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Open mike 18/04/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:48 am, April 18th, 2014 - 173 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

173 comments on “Open mike 18/04/2014”

  1. swordfish 1

    Dang ! Missed Mike’s tribute to the Anfield Lads (April 14). And me a Liverpool fan since a babe in arms.

  2. David H 2

    I see that the Granny cant even put in working links. Anything new just defaults to the main page. And as they don’t seem to read e\mail over the weekend.

  3. bad12 3

    The latest Roy Morgan out yesterday will please both the Mana and Internet Parties, both now registering 1% on the Morgan,

    That will probably stimulate further talks between the two, the jump in Mana’s % of support has probably been measured too lightly as much of that support will be centric to the Maori electorates,

    2% measured support befor the real business of the election campaign cranks up into top gear will please supporters of both Parties, i won’t predict it but there is the possibility of the Mana/Interent alliance, if it happens, grabbing 5% of the vote in September…

    • big bruv 3.1

      Speaking of Roy Morgan. Labour at 28.5% and the Greens at 11.5%.

      All in all a great result for New Zealand.

    • Clemgeopin 3.2

      Yes, a promising start for Mana and Internet party, but I was hoping for 3% at least at this stage.

      It is also a disappointing result for Labour and I suspect Labour’s downfall is mainly the Green party.

      The Greens have their dedicated core support of around 10% of voters, but the Green party scares a lot of potential Labour voters including from other parties because of the fact or perception that the Greens will want to bring in too many of their extreme looking policies too suddenly and also that they may want to increase taxes such as for road transport, petrol, ETS etc and perhaps also due to their extreme positions on mining and deep sea oil exploration.

      In my opinion, while the Green policies are laudable, the party should become more pragmatic and go slower in their lofty aims. People accept changes if they are brought about slowly over time and not forced too fast. People need a paradigm shift in their ways and thinking, but that takes time.

      The Green party leaders should recognise these dangers and make their very SHORT list of main realistic policy positions for the NEXT term very very clear for the voting public and the other political parties. If they do not understand this political and common sense reality, and just continue as now, they will end up with around their usual 10% result, but will hugely damage the votes of Labour and the chance of a left wing government.

      Time is short. They need to get pragmatic and act fast.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        It’s not the Greens with the extreme policies – that would be National, Act and the CCCP.

        • marty mars

          I agree draco – The Greens have got to get into power – we need them there and in terms of their policies going slower isn’t an option – going faster and making real change is necessary and essential.

      • weka 3.2.2

        Clemgeopin, can you please go and read GP policy, and the pay attention to what they actually do? It’s the perpeption that is the problem – there is nothing particularly extreme about GP policy, and they have in fact adapted to the pragmatic realities of NZ politics. Your comment contributes to misperception rather than promoting solutions.

        • Clemgeopin

          Perhaps you have misunderstood the points I was making in my post.

          • weka

            perhaps I have and perhaps you could clarify if that’s the case.

            • weka

              btw, “The Green party leaders should recognise these dangers and make their very SHORT list of main realistic policy positions for the NEXT term very very clear for the voting public and the other political parties.”

              Before the election the GP will release its 10 point list of what they want to work on if part of the govt. AFAIK they do this each election. Is that what you mean?

              • Clemgeopin

                Yes, but they need to give out such a list now or asap so that voters have time to digest, warm up and feel comfortable to vote to help form a Labour led Government.
                That short list should have moderate doable policies that do not scare too many voters away from helping to form a Labour led government.

                A statement somewhat like this will be very helpful:

                The Green party is keen to help form a Labour led coalition government.
                To that end, during the next term of government, the following will be the policies that we will like to implement. These are all very good for the country and its people. Change takes time. We understand that too many changes can not be made too soon. We will proceed slowly , pragmatically and wisely. We think that Labour and the voters will be comfortable with our following core ten moderate policies for the next term.

                [1] Raising the minimum wage to $16.00 immediately and work towards a living wage.
                [2] Build more state houses. Stop non residents/non citizens buying residential houses in the cities.
                [3] Introduce a moderate capital gains tax of 15% (excluding the family home).
                [4] Support, educate and encourage businesses and public services to have targets to adopt sustainability as a core value over time.


                  • Clemgeopin

                    Yes, but should be clearly set out, short, succinct, easily understood with specific details of time line and costs. The MOST important point is not to frighten the voters away with too many sudden changes, nor being too expensive for individuals, businesses or the country. Slow, but steady wins the race in democratic politics unlike in a bloody revolution.

                    • weka

                      Given taht the GP increased their MPs from 9 to 14 using the strategy that karol linked to, I think it’s reasonable to assume that they know what they are doing.

                      I don’t know when this year’s list is coming out, but this isn’t new stuff for the GP. They’ve been developing skills and strategies for a long time. I trust them.

                      Can you give an example of something you think has frightened people? (a recent example).

                    • Clemgeopin

                      I am not frightened. The voters seem to be, going by the polls, media talk and from speaking to people.
                      People are concerned about a 11% party wielding too much power disproportional to their popular support. I think the policies that scare people would be their possible taxes on roading, farmers, petrol, ETS, pollution etc. Personally I have no problem with these if they are moderate and progressive slowly over time.
                      The primary focus at THIS election is to help form a Labour led left block government and implement a small portion of Green’s moderate policies in term 1.
                      If the Greens stand on their lofty heights persisting on fast paced and many drastic changes too suddenly, they will still get their usual hard core about 10% support, but will make it very hard for a Labour led government to form for a long time, because of the political reality at present as I explained earlier.
                      For this particular election, it should not be Labour that is endorsing the Green policies, but it should be the Green party that endorses the Labour core policies so that more voters can feel comfortable with Labour and Greens.
                      The Greens don’t have to feel like they they are lap dogs, but should recognise that the Labour party is the top dog here. Otherwise, NZF will be the primary beneficiary, probably forming the National led coalition, with Greens and Labour having to wait for many more years to have the power to make the necessary great changes.

                    • weka

                      “The Greens don’t have to feel like they they are lap dogs, but should recognise that the Labour party is the top dog here.”

                      Lolz. What you don’t seem to realise is that the GP don’t work in that paradigm. They’re more a care and share kind of party ;-p

                      And patently Labour aren’t the top dog. The GP have a better line up of talented people, better policies, better PR, better online and social media access to their voters etc. I’m sure there are things that Labour do better than the GP, but you seem to be mistaking historical voting patterns as a sign of competency.

                      “People are concerned about a 11% party wielding too much power disproportional to their popular support. I think the policies that scare people would be their possible taxes on roading, farmers, petrol, ETS, pollution etc. Personally I have no problem with these if they are moderate and progressive slowly over time.”

                      That’s all about perception, the Crosby/Textor effect, and the fact that the MSM can’t do their job properly. Can you tie some specifics in your list to actual policy and then say what is wrong with what the GP are proposing?

                      Also consider that any increases in environmental costs will be offset by things like more accessible healthcare and education. I still see no proof that the GP’s policies would mean that individuals would have less spare income.

                    • karol

                      From where I’m sitting, it’s looking to me that the Labour Party would be better spending their time getting their own house in order, rather than telling other parties how to help get them over the line.

                    • weka

                      To illustrate, if you are worried about petrol tax you should be looking at the Nats.


