Open mike 17/01/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 17th, 2012 - 105 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step right up to the mike…

105 comments on “Open mike 17/01/2012”

  1. Colin James claims: Inequalities can no longer be justified.

    He’s on a popular theme there, so popular he thinks “inequalities are the big political issue for 2012 and beyond.”

    Is it a problem we can coerce our politicians into doing something about? Is it something politicians can or should influence?

    Or do we expect too much of our government and MPs? Should we look at how we can do something about it ourselves?

  2. tc 2

    I know if one you could coerce if your not to busy blogging all day every day that is……wiping out gift duty wasn’t helpful on the inequality front Petey boy.

    • Removing gift duty corrected a major inequality – compliance costs of $70m for a tax take of $1m.

      http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/dunne-gift-duty-leaves-the-law-books-today/
      A sensible tidy up.

      • mickysavage 2.1.1

        This is something I wrote 12 months ago, “Peter Dunne’s christmas to the wealthy“.  It included this:

        That most annoying of MPs, Peter Dunne, is spearheading the change.  His justification for the change is set out in the report back to Parliament.  The report contains the following passage:

         

        “Gift duty no longer raises any significant revenue and imposes a high level of compliance costs on the private sector. The protection offered by gift duty in the areas of income tax, creditors, and social assistance have only ever been incidental rather than intended policy goals. In any case, such protection is indirect, inefficient, and very limited.”

        This is a bit harsh.  It is true it raises little tax.  No matter what the original motivation was however Gift Duty performs an important role.  It stops rich people setting up trusts and immediately divesting themselves of their assets so that the claims of potential creditors are defeated, and so that the wealthy do not immediately become eligible to such social assistance measures as Working for Families, Rest Home subsidies, or Student allowances.  If you are wealthy then it is wrong that with the stroke of a pen you can suddenly appear to be poor.
         
        Dunne knows this.  Dunne’s original announcement acknowledged this.  In his press release announcing the review of gift duty he said:

        “Gift duty was originally introduced to prevent people from circumventing the estate duty rules.  When estate duty was abolished, with effect from 1992, gift duty was retained to prevent people from gifting away large assets, where doing so may undermine the interests of creditors, minimise income tax liability or enable access to social assistance.

        Gift Duty performs an important role.  It has been criticized because it collects little tax but it performs well as a regulatory rather than a tax collection measure.  It stops the wealthy immediately divesting themselves of assets to defeat claims of creditors or to claim Government benefits intended for the poor.  It works.
         

        Unfortunately there does not appear to be any policy to replace the effects of gift duty.  The Dominion Post has suggested otherwise but it is bizarre that this Government wants to do away with gift duty under urgency without making sure that replacement regulatory measures are in place.  Unless it wants the State to make further provision for the wealthy.

        Merry Christmas to the wealthy from Peter Dunne.

         
        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Interesting how Pete George just sees the narrow world he wishes to see; as long as Dunne’s wealthy electorate becomes better off all is well.

        • just saying 2.1.1.2

          Well said Mickey.

          Maybe the left could introduce policy and legislation that would re-introduce death-duties at the same time as dealing with this inequitous bullshit.

        • Chris 2.1.1.3

          Except gift duty was not the only protection for creditors, creditors still have:

          Sections 204 and 205 of the Insolvency Act 2006 allow the Official Assignee to automatically cancel gifts made within two years before adjudication, or within five years if the bankrupt cannot demonstrate solvency at the time the gift was made;
          Section 292 of the Companies Act 1993 gives the Official Assignee similar powers but over shorter timeframes (6 months and 2 years); and
          Subpart 6 of the Property Law Act 2007 empowers the Courts to set aside property dispositions where there was an intention to prejudice the interests of a creditor. This provision is not time-limited.

          As for claiming benefits the abolition of gift duty does not change anything where it is solely based on income. People have always been able to give all income earning assets to a trust which in turn creates an loan which is interest free. They then gift this loan back over x number of years all the while having none of the income from those assets in their name – the abolition of gift duty makes absolutely no difference to this except for the number of years the loan takes to reduce.

          The same as above applies to reducing income tax liabilities – it makes no difference.

          The only benefit I know of which could potentially be affected is the rest home benefit which already looks back several years for gifts and takes those into consideration and they are looking at tightening the rules so it looks at trusts that you have control etc over.

          • mickysavage 2.1.1.3.1

            Um Chris …
             
            It used to be that it would take a long time to complete significant gifting then there was a window where it could be clawed back.  Nowadays the gifting can occur immediately and the timer starts on the day of the first gift, not the last.
             
            So instead of the immunity starting three or five years after an extended period the immunity now starts immediately after five years.
             
            So creditors can miss out under the new law.  Big time.

            • Chris 2.1.1.3.1.1

              I’m aware of that difference but I struggle to think of any realistic situations where this is going to cause creditors to miss out unfairly compared to the old regime.

      • Pete, having just read Mickysavage’s post (8.02am), I think he’s fairlt well shot your argument out of the water, and probably well into the statosphere.

        I guess this is something else the next government will have to correct…

  3. james 111 3

    This was some more excellent thoughts from Josie Pagani. Believe it or not My family,and I were all Labour voters untill we thought they had tipped to far over the edge on Welfare ,and punitive taxation.

    What Josie is saying is 100% correct ,and needs to be fully worked through by the Party. They could easily win back our votes if they were much more realistic on their approach to Welfare instead of breeding intergenerational dependency.
    I hope these ideas are allowed to be full evaluated by the old guard in Labour because they are right on the money in my view ,and in tune with the voters of today.See below from The Herald Today

    National tends to appeal to self-reliant or self-made people and the socially advantaged. Labour’s natural constituency is those who need some help. But the party should remember most people’s lives are not static. Not many are poor, ill, or disadvantaged permanently and do not need policies that assume they will be.

