Open mike 27/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 27th, 2012 - 81 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

81 comments on “Open mike 27/08/2012”

  1. Tony P 1

    Parata addresses principals in Nelson and shows her ignorance. (Shanghai is not a country!)

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/7547388/Education-shouldn-t-stand-still-Parata

    Kelvin Smythe’s response.

    http://www.networkonnet.co.nz/index.php?section=latest&id=402

    • Dv 1.1

      Kelvin, did the Principals at the meeting ask or challenge any of the statements made by Parata?

    • Ben 1.2

      That is a dreadfully written “rebuttal.”

      • Ianmac from Vietnam 1.2.1

        Wonder what you mean Ben? Is there something that Kelvin wrote that you disagree with? Kelvin always writes with passion but also with accuracy. Fault his facts if you can.

    • Ianmac from Vietnam 1.3

      Read it all Tony. Thanks. And what a danger to our kids Parata is! And Kelvin takes each lie and each misrepresentation and dissects them with accuracy and with passion.
      I do hope clever folk like Mr Robbins will pick up on the Parata Nelson Speech Disaster and the Opposition Question Masters will challenge her untruths and mischief in Parliament. She must be even worse for Education than past Mister Merv WELLINGTON???

  2. Nick 2

    Less than 20 people turn up to United Future’s AGM.

    ’nuff said.

    • felix 2.1

      And some of them don’t even necessarily vote UF…

    • lprent 2.2

      I saw that and chortled… More people routinely turn up at Auckland isthmus LEC’s. In fact the last branch AGM I went to would have had 15.

    • Mr Burns 2.3

      You mean the United Future Liberal Democrat Gun Shootin’ Tootin’ Christian Conservative Fancy Coiffure party’s AGM?

      • lprent 2.3.1

        Fancy Coiffure

        Mr Burns, with all of your money, how come you never got a hairpiece like that?

        • Mr Burns 2.3.1.1

          Ha ha
           
          I was having far too much fun buying up distressed assets in the third world, things like hospitals and orphanages. It is amazing what savings could be made when you cut back on non essentials like food and medicine.

    • Lanthanide 2.4

      They interviewed Pete George on the radio. Apparently he was one of the 20 people – a true believer.

      Interesting that they’re getting the comments from the 11th ranked MP on their party list. I guess at the next election, we could see PG in the top 5-6, low enough to get into parliament should they meet the 4/5% threshold (assuming coat-tailing is abolished).

      Peter Dunne said that the number of times he hears people agree with his party and what they’re doing, “if just 10% of them voted we’d dominate parliament”. Let’s be very generous and say 50% of the people say that – if 10% of them voted for UF they’d only just scrape in on the party vote, and hardly have enough MPs to “dominate parliament”.

      • felix 2.4.1

        1996: 0.88%
        1999: 0.54%
        2002: 6.70%
        2005: 2.70%
        2008: 0.90%
        2011: 0.60%

        Either they’re a sub-one percent party who had an uncharacteristic bump 10 years ago and then sunk back to their natural level of support, or they’re following a weirdly lumpy cycle and they’re on track for another big bump in 2014 🙂

        • Pete 2.4.1.1

          According to Morning Report, they’re thinking of rebranding themselves as the Liberal Democrats. Between them and the Conservatives (and Labour, I guess), they’re importing name recognition from the UK for some reason.

          • felix 2.4.1.1.1

            Crikey. If their representatives on this site are anything to go by they’re not too fond of either liberalism or democracy. “Racist One-Party-Statists” would be more appropriate.

        • Lanthanide 2.4.1.2

          The obvious answer is 2002 was a freak year:
          – Lowest turnout for National
          – Labour clearly going to win the election, so some people started looking for alternatives
          – Worm

        • Rosie 2.4.1.3

          Well, One of those UFO’ers said on RNZ this morning that they reckon they need $500K for their campaigning for 2014 so I guess they are expecting a real big ol’ bump as a return. Maybe they want to go hell for leather with guns blazing rather than fade away with a few last dying gasps.

        • Tim G 2.4.1.4

          Don’t talk like that. You’ll only encourage PG!

  3. Pete 3

    Something is very wrong with a country where a child born this minute has a 1 in 5 chance of being born into poverty, while half of those with a fortune of over $50 million don’t pay the top tax rate.