                      GP transport policy – https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/transport-policy

                      This is why it’s all about misperception. When you actually look at GP policy, pretty much every time they are suggesting things that are well thought out and equitable.

                    • Clemgeopin


                      Unfair comment!
                      Don’t blame the Labour party for my posts. I personally have nothing whatsoever to do with the Labour party! I am an independent thinker/poster interested in politics and left wing socialist principles.

        • Clemgeopin

          I completely disagree. With 11% support, that is not being pragmatic or wise, but suicidal for the Left cause of forming a well supported government.

          • karol

            So you want the GP to be more like Labour currently is? And joining in the already crowded fight for “middle NZ”?

            • Clemgeopin

              NO. The 4 examples of policies I gave are pretty much the Green party policies I took from their website. You could add 6 more that seem moderate without frightening the people away and yet help implement many of the easily doable Green’s economic, social and environmental policies. If not, the writing is already on the wall as per the present polls.

              Step1: Have doable moderate policies.
              Setp2: Don’t scare the voters away from helping to form a Left block government.
              Step3: Win the election and form a Labour led government.
              Step4: Implement the agreed core policies in term 1.
              Step5: Perform well, without being too much of a wagging dog, please the people and get re-elected with a fresh list of ten new policies for term2


              • karol

                You seem fixated on the perception that the GP frightens people. In fact they have moved towards being more middle NZ friendly in the last few years. And you seem to want the GP to be subservient to Labour. They are not an extension of Labour. It’s up to Labour to campaign for representation themselves, and not aim to gain power by pressuring the GP to be Labour’s tame lapdog.

                The GP will have their agenda for this year’s election before long, I imagine. And they will more than likely have more funding.

                • Clemgeopin

                  Oh, dear! If such an arrogant, headstrong, heroic, smug attitude prevails widely in the Green camps, you guys will be shooting yourself in the foot as well as do tremendous collateral damage to the chances of a Labour led coalition government on Sept 20.
                  About 10% of people vote for Greens directly and a lot more are sympathetic to many of the Green principles but are scared to vote for Labour or a Labour led government because they are worried about too much of Green’s influence in such a government which might hit them on their back pocket. This fear drives them away from Labour towards National or NZF. You don’t agree I know! False, non fruitful, non pragmatic pride before a sorry fall!

                  • weka

                    I don’t think karol is a member of the GP.

                    “About 10% of people vote for Greens directly and a lot more are sympathetic to many of the Green principles but are scared to vote for Labour or a Labour led government because they are worried about too much of Green’s influence in such a government which might hit them on their back pocket.”

                    And here is the dilemma. The two big things that the GP are doing is working on poverty, and working on AGW. All the other things are important, but not as urgent. Solutions to poverty won’t make most NZers worse off financially, so when you say that you perpetuate the myth of the scarey Greens (and in fact do what you just accused karol of). The GP are currently the main party that is upholding traditional NZ values around fairness for all. They deserve to be supported for that.

                    Solutions to AGW will most definitely mean radical changes for all humans on the planet including the people in NZ currently fixated on their back pocket. But the alternative to that is to abandon the planet and the next generations to catastrophic environmental change that will be far far worse than anything the GP has ever proposed in terms of living within our means.

                    Because of that, I think they need to hurry up and make change more radically, but I also think that they have figured out how fast they can move to make effective change without scaring the horses.

                  • Here’s the problem I see with your theory: the Greens are not traditionally a party of ‘safe’ or ‘moderate’ voters. Many of the votes they picked up in 2011 were likely disillusioned Labour supporters who wanted a stronger left/liberal voice.

                    If the Greens decided to sacrifice their own voter base for the sake of appearing ‘moderate’ (and I don’t think it would work anyway given how hard National hammer the idea that anything the Greens, or even Labour, do is automatically radical) they’d just lose votes, either to a going concern like Mana or more marginal voices like the Alliance. In which case you might start complaining that Mana needs to be more moderate so as not to frighten the horses, or lament at the wasted votes going to leftwing parties which won’t pass 5%.

                    I don’t see this as a successful strategy for the wider left.

                  • karol

                    Arrogant? And non-Green voters/members telling the Greens how to run their campaigns, and which policies to foreground? That isn’t arrogant.

                    I’m not a Green Party member, but in recent years I have voted for them because they have the policies and approaches nearest to my left wing values. I stopped voting Labour a few years back, because they have ceased to uphold the left wing values and policies that I favour.

                    And I do get irritated by those who want a Labour led government (are you a Labour voter?) or Labour Party members telling the Greens, and/or Green voters what we should be doing. To me, in recent years, there are More problems with Labour than the Greens.

                    And, like weka, I continue trust the Green Party strategies and principles.

                    EDIT: And I agree with weka & Stepahnie.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      My points are altruistic to help form a Labour led left coalition government. You can continue to have all the trust for the Green Party strategies and principles, sure, no problem, but you are one vote. To form the coalition government, you need lots of total votes, not just around 10%. I have a feeling that the Green supporters here have completely missed the points I have made in my posts and why I have made them. Please read them all again with an unbiased open mind. I am not against the Green party. I am for getting rid of this bad right wing government led by the popular Key and I am for helping to form the next Labour led government. If the Green supporters and leaders do not understand or consider the strategy I have stated due to any sense of false pride, cocky arrogance or due to not reading the voters political perceptions of Greens, they along with Labour may have to remain glued to the opposition benches once again for which of course they have great experience so far of warming them from their far backsides.

                      P.S : I have no axe to grind. Yes, I vote Labour MOSTLY. Read my posts slowly again to see the points I was making. May be some pragmatic electoral wisdom will dawn second time round.

                    • weka

                      What evidence do you have that the GP leaders are cocky, arrogant or ignorant of voters’ perceptions?

                    • karol

                      Clemgeopin – I don’t agree with you, so I haven’t read your posts properly? Really? And you are the one that threw the “arrogant” word into the mix.

                      I also want a left government. So let Labour and the Greens get their acts together.

                      But that doesn’t mean Greens need to become subservient to Labour. They are two separate parties. The Greens offered to work with Labour. They declined. Ball’s in Labour’s court.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      That too was an arrogant and cunning move that would have helped Greens get more votes and damage the Labour vote, as it would have scared even more people away. (not the core 11% green voters). Think about it.

                      The smarter strategic move would be for the Greens to publicly endorse the Labour’s policies and a Labour-led coalition government with a few core Green policies that the people can feel non-threatened with. Such a move will make more of the doubtful voters vote for Labour or Greens, helping both parties.

                      I am convinced I am correct. I understand you have a different view.

                      P.S : You might have carefully read what I wrote earlier, especially my first post, but you have interpreted my idea and intentions quite wrongly.

          • weka

            “that is not being pragmatic or wise”

            What is ‘that’ in your sentence?

            • Clemgeopin

              Sorry weka. That was supposed to be my reply for Marty mars, who wrote,
              “I agree draco – The Greens have got to get into power – we need them there and in terms of their policies going slower isn’t an option – going faster and making real change is necessary and essential”

        • phillip ure


          “..there is nothing particularly extreme about GP policy, and they have in fact adapted to the pragmatic realities of NZ politics…”

          plus 1..

          ..and therein lies their problem..as there is little to differentiate them from labour..

