Open Mike 12/02/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 12th, 2017 - 53 comments
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53 comments on “Open Mike 12/02/2017”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    Very good article by Rob Stock on housing afforability:

    Nails shonkey

    Speaking in 2007 Key when he was bidding for power, Key told the electorate: “Housing affordability is a big deal. It used to be the Kiwi dream that every New Zealander would be able to buy the house, the quarter acre pavlova paradise and that dream is diminishing.”

    Key was “very optimistic” that National, if voted into power, could make a difference. Then the median house in Auckland was selling for just over six times the median household income.

    Ten years later progress has been “by and large, extremely muddled and slow”, says Pavletich.

    “In many ways Labour is more advanced than the government on these issues.”

    Stock provides a link and refers to the Briefing Paper on the issue. That shows the value of solid, and concise articles on issues, that will maybe only be read by a minority. But it is a source journalists are likely to read and possibly draw on occasionally.

    I think the comparison between the main parties totally ignores Green Party policies on state housing.

    • Adrian Thornton 1.1

      @Carolyn_nth, while it is a pretty good piece, it only shows the lack of long term vision from all parties to deal with the obscene specter of commodified housing, which is ripping community cohesion and the country apart.
      “Restoring the ability of young New Zealanders to buy a home is being tipped as a defining issue of the upcoming general election”. You see the obvious class war in that sentence? media commentators and politicians can only get their head around housing affordability if affects their own children/grandchildren, what about the 100,000’s of adult workers who have effectively been shut out?
      Class war is so normalized now that it not seen for what it is, even on a left wing forum.

      No mention that Labours housing plans have no plan built into them to protect the whole strata of workers in jobs like , cleaners, elderly care workers, factory workers etc, where the average wage is around 32-35,000 P/A, so can’t afford to buy into Labours affordable housing scheme, there by consigned to life of renting, with no long term security…no it seem that Labour really are what they profess they wanted to be, the party of the centre (exclusively)…….what about a real living wage for these workers now (and not some fantasy future) and higher interest rates for the little money these workers can save?
      Where is Labour on that conversation?

      • Molly 1.1.1

        ” You see the obvious class war in that sentence? media commentators and politicians can only get their head around housing affordability if affects their own children/grandchildren, what about the 100,000’s of adult workers who have effectively been shut out?”
        Agree with you there Adrian.

        The “affordability” – approach to housing misses the most important aspect to providing everyone with secure, healthy, really affordable homes (owned or rented) in non-transient connected communities.

        The value of that approach to housing impacts on many aspects of our lives: health, education, work-life balance, community etc.

        All the issues you relate in your last paragraph are pertinent to a long-term solution.

        • AB 1.1.1.1

          “really affordable homes (owned or rented) in non-transient connected communities.”
          A good friend of mine with multiple rentals (not in Auckland) likes to argue that we don’t need a culture of home ownership, that lifelong renting is fine provided there is some security of tenancy
          It’s fine in theory – but in low-wage NZ, with few alternative investment vehicles that are not scams, lifelong renting is a recipe (in most cases) for lifelong poverty and a desperate old age. Whereas owning houses is a recipe for wealth and a comfortable retirement because the tax situation so favours this form of unearned income from capital.
          Before we can have lifelong renting in NZ there are some fundamentals to be fixed.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1

            A good friend of mine with multiple rentals (not in Auckland) likes to argue that we don’t need a culture of home ownership, that lifelong renting is fine provided there is some security of tenancy

            Yep, people like that love the idea of long term rentals as they get to bludge off of other people securely.

            Whereas owning houses is a recipe for wealth and a comfortable retirement because the tax situation so favours this form of unearned income from capital.

            For a few people. I think you’ll find that the majority still end up in poverty. In fact, that seems to be a major issue with old people not being able to afford power for heating, not being able to afford food, etcetera.

            Private home ownership is a recipe for poverty as the few who own the homes bludge off of the rest of the population.

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I think you’ll find that the majority still end up in poverty. In fact, that seems to be a major issue with old people not being able to afford power for heating, not being able to afford food, etcetera.

              Actually, the majority of people age 65+ are not below the poverty line, although there is some veriation by type of housing tenure Table G.7b.

      • Sacha 1.1.2

        “the lack of long term vision from all parties to deal with the obscene specter of commodified housing”

        Not ‘all’ parties. Didn’t the Greens get slagged for promising exactly that? – to act to reduce house prices over a decade, to fix the tax/finance incentives that make houses an investment rather than a place to live, and to strongly regulate rentals to provide an option for people who will never afford to buy.