    For too long in its history, Labour espoused universal social welfare supported by punitive tax rates. Some in the party seem still to favour that prescription, not because most people want it or need it but because it might render them more equal and dependent on the state. Labour should devise welfare programmes that are targeted to temporary need and help people become self-supporting.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Believe it or not My family,and I were all Labour voters untill we thought they had tipped to far over the edge on Welfare ,and punitive taxation.

      Believe it? NOT

      For too long in its history, Labour espoused universal social welfare supported by punitive tax rates.

      Sure because those earning over $150K pa can’t afford to pay 39% on their $150,001st dollar.

      You’re a joke.

      America was at its greatest and fairest when its maximum income tax rate was 91%, in the early 1960’s

      National tends to appeal to self-reliant or self-made people and the socially advantaged.

      You mean it tends to appeal to social and economic predators, and those who are sociopathic in tendency. These individualistic neoliberals have overtaken the old fashioned conservatives in the National Party.

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        “You mean it tends to appeal to social and economic predators, and those who are sociopathic in tendency. ”

        WOW! Almost 50 % of the total population as well. So much for the 1% meme.

        • Jackal 3.1.1.1

          I don’t think that’s correct Gosman. CV isn’t saying that the entire population who voted for National are all social and/or economic predators… CV is saying that the Natz being that way inclined themselves gains support from that sector of the community.

          There’s no doubt that the social and economic predators within communities hold a lot of influence on people… as their mindset is to control. I think there are more far more weak minded people who are manipulated by the social and economic predators to support a party that does not act in their interests than there are actual sociopathic National supporters.

          The argument that james 111 once voted Labour but now votes National, and he/she would vote Labour again if they turned into National is childish and boring. His claims are based on assumptions. The “successful people vote National” and “poor people who need help vote Labour” rubbish is founded on the National spin-doctors misleading rhetoric.

          Labour does not need to develop policy that doesn’t recognize and further disadvantages the permanently unwell just because some loony right-winger’s bleat about the minuscule taxes they have to pay in New Zealand.

          • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1

            Gos has a problem with venn diagrams – his eyesight is so bad that two circles with a thin overlap appear to be one big blur.

        • mik e 3.1.1.2

          so 50% of the people are earning over $150,000 or is it that just 29% of the voting age population bothered to vote for National.

      • james 111 3.1.2

        CV
        You are whats wrong with the Party at the moment. The Party has far to many factions who all want their little bit. None of these find accord with the majority of the voting public, as wintessed by one of Labours worst Poll results ever.

        Who ever thought up the idea of giving working for families (the operative word working) to those already on welfare had rocks in their heads.

        It went down like a cup of cold sick even with Blue Collar labour party people. To many of these ideas are either coming from the Fabian socialists or the smaller fringe elements in the party without taking into account the total voting public. If labour just wants to appeal to the small number of fringe swing voters then fine but dont expect to back in power any time soon.

        Your fishing from an ever dwindling pond, Whilst the sea on the other side is getting much bigger. You have to appeal to the centre voters

        .Josie was quite correct in bringing up these points they need to be discussed as they are vote losers.It just illustrates to me how many factions in the party there are.

        How hard it will be for Shearer to unite the party without the left trying to undermine his position all the time. Good luck to him I say

        • Jackal 3.1.2.1

          Who ever thought up the idea of giving working for families (the operative word working) to those already on welfare had rocks in their heads.

          How would you propose to reduce our growing inequality and help the many thousands of children who live in poverty in New Zealand then james 111?

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.1

            From my reading of what James 111 says he actually wants to increase the poverty and suffering so that a few people can have far more than what they need.

        • lprent 3.1.2.2

          The Party has far to many factions…

          Which just leads me to understand that you have absolutely no idea about what you’re talking about. The Australasian Labour party perhaps? It has a much more formal internal structure. But it is pretty loose here and has been in the 20 odd years I have been quite active around the party (rather than just the basic volunteer I was in the 70’s and 80’s). We lost most of the proscriptive factions in the 80’s and early 90’s to either Act or further left.

          What you tend to find in the NZLP is that various people have various interests and people will coalesce together in pushing those when they agree, when they may have quite different views on other matters. For that matter it isn’t even inside the NZLP. With exception of a few terminally ‘religious’ people who view everything within doctrinaire positions (most of whom form a party of one), you find the same attitude pervades the whole of the left.

          Just have a look at this site for instance. Authors are everyone from my centre-right business and managerial views to Bill’s coop to rocky’s anarchism and Zet’s sense of humour. Commentators are even wider. Generally only fools don’t get tolerated..

          Frankly you just look like a posturing doctrinaire idiot with your dick in one hand and club in the other trying to beat people into the little slots you think that they should live in. In other words a fool.

          • beachbum 3.1.2.2.1

            I am no politcial analyst, but is it fair to say that Labour has lost more to the “minor” (not soi minor for Greens) over last few elections than National. So “factions” have already been catered to?

            I think for the Greens that there needs to be some evolvement from being seen as a party full of activists to more policy based rationale.

            I know someone will say that is happening and they are right – but I get the feeling that there is a “perception” that the Greens are still too “fanatical”. And a persons perception is their realirt – rightly or wrongly.

            Activism has been the root cause of a lot of good things, but that is not to be interpreted as all activist causes are for teh betterment of all.

            • McFlock 3.1.2.2.1.1

              Don’t forget the “floating voters” who simply decided to sink – i.e. the 20-30% who found nothing to vote for. Having two major parties who both use the same pool-table of “centrist” probably contributed to that, is my guess. Much as HC was an improvement on douglas or shipley, the repudiation of the 4th labour govt was light and comparatively last minute. 

              • beachbum

                Maybe the 20 or 30% dont vote because they dont really understand the issues and / or the importance. I bet they can all analyse a game of rugby or netball and are experts in that field.