          ..and perhaps the most stark example of that leeching/bleaching out of green values in the green party..

          ..is the twin-facts of a campbell live poll (16,000 voters..paying 50 cents each..) showing 84% support for ending the insanities of cannabis prohibition..

          ..and the second fact of the green party having that policy nowhere near their to-do list..

          ..what are they waiting for..?..100% support..

          ..does their fear-of-offending cause them to cower before the wishes of that prohibitionist 16%..?

          ..if not that..what..?

          ..and this is why the internet party..if boxing clever..will come out with a sensible/sane decriminalise/regulate/tax policy..

          ..and they will not only take away that pillar of previous green party support..

          ..they will also hoover up a sizeable number of those impatient at the blind-intransigence on this topic/subject..

          ..and a clearer marker of the epic-neglect of/by the green party of the constituency who first got them into parliament..

          ..is that at a time of decriminalisation breaking out like measles all over america..

          ..and nations like uraguay ending prohibition..

          ..what have we heard from the green party on this issue..?

          ..seizing/riding this wave of change..?

          ..that’s right..zip/zero/nada..

          ..and here’s a trainspotters’ question for you..

          ..who is the green party spokesperson on this issue..?

          ..i’ll betcha you don’t know..

          ..(hint:..he has the same hairdo as all those premature-balding men who do the total head-shave have..)

          ..see..!..you didn’t know..!..didya..?

          ..and nope..!..not even a press-release to be seen/within cooee..

          ..the silence is zen-like in its’ totalities….

          ..like i said..if the internet party boxes clever..

          ..that traditional pillar of the green party vote is there for them to just reach out and grab..

          ..(this is a cartoon we did on this..)


          • Clemgeopin

            LOL! That is a great cartoon!

          • Seti

            Harvard Medical School researchers think otherwise in new study –

            Even casual use of cannabis alters brain, warn scientists

            For too long cannabis has been seen as a safe drug, but as this study suggests, it can have a really serious impact on your mental health.

              • @ seti:..

                did you even read yr link..?

                ..or was it just a headline-grab..?

                ..here is the stinger-paragraph:

                “.. Prof David Nutt, from Imperial College, London – said a sample of 40 was not big enough to draw conclusions.

                Prof Nutt added:

                “Whatever cannabis does to the brain its not in the same league as alcohol –

                which is a proven neurotoxin.”

                (time for ‘a cold one’..?..there..?..seti..?..

                ..to wash down yr pot-harrumph..?..)

                • Seti

                  Hey, you left out –

                  Prof Nutt, who was sacked as a government drugs adviser for his views

                  You know when Harvard Medical School attaches its name to a report that it carries some weight.

                  It is currently ranked the #1 research medical school in the United States.

                  • a tory govt fired nutt for his urgings to end prohibition..(yr point..?..)

                    ..and the point he made..the sample deficiency of only 40..stands..

                    ..how was that ‘cold one’..?

                    • Seti

                      Yet the number one research institute has no problem with a small sample group.

                      And you assume any opposition to dope means I’m on the sauce? Well, as it turns out even a broken clock…

                      However, abstaining from alcohol does tend to increase one’s risk of dying

                    • the reference to ‘sauce’ is to highlight the obvious hypocrises in our attitudes to different drugs..

                      ..the current scramble to find something/anything bad to say about pot..

                      ..(jim mora almost sobbed with relief at finding/in heralding this story yesterday..)

                      ..but all around us the use of the major head/health-fucker/causer of violence..

                      ..is normalised to the extent..it has long been that you are considered weird..

                      ..if you don’t ‘sauce’..

                      ..but if you want to out yrslf as a current user/walking example of those hypocrisies..?

                      ..be my guest..

            • Murray Olsen

              Harvard Medical School might be better off investigating the effect of police persecution, random stops, being threatened with weapons, and imprisonment on mental health. I’m just guessing, but I think those things could be far more damaging than a few casual puffs on a joint.

    • Ant 3.3

      The attack by the Greens probably didn’t help much.

  4. karol 4

    “No Sebastian, put them down dear. You know what type of people eat crisps!” #overheardinwaitrose

    “The array of anchovies in here makes going anywhere else irrelevant…wouldn’t you agree Felix?” #overheardinwaitrose

    “Honestly children these days…I blame the au pairs!” #overheardinwaitrose

  5. This one can go in the WTF file I think

    Whether the affair had damaged her politically was for others to judge, she said.

    “But I think most people see that this is a situation where having my family attacked like this and brought into it in some way humanises me because I’ve never been seen as someone was particularly human.”


    Do humans really talk about being humanised?

  6. blue leopard 6

    Just thought I would repost this comment by ExKiwiforces summarizing an article in the Telegraph (Britain) . The comment appeared on Open Mike 16 April – it was posted late and I believe it might have been missed by a few people – I have added the links at the end:

    “The US is an oligarchy, study concludes”

    The US government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country’s citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities has concluded.

    The report, entitled Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens, used extensive policy data collected from between the years of 1981 and 2002 to empirically determine the state of the US political system.

    After sifting through nearly 1,800 US policies enacted in that period and comparing them to the expressed preferences of average Americans (50th percentile of income), affluent Americans (90th percentile) and large special interests groups, researchers concluded that the United States is dominated by its economic elite.

    The peer-reviewed study, which will be taught at these universities in September, says: “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

    Researchers concluded that US government policies rarely align with the the preferences of the majority of Americans, but do favour special interests and lobbying oragnisations: “When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it.”

    The positions of powerful interest groups are “not substantially correlated with the preferences of average citizens”, but the politics of average Americans and affluent Americans sometimes does overlap. This merely a coincidence, the report says, with the the interests of the average American being served almost exclusively when it also serves those of the richest 10 per cent.

    The theory of “biased pluralism” that the Princeton and Northwestern researchers believe the US system fits holds that policy outcomes “tend to tilt towards the wishes of corporations and business and professional associations.”

    The study comes in the wake of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, a controversial piece of legislation passed in The Supreme Court that abolished campaign contribution limits, and record low approval ratings for the US congress.


    And the actual study:

    Click to access Gilens%20and%20Page%202014-Testing%20Theories%203-7-14.pdf

    • Jenny 6.1

      The positions of powerful interest groups are “not substantially correlated with the preferences of average citizens”, but the politics of average Americans and affluent Americans sometimes does overlap. This merely a coincidence, the report says, with the the interests of the average American being served almost exclusively when it also serves those of the richest 10 per cent.

      Quote; Courtesy of blue leopard

      Fortuitously for humanity the civilisation destroying threat of climate change may be one of those “overlap” issues.

      Al Gore for instance is most definitely a member of the 1% but has done more to bring the attention of the wider world to an awareness of this threat than any other single politician I could name.

      What does this mean in practical terms?

      It means that the accepted wisdom that climate change should not be made into an election battle ground is completely false and even self defeating for those wishing to unseat the current incumbent National Party, whose record on dealing with climate change is woeful. (but unfortunately little removed from where the opposition parties are centred)

      So to unseat National and even unite conservative voters against them, there needs to be a clear demarkation between current government policy on coal mining, deep sea oil drilling and fracking and opposition policy.

