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Open Mike 24/01/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 24th, 2019 - 125 comments
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125 comments on “Open Mike 24/01/2019”

    • Robert Guyton 1.1

      And Moffett wasn’t doing himself any favours.

    • Dennis Frank 1.2

      Who knew oppugnant is a real word?? “Moffett, 71, burst onto the political scene late last year, raging on Twitter at “traitorous” Jacinda Ardern, and calling German Chancellor Angela Merkel “a thoroughly detestable excuse for a human being.” He’s been trolling both sides of the discourse – baiting ACT leader David Seymour and left wing blogger Martyn Bradbury.”

      Attacking both left & right is an excellent strategy. Lots of kiwi voters want something less banal – but I can’t see him providing anything better. He’s the right age to be politically successful: geriatrics are the latest trend in politics.

      “He is primarily concerned with migration, climate change and gender politics. They are all touchstones of the populist right-wing movement sweeping the Western world, a backlash to political establishment thinking.” Alienated mainstreamers can be equated with conservatives, and we know Labour are handicapped by gender politics as much as National are handicapped by immigration-addiction. So he’s onto a viable constituency, no doubt about that.

      She asks “is David Moffett, once a referee, the man to kick it off?” A referee succeeds via the ability to judge the errors of both sides accurately. If he applies that self-discipline, he will succeed. “But, ask him to flesh out his ideas, and he is ill-prepared, his ideology both thin and confused: at one point he claims to be “a centrist”. Journalists have considerable difficulty comprehending centrism. Vance is not claiming to be any smarter than the pack. The notion that folks are reluctant to identify with morons on the left and morons on the right is too sophisticated for journalists to grasp.

      • Sanctuary 1.2.1

        Cool story bro.

        • greywarshark 1.2.1.1

          ‘…geriatrics are the latest trend in politics.’. If so there is a problem here as more and more are not dying till they are 90+. The young need to come to the fore, with elders to give them wisdom and background, but not lay on them their lifetime of unthinking prejudices which seem to crystallise into a hard mass in old age. Mix that with the onset of senile dementia bringing paranoia and confused emotions and the ability to plan for a viable future for now struggling young people is on the road to derailment.

          A thought comes to mind of a recent report on one of Monarch Butterfly farmers’plight. They had a tunnel house with about 300 advanced in their development or ready to fly. Next morning he found half of them on the floor and one paper wasp as he said ‘ stinging in a frenzy’. He killed that wasp but only about half of them recovered. If we let old diehards kill off the humane policies and change the direction for our society and culture in their narrow, wilful ignorance, then our young ones can’t and won’t have the means to cope with climate and world corrupt economic direction, so they can thrive to full development of their lives.

      • Gabby 1.2.2

        All this time we’ve been waiting for a moron in the muddle franky.

  1. Robert Guyton 2

    Bennett’s being panned as well.

    “When National’s newly minted spokeswoman of drug reform Paula Bennett was asked if she had partaken of marijuana, Bennett said she had but it did not agree with her.

    It made her fall asleep.

    This is valuable intel for her colleagues and rivals alike, should there be an occasion they would prefer her to be out of action. The pro-pot brigade must be tempted.

    Recipes for marijuana cookies can be found online.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12194937

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      Bennett’s nonsense has pushed Pete George over the edge:
      ” I for one am moving further from voting National than I have been for a decade.”

      • Incognito 2.1.1

        A whiter shade of beige?

        The historical histrionics of one individual (MP) should not be conflated with those of a rudderless ruthless party that has thrown its moral compass overboard long time ago. Parties comprise a number (sometimes just one) individuals but they are not these individuals; the whole is always different from the sum of its parts.

    • greywarshark 2.2

      Robert G
      Marijuana cookies are to be the new panacea, the cure for all our ills? Bring them on.

    • Gabby 2.3

      On the plus side, it helped her forget her past.

    • bwaghorn 2.4

      The woman’s an idiot . She reckons shes never meet anyone successful that smokes regularly.
      There is so many answers to that shit .
      It illegal so they probably keep it on the down low
      In my experience uptight people don’t like weed as it spins there cogs to fast .
      Her definition of success is people who are cunts who have back stabbed and shit on people while amassing power and money .who aren’t typically pot smokers.

    • Kevin 2.5

      When you need to cite a discredited report on the legalising of marijuana, as Bennett did, you can see where this will be going with National.

  2. Dennis Frank 3

    Twyford spills a revelation: “The reason the KiwiBuild was so far behind schedule was because the buying the plans scheme had hit a snag, he said.”

    This notion that governments can be derailed by a snag is probably new to people, I suspect. I don’t recall it being advanced previously, so I suppose I must congratulate Twyford on his ingenuity. “Twyford’s admission comes after a report from the NZ Initiative which called KiwiBuild a “massive political and bureaucratic distraction”. It also comes just a week after the head of KiwiBuild, Stephen Barclay, resigned from the role after an employment dispute. A spokesman for Barclay said the decision to leave KiwiBuild “was not his decision”.”

    Right, so he got pushed. Notice Twyford isn’t explaining why. “Asked about the resignation, Twyford again said it was an employment dispute and “there were lawyers involved”. “The reason I have been unwilling and unable to comment over the last couple of months is because it would be unwise of me to wade publically into a legal dispute where my comments would risk prejudicing the interests of either, or both parties.”

