Roads to nowhere

Written By: - Date published: 3:34 pm, March 1st, 2012 - 22 comments
Categories: Gerry Brownlee, infrastructure, transport - Tags: ,

To be a Nat seems to require tunnel vision and the ability to ignore reality. Case in point, National’s fixation with roads. Repeat after John: “Roads are good!”, “Roads are good!”, “Roads are good!”. Except, not so much:

Billions spent on big road projects show poor return

Transport officials have highlighted a dramatic reduction in the cost-efficiency of the Government’s multibillion-dollar spend-up on new highways.

But Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says he is not concerned about what he expects will turn out to be only a short-term movement, and insists the Government is on track to keep the country moving.

Labour’s transport spokesman, Phil Twyford, has pointed to a graph in a Ministry of Transport briefing paper as evidence of “poor-quality spending” on highways led by the Government’s Roads of National Significance programme.

But Mr Brownlee told the Herald that Mr Twyford was wrong calling changes over a mere two years a trend, and said he was satisfied highway projects planned for Auckland would produce great benefits both for the region and the national economy.

According to the graph, prepared by officials for their incoming minister, approved highway projects expected to yield high economic returns dwindled below 10 per cent in 2009-10 compared with more than 75 per cent two years earlier.

More than 60 per cent were accorded low cost-benefit ratios and about 30 per cent were expected to provide only medium-level returns on investment.

Asked by Mr Twyford in Parliament whether he was concerned by the trend since Labour was last in power in 2008, the minister said he was not. …

“I’m not concerned about those graphs at this point – I don’t think they indicate a worrying trend at all.”

I haven’t seen the report, but maybe the Ministry of Transport can see the blindingly obvious truth that the Nats can’t. Peak oil is here, and the cost of our personal transport is going through the roof. Know what would show better returns for the country than billions on holiday highways? Put the money into public transport. Or schools. Or almost anything else really.

(PS: If you want to know how truly dodgy the Nats’ numbers are on this issue, go read this excellent piece by Rod Oram from 2010.)

22 comments on “Roads to nowhere”

  1. fender 1

    It’s great that National are keen to spend on new infrastructure, but selling the cream of state assets to fund it is backward. One of the most aggravating aspects of the way they operate is the way they fund studies and get advice from experts but in the end they do what they had their mind set on from the outset.
    And their RONS plans would be fantastic if we were living in 1970, but times have changed, and National are stuck in the past. I think these egomaniacs just want to leave their mark on the landscape as evidence of their great achievements.
    The planned expressway through Kapiti, while being welcomed by many to ease congestion, seems poorly planned and has not taken into account the adverse effects of those who will have to live next to this monstrosity. The Kapiti Council had their own roading plans to alleviate problems but Joyce has ridden roughshod over them to get his idea of sculpture built, maybe so he can fly around looking at his great work from above.

  2. DH 2

    They never added up. They’re long term projects that won’t provide a financial return and we’re running a serious operating deficit with a poor short term economic outlook. As stimulus spending it’s one of the worst infrastructure projects you can get, they don’t hire many people for the money involved and there’s bugger-all flow-on benefits.

    They’ve borrowed eleven billion dollars for these roading projects and they have the gall to tell us they need to sell assets to balance the books. The interest bill alone on this economic sabotage is $600million a year.

    I’ve wondered if someone has been bribed, it’s about the only conclusion I can reach that makes sense to me.

  3. shorts 3

    how are the big road freight companies doing…. its all for them isn’t it?

  4. Jenny 4

    What did you see, my blue eyed son?
    And what did you see, my darling young one ?
    I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
    I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it

    And it’s a ruined, and it’s ruined

    It’s a ruined world we’re gonna leave, our children.

    That is, if we don’t rein in the roading lobby and the fossil fuels lobby.

    All power to Lucy Lawless, Te Whanau te Apanui, Greenpeace, the Maritime Union.