      Unfortunately, currently this is not the case:

      “Labour says views on mining close to Govt’s”

      David Parker was Energy Minister during the last Labour Government and said about $20 million was spent on seismic surveys to supply to big oil companies and entice them to New Zealand.

      Labour’s finance spokesman, David Parker, says his party’s policies on oil, gas and mineral extraction are close to those of the Government.

      “I don’t think we are much different from National,” Parker said. “They’ve continued on with the programme that we started in respect to oil and gas,” he said yesterday after a breakfast for the Mood of the Boardroom survey in which chief executives expressed strong support for mining.


      In Auckland in the white bread suburb of Kohimarama at the far east end of Kepa Road on the left hand side in this predominantly well off area, on the corner of Godden Crescent and Kepa, and dominating the block, there is a large gated mansion with extensive grounds surrounded by a high bricked wall. Prominently pinned on the large wooden gates of this estate and facing the traffic is an an anti-deep sea oil drilling bill board.

      A sign of the times?

      The first swallow of spring?

      Maybe, maybe not.

      But while the blockheads in Labour still persist in supporting deep sea oil drilling, fracking and new coal expansion we will never know.

      • greywarbler 6.1.1

        Thanks blue leopard. Some reliable facts and critique. Very welcome and needed to back with concrete research our perceptions and feelings.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

          Yes, that is exactly why I thought I would repost ExKiwiforce’s comment – it would be a shame to miss such information.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2

        But while the blockheads in Labour still persist in supporting deep sea oil drilling, fracking and new coal expansion we will never know.

        It’s not just support of drilling/mining/fracking but support of capitalism that requires ever increasing amounts of extraction of our scarce resources and for them to then be sold that is the real problem. Any idiot should be able to see that such policies will leave us without those resources and thus poor but our political parties still follow these outdated and unsustainable practices.

    • Rogue Trooper 6.2

      Reading Hobsbawm this morning, he suggested a 1000, 10,000 at the most, people decide what determines the global market and market-related human behaviour at the time his How to Change The World was published- 2011.

    • ExKiwiforces 6.3

      Thanks again Blue Leopard also I actually live overseas and have been since 1998 hence the reason it was posted very late NZ time.

      On my last visit to NZ last mth I notice that NZ is slowly heading down this path and very disappointed that alot of the NZ Farmers are going back to a mono farming aka Dairying have they forgot problems of the 70’s and 80’s when it was wool and lamb?

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 6.3.1

        I figured that was why you posted so late. I thought your comment and lead was too good to be missed 🙂

  7. Worthwhile reading for anyone interested in Labour’s progress (or lack thereof). Kiwi in America is an ex Labour activist with an in depth knowledge of the party.

    Guest Post – Why is Labour Struggling in 2014? An Essay on the History of Labour’s Predicament

    David asked me to guest post this while he was away so here’s some reading over this stormy Easter weekend (I’m in soggy Christchurch as I write this). With Labour consistently polling between 28 and 34% (current poll of polls has Labour at just under 31%) since its defeat in 2008, it has a number of problems convincing voters that they are an alternative government in waiting for the 2014 election. Labour’s problems are three fold and the purpose of this essay is to posit the origins of their problems by drawing on my time inside Labour to provide some explanations:

    1 – Why its policies are less appealing to the vote rich centre ground of NZ politics
    2 – Why Labour has such a shallow pool of caucus talent from which to choose an attractive leader
    3 – How, under MMP, Labour have boxed themselves into a relatively narrow ideological centre left electoral corridor crowded out to the left by the Greens and Mana and to the right by National

    KIA goes into detail on Labour’s recent history. He concludes:

    Labour was once a great party. It attracted people of energy, passion and ability from many walks of life. It had reforming zeal usually tempered by the realism of its once broader membership base and if it went too far, the voters returned the Treasury benches to the safer hands of National.

    Labour’s 1984 to 87 Cabinet, despite their leftist roots, embarked on a series of dramatic reforms that have transformed NZ into the more vibrant and dynamic economy it is today.

    The left of the party waged a war so total and absolute to purge the party of that instinct that it has destroyed modern Labour and left it a shrunken left leaning shell of its former self that struggles to attract electable talent, will not rejuvenate its caucus, offers policies that excite only 25% of the country and fights with the Greens (who are seen as more pure and virginal) for the centre left vote.

    The harder left base are tone deaf to the electoral realities of New Zealand politics believing that they will win the day if the great unwashed knew what was good for them and if the policies of the left were articulated better.

    Without a major change of direction, Labour’s prescription is a recipe for long term electoral oblivion!

    Posted at: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2014/04/guest_post_-why_is_labour_struggling_in_2014_an_essay_on_the_history_of_labours_predicament.html

    • felix 7.1

      “Labour’s 1984 to 87 Cabinet, despite their leftist roots, embarked on a series of dramatic reforms that have transformed NZ into the more vibrant and dynamic economy it is today.

      The left of the party waged a war so total and absolute to purge the party of that instinct …”

      False premises lead to false conclusions Pete. That second sentence ought to have pricked up your little rat ears, even if the first didn’t.

      • greywarbler 7.1.1

        Anything that comes from Pete George needs to be handled with long tongs, and studied from a safe distance to avoid his ailments.. Otherwise called a flew of wisdom.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I just noted that the post came from kiwiblog and ignored it as it was obviously rubbish.

    • anker 7.2

      Who is this person? “Who is the former Labour Party Activist”? Name?

      To me it reads like more spin, more narrative about how Labour won’t win, won’t attract Talent (Does he mean like the likes of Simon Bridges? Hekia Parata?)

      He lost me when he said changes in 1984 ++ brought about a more vibrant and dynamic economy”

      More vibrant and dynamic economy for who?

      • felix 7.2.1

        That’s exactly the bit that should set the alarms off.

      • Ad 7.2.2

        Inequality and child poverty is at record highs, but we’re heading for 5.5% unemployed. That’s getting to Labour at it’s height under Clark and Cullen. National could fight this election on their economic handling alone, and win.

        • freedom

          “5.5%”, There sure are a lot of Brooklyn Bridges for sale these days.

          Ad, have you considered what the % would be if unregistered unemployed were included?
          Not to mention you could likely double that % instantly if jobs of under one hour a week were also included.

          Partisanship aside, a national employment statistic built on the premise that mowing a neighbour’s lawn twice a month, equates to ‘having a job’, is a fundamentally flawed statistic and only exposes the inherently corrupt reporting of economic realities facing New Zealand.

          • Ad

            Not sure why so many commenters confuse banal fact from the stronger truth and power of media narrative. It’s a “rock star”, it’s China as our mouth-to-fire-hydrant epochal change, it’s increased job adverts, it’s sharemarket floats, it’s business confidence, it’s their string of political-commercial deals.

            The MSM almost uniformly trumpet Key’s economic leadership, and reified the apparent results. Labour and the remainder of the progressives are generally fighting against this but are comprehensively losing the economic story.

      • joe90 7.2.3

        Who is this person?

        I do believe it’s this bloke.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.4

        Our economy is far less vibrant than it was and the conformity has ratcheted way up.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 7.2.5

        Who is this person?

        Only the author of the greatest Kiwiblog comment ever:


        Remember when McCain won the 2008 election?

    • Sanctuary 7.3

      Concerned trolls gonna troll, I guess.