    But hey, that’s just an evasion. He knows the resignation has made his excuse invalid. He’s assuming the reporter is too stupid to figure this out. His gamble paid off: the reporter did fail to figure it out. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12195042

    • soddenleaf 3.1

      He’s already built more homes that National ever or would of. So vote Green,they’d build more that both main parties, and nzf.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        I’ve voted Green ten general elections consecutively, starting in 1990 when the Green Party was formed (I became part of the Green movement in 1968). 👍

  3. Sanctuary 4

    The problem with Kiwibuild is simple. Twyford – and Labour – simply did not realise how much down the path Bill English had gotten in his rigid ideological agenda to drown government in the bathtub in a relentless pursuit of smaller government, less regulation and a surplus on top of tax cuts for the rich.

    So not only had National completely abandoned housing to the charitable sector in an attempt to turn the clock back to the 1920s, it had systematically defunded and crippled the governments capacity to do anything constructive even if it wanted to, and willfully and deliberately not even collected any data on the problem so it could engage in a crass and stupid game of political denialism rather than debate the crisis it had created.

    To make things worse, this is a mangerialist neloiberal Labour government that simply doesn’t have the guts to do what has to be done when confronted with the housing catastrophe bequeathed it by National – that his, a massive housing program funded and built by the state using a state organisation to offer cheap morgages to new home buyers.

    So Twyford has been left frantically pulling levers that were disconnected ages ago, for a problem whose size he didn’t realise, and relying on a grotesquely inefficient and self-serving private building and banking sector to do him a favour.

    • Ad 4.1

      Twford is using all levers he’s got and inventing others.
      No lack of guts. But the big HNZ builds under HLC take a couple of years.

      No othet Minister has tried to face the housing market in 20+years.

      He won’t fail.

    • Shadrach 4.2

      Labour new exactly what the situation was, and if they didn’t they are incompetent. They simply over promised to win votes. Now chickens are roosting.

      • mickysavage 4.2.1

        So they should be condemned because they are not fixing National’s mess as quickly as they thought they could?

        • Dennis Frank 4.2.1.1

          That would be unfair. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. But what irritates me is the failure to account, to explain. Twyford’s deployment of the ole mushroom strategy of public relations (keep ’em in the dark & feed ’em horseshit) will only be swallowed by the Labour base.

          Everyone else will know he’s trying to get away with insulting their intelligence. That’s no way to win friends and impress people. It’s no way to build market share – grow the Labour vote. Just dumb.

          Instead of trying to hide what’s gone wrong, he ought to explain it fully. If the problem lies in his instructions to the public servants, admit that. People would respect his honesty. More likely the problem lies in public service advice. Why, then, assume that he ought to cover that up? What is so hard about the notion of accountability, that Labour folk just can’t ever seem to get??

          • SaveNZ 4.2.1.1.1

            Is it is true the government spent 2 billion on building 33 houses?

            Even a fraction of that spend on such a few houses is pathetic.

            As usual the money is going on disputes and politics and slush funds rather than building houses for people who genuinely need them…

            No wonder construction is such a big issue in NZ now, some people are getting extremely wealthy from Kiwibuild but I don’t think it is the homeless or the taxpayers.

            Also how can they justify $500,000 for 40m2 as being reported for the 1 bedroom apartments?

            That is mansion prices of $12,500 m2 build price when low cost builders are charging $2,500m2..

            So they spend 2 billion of tax payers money on subsidies, have swapped land and have also somehow got one of the highest build prices too???

            A royal fuck up that no amount of justification can really explain. The screw up is well beyound Twyford, Labour are lazy on this issue and using Rogernomics with woke left thinking to create a massive fuck up that serves nobody.

            • SaveNZ 4.2.1.1.1.1

              This is what you can get for a build price of $344,000 – aka a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom beautiful property that is built within months and relocated to a a site… so no wonder they can’t tempt first home buyers with over priced offerings that are up to 6 times higher than open market prices.

              This is an example of $2,646m2…

              https://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-1859514224.htm?rsqid=5044875d4d5042a0999727b85de9fec2

              • SaveNZ

                The government have also not worked out that part of the problem is that people in NZ are now so poor, in particular those working aka the working poor that after living expenses there is little chance they could save for a property…

                Not only that they are now competing with 100,000’s of new residents from everything to jobs and wages, to rental properties and the 100,000’s of new residents have a lot more money to begin with in many cases after paying $40k to people traffickers to get visas to get here while the government actually is actually like construction, listening to the lobbyists who are profiting from the fuck up, and then making things worse, aka the new loosening of visas and giving the people traffickers more options to attract more people here to profit from…

              • Sabine

                very misleading dear SaveNZ>

                this is what you can find for 344.000 $ in

                221 Hannon Road, Cambridge, Waipa, Waikato

                Cambridge, that bastion of jobs.

                now please show us what you can find in AKL for that money, a town in which you at least have a fighting chance to a full time job.

                Because you can find cheaper elsewhere, to be honest. I found my retirment property for 100.000 grand in the middle of nowhere where you only live when you don’t have to work for a living anymore.

              • joe90

                Now, all you need is the piece of dirt.

                Here’s one out west in Kumeu

                Offers from $495,000 ~ NO Covenants!

