating the merits because if we did that our flawed position would be exposed so, no, we can’t do that and that’s why we have to resort to maligning you personally with pathetic little tactics like calling you a “dog with a bone”.

          • Murray Olsen

            Labour was reactionary in the 80s, not revolutionary. They acted to preserve the prevailing social order, not to overthrow it. Since then, it’s been business as usual, steady as she goes.

            • Colonial Viper

              I think they were revolutionary in scope and impact. Although we had a system of capitalism beforehand and that is also what we had after, the changes that the Rogernomes (followed by Ruthanasia) brought on were not part of the natural evolutionary trend of NZ over the prior decades.

              My feeling is that it is now time for a counter-revolution.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Although we had a system of capitalism beforehand and that is also what we had after,

                And the system of capitalism we had after the 4th Labour government was the same as the one in the 19th century which was the driving force behind the introduction of the 40 hour week, unions and award rates. The 4th Labour government effectively took us back 150 years. This government wants to takes us back even further.

  2. vto 2

    This story gives an accurate indication of three things in Christchurch.

    1. The level of frustration experienced by people in the east of Christchurch.
    2. The level of incompetence of government departments.
    3. The complete and utter abandonment of east Christchurch people.

    Gerry Brownlee has had peoples holiday homes in Akaroa repaired. He has had people in his Ilam electorate with minor cracks to the paint repaired. Meanwhile those in the east with completely broken houses, crooked foundations, unsanitary services have been left to fester with inadequate resources for EQC to carry out their repairs.

    And this government are also going flat out on building a fucking stupid convention centre right in the middle of town, before those of us who live here are looked after. Oh yes, convetnion-goers are such important people. What a bloody joke.

    And Labour? Fuck them as well. Shunting Lianne Dalziel backwards. She is one of the only ones to take this corrupt and uncaring National lot to task. Now she’s effectively gone as well.

    Thanks for nothing Shearer you cock.

    As for governmentr departments and their renowned inefficiency, well all of those stereotypes are being well polished at the moment. Total incompetence. Get a dozen people from the east together to compare notes. You will be lucky if you find one that is happy. All have tales of complete incompetence, fools, lies, bullshit, the lot.

    It surprises me not one little bit that people are threatening and carrying out their threats against EQC aka the government.

    It has all become a boring story now no doubt to the rest of NZ, but that means fucking diddly when it comes to the reality on the ground.

    I say return the physical reality to the government. Which is what the people in this article are doing. Good on them, we need more physical action. Nothing else works.

    • Colonial Weka 2.1

      Well I for one always appreciate your comments on Chch vto, and I can tell you that some of us at least are watching from the outside and and understand that unless NZ wakes the fuck up it’s only a matter of time for the rest of us.

      However, you are right in that most of NZ is too insulated from the realities of life for Chch people. I had no idea this was going on –

      “Fletcher EQR general manager David Peterson said the firm had spent thousands of dollars on extra security to protect its 700 staff after threats and verbal abuse from homeowners.

      “We have 20 hubs around the city and we’ve had to make the fences slightly higher, put in exit doors for staff and the reception counters are higher now too, so people can’t jump over them so easily,” Peterson said.”

      I remember when they brought in security staff at WINZ offices. It was after that high profile case of a man attacking an ACC staffer I think, and marked a significant change in NZ culture/society. But what that article describes is far beyond isolated incidences. Seriously bad levels of collective stress.

      I tend to agree about getting physical, but wish it would happen in street activism style rather than personal violence.

      • Rogue Trooper 2.1.1

        just Wow! (kinda like the further blast-proofing of the US Embassy being tendered)

    • RedBaronCV 2.2

      Planning repairs to take place up until 2015 was never smart. No alternative housing provided by the government.
      Live in a shed in your back yard for 5 years? What do EQC and EQR expect – buy in?
      Gerry’s policies are to have his government do nothing so that EQC and EQR take the blame.

    • Thanks vto. I wonder how many of these frustrated people would have bothered filling out the wellbeing survey even if they’d been asked to?

      All the powers that CERA and Brownlee were gifted and they haven’t used any of them to help people living in broken homes, neighbourhoods and suburbs. They’ve never used those powers to bring the insurance companies into line. They’ve never used those powers to do anything about the shortage of accommodation for those in most need.

      They haven’t even used those powers to speed up the ever-so-precious – and supposedly vital – development of the inner city retail precinct, despite moving rapidly to compulsorily purchase land in ‘The Frame’ (because they are so pro-green space – what a joke). Compulsory purchase of land in The Frame is all about increasing the land values of those in the ‘retail precinct’, and that land, in turn, is now being forcibly aggregated to drive out smaller property owners in the area.

      Their powers have been used for one thing: to advantage large, private capital in the re-engineering of Christchurch as a neo-liberal city whose prime functions are the smooth extraction of resources from Canterbury and the provision of ‘investments’ for large capital.

      Burdening ratepayers with expensive ‘nice to haves’ both advantages private capital (e.g., Philip Carter will do very well out of the Convention Centre proposal) and has the desirable side-effect of pressuring the Council to sell assets or risk becoming the unpopular initiator of massive rates increases.

  3. logie97 3

    The hierarchy running things in the Labour camp obviously don’t care about the Canterbury vote.
    I would have thought that demoting a Christchurch MP is the ultimate in lack of political nous. But then why am I surprised.

  4. Dr Terry 4

    vto – very well spoken with all your heart. Believe me, you do have those of us who feel absolutely with you on every word.

  5. johnm 5

    U$K: The artist taxi driver on the desperate austerity screw the Tory scum are imposing to pay for their Bankers’ Bail Outs and their continuing bonuses. The Pigs at the trough lie are winning. 🙁

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      They think they are winning. Watch the fear level of the elites begin to ratchet up over the next couple of years. Those “spontaneous” “criminal” riots they experienced in the UK are only a taste of things to come.

      • The Al1en 5.1.1

        Won’t ever happen here though, what with the fluoride in the water and Shortland street as the sedative of the masses.

      • muzza 5.1.2

        Problem is CV thats exactly what the elites want to happen, as they care not about the people hurting, killing , wrecking etc, it makes no difference to them at all!

        The humanity has gone, those running the show have been actively murdering, and genociding for so long, that now with the technology etc behind them, I just don’t see where the ability to force change if coming from.

        Not helped of course by the sleeping population base here in NZ, or is it that the exports took the thinking ability with them, and left a bunch of bloggers behind in their place!

  6. Addison 6

    Maybe it’s the reverse, that NZnis full of failed trade unionists who lost their cause in the UK when they took on Thatcher and ended up in that soft touch NZ. Having tried to ruin the UK pre thatcher they failed and vanished like whipped Curs, their tails between their legs.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      What great Tory ideas are you importing from the failed Empire now?

    • The Al1en 6.2

      “Having tried to ruin the UK pre thatcher they failed”

      So how did GB fare after the wicked witches reign?
      Reap what you sow.

    • Te Reo Putake 6.3

      Crikey, an early contender for non-sensical comment of the day. May as well claim the ’82 All Whites were mostly whipped curs running from Thatcher for all the sense it makes.


      • Addison 6.3.1

        Who sailed to NZ started work at 54 on minimum wage. And the started my own business. Now retired with a nice house on 5 acres two yachts etc Not bad for a thick aging failed pom from the UK.

        • Colonial Viper

          Skite skite skite

          Tell us how much capital you imported from the UK to start your business.

          • Tim

            Have you seen the ad on ms tv for G.J Homes? It seems like Addison has the starring role.
            Meanwhile east ChCh rots.

          • Addison

            NZ 20000 dollars.

            • Colonial Viper

              You and your wife worked your whole lives in the UK into your 50’s and all you could bring into NZ was 10,000 GBP?

              What the hell went wrong?

              • McFlock

                it’s a lot more capital than a lot of kiwis can scratch together, even today, CV.

              • Addison

                9 years on my wee boat traveling and with my wife, a nurse working for poorer communities, particularly in Vanuatu helping where they didn’t have medical services. Ura para para in particular we trained a fe w girls I. Basic medical skills and built their school and library and a woodwork workshop.

            • Puddleglum

              Hi Addison,

              Did you own a house in the UK?

              I ask because I have working class relatives there who found themselves, circa 2004, in what was, to them, a remarkable situation. When they visited here, they realised that, if they sold up their modest house back home, paid off their mortgage and came over to NZ they could buy, freehold, a modern home in one of those pop-up subdivisions and think about retiring early. She was a receptionist and he was a taxi driver.

              Health issues put paid to those dreams, though.

              • Colonial Viper

                He claims he only brought NZ$20,000 into the country from the UK.

              • Addison

                No I didn’t, divorced so rented! Getting a bit personal,when did you stop beating your wife 🙂

              • Addison

                yes puddlegum, when I arrive a pound bought 3.4 $ now less than 2. Cost of living has zoomed up since 2000.when I loom at house prices in the UK thayer seem cheap now.Still 4 mill v 66 mil in a similar sized country explains why I am here to stay.