    • Anne 7.4

      The left of the party waged a war so total and absolute to purge the party of that instinct …”

      That is bollocks. It was the right who started the war back in the late 70s and early 80s. Once in power they rode rough-shod over their ministerial colleagues including PM, David Lange. They used bullying and underhand tactics and openly demeaned colleagues who stood up to them. Finally those colleagues and many in the rank and file rose up against them. They were the authors of their own demise.

      Has it ever occurred to you PG that your frequent partisan selections of supposedly informed data actually expose how arrogant and politically naive you really are?

      • felix 7.4.1

        In much the same way as being stupid precludes one from knowing how stupid one is, Pete has no idea he is arrogant and naive.

    • is that the same kiwi in america who posted those bi-daily interminable screeds to persuade kiwiblog readers that obama had no chance of winning the democratic nomination..?

      ..and then went on to post bi-daily interminable screeds on how mccain was going to kick obamas’ arse..?

      ..is this the same sage that you now turn to for yr ‘fact-checking’/re-postable opinions….?


    • Ad 7.6

      It’s a thoughtful piece.

      I agree with the general point in it that the caucus talent is thin, and that this is the primary cause of succession difficulties. I cannot think of any around me in my forties who would consider it.

      I also agree that the rump of the Lange-Moore administration forms the ABC club that has actively fought renewal from day one.

      I don’t buy the Clark conspiracy. I simply view comprehensive and systemic HR internal promotion and selection as being part of successful leadership.

      The difficulties that David Cunliffe is facing are not caused by Helen Clark’s legacy. They are different.

      Firstly to get where he is, those seeking to reform the party from within have had to engage in nearly a decade of careful momentum-building. This included the Labour Party constitutional reforms mentioned in the piece in 2012. Given the intransigence and hard internal attacks of the rump, there was no alternative but to spend considerable energy focussing inwards paving the way for change. This no doubt appeared unattractive and blunted grassroots political evangelical confidence, but strengthened party membership and mechanisms considerably.

      Secondly, Cunliffe’s principle of meritocratic promotion of talent, rather than promotion for factional control, is going to take time to weed out the poor performers and invite talent to compete and win selection. National’s internal reforms of caucus have certainly been easier precisely because the churn enables more strivers to see a future pathway to power. Meritocratic promotion is in my view the only way to break down factions, but it’s root and branch, and it takes years.

      Third, the policy platform is having to be rebuilt from scratch. It’s a different path from both Clark and Lange/Douglas. David Cunliffe has had only since the abrupt leadership change barely six months ago to get this going.

      Finally, changing leader one year out from election has a massive drop in momentum internally. We can see that through the uneven changes in his leaders’ office. I am not yet convinced that the media team there are coherent, for example. That is only an illustration of the internal shifts that the entire supporter, membership and caucus groups have to go through.

      On David’s side are a few things.
      First, how close Labour got last time. In MMP it really is down to the wire. The essay writer appears to have left political activism under FPP and does not understand that it really is down to a 2-3% shift in National’s fortunes and all is in play.

      Secondly, Labour understand their base far better, and are mobilising far better than previously.

      Finally, it’s him. As Colin James said in March this year, when he’s at his best, David Cunliffe is better than John Key. The vital question is whether those around him allow him to enable his confidence, surefooted preparation, and his kind of future Prime Minister, to be made apparent.

      • JK 7.6.1

        I can go along with what Ad is saying. It IS going to be close, right down to the wire – but there are a number of things going for Labour which are “behind the scenes” so to speak, and time will tell if what is happening there will achieve the result we want.

      • Rogue Trooper 7.6.2


      • Anne 7.6.3

        A very good summing of Labour’s position Ad. Thanks.

        But I don’t agree with the assumption that the caucus talent is thin. I think there is quite a bit of latent talent that, for various reasons, didn’t get a chance to see the light of day under the Clark/Goff/ Shearer regimes. Add to them the fact it seems likely a number of people will join the caucus later this year who will significantly boost the talent pool.

      • Clemgeopin 7.6.4

        Good post!
        Your last paragraph is so true.
        “Finally, it’s him. As Colin James said in March this year, when he’s at his best, David Cunliffe is better than John Key. The vital question is whether those around him allow him to enable his confidence, surefooted preparation, and his kind of future Prime Minister, to be made apparent”

        The key to success is a combination of …

        Cunliffe, who can be very good,
        The polices which should excite and benefit voters and the country,
        The media managers who need to work much harder and smarter from now on..

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.6.5

        Yes great post Ad, nice to read something constructive and thoughtful.

        I agree with Anne’s comment re talent in Labour

      • Pete George 7.6.6

        Ad makes some good (and also thoughtful) points. I insert things like this into the mix to provoke thought (not not the numpties).

        I agree the KIA is a but old school, but there’s a lot that can be learned from history.

        I also think that meritocratic promotion is important. It’s a pity Labour didn’t start their rebuild five years ago, time is short for Cunliffe and as Ad says this approach takes time. But it’s important Labour sets themselves up for medium term rebuilding.

        In the meantime they still stand a chance this election, albeit relying on at least one sizable coalition partner. And they will be hoping Dotcom doesn’t mess things up for the left, that’s out of Labour’s hands and there’s a sizable risk of it.

        Cunliffe’s confidence is crucial for Labour’s chances this year. He can tend towards overconfident, he can’t let that get away on him but he also seems to swing to lacking in confidence. He needs to resolutely target September and stick to a solid plan – at the moment theirs no clear sign of that.

        With a number of wild cards anything could happen this election – but for it to happen in Labour’s favour Cunliffe has to sharpen up and minimise the mistakes they have been making too often, which now means any policy release is looked at with suspicions of cock-ups, and every small mistake is magnified.

        It’s not over yet for Labour but it won’t be easy either.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.7


    • SPC 7.8

      My reply to the post by kiwi in America post at kiwiblog is

      FACT 1 – The Rogernomics era had no mandate from the party. It nearly destroyed Labour.

      FACT 2 – It took till 1999-2002 and a Labour government that delivered on its manifesto to restore trust between caucus and party member – this lead to the end of any need for “New Labour”.

      FACT 3 – However this alone was and is insufficient for restoration. The Labour Party is not yet over what Rogernomics did to it (but then nor is New Zealand).

      To have a party based on democratic, and meritocratic, selection involves trust that candidates will remain loyal to the party and its manifesto. This was something completely breached in the 1980′s. So between 1987 and 2011, selection was based on a party faction patronage – this of course meant it was somewhat insulated from inclusive participation by the general public.

      The Labour Party was so abused by its caucus in the 1980′s that only the recent party reforms, the retirement of the last of the 1980′s era personnel and the decline of the party factions of recent decades will enable renewal.

      Too much focus on the people involved just obscures the circumstance in which they operated.


      FACT 4 – Being expert in managing factions gave Clark an advantage in MMP.

      The irony however is in that with a majority in caucus being of the ABC persuasion, when he was the choice of the wider party, we have continuance of the caucus and party divide that began their problems 30 years ago. And for the same reason, those dominant in caucus “knew better” (about policy or who should be leader).

      FACT 5 – Cunliffe will only get confidence from his caucus if the membership of it changes or he wins an election.