                […]

                637m2

                https://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential/sections-for-sale/auction-1872190664.htm?rsqid=2d39cd9e7f494abd97bf4269581dbcc7

        • shadrach 4.2.1.2

          There are two possibilities:

          1. Labour made promises they knew they couldn’t keep, which means they are dishonest.
          2. Labour made promises they thought they could keep, despite evidence and advice to the contrary, which means they are incompetent.

          Providing middle class couples with high earning potential with housing is not fixing anything.

          • rod 4.2.1.2.1

            When did they actually ( promise ) Shady ? citation needed.

          • Pat 4.2.1.2.2

            Enabling the scam that shuts working/middle class out of the realistic possibility of home ownership is worse.

            • shadrach 4.2.1.2.2.1

              What scam?

              • Pat

                the scam of purposely encouraging global based speculation in the national property market to the known detriment of a huge swath of the population they were nominally representing, compounded by the ongoing obfuscation.

                • shadrach

                  Foreign ownership is not a scam. It is common internationally, and many NZ’ers own land in other countries.

                  • Pat

                    when it it is to the detriment of the local population (and obfuscated) it is a scam…and the main mechanism is also foreign owned….that and the scale would be difficult to find replicated elsewhere….its amazing they managed to avoid the fallout for as long as they did.

                    • shadrach

                      A ‘scam’ is a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation. Permitting foreign ownership of property is neither fraudulent nor deceptive, and is policy that has been followed by successive governments, including the current one.

                  • Pat

                    “A ‘scam’ is a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation”

                    Isnt it just…and the fact you wish to paint what has occurred as simply ‘common typical foreign investment’ is disingenuous in the extreme….what was perpetrated was anything but …..and sold exactly as you attempt.

                    • shadrach

                      There has been nothing fraudulent or deceptive. Foreign ownership is common for property. And continues to be so. Which part of that do you not understand?

                  • Pat

                    You appear to be the one incapable of understanding, and myopically obsessed about foreign ownership….something you may note i never mentioned.

                    Things may become a little clearer to you if you actually read what I wrote rather than continuing with your own obsession

                    • Shadrach

                      “…something you may note i never mentioned.“
                      You said ‘global based speculation’. What on earth did you mean if not foreign ownership? You seem to have a problem with ‘others’ owning property in NZ. That’s both myopic and marginally xenophobic.

        • Herodotus 4.2.1.3

          National continued that oath that labour was transversing, to be so simplistic as to blame only national makes one wonder ….
          Many in the industry can see the problems that are now starting to surface.
          Remember it was kiwi BUILD and the govt was to save money with its volume in building houses, not being a middle man for buyers and developers.
          Building for young rich wasn’t the solution – building state houses imo is.
          As Kenny Rogers is well out it “you’ve got to know when to hold’em
          Know when to fold ‘em”
          Kiwibuild as it exists falls into the latter as a solution

        • Gosman 4.2.1.4

          They should be held accountable for making promises that were unrealistic to begin with.

      • ankerawshark 4.2.2

        What does that make National then Shardrach

        • shadrach 4.2.2.1

          National don’t have my support in all this. They sat on their hands and did too little too late. But so did their Labour predecessors. However the main fault rests with Auckland Council.

      • soddenleaf 4.2.3

        Labour hands are somewhat tiedby being in coalition. National had no such excuse, it was stacking people in hotels.

    • Gabby 4.3

      He seems willing to try absolutely anything apart from hiring actual builders to build actual houses.

      • SaveNZ 4.3.1

        Funny enough builders and consultants and god knows how many other people have taken the 2 billion, but at the end of the day the actual builders sounds like they were recruited with low wage tenders with massive subcontracting of various other tradies, combined with poor planning and a lot of political interference!

        The government housing goals seems to be around MSM photo opportunities for local and central government and hiding all the problems.

        Like the Natz, Labour is learning that you can’t just hoodwink the population for ever because people can work out that there aint any houses coming out of the process and they cost a fortune are grossly overpriced when they are sold on.

        But actually that is not the main problem. The problem is that increasing demand from lazy immigration.. which is getting lower and lower quality people into NZ who need housing and assistance and more and more sophisticated scams of profit from that goal from middle men and immigration lawyers.

        Even if Kiwibuild had gone smoothly and they got the 1000 houses, how is that even going to house 129,000 new permanent resident/citizens last year plus 150,000 new residents on work permits and 4 million tourists?

        The maths doesn’t work, and never did.

        • Gabby 4.3.1.1

          Well hopefully the whole 2 bill isn’t gone yet savey. Unless Stevey Barclay’s severance package was a doozy.

        • SaveNZ 4.3.1.2

          Construction is not the only issue that is proving difficult.

          For example new resident teachers are complaining they can’t find work, while there is a shortage….

          The lack of cohesive approach from government is concerning and like building, they fail to grasp the nuances of the situation from both the teachers and the schools what they are looking for and the general dysfunctional situation in NZ when we have people who can’t find work in shortages but the government is reluctant to address the systematic issues facing NZ employment and instead thinks they will recruit more and more fresh bodies from overseas while our jobseekers go up and up?

