Open Mike 15/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 15th, 2017 - 70 comments
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70 comments on “Open Mike 15/03/2017”

  1. Yesterday, regional councils around the country were the scene of protests about water by New Zealanders, many of whom were provoked or incensed by the Governments recent manipulations of the water standards. A range of concerns were presented, from the selling of freshwater by overseas-owned companies to the effect of intensive dairying. The most compelling question, from the point of view of a councillor, was, “has your council succeeded in protecting the water of your region?” So I’m asking here, has your regional council successfully protected the waters it is bound to manage?

    • Carolyn_nth 1.1

      I live in Auckland. Need I say more?

    • Manawatu, and no it hasn’t: http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/3097651/Manawatu-River-among-worst-in-the-West

      Most cringeworthy part: then-mayor (PN city, not region) Jono Naylor declaring that “the quality of sewage discharged had improved.” Not any old sewage, mate – in PN we only put quality sewage in the river.

    • saveNZ 1.3

      Not content to pollute our water, the National government is giving it away free for export to cronies….

      “Chinese company Nongfu Spring wants more NZ water

      A Chinese company wants to buy a Bay of Plenty water bottling plant and dramatically increase its water take, and it will get the water virtually for free.

      Otakiri Springs currently pays only $2003 in compliance costs each year, allowing it to take 700,000 litres a day. The consent doesn’t expire until 2026.

      Now prospective owner Nongfu Spring Natural Mineral Water wants to increase the water take to 5 million litres a day. It’s the same aquifer where New Zealand company Oravida takes 400,000 litres a day.”

      http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/03/14/why-are-we-allowing-china-to-take-our-water-and-where-have-i-heard-oravida-from-again/

      • greywarshark 1.3.1

        A big meeting last Friday 10/3 in Golden Bay. The pristine limestone filtered Pupu (Te Waikoropupu) Springs, the clearest water in the country and a unique feature which can connect with imaginations of Eden and unspoiled nature which is wonderful and valuable just as nature’s life-giving resource, has to be defended against development, farming development in this case.

        Nick Smith is local Gnashonall MP and we know he is a bit one-eyed about water and any sort of control on anything that some wealthy bod can make money out of.

        http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2017/03/tensions-boil-at-te-waikoropupu-springs-meeting.html

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2

        Otakiri Springs currently pays only $2003 in compliance costs each year, allowing it to take 700,000 litres a day. The consent doesn’t expire until 2026.

        If I used 700,000 litres a day it would cost me $1700 per day.

        It should cost them more because of their huge demand if we actually kept to the supposed economic law of supply and demand.

  2. Andre 2

    Heh – evidence that maybe there is a place for free markets in at least some things – the US feds can’t grow dope for shit.

    http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/14/14924068/marijuana-research-federal-government

  3. Ad 3

    Apparently this is World Consumer Day.
    China Central Television does an annual programme using hidden cameras to highlight unfair practices to consumers:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-14/china-s-name-and-shame-tv-show-puts-household-brands-in-hot-seat

    In previous years it has successfully targeted Lotte-Hershey, Apple, McDonalds, and Volkswagen. Maybe it’ll be Samsung this time.

    If New Zealand had public television with that kind of focus here, just imagine which companies would quake at the knees.

  4. Anne 4

    John Key leaves on April 14th.

    “One of the great privileges of my political career and my life was to meet so many hard-working and inspiring New Zealanders. I remain as ambitious for them, and New Zealand, as the day I entered Parliament…

    … I would like to thank all those who backed me and the National-led Government to build a stronger and more resilient country. We got New Zealand back on its feet, got people into jobs, got back into surplus, and tackled natural disasters.

    He’s still at it. Lying through his teeth. He was handed a healthy surplus by Michael Cullen and immediately squandered it on tax cuts for the rich. And that was just the start…

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/john-key-and-david-cunliffe-leaving-parliament-three-days-apart-its-been-absolute-honour

    • ianmac 4.1

      Yes. So sad that such a great Statesman is leaving us. In the streets there will be thousands of homeless and destitute people weeping and wailing and gnashing their remaining teeth.
      “Please don’t go Beloved!” Will be the cry from bereft Mike and Audrey.

      • greywarshark 4.1.1

        Key was one of the unnatural disasters that we have had inflicted on us by
        Wellington governments. We haven’t found how to tackle them yet. Call in the All Blacks, with one of their unique, even disabling methods?

        • Except Key was an Aucklander, steady on there. You can’t blame everything political on Wellington. 😉

          • greywarshark 4.1.1.1.1

            Matthew W
            Wellington has to take the downs with the ups of being central government.
            Surely you don’t want that to pass to Auckland. So you have to put up with a few kicks about the pollies, it’s where they are crack-ing up.

            • Matthew Whitehead 4.1.1.1.1.1

              You seem to be forgetting that John Key is an electorate MP. Helensville are the ones to blame for him, not Wellington, and the looooong tradition in political griping has always been that constituency elections in any country get the blame for picking the wrong bloke. 😉

              • greywarshark

                Okay can’t break with such an established tradition. But following through if they get blamed, do they accept responsibility? Can I go back to Helensville and get recompense from them for providing a faulty MP and PM and other acronyms? Or WTF?

                • Oh sure, you can absolutely complain to Helensville voters. They may point out/pretend they didn’t vote for him, of course, which is also tradition. Why, just before Obama was elected, nobody in the US would admit to voting for Bush. XD

    • saveNZ 4.2

      At least John Key leaves with 2% support of him as Preferred PM, that is his legacy, like Tony Blair, nobody cares about him and like Tony, Key will spend the rest of his life concerned about being indicted for criminal activity.