      FACT 6 – Labour Leaders are now required to retain the trust of their party, and thus the idea that a caucus leader can lead the party in new directions without first getting a mandate is now buried. The party can no longer be hijacked by turning its leader or finance spokesperson – a message to Treasury, whether in domestic and international aspect, as much as to the caucus.

      Whether this makes for a more left wing party is harder to say. The party activist is less likely to want caucus to compromise for centrist votes, yet a more open party means more internal diversity and a broader base membership.

    • Paul 7.9

      Well done Pete.
      Your intention to derail this thread has worked.
      32 comments and a lot of valuable energy burned dealing with your nonsensical comment.

    • ExKiwiforces 7.10

      Having just read that post over at Kiwiblog I think I know this person and the other person that he mention.

      I was at that Christchurch LRC meeting, I almost remember what happen as I attending meeting and voted in keeping the monies in Christchurch for future elections. Like a few other people in that meeting we thinking long term as this would benefit the LRC in the coming battles.

      We were hounded by Marian Hobbs and her supporters during for not supporting Head Office and we were distrusted from there on. I said to one union delegate on the way out at the end of the meeting us work class members are going to get f***ed over by this mob.

      Having seen/ been to a lot of the Labour meetings between 93-98 including the first MMP list meeting, thinking that at the time there we are making some weird decisions party wise and sometimes selecting the wrong candidate when it was a shoe in for labour and now I know why.

      Please don’t get me wrong I’m all for social justice, humans right and gay rights etc. But mustn’t come at the expense of the work class/ working poor and just because I didn’t go to university doesn’t mean I’m dumb I just didn’t to have any debit after studies. But I know a hell of a lot about peacekeeping / modern warfare that no university will ever teach me in a life time. I remember one Labour MP telling me I saying porkies about real peacekeeping, because this person university studies about peacekeeping/ peacemaking etc. was the real deal because the universities are always right. After that I have never renewed Labour membership since 2006 and that was the last time I voted.

      If Labour wants to win it must be a Broad Church again and listen to those members who have real life/job experience and not just from people who went to university, or party room hacks or from the public service.

    • Murray Olsen 7.11

      You put yourself forward as a fact checker, but can only have posted that rubbish in bad faith. The only type of ex-Labour activist who could have written that would now be in ACT, and probably has been since that vile grouping coalesced from medical waste. The only people here stupid enough to believe it would have already read it on Kiwibog anyway. Please hurry up and get banned again.

      • Pete George 7.11.1

        I didn’t put this forward as fact checking. I do a lot of things besides fact checking. I put this forward to promote thought and discussion.

        I didn’t endorse what Kiwi in America posted. I thought that anyone seriously interested in why Labour are currently struggling would at least consider what was said. Some people have seen it as this and there’s been some interesting counter points made.

        That others (mostly the same old) chose to ignore the message and attack the messengers is a symptom of some of Labour’s and the Left’s biggest problems – naturally negative politics and knee-jerk denial. How much of that is ingrained old school habits and how much is diverting from the current reality?

        Regardless of the outcome of this year’s election New Zealand needs stronger and better parties across the political spectrum. That many of those who have an interest in politics are willfully blind and deliberately destructive, within parties and across political forums, is not a good sign for our future.

        Pettiness and pissing on any perceived opponent are a pox on our politics.

        Most people don’t vote for the nastiest and most negative numpties. The way things are heading it won’t be long before most people don’t vote.

        • felix

          Of course, Pete. It’s all for the discussion so it doesn’t matter if it’s factual.

          And of course if you came across a few paragraphs of un-fact-checked opinion from, say, a unionist writing at TheStandard about what’s wrong with the ACT Party you’d be straight over to Kiwiblog to copypasta it.

          For the discussion.

          “I do a lot of things besides fact checking.”

          Ain’t that the fucking truth.

          • Pete George

            I often put forward opinions (and facts, they are quite different things to opinions felix) to Kiwiblog to encourage discussion and provoke thought. And sometimes to Whale Oil. And sometimes the reactions are as pissy as they can be here.

            For the discussion.

            You sometimes do things besides petty bitching.

  8. polish 8

    Ubuntu party South Africa. Finally a political party that gets it.

  9. More views on the Karam versus Parker and Purkiss defamation case:

    The Paepae: Defamation via Facebook and ‘a private website’

    This defamation case should be a shot across the bows of various internet wide-boys who think ‘defence of truth’ or ‘opinion honestly held’ is some kind of magic elixir or Get Out of Jail Free card. It’s worth noting the oh-so-easy-to-reach-for-until-you’re-tested ‘truth defence’ in this case was abandoned during the trial.

    Occasional Erudite: The Joe Karam defamation case – what does it mean for blogs and social media?

    To my mind though, the way in which Courtney J has applied the threshold test under which honest opinion can be relied upon doesn’t necessarily take into account the way that blogs and social media sites function.

    That’s why I’m slightly uncomfortable with the judgment. A comment on a blog post, when viewed in isolation or as part of the individual blog post and the thread of comments that follow, may not appear to have a factual basis. However, when viewed as part of a blogger or commentator’s history of blogging or commenting, may have a factual basis that is well known to others who frequent the blog.

    That’s not to say that the defendants in Mr Karam’s defamation suit don’t richly deserve to have been found to have defamed Mr Karam. My concern is whether the case sets a precedent that doesn’t necessarily fit with the way that blogs and social media actually operate.

  10. greywarbler 10

    Do I detect some triumphalism from PG who is proving a pest resistant to approved control methods, and feels now protected by new measures. We have to watch out he can spread kauri die-back disease, so far uncontrollable.

  11. Jenny Kirk 11

    I’ve just been made aware that forest parks such as Victoria and Pureroa – where Minister “unaware” Bridges is allowing mining exploration – have a special protective status conferred on them courtesy of the Conservation Act 1987.

    This protection overrides the “sustainable management” principles under the Resource Management Act.

    The Conservation Act and the management strategies (CMS) and plans (CMPs) that are created under it have the overriding principle of “protection”. This is contrasted with the overriding principle of New Zealand’s most important planning statute, the Resource Management Act 1991, which is “sustainable management” (s5, Resource Management Act 1991). Whilst there is often overlap between the RMA and the Conservation Act, the principle of protection has primacy over that of sustainable management.

    The Conservation Act also sets up a hierarchy of consideration of activities occurring on public conservation land under s6(e):

    ” to the extent that the use of any natural or historic resource for recreation or tourism is not inconsistent with its conservation, to foster the use of natural and historic resources for recreation, and to allow their use for tourism”.

    This hierarchy places the greatest weight on intrinsic value, followed by non-commercial recreation, and then by tourism. An important role in conservation advocacy in New Zealand is ensuring that these three separate considerations are maintained, rather than blurred..

    It appears that Minister “Unaware” Bridges and his advisors have ignored the status of these forest parks where the overriding principle is of protection. This is extremely ignorant of them !

  12. Fisyani 12

    Hold your nose and nip over to Kiwiblog to read an essay by Kiwi in America who was a Labour Party member. It cogently points out the process to explain why Labour is polling so badly. I do not know if Labour can ever be in government again. That is a quite extraordinary sentence. A part of me hopes it is not true. Politics does not always have to be the same as it was in the past. You may not like the analysis but would be silly to avoid reading it.

  13. Jenny 13

    Tivial and ill advised can be the only descriptions of Labour’s policy announcements over trailer registrations and truck traffic rules.

    In trying to differentiate themselves from National, with such trivial matters, Labour are only reinforcing the public perception that there is little substantial difference between our two main political parties.


    Labour’s truck ban could cover 0.7 per cent or 7 per cent of New Zealand’s motorways – depending on who you listen to.

    There was some confusion about the impact of the policy, which was unveiled by leader David Cunliffe on Tuesday.

    It would block trucks from using the outside lane on three or four-lane highways in an attempt to reduce congestion, especially logjams during public holidays.

    What arrant nonsense. How many trucks operate on public holidays?

    It may interest people to know that the Ministry of Transport deliberately confine traffic on the highway from Auckland’s holiday playground in Coromandel and slow it down on holiday weekends by erecting road cones that narrow the traffic to one very narrow lane. This is done deliberately to prevent even further congestion further up the motorway system in Auckland.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 13.1

      Yes, can’t say I was impressed either. I was waiting and hoping that perhaps this announcement appealed to some other section of New Zealanders that they were targeting. It makes very little sense to me why such an announcement was made and I agree with your summary on it.

    • Ad 13.2

      Agree. They have smudged a future comprehensive transport policy launch.

      They need to do this with clear differentiation to both National and Greens. Not sure if people agree, but housing and transport are the largest voter issues in Auckland, and that’s a third of Parliament and a third of the party vote. Transport issues are also very strong in provincial New Zealand, and ripe for harvest with clever policy not piecemeal picking.

      Labour need to be as strong in transport as they were in housing. Greens have the sentiment so far in part because Julie Ann Genter is charming talented and works hard, and in part because Labour’s transport spokesperson is Darien Fenton, ’nuff said.

  14. Chooky 14

    Food for thought on Easter Friday

    (maybe when the fossil fuels crisis hits we wont have to resort to riding our ponies to town after all)

    Structural engineer Dr Judy Wood on evidence for FREE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY….based on Tesla’s discoveries a 100 years ago and the misuse of this technology as a weapon ( directed free energy) in the ‘dustification’ of the Twin Towers . She has written a book called ‘Where Did the Towers Go?’

    She talks about ‘magnetic electrogravidic nuclear reactions’ ( cold fusion or low energy nuclear reactions)

    She talks about how the public perception can be manipulated re the destruction of the Twin Towers and how it is important to always go back to the evidence in science and not try and make ‘evidence ‘ support a preconceived theory

    This is mind blowing stuff with revolutionary implications if true

    • joe90 14.1

      Oh look, chemtrails with a side of HAARP.

      • Chooky 14.1.1

        lol…well she is a pretty convincing hoaxer to us chooks…better get back to my Easter Eggs

      • Chooky 14.1.2

        Biography for Dr Judy Wood…


        • Chooky

          More Easter Friday serious entertainment:

          ‘How to Disappear Completely – A Short Film on Dustification’

          This Dr Judy Wood is good! ( imo not a hoaxer )…no theories on chemtrails or HAARP…just observations from a structural engineer

          ….for Woods the empirical evidence comes before any theory as to ‘who’ did it… or ‘why’ …or ‘how’…just phenomenological observations …and all the more gripping for this

    • Murray Olsen 14.2

      It is not true. The only implications are concerned with how easily people will believe anything they see on the internet.

  15. captain hook 15

    zone out in area “52” this easter.
    its the twilight zone for them.

  16. Rogue Trooper 16

    Well, the West are all up in arms over Putin’s annexations and troop deployments, “shades of a resuming cold war”; words like ‘combustible’ with ‘world-wide’ implications being slung about, with six cities in the heavily industrial east of Ukraine experiencing disorder, while 35-40,000 Russian troops rest across the border, with military jet support. The narrative from Kiev describing ‘terrorism’; Kosovo anybody? and calls for further squeezing of Putin’s wealthy friends.

    The genie is out of the lamp with the US deploying its Laser Weapon System, 40M to develop from earlier technology and a cost of $1 US dollar per ’round'(the platform and power technology remain expensive). Although the beam can be lowered in intensity to ‘non-lethal’, the scope for unintended consequences, war in space, hijacking through hacking… China wants to improve their space defense capabilities…’the history of foreign imposition is well-established in that nation’s psyche’.

    Returns from international dairy market auctions are at a 14 month low, down 20% in the last 10 weeks while WPC and infant formulas sourced from Fontera are still banned from China despite what Key did, or did not do, while visiting there. Maybe he should have sent Collins, oh, wait…

    16000 votes by text poll on Campbell Live return 84% support ‘Yes’ regarding the decriminalisation of cannabis in NZ

    The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists claim chronic staff shortages and under-funding ails our health sector.

    At least the Police brass concede the benefits of greater female representation in their senior ranks.

    Globally, urban drift continues at a rapid pace; 2-4B more people will fill cities that have not been built yet! YET Nick Smith suggested on Te Newz that “affordable” housing for NZ is likely to be 20 years away!

    According to the released IPCC 5th Assessment Mitigation of Climate Change Report, compiled by over 1000 scientists, greenhouse emissions continue to rise at an alarming rate. “Energy revolution requires major political change”.

    Hope is stronger than fear…(The Hunger Games). Take a little walk to the edge of town…


  17. Penny Bright 17

    Hi folks – FYI


    “Five things you’ve missed behind the scenes of the John Banks’ pre-trial hearings”

    My comment – (yet to be published):

    🙂 Well, I was one of the three people who made a complaint alleging electoral fraud against John Banks.

    Had the Police not failed to prosecute John Banks, this case would not have been taken to Court through Graham McCready’s private prosecution, with which I assisted.

    (I was the ‘process server’ who served the witness summonses which got Kim Dotcom, his lawyer, (former) bodyguard, and the CEO of Sky City into Court).

    PS: I’m usually VERY well-behaved if my LAWFUL rights to freedom of expression are respected, and Auckland Council ‘Standing Orders’ (based upon the underpinning Local Government Official Information and MEETINGS Act 1987) are followed in a proper way.

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright


    (PPS: I, like Graham McCready have receive no public monies for the public interest work I choose do, as a self-funded ‘anti-corruption/anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’.

    Have a GREAT Easter! 🙂

    • greywarbler 17.1

      Your slogan ‘ I Try Harder.’ You are living up to it. Have a great Easter and I hope a bit of fun away from stressful politicing.

  18. Rogue Trooper 19

    from The Good Doctor’s notes- 22 : 24, A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was to be considered the greatest. Jesus said to them,” The Kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that.
    Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest and the one who rules, like the one who serves.

  19. joe90 20


    The world’s 200 richest people added $24.9b billion yesterday. Prince Alwaleed gained $873m. http://ow.ly/vSq7F

  20. amirite 21

    And here’s ladies and gentlemen, the expose of NZ’s so called rock-star economy – it’s a total fake.
    Here are the 12 reasons why New Zealand’s economic bubble will end up in disaster:


    More detailed analysis soon, from the same author.

    • Paul 21.1

      In that article there is a link to this NBR article.


      The following paragraphs are particularly interesting.

      ” New research by Deutsche Bank finds NZ is the third-most over-valued country for housing in the world – at least in terms of of the home price-to-rent ratio’s percentage above its historic average.

      Wall Street Journal analysis of the Deutsche Bank study notes Canada – the most overvalued market – is “very open to foreign investors” at a time of unprecedented global liquidity.

      By contrast, Japan – the most undervalued market – is the most closed to foreign investment.”

      Simple housing policy for left wing parties.
      Copy Japan….close housing to foreign investment.

    • Draco T Bastard 21.2


  21. Chooky 22

    Happy Easter Philip Ure and Xstasy!

  22. Philj 23

    Hey Chook,
    Dr Judy Wood is an amazing person. Her view is provocative and threatening to world order.

    • Chooky 23.1

      …thanx Philj….glad someone found it interesting!….i was riveted….she makes structural engineering interesting!

  23. Draco T Bastard 24

    Why free market will not fix problems with teachers and teaching

    The context in which these measures have been proposed includes Australia’s declining performance on international measures of student achievement and the seemingly intractable achievement gap. In addition to this focus on teacher quality there are powerful new developments emerging in Australia. These have largely been copied from Britain and the USA, despite a lack of supporting evidence, something that epitomises the Australian approach to educational innovation where we have a tendency to copy the worst of both worlds.

    Sounds remarkably like what this government is doing to our education system – ruining it in the name of ideology.

  24. joe90 25

    All the world’s happy.


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    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    3 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Next steps in COVID response
    Kia ora tatou Today I am setting out our plan in the event we have a new case of community transmission of COVID-19 in New Zealand. I will take a bit of time to do that, and then I’ll be happy to take questions at the end. Since we moved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government steps up action on waste – funds recycling infrastructure and expands levy scheme
    ·$124 million Government investment in recycling infrastructure ·Plans confirmed to increase and expand the waste levy to divert material from landfill, and recycle revenue into resource recovery and waste minimisation ·Innovative construction and demolition facility opened in Auckland with $3.1 million in support from Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF). As ...
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    5 hours ago
  • Wellbeing infrastructure for Kaipara
    A package of wellbeing infrastructure investments in Kaipara which focuses on improving the lives of the elderly and upgrading the iconic Kauri Museum has been announced by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones today. “These shovel-ready projects will have significant benefits for their respective communities and I’m pleased this funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More support rolls out for SMEs
    More support is rolling out for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from the COVID Response and Recovery Fund, to help them adapt and innovate to deal with the impact of the virus. The Ministers for Economic Development and Small Business have announced a further $40 million for the Regional Business ...
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    1 day ago
  • District Court Judge appointed
    Stephen Clark, Māori Land Court Judge of Hamilton has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to be based in Hamilton, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Judge Clark graduated with an LLB from Auckland University in 1988 and was admitted to the Bar in the same year. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Hawke’s Bay Airport agreement protects jobs, safeguards terminal development
    The Crown will provide a loan to Hawke’s Bay Airport to ensure it can trade through COVID-19 economic impacts, support the region’s recovery and protect up to 200 jobs. The Crown has a 50 percent shareholding in Hawke’s Bay Airport Limited (HBAL), with Napier City Council holding 26 percent and ...
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    2 days ago
  • Funding boost for four cultural events
    Four celebrated Māori and Pasifika events will receive up to $100,000 each in funding from the new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. The four events that were successful in the inaugural funding round are: Kia Mau Festival, Wellington Māoriland Film Festival, Otaki ...
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    2 days ago
  • Inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio is pleased to announce the inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week as part of the 2020 Pacific language Weeks programme. “I am so pleased that this year we are able to provide resourcing support to the Kiribati community in Aotearoa which will ...
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    4 days ago
  • New support package for wildlife institutions
    Wildlife institutions affected by a loss of visitor revenue during the COVID-19 lockdown are set to receive government support with nearly $15 million of funding available announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  “Eco-sanctuaries, zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, and wildlife rescue, hospital and rehabilitation facilities provide crucial support for the recovery ...
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    4 days ago
  • 300,000 students to benefit from free mental health services
    The Government is expanding and accelerating frontline mental health and wellbeing services at tertiary education institutes (TEI) to help students manage ongoing stresses related to COVID-19. “The lockdown has been hugely disruptive for students. Many of them have had to relocate and move to online learning, isolating them from their ...
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    4 days ago
  • Gang crime, meth harm targeted in Waikato
    The Minister of Police says a major operation against the Mongrel Mob in Waikato will make a big dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks. “Senior leadership of the Waikato Mongrel Mob has been taken out as a result of Operation Kingsville, which resulted in ...
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    5 days ago
  • Supporting victims and families to attend mosque attack sentencing
    The Government is extending the border exception criteria to enable some offshore victims and support people of the Christchurch mosque attacks to attend the sentencing of the accused beginning on 24 August2020, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “We want to support our valued Muslim brothers and sisters who were directly ...
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    5 days ago
  • Boost for community freshwater restoration projects
    A project to support volunteer efforts to look after streams and rivers is getting a boost thanks to support from DOC’s Community Conservation Fund announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today.  “The government is backing efforts to look after waterways with $199,400 for the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust from ...
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    5 days ago
  • More support for women and girls
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter today announced that funding for the COVID-19 Community Fund for women and girls will be doubled, as the first successful funding applications for the initial $1million were revealed. “Women and girls across the country have suffered because of the effects of COVID-19, and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending
    The Government’s books were better than forecast with a higher GST take as the economy got moving again after lockdown, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the 11 months to the end of May indicate the year end results for tax revenue will be stronger than forecast. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt releases plan to revitalise wool sector
    A plan to revitalise New Zealand’s strong wool sector and set it on a new, more sustainable and profitable path was unveiled today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The newly-released report - Vision and Action for New Zealand’s Wool Sector - was developed by the Wool Industry Project Action Group ...
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    5 days ago
  • Funding for Predator Free Whangārei
    Community efforts to create a Predator Free Whangārei will receive a $6 million boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. The new funding, through Government company Predator Free 2050 Ltd, will create around 12 jobs while enabling the complete removal of possums over ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment for international engagement there,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand remains deeply ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding for Whangārei’s infrastructure projects revealed
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced details of a multimillion-dollar investment in Whangārei for infrastructure projects that will help it recover from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 jobs are expected to be created through the $26 million investment from the Government’s rejuvenation package ...
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    6 days ago
  • Managed isolation and quarantine update
    Following a second incident in which a person escaped from a managed isolation facility, security is being enhanced, including more police presence onsite, Minister Megan Woods said. “The actions of some individuals who choose to break the very clear rules to stay within the facilities means that more resourcing is ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes
    Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361,447 grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) Sustainable Kaipara. “The new funding will allow Sustainable Kaipara to partner with local schools, kura, community ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
    The Government will support the Southland economy in the wake of multinational mining company Rio Tinto’s decision to follow through with its long signalled closure of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. “This day has unfortunately been on the cards for some time now, but nevertheless the final decision is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
    New tools being developed to help boost Aotearoa’s Predator Free 2050 effort were unveiled today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. A new rat poison, a camera with predator recognition software to detect and report predators, a new predator lure and a ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
    The Coalition Government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced today. The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity. “The age ...
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    7 days ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
    The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.   The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention ...
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    7 days ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
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    7 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
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    1 week ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
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    1 week ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
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    1 week ago