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/109441817/teacher-shortage-or-not–i-still-cant-get-work

      • shadrach 4.3.2

        He doesn’t need to hire anyone. The private sector is perfectly capable of building the houses (eg Pokeno). The problem is the Auckland Council, who have failed to allow the city to sprawl, hence the rising cost of land and shortage of supply.

        • Sacha 4.3.2.1

          Only time I’ve seen someone bold enough to claim that sprawl is a good thing.

          • shadrach 4.3.2.1.1

            Sprawl is a good thing.

            Spawl leads to investment in new infrastructure. Intensification leads to the breakdown of old infrastructure.

            Sprawl leads to properly planned communities, with modern community facilities. Intensification leads to overcrowded schools and children locked in match box houses.

            Sprawl reduces land costs, making housing more affordable on a comparative psm basis.

            Auckland is ideally placed to sprawl. This has not been allowed to happen to the extent it feasibly could because of the incompetence of Auckland City.

            • Sabine 4.3.2.1.1.1

              yep, lets build future slums on prime agricultural land.

              makes perfect sense……more sprawl needs the world, more roads, more car, more pollution, more more more

              • Sacha

                What would all those urban planning professionals know anyway, right.

                • SaveNZ

                  Well I hear that Auckland university closed the planning and architecture specialists library, so they clearly don’t value that course. Luckily the Law library was saved for the lawyers of which NZ has already a 25% surplus of lawyers beyond countries like the UK, because lawyers are such a productive lot in NZ moving the country forwards!!! sarcasm

              • Gosman

                If you focus the growth of Auckland to the North and North West you will avoid any prime agricultural land.

                • SaveNZ

                  @ Gosman, Good idea, (sarcasm) I hear there is little public transport that is usable there and takes hours from the housing estates through the one road, but there is plenty of spec houses costing around 1 million which isn’t exactly affordable for the people that the housing crisis is actually effecting… lucky (sarcasm) it seems aimed at richer new residents families who don’t need to work in NZ and just costing those who are working and poorer who need to commute to work even more to get by and pay for the folly.

                  • Gosman

                    Then spend some money improving the public transport infrastructure there. Perhaps by getting access to some of the funds from all the development that will be taking place. And if you allow lots of houses to be built then the average price of them will likely come down. It is called the law of supply and demand. Increase supply and the price tends to drop if demand stays the same.

                    • Tamati Tautuhi

                      Public Transport Planning under both National & Labour over the past 30-40 years has been a big joke IMHO.

                  • Gosman

                    Ironic that the guy narrating that video is a foreigner.

                    • SaveNZ

                      I’ve noticed that the foreigners are trying to warn NZ the most about what is going on, while the woke lefties kiwi middle class political and media types flagellate the white male of whom they generally are themselves in some sort of irony. Maybe helps in the talk fest sessions to gain credibility??? Aka I’m white male and I know I’m the problem.

                      You hardly even see the foreigners thinking white pakeha are the scorge of all sins, in fact they seem to be coming to NZ in droves because their country has been destroyed by pollution and corruption or bad choices … sadly among them are the people and events they are trying to warn the Kiwi’s about… aka dowry scams or housing Ponzi schemes that Kiwi politicians and commentators seem oblivious to what is before their own eyes, aka plenty of empty houses but at a price point or in a location that does not suit working people of NZ.

                      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12123831

                  • Wayne

                    Mayor Bob Harvey was always clear he wanted a coupe of thousand hectares in the north west zoned for residential. The Regional Council stopped it. That decision prevented thousands of houses being built over the last 15 years.

              • Shadrach

                Do you really think Pokeno is a ‘future slum’? The only future slums are Auckland’s inner suburb high density projects.

            • Gabby 4.3.2.1.1.2

              On the surface shaddy, what you claim looks like crap. Dig down deeper, and it’s steaming crap.

            • SaveNZ 4.3.2.1.1.3

              It was great when it took the Auckland councillors 4 hours to get in and out of west Auckland for a short journey. What a bonus to the country when we have no new infrastructure and no old infrastructure either and are borrowing more and more money in some sort of Ponzi to lower productivity and increase those on jobseeker benefits! Go NZ!!!

        • SaveNZ 4.3.2.2

          @Shadrach, that right wing argument strikes again. Problem is you can’t get around Auckland due to the congestion from this urban sprawl, the developers are not paying or the money is disappearing to pay for the new roads and public transport and it will take decades to sort out while productivity and living standards in Auckland plummet, our beaches are being closed because they are full of dog, human poop and diesel run off from development, air pollution increasing, and taxes like petrol and more rates are hitting the poorest the most.

          The point is supposed to be that central and local government should be committed to improving living standards and business productivity not running pronzis to benefit the chosen few. Everything being promoted by MSM and government (mostly immigration and urban sprawl) is causing the opposite and increased poverty and homelessness, which at the current massive population growth figures (with Jobseekers rising at the same time aka the idea that everyone is employed seems to be false) showing what is really the issue.

          The government and councils need to plan the infrastructure and get it rolled out before the put in the people or you get a train wreck like Auckland has become. (And now Wellington, with high rentals, more people and dysfunctional public transport and soon they will create an exodus out of Wellington of local working people just like Auckland and Queenstown.

          • Shadrach 4.3.2.2.1

            Actually you can get around Auckland. Any congestion is caused by intensification, not sprawl. In Pokeno the infrastructure was all included by the development partners, who sensibly built adjacent to a main arterial between Auckland and Hamilton.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      Yep. We need the Labour Party of the 1930s. Strong enough to do what needs to be done using new ideas.