  5. james 111 5

    Your so right they should build no roads.Everyone should just walk or ride a horse across other peoples property.Or even fly to their holiday destination blowing carbon emissions int the atmosphere

    We should never use Electric cars in the future unless they can hover above the ground.There should be a train track to everyones letter box as we wont be able to drive there or deliver goods by truck. As you dont advocate roads. Civilisation will come to a standstill yea right sound loopy sure is

    • DH 5.1

      A typical moronic comment from someone who can’t think for himself. They’re not building roads. They’re merely improving existing roads. Any economic gain can only be incremental. There’s no great new business opportunities to be had, no magic bullets to be shot with, we already have roads we’ve had them for over century.

      To add to Jenny’s post…”a hard rain’s a gonna fall”

    • McFlock 5.2

      Take heart, James. One of these days your comments will be coherent, logically consistent, literate and and relevant to the thread.
        
      You might not ever get 100%, but I’m certain that a mid-range “Fail E” will be achieved any day now!

    • framu 5.3

      james, notice how the argument in the post is miles away from what you think it says?

      F – must try harder

      teacher will see you after class

      • lprent 5.3.1

        Yeah, he walked over the edge into trolling yesterday. RedLogix gave us a respite from it.

        • fender 5.3.1.1

          Yes but he kept posting after he was given a week off, further proof of his inability to comprehend.

          [lprent: Yep. 3 comments. But is likely that he hadn’t seen the comment with the ban when they were written. He wasn’t in the auto-moderation queue. Two of which I just wiped the contents with a link to the comment because they’d been replied too (if there wasn’t a reply then I just trash them).

          The 3rd was derogatory about RL and earned him an extra two weeks. It is a bad idea attacking a moderator. If I see them anywhere including in auto-moderation I will usually double up sentences. ]

    • tc 5.4

      Nice one James, how is the regular standup routine at the hollowmen golf and country club coming along by the way, I’m still in stitches over your pod solution for public transport.

      Worked any more sci fi into the act ? Should be good for a few extra laughs and for anyone wanting to join a large donation to the waitemata trust should secure an annual subscription.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.5

  6. Ad 6

    It’s tempting in the transport industry to believe that most hard problems can be solved with sufficient volumes of concrete, steel and earthmoving equipment -motorways being the greatest manifestation of that.

    Big engineering is necessary don’t get me wrong.

    But to me what is often neglected is the soft infrastructure, in particular the social marketing campaigns. New Zealand can be justifiably proud of the success in the last decade of the anti-smoking campaigns, anti-speeding campaigns, and more recently mental health campaigns. They take a long time to show measurable results, but we really are seeing fewer smokers and road deaths as a result of these campaigns.

    One really could imagine what our energy consumption could look like – and our decreased vulnerability to foreign oil imports – if social marketing on that kind of scale were applied to using public transport.

    I sure don’t wish an oil crash upon anyone, but when it comes time to convert a good number of the lanes on Auckland’s spaghetti junction into a garden with a cycleway, I will be there with my spade. The Auckland Plan in fact already anticipates this across a number of the current aerial off ramps.

    The Regional Land Transport Programmes (RLTP’s) for all areas of New Zealand are now out for consultation, and people we have to get our voices heard there. We may as well use the existing democratic channels available before the current Minister of Local Government determines that there’s just too much of this pesky voice-thing in the country. RLTPs will lock in transport priorities including motorways for the next ten years. Get writing.

    • Jenny 6.1

      Just google the words “The Well Connected Group” and discover who the new pyramid builders are.

      These corporate lobbyists have the ear of politicians like no other sector of the population.

      $BILLIONS for a highway made of diamonds? No problem.

      Money for public transport so we can get around our city? Get lost.

  7. BCCA 7

    While there’s a lot I don’t like about the Nats, it’s their ideology around transport that earns them my spite.