    • Mr Burns 3.1

      Why is everyone so surprised?

      How do you think the very wealthy amassed their fortunes? By being good citizens? By looking after their neighbor and making sure that they also had enough? By not spending every waking minute plotting and scheming and planning to amass even more wealth? By paying their fair due?

      • Pete 3.1.1

        Oh, I’m not surprised that there are millionaires, I’m outraged that we don’t have a system where they are compelled to pay their fair share.

        • Drakula 3.1.1.1

          Or a system where these predators are given free accommodation on a distant archipelago in the middle of the Pacific.

  4. just saying 4

    The site is behaving a little oddly for me today.
    I keep mysteriously ending up in pages from months ago. The comments side-bar keeps turning entirely pink, and then back again.

    No biggie, just mentioning on the slim offchance that it’s important for you to know, lprent.

    • Carol 4.1

      My only difficulty this morning is that the links on the comments on the top right side of the screen don’t work. I think the number at then end of the comment is missing eg:

      http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-27082012/#comment-

    • prism 4.2

      Lynn said he was working with site effects yesterday. I wondered the effects would be like an aurora. That seems to be the case, and you have pink today. Tomorrow it might be green – this would be a nice feature, the rainbow blog! What about it lprent? I imagine the answer. Grump grump I’m already flat out keeping it running don’t you know. And doing great. I must give you one of my infrequent donations, I should do better.

      • lprent 4.2.1

        *grin*
        If I was unkind and more grumpy than my post-moving back is already making me, I’d plug in an override CSS that said things like

        body
        {
        background-color: pink;
        }

        and the few other places as well where background-color is used.

        Then put a acknowledgement for your suggestion on the banner. Actually the exact wording should be something like “Colour donated by prism. Donate before it goes lime-green”

        But I’m loving my old apartment that we have moved back into. We polished the concrete, added extra storage, and for the first time in nearly 3 years I’m able to spend time working at home. The last place was good for Lyn’s film but turned out to be a disaster as a work environ’s for me. Something about the cubicle size that I had just killed the creative process dead while I was at home. Now when I’m plugged into the computers at home, I’m in a open space with a high stud and it is a cave…… Perfect.

        So less grumping and more doing is now the target. But I do have to get some bluetooth headphones and an arm for the TV to prevent distractions when Lyn watches that while I am working. The alternative is to put a TV tuner into a PC and then bump the channels out using DLNA.

  5. vto 5

    The people of east Christchurch are being seriously let down.

    Huge huge numbers of them cannot get on with their lives and it is causing a slow gangrene which is spreading. It is real and immediate.

    In my opinion this is due almost entirely to insurance issues. This is easily resolved by the government stepping in to provide a form of state insurance as it did following the 1931 Napier earthquake. Lives and homes would overnight begin to repair.

    The government’s opposition to this is put down to “not wanting to interefere in the free market” etc etc. But this is complete hogwash. The government has interfered in a massive way for the central city property owners and flagged the free market approach. The government has interefered anyway in the free market with its red zone buyouts. The government has interefered, outside Chch, in the “free market” dairy industry by providing money for their needs, in the “free market” NZX by offering them taxpayer businesses to invest in.

    This government interferes in the “free market” all over trhe place all of the time. Yet it wont interfere to assist the people of east Christchurch. If east Chch was northwest Chch there would be an interference, just like there has been for the wealthy central city property owners. They are hypocrites and lowlife scum.

    And the most stupid thing about it is that if a form of state insurance was put in place then the local economies and communities would roar back into life and the Nats would get a huge surge in support.

    A comprehensive outline of the reasons for refusing to help should be provided by Gerry Brownlee.

    We are in a quicksand…

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      If the government stepped in with some sort of insurance where the private sector is not, then by definition the government would be taking on risk that the private sector didn’t want to take on.

      CHCH has already cost the government a lot of money. After the debacle of SCF, the government being on the hook for more billions(?) doesn’t seem like a good idea.

      • prism 5.1.1

        Lanthanide
        You sound like a NACT supporter. Are you being sarcy. Your comment sounds just like the limpid excuses they would put forward. The SCF wasn’t helping Christchurch in general, it was reacting to the local investors and the Timaru NACT supporters cries of anguish as they found that the free market bed springs are hard to sleep on when the mattress gets repossessed.