      Instead we’ve got the weak version of the 1980s Labour government.

  4. Ad 5

    Encouraging to hear from Davos how hard the PM is driving 2019 budget bids according to demonstrable anti-poverty long term outcomes.

    “what gets measured gets done” -Ardern

    Looks like a fascinating budget framework to come.

  5. Ankerrawshark 6

    I am sick to death of people trashing Twyford and kiwibuild. I want those house built for the middle class (that doesn’t mean I don’t want social housing too, I think it is an even greater priority). But I want those young kids who likely have some sort of student loan to be able to get their own house. The principle is that these young kids have had to compete with mum and dad investors and speculators and didn’t stand a chance. The scheme is great. National are throwing everything they can at it , the media have jumped on the bandwagon and so the narrative forms that kiwi build is a dog.

    Rome wasn’t built in a day ffs……

    • Ad 6.1

      And no other Minister has tried to tilt real estate like this in 20+ years.

      • Poission 6.1.1

        60 years ago it was a different story.

        THE HOUSING SITUATION.—The number of new houses and flats constructed each year has, approximately doubled since the pre-war period. A peak of 19,200 was reached in each of the years ended 31 March 1956 and 31 March 1957. The total dropped back a little to 18,600 in the year ended 31 March 1958. This rate of house building in relation to population is higher than in most countries. Over 80 per cent of the houses built at present are for private home ownership.

        There was a fairly rapid expansion in house building from 1945 to 1951, when there was a noticeable levelling-off at just over 16,000 houses each year. In August 1953 the Government convened a National Housing Conference for the purpose of surveying the general housing situation in New Zealand and investigating ways and means of implementing the Government’s housing policy of promoting the building of more houses at a reasonable cost. The conference was attended by builders and others directly associated with the building industry, and also by employers, workers, welfare organizations, local bodies, organizations interested in housing finance, and other sections of the public. Every aspect of housing was discussed, and action taken on the resolutions adopted by the conference helped to effect a further expansion in house building to the present level. The conference assessed the extent of the housing shortage and set a number of 206,000 houses in ten years as a target to overcome the shortage and provide for the increase in population expected from both natural increase and immigration. This target represented an increase of 25 per cent in the building rate. A National Housing Council was also set up.

        The most noteworthy development in house building which has resulted has been the group building scheme. This scheme has been designed to give builders continuity of work, to reduce non-productive time between the finishing of one house and the starting of the next, and to assist builders in administration and supervision by enabling them to build houses for sale in groups. Plans and specifications are checked by the State Advances Corporation, which also inspects the work and, on behalf of the Government, gives an undertaking to take over at approved prices a specified number of any unsold houses. At 31 December 1958 there were 490 builders participating in the scheme, and 12,415 houses had been programmed; of these 9,785 had been completed and sold, and 675 were under construction.

        https://www3.stats.govt.nz/New_Zealand_Official_Yearbooks/1959/Images/fig650_1.jpg

        https://www3.stats.govt.nz/New_Zealand_Official_Yearbooks/1959/NZOYB_1959.html?_ga=2.49151718.1350318812.1548243308-443778311.1515815050#idchapter_1_211608

      • patricia bremner 6.1.2

        Twyford has been truthful. so Gnats bring out the knives. Funny that.
        Social housing is happening, but as the Minister said ”It will take time to ramp up”

    • Wayne 6.2

      Twyford has all the resources of the state behind him.

      He set the target, starting 1 July 2018 and going through to 30 June 2019. The start date was nearly 8 months after the government was formed. No-one expected 10,000 houses in year one, but 1,000 seemed reasonable. Presumably he had advice on the target, he didn’t just pluck it out of thin air. He has failed on that, not just by a little, but by a lot.

      So yes, he will be called to account by the media and the opposition on his failure. Frankly, I am surprised that the miss is going to be so big. I would have expected at least 800 houses. Northcote and Tamaki have been ready to go for quite a while. But progress on both sites seems pretty slow.

      • ianmac 6.2.1

        300 houses is a huge win Wayne, compared to the minus zero houses that National built in 9 years.

        • Gosman 6.2.1.1

          Following that logic Kiwibuild would be a great success if but one house was built under the programme. Unfortunately for you that is not how people usually decide the success of failure of something. It is usually done off what was planned not what was happening before.

      • patricia bremner 6.2.2

        Wayne, for gnat you are usually reasonable,
        ”All the resources of the State behind him”
        That is not true, he had some resources, the programme isn’t on a war footing.
        National had spent 9 years working towards small government. (underfunding)

        That meant, the private builders were undercutting each other, bringing in migrant labour, not investing in training , not keeping sites from polluting, and building for overseas buyers who wanted Mc Mansions, which they left empty as investments.

        Now Phil has built ‘First owner homes.’ Modest but modern. Banned overseas nonresident buyers, and the market has slowed by 20%, but not lost value.

        2 problems for Kiwibuild. An employment dispute, and ramping up selling off the plan which wasn’t popular.

        So he fronts up. WOW!! A Minister fronts up and tells of delays. He is honest.
        We are so used to lies and Ministers throwing others under the bus. So National with Judith as Housing spokesperson. will try to gain the moral high ground… very difficult with her China links and past demotion by Key.