        • geoff

          Nobody cares about your money and houses, ya fucking wowser. Go and sail your boat instead of boring us to death.

        • red rattler

          Could be describing NZs settler origins as a petty bourgeois paradise. The key term missing is ‘theft’. I like the French word ‘Colon’.

        • Draco T Bastard

          You prove that you have no understanding of what happens when the majority of the population are kept in poverty.

          Also, did the workers you hired for the business also get rich or was it just you?

        • millsy

          Just wait till Labour gets back into power you dirty filthy pommy cunt. We are going to tax the fucking shit out of you to pay for schools and hospitals for the poor.

          We are going to tax you out of your flash house and we are going to leave you on the street, just like where you want the poor to be.


          [lprent: Pull your head in. That, while you did make a point, was excessive. It is simply stupid and repitition will be dangerous. ]

          • Addison

            Milsey cutie pie don’t you think not having to join a union is a human right too. I have no problem with those who want to join a union if they want to give their money to an organization that supports a party that is anti business and will probably cost them their jobs go for it. Where did all those unionized jobs in Fisher andpaykle go under the last Labour government?

            • millsy

              Those who are anti union are anti democracy.

              They want to take food out of the mouths of children, They should be treated with extreme prejudice.

          • pete

            Someone is clearly angry and frustrated with their life.

            Frustration that other people are wealthier, happier and more successful. No, you won’t tax *the shit out of us*, my friend. Like Helen, we are smart and know how to play the investment game.

            Weren’t you chaps suggesting R&D credits? That will be most fun. You’ll be paying for my overseas holidays.

            PS: I don’t employ Union labour either. Never have, never will.

  7. Addison 7

    Like I said ,the worry is the failed “power to the unions model” that ended so spectacularly in The UK that’s been imported here. On the Tory side what I see imported is people with the get. Up and go to start and run business and employ others. I look around and see most big businesses run by Former UK imports as you call them. OLd joke Hoe do you vet a kiwi to run a small business? Give him a big one to start with!

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      you’re just describing in an economic model where it’s more profitable to fire workers than hire them. Contact Energy, Telecom, etc.

      And why should workers use their effort and talent to enrich pricks like you to start with?

      OLd joke Hoe do you vet a kiwi to run a small business? Give him a big one to start with!

      Says the man from the failed Empire. Riotous.

    • millsy 7.2

      Do you want unions banned Addison. Do you want union leaders thrown in jail and tortured? Yes or no?

      Why dont you piss off to some dictatorship where unions are banned.

      If you tried to sack me for joining a union I would kick the shit out of you where you stand, And I would take plesuare in it

      • Addison 7.2.1

        No I just like to see workers walk away from unions, it’s happened here and it happened in the uk. Who needs to ban an institution thatbhas failed the people it purported to serve. Unions will just wither and die. No need to ban them. I believe in freedom of choose unlike the unions who believe in compulsion.

        • Colonial Viper

          I believe in freedom to strike

        • millsy

          With wankers like you employing them, then they will join in droves.

          By the way Thatcher was a horrible bitch who got off on destroying people living standards.

          • Addison

            I am retired and on a pension milsey sweet thing I didn’t notice the unions in the Glasgow fire strike caring about the business and homes that were burnt down. I didn’t see the mining unions care about the pensioners who went cold with power cuts. The jobs hat were lost in other industries. The wages that were lost by all workers. It was about GREED. I want more and I think I have the power to blackmail the government. How wrong they were.

            • Colonial Viper

              You gotta be desperate now

              The City of London is hollowing out your home country

              And all you want to do is bring the British Tory illness to our shores

              What a waste

              • Addison

                I thought it was the majority of new zealanders that voted JK in. Now didn’t Labour get their worst ever result! I am not so big headed to think that was my doing. I lay all credit at the feet of Helen Clark and Michael Cullen.

            • millsy

              You are greedy. You want to have more in terms of tax cuts and profit, and you are willing to have children go without food or housing in order to do it.

              The wealthy had their taxes cut by nearly half in the past 25 years, and the non-wealthy have had to pay for it with low wages, low benefits, and long hospital waiting lists.

              And you want to take WFF which will result in more people going into poverty. Have you no decency?

  8. Addison 8

    Yes and under who did the UK fail. 13 thatcher years, major boom. Did Labour reverse anything she did, No, they just failed to manage properly. Result after 13 years of Tory boom we had years of Labour Bust!

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Major boom for the top 5% in society. Shall we buy a new XJS for the garage, Jeeves?

    • Te Reo Putake 8.2

      Crikey, Addison, you seem to know even less about UK politics than you do about NZ trade unionism. Any other subjects you want to raise to demonstrate your ignorance?

      btw, your claimed business genius status is somewhat undermined by your failure to work out what the reply button is for.

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        TRP, dude 🙂

      • Addison 8.2.2

        Who said I was genius, just someone with a work ethic who doesn’t believe the state needs to wipe my backside for me. Those who run down the UK actually need to compare it with the socialist paradises in The rest of Europe. You experts can tell me what anti union policies of Thatcher were reversed by the Labour Government. How much per year did The UK grow under thatcher and compare that with under Labour.

        • Arfamo

          As far as I’m concerned Addison if you started up a successful business and succeeded in making it thrive and giving yourself and your partner and kids a comfortable lifestyle good on you and good luck to you. If you think you managed to achieve that all as a result of solely your own efforts and intellect and that the rest of NZ society had absolutely no input into your success I highly doubt that. You started and ran a successful business in a society which has developed an infrastructure and institutions in more egalitarian times past you that you (and everyone else) has benefited from.

          Your goal in life seems to have been to become financially wealthy and you have achieved that. I have no problem with that. But if you think that therefore anyone else can do the same, and if they can’t or don’t they are all lazy, useless bludgers who deserve to be driven to the poorhouse you are extremely blinkered. Those who have not had the same advantages of education, language facility and business savvy you have do not deserve to have their living standards progressively lowered by policies which ensure the steady transfer of their limited and effectively shrinking wealth to those who are already doing well because of their own efforts.

          I want a government which has policies that enable every one of its citizens who is able and willing to work full-time to do so and have at least a reasonable standard of living and self-respect. One which does not use lower wages, direct and indirect taxation, sale of taxpayer built income earning assets, and unemployment, to continually and increasingly facilitate the transfer of more and more of the national wealth into the hands of the already well off by effectively reducing the living standards of the majority of ordinary working citizens.

          IMHO a democratic government should be rated and voted for on the basis of the standard of living it achieves for the majority of its citizens, and for the way it treats those who are prevented by illness or disability, genuine misfortune or lack of opportunity for education and decent paid work – not just on the preferences of those who have even by dint of hard work and good fortune, or inheritance, acquired more of its net wealth than others.

          • McFlock


          • Addison

            I don’t consider myself wealthy ,I have enough to make my retirement comfortable and have worked since I was young to achieve that. I do think that there are many in NZ and the UK for that matter who take the piss out of social services and could work but choose benefit instead. You seem think that there is nothing between chasing wealth something I have never done and Benefits. That’s Labour and the lefts big mistake. They hate anyone better off than themselves. So what of teachers, nurses ,doctors all rich pricks in socialist terms. A source of revenue to top up their political supporters and pet. Social engineering projects. A source of funds to produce money to try and bribe the electorate. What else was the last minute rabbit out of the hat policy of free student loans and working for families. The trouble is they now ignore the majority of Workers and concentrate only on the Unions and beneficiaries which is why for 4 and a half years National has been polling higher than Labour ever did. Why is labour in the pits. It’s not in government and therefore can’t raise the cash for buying popularity, bribes aside it has nothing to offer the average,note average hard working Kiwi.

            • millsy

              Without working for families there would be people having to live on the street. Why dont you go to a WFF recipeienct and tell them that they should have all their money taken off them and live on the street. Im sure you will be finding your teeth.

              Do you want to Americanise heath care. I am warning you, I will come for you if you do. I will come for you. I will kick the shit out of you 10 times over you mean nasty horrible person. All those poor and working people and unionists you denigrate will cheer me on and probably join in.

              • Addison

                Milsey what hollow threats, that’s all ou have . No argument so threats of voiolence and thuggery. You would have fitted in well in the socialist party of Germany in the 30s. Thank god most of the human race has become a bit more civilized since then.

                • freedom

                  “Thank god most of the human race has become a bit more civilized since then.”