        • Antoine 1.1.2.1

          Yep. Is not very popular with the electorate. Homeowners vote, and don’t want the market value of their house reduced

          A.

      • Carolyn_nth 1.1.3

        Agree with what you say about the approach to housing not focused primarily on the needs of low income people, whether in paid work or not. It is all about the desires of the better off, and better off wannabes.

        I read the article fairly quickly before going out this morning.

  2. Janice 2

    I would like to say how much I admire the people who have put their lives on hold to attempt to save some of the whales stranded on Farewell Spit. They are truly awesome, thank you for your efforts.

    • Cinny 2.1

      +infinity

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        Next thing I would like to know – what can we do to prevent this happening? It was about 300 pilot whales I think. There must be something that scientists have developed or would like to trial. Some sort of pulse which the whales will recognise as indicating land or shallow water. Apparently sound waves travel well through water. We can send complicated machines into outer space just because we want to, not because it is of true service to the planet. NASA could stand for Necessary Action to Sort our Attitudes.

        Can we apply science and money where it is most needed? Can we please…can
        we plese…cn w plse…shrinking but still shrieking.

        • Cinny 2.1.1.1

          We were talking about that last night. Some sort of frequency sonar, on a buoy.

          R&D we need so much more of that.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          Perhaps we should stop doing what’s causing it?

          The impact of sonar on whales has become an increasingly fraught issue in recent years, with submarine exercises being linked to several high-profile mass strandings. The US Navy has admitted concerns over sonar’s effects on marine mammals, although actual evidence for harm has been in short supply.

          But military-sponsored tests now suggest that low levels of sonar, which do not cause direct damage to whales, could still cause harm by triggering behavioural changes.

          And it’s not just the military that carry sonar.

          • greywarshark 2.1.1.2.1

            It’s heartbreaking when so many go off beam. If we could do something as civilians here now, we could help with this. Trying to find, blame and clear up the
            original cause would take too long. Just another one of those unintended consequences we are running into more and more as our planet gets too crowded with us – we’re everywhere.

            Commercial and military sonar may be affecting tuna as well.

            • Macro 2.1.1.2.1.1

              From The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species media release:

              The oceans and seas in which marine mammals like whales and dolphins live may be getting noisier. Increased levels of shipping, seismic sounds from activities such as oil and gas exploration may be to blame. Ocean noise can travel over long distances and affect waters outside the control of individual nations. Given the fact that such noise is transboundary – and that some marine species relying on sound for orientation, communication and feeding migrate across hundreds of miles – this is an issue that calls for international regulation. High noise
              levels can cause disorientation, exclude cetaceans from habitats and even directly cause physical injury and death. Propeller-driven ships have become the most dominant human-induced low frequency noise
              . A new concern are rising concentrations of C02 which may be making sounds waves travel further and faster, as a recent study suggests,
              demonstrating the link between climate change and this conservation issue. The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) and some of its agreements have identified ocean noise as a potential threat to migratory species and support action to reduce its impact.

              Noise pollution in the oceans has been estimated to be increasing at a rate of around 6db per year mainly due to the increasing number of super cargo ships and expanding world trade. Sorry can’t find the link for this – read it in the Science section of the Guardian a couple of years go.

              • Cinny

                Ocean noise pollution, that would be horrid.

                And again the planet suffers because of humanity

                Thanks for the info Draco and Macro, really interesting

  3. Penny Bright 3

    POLITICAL SATIRE!

    Pullya Bennefitt is now famous
    😉

    (One way of getting around the effective mainstream media ‘censorship’?)

    https://www.google.co.nz/search?site=&source=hp&ei=MG6fWJ2yC4v_8QWK3abQDA&q=Anti-prison+march+heads+to+Mt+Eden+prison&oq=Anti-prison+march+heads+to+Mt+Eden+prison&gs_l=mobile-gws-hp.3..30i10k1.2360.28209.0.29049.50.49.1.0.0.0.348.10386.3j3j41j2.49.0….0…1.1.64.mobile-gws-hp..0.47.9768.0..0j0j0i131k1j0i10k1j0i30k1j0i22i30k1j33i160k1j33i21k1.YQHwJ8pV-os#imgrc=nLfkk-1H5QdxZM:

    (Authorised by 2017 Independent candidate Mt Albert by-election, 86A School Rd, Kingsland, Auckland 1021.)

  4. repateet 4

    Farrar on his blog is really into election mode.

    It must be tough work searching each day for the stories to feature – a labour MP sneezes in UK without putting his hand over his mouth becomes an implicit condemnation of left politicians in NZ.

    A company in Temuka taking on an employee in Temuka is an utter triumph for the government’s employment strategies. Someone arrested for jay-walking is massive credit to their law and order policy. Some Nat backbencher helps a constituent get their cat out of a tree is some sort of Nobel prize candidate.
    A green MP puts out rubbish in a plastic bag and they’re all the biggest hypocrites since hypocrisy was invented.

    Fortunately the polls are unlikely to show National at risk, imagine him then.
    Look forward however to anti Ardern stuff even though they are not standing. That’s the way it is.

    • tc 4.1

      National went into election mode once Blinglish replaced shonky.

      They know it’s an uphill battle but the war chest is deep with the shills well placed and briefed. DPF will be a lot busier with Cammy making himself hotter than usual to handle.

      So along with all the usual dirty tricks that are stock in trade national party standard operating procedure and a date announced its game on.

  5. greywarshark 5

    Reading group – E F Schumacher Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered.
    Sorry, sorry, I didn’t make the deadline though got most of it together with some that Weka needed to tidy up and insert. So will be all ready to present to next Sunday.

    But in the meantime I have looked up availability of book, I suggest you check your library on line and if available, put a hold on it for yourself, or ask them if they will obtain it on inter-loan for you (has a cost), as a number of NZ libraries have copies. (I think not every library is in inter-loan.) It can be bought to go on Kindle from Amazon about $10 don’t know whether that’s USA or NZ$, the site didn’t provide that information.

    It can be bought new as hard copy on Trademe but look for one that says available in NZ, Hamilton based, and should get delivery in week if pay immediately. Otherwise you may be waiting three weeks from overseas. There are pdfs available so you can start reading directly on your computer – presented clearly but without much formatting.
    http://www.colinalexander.info/files/pdfs/Schumacher.pdf
    http://www.ditext.com/schumacher/small/small.html

    The more I have read about E F Schumacher, the more sure I am that he is going to be a great and valuable read.

    • Olwyn 5.1

      I have a copy of the book from the local library, and will start reading it this week.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        Me too Olwyn. What a great guy, reviews from newbies to him say it is dry. Perhaps they suffer from Trump syndrome!

    • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 5.2

      I too have a library copy, and also downloaded the .pdf above so I can make notes, and am reading it. Most impressed so far – lots of food for thought!

  6. The Chairman 6

    Capuchin monkeys reject unequal pay

  7. joe90 7

    Tracking bullshit more recycled speculative bullshit put out by……
    /

    https://medium.com/@DFRLab/spread-it-on-reddit-3170a463e787#.qvkc7xfqu

  8. greywarshark 8

    How to do something good from your computer chair. Donate to Riverton environment centre. They need to buy the building to give them a secure home so they can invite us in to have some green tea and fairy cakes! Seriously folks, 11 days to go to raise $20,000 and they are almost to $10,000 so see if we can get them up there by tonight. All those rounded 0’s are so sexy and smooth Mmmmm.

    Pledge Me
    https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/5022-help-secure-the-future-of-the-riverton-environment-centre

  9. The Chairman 9

    Is Labour planning on entering this election with the same radical changes to KiwiSaver it had last election?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/10014015/Labour-defends-KiwiSaver-plan

    • Bearded Git 9.1

      Firstly the proposals were not all that radical-take a look at the contributions they make over in Oz-and secondly there has to be a party that takes the retirement funding crisis seriously rather than the Nats “head in the sand” approach.

      • The Chairman 9.1.1

        In context, the changes are radical to what we currently have.

        Moreover, it planned to go far beyond retirement funding, substituting interest rates with Kiwisaver as a means to control inflation.

        Hence, there are concerns with the uncapped scope of the variable savings rate potentially pushing those already struggling into further hardship.

        Thus a number were hopeful the policy would be dropped.

  10. Tamati Tautuhi 10

    Labour, Greens and NZF have to go into this Election with a concise plan that they can govern constructively as a coalition Government anything whacky and most New Zealanders will stick with what we have got.

  11. Herodotus 11

    There are a continuation of stories regarding the record level of building permits “Auckland fell just short of the 10,000 market with 9930 consents, a 7 per cent increase on 2015. ” , this does create a huge amount of construction work – Some of which the industry is struggling to meet.
    “It’s no surprise to anyone Auckland is the worst affected, with about four to five years of backlog based on historical build rates.” & “The number of homes being built in 2016 – 29,970 nationally and 9930 in Auckland “.But what has not been talked about is the number of dwellings that have been demolished, should you travel thru Glen Innes you will see many high density houses being build on old State house sites. These new dwellings are recorded in the permit numbers below but this is a gross number, and no mention of the lower net number of dwellings that has been added to the Auckland housing stock, so the level of activity is producing a lower number of dwellings than is implied by the quoted permit data.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11799310

  12. joe90 12

    Calamity, here we come.

    While much of the Northeast was forced to batten down the hatches this week against strong winds, heavy snow and other icy conditions, the usually frigid Arctic experienced the opposite – a period of unseasonably mild weather and high temperatures, for at least the third time this winter.

    A powerful low-pressure storm system in the northern Atlantic has helped carry warm air up to the frozen north this week, sending temperatures in the Arctic soaring. Data from the Danish Meteorological Institute suggests that, as of Thursday, temperatures in the area above 80 degrees north latitude were already more than 20 degrees warmer than the average temperature for this time of year. As a graphic from Climate Reanalyzer shows, the most unusually warm region is right over the North Pole.

    It’s at least the third such extreme winter-warming event for the Arctic this season – temperatures skyrocketed on two occasions in November and December as well. Similar incidents also occurred in December of 2015 and 2014.

    https://www.adn.com/arctic/2017/02/10/temperatures-in-the-arctic-are-skyrocketing-for-the-third-time-this-winter/

  13. Sacha 13

    Ex Police union boss Greg O’Connor confirmed as Labour candidate for Dunne’s Ohariu seat:
    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/02/former-police-association-president-confirmed-as-labour-candidate.html

    Hopefully offended caucus members can keep their wailing and gnashing in-house this time.

    Post: https://thestandard.org.nz/greg-oconnor-selected-for-ohariu/

    • weka 13.1

      “Hopefully offended caucus members can keep their wailing and gnashing in-house this time.”

      Is that how you characterise Williams’ speaking out? Really?

  14. nzsage 14

    Yes another Trump news bite but if you have 10 mins to spare this is well worth watching.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/magnitude-of-trump-adviser-flynn-s-russia-scandal-gains-clarity-874908739801

    • Anne 14.1

      My god! Thanks nzsage. I’ll bet my every possession this is true.

      • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 14.1.1

        It may be true, it may be fake news! Nine ‘anonymous’ informants. And the presenter kept repeating, as if it were proven fact, that Russia interfered in the US election. Lots of innuendo and assumptions.
        Or it just may have been a smart move by Putin to not retaliate – he really caught the US napping!
        On the other hand, I could easily credit any stupid thing Trump and Co. get up to.

  15. North 15

    I’d be favouring my ‘other hand’ if I were you Tony Veitch.

    Just the possibility also that Putin (not exclusive to him I grant) is a murderous KGB monster. That’s how TS ended up in measure a bugle for fucking Trump. HRC, Obama were horrendous etc etc etc……..thus (so indulgently and utterly counter-intuitively)…….”Trump can only be better…….”.

    When’s Archie ‘CV’ Bunker back ? He’s got a lot of explaining to do. Which of course he won’t do, Such is Child-Trump-Hubris.

  16. “A person who undertakes to grow a garden at home, by practices
    that will preserve rather than exploit the economy of the soil, has
    set his mind decisively against what is wrong with us. He is
    helping himself in a way that dignifies him and that is rich in
    meaning and pleasure. But he is doing something else that is
    more important: he is making vital contact with the soil and the
    weather on which his life depends. He will no longer look upon
    rain as an impediment of traffic, or upon the sun as a holiday
    decoration. And his sense of man’s dependence on the world will
    have grown precise enough, one would hope, to be politically
    clarifying and useful.”

    Wendell Berry – Think Little

    • mauī 16.1

      Regarding preserving soil.

      Patrick Whitefield (british permaculture teacher or what some would call a teacher of ‘mumbo jumbo’ 😆 ) “If everybody stopped ploughing and digging it would probably sort out global warming.” Makes his point from 4:55

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    The prospect of making farmers and water bottlers pay for their use of public water has been a big issue this election campaign. Irrigation-dependent dairy farmers hate the idea, of course - they're freeloaders who don't want to pay their ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National censors NZTA
    Last month, when the National Party announced ten expensive new roads as the core of its election campaign, the Greater Auckland blog noticed something interesting: the business case for one of them, Whangarei to Wellsford, had disappeared from NZTA's website. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Follow the Leader: Winston Peters – NZ First
      ...
    2 days ago
  • Access: Disabled floater voters 3: Education and Justice
    This is the third of a series of blogs from the Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA).   We have used DPA’s strategic areas of focus, as identified by our members, as a guide to examine key areas of each party’s policies. We ...
    2 days ago
  • Observations on the 2017 Election campaign thus far… (ono)
    . . You show me yours, I’ll show you mine… . Perhaps the most ill-considered public statement from NZ First leader, Winston Peters, was his recent (11 September) demand that Labour disclose it’s full tax plan as a pre-condition for ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • The mystery of the Wellsford-Whangarei business case solved
    Exactly a month ago, the National Party announced the biggest element of their transport policy for this election, $10.5 billion on 10 new Roads of National Significance. These are: Wellsford to Whangarei East West Link in Auckland Cambridge to Tirau Piarere ...
    2 days ago
  • Which New Zealand are you voting for?
    I was walking out of a meeting with two fine people the other day, one a National Party supporter and one a Labour Party supporter. The centre-right man reckons his team has lost it, but he sighed, "the economy's going ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Farmers blame absence of Bill English for failure to summon Cow God
    Farmers were deeply disappointed when an incantation meant to summon the Cow God instead summoned Winston Peters. Dairy farmers have spent the better part of today blaming Prime Minister Bill English for their failure to summon the Cow God beneath ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • Trust women to decide: Greens
    The Green party has renewed its calls for abortion law reform, after a woman who was declined a termination considered suicide.    Under the Crimes Act, an abortion must be approved by two licenced specialist doctors.  Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski ...
    3 days ago
  • Suffrage Day is now about equal pay for many women
    The fight goes on.   Merinda Jackson. Photo: The Wireless/Max Towle Women wearing suffragist dress gathered outside Wellington’s central library this afternoon. They periodically broke off into small groups and disappeared inside for a few minutes at ...
    3 days ago
  • How WINZ got social housing costs so wrong
    Last year, National bowed to public pressure over homelessness and replaced emergency housing loans - under which the homeless were saddled with odious debt to be put up in price-gouging motels - with a grant. Their initial budget for these ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Narcissistic men are more likely to troll on Facebook – study
    “Aggression, manipulativeness, low agreeableness.” Sound familiar? Illustration: 123RF A new study analysing people’s motivations for trolling has found men are more likely to bully others on Facebook because they’re more narcissistic. Researchers from Brunel and Goldsmiths universities ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate change: This is going to cost us
    For the past six months, National have been suppressing Ministry for the Environment guidance on coastal hazards, which show that sea level rise and the resulting storm surges threaten $19 billion of coastal property. This government malfeasance isn't just bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National has failed our health system
    Along with a number of other worsening sectors in New Zealand, the public health system has become increasingly degraded under a National led government. The statistics clearly show a complete failure to meet growing demand for services, especially in peak ...
    3 days ago
  • Suffrage Day
    Today, September 19th, is Suffrage Day. 124 years ago today, women gained the right to vote in New Zealand. Its one of our greatest achievements as a nation, and yet its not one we publicly mark. That needs to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins and the swamp kauri petrol crisis
    The ruptured fuel pipe that runs to Auckland Airport looks set to cause more chaos as fuel shortages start to impede people trying to fill up at the pump.Already a number of international flights have been diverted or cancelled due ...
    3 days ago
  • Facts about fluorosis – not a worry in New Zealand
    This sort of serious dental fluorosis does not occur in New Zealand A recent issue of the Fluoride Exposed Newsletter gives us the facts about dental fluorosis – a subject very often misrepresented by opponents of community water fluoridation. Ever ...
    3 days ago
  • PT Ridership around New Zealand
    Auckland had a pretty good year for public transport ridership in the last financial year (to the end of June). Overall, compared to the 2016 ridership increased by 5.5 million (7%) to 88.44 million trips, the highest point since 1955. ...
    3 days ago
  • Australia tries to deport Rohingya to persecution
    Myanmar is currently waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing against its Rohingya minority. So naturally, the racist Australian government is trying to force Rohingya detained in its concentration camps to return to persecution:Australia is promising thousands of dollars to Rohingya ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Chevron’s Amazon Chernobyl Case moves to Canada
    After perpetrating what is probably the worst oil-related catastrophe on Earth - a 20,000 hectare death zone in Ecuador, known as the “Amazon Chernobyl” - the Chevron Corporation has spent two decades and over a billion dollars trying to avoid ...
    3 days ago
  • 5 reasons the car industry needs to change its ways now
    Today the world’s biggest motor show gets underway in Germany. The Frankfurt Motorshow is the moment many of the world’s best known car manufacturers get together for a grand display of vehicles that have been polished so hard it’s a ...
    3 days ago
  • Access Granted: Kat Greenbrook – From insight to action
    Kat Greenbrook (@katgreenbrook) is on a mission to increase the number of data insights actioned as she sees a growing gap between analytics teams and decision makers, stemming from a breakdown in communication.  Kat, through her own company Rogue Penguin, works across ...
    3 days ago
  • When The Country Goes To Town.
    Pretty Ugly, Pretty Quickly: That the demographic and cultural divide between rural and urban New Zealand remains a source of deep unease to farmers cannot be doubted. Equally indisputable, historically-speaking, has been the militant, even violent, character of rural New ...
    3 days ago
  • More on Kiwi Rail De-electrification
    *This is a guest post by Roger Blakeley, Bob Norman, Alex Gray and Keith Flinders KIWIRAIL’S NIMT DECISION EXPOSED IN LEAKED DOCUMENTS Roger Blakeley, Bob Norman, Alex Gray and Keith Flinders1 Leaked documents show that KiwiRail’s decision in December 2016, to ...
    Transport BlogBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Limits to growth?
    Mounting concern with housing, transport and diversity issues in Auckland point to a consensus that growth trends are exceeding our ability to readily cope. This is aggravated by reports that portions of our wilderness tourism areas are being hammered by ...
    Briefing PapersBy Charles Crothers
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters hijacks National’s protest
    There was a lot of anticipation surrounding a farmer’s protest in Morrinsville yesterday, a protest over Labour’s proposed levy of 1 to 2 cents per 1000 litres of water used for irrigation.Federated Farmers and Dairy NZ in particular have been ...
    3 days ago
  • Just when will the fat lady start singing this election?
    Now we’ve entered the last week of the election campaign, Saturday’s finishing post is in sight. Once the polls close at 7pm on that day, no further ballots may be cast.read more ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • Prediction
    There's nothing stupider on the internet than putting down your thoughts in an indisputable form.  So that, of course is what I am going to do:NAT – 42%LAB – 39%NZF – 8%GRE – 6%TOP – 2%MAO – 1.5% (With electorate ...
    4 days ago
  • The evidence says TOP have no hope
      The Opportunities Party leader Gareth Morgan has come out swinging against the polls, which unanimously report his party polling nowhere near the 5% threshold. He basically says they’re fake news because they (mostly) only poll landlines. He predicts TOP will ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    4 days ago
  • If you support Labour, Green, TOP, Māori, or Mana: Party vote Green
    I wrote this post on Facebook and it’s got a bit of traction so I thought I’d put it here as well. (These thoughts aren’t unique to me: other people are making similar points.) Most people intending to vote Labour, Green, ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    4 days ago
  • An Alternative to Neoliberalism?
    Are we at a turning point in our politics? I don’t mean whether we have a new government. That is a matter for the voters; the polls say that either they are very volatile or that the polls are very ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • 1969: The “Nearly-But-Not-Quite” Election.
    Labour Nearly Did This: It didn’t really seem possible that Labour could have lost. Its 1969 campaign had broken new ground in terms of media sophistication. Labour’s theme-song “Make Things Happen” had topped the local charts, and its television commercial, ...
    4 days ago
  • Why is Matthew Hooton SO UPSET at efforts to increase voter turnout? (AUDIO)
    Here’s some commentary from PR professional Matthew Hooton, owner of the ‘Exceltium’ PR agency*, on how he sees efforts by New Zealand’s Electoral Commission to increase voter turnout. “I think the way the Electoral Commission has behaved, taking upon itself ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    4 days ago
  • Its going to be a short election night
    Advance voting has really taken off this year, with enormous numbers exercising their right to vote early, parties campaigning specifically for advance votes, and queues at some advance polling booths. As of Sunday, 445,000 people had advance voted - more ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • We need more post-publication peer review
    We often tout peer review as the reason for accepting the veracity of published scientific studies? But how good is it really? Does it ever match the ideal picture people have of it? And what about peer review before and ...
    4 days ago
  • No choice
    The decision to have a child can be life changing. But Kate* says she didn’t have a choice.  Illustration: Lucy Han / The Wireless A woman who was denied a second trimester abortion through North Shore Hospital says ...
    4 days ago
  • Too many cows
    Waikato's dairy farmers - the dirtiest in the country - are protesting in Morrinsville today to defend their "right" to keep pumping their shit into our rivers and their piss into our wells. Meanwhile, to get an idea of how ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Upgrading Takapuna’s heart
    While the beach may be the soul of Takapuna, Hurstmere Road is perhaps it’s commercial heart. Working in Takapuna, it’s a heart I know well (in fact at the time this post is published I’m probably walking along it to ...
    4 days ago
  • Cameras on boats will wreck ‘way of life’ – fisherman
    Push back against plans for surveillance on the high seas.       Fishing boats lined up along Bluff wharf. Photo: The Wireless/John Lake For Bluff cray fisherman Jayce Fisher, working the ocean is a way of ...
    4 days ago
  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... SkS in the News... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... Climate Feedback Reviews... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus... ...
    4 days ago