      • Exkiwiforces 6.2.3

        Sorry Wayn’o,

        But this time, you really need to pull your head out of your own ass this time!

        Who bugged up all the trade training and farm Cadetship in the 90’s?

        Who flog off MoW, Railways and shut down the Railway Workshops IOT to flog it off?

        Who made trainees take out student loans, while the same destroyed working conditions, workers safety through the ECA?

        Who reduce building standards and made it easy for employers/ companies to hire overseas tradies instead of investing in the NZers?

        Yes Wayne the rot started with you muppets in the “No Mates Party” with those stupid decisions that you lot did in the 90’s, are the result of the current shit fight we have atm across all sectors of NZ’s economy.

        To undo the massive damage you lot did is going to take yrs to do, but unless someone takes ownership of it. It going to keep on happening because of you dickheads and just take for example the recovery of CHCH earthquakes and the recovery of Napier or similar areas.

    • Gabby 6.3

      Ok, but why do you want young people in debt to get their own house that they’ll most likely be vacating in a few years as their careers evolve or their relationships fall apart? Wouldn’t they be better served by cheap rentals?

  6. Incognito 7

    Democracy, Trust and Legitimacy by Simon Longstaff. A very good paper on (Australian) Parliament that equally applies to NZ or many other countries for that matter.

    He makes a few nice comments about the machinery of politics (and power) and how political parties are now obsessed with this and have lost sight of their ethical foundations. Lately, I’ve also been wondering (pondering rather) whether parties have become more of a hinder to progress than we realise, i.e. if you can’t see or solve the problem you may well be the problem …

    https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/pops/pop63/c05 (it’s a long read)

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      Also: “This cabinet official, when challenged about this, said, ‘oh well, actually there is no problem with this; we can do whatever we like because we have a democratic mandate. We were actually elected by the people’. Well this is nonsense. There are boundaries set by our Constitution that limit what you can do despite what you think might be your democratic mandate.”

      This idea that the mandate of an election is merely a matter of perception, not a democratic reality, is postmodern. We’ve seen how the Democrats are using it to prevent Trump implementing his. They’ve been carefully not to do so honestly, by admitting or declaring their intent. They know voters still believe in it, so they must be covert in their subversive strategy. Closet-stalinism is deep-rooted in the tacit psychology of leftist political endeavour…

  7. Grantoc 8

    Yes Micky.

    If National had left such a mess, then Labour should have understood the nature of that mess and developed policies to address it well before now. After all Twyford was banging for years about housing when in opposition. That he didn’t appear to understand the issues and the complexities of the housing market then, as well as now, has to be a serious concern.

    Clearly Labour didn’t, and doesn’t, understand the housing market; clearly they over promised on what they could deliver; clearly they’re attracting little interest from the so called first home buyers target group (no demand from them for one of Twyford’s houses – they’re getting better deals in the general housing market).

    Blaming National for Labour’s own incompetence, is stretching it a bit thin now. Labour needs to take responsibility for how things are.

  8. Morrissey 9

    Canada, At War For 13 Years, Shocked
    That ‘A Terrorist’ Attacked Its Soldiers

    by GLENN GREENWALD, The Intercept, Oct. 23, 2014

    TORONTO – In Quebec on Monday, two Canadian soldiers were hit by a car driven by Martin Couture-Rouleau, a 25-year-old Canadian who, as The Globe and Mail reported, “converted to Islam recently and called himself Ahmad Rouleau.” One of the soldiers died, as did Couture-Rouleau when he was shot by police upon apprehension after allegedly brandishing a large knife. Police speculated that the incident was deliberate, alleging the driver waited for two hours before hitting the soldiers, one of whom was wearing a uniform. The incident took place in the parking lot of a shopping mall 30 miles southeast of Montreal, “a few kilometres from the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, the military academy operated by the Department of National Defence.”

    The right-wing Canadian government wasted no time in seizing on the incident to promote its fear-mongering agenda over terrorism, which includes pending legislation to vest its intelligence agency, CSIS, with more spying and secrecy powers in the name of fighting ISIS. A government spokesperson asserted “clear indications” that the driver “had become radicalized.”

    In a “clearly prearranged exchange,” a conservative MP, during parliamentary question time, asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper (pictured above) whether this was considered a “terrorist attack”; in reply, the prime minister gravely opined that the incident was “obviously extremely troubling.” Canada’s Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney pronounced the incident “clearly linked to terrorist ideology,” while newspapers predictably followed suit, calling it a “suspected terrorist attack” and “homegrown terrorism.” CSIS spokesperson Tahera Mufti said “the event was the violent expression of an extremist ideology promoted by terrorist groups with global followings” and added: “That something like this would happen in a peaceable Canadian community like Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu shows the long reach of these ideologies.”

    In sum, the national mood and discourse in Canada is virtually identical to what prevails in every Western country whenever an incident like this happens: shock and bewilderment that someone would want to bring violence to such a good and innocent country (“a peaceable Canadian community like Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu”), followed by claims that the incident shows how primitive and savage is the “terrorist ideology” of extremist Muslims, followed by rage and demand for still more actions of militarism and freedom-deprivation. There are two points worth making about this….