                  • freedom

                    p.s. Addison, there was a very good speech about two Peters in the House this week, one old, one young, you should look it up and thenremember that without the dselfless sacrifice of thousands of people over hndreds of years yur great ability to run a business would never have eventuated, you would still be ( as you appear to be ) a serf to your masters

                  • freedom

                    p.s Addison, there was a very good speech about two Peters in the House this week, one old, one young, you should look it up and then remember that without the selfless sacrifice of thousands of people over hundreds of years your great ability to run a business would never have eventuated, you would still be ( as you appear to be ) a serf to your masters

                    • Addison

                      I am fortunate that my parents gave me an ethic for work and a good education. I was employed for a fair part of my life 18 to 40 years old and yes it’s better being your own master than not. I enjoyed being self employed my mistakes cost me , not the mistakes of others. I value that freedom as I value freedom of speech and applaud bloggs like this where the rights to express opinion are valued.
                      It’s just a shame when the likes of Milsey have to reduce everything to preconceived ideas. I am right wing if centerist. I come from a political family one you would find hard to believe. Father secretary of the TGWU in Glasgow who went on to be a conservative political organizer. A Step mum who ran the conservative ( unionist party) in Scotland, and a sister who stood as a Labour candidate. You can imagine family dinners! Yes I value those who went before , those who set up the welfare state, those who, fight for freedom. You may think all right thinking people are arseholes, your entitled to your opinion. It may surprise you to know that between leaving the uk in 1998 and arriving in NZ I spent 9 years on my yacht much of it in poor communities in the Caribean and pacific using my wife’s expertise as a nurse and what funds we had spare to help those communities. Great fun and much more satisfactory than being a tourist. Arriving in NZ, nearly broke was why we had to go back to work.

                    • millsy

                      You want to get rid of unions, privatise health, scrap benefits and bring back slavery.

                      This will impose misery on thousands of people.

                    • Arfamo

                      Addison said: “I don’t consider myself wealthy ,I have enough to make my retirement comfortable and have worked since I was young to achieve that. I do think that there are many in NZ and the UK for that matter who take the piss out of social services and could work but choose benefit instead. You seem think that there is nothing between chasing wealth something I have never done and Benefits. That’s Labour and the lefts big mistake. They hate anyone better off than themselves. etc”.

                      Perhaps you are describing some of the regular posters here, but I don’t see things in such simplistic class terms at all. I applaud your success. There is a wide middle ground between those who are extremely wealthy or even comfortably off like yourself and those who are on benefits.

                      Reading your comments it seems to me it is you who sees the UK and NZ as societies that essentially consist of people who make themselves successful because of their superior virtues, values and work ethics, and lesser beings who either bludge off people like yourselves or who deserve to struggle in a country which is by world standards still quite wealthy.

                      Are there bludgers and no-hopers in our society? Yep. Should dole bludgers be working if there’s a job they can do? Yep. Are there enough jobs they could do that would enable them to earn and save enough to better themselves? Nope – not when many of the jobs they could do (if they can actually get them) pay so desperately little they are really just subsidising their employer’s income and not even necessarily gaining the ability to meet their housing and living costs without state assistance. Can they better themselves? Not easily. Not in the current job market.

                      Are all people who haven’t managed to achieve your level of material and financial comfort bludgers or in some way blameworthy for wanting their incomes from full time work to be sufficient for a decent standard of living? Nope.

                      Does National have a plan to raise or at least not continue to lower the living standards of all people in full-time work? I don’t see it – joblessness and declining standards of living for the low and middle income earners seems to be the future under National. Does Labour have a plan to do this? Who knows? They seem lost. The party that does manage to find one will eventually replace the nats. Do I support unions? If there’s no other means by which ordinary working people can prevent their living standards, pay and conditions being lowered while those of the well off and wealthy keep rising, yes.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Addison wishes to ignore the broad societal and macroeconomic aspects of a nation, in order to pretend that heroic self-sufficiency will compensate for all situations, for all people.

                    • geoff

                      What is it with right wing tossers like Addison that they:
                      a) Need to tell people how rich they are (all from HARD WORK )


                      b) How charitable they are.

                      If they’re so fucking charitable then why do they object so strongly to ordinary folks sharing in the gains of increased productivity?


                      That graph captures the consequences of what Addison is arguing for.

                    • Arfamo

                      I’m assuming Addison your objection to unions is based on a belief they destroy jobs by destroying businesses through unaffordable demands. To be fair, that’s happened. Certainly in a few especially noteworthy UK cases mentioned, and maybe even some here. But against that there are still thousands of negotiation rounds going on all around the world where unions are recognised where both parties reach mutually agreed and beneficial arrangements. Worker participation in profits is something that has always seemed to me to be a great motivator for increasing productivity, but although that has been frequently touted I dunno how much it’s happened.

                • pete

                  I wonder if a certain someone is a spotty weed of a teenager working for minimum wage who has never been in a fight in his unachieving, virginal life. Possibly aims to be the local Union rep.

                  Threats of Union violence are amusing. Just one more reason not to hire Union labour.

                  • felixviper

                    Millsy’s violent comments were well off, and he copped a ban for them.

                    Hope you cop one too for describing them as “Union violence” you lying little shite. Nothing you’ve written here indicates that you’ll be of any value to this forum.

                    Same old boring tr0ll lines, same old fantasies.

                    • pete

                      Millsy said:

                      “Do you want to Americanise heath care. I am warning you, I will come for you if you do. I will come for you. I will kick the shit out of you 10 times over you mean nasty horrible person. All those poor and working people and unionists you denigrate will cheer me on and probably join in.”

                      Isn’t that last line a threat of Union violence?

                      I have a question. Why don’t the Unions, and unionists, run their own businesses?

                    • Arfamo

                      I have a similar question Burt. Why don’t employers do their all workers jobs?

                    • Arfamo

                      Arghh!! Try again.

                      I have a similar question Burt. Why don’t employers do all their workers’ jobs?

                    • felixviper

                      No that’s not a threat of “Union violence”, you need to learn to read.

                      ps the violence in industrial relations is almost entirely one way, and it isn’t from the workers.

                    • pete

                      One would have thought it was fairly easy for a Union to get into business. They have the workers, they have the beginnings of a management structure. Bolt on some further expertise, and away you go.

                      Good wages for all. Little dispute. Cut out the capitalist. If what the capitalist does is so simple, then compete with him. You’ve already got the labour.

                    • pete

                      I read it again and it still says:

                      “All those poor and working people and unionists you denigrate will cheer me on and probably join in”

                      If he wasn’t including Union violence, then he would have left out the term “unionists” and “join in” (the beating)

                      Perhaps you missed it when you were rushing to chastise me.

                    • felixviper

                      Desperate mate.

                      Tell me, what is this “Union violence” that you keep bringing up and repeating the phrase as if it were a recognised and well understood phenomena?

                    • pete

                      Perhaps we could both agree to just move on.

                      How about my Union idea?

                    • felixviper

                      Or you could explain what you’ve been banging on about. Up to you.

            • Murray Olsen

              I don’t hate you, Addison, as much as you want to paint it that way. I feel a little contempt for someone who thinks owning two yachts is something to brag about, and I find your simplistic outlook a bit sad. When I think about success in my life, I think about what I’ve been able to do to help others, not what I’ve been able to buy for myself. I would rather fish off the Birkenhead wharf with friends than sail in one of your yachts. I would rather help someone install solar power generation or build a low impact environmental dwelling, or teach an adult to read, than set foot on your other yacht.
              You might have a great work ethic, but what have you done to make the world a better place or help a fellow member of society? What have you achieved beyond using more of our limited resources than you need? Why on earth should I hate you when I think I’m far, far better off than you could ever be?

        • Mr Burns

          I’m with Addison.

          Those pesky trade unions and their demands for basic worker safety and a living wage.

          Fancy wanting to feed your kids properly and wanting to be able to afford to give them a decent education.

          Give me a nation any day where I can, with significant subsidies that the nuclear industry attracts, look after myself.

          And Thatcherism and Blairism have made the United Kingdom the great nation that it is today, as long as you don’t look at the appalling debt, the unemployment queues or what is happening to the north.

          • Colonial Viper

            The Northerners are revolting.

            The Midlanders too, come to think of it…

          • Addison

            I seem to remember pr Thatcher that the UK was the but of what the rest of Europe called the British disease, unionism. Thatcher cured us of that but it now seems that many countries Portugal, Italy Greece, France have caught that infection and are paying the price.

            • Colonial Viper

              Thatchers cure was to bleed out millions of working class

              The result is an infestation of parasitic thieving bankers in the City of London

              Try not to contaminate NZ with your Brit Tory Politik please

            • millsy




              The best thing to happen to Thatcher is for a gunman to splatter her brains over the 10 Downing Street door.

              Pity those IRA guys didnt succed is blowing her to bits. Would have saved a lot of UKers from the misery you wanted imposed on them.

              • Draco T Bastard


                Because if he can pay workers less for the work that they do then he’ll get richer. It’s typical of the parasitical business owners.

            • Colonial Viper

              Massively strong trade unions in Germany, one of the largest and strongest industrial and technology economies in Europe


              • Populuxe1

                Paris was notorious for coming to a standstill whenever the lorry driver unions struck in sympathy with someone or other

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yeah. In reality, the German and Japanese industrial relations concept is better – workers and owners co-operating to achieve the best end result for the business, and then ensuring those benefits are distributed equitably throughout the organisation.

                  There is no reason for a CEO to be earning more than 10x what his median worker earns.

                • millsy

                  So you want to ban trade unions too?

                  Imagine a union free world.

                  Oh that’s right, China, and the southern US states in the 1850’s.

        • rosy

          Compare the UK with the socialist paradises in the rest of Europe?