                But if MSM continues to report car accidents and disasters around the world and have no interest in reporting on more informative issues then that will not help. They have an important role to play in educating rather than influencing their readership.

                • McFlock

                  yup – I’m certainly not saying that all non-voters would have gone labour. But it might have been good for a few percent.
                   
                  As it is I think the msmedia are finding it too easy to deliver pap – not enough competition in material focussed at NZers, not enough experienced journalists, and quality suffers therefore.

                  TVNZ7 will be sorely missed, mostly because I think they’re ditching it before everyone is fully ready for  the digital changeover and its biggest audience.

                  • mikesh

                    “Its biggest audience” is probably why they are ditching it. Or am I just being cynical?

          • james 111 3.1.2.2.2

            Ok Iprent you obviously dont agree with Josie Pagani dont believe that Labour need to change ,and did swimingly well in the last Election.
            I agree you do get a good cross section on here thats why I enjoy it. In terms of the make up of Labour having various interest groups that combine together. Wouldnt it be fair to say within Labour that often the fringe or minority interest groups seems to have the largest pull, and this has affected Labour voting base because the general public dont like everything they stand for. This has already been brought out in the open by Damieon Occonor who had a very firm opinion what went on in the Party especially in terms of candidate ,and list selection. His view differed markedly from yours

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.2.2.1

              Labour need to change but they shouldn’t become National lite as Josie Pagani seems to think. They need to become Labour – which they haven’t been since the 1980s.

              • james 111

                Draco
                So your interpretation of what Labour is or should be is what?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Labour is a right-wing party. Labour needs to become a left-wing party. As long as Labour remain a right-wing party people will continue to not vote for them.

                  • Gosman

                    Does that mean Mana is also a right leaning party because as far as I can tell they were pretty much to the left of Labour? How come they didn’t get more support if people are crying out for a leftist party.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Does that mean Mana is also a right leaning party because as far as I can tell they were pretty much to the left of Labour?

                      Gosman proves that he’s an idiot yet again.

                      How come they didn’t get more support if people are crying out for a leftist party.

                      I suspect that a lot of people are still viewing Mana as a Maori Party and thus don’t want to have anything to do with it.

                    • felix

                      There’s that basic logic issue of yours again, Gos.

        • Blue 3.1.2.3

          Whoever thought up the idea of giving WFF to beneficiaries had child poverty on their minds.

          Because a child cannot help whether their parents have a job or not. It’s not their fault, but they are the ones who suffer because of it.

          But you are perfectly correct that it didn’t go down well politically. The average Kiwi doesn’t give a shit about child poverty. What they want is to be patted on the back and congratulated for having a job. Because having a job is apparently not enough of a reward in itself, they want a gold star from the state too.

          And any trinket isn’t worth anything if everyone gets one. It’s not like they would be any worse off – they’d still get their WFF. But Kiwis never miss a chance to deny a poor kid dinner because it suits their prejudices and makes them feel superior.

    • So James 111 which particular tax and benefit decisions tipped your family over the edge?  Instances and dates please.

      • james 111 3.2.1

        Would means test the Pension, and The Gold card. Would limit the DPB to 1 child just as Bill Clinton did in the USA dont want young unskilled women becoming baby factories just to earn the DPB. Huge Social implications for the country long term.
        Would tighten up on Student loans ,and make them dependant on marks achieved. To many are getting the loans finding they cant do the work then leaving the Tax Payer with the debt. Would bring in working for the dole even if its some sort of community work. Would make people turn up to receive the Dole.
        Would stop the Family support thresh hold level at $50,000 or make it area dependant you cant tell me that someone in Nightcaps Southland should get exactly the same money as some one in Auckland where the cost of housing, mortgages are so much more expensive makes no sense at all.

        Hows that for a start

        • mickysavage 3.2.1.1

          Well Jamesy boy I think you have been telling fibs.  You said that various Labour decisions tipped you over the edge but did you know …
           
          1.  National campaigned on no means testing of National Super in 1975.
          2.  Gold card was a NZ First initiative although supported by Labour.  You would be the only “ex leftie” who does not support it.
          3.  Work for the dole, do you really want to pay MORE tax just so you can see people on the dole work?
          4.  Nothing there about Labour’s “punitive” taxes on the wealthy.
           
          In fact Jamesy it looks like a wish list, not a list of gripes.  I bet you never voted Labour in your life …

          • james 111 3.2.1.1.1

            I dont care who campaigned for it or not. Im talking about the fiscal repsonsibility now given the current economic climate. People Business earn money governments consume it some more wastefully than others. In regards to voting Labour oh yes I did and for about 5 elections

            • mickysavage 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Im really confused.  You say that Labour’s past decisions put you off Labour, I try and find out which ones and you then say that it is because of the current economic climate.  News Flash, National is in its second term.  Further news flash, as a proportion of GDP the Government spent LESS when Labour was in power than it does now. 
               
              Even further News Flash this Government gave tax cuts that meant it spent more than what it ewarns by a significant amount.

      • james 111 3.2.2

        More policy decisions ,and direction

        Student Loans for everyone
        Homosexual Law reform when over 85% of New Zealand didnt want it

        Bradfords anti smacking bill remember how about 90% wanted no change remember Bradford saying it would stop child beating what a load of crapola there has been more child deaths in the last few years than there has been for along time. (Helen made all of her Mps vote for it though many didnt want to) should have been a referendum

        Ditching the privy council Labour never campaigned on this ,and had no mandate from the people to do it in my eyes this was very dishonest, again should have been a referendum

        Cullen promised when he went into government they would control the tax creep ,and stop such a minority being gouged. He did nothing of the sort it got much worse under Cullen. He was fundementally opposed to dropping tax rates when he was in the good times. He could of got much more growth out of the Country but because of ideaology never did it. Sent out all the wrong signals

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2.1

          Bradfords anti smacking bill remember how about [1]90% wanted no change remember [2]Bradford saying it would stop child beating what a load of crapola there has been more child deaths in the [3]last few years than there has been for along time.