      AKA for him, at best nobody cares he’s going, at worst – the truth comes out about what he got up to.

  5. I am really glad to see publicity recently on stuff.co.nz and today in the Herald about threatened staffing cuts and other changes to our Super City libraries.

    Admin know this won’t be a popular move and it looks like we the public will be informed as late in the process as possible to prevent us kicking up a fuss. I’m disgusted that staff were given a lengthy consultation document and told not to share any of it with the public. This is not a multinational corporation with the secret recipe for Crabby Patties; this is a public service we fund with our rates.

    However, a new grassroots group called Love Our Libraries is onto it. We had a launch event at Auckland Central on March 4. We collected video and written testimony from a diversity of library patrons. Very few had heard that cuts were in the offing, and the news did not go over well.

    Already we’ve made an impact. Staff were told in a conference call last Friday not to engage (or only in a “limited” way) with members of our group. This tells me our charm offensive is working. If we continue the outpouring of appreciation for our libraries as they are, we change the political climate and make it hard for admin, and ultimately Council, to pursue its plans.

    We’ll be at St Heliers Library (one of the system’s busiest) tomorrow afternoon from 3-5 PM and plans are underway for action on Saturday at Avondale and Remuera branches.

    We need more helpers. Check out the public Facebook page and ask to join. And have your say about the next city budget. Did you vote for cuts in essential services?

    • saveNZ 5.1

      +100 Julia Schiller –
      Hundreds of thousands more people in Auckland City but less library services???

      And Phil Goff and the Auckland Council CEO are blowing money for a feasibility study into a billion dollar stadium that nobody wants here…

      You have to wonder on their mentality, people are homeless and the council are actually thinking of reducing one of the few resources ratepayers like the council for like the libraries.

      Everyone uses libraries – from the homeless who can often be seen taking a snooze in the library, to the kids, elderly, rich and poor!

      • james 5.1.1

        “You have to wonder on their mentality, people are homeless and the council are actually thinking of reducing one of the few resources ratepayers like the council for like the libraries.”

        “Everyone uses libraries”

        Thank you for speaking on behalf of all ratepayers.

        I think you will find more and more people get their information online and do not use libraries.

        • Molly 5.1.1.1

          Libraries have been the place where people can go for a free education, that is not subject to the whims of national government or dependent on a quota for minimum class size.

          This availability is almost universal – catering to homeless, people not connected to the web at home, or those who require assistance in locating information.

          I’m quite happy to have my rates go towards this kind of societal engagement and education.

          I believe that encouraging the self-education of our communities pays off in the long-term , alongside investment and maintenance of critical physical infrastructure. This is investment and maintenance of critical societal infrastructure – not replaced in the foreseeable future by online engagement.

        • amirite 5.1.1.2

          And you are a spokesman for all ratepayers, James? Not all Aucklanders can afford to access internet from their home. In our not-posh Auckland suburb the library is a great community hub and offers a lot of other valuable services to the local people, especially to those who struggle to survive on low incomes. I believe it’s the same for many other Auckland suburbs too.

          Easy to overlook all that if you’re living in your privileged little bubble.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.3

          People on low incomes find the services provided by libraries invaluable. Including internet access.

          Sorry James, they won’t let you download copyright material though.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.4

          But even then libraries could be great in providing online resources.

      • greywarshark 5.1.2

        Look who needs libraries, it’s just about reading and the public learn enough of that at school. And it costs, all ratepayers have to pay and many of them never use the library at all. I don’t, and is that fair that I and others should pay for something we don’t and never will probably, use.

        We pollies can tell them all they need to know or show them on television, much cheaper. And libraries are full of paper, hard copy is so 20th century and full of redundant or revised information, so hard to change or whisk away at a micro-moment’s notice.

        Yes, libraries are bad ecologically, waste paper, and they can burn which adds to greenhouse gases. I hardly ever read a book, and look where I am today! Everyone uses libraries – from the homeless who can often be seen taking a snooze in the library, to the kids, elderly, rich and poor! If people spent less time reading and more doing we might get somewhere in this country. (See James below. I rest My Case.)/sarc

        And cheers Julia: We’ll {Love our Libraries} be at St Heliers Library (one of the system’s busiest) tomorrow afternoon {today Thursday 16th} from 3-5 PM –
        and plans are underway for action on Saturday at Avondale and Remuera branches.

        We need more helpers. Check out the public Facebook page and ask to join. And have your say about the next city budget. Did you vote for cuts in essential services?

  6. greywarshark 6

    Northland is working hard to get a vibrant Hundertwasser museum going which will also be a great place for Maori in its Wairau Maori Art Gallery.

    They are on the finishing straight, so support them by buying posters, making donations, buy some early Christmas presents, be behind this great new feature and boost for Northland.

    Bring some colour into your life in Hundertwasser’s unique way.
    http://www.yeswhangarei.co.nz/art-shop/

    • Pete 6.1

      The ironic thing about the Hundertwasser project is that the misery guts, unimaginative, boring, people who cannot see that it would add colour to the town (and region) in ways far more than the literal senses, are the ones against it.

      They are the ones who need colour, imagination, vitality and forward thinking in their lives more than anyone.

      They are likely also those afraid of debt for the future in creating a future yet think Bill English adding billions and billions onto our national debt is fine.

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        Pete
        I feel you have doubts about Hundertwasser and the cost of the project. But it will pay off in bringing tourist business to Whangarei and that helps jobs.

        And yes we all do need to have some colour in our lives, and it is a great celebration of the vivid life enjoyed and shared. Hopefully it will be a monument to a change of attitude by those with power to make opportunities for others to have better lives. Life is grey and unhappy for too many, and that should make us all unhappy till actions that can be done to improve this are done.

