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Ratepayers vs affordable housing

Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, June 12th, 2017 - 60 comments
Categories: housing, leadership - Tags: , , ,

Great piece by Bernard Orsman in The Herald:

Large affordable housing project in Manukau hits snag

A $140 million housing project on council land in Manukau has hit a snag on the eve of Auckland Mayor Phil Goff releasing a major report to tackle the city’s housing crisis.

The council’s development arm is being blamed by New Zealand Housing Foundation chief executive Paul Gilberd for wanting too much for the land, where hundreds of homes, including more than 100 affordable homes, are planned.

Just in passing, why aren’t all the planned houses in this project “affordable”? The New Zealand Housing Foundation’s site is here: “We are a not-for-profit, charitable trust delivering affordable housing for low income households, and supporting many other community providers also to provide affordable housing in neighbourhoods that work for low income and disadvantaged households”.

“The whole process has collapsed and is off the table as of Wednesday last week,” Gilberd told RNZ.

He said the foundation offered $13m for the land but Panuku Development Auckland wanted $24m, making affordable homes too expensive.

The project highlights the difficulty balancing the cash-strapped council’s desire to maximise the value of selling surplus land and using its landholdings to deliver affordable housing.

“The other important factor is that the sale of the site needs to make a reasonable financial return for Auckland ratepayers,” the statement [Panuku Development] said. …

From the council / ratepayer point of view why shouldn’t they want the best price possible for the land? But that drives up the prices of supposedly “affordable” housing still further. We are going to see versions of this dilemma played out everywhere.

In my opinion the needs of affordable housing should come first. Existing ratepayers need to make way for those who need a home too. The land should be cheap, “cash-strapped” councils can put up the rates.

This needs leadership from central government. I won’t hold my breath.

60 comments on “Ratepayers vs affordable housing”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    Part of the issue here is that this is a very high density location ( its across the motorway from the Manukau Court and Police station) in the heart of central Manukau.

    Could it be the zoning is for apartment blocks, when the Housing Foundation wants to build terrace style homes. ? This mean the land cost per dwelling is completely different which is why they disagree

    As has been pointed out only a portion of the homes are affordable, others being at market rates ( previous sites seem to be 1/3 in this category)

    • adam 1.1

      dukeofurl, people want, can handle, and indeed thrive in medium density housing. High density not so much. Exceptions every where of course, but in broad sociological terms medium density is better for peoples well being.

      High density is not the solution, it comes with it’s own set of problems.

      • dukeofurl 1.1.1

        Not all households are ‘family type’ I think Auckland has a large number of single and two person households, who could be very happy in apartment blocks.
        Im not thinking 15 stories, but from 4 to 9 levels.

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          I think Auckland has a large number of single and two person households, who could be very happy in apartment blocks.
          Im not thinking 15 stories, but from 4 to 9 levels.

          I am one of them. I have absolutely no interest in a house – don’t have time for one. I’m certainly not having one so just I have an hour each way commute. And for you provincials out there, in my areas of expertise I either work in Auckland or I emigrate to where at least equivalent work exists. While there may be work in other cities in NZ, there simply aren’t enough employers to be worth taking the risk of uprooting. In Auckland I have a moderate range of choice.

          I have a 51 sq meter one bedroom city fringe apartment in a 3 level complex (with two other parking floors). Originally I was rattling around on my own. In the last 9 years my partner has been there as well – which makes it slightly tight. We’d like to find a slightly bigger two bedroom apartment (about 70 or even 65 sq meter would do) so that we can separate out work area from our living area. But as far as I can tell they either don’t exist or they are priced for millionaires who like paying exorbitant body corporate fees for lifts and things that they never use.

          Instead what we have in Auckland is a lot of 70 sq meter 3 bedroom apartments (with two bathrooms), low ceilings and no parking designed for flatting. Which are even tighter than our existing openish plan apartment. Or teeny 35 sq meter apartments for single people who don’t need a workable desk.