      • vto 5.1.2

        “If the government stepped in with some sort of insurance where the private sector is not, then by definition the government would be taking on risk that the private sector didn’t want to take on.”

        Yes, that’s right Lanthanide. But I pointed out examples where this government already does exactly that …

        1. Stepping into SCF and bank guarantees – where the private sector was running away from.
        2. Stepping into dairy infrastructure / irrigation – where the private sector doesn’t want to take the risk.
        3. Stepping into the privately owned share market, the NZX, where the private sector keeps failing.
        4. Stepping into the central city rebuild because it doesn’t trust the private sector and free makret to get it right.

        So your argument Lanthanide does not stack up.

        And remember what we are talking about here. We are not talking about private business or other sectors, we are talking about tens of thousands of households and families who are unable to go about their lives because the private sectors is incapable of providing for them at this time. This is exactly one of the main circumstances we have government for.

        If it is good enough to step into the private sectors to help out dairy, private business, SCF and Aussie banks, the privately owned share market, central city property owners, etc then why is it not good enough to step in to help families stuck in the mud? This is a simple question Lanth – and nobody has provided a decent answer. Feel free to try again.

        It is a disgusting failure.

        And re risk and cost – provided the earthquakes have stopped (and Ken Ring says they have – hee hee) then the government with a state insurance will build up a massive client base which has a massive value for subsequent sale when the private market comes back.

        I tell why this government does not help Bexley – because it is not Fendalton.

        • Lanthanide 5.1.2.1

          In general I was supporting you – it’s not really about the government not wanting to intervene in the “free market” as they claim, it’s about them not wanting to take on risk.

          • vto 5.1.2.1.1

            I appreciate that that is the argument Lanthanide but it holds no water for the reasons outlined. It is a fob off riddled with hypocrisy and stinking bullshit. If that is this government’s reason then they are liars as they routinely ignore that reason when it comes to farmers, NZX, banks, SCF, central city, on it goes.

            Brownlee is being grossly dishonest.

            If east Christchurch has to wait another number of years for insurance to come back then east Christchurch will be more of a wasteland than it is now. People and families will have suffered a whole lot more and left. Christchurch, apparently so important to NZ, will be left with a stinking great slum hole and ghetto in its midst as well as a great swathe of its population significantly harmed.

            It is a great injustice. It is also poor foresight and wisdom – but what the fuck would anyone expect from the likes of John Key. The man is so shallow it is a wonder he even has a shadow.

          • prism 5.1.2.1.2

            ‘ it’s about them not wanting to take on risk.’
            I think it’s about the government not wanting to accept the responsibilities of a good, functioning, people-centred government to help the citizens that they govern who are a special case in their needs. And not wanting to listen to the suggestions and ideas those citizens have, and together to seek a way forward that provides the best solution and a cost-effective one as well. The risk can be ameliorated by using good data and professional advice in a co-ordinated way, working alongside the people.

            What they get however is an authoritarian response as represented in our frequently used graphic of Brownlee in Henry VIII? robes, or is it Gengis Khan? One of the despots of fame anyway.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.1.3

            It’s not about the risk, it’s about who gets the money.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1.4

            In general I was supporting you – it’s not really about the government not wanting to intervene in the “free market” as they claim, it’s about them not wanting to take on risk.

            Please excuse my french. But its the frakking job of the frakking government to take on frakking risk to help its citizens.

            If our attitude is that government should have the same mission parameters and objectives as the private sector, then we should just outsource the job and fire them all.

      • Fortran 5.1.3

        Lanthanide

        Reinstate State Insurance Company – a good firm – buy it back from the Aussies (IAG Group).
        They bought it from the Poms, who bought it from New Zealanders – who owned it.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.3.1

          We could have taken over AMI real easy. It was there for the taking. Frakking Tories.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      They’re doing two things in Christchurch:
      1.) Ensuring that the insurance companies don’t have to pay out as much as they should and so keep their profits
      2.) Ensuring that anything that the government does pay for the money goes to their rich mates

      They really couldn’t give a shit about the people except in how much they can fleece them.

  6. prism 6

    The Family Court is in a mess. Reorganisation has thrown out the systems and vulnerable women and children are at risk when protection orders are slowed and it can take six months to get a hearing for an urgent case. Government’s whole idea is to find ways that technology can be used to make the system cheaper and theoretically more efficient. The paper based system is said to be unwieldy and cumbersome. But it worked. It will cost millions to put the new system right and in the meantime and the future probably, people’s lives get meaner and sadder.