        • Pete 6.1.1.1

          I have no doubt about the project and the importance of it going ahead.
          The whole process so far is symbolic of heads-in-the-sand, limited, provincial, backwater, thinking of the unimaginative putting the brakes on progress.

          Shortly after it is built it will be the most photographed place in Northland, a place which any visitors will tell friends, families and workmates about. The neanderthals will merely say, “Yeah, but what does that do to the bottom line?”

          • greywarshark 6.1.1.1.1

            Oh I get you. I thought you might be being ironic. An elderly relation up there thinks it would be better if the Council used the area for a car park.
            ‘The pay paradise put up a parking lot, etc.’

      • JanM 6.1.2

        I don’t think they are against it because they are against adding colour, etc – I think they (the councillors anyway) are against it because they can see that over time there will be a different sort of person attracted to living here and they will no longer be able to run Northland like their personal little fiefdom – bring it on I say!!

        • greywarshark 6.1.2.1

          Jan M
          Interesting point. A couple of years ago I visited Far North and some immigrants that I rented a room from told me that they thought there was a complacent attitude by various people who were not actively working for more business and jobs. They thought that leading citizens had a broken system which they had managed to shape to suit themselves and were slow, even reluctant to make changes to better the situation and get a thriving, vital community going. I think that stagnant would have been their description if they had not been so polite.

  7. John Key is always shooting his mouth off about the economy when his whole plan was never anything but mass immigration.

    It looks though like this plan is soon about to founder, if Auckland real estate signals are anything to go on.

    China’s recent restrictions on capital outflow having an effect.

    Did Key as a banker know this was coming?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Of course he knew it was coming as he knows that National’s policies are about to trash the economy and our society. He’s a psychopath – not an idiot.

      • Redbaiter 7.1.1

        What’s Labour’s contingency plan for managing the devastation that economic reality will bring?

        They better have a good one, and it shouldn’t involve pissing around with global warming myths or identity politics.

        This is real stuff that needs real solutions. Nobody wants to see Venezuela in NZ.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          They better have a good one, and it shouldn’t involve pissing around with global warming myths or identity politics.

          And there you prove that you have absolutely no credibility at all and never will have.

          You’re too bloody stupid and delusional.

        • SpaceMonkey 7.1.1.2

          Labour’s contingency plan…? Blame it on National.

    • SpaceMonkey 7.2

      Did Key as a banker know this was coming? Absolutely. Not a shadow of doubt.

  8. Bill Drees 8

    If you are interested in getting a keen perspective on the Scottish Referendum look into http://wingsoverscotland.com.
    Here is a taste of the style.

    “Judging by the first 24 hours, we’re in for a two-year festival of utter horror from the UK and Scottish media. Yesterday saw a never-ending parade of metrosplaining idiots dragged willingly in front of cameras and microphones to pontificate their clueless and mind-numbingly ignorant drivel about Scotland.

    It wasn’t possible to keep track of it all, because it was frequently happening on five channels at once, and it was harder still to watch it for any extended period of time without hurling a brick through the screen in frustration at the offensive stupidity of it.”

  9. I am hearing commentators saying New Zealand can learn from the replanting of the Port Hills after the fires. I agree, but I go one step further show how replanting needs to be done (see link in post – PDF).

    In increasing order of importance:

    Lessons to be learnt.
    Property to be protected.
    Lives to be saved.

    https://willnewzealandberight.com/2017/03/15/replanting-the-port-hills-post-fires-a-lesson-for-all-new-zealand/

    • Ad 9.1

      Best to get all that 20-20 hindsight out of the way as quick as possible..

      For both the landowners who by and large are lifestyle block owners who have put their heart and soul and $$ into their places, and for the Council, and for the dogged teams who had restored chunks of it, it is seriously dispiriting.

  10. saveNZ 10

    Good points from norightturn.

    “John Key is leaving Parliament the moment he is able to without causing a by-election. But don’t worry – because Labour is letting him do it without affecting the government’s majority:
    I have one question: why? Why would an opposition possibly want to do this? Especially when there’s important legislation like the gutting of the RMA on the table? Why would an opposition want to let the government keep its ability to legislate at will, rather than gaining the ability to advance the aims of its members via an effective veto on government legislation?

    I understand that Labour can’t stop Cunliffe from resigning if he wants to. But this move, echoing the old FPP practice of pairing, seems to be sacrificing a real opportunity for diddly-squat. Its a reminder that when push comes to shove, Labour is just a bit useless really – and that’s not a good message to be sending in an election year.”

    • Ad 10.1

      Horseshit.
      It’s at least good manners to not destabilise Parliament a few months before election day.

      The turnout from by-elections is so poor as to be not an effective democratic response anyway, let alone asking for even m ore of them.

      • The Chairman 10.1.1

        So you believe good manners should come before the party’s ability to advance the aims of its members via an effective veto on government legislation?

        • McFlock 10.1.1.1

          ok, let’s play that through: key leaves in april. In may the budget comes up, lab/grn/nz1 nuke it. Government collapses, election is held a few weeks earlier, no budget for 3 months (wtf even happens then – expenditure freeze? Unpaid public servants?).

          Opposition get the blame for the early election and all the repercussions of no budget, including “we tried to fund a bridge but then the opposition scuppered the budget”.

          Alternatively, nothing much changes because the balance of power is maintained, we have an election a couple of months later, and cunliffe pisses off somewhere else in the meantime.

          • weka 10.1.1.1.1

            Why would Labour or the Greens or NZF nuke the budget?

            There is quite a difference between blocking specific pieces of legislation, and bringing down a govt.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Because every year, the budget is where the nats do the most damage to our society.

          • The Chairman 10.1.1.1.2

            “No budget for 3 months (wtf even happens then – expenditure freeze? Unpaid public servants?).”

            Alternatively, the Government passes what it can and is then forced to negotiate or put forward a more acceptable budget.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.2.1

              I thought annual budget appropriations were one big bill? And had to add up? What happens if Labour like a particular spending increase but not the tax cut that takes out the other half of the projected surplus?

              That’s even more problematic than just nuking the entire thing: Labour support expenditure but not the taxes, so the government acquires a massive deficit, at Labour’s fault, just before the election.

              Nah, thinking about it more theentire idea has too many tiny pitfalls. Better to just do it this way.

  11. saveNZ 11

    Go Barry Coates…

  12. So, I finally hooked up my poll-averaging spreadsheet to automatically calculate the number of List seats each party gets, and man is the current poll average depressing:
    The Māori Party is likely to decide who governs. Yeah, not even New Zealand First, they’re necessary for a Labour government, but not sufficient. Right now Labour+Greens+NZ is averaging just one MP above National, and the most likely scenario from polling is that the MP’s choice is necessary to determine who governs, assuming UF breaks National’s way.

    Didn’t think I’d be nostalgic for the polling that gave us a likely outcome of Winston determining the government, but this is depressing.

    If anyone’s curious, here’s what I’ve got:

    ACT: 1MP / 0.7%
    National: 58MPs / 47.4%
    UF: 1MP* / 0.2%
    Māori: 2MPs / 1.8%
    NZF: 10MPs / 8.4%
    Mana: 1MP* / 0.1%
    Greens: 16MPs / 13%
    Labour: 33MPs / 26.5%
    Others: 1.8% (including TOP)

    * = overhang MP

    Most of the weighting is towards the February RM poll in this average. I’m assuming every credible microparty wins their electorates, and that no independents win. If that Ilam seat doesn’t go to Browlee, Labour would lose a list seat based on this average of polling, (as they are currently allocated the 120th seat) which would allow National to govern without the MP.

    • weka 12.1

      In that scenario, aren’t both Mp and NZF potential kingmakers? e.g. if Mp goes with Labour, NZF could still go with Nact and thus we have a 4th term National govt.

      What happens if Mana don’t get TTT? If Mana do get TTT, Labour would need a C and S agreement from them right?

      Or Dunne doesn’t get Ōhariū?

      Any meaning attached to this far out from the election?

      • No, you need both MP and NZF to get a Labour government in that scenario, but only one of the two to go to National for them to govern. Remember, for every two overhang seats, the amount needed for a majority goes up by 1, so this would be a 62-to-win scenario. Mana and UF would both be overhang, (I expect realistically that ACT will be too, they’re just benefitting from rounding)

        It actually makes no difference with those particular numbers whether either Mana or UF lose their seats, as the Māori Party has 2 seats but each side only needs 1 of them, so losing their extra party just means they need both MP seats instead. You’d need the MP to lose their electorate too for it to make any difference at this level of polling.

        edit: excuse me, it does make a difference if UF loses, as then National would need NZF to govern, whether it gets the MP or not.

        • weka 12.1.1.1

          What I was meaning is that in terms of kingmaker roles, if Peters chooses National it doesn’t matter what the Mp wants or does. The right bloc would then have 70 seats (A, N, UF, NZF). Even just N and NZF would be enough. I find that more depressing than the Mp having the balance of power 😉 But yes, for the Mp to do the right thing, it also depends on the left having to deal with Peters. Again, fucking depressing.

          At least those lefties who might have voted Peters might now vote TOP.

          • Matthew Whitehead 12.1.1.1.1

            Given that TOP isn’t actually going to take sides, but NZF might still choose Labour, I’d actually prefer that NZF voters stay with NZF if they’re not going to move to the Greens or Labour.

        • weka 12.1.1.2

          “It actually makes no difference with those particular numbers whether either Mana or UF lose their seats, as the Māori Party has 2 seats but each side only needs 1 of them, so losing their extra party just means they need both MP seats instead. You’d need the MP to lose their electorate too for it to make any difference at this level of polling.”

          Interesting, and presumably part of the Mana/Mp deal. It must be a nightmare having to track all this internally at the party level and then try and make good decisions (am thinking of the Greens here).

    • Antoine 12.2

      You’d probably be hoping for a bit more of a swing to the left between now and the election, though, so that National could not govern without NZ First, and Lab/Greens could govern with NZ First but without the MP?

      A.

      • Oh, if we’re going off what I’m hoping for, it’s that Labour and the Greens have a choice other than NZ First that gets them a majority, so that they can do a minority coalition, and pull in say the Māori Party on issues too liberal for NZ First, and can flex to NZ First where they need to, too.

        This is all from before Annette King resigned too, so this month’s RM should be interesting. If a swing away from National is going to happen after their recovery from Key’s resignation, this would be a reasonable starting point for it.

        (Actually I was missing last month’s CB too when I posted those figures, although mostly they’ve just moved MPs around within the Left rather than changing the overall balance much. I hope you’ll all excuse me, but well, CB hardly ever polls, so I forget to check it sometimes, wheras Roy Morgan is regular so I know roughly when to expect the next one)

        • Antoine 12.2.1.1

          > it’s that Labour and the Greens have a choice other than NZ First that gets them a majority

          Sounds like a long shot

          • Matthew Whitehead 12.2.1.1.1

            It was (just) within the margin of error a couples times in 2016, actually, so it’s not as long a shot as it sounds, especially as polling before recent elections under MMP has seemed to lean slightly more in favour of National than the actual election did, for whatever reason. Labour and the Greens need to manage about a 5% boost between them from current polling levels in order to reliably get there, assuming that O’Connor loses Ohariu to Dunne, and Hone loses TTT. If both electorates go their way, it’s even less.