          Eventually my partner brought her own 53 sq meter one bedroom apartment in the same block. The only way she was going to get property in the city that she wants to work in was to get another small apartment.

          Basically Auckland has a lot of 3 bedroom housing. It is bloody short of 1-2 bedroom housing.

  2. Keith 2

    With neoliberalism we labour under the maxim of maximize return on investment, aka Greed is Good. There is no other way, this is the cross we are nailed to.

    Housing cannot be sorted and will only get worse until there is a substantial shift from the way this country is run.

    • tc 2.1

      +100 also what’s affordable isn’t the same as what’s a reasonable COST to build.

      If we stripped out the cartel/monopoly style pricing that CHH/fletchers etc indulge in our cost of building would reflect our abundant natural resources and not the bottom line of the few companies who control the supply side.

      This is aside from the pittance developers contribute to the perennial infrastructure issues they create and walk away with Profit banked and favours repaid.

      • dukeofurl 2.1.1

        Yes . Im suprised that steel framing hasnt made a headway, especially in strong siesmic areas.
        Yet it seems to be priced as a premium product on top of the ridiculous prices paid for wood. ( especially since the fall in iron ore and sheet steel prices)
        I have heard rumours you can buy NZ cut timber framing cheaper in Australia than in NZ ?
        Another issue is NZ has all these boutique builders building medium to high end homes.
        the 3 bedroom / 130m2 home with a carport has practically disappeared. Yet this is what young familys want.

        • mauī 2.1.1.1

          Whoever put steel framing on the market and managed to convince people to use it is an idiot. It’s another rort. It’s not a renewable resource, it takes large amounts of energy to manufacture, its more expensive and it’s great if you want to lose heat through your walls in your home. And we’re using this to replace a perfectly good material – timber.

    • Gosman 2.2

      You want to turn NZ in to a fully socialist state to solve the housing issue do you?

      • Keith 2.2.1

        Yes. Because this shitty system sure ain’t working!

      • Craig H 2.2.2

        I’m personally not for a full command economy, but markets can be seen to be functioning best when the outcome is equilibrium i.e. supply = demand. Suppliers naturally prefer when there is some sort of scarcity i.e. more demand than supply as they can make more money. That’s not always possible to achieve in all markets, but for land and housing, there is clearly a scarcity in some regions, particularly urban, and it’s often easily manipulated by a relatively small number of people. We can try to reduce demand in Auckland by reducing incoming population and shifting demand into regions where there is no scarcity of supply, but part of the solution for Auckland still has to be more supply.

        That assumes housing is even some sort of reasonable market at all – given some of the demand involves “consumers” who are unable to pay the prices the suppliers require to sell/rent, but still require housing of some sort, my personal belief is that housing is not a fully functional market, and therefore state intervention is required. I would do it by having the state provide basic housing at low cost, and leave the higher end housing to the market.

        • As a possible tangent, socialism doesn’t require a command economy. You can have demand-driven socialism, it just requires either a lack of capital property or some sort of redistributive function that addresses wealth inequality. (eg. everyone gets a UBI, but you still have co-ops or corporations who get together to produce and sell things, and they still have varying success based on consumer demand)

          This is actually one area where Marx and his derivatives got pulled into thinking that was too conventional, buying into the very supply-side thinking that capitalists at the time also supported.

          • Gosman 2.2.2.1.1

            Example of this working in action please.

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.2.2.1.1.1

              Like a lot of communist political theory, it’s never been tried, my point is that the command economy part isn’t an essential part of marxist theory, it’s just one of the things he suggests a revolutionary government does in the transition period.

              Of course, capitalism doesn’t exactly work in action either, so I wouldn’t get on a high horse about its results if I were you.

        • Gosman 2.2.2.2

          Why isn’t supply meeting demand?

        • Gosman 2.2.2.3

          The supply problem in Auckland is largely artificial. It is easily rectified. Remove the restrictions on building on land.