    Read more….
    https://theintercept.com/2014/10/22/canada-proclaiming-war-12-years-shocked-someone-attacked-soldiers/

  9. greywarshark 10

    A national bank, the TSB, situated in the main street of Nelson was closed after
    Christmas when expected to be open. A notice apologised. Apparently staff shortage was the reason. This seems a very strange occurrence, and where and when does national support come in? Wouldn’t you think that staff from other centres could be sourced to keep the show going and the bank profile positive?

    Nelson branch of TSB Bank closed due to staff shortage
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/109771807/nelson-branch-of-tsb-bank-closed-due-to-staff-shortage

  10. greywarshark 11

    Is this something we will have to contend with in a few decades after our period of dodgy materials through poor reliability of standards documentation for steel and cheap contract labour?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/109978639/new-yorks-old-tappan-zee-bridge-come-tumbling-down

    The Tappan Zee Bridge, which opened in 1955, became a poster child for America’s crumbling infrastructure.

    Governor Andrew Cuomo, the son of the new bridge’s namesake, recalled in 2017 an experience familiar to many Tappan Zee drivers, steel plates that shifted beneath traffic, providing unnerving glimpses through road cracks of the chasm below.

    The Democrat said he’d envisioned escape scenarios in case he ended up in the water: “‘Do I take off the seat belt? Do I open the window?’ I had one of those special tools with the hammer and the seat belt cutter.”

    But OTOH it lasted till say 2015, 60 years, until the cracks showed the water below in 2017. Who knows what NZ will be doing after 60 years of eventful happenings. Any ideas for 2079 NZ way of life?

  11. Ad 12

    An important pointer from Jeanette Fitzsimmons on the need to show how and where carbon taxes will be spent:

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/23-01-2019/the-tax-grab-trap-why-politicians-need-to-tell-us-where-carbon-revenue-will-go/

    There is of course a detail threshold for most citizens – after all how many really took notice of the last EECA funding round for electric vehicles this week?

    But the NZTA National Land Transport Fund has very high visibility, a reasonable degree of democratic feedback, and can demonstrate visible results.

    The clear message from the Prime Minister in this budget will apply: show how it is reducing inequality in New Zealand over the long term, or this and any other proposal is not going to fly .

    • Dennis Frank 12.1

      I’m inclined to agree with JF: “If a policy is to be durable and supported it has to create the conviction that we are all in this together – everyone pays; everyone benefits from the revenue created; and everyone has the opportunity to reduce their carbon burn by thinking smarter. What we need is a policy that delivers an equal monetary return to all citizens, bearing in mind that $20 to a beneficiary or low income worker is worth enormously more than $20 to a corporate chief.”

      “It needs to be communicated clearly that those paying the most in the carbon price will be those using more than their “share” of our carbon budget. Those getting the most benefit will be those who reduce their carbon burn. There are two ways to do this. The simple way is to reduce tax on the bottom band of income – probably by making the first dollars earned tax free. The second is by paying a “citizen’s dividend” to every citizen, or resident, or other qualifying descriptor.”

      She goes on to explain why she prefers the second option – while acknowledging it will cost more to operate. I agree, because citizens can see the tangible benefit they get from the policy, as well as the intangible benefit of sustainable economics.

  12. greywarshark 13

    The timber needed for kiwibuild. There has been concern expressed for years at the government’s inability to provide for this country’s needs under neo liberal and freemarket economic controls. Seeing that the Right believed in their right to sell the country’s storehouse of needed items for the future, leaving us with remainders, leftovers and crusts, now we want to make a game-changing surge from a regressive, do-little policy, we find that the cupboard is virtually bare of resource.
    Like the Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe we don’t know what to do. Any very large shoes in NZ?

    Here’s a few write-ups on it.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/the-country/news/article.cfm?c_id=16&objectid=11979686
    22 January 2018 Record log exports concern NZ housing processors

    Wood Processors & Manufacturers Association of New Zealand chief executive Jon Tanner said last year’s record exports underscored concerns of local manufacturers that the country was sending too many unprocessed logs overseas.
    At present it was a “free-for-all” market driving the high prices and domestic processors could not compete against the “fly-in fly-out” traders, Dr Tanner said in an interview.

    He acknowledged the situation was “open competition”, but it was on a “tilted playing field”, given industry subsidies existed in other countries.
    The scenario was posing a threat for future local timber supply and was undermining goals to add more value to exports, Dr Tanner said.

    “New Zealand is experiencing strong demand for logs from China, which has clamped down on harvesting its own forests and reduced tariffs on imported logs to meet demand in its local market,” he said.
    Reduced exports from Canada and Russia meant China would increasingly be looking to New Zealand and Australia to fill the void.
    “I’d expect [Chinese] demand to keep increasing and to see more exports out of New Zealand and Australia,” he said.

    Dr Tanner said the increased raw log shipments went against the aim of successive governments to add more value to commodities. The wood processing sector wanted more manufacturing done in New Zealand to sustain local industries.
    “It says an uptick in demand for wooden housing could see supply having to be met from overseas if the current situation prevails,” Dr Tanner said.
    He noted the high level of Auckland consents and requirements to achieve the KiwiBuild programme.
    When pressed, he was adamant the scenario of importing sawn lumber to meet demand could become a reality….