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    20 hours ago
  • Just how bad is the Aussie NZ relationship?
    As the finger wagging continues both here and over the ditch about Australian MP Barnaby Joyce being outed as a New Zealand citizen (oh the horror!) it's probably work pointing out just how bad our political relationship with our closest ...
    21 hours ago
  • Voter Motivators 2017: Water.
    Worth Protecting? The threat to the nation’s water is real and it demands action. What’s more, the Water Issue comes with a whole cast of ready-made villains: someone to take the blame. Farmers. WHO CAN FORGET that magic childhood moment when ...
    22 hours ago
  • Are we all anti-fascist now?
    US neo-Nazis and fascists supporters march in Charoltsvill, USA. Image credit: Alejandro Alvarez/News2Share via Reuters Wouldn’t that be nice? What if the current almost universal condemnation of fascism by the main stream media and social media commenters were genuine.? That it represents an ...
    22 hours ago
  • Beyond the Beehive: The Far North
    In the lead-up to the election, journalist Max Towle is on an epic road trip taking the political pulse of young New Zealanders. Drugs, jobs and housing are on the minds of people in the Far North.   Beyond ...
    24 hours ago
  • Introducing Regional Rapid Rail
    Greater Auckland is proud to present our proposal for Regional Rapid Rail – an Upper North Island Passenger Network. This post gives you a brief summary of our staged proposal to introduce higher speed inter-city rail to the Upper North ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    1 day ago
  • Media Link: Second radio interview in the US travelogue series.
    There is some overlap between yesterday’s post and today’s radio interview, but there is also a a fair bit of other material as well: http://www.radiolive.co.nz/home/video/2017/08/trump–charlottesville-and-north-korea—the-latest-from-the-us.html ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Whatever happened to one law for all?
    by Susanne Kemp The Metiria Turei case certainly brought a lot of mean-spirited people with double standards out of the woodwork.  People who vigorously defended John Key’s electoral fraud and Bill English’s rorting of the public purse for the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Access: The Driverless Road Ahead
    For the past decade and a bit, I've been working as a computer technician and sales rep. During that time, I've seen the desktop and laptop computer go from being the main method people get on the Internet, to an ...
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Low-quality language on immigration
    Orcon IRL’s election special took place Sunday evening, and it was a right time. Kiri Allan mesmerised crowds in te reo. Stephen Berry knocked Rock Enrol. Chloe Swarbrick spoke of a Green future. And I disrespected Russell’s authority and went ...
    2 days ago
  • Meanwhile, in Poland
    While we're all worrying about Nazis in America, we might also want to keep an eye on Poland:Polish police broke up a feminist rally and forcefully removed activists to clear the way for a march for far-right extremists. A live ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Privacy, not “secrecy”
    Politik breathlessly reports that the New Zealand government kept information on Barnaby Joyce's kiwi citizenship "top secret":New Zealand Ministers and officials imposed a heavy security lid once they realised that they had information which could, in effect, topple the Australian ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • General Election Debate on Transport – Campaign for Better Transport
    The Campaign for Better Transport is holding an election debate with all the major parties this month in Auckland. The CBT is led by Cameron Pitches and over the years has led campaigns and advocated for many transport issues including: Airport ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    2 days ago
  • The Real Reason for Housing Unaffordability
    The news that the number of houses being sold is falling and that prices are rising more slowly has been greeted in some quarters with responses that are – sadly – all too predictable. The consensus is that these shifts ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Renting in New Zealand (and what politicians are promising to change)
    As politicians talk up their housing policies ahead of the election, renters share stories of stress, illness and why the current system doesn’t work. Photo: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Jared Kelly / Flickr Cleaning the house of mould and ...
    2 days ago
  • National fails miserably on housing
    I don’t know about you, but I’m not very happy with all the homeless people wandering the streets and sleeping rough in the cold, some of whom are dying on park benches. But instead of blaming the victims, I think ...
    2 days ago
  • Check this out
    The Spinoff has a terrific tool that lets you see and compare the leading parties’ election policies. You can tick your favourites and then see which way you lean based on your policy choices. It is beautifully done. It almost ...
    2 days ago
  • Loading Docs: Asian Men Talk About Sex
    Eight Asian men bare all as they speak candidly about sex, love and dating.   Asian Men Talk About Sex has been released as part of Loading Docs - a launchpad for short New Zealand documentaries. DIRECTOR INTERVIEW: ...
    2 days ago
  • “Let’s Tax This?” – “Hell, Yeah!”
    "Hell, Yeah!" - Labour must not retreat before National’s “Let’s Tax This!” counter-attack. Not when a majority of New Zealanders are ready to rescue their ailing public services from further deterioration. When National hurls the “tax and spend” accusation at Labour ...
    2 days ago
  • Barnaby Joyce – Asshole of the Week
    It came as somewhat of a shock when the Australian government attacked the New Zealand Labour party and its leader Jacinda Arsdern yesterday, a personally attack over the fact that their Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, has dual citizenship and ...
    2 days ago
  • Letters from America, take three: a scab got picked.
    Donald Trump picked a scab during his campaign for the presidency and now the puss is draining out. It will be a while before the wound is cleansed. The puss is racism, xenophobia and bigotry. When I left the US ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Timing is everything for Ardern & Labour