          I do. Everyday. I live in one and have lived in the UK. Unemployment figures were out yesterday… 4.9 percent thanks to worker friendly legislation. We also have high, really high union membership.

          So look at your comparisons again. Anti-union UK is not the European Nirvana.

    • The Al1en 8.3

      Go and tell that to the children of whole communities wiped out because of thatcherism.
      I’m all right Jack is never a virtue.
      Your five acres and boats prove fuck all, except that you could never have achieved it under Thatcher, and you would never have achieved it without a Clark government here.

      You give our people a bad name. Shame on you.

  9. Te Reo Putake 9

    Rather odd, and oddly misogynist, post from Tim Selwyn this morning. Admittedly, its about Seven Sharp, so he may have been mired in mediocrity to the point where it affected his writing. Must try harder, Tim.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Just because he called the show girly?

      But…it is. I don’t like my political analysis girly. Or laddish.

    • RedBaronCV 9.2

      Oh dear. I don’t know which to be more critical of. The statement that the 18-35 year old female demographic want fluffy, girly current events according to the management or the revoltingly sexist and lewd comments that followed.
      BTW why do both channels cut the demographic to attract off at 54 years. Living dead after that age? Personally I’d have though the over 54’s would be more likely to be watching than younger people, out doing interesting young people things.

    • Te Reo Putake 9.3

      Bomber’s on to it:

      Martyn Bradbury says:
      March 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      Editors note: I have just had a chance to get to this – sorry for the delay. This was an early draft that wasn’t vetted thoroughly enough for the language to fit with the values of the site. It has been now. Sexist jokes and language are lazy and dull.

      • Populuxe1 9.3.1

        You mean he rushed to hide his innate chauvinism behind a thin fictive veil of Political Correctness when it would be far easier to get over the blokey posturing and simply not say things which we know would offend our mothers, sisters and daughters like a civil person.

    • karol 9.4

      I don’t find that unusual at all from Tim Selwyn. I noticed a few years ago that he expresses some quite regressive stereotypes on gender and sexuality and some other related characteristics. I have commented critically on it on Tumeke in the past.

      Selwyn can say many things I agree with, but……

  10. DH 11

    The Auckland City Council doesn’t appear to be immune to the creative accounting craze;

    “Solid six months for council group ”

    Big claims about a “total after-tax surplus of $478 million” and the fine print says that $455 million of it was an increase in the value of its net assets. In other words they revalued a bunch of assets, probably land the council owns, and called it a gain on the books.

    That link was the NZX who at least know how to report financial results. This link is from our media;

    Note the statement “It raked in $478 million more than it spent in the second half of the 2012-13 financial year.” Err, no it didn’t.

    The $62 million in trading profit is at least welcome, wonder how much more it would have been if the incompetent management at POAL hadn’t made a complete hash of the ports dispute.

  11. lprent 12

    The thing that I most notice, both yesterday and today, about Christchurch is that the traffic is really stally. Keeps jamming up in the strangest places.

    Can’t remember it being this bad pre-quake. Last time I was on here post quake was the Xmas after the first one. Figured that it was the season then.

    Maybe just tired. Lyn had to jump on a plane early this morning back to Auckland. Aunty sitting her niece who just got a sister this morning.

    • Puddleglum 12.1

      Hi lprent,

      Yes, the traffic is ‘stally’. We lost the central city roads and some arterial routes (out east) and, since then, we’ve had major roadworks and a huge number of unexpected smaller road repair jobs that seem to pop up over night on the roads that now take the load (and were not designed/planned to take the loads). Routes that ‘work’ one week often don’t the next.

      It all adds to the stress and the feeling of not being able to have control over your daily life (e.g., getting places on time).


    Yes – National did campaign for asset sales – albeit in a a not very ‘open and transparent’ way?

    You will note that their 2011 pre-election policy did NOT say – “National supports asset sales”, or “National supports the Mixed Ownership Model for key state assets”.

    THIS is the rather sly way that National wiggled in their stated asset sale policy – prior to the 2011 election:

    “Building savings and investment

    National is increasing savings and creating jobs built on exports and productive investment.
    We’re getting on top of debt, and returning to surplus sooner.
    We will extend the successful mixed-ownership model – where the Government owns most of acompany, but offers a minority stake to investors – to four state-owned energy companies, and reduce the government’s stake in Air New Zealand.
    This will give Kiwis a chance to invest in large New Zealand companies.”

    The 2011 election results?

    National got 59 out of 121 MPs.

    The final vote on the Public Finance (Mixed Ownership Model) Amendment Act 2012, was 61 – 60

    A party vote was called for on the question, That the Public Finance (Mixed Ownership Model) Amendment Bill be now read a third time.

    Ayes 61
    New Zealand National 59; ACT New Zealand 1; United Future 1.

    Noes 60
    New Zealand Labour 34; Green Party 14; New Zealand First 8; Māori Party 3; Mana 1.


    ” UF (United Future) did not specifically campaign for the ‘mixed ownership model for the electricity companies and Air New Zealand’ because it was not UF (United Future)policy”

    [ Pete George (16,292) Says: February 15th, 2013 at 10:28 pm]

    In my considered opinion – the voting public of Ohariu were thus effectively misled by United Future and Peter Dunne on the issue of support for the ‘Mixed Ownership Model’ for State-Owned electricity assets and Air New Zealand.

    In my considered opinion, United Future and Peter Dunne SOLD OUT the voting public of Ohariu by voting in support of the Public Finance (Mixed Ownership) Amendment Act 2012.

    Had Peter Dunne kept faith with the voting public of Ohariu – the Public Finance (Mixed Ownership Model) Amendment Bill should have BEEN DEFEATED 60 – 61.

    I thus believe that I am absolutely correct in my statement that THERE IS NO MANDATE FOR ASSET SALES – given that this minority National Government (which DID campaign on asset sales) has only 59 out of 121 MPs.

    Do the maths folks!

    It ISN’T complicated?


    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Arfamo 13.1

      Good argument. Should be being constantly pointed out by all parties opposed to asset sales. Why isn’t it?

    • handle 13.2

      National did not keep their privatisation plans secret (unlike charter schools). No Asset Sales was the biggest election campaign plank of Labour and other parties. They had most of a year to make that argument and failed. That is on them.

      • Populuxe1 13.2.1

        No, Labour hedged around the issue and left big loopholes for the selling off of energy and broadcasting infrastructure. Not the same thing at all. Only the Greens and New Zealand First have been vocal about blocking asset sales, and NZF has been very clear that its policy is to buy back those privatised assets.

    • Addison 13.3

      So no policies should be passed unless there is a mandate. !Might be a bit difficult to raise the taxes to pay your benefits penny.

      • millsy 13.3.1

        How many hospitals would you close to cut taxes?

        We need to tax rich cunts like you (who are taking food out of childrens mouth) to give people a standard of health care that the best of the world.


        [lprent: shut up and have a week off to collect your thoughts. The idea when you have a warning is to hide it. ]

        • Addison

          I pay my taxes, even as a pensioner what taxes do you pay or are you government funded. No my wife’s a nurse so fully support the excellent NZ health service which seems , so the workers in it tell me, to have blossomed under National.

          • handle

            Bullshit is such great fertiliser.

          • muzza

            If you knew anything about NZ, you would realise that the healthcare industry is in a compared to what is was 10-15 years ago, so no its not anecdotally blossomed under national

            You don’t write like an pension aged person you claim to be, I suspect you’re not!

            • Addison

              So very kind of you borne 1946 in 203 copeland Rd Glasgow. Went to Govan primary just opposite Ibrox Park home of Rangers FC. Primary school teacher Miss Strang. What else do I have to give to prove my innocence and do I care what you think. Those who disagree with me must be enemies of the state! Where have I heard that before!

        • Foreign Waka

          Whoo Millsy, don’t o this, curb your aggro speeches. Two wrongs don’t make one right. Yes, there is something rotten with the politics of this country but I doubt that Addison has anything to do with it. NZ needs hardworking people and it is OK that those people get rewarded.

  13. millsy 14

    Addison, if you even think about banning unions and Americanising our health care, I will, come for you.

  14. Rogue Trooper 15

    prophiterole: Alf and Betty, Rob.

    Hey! Wild Colonial Boy. You ware in my Vision (O’toolish Sunderland) as slumber coiled on around the hearth.

    These US cuts; 85B=750,000 jobs (5% from domestic agencies, 8% from the Pentagon), yet that’s alright with me mama, that’s alright with me, the Senate chaplain Barry Black prayed ‘Rise up O God and save us from ourselves, or oh, oh, The Guns of Brixton.(84% of fictional childrens tv shows are from the US, often ‘highly sexualized” “Sponge Bob”)

    HBT-500%5 increase in nitrates modeled for some ground and storage water resources. “we’ll be back in Bow River again, crying like Choir Girl, looking like a refugee. Goodbye (Astrid) Goodbye.

  15. Rogue Trooper 16

    (Save Ant Music for later)

  16. Te Reo Putake 18

    What’s the best way to celebrate a 137% increase in profit? Why, mass sackings of course!

  17. Colonial Weka 19

    Thinking about Chch, and affordable housing, there was a good interview on RNZ this morning with Michael Reynolds of Earthship fame. He will be in Chch in a few weeks doing talks and running workshops.

    One of the interesting snippets in the interview was his team has gotten solar power installation down from $US30,000 to $US1,000 per house. That’s survival level (pumps, LED lights, cell ph and latop charging), and he acknowledges in reality the cost will sit somewhere in between, but the reason for the top end pricing is regulations not the actual necessity of the household. And that’s off-grid, so once built the house has exceptionally low running costs (passive heating technology is used too).

    It’s a problem in NZ that anyone wanting to build out of the ordinary housing, and this includes both cheaper houses and green houses, faces increased costs to do with regulation. Councils are now so bound up in the post-leaky homes fall out that innovation is being stiffled. Instead we should be encouraging people developing new low end technologies, and regulations should acknowledge the role of the owner/builder – probably by creating exemptions on some consents where the building won’t be sold, or will be sold ‘as is’.

    Certainly a special category should be created for owners post-disaster, so that they can create short and medium term (temporary) housing where restoration of dwellings is expected to take a long time. This doesn’t mean a free-for-all, people would still be expected to build safe buildings, but it would create a system where skilled people can take responsibility for their own housing security in situations where society is failing them.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 19.1

      $1K US is pretty impressive. The other day I came across a solar powered tent on FB which I thought would be a good idea to have (I’m told that you aren’t allowed off grid, you have to be connected if it can reach you – why?)

      • Colonial Weka 19.1.1

        Baseline services (power, mains supply water, sewerage) are considered essential. I would guess this is to maintain a certain standard of living in NZ, but I would be interested to know how big a part industry played in drafting those regs.

        However whenever you hear someone saying ‘you can’t’, it pays to dig deeper. Council inspectors often say no, not because the thing is illegal, but because it’s outside of their scope. If the builder/owner/architect can prove that a thing is safe, long lasting etc then often it is allowable. That process can be very expensive though, hence my comment about innovation being stifled.

        I had to look up the grid connection thing, but it looks like it is not compulsory. I would guess that the actual regulations stipulate a certain standard of safety around electrical installation, but there is latitude in what gets installed (in the US it is more regulated).

        As an aside this looks a bit alarming

        “Future supply changes

        At present, all domestic consumers are charged a standard line charge. It is proposed that, in 2013, lines companies may no longer be legally required to supply power to lines they consider to be uneconomic. They may also be able to charge substantially higher line charges to some customers, which may affect the economics of supply considerably. However, this policy is currently under review and may change.

        The uncertainty of supply may have an impact on design considerations regarding whether to opt for a grid connection or to design a stand-alone energy system.”

        I assume they’re talking about remote rural areas there (and companies already charge higher line charges in smaller places), but the way it’s written there, it looks pretty dodgy.

        • DH

          “I had to look up the grid connection thing, but it looks like it is not compulsory. I would guess that the actual regulations stipulate a certain standard of safety around electrical installation, but there is latitude in what gets installed (in the US it is more regulated).”

          Grid connect isn’t that complicated or expensive and there’s no regulatory issues except the usual electrical stuff. AS/NZS 5033:2005 covers the installation of solar arrays and AS/NZS 3000 covers the wiring.

          New buildings might need some approval, not sure there, but existing dwellings don’t as a rule. Installation will get a bit more expensive with the new addendum to NZS5033 they’re bringing in for solar arrays but it shouldn’t be that much more.

          Solar panels and efficient water heating combined is the best approach. I know a site that installed 2.4kw of panels on a grid-tie and the new heat-exchange water cylinder. His last power bill was about $10 and the one before he got a cheque in the mail. His payback time is about 3-4yrs but he did get the equipment at a good price & did the install himself. The hot water cylinder is probably his best power saver, LED lighting also saves a bit.

          Biggest uncertainty is the power providers. Meridian are canning their 1:1 all you can eat feed-in tariff and limiting it to a max of 5kw/hr daily at 1:1 after which they pay 10c unit, makes larger grid-tie systems a bit less economic but still worth considering.

          • Colonial Viper

            Watch out for this bad trend from Europe:

            All across Europe, feed-in tariffs and subsidies for solar power are being cut or even scrapped. In Portugal and Spain, these actions are justified with the debt crisis, even though they expand these states’ trade deficit. This month the Spanish government took a decisive move to scare investors away and expel most renewable energies from the electric grid, particularly solar.


            • Draco T Bastard

              I suspect that such moves are being driven from behind the scenes. The people who make a profit from non-renewables are starting to get frightened.

            • DH

              Yeah it is a bit of a worry but not so much in NZ. Overseas the feed-in tariffs were heavily subsidised. In Aus they were buying back power for double what they were selling it for, it clearly couldn’t last forever and the new rates are about half what they charge for power. NZ has no subsidies that can be cut and the power companies have to pay around wholesale price for feed-in which is around 10c unit.

              I’m against asset sales but I will say that I think the power companies don’t have a bright future on the sharemarket. They’re slowly but surely pricing themselves out of the market. Power might keep going up in price but alternate energy isn’t. It’s been constantly falling in price and likely will continue to do so.

          • Colonial Weka

            “Grid connect isn’t that complicated or expensive and there’s no regulatory issues except the usual electrical stuff.”

            So can someone build a house in a suburb with a low usage 12V system and no connection to the grid? When you say not expensive, how relative is that to Reynolds’ $US1,000 solar install price?

            Anyone thinking seriously about future-proofing needs their electricity to work without the grid, irrespective of whether they choose grid-tied or now.

            • Colonial Viper

              You’ll need a solar thermal installation as well, for hot water. Also if you are totally off-grid you are going to need storage batteries. And probably gas for cooking (very hard to escape fossil fuels…)

              • Colonial Weka

                Lots of very cool energy efficient cooking technologies that need to make the jump from fringe to mainstream. But yeah, fossil fuels… we should really be saving them for the most important stuff. I’ve not looked at this, but is lpg a straight swap to biogas, or does something else need to happen in between?

                I’m hoping we get our shit together together to improve battery tech while we still can, but I think in the long run we have to give up this idea that we can have as much electricity as we want, when we want it (anyone off grid already knows this).

                • Colonial Viper

                  We may be running up against limitations in battery development that cannot be solved without quantum level breakthroughs – mega money has been poured into the development of cellphone batteries and in 15 years we’ve gone from slightly larger 1250 mAh batteries to slightly smaller 1800 mAh batteries.

                  That’s a 50% increase when what we really needed in that timeframe was a 1000% increase.

                  I personally do not think that any massive improvement in mass-market batteries will become available (specialist and military use batteries aside).

                  I’ve not looked at this, but is lpg a straight swap to biogas, or does something else need to happen in between?

                  Not sure, to be honest. I’m guessing that the highly variable nature of different biogas sources will have some impact.

                  specific energy, burn temp, ignition temp etc.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I personally do not think that any massive improvement in mass-market batteries will become available (specialist and military use batteries aside).

                    You missed this comment from Pascal’s Bookie? Thin super-capacitors that presently have the same density as modern batteries but can be charged a whole lot faster and are probably also cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      Maybe. I’d like to see a presentation that had a bit more of a critique of the science and potential applications (we’re going to be able to compost graphene batteries? Come on.)

            • DH

              The Reynolds system has to be based on an extremely low power usage, it’s not possible for the typical household. You just can’t get household quantity power for that sort of money, even at todays low prices you’d have to budget up to $10k or more for a small household to be close to self-sufficient in power.

              Off-grid systems aren’t economic in the cities because the batteries cost too much. They’re economic in some of the high cost areas like King country that have very high lines charges, but in most places they cost more than mains power.

              • Colonial Weka

                DH, I think you might have missed the point of my original comment. Reynolds is talking about multiple systems in his houses that reduce the need for power eg the heating portion of a passive house is tiny compared to a typical household. I’m taking it that your figures are based on a typical modern kiwi build, that isn’t that energy efficient relative to Earthships.

                Plus he (and I) are saying to use less power anyway. We don’t NEED anything like the amount of power we use currently. So households could reduce power usage markedly, and will have to in the future anyway. My comments here are in that context, not in the context of continued growth and using whatever we want when we want.

                • DH

                  There isn’t really that much genuine savings in an energy efficient house. You use less power and the cost amortisation of the energy saving appliances takes the cost back up again. The biggest saving I’ve seen is efficient water heating using a heat pump, hot water makes up the largest part of the typical bill so if you can knock that off you’re well on the way.

                  I’d think a large part of Reynolds $30k – $1k is simply the fact he’s discovered how much the price of solar panels has fallen over the last couple of years. Ten years ago you’d pay over $700 for a 100watt panel. I can land one for under $100 now.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    There isn’t really that much genuine savings in an energy efficient house.

                    [citation needed]

                    You use less power and the cost amortisation of the energy saving appliances takes the cost back up again.

                    It’s not about money – especially the way money works today. It’s about actual physical use and available physical resources. Not using the resources is always better than using them.

                    • DH

                      Get real. It’s always about money. I’ve had over 20years dealing with the general public and the one thing you learn is they’re tighter than the proverbial Scotsman. When it comes to prising open that wallet you’ll find they’re suddenly not so green after all.

                    • Colonial Weka

                      Most people I know who go down the solar route do so for futureproofing reasons, personal and/or societal. The whole point of this conversation was to talk about making that choice more available to people without much money. If you only know people that spend tens of thousands of dollars on solar, and want a complete replacement for a conventional grid tied house, then that says more about you than anything.

                      I’m sure you are very knowledgable in your field, but you don’t appear to know much about energy efficient/passive housing. Draco asked for a citation that there are not really any genuine savings to be made from passive technologies. It’s a fair request. And bear in mind that most other people in this conversation value things in addition to money.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      It’s always about money.

                      Under the current monetary system but the current monetary system uses up resources as if there’s no tomorrow. It is, quite simply, unsustainable.

                      When it comes down to being sustainable it’s about how much resources we use. This will probably mean more regulation to bring about correct pricing so that what is cheap but unsustainable becomes expensive.

                    • DH

                      “The whole point of this conversation was to talk about making that choice more available to people without much money. If you only know people that spend tens of thousands of dollars on solar, and want a complete replacement for a conventional grid tied house, then that says more about you than anything.”

                      We’re at cross purposes here. My work on solar & energy saving has been all about people on low incomes. Every household spends tens of thousands of dollars on power, the typical bill these days would be up around $200 a month. That’s $2400 a year, solar panels last more than 20 years and 20yrs worth of power will cost most people over $60,000 if we include the regular price increases. Many will pay double that.

                      If we can get the Govt assisting low income people into $60,000 worth of power for only $10k then we’d be helping them rather a lot wouldn’t we.

                      Reynolds earthship is more than just a passive house, that includes the likes of sewage and recycled materials. The electrical regulations he complained about don’t really apply here, in NZ it’s the building regs that wouldn’t fly especially in ChCh. So when we talk about passive houses I’m assuming we’re talking about the common passive house which revolves around insulation and heating with standard plumbing and compliant with building codes

                      Passive houses cost more to build, things like double glazing aren’t free. Every $1000 you spend on a house adds around $75 annually to the mortgage. So you’d need to save $75 worth of power each year to break even for every $1k extra the passive house cost to build. At city prices $75 is about what a refrigerator uses, around 340 Kw/hrs or nearly 1kw/hr per day. Some of the numbers add up, some don’t.

                      A large part of the energy business is about basic maths; you have to crunch the numbers. The Chatham Islanders found that out to their extreme cost.

              • geoff

                Hey guys the idea that we should all be installing our own electricity generators, instead of working to break up the grid cartel, strikes me as really wasteful.

                There is a glut of electricity on the wholesale market right now and possibly there will be much much more if Rio Tinto pulls out of NZ.

                Quite literally we gotta take the power back!

                • Colonial Viper

                  This too.

                  • Addison

                    Just built a fairly energy efficient house. Biggest savings were 1, passive heating, lots of glass facing north and foam insulated concrete floor. Cost about an extra 3k o. Build. 2, Solar water heating. Cost about 5k. Total cost about 77 k and savings work out at $150 PM. generally summer and winter we have to open windows by 10 in the morning and heating goes on on non sunny days in winter. My mistake was underestimating the efficiency of those two things. Anyone want to buy a secondhand heat pump hardly used!

    • Colonial Viper 19.2

      CW: +1

      We need ways to simplify home design and construction to lower energy costs. Once a threshold of fundamental water tightness, safety and energy efficiency has been reached, people should be allowed to innovate and improvise.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.3

      Councils are now so bound up in the post-leaky homes fall out that innovation is being stiffled.

      Regulation should be driving innovation, if it’s suppressing it then somethings wrong either with the regulation or the people who are supposed to be innovating not doing so. I suspect the latter.

      Making the Passive House Standard mandatory on all new buildings should drive innovation in producing the cheaper house to that standard. Still, we also need regulations on the building materials to ensure that they’re up to to the job. This is likely to cause some delay in getting new developments into the industry.

      probably by creating exemptions on some consents where the building won’t be sold, or will be sold ‘as is’.

      Nope because if you do that then everyone will try for the exemptions and then we’ll just get another leaky building disaster down the road.

      Certainly a special category should be created for owners post-disaster, so that they can create short and medium term (temporary) housing where restoration of dwellings is expected to take a long time.

      Cheap, portable buildings – we’ve had them for decades.

      …but it would create a system where skilled people can take responsibility for their own housing security in situations where society is failing them.

      The average run of the mill person hasn’t got a hope in building a livable house – DIY is a bad idea. What we need to be doing is finding out why the skilled people aren’t queuing up to rebuild Chch. I suspect it has to do with the insurance companies, EQC included, trying really hard to keep prices down. Quite simply, the builders outside of Chch aren’t being offered enough to temporarily move to Chch to rebuild it. They’re not even being offered enough to cover accommodation in Chch never mind to also keep the house that they own elsewhere. Basically, they’re in a position that, if they take the jobs to rebuild Chch, they’ll lose everything and when that’s true there’s not a lot of incentive.

      • Colonial Weka 19.3.1

        “Regulation should be driving innovation, if it’s suppressing it then somethings wrong either with the regulation or the people who are supposed to be innovating not doing so. I suspect the latter.”

        What is your suspicion based on? Try talking to owner/builders esp ones doing things like strawbale and mudearth. Some councils are better/worse than others too. Watch Reynolds’ doco. Then listen to the Kim Hill interview where he talks about how the Attorney General who initially tried to prosecute him ended up helping to get the laws changed. But it took him years of fighting. Imagine if he had been supported instead.

        “Still, we also need regulations on the building materials to ensure that they’re up to to the job.”

        Nope. If someone can come up with a way of making houses safely out of car tyres or chicken wire, then they should be allowed to. You don’t regulate the material, you regulate the standard of safety (eg won’t leak, won’t fall down in an earthquake).

        “”probably by creating exemptions on some consents where the building won’t be sold, or will be sold ‘as is’.”

        Nope because if you do that then everyone will try for the exemptions and then we’ll just get another leaky building disaster down the road.”

        You missed the point. You don’t exempt individuals, you exempt by classification. eg the house will have to be sold ‘as is’. This reduces the resale value of the house hugely, which limits the people wanting to do this. But it supports people who are willing to live in a house that’s been built out of tyres. Or who needs a building to live in for 5 years while their long term house is built (happens already under the radar alot in NZ).

        Such buildings would still need to have standards. And leaky-buildings didn’t happen because of lax regulations, they happened because of sharks in the industry. Better to regulate the sharks than limit what honest people can do.

        “The average run of the mill person hasn’t got a hope in building a livable house – DIY is a bad idea.”

        We obviously move in different circles. And I’m not talking about any old person being able to build their own house, although I think that building houses is alot easier than you do. Historically, ordinary (run of the mill) people assisted in building the homes they lived in. My father built his first house in the 50s working alongside a qualified builder. Dad had ‘ordinary’ carpentry skills that he learnt growing up. Many people in NZ play major roles in building their own home (am guessing you’re not familiar with what owner/builders do), some within regs, some outside.

        Sure, the other things you talk about need to happen too. But people like Reynolds would have had many in Chch rehoused by now if they’d been allowed.

        The skills needed to build a house need to stay with lay people as well as professionals. It’s the professionals that created leak-building syndrome, and it’s the professionals that have made building houses harder as a result. Owner/builders aren’t responsible for leaky-homes.

        In the approaching crises (PO, CC, GFC etc) we need people with hands-on skills, and we need to preserve those skills now, by supporting the people who want to learn them and use them in their own lives.

        • Draco T Bastard

          If someone can come up with a way of making houses safely out of car tyres or chicken wire, then they should be allowed to. You don’t regulate the material, you regulate the standard of safety (eg won’t leak, won’t fall down in an earthquake).

          Yeah, that’s what I meant but I don’t think you just allow people to go out and build houses out of anything they think is a good idea. You have it so that they prove that it’s a good idea first, secondary testing by the government and then let it be used throughout the industry.

          You missed the point. You don’t exempt individuals, you exempt by classification. eg the house will have to be sold ‘as is’.

          No, it won’t. It will start a boom in really cheap and nasty houses that we’ll be paying for for decades because of the present shortage of cheap housing. It’ll make the leaky house scandal seem like a day at Sunday School.

          Such buildings would still need to have standards. And leaky-buildings didn’t happen because of lax regulations, they happened because of sharks in the industry.

          They happened both because of the sharks in the industry and the fact that the regulating body had the industry on it.

          (am guessing you’re not familiar with what owner/builders do)

          My brother-in-law built his house and generally it’s a well built house but, then, he’s an engineer. My brother, on the other hand, has been renovating his and what he’s done is absolute crap.

          It’s the professionals that created leak-building syndrome, and it’s the professionals that have made building houses harder as a result.

          Yes and no. Yes, some of the professionals, usually the ones at the top, were the ones that caused the problem but others would have been building good houses. The problem, which the leaky homes has shown, is that the people who caused the problem aren’t being held to account and are probably still building shonky houses and it doesn’t help that the people hiring are doing it on cost – the cheaper quote gets the job and the quote is, more often than not, far too low to actually do the job.

          • Colonial Weka

            “No, it won’t. It will start a boom in really cheap and nasty houses that we’ll be paying for for decades because of the present shortage of cheap housing. It’ll make the leaky house scandal seem like a day at Sunday School.”

            Why nasty houses?

            It wouldn’t be that hard to build accountability and limits into the system eg you can only build one such house a decade. And you can’t sell within a certain time frame. That takes out the people wanting to make money.

            We’re talking about owner/builders remember, so no developers, or professional builders wanting to make a quick buck. And the point is to support people doing innovative work (you still haven’t answered my question about your suspicions), or those in urgent need for short/medium term housing (Chch). And I think you missed the bit about there still needing to be standards.

            btw, I know people that live in really cheap houses. You might call them nasty houses, but I and the occupants don’t. But they’re not houses that fit well into the capitalist model of asset ownership – they can’t be sold for much money and they don’t appreciate in value over time. But they allow people to live in their own place, and often they mean that people can live on successfully on low incomes, which increases quality of life.

            • Draco T Bastard

              At which point there was no reason for the exception. A one off unit isn’t worthwhile. What we need is research and development into better building materials that can then be rolled out across the industry.

              And the point is to support people doing innovative work

              I’m not against supporting innovation – I just want it to be innovation that is proven rather than people going off on half-arsed ideas that don’t actually work.

              I know people that live in really cheap houses. You might call them nasty houses,


  18. Mary 20

    If 70% of people are against Nact’s policy of selling the power companies and Air NZ then maybe Shearer would get good traction by announcing he’d buy them back, especially now that the grubby detail like the Aussie float is about to come out – the lifting of the 49% will no doubt be next. The only trouble, though, is that Labour’s track-record tells us they’d be likely to do a u-turn after it won the election and keep them in whose ever hands they end up in. If Shearer had a backbone he’d use this opportunity to start trying to convince us Labour’s changed. 70% support points to this being the perfect issue to use to begin rebuilding the trust and confidence that Labour lost a long long time ago. But again, I keep forgetting Shearer and Labour do not have backbone.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      Bring Back the Backbone Club

    • DH 20.2

      “If 70% of people are against Nact’s policy of selling the power companies and Air NZ then maybe Shearer would get good traction by announcing he’d buy them back”

      If Shearer really wanted to piss off the sharemarket he’d be better off doing a deal with one of the big solar panel manufacturers and then offering installs to every home & business owner. Wouldn’t even have to subsidise it, just pass the packages on at cost plus about 10% to cover expenses & people could add it to their mortgage.

      If people could buy solar systems at today’s ex-factory bulk prices their power bill would be less than half what they’re paying now. That would really cut into the power company’s profits & bring their share prices down. Then we could buy them back.

      • Mary 20.2.1

        “If Shearer really wanted to piss off the sharemarket he’d be better off doing a deal with one of the big solar panel manufacturers and then offering installs to every home & business owner.”

        The two aren’t mutually exclusive, and the buy-back would be primarily for New Zealanders (although pissing the share market off would be fun).

      • Addison 20.2.2

        What’s the point in buying them Back! Your cunning plan just stuffed their profits and their future, great idea! Not!

        • McFlock

          So you see no point to government owning and running essential infrastructure other than revenue?

  19. Someone in Labour did publicly state he’d consider buying back any assets sold…..Cunliffe. But the Labour Caucus don’t want him and wider the wider LP heirachy and Council are too weak to act as a check and balance. Go Labour! Go down the toilet!

  20. gobsmacked 22

    In one (reported) sentence, Trevor Mallard demonstrates perfectly why he should be put out to pasture …

    “Mr Mallard believed that the anonymous invective against on social media was either National Party sourced or from people who belonged to Labour 20 years ago.”

    (Audrey Young, Herald).

    Now this is so obviously not true, that it beggars belief that Trevor could say it. Yes, of course there are Nat trolls, as well as critics well to the left of Labour. But there are also many, many Labour voters and members who are unhappy, and they are saying so. Either Trevor doesn’t know this (in which case he is woefully out of touch), or he does know it and pretends not to.

    Or he was misquoted by the Herald and will be correcting this any minute now? We can only hope.

    • rosy 23.1

      Powerful stuff about the everyday tragedy. Really, if people wanted to reduce healthcare costs, solo parents, social security costs, disturbed children, teen parenting, teen crime, prison costs and a host of other social ills they’d be marching in the streets to change the ills that lead to domestic violence. As this photo essay shows it’s not just an ‘individual choice’ to be an abuser or a victim it’s a whole heap of social, cultural and economic factors.

      Saw this essay on gender violence in Sweden on Euronews yesterday too.

    • QoT 23.2

      Yeah, that whole story kinda squicks me. I blogged about it. (Hopefully the link displays, I’ve been having a problem with that). I simply don’t buy the idea that a photo-essay like this is groundbreaking or going to be so effective that it outweighs the fact she let a small child watch her mum get choked by her partner.

  21. millsy 24


    Do you support publily funded health care?
    How much do you pay your workers?
    Would you sack your workers if they took a sick day?
    Would you sack your workers if they joined a union? I bet you would. You nasty fascist cunt. You should have your head kicked in for that.

    Im sick of people who want to lock up unionists and bring back slavery. They derserve to be strung up with piano wire.

    • Addison 24.1

      Will you be wearing your brown shirt and your facist supplied jackboots when you do that. I thought this was a forum with a bit of decorum! Good behavior and insults only a problem if you are not from the left it seems.

      • Colonial Viper 24.1.1

        What a dickhead

        If you remember, it was Thatcher who sent in the military and the riot police against ordinary workers and their families

        Tory Jackboot thugs

        Why ask for politeness and manners? You deserve none. In fact, you’re the rudest and ungrateful of them all.

        • Blue

          Lay off Addison. He is here, in NZ, rather than his right-wing, Thatcher-reformed paradise in the UK.

          Ol’ Addy voted with his feet and chose a country considerably more left-wing than his birthplace to make his home.

          The fact that he’s now trying to create the sort of mess he left behind is testament to his stupidity.

          • Addison

            Yes but I left in 1998 not 1990 when Thacher left Downing Street. It was then a socialist paradise and well on the sloppy slope.

            • mickysavage

              Yep that Tony Blair. He was a real socialist, nationalised all sorts of industries, taxed the wealthy more, refused to support the Americans in invading Iraq …

              • Addison

                Mickey, not saying Blair was a socialist, he was a lawyer after all! But it seems the more left you go the less chance of growth. It’s interesting that old Labour died nothing replaced it. I. The UK you have center right and left of center right? Why do you think there is ne left anymore?

                • So Addison I thought that you were really thick and some old codger who strayed onto the site and wanted to have a moan. Your last statement shows that you are a troll.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Well, that must the first time I’ver ever heard the Blair administration described as socilalist, Addison. You do know what the word means, don’t you? Still, funny that you should leave in 1998, when Blair had only been in office a few months. Perhaps the sloppy slope socialist paradise you were fleeing was John Major’s government. Oh, yes!

            • millsy

              Why didnt you go to China?

              Sweatshops, no labour or environmental standards, unionists getting locked up, poverty everywhere, etc.

              • Colonial Viper

                The dickhead hyprocite Addison decided that he would like to settle somewhere in his older years where there was good socialised medicine and infrastructure/services provided for older people.

                • He is having us on CV. He is a tr0ll.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Heh 🙂

                    I’ll have a fine stout in honour of you and your courageous LEC tonight.

                  • Addison

                    Mickey sorry, wrong again! Just have an interest in debate and politics. PS there is no left anymore, certainly not in NZ or UK politics. Ever ask yourself why?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Addison says there is no Left any more and voila! Just like that, it is so. *GROAN*

                    • Addison

                      So CV you tell me how many in the beehive are true socialists, or failing that to the left.

                    • Um there are no socialists in the Beehive Addison, National and John Key are in control …

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No more socialists Addison? Then your job is done! Thxbye!

                    • prism

                      I’m sick of your coy questions.
                      PS there is no left anymore, certainly not in NZ or UK politics. Ever ask yourself why?

                      So explain why this is in some depth, instead of dropping knowing hints.

              • Foreign Waka

                Are you drunk? You come up with statements that seem to be plucked out of thin air…

                • Addison

                  I meant of course no more socialists in parliament, in the uk or NZ. Where are the likes of Foot and Tony Benn in the uk. I can’t think of anyone in the labour caucus who is seriously Left. Hellen Kelly, one in waiting but that’s all. I am not that knowledgable on the bottom end of Labours list so will stand corrected.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Wow more political insight, that the whole of politics has shifted to the Right over the last few decades, to where neoliberalism is the mainstream.

                    You should really charge for this shit mate, it’s political analysis gold.

    • Addison 24.2

      Where oh where did I say , bring back slavery. What you don’t understand milsey honey bunch is that workers unsuccessful businesses do well. I am no longer in business but my son is and do you know what that right wing pig only pays his workers $600 a day! What a disgrace. Now his business still makes a profit, $ 30 ooo last month alone. Why don’t we get him and put those 8 workers back on the dole, we could that would be one more rich prick gone and 8 more on benefit, the socialist paradise.

      • Te Reo Putake 24.2.1

        “$600 a day!”

        Binders full of women!

        “put those 8 workers back on the dole,”

        Your son got workers via WINZ and paid them $150k pa? For reals?

        “$ 30 ooo last month alone.”

        The answer’s obvious, sack your son and hire two more of those $150k interns. Nett result; one less person on the dole.

    • Addison 24.3

      In answer to your questions:yes,I don’t, I am a pensioner,no,no. That satisfy you or do you just want to kill all those who don’t agree with you!

  22. Addison 25

    What have I said that’s rude?I see from your comment that you support civil disobedience. You support workers being stopped at factory gates where there is no dispute by miners who are not looking for more safety or better conditions just more money. They did a shitty job I agree but I used to spend a lot of time around south Wales and most ex miners I spoke to hated Scargill for what happened to mining. They stayed on strike just long enough to see the mines flood beyond recovery. UK car industry, once a great industry where is it now. My entire family uncle aunts etc all Clyde shipbuilders another industry screwed by constant union fighting. All these well paid jobs priced out of the market!

    • Te Reo Putake 25.1

      Help me Jebus!

      “and most ex miners I spoke to hated Scargill for what happened to mining”

      The strike started when Thatcher ordered the closure of 20 pits. The miners went on strike to protect their jobs, so if your ‘ex-miner’ mates reckon the decline of mining in the UK was Scargill’s fault, they’re as ignorant as you, Addison.

    • I think it can be said with some confidence that Addison is not a Crosby Textor plant.

  23. Addison 26

    And exactly haw am I as a pensioner doing harm to NZs economy. My UK pension is paid to the nz government who then pay me an NZ pension. I have pension from previous empoyment that I pay tax on. So I just enjoy a quiet life walking in NZs wonderful landscape and sailing on it’s pristine waters.

  24. Melli 27

    Now wait one cotton picking minute… I have seen people who have been banned ( for life in one recent case) for using far less threatening language than Millsy has in this thread. Where hell is Millsys ban moderator? Or is it only right wingers who get banned on here, for even the feeblest reasons…

    [lprent: The reasons are listed in the policy. The section that applies is about “pointless abuse” because he offered no *direct* abuse. So he got warned rather than banned. You of course are buying into the into a. of being a lawyer b. telling moderators what to do. Care to comment?

  25. Anne 28

    A fantastic speech by David Cunliffe. For anyone who grew up in the shadow of… or have wonderful memories of trekking through parts of the Waitakere ranges… or more importantly care about out most famous native tree, the Kauri tree, then this is a must read. He posted it on Red Alert but nobody has chosen to comment. Not surprising.

    • Anne 28.1

      Damm… it’s our most famous tree.

    • karol 28.2

      Greg Presland, who Cunliffe mentions in his speech, did a guest post on TS on it recently. in the comments, Presland linked to Cunliffe’s RA post on the meeting.

    • Draco T Bastard 28.3

      He posted it on Red Alert but nobody has chosen to comment. Not surprising.

      Does anybody even bother to read RA any more? I know I don’t.

  26. Murray Olsen 30

    I find Millsy’s internet threats quite repugnant. As much as I loathe capitalism and despise its advocates, physically threatening them on an internet blog is ridiculous. That sort of empty crap is best left to WhaleSpew’s vile army of malcontents and viagra users. My first instinct whenever I see these sorts of threats in a left wing environment is to wonder if we have an agent provocateur and who is paying them. We don’t need it.

  27. Addison 31

    Murray, the trouble is with hating capitalists is that despite there being not much trickledown effect of wealth, there has been a trickle down effect of capitalism. Even here it’s about house ownership not about cheap affordable renting. Humans sadly have a gene that wants them to do better for their kids, not the next generation of humanity, but the next generation of them! Look at the Asians hard workers, education oriented, family oriented but all aimed at their kids having it better. You despise that sort of capitalism you despise a lot of workers.

    • Colonial Viper 31.1

      Many of the major flaws in capitalism are those which inherently boost the position of financial capital, and undermine the economic leverage of labour.

    • Colonial Viper 31.2

      First time I’ve heard the notion that capitalism is genetic. Idiotic.

    • Murray Olsen 31.3

      Your argument is like saying that because I hate cancer I must hate cancer patients. Capitalism is a cancer on our planet. It is unable to meet the challenges we are facing, but acts to accelerate the problems.
      You say it’s about house ownership. I say house ownership is a con job and this is shown by the decreasing percentage of people who are able to own a house. The people who are paying half or more of their wages in rent would no doubt welcome affordable housing without ownership. I don’t despise them, I despise those who lobby the government to not build houses when they themselves own several. I despise governments who think that opening up more land for developers and money lenders to profit from is an answer to anything. In the end, their kids won’t have it better. In fact, because so much of their self esteem is bound up in how big their car is, or how many yachts they have, they’ll have it worse once global heating and energy shortages push us all into survival mode.

  28. Addison 32

    You don’t think the wil, to strive is genetic, it is in every animal on the plan net, humans included? If wilder beast sat all day on their arses instead of getting on their 4 feet and migrating ever year there would be a lot less wilder beast. And yes I think a lot of parents so called greed is a desire to set up their kids to have a better life. I personally don’t think that’s bad but could be construed as greed because they don’t work so hard to do the same for everyone’s kids. That said I have never seen the docks union go on strike to improve the lot of teachers or nurses! Or to get better conditioned for old buddies in nursing homes, are they not selfish too!

    • Pascal's bookie 32.1

      used to happen, but sympathy strikes have been illegal for quite some many years.

      • Arfamo 32.1.1

        Addison’s point is lost on me here. Unions came into existence to fight for improved pay and conditions from ruthlessly exploitative employers for their own members. Employers organisations do their best to ensure employers continue to make as much personal profit from their enterprises as possible. Political parties offer voters choices as to how those competing imperatives should be managed. Whichever parties delivers the best and most memorable lines in competing bullshit seem to be the ones that get elected. Jo public has no idea what’s really going on half the time.

  29. Arfamo 33

    Capitalism has its place. It needs to be controlled. Unregulated capitalism and free markets are invariably unstable and destructive to national economies. The galling irony is the banks and finance houses that are the most public face of the free markets ended up with their reputations and financial affairs in tatters, and in being rescued and guaranteed by taxpayers because we were told that allowing them to collapse would’ve wrecked national economies.

  30. vto 34

    Addison, why did you come to New Zealand?

    Was it just to listen to talkback radio?

    • Rogue Trooper 34.1


    • Murray Olsen 34.2

      He probably rings them a fair bit as well. He has such great stories to tell; about how we should emulate the mighty wildebeest, the greedy unions, and capitalism as biological imperative. Feudalism obviously was as well, but God must have changed her mind and decided to try something else.
      It’s also possible that he needed more space for his life-size Maggie Thatcher doll collection than he could afford back in Blighty.

    • Addison 34.3

      No don’t do that. But what I miss most is pub life. Where a bunch of blocks having had a few beers can sort all the worlds problems from wither the USA should go to war to selecting the England rugby team.. I was hoping this blogg offered that sort of discussion. At least in th pub I was never offered violence, thanks moderator for making sure I have a week free of such ugliness.

  31. Arfamo 35

    The best system is probably still some form regulated capitalism. What we used to have. The old ways of redressing gross power and wealth imbalances (riots, pitchforks, tumbrils and guillotines) have fallen out of favour.

    • Colonial Viper 35.1

      Capitalism seeks maximum financial return on capital. In a finite world, that model of exponential quantiative growth is not sustainable.

      • Arfamo 35.1.1

        That’s true, but it’s also true that it’s good at spotting and developing products and markets, and innovations. It works well for that. But the ruthlessness of business needs to be constrained by governments and the benefits of it for those who use it to enrich themselves and employ others to help enrich them can be harnessed. IMO that’s how social democracies should operate.

    • Draco T Bastard 35.2

      The old ways of redressing gross power and wealth imbalances (riots, pitchforks, tumbrils and guillotines) have fallen out of favour.

      Well, you know, fashion comes and goes 😈

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    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    6 days ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    6 days ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    6 days ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    6 days ago
  • Finalists of Ahuwhenua Trophy announced
    Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the two finalists for this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy at Parliament yesterday.  “I am pleased to see such a high calibre of Māori dairy farms featured as finalists this year,” Mr Potaka says. The finalists for 2024 are: Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani Whakatōhea Māori Trust ...
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
    7 days ago
  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    1 week ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    1 week ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    1 week ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    1 week ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    2 weeks ago

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