    (And there has been a big drop in shipping rates which has made exporting logs more profitable. Why would the shipping rates drop so much I wonder? Is there a subsidy from somewhere skewing the market?)

    …Not only had Chinese demand driven prices up during the past two years, a trifecta was created with generally favourable foreign exchange alongside very low shipping rates.
    The price to move a cubic metre of wood from Dunedin to Asian destinations had averaged about $US45 during the past decade, but early last year that cost was in a range of $US13 to $US25 per metre during the preceding 18 months.

    Port Otago’s last financial year moved a record 957,000 tonnes of export logs across its wharves.

    **************************

    Another report from 2017.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11973307
    NZ softwood log exports hit new record in 2017

    This one from the NZ tree grower’s perspective.
    http://www.nzffa.org.nz/specialty-timber-market/headlines/timber-imports-mean-export-of-environmental-impacts/
    from Specialty Timbers NZ May 2015
    In simple terms, indigenous and special-purpose timber production in New Zealand continues to decline while imports of special-purpose timber products continue to escalate.

    Many kiwis are happy to use imported timber products or specify imported timber for their floors, walls, ceilings, joinery or cladding without a thought as to the quality of forest management back at the source or the benefits of using NZ-grown wood.

    In effect, New Zealanders have effectively exported the environmental impacts of their special-purpose timber consumption to other countries and failed to recognise the impacts of their actions on the sustainability of their own forests or the viability of their own special-purpose and indigenous timber manufacturing industries.

    There is an obvious need to increase the public’s awareness of how their timber consumption patterns are at odds with the clean green conservation image we all cherish. New Zealander’s are unwitting partners in a double standard that requires high standards for their home-grown timbers but expect little in the way of sustainable credentials for special-purpose timber imported from overseas.

  13. Sabine 14

    this apparently is to cancel the GOP Primary in the upcoming Selection 🙂

    can we call him King Shitstain of Shitstainia First Turd of his name?

  14. joe90 15

    Dude walked into that one.

  15. Sacha 16

    Big tobacco company outs itself as donor to NZ Taxpayers Onion. Onion spokesparrot says conflicts of interest do not apply because they are not publicly-funded.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/01/24/412747/taxpayers-union-backed-by-tobacco-giant

  16. Cinny 17

    Re kiwibuild…..

    Not sure how the situation is in other regions, but in Richmond area near Nelson, around five entities own the majority of available land. What those entities do is drip feed the land out for sale, thereby increasing the land value. Council asks for land, but noooooo money first for the entities and the drip feeding continues.

    Found that out from a former Tasman District Councillor yesterday who said they were very frustrated with people laying blame on the council re the availability of land.

    Does anyone know if it’s a similar situation in other regions please?

    • Gabby 17.1

      Seems odd they’d stay quiet about that.

    • RedLogix 17.2

      What those entities do is drip feed the land out for sale, thereby increasing the land value.

      It’s what any rational economic actor will do.

      A manufacturer of widgets will only make as many as there is a profitable market for; any more than this and the value of the product drops. (Before DtB leaps down my throat, yes I know this is a simplification.)

      But land is tricky. It’s not ‘manufactured’ as such, the supply is both enduring and finite. This puts it into a different category of ‘ownership’ than most other goods.

      My approach to this problem is to make all land ‘ownership’ to be held by public entities, while the ‘right to occupy’ is held privately. This distinction would go a long way toward allowing to solve land problems like this; it would give the public domain some control over the long-term supply and use of land, while at the same time preserving the private right to occupy and gain immediate benefit from it.

  17. Sabine 18

    you will find the same all over the regions.
    some towns where whole streets are owned by one person who is also on the council 🙂

    so when you drive through the ‘real NZ’ and you wonder why everything is boarded up, chances are no one will pay the 10 – 25.000 anual lease 🙂 cause everything is Akl now.

    and that is the biggest issue that i have with kiwi build and all tht jazz, it is literally just a project for middle / upper class people like Phil Twyford who have realized that their own children in AKL / WLGTN – despite working good jobs – can’t afford a house anywhere near them.

    But, it would work, if they would also employ other methods to cool the housing market. One would be to establish some sort of rental mirror. I.e. the rent should cover the value of the flat/house (i.e. ammeneties near by, age of building, state of building, heating sources, new modern vs old rotting ), rather then cover a mortgage on which was added a boat, a suv for the missus and the mister, a overseas holiday or several etc etc etc etc. If you could rent for a reasonable rate you might not be so keen on buying a house.

    And kiwi build should go hand in hand with government investment into the region that will attract jobs to the region rather then just another business in akl. And with jobs i also include jobs for women. Cause that is an issue in the region is decent paying jobs for women.

  18. SaveNZ 19

    Don’t build Queens Wharf extension for giant cruise ships, says planner

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12195069&fbclid=IwAR3gpr-0SWwgsrOYY5FUIGWXbYrkVdyuoVyuEVdsqS5vllLCjStlxJSBymU

    Air quality on cruise ship deck ‘worse than world’s most polluted cities’, investigation finds
    ‘Each day a cruise ship emits as much particulate matter as a million cars’

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/pollution-cruise-ships-po-oceana-higher-piccadilly-circus-channel-4-dispatches-a7821911.html

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    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
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    7 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
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    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
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  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
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    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
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    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
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    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
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    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
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    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago