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Privatisation a dirty word?

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, July 4th, 2011 - 48 comments
Categories: privatisation - Tags:

No Confidence

Written by The Jackal at 4:51 PM

Steven Joyce was asked some hard questions today by Labour Minister of Communications and Information Technology David Cunliffe concerning Nationals Privatisation plans for New Zealand’s SOEs. Once again the speaker of the house Lockwood Smith came to National’s rescue. Lockwood argued that Joyce didn’t have to answer a question because the Minister disagreed with the word “Privatisation.” What utter Bullshit!

National started to use the word first when they floated the idea, so it’s a valid word to use to describe what National intends to undertake. David Cunliffe did not load a question by using the word “Privatisation.” Saying so is ridiculous and Lockwood’s argument turns Parliament into a farce.

Since when are facts characterizations? Steven Joyce is simply dismissing facts out of hand because he has no answers. When the facts are presented, there is clearly no argument for asset sales. Our partially privatised SOEs charge more; often need to be bailed out by the taxpayer and account for billions of dollars of lost revenue each year. The amount of shares retained by New Zealand investors is minimal making such an argument mute.

8% of New Zealanders purchased shares in Contact Energy when it was partially privatised. Today, only 2.5% of Contact Energy shares are retained by Kiwi’s… so where does that leave National’s “Mum and Dad investors” proposition, especially considering National has no mechanism to ensure New Zealander’s purchase or retain shares? It’s a lie, plain and simple.

National is spending $6 million before the next general election on getting our assets ready to be sold. They’re effectively gambling with our money, taking the will of the public for granted and not undertaking proper procedures to gain a mandate. Many polls have recently shown that two thirds of Kiwi’s don’t want to sell our SOEs. So who exactly is National listening to?

It’s a travesty that National undertook the $6 million outlay of taxpayer money before seeking a mandate from the public. That’s like stealing money from your wallet to sell your family car… Then you’ll have to hire the car back again at a marked up price, unless you kick the thief out of the house. It’s not the way a proper functioning Government should be conducting itself.

It will cost taxpayers around 2 to 5% of the profit value to sell our SOEs, which works out to be $136 to $340 million. Joyce knows what the potential costs will be from partially privatising our SOEs… He’s playing stupid and is treated as such by David Cunliffe.

As usual National is happy to reside in rhetoric and a twisted sense of reality, which is not appreciated or helpful to the process. Lockwood Smith should ensure that questions are answered appropriately, instead of being lost in Nationals obfuscation.

Because of a lack of impartiality, dismissing the facts and protecting National’s agenda, I have no confidence in Lockwood Smith as the Speaker of the House. He is not undertaking his duties properly and should therefore resign.

48 comments on “Privatisation a dirty word?”

  1. randal 1

    there is a certain style of political organisation that came to power in germany in the 1930’s where they shouted down all opposition, would not define terms and criminalised words that they were afraid of. these policies were the ground rock of the national socialist party who were called nazi’s for short.

  2. randal 2

    and this national party may be a little more easy on the eye but in intetions they are just the same. there desire to steal the states assets for private gain is criminal but in this unicameral state there is no opposition nor chance of opposing their depredations.

  3. g says 3

    did the esteemed speaker give guidance of how the pillaging of state owned assets was to be referred to as?

  4. queenstfarmer 4

    What’s the actual problem here? Privatisation != selling minority stakes. Smith has been the best speaker in ages for holding the Govt to account.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Privatisation != selling minority stakes.

      Symantics. Selling off public equity is selling off public equity.

      • queenstfarmer 4.1.1

        Yes, semantics: “The branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning”. And yes, selling off public equity is selling off public equity. But selling a minority stake still aint priviatisation, although it may be casually referred to as such.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          But selling a minority stake still aint priviatisation

          Yes it is, no matter how much you try to say it ain’t. Selling the shares of a public asset into private ownership is privatisation. With our laws there to protect the minor shareholders against majority shareholder actions that means that the control of those assets would devolve to the private, minority owners.

          And that is privatisation.

          • queenstfarmer 4.1.1.1.1

            This is comedy gold. So your argument now is that the minority floats themselves don’t amount to privatisation, but the eventual “devolving” of assets to private, minority owners (by some magical process entirely unknown to the law) is the privatisation.

            Hey, on your logic, the Govt should sell 90% stakes, because the assets would magically “devolve” back to the minority!

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1.1

              What the law requires is that majority shareholders not to purposefully do anything to cause minority shareholders to lose value either in profits or share value. A government entity could be asked by the government as the owner to take a loss that they didn’t have to to help out the community. With private owners involved, even at a minority non-controlling level, that can’t happen.

              • queenstfarmer

                Sorry DTB, you are just way off base here. The law doesn’t impose any duties on shareholders. Obligations are on the company itself, and on directors. The main obligation is to act in the best interests of the Company (which you will find in all but rare cases involving insolvency equates with the majority shareholder views). Shareholders can’t be “levied” or asked to “take a loss” (unless shares aren’t paid up, which isn’t the case here).

                • Lanthanide

                  You’re right, queen, in terms of the law.

                  The point Draco is making was borne out a few years ago when engineers/mechanics working on Air New Zealand planes in Chirsthchurch asked the government to intervene when Air NZ was in the process of moving the jobs offshore.

                  The (Labour) government declined to intervene, citing commercial interests of the minority shareholders preventing them from interfering in business decisions by Air NZ.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    That’s not a Labour Govt that people in the 1960’s and 1970’s would have recognised.

                  • queenstfarmer

                    The point DTB was making about assets somehow “devolving” to minority shareholders.

                    Re the Air NZ example, if it is as described, then first of all it was beyond belief (even allowing for Govt incompetence) that a 75%+ majority shareholder could get bossed around, without actually wanting the outcome.

                    The other point which I have made before is that it is open to the Govt to put in a constitution that expressly allows certain “national interest” decisions to be taken. Of course these can be achieved anyway, but this makes it express.

                    • Jum

                      Queenstfarmer,

                      I have watched this government in parliament; there is nothing honourable or honest or intelligent about their behaviour.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Selling off shares to the private sector is privatisation especially when NZ law forbids the majority shareholder from doing anything that would detract from the minority shareholders profits.

  5. It will come as a surprise to those intending to buy shares in the SOEs that their shares will not be privately held.

  6. randal 6

    queenstreetfrmr. smith might be the best speaker for ages if you think that squashing debate and sanctioning government theft is the sine qua non of being a good speaker.

  7. Tangled up in blue 7

    They’re effectively gambling with our money, taking the will of the public for granted and not undertaking proper procedures to gain a mandate. Many polls have recently shown that two thirds of Kiwi’s don’t want to sell our SOEs. So who exactly is National listening to?

    Because we don’t have a direct representative democracy; if National get re-elected this year then that is all the mandate they need.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    I like this graph from Jackal’s Blog. Reminds me of the meeting that was held at one of the large telcos I worked for. Being enthusiastic about the business the upper management decided to show, in graph form, where all the money was coming from and going to. In the build up to displaying the graph they mentioned how important the VIP (Big Business) customers were to the profit of the business. Then they put up the graph. Those VIP customers? Yeah, they were losing the company money. The profits were all coming from the residential side.

    This looks to me like the same thing is happening in electricity.

    As for Lockwood, yeah, total partisanship and bias. Obviously didn’t like National to be shown up by the facts.

    • Jim Nald 8.1

      In that dolt’s previous political incarnation, his comments about Asians and Pasifika reflected badly on him to reveal his own small mind and his credibility going down the toilet.

  9. johnm 9

    Makes you despair about the criminal Politicians and the smug tax cut people who vote them in. Neither really care about NZ, for them we are just taxpayers (as little as possible) and consumers. This group have no vision no optimism. They believe in the virtue of selfishness: the common good is an alien concept to them.

    Lockwood Smith is a crook. Why? The whole World knows what Privatisation is (The robbery from the people for the benefit of Private interests) aided and abetted by criminal governments who identify with those same private interests and not with all the people of that country. It is a deliberate attempt to dumb down the debate in the Nation’s Parliament-Fascist and unbelievably arrogant.

    “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?”
    George Orwell
    1984

    Lockwood’s Newspeak is the removal of “Privatisation” from discussion simply disgusting!

  10. deemac 10

    George Orwell should be living at this hour!

  11. Jan 11

    Privatisation – with apologies to Oscar Wilde. The unspeakable advocated by by the undesirable,
    I’m amused by the acceptable spin term however – Mixed Ownership Model abbreviates to MOM.

    • seeker 11.1

      Likewise Jan.
      Is this the beginning of the MOM state? How many assets are to be Mommed?
      ACC has been prepared by NickS as well as ECan water; welfare has been prepped by PaulaR courtesy of PaulaB.,prisons likewise by Judith; education is being prepped via Nat.Stans and PPPs; DoC via Whats her name; oil, mines and coal via Gerry; PharMac (traded version) via TimG; roads and internet by “cute’ joyce; heaven knows whats going on with health, and all this portfolio ‘momming’ overseen and, I think, commissioned, by John and Bill under initial advisement from business round, ashcroft and his crafty con.group and archmommer of Auckland, Hyde and his at one time in group- Shipley, Boag, Brash, not to mention the Wongs.And don’t forget SimonP. who has gone to help the Moms, I bet.
      That is the end of tonights story NZ, sweet dreams, Mom is going to turn out the light.

  12. idlegus 12

    mediaworks radio is falling into line, they refer to privatisation as ‘partial asset sales’ which is a more loaded biased political term imo.

    • queenstfarmer 12.1

      It’s telling that you find an accurate description (partial asset sales) to be more loaded and biased than an incorrect description (privatisation).

      • Puddleglum 12.1.1

        queenstfarmer, if I ‘partially sell’ an asset does the ‘part’ I’ve sold still belong to me or has it gone into (other) private hands – i.e., been ‘privatised’? (Hint: presumably I no longer get a return on the bit I sold.)

        • queenstfarmer 12.1.1.1

          Haven’t you answered your own question? It becomes “partially privatised”. Hence the perfectly accurate phrase that idlegus seems to find objectionable: partial asset sale.

          As for the asset itself, it is not privatised until majority control is gone. Look at the definition: “privatize : transitive verb : to make private; especially : to change (as a business or industry) from public to private control or ownership.”

          • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1

            ffs

            Key and English are over in Nov regardless.

          • felix 12.1.1.1.2

            “Haven’t you answered your own question? It becomes “partially privatised”. “

            Err, Puddlegum asked you about the part sold. Surely you’re not saying that the part sold is only partially privatised?

            Surely the part sold is totally privatised, no?

            If you could please clear this up by indicating that you understand the question Puddlegum asked we can save a lot of time talking past one another.

            • queenstfarmer 12.1.1.1.2.1

              Of course a part sold privately is privatised (what would you call it?). The rest is held by the Govt, and remains non-privatised.

              Therefore, part of the whole asset is privatised, which means (as I repeat for the third time) the asset is “partially privatised”, following a “partial asset sale” – which is the perfectly accurate, precise term that the OP apparently objects to.

              • felix

                which is the perfectly accurate, precise term that the OP apparently objects to.

                Really? Missed that, where did you see it? (The objection to the term “partial privatisation”)

                I thought Lockie wanted everyone to say “mixed ownership model” instead.

                • queenstfarmer

                  Really? Missed that, where did you see it? (The objection to the term “partial privatisation”)

                  You misquote me. What I said was “following a “partial asset sale” – which is the perfectly accurate, precise term that the OP apparently objects to

                  Then see post #12.

                  • felix

                    Ah I see. So you’re not really arguing that selling bits of assets isn’t privatisation then.

                    Just running the lines, muddying the waters, distracting from the point and generally wasting time.

                    Hope you’re on a good wicket for selling out your country and kin.

          • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1.1.3

            Trick for young players, ‘especially’ doesn’t mean ‘exclusively’. You can look at the definition if you like; or consider this example.

            ‘Illiterate’ can be defined as: not well educated in the reading or the writing; especially, being unable to read or write.

            That doesn’t mean that if you can read and write, you aren’t illiterate. That’s just a special case; a particular one.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.3.1

              That doesn’t mean that if you can read and write, you aren’t illiterate. That’s just a special case; a particular one.

              Indeed, someone who doesn’t know the correct meanings of words that he can read or write could still be considered illiterate

              :mrgreen:

            • queenstfarmer 12.1.1.1.3.2

              Trick for young players, ‘especially’ doesn’t mean ‘exclusively’.

              No argument there. The first part of the definition makes my point. As you say, what follows simply adds further detail.

              Though it’s quite nice that the one, non-exclusive example is exactly on the topic of this debate, and gives a meaning entirely consistent with what MediaWorks and others have been saying, but which some on this thread apparently think is incorrect.

              • Colonial Viper

                It’s selling out our country and the energy security of our children, regardless of how you cleverly define it you cheap fuck.

                • Hanswurst

                  It is not even vaguely clever, though. The only question that needs to be asked is, “Has anything that was previously in public ownership passed into private hands?” The answer being “Yes,” there is no further argument to be had.

                  Qstf”ers thick-headed misunderstanding of privatisation to mean “When some big whole company or summink gets sold by a gummint (esp. a Labour gummint)” is on exactly the same level as those lazy and misinformed citizens who define communism as “That fascist system where nice people get shot and it reminds me of Hitler”.

  13. let’s call it what everybody around the world at the receiving end of the Banksters “largesse” calls it: Looting.

  14. Red Rosa 14

    Love it. The Nats are right into Orwellian bafflegab.

    First we have MOM. Surely not the Nanny State?

    Bad luck for any buyers of these shares. Presumably (Lockwood, we have your word on this) they are not then private property?

    Bit disturbing really.

    • Puddleglum 14.1

      Yep, putting the boundary at the ‘firm’ level (of the SOE) just so you can say you haven’t ‘privatised’ what was once under public ownership is playing with words.

      What say one of the SOEs was split and the asset value of a part of it that was then sold to private interests amounted to the proportion of shares now proposed for sale? Then, no-one would hesitate in saying the asset had been privatised.

      Also, fifty-one percent retention of shares does not mean that decision making remains in the hands of the government. Or, to put it more accurately, the nominal government control over decision making (because it would have the majority of shares) obscures the fact that the kinds of decisions that would then have to be made would have to incorporate the fact that 49% of the shares were in private hands and that, therefore, the viability of the, nominal, SOE would be dependent upon keeping that 49% happy (i.e., putting their interests first). If they weren’t kept happy they would sell down and then where would the SOE be?

      This form of privatisation is an attempt to make SOEs completely part of a market rather than to operate as a ‘strategic asset’ owned by all of us.

  15. Jan 15

    What is this special “not private status” I wonder since the intention is to trade the SOE;s on the share market. The potential public benefits (smart metering technology, options to use more power cheaply at times of plentiful supply, profits to the exchequer to purchase government services or to keep power prices manageable, approaches for guaranteeing energy security for the future as discussed on the recent Radio NZ Sunday programme http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/sun/sun-20110703-1005-john_scott-048.mp3

    [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/sun/sun-20110703-1005-john_scott-048.mp3" /]

    are all marginalised in favour of the benefits to private share holders. The broken ‘competitive’ model has and will hamper the efficient operation of the electricity industry in in favour of guaranteed profits for a few.

    Typical of a government who see themselves solely as enablers of capital – Jam today for a few in preference to Jam today and tomorrow for all New Zealanders

    MOM n’ DAD – dangerous and duplicitous anyone

  16. felix 16

    Watching Lockwood’s character arc over the past term, it’s hard to avoid thinking he was given a very strong talking-to during the summer recess – you’ve been very fair but this is election year, don’t forget who’s team you’re on, I made you I can break you too, you want the fucking knighthood or not, cunt? – that sort of thing.

    Disappointing really.

  17. randal 17

    anyway the guts of the matter is this. the neo-cons in the government want to disrupt a natural monopoly so that they can get their hands on the spoils and even better create a market so they can bet on spot prices and make the conusmer and more importantly industry pay on the nose any time time they can put a corner on the market.
    and kiwis are so dumb they are going to fall for it.
    think enron and think how the staff at the wall street journal nearly crashed the paper trying to do the same thing.

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    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    1 week ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    1 week ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    1 week ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public health, externality, and vaccination
    Paternalism is contentious. Arguments for state action to protect us from ourselves are fraught. I come down pretty heavily on the anti-paternalism side of the argument, but I’ve heard respectable defences of paternalism. But policy around vaccination is hardly paternalistic. There’s a clear market failure that could be pointed to ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Happy Halloween
    Its Halloween, so its time for annual pumpkin trepanning and chocolate eating ritual. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
    I’ve been reading Jules Verne’s novel Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, considered as one of the very earliest science fiction stories. In brief, Monsieur Aronnax and a couple of sidekicks are taken prisoner by Captain Nemo and his mysterious crew and treated to an underwater voyage around the world ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosing the risks
    The climate crisis is going to mean some pretty big changes in our country, both from its impacts and the policies required to address them. Most obviously, whole suburbs are going to be underwater by 2100, meaning people and businesses are going to have to relocate to higher ground. But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • MPI fails again
    Yesterday a dairy company was fined $483,000 for repeatedly failing to report listeria in its facility. Its a serious fine for a serious crime: listeria is a serious disease, and they were effectively trying to kill people with it. But there's another story hidden in there, and its not a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Gay Men Address Gender Identity
    Gay men see the excesses of trans activism and are increasingly speaking out.  A new Facebook group addressing ‘gender identity’ and contemporary trans activism has been set up for gay men, by gay men. The following is the group’s Statement of Intent, Group Rules, and link to the group for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s Going Gangbusters.
    Criminal Enterprises: Gangs are not welfare institutions. Nor are they a substitute for the family their members never had. They are ruthless, violent, criminal money-making machines. That is all.OKAY, first-things-first. Gangs exist for one purpose – and only one. They are a sure-fired, time-tested institution for making crime pay – ...
    2 weeks ago
  • “Action for Healthy Waterways”: Some big ticket actions that the Government has neglected
    Prof Nick Wilson, A/Prof George Thomson, A/Prof Simon Hales, Prof Michael Baker The NZ Ministry for the Environment has produced a valuable discussion document with many good ideas for improving the health of waterways in New Zealand. But there are important gaps. In this blog we consider three big-ticket items ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • ADHD and fluoride – wishful thinking supported by statistical manipulation?
    Finding reality needs more than wishful thinking. The problem is that statistical arguments often provide a jargon to confirm biases. Image credit: Accurate Thinking Versus Wishful Thinking in Gambling I worry at the way some ...
    2 weeks ago
  • “Line the wasters up!”: Yes, NZ, it’s “bash the poor!” time again with ya mate Simon…
    This really shouldn’t need to be said, but hell… looks like we need to do it all over again: Simon Bridges, and the National Party shock politics doctrine, seems to demand every time that its Leader, its Party and anyone seemingly involved with it, cannot get real traction on real ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • A partial release
    The Ombudsman has ruled on the issue of Julie-Anne Genter's letter to Phil Twyford on the "Let's Get Wellington Moving" policy, and forced the release of some information. The Ombudsman's statement is here. The key point: the letter was written in part in a Ministerial capacity, and was official information ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: California burning
    Its fire season in California, and the state is on fire again, with tens of thousands evacuated and millions without power as forests and homes burn. And its so bad now that some are asking whether parts of the state are now too dangerous to inhabit:Three years in a row ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • To Save Democracy, We Must Make The Media Our Own.
    New Zealanders' Television: Obliterated almost completely from New Zealanders’ collective memory is the amazing collection of creative talent which was all-too-briefly assembled in the purpose-built Avalon television studios (above) situated ten miles north of the capital. If this period is recalled at all it is only for the purposes of ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    4 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    5 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones annoyed at “elevated sense of entitlement from a lot of immigrant leaders”
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is defending Immigration New Zealand (INZ) after it instructed officials to stop granting visas as an exception to instructions. He has also lashed out at immigrant leaders upset with the tightening of the rules, saying they had an “elevated sense of entitlement”. Members of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand public likely to vote on euthanasia bill thanks to NZ First
    A change to the End of Life Choice Bill was passed in Parliament, meaning if politicians decide to vote for the law it must be approved by the public first. A binding referendum was a condition insisted on by New Zealand First, and Jenny Marcroft’s supplementary order paper (SOP) successfully ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Tairāwhiti Workforce development projects get $1.6m PGF boost
    Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), through its skills and employment programme, Te Ara Mahi, is investing a further $1.6m into Tairāwhiti’s workforce development, said Parliamentary Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “This PGF funding follows on from significant PGF investment earlier this ...
    3 weeks ago
  • NZ First welcomes primary sector support for climate change plan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says the Government’s steps to reduce farm livestock emissions are necessary and timely. Today the Government and farming leaders announced a plan to measure and price emissions at the farm level by 2025. “Many farmers ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones hits back at activists upset with immigration changes
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones has hit back at those who are upset over a change in approach to partnership visas. There has been a specific government directive to stop waiving requirements such as couples needing to have lived together for 12 months - a test Indian couples who have ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Next steps in Northland line upgrade underway
    The North Auckland Line rejuvenation kicks off with teams surveying the rail corridor and Northland construction contractors are showing interest in the project. KiwiRail provided an industry briefing for Northland contracting and construction companies about future work opportunities on rejuvenating Northland’s rail lines. The briefing session in Whangarei was held to ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    50 mins ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Bede Corry as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “The appointment of a senior diplomat to this important role underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Mr Peters. “The United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
    An innovative approach to boosting the number of frontline Police has seen 20 new officers graduate from one of the uncommon training wings in Auckland. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of 20 constables today means that 1,765 new Police officers have been deployed since the coalition government took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Over 1.2 million hours of community work helps local communities
    Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the 1.2 million hours of community work completed by offenders in the last financial year has helped local communities right across the country. “Community work sentences are a great way for people to pay something positive back to society. There is a massive benefit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Te Huringa o Te Tai – Police Crime Prevention Strategy
    "A pathway for Police in leadership with Iwi Māori, to achieve the aspirations of Māori whānau." Police launch of Te Huringa o Te Tai, Pipitea Marae,  Thorndon Quay, Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou. Hello everyone, warm greetings to you all. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis getting higher pay
    Working New Zealanders are getting more in their back pockets under the Coalition Government’s economic plan. Stats NZ data today shows average weekly ordinary time earnings are up by $83 since the Government took office. This shows that working New Zealanders are getting higher take-home pay, and that employers are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More support for schools to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact
    The Government is supporting schools to cut down their energy consumption and reduce environmental impacts, with a quarter of all schools having their lights replaced with LEDs, a sustainability contestable fund and a plan to improve the environmental sustainability of all schools in the future. Education Minister Chris Hipkins and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s manaakitanga highlighted in China
    Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis heads to China on Friday to lead the New Zealand Government presence at the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism closing ceremony. The ceremony will take place at Canton Tower in Guangzhou on Sunday 10 November. “The Year of Tourism has been mutually beneficial for both New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Climate change research boost
    Should we plan for drought or deluge and how is CO2 released from the ocean’s floor? Several climate change projects were given a boost in the latest Marsden Fund investment of $83.6 million, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods said today. “Climate change is long-term challenge that requires out-of-the-box ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Significant progress on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
    Leaders of 16 countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have announced the completion of negotiation on the text as well as agreement on virtually all market access issues between 15 countries. The leaders said they will work with India to resolve its outstanding concerns in a way that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Learn how to stay safe on World Tsunami Awareness Day
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