    And there is no hope for a change in direction from this government and possibly Labour as well. The poor are undeserving so get less allocation of goods and services, and their petty squabbles and foolish lack of decision making shouldn’t be sorted out at the nation’s cost. No they can’t expect a Rolls Royce system to straighten out their useless lives. (That’s the theme that runs through the two big pollies and some of the smaller ones too, one talks about being sensible, which ends up in the same circle.)

    It reminds me of the ‘Unfortunate Experiment’ where women were left untreated but under observation in the cervical cancer case. There were some required to travel long distances for regular checks, with costs of time, money, family disruption, and anxiety. They weren’t given the chance to opt in or out, and thought they were under ‘real’ treatment, not just being dismissed as laboratory rats. There is a similarity with this government’s behaviour and all right wing people it seems, that the lower classes are lesser people (and in the cervical cancer case most of the women were regarded as such) and don’t deserve the respect and deference that the better off receive.

    • just saying 6.1

      Well said.
      And the poor and disadvantaged are more and more invisible to people who are neither, as life gets progressively harder.

  7. Jackal 7

    National’s lame excuses to sell our assets

    Trying to hold the country to ransom is a sure way to commit political suicide…

    • Olwyn 7.1

      Firstly, the asset sales were to pay debt ( I refuse to say “pay down” or “tranche” of anything). Then they were to pay for infrastructure. When the prices have been beaten down by various challenges they will be to keep their word, while their mates rub their hands with glee. Stuff the rest of NZ.

      Supposing that is right, this is a question I would really like to ask the Labour caucus. In the event of Key’s government leaving a gaping financial hole, and your being told by the real powers that be, after winning the election, that austerity is the only option, how will you reply?

      • vto 7.1.1

        But Owlyn, if we didn’t have to pay the banks interest then we wouldn’t have to have the banks austerity. The real problem is the system – the privately-owned interest-bearing credit creation system called banks and money. It is simple maths.

        • Olwyn 7.1.1.1

          I accept what you are saying, but would still like to know what the Labour caucus’s answer would be to my question. It could be framed as, “If push comes to shove, how far are you willing to go to defend your constituency against the system? Are you willing to employ your imagination, you wiles and your courage on behalf of ordinary people? Or are you more likely to employ PR people so as to get away with shafting them on the system’s behalf?”

  8. Carol 8

    Note to the NZ Herald management. I am now boycotting your shonkey website. Yet again you are participating in the Nat government diversionary propaganda by posting another John Key dance video. Shame on you.

    • Jackal 8.1

      What gets me is the delay in posting articles online that aren’t cheerleading for Key and the rest of the rightwing charlatan’s. It’s those little manipulations that really piss me off the most. The NZ Herald often typifies unbalanced journalism, but hopefully the so-called dream team will make a bit of difference. Pity they aren’t cutting O’Sullivan and a few of the other crusty National propagandists at the same time.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.1

        Most likely that’s simply perception bias on your part.

        • Jackal 8.1.1.1

          Which part… The delay in putting leftist articles online or that O’Sullivan is a Nat propagandist? These would only be down to my perception if they weren’t verifiable facts Lanthanide.

          • Lanthanide 8.1.1.1.1

            The supposed ‘delay’ in putting ‘leftist’ articles online.

            • Jackal 8.1.1.1.1.1

              And how exactly is that perception biased Lanthanide? The NZ Herald is right leaning, and the editor often promotes National’s rhetoric. Such observations are based on facts and not bias Lanthanide. Would you like some examples perhaps?

              • Grumpy

                Tapu Misa, Brian Rudman…….righties??

                Yeah, right!

                • felix

                  lolz Grumpy.

                  And Penthouse can’t really be considered a porn mag because sometimes it publishes articles about sports cars.

  9. fnjckg 9

    BBC @ noon:

    Assad-vowed “will defeat foreign plot against whole region….conspiracy at any cost”

    Could be very costly
    ah megiddo megiddo megiddo….

  10. tc 10

    I thought Gaynor’s piece on the inconsistency and governance in NZ companies was as close as granny will get to actually stating what a cosy bunch of self serving overpaid lawyers and accountants we have on the boards of NZ companies doing SFA.

    Crank the handle and profits spew forth at the likes of Foodstuffs, Vector, Contact etc etc, to paraphrase blackadder ‘a strategically shaved chimp could do that’

    • muzza 10.1

      “a strategically shaved chimp could do that”

      –But only if its a member of the “right” clubs eh!

    • fnjckg 10.2

      Brian Gaynor wrote an interesting Peace recently outlining the economic, and related, factors likely to make Aotearoa New Zealand “competitive” (finger down throat) while screwing the poor, working class, and middle classes further into the ground whence they came.
      Article took quite a critical social gaze i thought.

      Any how, here is something some people might Value
      (then i better have some lunch)

      For all people who were ignorant of ( ) were foolish by nature;
      and they were unable from the good things that are seen to know the one who exists, nor did they recognize the artisan while paying heed to ( ) works;
      but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air, or the luminaries of heaven were the gods that rule the world.
      If through delight in the beauty of these things people assumed them to be gods, let them know how much better than these is their ( ), for the author of beauty created them. And if
      people were amazed at their power and working, let them perceive from them how much more powerful is the one who formed them…………………………
      …Yet,
      these people are little to be blamed, for perhaps they go astray while seeking ( )
      and desiring to find ( )

      Wisdom 13: 1-the bits i picked out.

      Anyhow, my thought for today is “anthropocentrism is the fall”
      cos man, it’s a really big universe and it is moving very fast!

    • DH 10.3

      Gaynor was complaining more about the related party meddling in publicly listed companies, it’s been wrecking the NZX for near thirty years. The big players get themselves on the board and use their position to get favorable deals for themselves at the expense of the small shareholders.

      That’s what Parker & Cunliffe etc really need to fix if they want more investment in business. CGT won’t solve anything but some prison sentences might.

      • Colonial Viper 10.3.1

        That’s what Parker & Cunliffe etc really need to fix if they want more investment in business. CGT won’t solve anything but some prison sentences might.

        We don’t need investment in NZX companies. We need investment in businesses which are the backbone of the NZ economy: those with 10 employees or less.

  11. Carol 11

    So Genesis says it’s ready for privatisation, because it’s increased its profits, partly due to a rise in retail and wholesale electricity prices….?

    Great! So we had to pay more (directly or indirectly) so that the minority of shareholders who buy into the company will benefit! Where’s our share of the profits?

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Genesis-Energy-well-prepared-for-partial-privatisation/tabid/421/articleID/267000/Default.aspx

    The chief executive of Genesis Energy says it is “well prepared” for partial privatisation.

    He made the comments in a briefing to analysts after Genesis announced a net profit in the year to June of $90 million. That was a turnaround from a loss of almost $17 million in the previous year.

    Genesis says higher generation volumes, higher electricity prices and higher gas sales in both wholesale and retail markets helped increased revenue.

    • just saying 11.1

      I recently got an email from Genesis telling me my power pricing was going to “change” and on my current usage it would cost about $15 per month more. Weirdly, they said the price “change” was because pricing in my ‘street’ hadn’t been reviewed since 2009.

      What a drag changing powercos. What publicly owned companies are okay?

  12. lenore 12

    “John stop spending your money on couches!”

  13. captain hook 13

    Wheres our share of the profits?
    In the bank so they can pay off the new owners for investing our money in their profits.

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    Pretty amazing footage of a Syrian helicopter, doing what the govt claims is “falling down”

    http://t.co/GzehAcRL

    I think you see the ‘front fall off” before it “falls down”.

    • felix 14.1

      Looks like it overheated a little too.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        Wow. Was it mechanical failure which caused that helicopter to burst into flames and break apart? Or a (western supplied?) shoulder launched ground to air missile.

        • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1.1

          No no no. Nothing like that. It just fell down.

          (no sign of a rocket trail though.)

        • Te Reo Putake 14.1.1.2

          Western supplied? Maybe, but more likely Russian, given the amount of gear Syrian army defectors have taken with them. Either way, not a good day for the dictatorship.

  15. Interesting, Roy Morgan have polled people on if they are unemployed or not.  The results are interesting, the real rate is said to be 9.1% and the under employed rate a further 9.6%.

    This is an interesting result.  I know a bunch of really talented intelligent people at University who are doing masters and Phds because the jobs are just not there.

    If this is going to be a real analysis of a problem then we should research the problem properly. 

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      I know a bunch of really talented intelligent people at University who are doing masters and Phds because the jobs are just not there.

      If this is going to be a real analysis of a problem then we should research the problem properly.

      Perhaps those Masters and PhD students from the former can set their minds on to solving the latter?

      And from what I can see, quite a few students pursuing postgrad research pathways are not that suited for it, and would actually far prefer to be doing something else. Yet they often have no idea what. And as an unfortunate corollary to NZ not having enough positions for highly qualified individuals, these post grad students don’t have the practical skills and real world experience to be employable at anything less.

  16. Peter 16

    Research suggests that those who believe in the free market are less likely to believe in climate change? Surprised?

    https://theconversation.edu.au/supporters-of-the-free-market-more-likely-to-reject-science-9086

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    Finally got myself a copy of Debunking Economics – Revised and Expanded Edition: The Naked Emperor Dethroned? and decided to share this bit:

    In one sense, their ignorance is utterly justified, because they are behaving in the same way that professionals do in genuine sciences like physics. Most physicists don’t check what Einstein actually wrote on the Theory of Relativity, because they are confident that Einstein got it right, and that their textbooks accurately communicate Einstein’s core ideas. Similarly, most economists don’t check to see whether core concepts like ‘supply and demand microeconomics’ or ‘representative agent macroeconomics’ are properly derived from well-grounded foundations, because they simply assume that if they’re taught by the textbooks, then there must be original research that confirms their validity.
    In fact, the exact opposite is the case: the original research confirms that all these concepts are false. Virtually every concept that is taught as gospel in the textbooks has been proved to be unsound in the original literature.

    emphasis mine.

    • Ianmac from Vietnam 17.1

      You mean we shouldn’t take everything as gospel whether it is in the bible or the Economics Textbook? Mind you there might at least be some tenuous foundation for one of those two.

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    My saying”we can’t afford the rich” is actually wrong. The correct formulation is that we can’t afford an economic system that produces the rich.

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    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    1 week ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    1 week ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    1 week ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    1 week ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    1 week ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Feed the Kids
    While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • DHBs’ big budget blowout
    New Zealand’s District Health Boards are now facing a budget deficit of nearly $90 million dollars, a significant blowout on what was forecast, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   Labour believes health funding must grow to avoid further cuts ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt plays catch up on drug funding
    The Government's backdown on Pharmac is welcomed because previous rhetoric around the agency being adequately funded was just nonsense, says Labour's Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes in Hamilton
    Labour will build 200 affordable KiwiBuild houses and state houses on unused government-owned land as the first steps in our plan to fix Hamilton’s housing crisis, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “We will build new houses to replace ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Mental Health waiting times a growing concern
    There is new evidence that the Mental Health system is under increasing strain with waiting times for young people to be seen by mental health and addiction services lengthening says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “Following yesterday’s seat of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More beneficiaries heading to jail, fewer to study
    The latest quarterly benefit figures show a rising number of beneficiaries have left the benefit because they have gone to prison, while fewer are going into study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “According to recent figures, in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Analyst charts failure of National’s housing policy
    Respected analyst Rodney Dickens has published a devastating critique of National’s housing policy, and says Labour’s policies give more hope, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Mr Dickens shows since the signing of the Auckland Housing Accord in 2013 the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Cost of Living increases hit those with least the hardest
    Beneficiaries, superannuitants and people on the lowest incomes continue to bear the brunt of higher inflation, according to the latest data from Statistics NZ, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to office (December 2008) inflation for those ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Pike River Mine families deserve more
    The Government must be more open and honest about the Pike River Mine says Dunedin South’s  Labour MP Clare Curran.   “It’s just wrong that the Commerce Select Committee has refused a Labour Party request to re-open its investigation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government goalposts taken off the field
    The Government’s decision to dump the Better Public Service (BPS) Target to Reduce Reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017 shows when it comes to measuring their progress the National Government hasn’t just shifted the goalposts, but has taken the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Last call of the kea?
    Last weekend, I attended the first ever Kea Konvention jointly organised by the Kea Conservation Trust and Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand. It was a power-packed weekend full of presentations by scientists, volunteers and NGOS working to raise awareness of this ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    3 weeks ago