          1.) 90% of people said “No” to a question designed to get a “No” answer.
          2.) Such law changes take a generation or so to make a difference. You, like most RWNJs, expect change immediately.
          3.) Financial stress as that caused by a recession always results in an increase in abuse especially in the lower socio-economic classes who are always the ones who pay for the crises caused by the capitalists and their sycophants in government.

          • james 111 3.2.2.1.1

            Draco
            What about all the other points not just Bradfords failed Anti Smacking bill. Do you believe Labour had a mandate from the people to ditch the Privy Council. When they nver at all campaigned on it leading up to the Election?

            • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2.1.1.1

              Do you believe Labour had a mandate from the people to ditch the Privy Council.

              No, I don’t think they did but I supported doing so anyway as we’d been an independent nation for quite some time by then and our laws were no longer a direct reflection of UK laws meaning that the Privy Council no longer had any idea WTF they were talking about in regards to our law. We really should have dropped the Privy Council when we became independent.

            • RedLogix 3.2.2.1.1.2

              James. At this point you really need to recall that in the end ALL parties (except the now virtually defunct ACT party) voted for the legislation. And that it was in fact a Green Party Private Member’s Bill in the first place.

              Kind of unreal to demand in retrospect that Labour should have campaigned on it.

              But the simply reality is that there was no moral argument for voting against this legislation. Indeed that very moment Key announced that National was going to support the reform Bill, was his first decent break in politics.

            • Puddleglum 3.2.2.1.1.3

              “Bradford’s failed Anti Smacking bill”

              In what way has it failed James 111? I don’t think anyone has used a defense of ‘reasonable force’ since it was passed, have they? That presumably makes it harder for the perpetrators you allude to to defend their actions in court – doesn’t it?

              Isn’t that a success?

    • felix 3.3

      My family and I – including pets and houseplants – were all staunch Labour voters up until the 1930s and the reign of that tyrant Savage with his welfare state.

      That’s when we collectively felt they had gone too far and tipped over the edge etc etc

  4. Lanthanide 4

    The cats at Zion wildlife park are at risk of being euthanised because the receivers, Rabobank, just want to get on with extracting every last penny from the place that they can. Keeping the cats alive costs than more than simply killing them.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6267646/Zion-big-cats-could-be-put-down-lawyer

    The stuff article doesn’t make it entirely clear, but the lawyer was on the Radio NZ this morning. The decision was going to be made in February as to what should be done with the cats, but Rabobank has put through an urgent request that the cats be moved or killed. Because the issue of ownership has not been decided (that comes in February), there is insufficient time to organise moving the cats anywhere else, leaving the only practical solution to Rabo’s urgent request (after 5 months of doing nothing) to be euthanasia.

    I urge everyone to contact rabobank and let them know how you feel about this:
    http://www.rabodirect.co.nz/contact-rabodirect/default.aspx

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Customer relations manager just called me to discuss it.

      She said that Rabo’s intentions were definitely not to euthanise any animals and that it was totally incorrect the message that had been put out by the media. She didn’t have all the knowledge or background history as to the actual case and was mainly calling up customers to let them know that they definitely did not want to euthanise the animals.

      I flat out told her I didn’t believe what she was saying because it didn’t make any sense to my why Rabo was suddenly asking for an urgent decision to be made when they was already a court date set in February to decide this very issue, and that this case has been going on for years and they had at least 5 months to deal with it, and hadn’t.

      She has promised to email me back by 3pm today with more information as to why the urgent request has been made. I will post updates here.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Nice work mate.

        • Frank Macskasy 4.1.1.1

          Lanthanide – I’m interested in this as well. Please do let us know what transpires – even if they don’t phone you back by 3pm, and I’ll do a blog-piece on it, and circulate it.

      • higherstandard 4.1.2

        I expect Rabo to back down quite quickly as some of my colleagues have informed me that “talkback is shitting itself” on this news story.

        Go the big cats I say !

      • Lanthanide, just sent off this email to Rabo;

        Sir/madam,

        News is spreading like wildfire that your Bank may force the killing of the big cats at Zion Wildlife park.

        You folks have no idea at the bad publicity that this will bring your bank. In fact, it will probably undo the considerable advertising/sponsorship that Rabo invests in.

        You seriously need to review what your plans are for Zion Wildlife Park. As Gareth Morgan invested $30,000+ to help save one penguin – this is an opportunity that will serve you well, but only if you handle it correctly.

        Destroying dozens of beautiful big cats – many of whom are endangered species – is not just grossly irresponsible and downright foolish, but a wasted opportunity.

        For god’s sakes, get in touch with a media publicity company. The first thing they will advise you is: Do not touch a hair on those animals. You will only come out looking like animal-hating, money-hungry, big-business. Instead, keep the cats safe and associate their well-being with your Bank.

        As I mentioned above, news of this is spreading far and wide and will most likely be on the 6PM News on both TV channels. You have only a limited time to sort out this mess and not turn it into the biggest PR blunder since Adidas stuffed up during the Rugby World Cup.

        Your call.

        -Frank Macskasy
        Blogger, http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com

      • felix 4.1.4

        Good on you Lanth, we cats salute you.

        • Lanthanide 4.1.4.1

          Thanks guys.

          I’m pretty confident that Rabo don’t truly want to kill the cats (honestly, who would?), they just want to get them off the property so they can go about winding the business up ASAP.

          What I am interested in is why they can’t just wait until February. Why does it have to be urgently decided now, when a court date was already set. This is what I specifically want the PR woman to answer, because unless a cogent explanation is given for this action then we really can’t trust anything they say.