          • In Vino 2.2.2.3.1

            We were told back in the 70s that we could not go on and on eating up productive land for unproductive urban spread – but that is what you want to do now. Idiot. Every other country in the world with a growing population has had to adapt and stop gobbling up land. But you want to continue the utter madness of house/garden, house/garden?

            • Gosman 2.2.2.3.1.1

              How many people live in the UK (Similar land area to NZ)?

              • In Vino

                How long ago did the UK realise that urban sprawl was unsustainable and increase dwelling density? Don’t ask me dumb questions – NZ is obviously at the stage where the UK and so many other countries were when they accepted the inevitable. Do your own research – all too often you cherry-pick questions to make out that the people you are querying should do heaps of research for you to justify themselves. Go jump in a lake somewhere, Goose.

          • dukeofurl 2.2.2.3.2

            “The supply problem in Auckland is largely artificial. It is easily rectified. Remove the restrictions on building on land.”

            SHAs did that.
            “Tranche 10, comprising 36 new SHAs, was declared on 19 May 2016 with an estimated final yield of nearly 2,749 dwellings bringing overall potential yield from 154 SHAs to 55,757 dwellings.

            Actual number built ?
            The number of dwellings issued with building consents continues to accelerate in special housing areas into Accord Year 3 and reached 1,750 by 31 March 2016 with new data to 30 April 2016 showing over 1,000 dwellings completed*.

            land available and consented is 55,000. Building consents is 1750

            This refutes your claim not enough land is available.

            SHAs being land consented for subdivision, the first step in the process. the reality is creating the sections is high risk and most SHA developers dont have the capital to do so

            http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/ratesbuildingproperty/housingsupply/Documents/aucklandhousingaccordmonitoringreport20160622.pdf

          • lprent 2.2.2.3.3

            Can I (politely) request that you pull your head out of your arse and deal with the real world for a change?

            It has been tried.

            1. The Special Housing Areas (SHAs) in Auckland have been an unmitigated disaster.

            2. In Auckland the constraints are often the sewerage, water, stormwater, power and roading systems which take a lot of leadtime to expand – bothin greenfield and intensification areas.

            3. Whenever the ideological idiots like you in National announce another ill-considered plan like SHAs, they immediately assume it has been completed and raise the nett inwards migration levels.

            Basically be need to get rid of the idiots in government

      • Who said anything about wanting socialism just to solve this one issue? 😉

      • dukeofurl 2.2.4

        Gosman “you want to turn NZ in to a fully socialist state to solve the housing issue do you

        have you forgotten that Nick Smith has been talking about the compulsory purchase of private land- but only so that private developers can create larger subdivisions.
        Of course for many years up to the mid 80s, the state did this for state rental houses

        Gosman you need to ask the beehive for more emails on their own policy rather than the attack labour/greens bumpf you are getting

      • greywarshark 2.2.5

        Trolling Gosman? You seem to float through the posts and don’t seem to be learning anything except the next empty question or challenge you pose.

      • georgecom 2.2.6

        How you doing pulling that really really long bow Gosman?

  3. Gosman 3

    Surely the cost of the land is determined by the market (Willing Buyer and Seller). If you don’t have either of these two things then there won’t be a transaction. Are you suggesting that the State forces people to accept less than they are willing to accept for land?

    • r0b 3.1

      The state has that legal power already:

      http://www.linz.govt.nz/crown-property/acquisition-and-disposal-land/land-involved-public-works/landowners-rights-when-crown

      I think there are circumstances where the use of this power is justified, and in principle this could be one of those cases (I don’t know enough about the specfics to be sure).

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        The State has the power to take your life if it so desires. That doesn’t mean it should exercise that power.

        • r0b 3.1.1.1

          The state does not have that legal power. And reductio ad absurdum is seldom a good form of argument.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            And reductio ad absurdum is seldom a good form of argument.

            That’s the only ‘argument’ that the RWNJs actually have.

          • Craig H 3.1.1.1.2

            The State does, it just chooses not to use it. Granted, there would be law changes required and a treaty to repudiate, but legally it could be done.

            However I agree that the argument that taking someone’s land at slightly less than current market rate and taking their life is somehow analogous is BS.

          • Matthew Whitehead 3.1.1.1.3

            Actually reductio ad absurdum is fine, so long as you don’t exaggerate your opponents position all the time like Gosman tries to.

            Like any logically sound debating technique, it requires you to be careful of what your opponent is actually saying and to try and respect their points, principles, and integrity.

          • Gosman 3.1.1.1.4

            Police can be authorised to use lethal force.

    • Keith 3.2

      You have hit the nail on the head Gosman. “The market” is the problem.

      “The market” could not care less if you live in a car or on the street, the market is all about money and profit. “The market” is ill equipped for the inevitable instability in society when too many people fall foul of it.

      “The market” is essentially feudal in its workings, Lord, vassal and peasant.

      “The market” is where everything goes to the highest bidder and in time and it is speeding up, on ultimately to the wealthy until they have nearly everything and the vast majority have nothing.

      This appears to be working at the present time because there is still land to transfer but its rapid transference upward means the logical outcome will be fewer land holders and more and more people left only to rent and even then to struggle.

      “The market” relies on greed and selfish individualism, pure and simple.

      A rerun of the middle ages may suit the few but it sure as shit doesn’t inspire me.

  4. greywarshark 4

    Why can’t houses be tendered from australia so bringing back our cheaper wood in a cost efficient manner, and putting up by teams of locals trained to erect and fix these packed down houses?

    Going onto sites where the sections have been planned properly with appropriate services, they could be up and running with a central community room on the side of a small store/post office, (no booze, ciggies), visiting dental and GP room, bus stop.) This would provide a hub and be something along the lines of one established by Sisters Pauline O’Regan and others years ago.
    http://www.nzine.co.nz/views/oregan.html
    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/28131/sisters-of-mercy-in-the-community

    What a great thought and all that it requires is the will by those who have the power, and commitment from start to finish with services in place. Maori community interests such as those who provided help with housing last year, would be interested in the services and might wish to do this.

    Seeing the timber trade has been monpolised by big players, and so the market is captured and buggered, we should look at alternative ways to use this ‘great’ market we are stuck with.

    • Gosman 4.1

      It’s not really the houses that is causing the problem so much as the land availability. You haven’t solved that issue.

  5. Treetop 5

    Government need to make up the shortfall or 50/50 otherwise no lower cost housing will get built. Were I to have it my way the land would only be used for low cost housing.

    • lprent 5.1

      Especially since this government is the problem. Having high return migration on top of high immigration is a central government decision. Since the greedy fuckers have made it to have a high performing economy without extra investment, then central government can damn well pay for it.

      After all central government are the people picking up the extra tax for having an estimated extra 800 cars per week on Auckland roads (rego + warrants _ drivers license), the extra income tax, and the extra GST.

      Auckland ratepayers aren’t going to be picking up the bill for the National stupidity of trying to have high immigration after under funding infrastructure. Everything from the Auckland super city they imposed, the public transport, roads and all the way to not training sufficient builders.

      • Muttonbird 5.1.1

        This. And what of the Farrar types who blame Auckland council for not selling assets to fund the city’s growth (which is out of their control) yet uses any and every chance to also blame the opposition for not backing these private developments. I suppose Farrar is all for Auckland Council to sell for $11 million less than it’s worth – I mean that’s a dozen Maseratis for the developers right there.

      • Poission 5.1.2

        So you make the hard decisions on migration.(being the most cost effective option).

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/332816/labour-would-aim-to-reduce-immigration-numbers

      • Gosman 5.1.3

        Local bodies should receive a significant proportion of the GST on new builds consented under their watch.

        • lprent 5.1.3.1

          You really don’t understand GST do you?

          The central government will receive the GST on consents. The local council will only recover the GST that they have already paid for their goods and services purchased.

          • Gosman 5.1.3.1.1

            No, you don’t understand ACT party policy. The central government will direct 50% of the GST collected on building to the council that consented to the work.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    From the council / ratepayer point of view why shouldn’t they want the best price possible for the land?

    Do the ratepayers even want to sell the land?
    Would they be happy if the land was used to build some council flats on that could then be rented out to people on an as need basis at a cost neutral rent?

    From the ratepayers perspective, actually selling the land is a bad idea as they’d lose that value.

    • greywarshark 6.1

      Good point DTB. Why sell the land. I can’t see why it can’t be carried forward as a special financial project. The houses would be built and valued at today’s prices, the land also at a reasonable value. Then the rent worked out to cover costs and some maintenance allowed for and then rent them at that rate or close to it. The rent should cover costs, but wouldn’t be put up to match market rental. Perhaps it would go up by about 2% a year so it shifted slightly. The maintenance would go up by the same per year.

      I think it is important that the values changed regularly as surrounding housing and land values go up. And that maintenance would be covered and attended to regularly to keep the stock in good order.

    • Craig H 6.2

      Very good point.

    • dukeofurl 6.3

      yes . the Council could be the developer/builder and then all could be affordable homes, with the Housing foundation as ‘project manger’ ?
      But the current circumstances mean they have enough problems with transport, amenities, infrastructure etc and wont be going down that path.

  7. Gosman 7

    Why is the housing market one of the very few areas in NZ where supply cannot meet demand?

    • Muttonbird 7.1

      A lack of transport and utility infrastructure and a lack of immigration planning.

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        Actually it is a lack of the ability to convert land from one use to another as quickly as needed.

        • Muttonbird 7.1.1.1

          Yes, the lack of ability is because of under-investment in utilities and public transport infrastructure.

          Why don’t RWNJs get this?

          • Gosman 7.1.1.1.1

            Yes and that is why 50% of GST paid on buildings receiving consent by a council should go back to that council to pay for the infrastructure required.

      • Gosman 7.1.2

        Try lack of ability to change land use very easily.

    • Barfly 7.2

      Because your corrupt mouth breathing RW Government is obsessed with juking the stats by mass importation of people to artificially inflate the GDP.

    • Gabby 7.3

      Because we’re importing lots of people but not many houses.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.4

      Because ‘The market’ is a fictional construct that’s sole purpose is to steal from everyone else.

  8. saveNZ 8

    The easiest way out, is for the council to build the affordable houses themselves and run them and take the profit from them, just like in the past before Mayor’s like John Banks sold them.

    Housing appreciates in general. It’s a good investment – that’s why the developers want the land.

    Also 100% of the housing should be affordable for a 11 million discount! Zero profit for the developer and who knows how many ‘charitable trusts’ are just fronts these days.

    Auckland council have zero concerns bankrolling Westgate malls for development -maybe they need to put their money out of corporate aid and actually build some bloody affordable houses for ratepayers. They are so desperate to fill up the city with low paid workers and demolish as many affordable houses as possible with McMansions replacing them.

  9. mauī 9

    They could fix it if they really wanted to. Build out central Auckland really quickly and you have an oversupply of houses sending prices/rents down towards the affordable direction as long as they slow immigration.

    I don’t know what the minimum lot size is, but let’s say they halve it straight away and then you have people wanting to subdivide their properties all over the place. Garages and backyards become new small houses or low rise apartments. Because you’re increasing building in central Aucks you’re not adding too much to the traffic chaos as people will be tempted to make use of public transport and biking instead.

    Unfortunately the Council won’t do something like this because they’re tied to archaic planning laws. Ironically it’s the oldest suburbs like Freemans Bay that were by and large built without planning restrictions that are the most desirable to live in.

  10. greg 10

    they cant just give away ratepayer assets at knock down prices that is a subsidy
    rate payers should expect the full value for the land .the problem is the bubble economy and in-balances that has infected the whole system.

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    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    3 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    4 days ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    4 days ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    4 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    5 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    6 days ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    6 days ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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. ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 hour ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 day 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    1 week 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

  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
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