    Timing is just so important in politics, as in so much of life. Plenty of able people don't have the luck – or planning – to be in the right place at the right time. But right now, timing may ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Pouring gasoline on the housing fire
    Yesterday, Prime Minister Bill English announced that he would encourage the Reserve Bank to remove the loan to value ratio (LVR) rules that it put in place to take the heat out of rising house prices. As reported in Newsroom: ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Inferno VII: The circle of capitalists
    "Pape Satàn, pape Satàn aleppe!" If these words ever meant anything in any language, or were otherwise intelligible to the contemporaries of Dante Alighieri, that meaning is lost. What’s left to us is the beginning of a curse, or a ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why Labour isn’t responsible for Barnaby Joyce
    First published on Werewolf As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our ...
    2 days ago
  • Media Release: TIME TO TURN UP THE PRESSURE ON CANDIDATES
    For Immediate Release Tuesday 15 August 2017 TIME TO TURN UP THE PRESSURE ON CANDIDATES Polls are showing that inequality is a top voter concern (Roy-Morgan and UMR Polls). The income equality group Closing the Gap is urging New Zealanders ...
    Closing the GapBy Marino Smith
    2 days ago
  • Ardern stands up for kiwis
    Today politics seems to be dominated by Australian ridiculousness, after the Australian government blamed Chris Hipkins (rather than hard-working Australian journalists) for exposing Barnaby Joyce as a New Zealand citizen, and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop interfering in our election ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Editors put the boot into National
    There is no question that a resurgent Labour party has closed the National party out of the media limelight. What else could Bill English do but pander to his ageist supporters by proposing boot camps and spot fines for the ...
    3 days ago
  • Civil Disobedience Against Big Irrigation
    Construction has started on huge irrigation schemes in Canterbury. When they start working, it’s going to be disastrous for our rivers - most of which are already struggling. More irrigation means more cows and that means more pollution.A few weeks ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate change: The Cullen fund divests
    Climate change is now undeniable, and if we are to survive it, the fossil fuel industry has to die. And now the Cullen Fund has recognised that fact, and started divesting its risk:The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has sold shares ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Dirty farmers
    Surprise, surprise - Waikato's dairy farmers are failing to comply with their resource consents:The Waikato Regional Council says dairy farm effluent compliance rates are heading in the right direction despite less than one quarter of farms monitored last year deemed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National’s policy hardly Christian
    It’s often amazing to see the ill-conceived political arguments that make it to print in New Zealand sometimes. Perhaps one of the least canvassed areas of voting preference is that of religious beliefs, and where those beliefs coincide with a ...
    3 days ago
  • “As soon as reasonably practicable”
    The Official Information Act requires agencies to decide on requests "as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case not later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received". But over the decades that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Wijkontsluitingsweg
    This is another post about my recent trip to the Netherlands. The Netherlands has a standard road classification system with ideally three types of roads: flow roads (motorways), distribution roads (arterials), and local roads (residential roads). This system does not ...
    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    3 days ago
  • Eyewitness report from Charlottesville by Redneck Revolt
    REPORTBACK: CHARLOTTESVILLE: August 13, 2017 by Redneck Revolt members The situation on the ground in Charlottesville, Virginia, is still developing and unstable, but a few of our Redneck Revolt members on the ground took some time to provide the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Treating young people differently
    The Labour party has hit the ground running with Jacinda Ardern. Not only has she shown immense capability as leader, the Labour party has clearly got its game on and returned to its core values, values that once made New ...
    3 days ago
  • Looking to the past to understand the Politics of Love
    We need to transcend us vs them struggles, writes Philip McKibbin.   Image: The Prophet Te Whiti Addressing a Meeting of Natives from The Graphic (1881) In 1881, the peaceful village of Parihaka was invaded. Fifteen-hundred men, led ...
    3 days ago
  • Power imbalances in local vs central government
    Local government in New Zealand is a creature of statute, so it’s subservient to powers bestowed upon it by central government. From the creation of its mandate and structure, to the reforms imposed through time, local councils are, and will ...
    Briefing PapersBy Christine Rose
    3 days ago
  • The Greens’ Campaign Reset: Normal Ideological Transmission Is Resumed.
    Who Loves Ya Baby? “I didn’t come to Parliament to act like other political parties. But this week that’s where we ended up. We have not been our best selves, and for that I am sorry.” But who are your best ...
    3 days ago
  • Victory on Victoria
    The Victoria St Linear Park has been saved from the clutches of Auckland Transport. You may recall that we’ve been concerned about ATs plans for the future of many of the streets in the city centre for some time. In ...
    3 days ago
  • MSM catches up on Unemployment stats rort
    .   . The mainstream media – or at least one clever journalist working for Mediaworks/Newshub – has finally caught up with a story broken by this blogger last year that unemployment data from Statistics NZ was no longer reliable; ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • When is Lying Justified?
    Among the sinners the drunk porter in Macbeth welcomes into hell is the ‘equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale’. Equivocation is a theme of the play; Shakespeare is thought to have been influenced by the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Has National gone Full Metal Jacket?
    Is bootcamp the government's solution for hardened young criminals?   Photo: 123rf. National plans to solve the problem of serious youth offending by sending people to a remote, army-run boot camp for a year. But opponents of the ...
    4 days ago
  • Yale Climate Connections: America’s beacon of climate science awareness
    This is an unabashed endorsement of an important group. I have no affiliation with them or conflict of interest. They are great, period. The ability to convey complex climate science to a wide-ranging audience is a golden attribute, something very ...
    4 days ago
  • On Mike Hosking – Don’t Say I Never Warned You
        Hi, my name is Brian. Edwards to be precise. You may remember me. I used to be on television. Started in Christchurch on a magazine show called Town and Around. Went North to Wellington to audition for ...
    4 days ago
  • PM lied about Greenpeace spies
    The Todd Barclay affair, where the unelected Prime Minister claimed seven times that he couldn’t recall if Barclay had told him about the secret recording of a National party staffer, proved without a doubt that Bill English is dishonest!But if ...
    4 days ago
  • I watched Miss Universe NZ 2017 so you don’t have to
    Beauty queens, magic, dangly bits and nip slips - Miss Universe NZ had it all.   The top five Miss Universe NZ contestants (L-R): Shekinah Delos Santos, Sarah Hensby-Bennett, Harlem-Cruz Ihaia, Holly Waghorn and Brooke Houia. Screenshot: Miss ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Post spied on the public
    Last night we learned that NZ Post had been spying on the public, using microphones on its delivery vehicles to record and listen to conversations between its employees and random members of the public without the consent of either party. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Aspirational fluff from Ardern 
    by Daphna Whitmore Although women got the vote in the late 19th century, now well in to the 21st century we still do not have pay equity. While overt discrimination against individual female employees is no longer legal or socially ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • National party dead in the water
    The last week in New Zealand politics has been extraordinary. But there’s one political party in particular that appears to be missing in action… the National party.The unelected PM Bill English has failed to gain any real traction in the ...
    4 days ago
  • Barnaby Joyce is a New Zealand citizen
    Over the last few weeks the Australian Parliament has been rocked by a succession of resignations and court referrals over various Senators falling foul of s44 of the Australian constitution, which bars dual-citizens from the legislature. Today, that clause appears ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Dual Modes and Axle Loads
    Last year KiwiRail made the decision to replace the 16 current 30-year-old EF class electric freight trains currently in use on the North Island Main Trunk with the procurement of more DL Class Diesel Trains. These EF Class trains use ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    4 days ago
  • What’s Going On? with Lucy Zee: Beervana
    Eye-popping beer infusions and drinking games with the bros. Lucy Zee heads to New Zealand's biggest beer festival, Beervana.   Produced and presented by Lucy Zee, and filmed and edited by Eddy Fifield. Made with the support of NZ On ...
    4 days ago
  • National resorts to racism on water
    National knows it can't defeat the Labour-Green policy on water charging on fairness grounds, so they're now appealing to racism, with Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson scaremongering that making farmers pay their fair share will mean reopening historic ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Weak Man Trying to Look Strong
    Donald Trump would not be the first political leader to try to build his popularity, or divert attention from his troubles at home, by seeking a diversion – usually by means of a military adventure of some sort – overseas.  ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Keeping tiny humans alive
    Science is helping more premature babies survive, but for parents it's still a journey marked by fear, pain and joy.   Inside of what looks like a giant Ziploc bag filled with water, the hoof of a tiny lamb ...
    4 days ago
  • The left shouldn’t fear Greg O’Connor
    When Greg O’Connor was a young Police officer he did a stint undercover and has lamented having to arrest gang members he viewed at the time as his mates. This is perhaps the main problem for the left, being that ...
    4 days ago
  • ATAP Revised
    The Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) released just last year has been already been one of the most influential transport documents Auckland has seen. That’s because for the first time Auckland and the Government agreed on the future of transport ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on North Korea, neo-Nazism, and Milo
    First published on Werewolf With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – ...
    4 days ago
  • National Party: young offenders need to be dealt with
    PRESS RELEASE: NATIONAL PARTY ANNOUNCE LAW AND ORDER POLICY The National Party of New Zealand is pleased to announce a ground-breaking new law and order policy that draws ideas from some of the finest talkback minds of their generation. Today ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    5 days ago
  • US mass murder in Korea, 1950-1953
    The following piece is an extract from a longer article by Phil Hearse that appeared in International Viewpoint, an online Marxist publication, last Thursday (August 10). For the people of North Korea, warnings from their leadership about the United ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s water tax is going to kill us all
    This week new Labour leader and … Jacinda Ardern announced her party’s new plan to steal the Green Party’s old plan to place a charge on commercial users of water. This surprised many New Zealanders, mainly because since we’ve had ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    5 days ago