          Of course come the February decision, the correct thing to do would be to take all reasonable steps to re-home the animals. Any attempt to do otherwise will provoke a nasty PR storm for them.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.5

        Here’s the reply I received about 20 minutes ago:

        As per our discussion earlier this morning in regards to the Zion Wildlife Park and my confirmation to you that Rabobank has no intention of euthanizing any of the wildlife at the park.

        I confirm this statement and that every effort would be made to re-house the animals if required, unless due to health reasons this would be considered the most appropriate action.

        The other question you had is to why we have requested to bring forward the court hearing. I can confirm this is correct and that the court application is intended to support the sale of the park as a going concern, with the existing animals remaining in the park.

        There will be a media statement in regards to this issued shortly, however, I understand that it is a reasonable offer.

        I hope this answers your questions, however, should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

        Here’s the latest updates in the stuff story:

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6267646/Zion-buyer-lined-up-receivers

        “An interested party has offered to purchase the business and assets of Zion,” Colin McCloy, a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, said.

        PricewaterhouseCoopers was appointed by Rabobank.

        “The receivers believe the offer represents good value and the best option to preserve the operation of the park and the welfare of the animals.

        “However, existing Court directions need to be varied to support the sale process. As a result, the receivers have applied to the Court to have the existing directions varied.”

        So it sounds like Rabo were acting in the best interests on the animals, but the legal directions received by the previous owner’s lawyer were ambiguous and easy to read the worst into.

        • Frank Macskasy 4.1.5.1

          This whole mess is a clear indication that governments should think very carefully about permitting private zoos in this country. If the owner goes belly-up, it is extraordinary to think that the animals would be destroyed.

          Christ, that would be like euthenasing the entire Board of Directors of a failed corporation, just because they’re left millions in debt and hundreds out of a job…

          Hmmm…

          On second thoughts…

        • Frank Macskasy 4.1.5.2

          By the way, I got this reply from Rabobank as well,

          Hi Frank

          Thank you for your email in regards to the Zion Wildlife Park and I do agree there has been a media frenzy, which is natural considering the topic.

          However, I can confirm the Court application is intended to support the sale of the Zion Wildlife Park, as a going concern with the existing animals remaining in the Park.

          In addition, I can confirm that Rabobank has no intention of euthanizing any of the wildlife and would if required prefer to re-house the animals if necessary. Of course we are hopeful that the sale of the Park will be successful, which will be the best outcome for all concerned, including the wildlife.

          As PwC are the Receivers, a media statement from them has been attached for your information and I hope this answers your questions. However, should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

          Kind regards

          Jill Rudings

  5. Jackal 5

    Preventing crime

    It’s all very well and good to expect communities to be vigilant, but what about the main driving force behind crime?

    • Drugs and alcohol have proven very difficult to deal with. Do you think total prohibition would work? It could do the opposite and increase crime, that’s happened in the past,.

      • Jackal 5.1.1

        I wasn’t talking about alcohol or drugs Pete George… I was talking about inequality. That’s the main driving force behind crime. But since you raised the issue… total prohibition wont work. Is anybody actually suggesting it?

        If we want our communities to have less crime, giving people enough to survive on, ensuring people don’t fall through the cracks and having less alcohol outlets with stricter hours are a few obvious steps. We should include the actual social cost in the shelf price of alcohol instead of subsidizing it so that companies like Lion Nathan can make huge profits (A$272.7m profit on revenue of A$2.09 billion for 2008).

        We should do this for everything. Why should taxes subsidize somebodies wages who are working for McDonalds earning peanuts selling crap food that has been shown to make people sick? Why should the environment pay for the huge amounts of toxic packaging just so the manufacturer can make more money out of the consumer? I’m not anti taxes, I just don’t like the public subsidizing destructive industries.

        As for drugs, National has been cutting funding to halfway houses and rehabilitation programs… so we need to do the opposite of that. Decriminalizing marijuana and education has been shown to decrease overall consumption, and decreasing the use of any drug legal or illegal has a knock on effect of reducing consumption rates of all drugs.

        We need to look at the facts and not get caught up in rhetoric, which is often wrong.

  6. Any interesting post on pros and cons of capitalism – especially ‘real’ capitalism versus ‘crony’ capitalism (rife at the moment).

    The case for real capitalism.

    And in line with previous inequality comments one of the summary lessons includes:
    ” Excessive pay is a serious issue.”

    • Just read the PDF, Pete George.

      Sadly, it was nothing but unsubstantiated rhetoric (no citations of evidence) by some Conservative MP from ‘the enterprise group’ – whatever that is. It’s little more than an unconvincing collection of unfounded assertions and cliches in search of some coherence. It’s also remarkably unoriginal for a ‘think piece’.

      Have you ever stopped to think why capitalism is invariably ‘crony capitalism’ – as the MP says – ‘even’ in the UK?

      I imagine you’d find an equally vacuous PDF on ‘real socialism’ very ‘interesting’ too, Pete George?

  7. randal 7

    ipredict that mathew hooton is going to get a pimple on his nose that wont go away.

  8. prism 8

    Standard and Poors, Moodys, Bear Stern – the names of these financiers are amusing. It is so necessary to keep a sense of humour plus irony when hearing that these god-like entities are passing judgment on sovereign countries. They are causing damage to them when they are needed to keep on task to help the financial world keep prosperous. These firms get to be both anti-government and free market slanted while at the same time playing governments like a trout fisher with one on the hook.

    Just to remind people like me who struggle to keep up here is an excerpt from Wikipedia info on the documentary film Inside Job which I have on my must watch list.

    In the 2000s, the industry was dominated by five investment banks (Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Bear Stearns), two financial conglomerates (Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase), three securitized insurance companies (AIG, MBIA, AMBAC) and three rating agencies (Moody’s, Standard & Poors, Fitch). Investment banks bundled mortgages with other loans and debts into collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), which they sold to investors. Rating agencies gave many CDOs AAA ratings. Subprime loans led to predatory lending. Many home owners were given loans they could never repay.

    • Inside Job is a great movie.  After watching it you have this compelling urge to find a merchant banker and punch them in the nose …

    • Gosman 8.2

      I didn’t realise Standard and Poors, and Moody’s were financiers.

      What do they finance exactly?

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        What a fraking stupid question

        They GREASE THE WHEELS as PART OF THE MACHINE

        By rating false toxic assets as AAA so they can be palmed off on to unsuspecting pension funds and countries, and timing the downgrade of sovereign nations so that banksters can swoop in and buy hard assets up for cents on the dollar.

        Idiot.

        • Gosman 8.2.1.1

          So they work in finance but they aren’t financiers. To try and lump them in with them would be like claiming that the person who delivers a bed to a whorehouse is a prostitute. It is nonsensical.

          • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1.1

            nope, it’s like saying that the receptionist who markets the girls in a whorehouse by rating them over the phone to punters is a marketer, seller and rater of prostitution services.

            Which is what Moodys, S&P and Fitch are.

          • prism 8.2.1.1.2

            Ah but prostitution is legal now. Much of what these finance-greasers do either is profitable to them and destructive to other companies and the health of the financial system, borders on, is illegal, or tests the defences of the financial legal system (until they can organise a lobby to change the law).

    • nadis 8.3

      You should also read “The Big Short” by Michael Lewis.

  9. randal 9

    thenames are impressive but all the originals are long dead and gone now.
    now they are all run by faceless suits with mba’s and quants in the back room.
    the mystery of capitalism is gone.
    its just geeks grinding the numbers.
    the people dont count.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      its an age of crony cartel capitalism. Corporatism actually, which is closely associated with fascism.

      In the US their government is a revolving door of the same senior personnel who move between investment bank boardrooms, Congress and White House positions. Obama’s new Chief of Staff is Jack Lew, a fomer senior Citibank executive.

      His former Chief of Staff Daley was a former JP Morgue senior executive.

      Do you really think the Obama White House is going to take any serious action against the Banksters? When all his personnel and all his campaign funds come from the bankster cartel?

      Its a fucking joke.

      Hey you right wing free market capitalist types, you should be railing against this bullshit SME crushing, real value innovation destroying cronyism.

      But you won’t will you.

      • nadis 9.1.1

        I’m a right wing type and worked in the industry for many years.

        I agree with your sentiments, but perhaps not the causes, conspiracy theories or “solutions”.

        IMO, capitalism is the best solution – certainly better than any alternatives but what we saw over the last decade was not capitalism. You are right identifying – cronyism, regulators looking the other way, too much power concentrated in too many hands. Capitalism is what has lifted billions of people out of poverty. We just need a more considered form of capitalism.

        With hindsight I am sure Bernanke and co would have cleaned up differently, but at the time they did what they understood was necessary in the absence of good information or relevant history.

        Sandy Weill getting past Glass-Steagal was a primary cause. Investment banks moving away from the partnership model was another cause. Incentives for lenders to extend credit to non-creditworthy borrowers was another. Greenspan running stupidly accomodative policies and ignoring regulation was another. Not having central clearing houses for the OTC trade was another. Ratings agencies getting paid $250k to rate a CDO was another. Ratings agencies backsolving an investment grade rating for upper tranches of CDO’s by fiddling correlation assumptions another. Implicit support of banks by sovereigns another. Consumers borrowing recklessly another. Sovereigns borrowing recklessly to hide loss of competitiveness another.

        But the good news is it is all solvable – take the medicine and move on even if the wrong people pay.

        As long in the future “too big to fail” becomes an accusation rather than a comfort.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    National tries to control the media

    Just before the election, TV3 screened Inside Child Poverty: A Special Report. The documentary was funded by NZ on Air, and its aim was to expose child poverty in New Zealand and get people thinking about it. It succeeded. Unfortunately, that success was at the expense of the National Party, which really, really didn’t want to talk about the issue. And so post-election, its hacks on the NZ on Air board are trying to ensure that it never happens again:

    Gee, why am I not surprised.

    • ianmac 10.1

      A bit scary that a Government could even consider interference in such a way. Does this suggest that future programs should be given the “Fijian once over” before airing?

    • Puddleglum 10.2

      That is a clear case of political heavying of a major media outlet via the tool of NZOA.

      McIlrea (sp?) – Key’s electorate chairman on the NZOA board – kept pursuing the issue. Yet NZOA was never going to be accused of ‘political bias’ by any sane person since it had no control whatsoever over scheduling of programmes it funds.

      and the idea that NZOA should unilaterally take it upon itself to regulate the election period scheduling via adding clauses to its contracts is very peculiar. Any prohibition of types of programmes screened during the election period would surely have to be regulated by parliament, not NZOA??

      I wonder if McIlrea thinks that the inquiries into the earthquakes and Pike River, the Rena grounding, the Standard and Poors downgrade, etc. should also not have been the subject of any media documentaries during the election period? Or was he just trying to chastise the only instance of current affairs – that might put National in a bad light – that he thought he could via NZOA?

      Very dodgy stuff.

  11. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1201/S00050/nz-asset-sales-policy-began-on-wall-street.htm

    NZ Asset Sales Policy Began On Wall Street
    Monday, 16 January 2012, 5:23 pm
    Opinion: Clutha River Forum

    NZ Asset Sales Policy Began On Wall Street

    By Lewis Verduyn

    The Key government’s asset sales agenda is derived from the Washington Consensus – a set of Wall Street-driven policies that were pronounced dead after the global financial meltdown in 2008.[1] The New Zealand government, however, remains loyal to this failed ideology.

    Why? The obvious link is Prime Minister John Key – a former investment banker for Merrill Lynch, the world’s largest brokerage failure.

    In most other countries, state asset sales have become a last resort on the road to poverty and ruin, but for the Key government, asset sales are “business as usual.” [2]

    So what’s really behind asset sales?
    All wealth extraction is facilitated by international and national economic policies, coupled with the private banking system, which together deliver benefits to the financial elite by transferring wealth upward within and between nations.

    The state asset sales policy is just one of several reforms under the Washington Consensus, a set of monetary and economic policies designed to allow: the privatization of public resources and utilities, the removal of barriers to foreign investment and ownership, the sale of state assets, trade liberalization, deregulation, the lowering of business taxes, and cuts to public services.[3]

    These “free market” reforms are collectively termed neoliberalism.[4] Simply, they provide big business with improved legal access to markets and assets worldwide.

    The Key government’s asset sales agenda fits obediently into this ideology  the same ideology that ushered in financial deregulation, record bank bailouts, and the Second Great Depression.[5]

    Governments in New Zealand have succumbed to the neoliberal movement since 1987, when the first round of asset sales began, as a Reagan-Thatcher-Douglas experiment.

    Under these policies since the 1980s, New Zealanders have experienced almost the greatest increase in income inequality in the OECD.[6]

    The deep roots of neoliberalism …….”

    [1] Anthony Painter. (2009, April 10). The Washington Consensus Is Dead. The Guardian., Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU, UK.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/apr/09/obama-g20-nato-foreign-policy

    [2] Mixed Ownership Monitoring Unit. (2011, December 15). Mixed Owner Model For Crown Companies. Crown Ownership Monitoring Unit , 1 The Terrace, Wellington 6011, New Zealand.
    http://www.comu.govt.nz/publications/information-releases/mixed-ownership-model/

    [3] John Williamson. (2004, September 24-25). A Short History of the Washington Consensus.
    http://www.iie.com/publications/papers/williamson0904-2.pdf

    [4] Neoliberalism. Wikipedia.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism

    [5] Steve Keen. (2011, December 3). We’re Already In The Second Great Depression, We Just Don’t Realize It Yet.
    http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-12-03/markets/30471134_1_second-great-depression-hope-new-jobs

    [6] OCED. (2011, December 5). Governments must tackle record gap between rich and poor, says OECD.
    http://www.oecd.org/document/40/0,3746,en_21571361_44315115_49166760_1_1_1_1,00.html
    ‘The gap between rich and poor in OECD countries has reached its highest level for over 30 years, and governments must act quickly to tackle inequality, according to a new OECD report. “Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising” finds that the average income of the richest 10% is now about nine times that of the poorest 10 % across the OECD.’

    ……………………..

    (There’s a LOT more! )
    ____________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    [email deleted]

  12. Here you go folks!
    MORE ‘SMOKING GUN’ EVIDENCE OF THE LINK BETWEEN THE NZ FOOD BILL AND CODEX ALIMENTARIUS:

    Review of NZFSA risk management processes underway | Scoop News
    http://www.scoop.co.nz

    “Review of NZFSA risk management processes underway

    31 January 2008

    The initial stage of a review of New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) risk management processes is nearing completion.

    In mid-December last year Food Safety Minister Lianne Dalziel announced that internationally-renowned food safety expert Dr Stuart Slorach would be undertaking the review. ….

    Food Safety Minister Lianne Dalziel has stated: “Dr Slorach has extensive experience in this area. He was Chair of the Management Board of the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) during its critical establishment phase, and Chair of the international food standards setting agency, the Codex Alimentarius.”
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Review of NZFSA risk management processes underway
    Friday, 1 February 2008, 1:43 pm
    Press Release: New Zealand Food Safety Authority

    Review of NZFSA risk management processes underway

    31 January 2008

    The initial stage of a review of New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) risk management processes is nearing completion.

    In mid-December last year Food Safety Minister Lianne Dalziel announced that internationally-renowned food safety expert Dr Stuart Slorach would be undertaking the review.

    Dr Slorach has been in New Zealand for the past two weeks, and leaves for Europe today. During his time here he has evaluated NZFSA’s systems and processes and met with Minister Dalziel and a wide range of interested parties, including scientists, members of special-interest groups, and representatives of food industry and consumer organisations.

    During February Dr Slorach will visit the government food safety agencies of Ireland, Denmark and Sweden with the aim of comparing the approach in New Zealand with that of these highly regarded, European nations.
    Dr Slorach is expected to return to New Zealand in late March to finalise his review, with Ministerial consideration of the final report and recommendations in the second quarter of the year.

    Dr Slorach has been given full access to NZFSA files, staff and resources during his time in New Zealand. “I have had an opportunity to meet with people from a range of backgrounds and over the next month will be assessing the material I have gathered during my time here. My next step will be to undertake an assessment of NZFSA’s decision-making processes compared with those of the other food safety agencies.”

    Food Safety Minister Lianne Dalziel has stated: “Dr Slorach has extensive experience in this area. He was Chair of the Management Board of the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) during its critical establishment phase, and Chair of the international food standards setting agency, the Codex Alimentarius.”

    Dr Slorach also chaired an independent enquiry set up by the Norwegian government into the handling of an outbreak of foodborne illness caused by E.coli O103:H25 in Norway in early 2006

    ENDS
    ________________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    [email deleted]

    • McFlock 12.1

      Just because it sounds like “illuminati” doesn’t mean Dan Brown should write a book about it.
       
      I still don’t get what the big deal is about the food bill. Nor, I suspect, do you.

      • Penny Bright 12.1.1

        publicwatchdog (886) Says:
        January 17th, 2012 at 6:10 pm

        Here you go McFlock – try THIS:

        MORE ‘SMOKING GUN’ EVIDENCE OF THE LINK BETWEEN THE NZ FOOD BILL AND CODEX ALIMENTARIUS:

        Review of NZFSA risk management processes underway | Scoop News
        http://www.scoop.co.nz

        “Review of NZFSA risk management processes underway

        31 January 2008

        The initial stage of a review of New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) risk management processes is nearing completion.