  • Housing report earns Nats the red card
    National’s failure to acknowledge and fix the housing crisis will be their legacy. Labour will tackle the housing crisis head-on, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    16 hours ago
  • Sluggish growth reflects nine years of drift from National
    Today’s GDP figures reflect an economy that the National Government has allowed to drift along on the basis of growing population rather than improving productivity and adding value, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is important to recognise that ...
    19 hours ago
  • National’s campaign of deception an affront to democracy
    Voters this week have a clear choice between Labour’s optimism and honesty, or rewarding National’s campaign of relentless lies, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Day after day National has been deliberately spreading lies about Labour, our intentions and what ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s economy scorecard: D for drift
    New Zealand’s economy is failing the very people it is supposed to uplift, characterised by stalled productivity, exports going backwards and a Government content to let it drift, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Voters have a clear choice ...
    2 days ago
  • Another day – another health crisis
    News today that the emergency department at Waikato has turned 180 patients away is another crisis for the Government and its besieged health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “It’s astonishing that the Government has had to rely on ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on loan sharks
      Labour will take a tough stance on loan sharks and make sure that the Commerce Commission is properly resourced to protect Kiwi consumers, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson Michael Wood.   “People on low incomes must be protected from ...
    2 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • GP letter more evidence of failure in mental health
      A letter of complaint by medical practitioners to the Ministry of Health and Capital and Coast District Health Board underlines how badly patients are being let down by mental health services in Wellington, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “The ...
    3 days ago
  • Tax cuts when kids go hungry shows National’s lack of moral compass
    National’s campaign of tax cuts that give $400 million to the top 10 per cent of earners, at a time when 120 Kiwi kids every year are being hospitalised for malnutrition, shows they have lost their moral compass, says Labour’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Freight being shifted off planes as fuel crisis worsens
    Export freight is being shifted off flights because of the Government’s failure to manage the risk of disruption to jet fuel supplies, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Stuart Nash. “It has been revealed to Labour that non-perishable export freight is ...
    3 days ago
  • Apologise now Jonathan
    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman must apologise for his part in a $2.3 billion shortfall that has contributed to delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “All the Minister could say in an interview this morning ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s health report card shows need for new plan
    From increased GP fees, to kids getting sick from cold homes, to denial of important surgeries, National’s underfunding of health has hurt Kiwi families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.   “It’s time to invest in the health of ...
    3 days ago
  • Eye clinic wait downright dangerous
    The fact that 9,500 Kiwis are waiting one and a half times longer than they should to get follow-up eye appointments is unacceptable and dangerous, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “These people are entitled to the reassurance that if ...
    3 days ago
  • National has serious questions to answer over Auckland fuel crisis
    Thousands of air travellers looking for answers to Auckland Airport’s fuel crisis should be demanding the National Government come clean over its failure to secure fuel supply for the airport, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “There are serious questions the ...
    4 days ago
  • Come clean on trade before the election
    In the two days before the election, New Zealand MFAT negotiators will attend a negotiations meeting in Japan on the successor to the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), now called the TPP-11. The negotiations are shrouded in secrecy but we ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    6 days ago
  • National unravels on transport
    The release of extraordinary information showing that the East-West link could be the most expensive road in the world, at $327 million per kilometre, shows that National is fiscally reckless and out of ideas on transport, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson ...
    6 days ago
  • Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy
    The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker.  “OIAs revealed on ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour supporting Te Reo Māori in schools
    Labour will support a future where New Zealanders from every background will have the ability to use Te Reo Māori in everyday conversations, says Labour’s Deputy Leader and Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Labour will commit to a target that ...
    7 days ago
  • Is National planning a secret fuel tax?
    Sources suggest National is considering a secret fuel tax to fund its controversial Roads of National Significance (RONS) programme, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood. “While the Government keeps up its stream of lies about Labour’s tax policy, sources indicate ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan for West Coast prosperity
    Labour’s regional development plan for the West Coast will build on its strengths in engineering and tourism, while delivering a much-needed upgrade to the Buller Hospital, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern.  “Labour’s vision is for a thriving regional New Zealand, ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour committed to fair and progressive tax system
    Labour is committed to a tax system where everyone pays their fair share and where we start to address the imbalances that have fuelled the housing crisis, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. "Today ...
    1 week ago
  • A challenge to Bill English
    ...
    1 week ago
  • Flavell’s fake news an insult to Māori voters
    A desperate Te Ururoa Flavell has resorted to fake news about Labour’s position on his unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s tax cuts reckless and irresponsible
    It is time for Bill English and Steven Joyce to stop the scaremongering and lies, and front up to New Zealanders about the impact of their tax cuts, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Bill English has no credibility on ...
    1 week ago
  • Calculator shows Labour’s Families Package delivers
    Labour has launched a new online calculator that show how much extra families with kids will get from Labour’s Families Package, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Families can go to www.labour.org.nz/calculator and see how much better off they ...
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s identity through Labour’s media and film policy
    Labour has today launched its media and film policy aimed at strengthening New Zealand’s identity and providing sustainability for the industry, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to invest in parents and babies
    Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes and state houses in Hawke’s Bay
    Labour will build a mix of 240 affordable KiwiBuild starter homes for first home buyers and state homes for families in need in Napier and Hastings, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “In 2016, the populations of Napier and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges more for Whānau Ora
    Labour will strengthen the oversight of Whānau Ora and provide an extra $20 million over four years to improve outcomes for whānau and families, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis.    “We’ve created a new position of Whānau Ora Reviewer ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s housing band aid
    Throwing subsidies at an under-supplied housing market is one last desperate bid by National to be seen to do something about the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “First home buyers have been the collateral damage of National’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing, families, education and environment top priorities in Labour’s first 100 days
    Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour pledges to unlock funding for Te Hiku sports hub project
    The Labour Government will inject nearly $3 million into the Te Hiku Sports Hub project, to help realise a much-needed health and recreational facility for the Far North, says Labour Deputy Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan to get job seekers into better work
    Labour will provide real support for people looking for work by increasing the amount of money someone can earn before their benefit begins to reduce, reinstating training incentives, and putting a renewed focus on upskilling and training, says Labour’s Social ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour sets strong target and plan for climate action
    Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are education cuts missing in National’s Fiscal Plan?
    National needs to explain why its plans for cuts to school transport have not been announced in its fiscal plan, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.   “Buried in the Pre-election Budget update is a $5m a year cut to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce must come clean on Health and Education funding
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and tell them whether he will fund health and education to meet increasing cost pressures, or risk seeing services cut and costs increase for parents, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis is National’s legacy
    Reports of tenants languishing in boarding houses for years because they cannot get a state house is yet more evidence National’s legacy is the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “We used to pride ourselves in this country ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour calls for release of report into civil defence flaws
    The National Government must stick by its word given to other political parties and release a technical report before the election addressing critical flaws in New Zealand’s civil defence capability, Labour Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran said today.  “Cross party ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Credibility shot as Government runs out of steam
    New Zealanders are witnessing the desperation of a government clinging to survival, evidenced by policy on-the-hoof, dodgy maths and dirty politics, says Labour MP Phil Twyford. “New Zealand had been hoping we’d seen the end of dirty politics, but what ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Steven Joyce must apologise to New Zealand
    Steven Joyce needs to front up to New Zealanders and apologise for his patently false and cynical attack on Labour’s Fiscal Plan, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Every respected economic commentator has come out and said that Labour’s Fiscal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English didn’t answer because the Oreti is badly polluted
    Last night Bill English was asked by Paddy Gower in the Leader’s Debate: “Which river did he swim in as a kid, and is it now polluted?” Bill English named the Oreti River, but did not answer whether it is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats put out dodgy numbers – again
    National’s promise to increase the number of elective surgeries to 200,000 is bizarre, given Jonathan Coleman has claimed 200,000 electives are already being performed, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s Award to encourage young people into trades training
    Labour will introduce a $2,000 award for the best pupil in vocational courses in each public secondary school, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We know there’s huge demand for trades workers, particularly in the building sector, where construction ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not another Nick Smith wild goose chase
    Only the election on September 23 can save the country and the RMA from Nick Smith, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and Environment spokesperson David Parker. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government supresses Climate Change report
    The Government has deliberately sat on a critical Climate Change report for 5 months which they must now release, election or no election, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “I want the report released immediately, so that New Zealanders ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joyce gets it wrong on Labour’s Fiscal Plan
    Labour’s Fiscal Plan is robust, the numbers are correct and we stand by them despite the desperate and disingenuous digging from an out-the-door Finance Minister, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Steven Joyce has embarrassed himself. This is a desperate, ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Making renting secure and healthy
    Labour will move to make renting a more stable and healthy experience for families, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    3 weeks ago