  • Government caves to multi-national tax avoiders in the shadows
    News that the Government has secretly caved in to the demands of multi-national tax avoiders come as no surprise, but will disappoint Kiwi taxpayers, says Labour’s spokesman for Revenue Michael Wood.   “It has been revealed that a United States ...
    14 hours ago
  • Cheaper to stay at The Langham than emergency housing motels
    Labour’s comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis and ensure there’s enough state housing, means we won’t be paying through the nose for emergency accommodation like the current Government has to, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “National has ...
    15 hours ago
  • Government must come clean on water
      News that the National Government is secretly working behind closed doors on its own water charging schemes shows their utter hypocrisy on this issue, says Labour’s water spokesperson David Parker.  “They have been carping on about Labour’s plan for ...
    19 hours ago
  • Government pays twice the price for emergency housing motels – with two more on the way
    Under Labour’s plan to build at least 1000 state houses each year, New Zealand wouldn’t be paying more than double the valuations for motels to house Kiwis needing emergency housing, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Under questioning today, ...
    2 days ago
  • HAM shows country needs Labour on housing
    The latest Housing Affordability Measure report shows affordability dramatically worsening for Auckland first home buyers, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 days ago
  • Canterbury kids get more support for mental health
    Children in Canterbury and Kaikoura will get dedicated mental health support to help them overcome the trauma of the earthquakes, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We’ll fund an extra eighty mental health professionals for the next three ...
    2 days ago
  • Statement on Julie Bishop’s comments
    It is highly regrettable that the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has chosen to make false claims about the New Zealand Labour Party. I have been utterly transparent about this situation. I stand by my statements this morning that I ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour stands with Pike families
    A Labour Government will stand with the families of Pike River and reaffirm its commitment to safe workplaces by ensuring there will be a Minister responsible for Pike River, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “The Pike River disaster ...
    3 days ago
  • Yes to Sallies – Labour will build more state houses
    The Salvation Army’s latest report ‘Taking Stock’ shows why New Zealand needs a Labour-led Government committed to a massive house building programme, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “When the Sallies say the country needs 2000 extra state houses a ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders deserve better than scaremongering over water
    New Zealanders need to hear from National about how they will fund the clean-up of our rivers and lakes for future generations. Instead, National has broadened its scare-mongering, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    4 days ago
  • School Leavers’ Toolkit to equip young people for adult life
    Labour will give school leavers the practical skills and knowledge they need for adult life with a new School Leavers’ Toolkit, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Our teachers and schools do a great job of teaching our children ...
    4 days ago
  • Pay equity to be a priority for Labour
      Labour will make sure that the country’s mental health workers are a priority when it comes to pay equity negotiations, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “It is very important for me to right the wrong created ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s positive education plan
    Today’s announcement on learning support is more tinkering and proof that only a Labour Government will deliver the resources that schools and parents are crying out for, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “We have a positive vision for a ...
    7 days ago
  • Pike footage raises questions over government’s actions
    The Government’s seeming determination to turn a blind eye to new questions about what happened at Pike River Mine is troubling, says Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor. ...
    7 days ago
  • Solution to rent rises lies in building houses and stopping speculators
    The spread of rental increases from the big cities to the surrounding regions shows why we need to get on top of the housing shortage build homes our families can afford, and lock out the speculators, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers don’t cost $18 a cabbage
    National is falling into a bad pattern of promising the world and not saying how they will fund it, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for honest answer on transport funding
    National needs to explain how they will fund the $6 billion funding gap in their 10-year Auckland transport plan, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for true numbers on overseas speculators
    It’s time for the Government to give accurate figures on the number of houses being bought by overseas speculators, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Raymond Huo. ...
    1 week ago
  • Fair and sustainable trade: A Green Party vision for New Zealand’s trading relationships
    Trade is a cornerstone of the New Zealand economy. It provides us with the things we want and need, and enables us to pay for those with exports that generate business opportunities and jobs. However, it should be recognised that ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers for future generations
    Labour will lead a nationwide effort to restore our rivers and lakes to a clean, swimmable state, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand really can do better on health
    Labour’s commitment to affordable access to high quality healthcare will provide a better service for New Zealanders than the current Health Minister, who will not apologise for statements that he made that wrongly criticised hard-working staff in the Southern DHB’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan the answer to motorway chaos
    Labour’s plan to build a light rail network and improve heavy rail and bus services across Auckland is the only answer to the kind of motorway congestion Aucklanders endured this morning, says Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build rail to Auckland Airport
    A world class city needs a rail connection from the CBD to its international airport – that’s why Labour will build light rail to Auckland Airport as a priority, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Let’s get Auckland moving ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is pay equity just too hard for this Govt?
    You are hard pressed these days to find someone that openly admits their misogyny, that men should still be paid more than women. Politicians proclaim that they want to see women paid more, but do their actions back it up? ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s commitment to our Rainbow nation
    The Labour Party has reaffirmed its commitment to New Zealand’s rainbow community with its 2017 Rainbow policy, featuring the goal to end HIV in New Zealand by 2025. Grant Robertson says Labour continues a long and proud tradition of advocating ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s vision for Auckland more than reheated roads
    Labour is more ambitious for Auckland than the reheated set of transport projects proposed by National, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Waiting urology patients are the tip of the iceberg
    The 10 patients waiting for urology surgery at Dunedin Hospital are just the tip of the iceberg, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.  "Hundreds of patients are waiting for follow-up appointments, but they are not deemed serious enough to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Landowners Misled by Maori Party
    Māori landowners are being misled by Government hui being held throughout the country promoting the troubled Māori Land Service (MLS), which underpins the Crown’s unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Johnny-come-lately approach to multinational tax won’t wash
    It’s a case of baby steps for a Government that still allows multinational companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “After nine years in government, five years after the issue of multinational ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland congestion up there with the world’s worst
    Traffic congestion is costing Auckland up to $2 billion in lost productivity according to the latest report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.  “This is a disaster and underlines the need for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Experience in Youth Parliament 2016
    Being a Member of Youth Parliament was an unexpected, but fabulous opportunity for me. It provided me a way to connect with other young people who have some things in common, and to learn what it is like to be ...
    GreensBy NZ Green Party
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour backs renters’ call for warm, healthy homes
    80 per cent of renters wish their home was warmer and drier, and that’s what Labour will deliver, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We can – and must – do better for Kiwi jobs
    Labour has the plan to get more young New Zealanders into jobs and tackle concerns raised in the latest statistics which show an extra 3000 young Kiwis are neither earning or learning compared to the same time last year, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement from Jacinda Ardern, Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party
    I want to start by giving my thanks to Andrew. His announcement today and the situation we have found ourselves in is not what anyone expected or wanted In my time working with Andrew I know one thing to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better homes for Maori under Labour
    Labour’s vision is that Māori enjoy an equal playing field and have the same home ownership opportunities as non-Māori, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Today Labour is proud to announce a detailed Māori housing policy from South Auckland’s ...
    3 weeks ago

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