    Key was in the headlines yesterday telling Auckland that none of its funding options for the city rail link were okay. And Joyce wants Auckland to keep sprawling unsustainably, with all its implications for public transport, cycling, liveability, cost of infrastructure, etc. They really daren’t allow any new ideas take hold and so we must have more soulless developments, sparse and lifeless cities, noise and pollution, dozens of pedestrian deaths and injuries and vast areas of prime real estate as car parks.

    http://facebook.com/groups/beyondcarcultureaotearoa

    • DH 7.1

      Maybe I’m just an old cynic but I see making money & ideology as being mutually exclusive. When people put the activities of a Govt down to ideology they’re implicitly ascribing good motives to the actions; it might be wrong but the reasons for doing it are still right. If all Govt activities are ideologically based then there would be no corruption in Govt.

      Vast sums of the public’s money are being spent here and a great deal of it is going into the pockets of a relatively small group of businesses & individuals. It is possible to do good deeds and get filthy rich from it at the same time? I don’t think so.

  8. Georgecom 8

    I noted in one of the links a BCR for the Puhoi Holiday Highway was quoted at 1.1. Roftl. NZTA figures have it as 0.8 to 1.1. An assessment done by Aussie consulting firm, at the invitation of Joyce, costed the BCR out as 0.4. That report was ‘sent back’ to SAHA for massaging, er I mean, correction. Average NZTA and Saha and you get something around 0.7 for a realistic BCR. And Brownlee expects the BCRs to get better on his roading spend up?

    • DH 8.1

      Pretty pathetic isn’t it, and for that they’re putting the country into massive debt at the worst possible time in our economic history.

      It’s hard to figure out exactly what the BCR refers to – overall economic gain or the return to the crown on the money spent. I thought they’d need to return more than 1:3, crown revenue runs at about a third of GDP so if the loans are to be repaid they’d need an overall economic return of more than three times what they cost. Include interest & it’s even more.

      It’s the same bullshit with education, they invent ridiculous returns that anyone with a lick of common sense can see are nonsense.

      • Georgecom 8.1.1

        For the puhoi holiday highway it seems the BCR relates to whatever figure Steven Joyce thinks sounds justifiable for his massive spend up.

        • DH 8.1.1.1

          It does look that way. Wellsford isn’t a destination for many people, it will only give meaningful economic benefits when it runs all the way to Whangarei and even then it’s not a huge thing it might knock 20-30minutes off the trip in non-holiday periods. I can see why they call it the holiday highway. They’d get a much greater BCR if they just bypassed the Warkworth bottleneck.

          • Georgecom 8.1.1.1.1

            Yup. The Campaign for Better Transport has commissioned what it calls “Operation Lifesaver” as an alternative for that stretch of road to the ‘South Canterbury Finance’ BCR highway. OL suggests a bypass through Warkworth, extending some passing lanes and a median barrier down some parts of the existing highway. $300 to $400 million estimate.

            http://transportblog.co.nz/2010/08/11/operation-lifesaver-a-better-solution-for-puhoi-wellsford/

            • DH 8.1.1.1.1.1

              That looks sensible enough, should achieve about 90% of the benefits for a quarter of the cost. If you’re interested in the issue of infrastructure spending the driving force behind it seems to be this crowd here;

              http://nzcid.org.nz/

              One of their replies to the Puhoi debate is here, scroll down to “Deferring Puhoi-Wellsford highway puts Northland’s economic potential at stake”

              http://nzcid.org.nz/latestmediareleases.html

              Note the comments about tolls.

              There’s quite a bit of historical info & Nationals infrastructure policies seem to come directly from this mob.

              NZCID was founded by an Aussie investment bank who are one of the largest investors in PPPs in the world. Just a coincidence that NZCID policies are littered with references to the ‘benefits’ of PPPs and other private sector involvement, they profess to care only about NZ’s economic development. Tui?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    34 mins ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    7 hours ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    3 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    4 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    4 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    5 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    6 days ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    6 days ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three 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. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED 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
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.