        In mid-December last year Food Safety Minister Lianne Dalziel announced that internationally-renowned food safety expert Dr Stuart Slorach would be undertaking the review. ….

        Food Safety Minister Lianne Dalziel has stated: “Dr Slorach has extensive experience in this area. He was Chair of the Management Board of the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) during its critical establishment phase, and Chair of the international food standards setting agency, the Codex Alimentarius.”
        __________________________________________________________________________

        Review of NZFSA risk management processes underway
        Friday, 1 February 2008, 1:43 pm
        Press Release: New Zealand Food Safety Authority

        Review of NZFSA risk management processes underway

        31 January 2008

        The initial stage of a review of New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) risk management processes is nearing completion.

        In mid-December last year Food Safety Minister Lianne Dalziel announced that internationally-renowned food safety expert Dr Stuart Slorach would be undertaking the review.

        Dr Slorach has been in New Zealand for the past two weeks, and leaves for Europe today. During his time here he has evaluated NZFSA’s systems and processes and met with Minister Dalziel and a wide range of interested parties, including scientists, members of special-interest groups, and representatives of food industry and consumer organisations.

        During February Dr Slorach will visit the government food safety agencies of Ireland, Denmark and Sweden with the aim of comparing the approach in New Zealand with that of these highly regarded, European nations.
        Dr Slorach is expected to return to New Zealand in late March to finalise his review, with Ministerial consideration of the final report and recommendations in the second quarter of the year.

        Dr Slorach has been given full access to NZFSA files, staff and resources during his time in New Zealand. “I have had an opportunity to meet with people from a range of backgrounds and over the next month will be assessing the material I have gathered during my time here. My next step will be to undertake an assessment of NZFSA’s decision-making processes compared with those of the other food safety agencies.”

        Food Safety Minister Lianne Dalziel has stated: “Dr Slorach has extensive experience in this area. He was Chair of the Management Board of the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) during its critical establishment phase, and Chair of the international food standards setting agency, the Codex Alimentarius.”

        Dr Slorach also chaired an independent enquiry set up by the Norwegian government into the handling of an outbreak of foodborne illness caused by E.coli O103:H25 in Norway in early 2006

        ENDS
        ________________________________________________________________________

        MORE ‘SMOKING GUN’ EVIDENCE LINKING NZ FOOD SAFETY BILL CODEX ALIMENTARIUS & THE PREVIOUS NZ (LABOUR) GOVERNMENT

        http://www.foodsafety.govt.nz/elibrary/industry/Government_Response-Proposed_Thenzfsa.pdf

        “(From) Office of the Minister for Food Safety

        (To) The Chair, Cabinet Economic Development Committee

        GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATIONS MADE IN THE REVIEW OF THE NEW ZEALAND FOOD SAFETY AUTHORITY’S RISK MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK AND ITS APPLICATION.

        Proposal

        1. This paper by way of attachment, sets out a proposed response to the 39 recommendations made by Dr Stuart Slorach in his report Food Safety Risk Management in New Zealand: A review of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority’s risk management framework and its application.
        The Committee is asked to consider the suggested response (at Attachment A) and the recommendation to release the response and other attachments as referred to in this paper.
        The Committee is also asked to confirm its agreement to an announcement of the government response.”

        (See Recommendation 13, Pg 9, and Recommendation 14, Pg 10 )

        __________________________________________________________________________

        Interested in your ‘considered’ opinion McFlock, after you have carefully read the above documents?
        (In full)?

        Kind regards,

        Penny Bright
        [email deleted]

        • McFlock 12.1.1.1

          Your point?

          • McFlock 12.1.1.1.1

            A slightly more thorough opinion, then.
              
            You seem to be outlining links between New Zealand food safety officials/politicians and the Codex Alimentarius. Shockingly, when reviewing NZ food safety standards the government sought advice from people with extensive experience in studying and advising on national food safety plans. And the hidden edifice behind it is a cloaked organisation established by the secret world government (UN). I congratulate you on uncovering this global conspiracy to eradicate the eketahuna farmers market. The fiends hid this  plan in the occasional press release. This conspiracy is supported by the global corporate front organisations, also known as public health officials.
             
            I still haven’t discovered where the food bill is much more draconian than the current 30y.o. legislation. 
             

        • beachbum 12.1.1.2

          Penny,

          If you want to get your message across to average Joe’s like me, who voted National but still take an interest to look at these sites, (i.e. call me a swinging voter if you must), you need to get a few bullet points across. Not all of us have the time to be able to read everythig that is avaialble. Thats why I like to see these sights that usually have “the short story”.

          Just a suggestion – then I might actually get your point instead of referring to smoking guns.

  13. Jackal 13

    Internet goes on strike

    On January 18th, 2012 the internet is going on strike to stop the web censorship bills in Congress! Now is our moment— we need you to do everything you can, whether you have a website or not…

  14. Jackal 14

    Boycott Rabobank

    Is Rabobank crazy? To even contemplate killing these endangered animals is fucking unbelievable! Rabobank should think about the international scandal this is turning into, with the despicable idea causing New Zealand worldwide embarrassment…

    • Jum 14.1

      Jackal,

      Rabo bank demand to have wild animals killed so they can take over a bit of land. I’ll tell you why. Rabo has to remove any ongoing costs to achieve a better purchase price.

      Investors want the land; they don’t want living creatures which need to be looked after costing them money for food and lodgings. They’re prepared to pay more for cleared land.

      This country has no right to have any sense of pride in itself. It is sick deep down when the order of the day is to get the courts to grant the killing of animals for a bit of extra money.

  15. ianmac 15

    Fascinating time lapse photography from a point on the Rema. Especially last quarter.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/rena-oil-spill/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503203&gal_cid=1503203&gallery_id=123440

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    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    4 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
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    6 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
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    6 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Local bodies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A future of government
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
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    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
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    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
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    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
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    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
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    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago