Save the Paturoa Kauri

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, March 12th, 2015 - 63 comments
Categories: national - Tags: ,

Tane Titirangi-6

A message from the #SaveourKauri team

He Kauri

He Rangatira

E tu

Thank you so much. We’ve been overwhelmed by your support – two years ago we were a small group of neighbours and residents shocked that anyone could contemplate cutting down a 500 year old Kauri, but this last week we’ve grown into a movement over 25,000 strong, adamant that our taonga deserve protection. We won’t stop until our Kauri is safe. We’re here for the long haul, to #SaveOurKauri.

We want to update you on developments at 40 Paturoa Road. Today we really got a sense of how hard this could be, when a Police car and van crawled past us. Michael has already been trespassed, and we know that if he’s removed from the tree and arrested, the Kauri is no longer safe.

That’s why we need your help. Please email Len Brown and the Auckland Councillors now, urging them to find a solution that will let our kauri stand for another 500 years. You may want to write your own letter but feel free to use this one:

To: len.brown@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; john.watson@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; wayne.walker@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; cathy.casey@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; christine.fletcher@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; bill.cashmore@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; dick.quax@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; arthur.anae@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; sharon.stewart@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; alf.filipaina@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; calum.penrose@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; john.walker@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; denise.krum@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; chris.darby@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; george.wood@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; cameron.brewer@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; penny.webster@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; linda.cooper@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; penny.hulse@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; mike.lee@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz; ross.clow @aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Dear Len & Auckland Councillors,

Thank you for your efforts so far to #SaveOurKauri, however I’m writing to you to urge you to do more. This afternoon the tree was visited by several Police vehicles, and we still lack a long term solution to this Kauri’s protection. The situation is precarious, and we could be days from losing our ability to save the Kauri for generations to come.

Please don’t let that happen.

This cannot be the new normal, we need to save the Kauri for future generations and put in place processes immediately to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Thank you …

 

It is crucial over coming days that we maintain our presence at the site. We can #SaveOurKauri if we keep our numbers up, so please come down to support Michael and the whole team. The Facebook event is here, and we’d love to see you at 7am every morning, or whenever you can make it.

TOMORROW we need a crew at the site, so please if you can go there. However we are also presenting the petition to the Auckland Council tomorrow morning. We will gather outside the Auckland Town Hall at 9am – if you can join us, bring a sign, bring a friend or three and stand with us to #SaveOurKauri!!

Thank you again for all your support. We couldn’t do this without you.

Kia kaha.

The #SaveOurKauri team.

Update:  In the Herald this morning the owners have promised to save the trees, sort of.  The details will obviously be all important.

Update2:  Michael Tavares is now on solid ground and is visiting the New Lynn Police station to have a chat.

 

And Auckland Council has voted 10 to 9 not to support the Waitakere Ranges Local Board’s opposition to the felling of the Kauri and the Rimu.  Surprisingly Waitakere Councillors Linda Cooper and Penny Hulse as well as Mayor Len Brown voted against providing support.

63 comments on “Save the Paturoa Kauri”

  1. Paul 1

    Great news.
    It’s saved.
    Now we need to look at changing the law back to the way it was when trees like this were automatically protected.

    • tracey 1.1

      WHY we don’t consider Kauri equivalent to Kiwi, only some of our idiot law makers know.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Pretty sure we sacrifice native birds worse than trees 🙁 Consider how many bird species are on the decline/in danger of extinction lists compared to tree species. We want conservation when it suits us but we don’t want to limit or change our lives to have it.

        • tracey 1.1.1.1

          I was specifically asking about the Kiwi for a reason. I think even our PM would have jumped into that debate…

          • weka 1.1.1.1.1

            Why were you asking about kiwi?

            We’re still in the transition from thinking saving individual species is conservation to understanding that it’s all about the ecosystem. We still destroy ecosystems where kiwi live in the same way that we do with kauri. The way to save both is to preserve the whole ecosystem. I think kauri felling is just more visible than kiwi decline.

    • mickysavage 1.2

      Looks like it is close Paul but if you reread the letter it is more of an introductory offer than a promise that the tree will be preserved. We need some more certainty.

      • weka 1.2.1

        “…we don’t want to play the games of others, games of blame, conflict and abuse, instead we have been trying to come up with solutions where no-one loses everything but we all compromise,” the letter says.

        This certainly doesn’t speak to me of good faith from the professional developers who claim they have a long history of working in good ways.

        I posted the following last night on the other thread,

        weka
        11 March 2015 at 6:20 pm

        The owners have made a statement saying they followed due process and are good environmentally aware architects. Apparently the issue is over off street parking. My guess thus far is that this comes down to investment concerns. Why sub divide at all if you can’t design two houses on the land without chopping down heritage trees? Or just build smaller houses. As usual it’s about money.

        From the video, the developers want to put two two storied buildings, 8m above the ground, and two double garages with ramps on a very steep 1 in 3 slope, on a property covered in native bush.

        If that’s true, and if the developers have spent a long time and a lot of money to get the consent and now they have to change their plans substantially, what’s going to give? My understanding from looking at the video is that there are a lot of trees in the section. Just saying.

        (various edits)

        • weka 1.2.1.1

          I haven’t had time yet to read the full article, but it looks like developers’ solution is to be bought out.

          They haven’t saved the trees. The protestors saved the trees (possibly). The developers want to walk away from the situation.

          Please stop calling them owners, as far as I can tell they’re not building for themselves. They’re developers.

          • tracey 1.2.1.1.1

            developers who own the land.

            I apologise their “clients” are the owners (I assume). They call themselves Architects working for clients…

            • weka 1.2.1.1.1.1

              There are significant politics in this situation, including class ones. Are we going to call the people doing other developments ‘owners’ now?

              • tracey

                see above, I editted.

                Well, to answer your question, the letter describes them as architects working for clients. The clients would be the developers I guess.

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  At a guess, the ‘owners’ would be their own family trust.

                  Thats how these things are done

          • miravox 1.2.1.1.2

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11415759

            The first house the year we got married, and I became a partner in RCG Ltd where I still work today. The second house we built 15 years ago and is the house our kids have grown up in. Both houses were on challenging sites…

            …We wanted to be part of changing all this in our own small but optimistic way, so along with helping our clients achieve this, we thought we would try and build again and be our own client. We came across 2 lovely sites on Paturoa Rd and again they were “Architects sites”.

            The are their own clients? i.e. they are the architects – the developers – the clients – and the owners of the site?

            All a bit weird this wording.

            • weka 1.2.1.1.2.1

              that is confusing, but it wouldn’t surprise me if being one’s own client = developer 😉

            • tracey 1.2.1.1.2.2

              Agree the letter is very confusing. Probably because in trying to work in their “humaness” they have confused the issue further. I do know they wanted to cut down a Rimu and Kauri tree for off-road parking (which suggests road parking is available), which rather flies in the face of some of their other claims.

              And yes (Weka) they say they want compensation for the land, which means they are not architects working for clients.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2.1.1.2.3

              Think of the words ‘family trust’ and the whole separate developer architect thing becomes clearer

            • Rosie 1.2.1.1.2.4

              It is a bizarre letter. First you have to work out what their relationship with the land actually is. I came to the conclusion they are the owners, who just happen to be architects. They seem to be very proud of that fact and refer to this architect status frequently, as if it sets apart from the ordinary person and instills them with a greater sense of entitlement.

              I find it odd that they go into so much personal detail about their lives instead of focusing on the nuts and bolts of the situation. They are trying to elicit sympathy by opening up. I think they feel confused and somehow hard done by and want people to be on their side.

              Above all I think they are naive about the sanctity and cultural and environmental value of such grand old tree’s and the public’s sense of protectiveness towards the tree’s.

              Grant Robertson, during his radio interview this morning in response to this case, made the point that this couple are “on the wrong side of history”, meaning they are out of touch, and their thinking is in the past.

              I’d agree. I hope they can learn something from this.

              • s y d

                As an aside, only Mr Lenihan is allowed to use the title ‘architect’.
                Ms Greensmith, despite the claims made in their open letter, is not registered with the NZRAB and so is leaving herself open to complaints to the board….

                • Rosie

                  Thats interesting syd. Professional bodies are not usually too fond of people going around masquerading as members of their profession, even if it is simply a lapsed registration. They need to protect their integrity and loose cannons are unhelpful to that.

        • Naturesong 1.2.1.2

          Any new build in this area will result on tree felling.

          While I’m sure there are residents nearby that do not want any more building in the forest, most people are accepting of development as long as it doesn’t cause too much damage to the canopy and surrounding ecosystem – the Waitakere forest is an incredibly important piece of natural infrastructure for Auckland.

          • weka 1.2.1.2.1

            “Any new build in this area will result on tree felling.”

            Sure, but that’s not what this issue is about.

            Looking at the video, the site has already been cleared (trees already cut down). So on this particular site there is an opportunity.

            “While I’m sure there are residents nearby that do not want any more building in the forest, most people are accepting of development as long as it doesn’t cause too much damage to the canopy and surrounding ecosystem – the Waitakere forest is an incredibly important piece of natural infrastructure for Auckland.”

            Yes. But I’m guessing that investment is still the priority. It will be a pretty pricey place to buy land and all the flow on effects of that. We still don’t design ecologically, we design to do the least damage while still getting what we want.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.3

          The first New Zealand artist to sell a work overseas for over $1M can’t get swamp Kauri to carve because that corrupt cabal is exporting it all to China.

          As he said (Weka’s video link below): it’s illegal. No ten hour police raids at the Collins residence.

          • Murray Rawshark 1.2.1.3.1

            I don’t think Oravida is exporting swamp kauri at the moment. They’re stockpiling it, waiting for the price to go up.

          • Cancerman 1.2.1.3.2

            Perhaps a Chinese buyer could buy the property off the current developer. They get a Kauri deal and property deal in one go and they won’t give two s^*% about the local reaction.
            Whats the bet it goes this way?

        • tracey 1.2.1.4

          I am sure some people looking for affordable homes won’t mind parkong on the road, walking past a Kauri, to get tot heir brand new home?

          • weka 1.2.1.4.1

            It would be an issue for many people with a disability. I’d still design around the trees though.

            • tracey 1.2.1.4.1.1

              If they could get parking without losing the tree the planners probably would have pushed that option.

              Yes, a problem for people with a disability but there is no obligation (to my knowledge) imposed by our society to have such access for residential homes. Shit, even in Christchurch Joyce and Brownliee changed stuff so that commercial rebuilds dont have to take account of disability.

              • weka

                “If they could get parking without losing the tree the planners probably would have pushed that option.”

                Or they supported the design for profit. Build a smaller house if you want parking next to it (or under it).

                “Yes, a problem for people with a disability but there is no obligation (to my knowledge) imposed by our society to have such access for residential homes.”

                True, I’m just resisting the developing meme that everyone can walk to and from the street 🙂

      • Naturesong 1.2.2

        Yeah, the letter is a study in passive aggressiveness.

        A couple of things are clear from the letter;
        1. The architects are bowing to public pressure – likely a business decision.
        An architect who is happy to cut down a 500 year old kauri (apparently only 70 years old according to their knowledgeable neighbour) and a 300 year old rimu is the architect that I, and many people I know would never go to – I’d draft the bloody thing myself rather than take my business to these vandals.
        I suspect the damage to their business will last for a few years. And rightly so – anyone who wants a house that actally works with the land that it’s built on, will be avoiding these folks like the plague.

        2. They really have no idea why there is so much public pressure – they seem to be genuinely surprised by it all.

        Apparently they had no other choice, they just had to cut down the trees that resided within these 2 sections in a secluded spot in the rain forest because … affordable housing!?
        Seriously?
        That’s National Party levels of reality distortion right there.

        • tracey 1.2.2.1

          to find out if it will be affordable housing, go and search the capital value of houses in that road at the Auckland Council website…

          brief glance suggests current homes of 600 to 700k… didnt look at whole road and don’t the address of this one.

          http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/ratesbuildingproperty/ratesvaluations/ratespropertysearch/pages/RatesSearch.aspx

          IF it is about affordable housing, I am sure some people looking for their first home won’t mind having to walk from the car to their house past a kauri tree.

        • weka 1.2.2.2

          “Yeah, the letter is a study in passive aggressiveness.”

          Yep, and in the end all they’re saying is ‘we want bought out and compensation for our trouble’, but they’ve clothed it in a whole bunch of self pity and professional class values around what’s important as if those apply to the rest of the population.

          • tracey 1.2.2.2.1

            yup, and omitted the bit where other people in the street park on the road and walk tot heir homes… don’t buy amongst trees if you want trees to go…

        • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2.2.3

          Greensmith has her architectural practice in the Titirangi West Auckland area.

          Shes ruining her business by her head in the sand attitude.

          Then again, if as likely its her family trust thats the ‘developer’, it comes down to money, she has a reputation as being a hard arse to those who deal with her

        • Rosie 1.2.2.4

          +1 Naturesong. Agreed.

  2. weka 2

    This is turning into a pretty interesting protest, and they look well organised.

    Video interviews with people at the tree site. Other trees were felled on Friday, and the protest is to stop the final three from being downed.

    “We’re here to stand up for what seems like a very simple right to live amongst nature”.

    From the video, the developers want to put two two storied buildings, 8m above the ground, and two double garages with ramps on a very steep 1 in 3 slope, on a property covered in native bush.

    One guy points out that the residents of the area would never get away with taking those trees out, it’s the developers that have been given permission.

    Nice bit at 9:30 on Collins’ husband exporting all the swamp kauri to China.
    Reply

    Background on the developers and the actions taking by various Waitakere people (2013 article).

    http://piha.co.nz/bestwest/2013/04/council-to-defend-tree-rules-in-laingholmtitirangi/

  3. tracey 3

    Save a tree…

    NOw, Save some kids!
    One week left til the vote

    http://www.feedthekids.org.nz/take_action?utm_campaign=ftk-mt&utm_campaign=ftk_subs_lstask&utm_medium=email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ftk-email-link1&utm_source=nzgreens


    Thanks so much for supporting my Bill to get hungry kids fed at school. With only one week left to the vote we need your help.
    We want the National Party to support my Bill to Select Committee stage so that MPs can hear from parents, teachers, health practitioners and others, about what they think are the best solutions for getting kids fed at school.
    For a fraction of the amount of money that National found to spend on six bridges in Northland we could feed every hungry kid in New Zealand, let alone the nine schools in Northland waiting for help.
    In the six weeks since school started this year 1,000 more kids have been added to the KidsCan waiting list for lunches. We have a national emergency on our hands. We urgently need National to support my Bill to Select Committee stage so that we can find the best solutions for getting kids fed at school.
    Help us to raise awareness about the need for food in schools by changing your Facebook profile picture to this one and/or send a letter to the editor of your local paper.
    Thank you,

    Metiera”

  4. Penny Bright 4

    YAY!

    ‘People power’!

    One stubborn bugger up a tree – refusing to budge – and a cast of thousands in support = VICTORY!

    Good on the owners for changing their position and agreeing not to cut down these ionic trees.

    Well done.

    Cheers!

    Penny Bright

    • tracey 4.1

      Why oh WHY won’t you read other posts in a thread before leaping in. IF you had you would find a fascinating discussion about

      A. Whether the tree has been saved; and
      B. What the developers (Weka 😉 ) want in return

  5. cricklewood 5

    Have to say I’m fairly uncomfortable at the level of opprobrium the land owners/developers have faced. Whilst removing the large Kauri is undesirable the startling fact for me is that the council allowed it, I feel the real story lies with how and why the consent for removal was ever issued.

    As a side note the continued reference to the tree been 500 years old both here and the msm is irritating me somewhat. All the experts I have heard on the radio etc put the tree at between 100 and 150 years old. Certainly the form and size of the tree support this when compared to specimens of a planted in parks around nz of around 125 years ago.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      Easy to find out, a simple coring and tree aging from a dendochronologist. Its done all the time.
      In a bush setting the tree has a big struggle to reach above the canopy, which doesnt happen in a specimen tree setting. So its early growth is much slower.

      Dont feel sorry for the owners, ordinary people would have had a roadblock from a council planners negative report ( which occurred in this case) but somehow they found a few sympathetic ears in council to bend in their favour. If they dont want to play by the rules but use back channels then they gotta take the consequences.

      • shorts 5.1.1

        I don’t see how the age of the tree should matter, other than it would be nice (and rare) for all those commenting and the media to have the same figure

        would it be acceptable to fell the tree if it was only 75 years old?
        what about if it was 30 years old?

    • weka 5.2

      “Have to say I’m fairly uncomfortable at the level of opprobrium the land owners/developers have faced. Whilst removing the large Kauri is undesirable the startling fact for me is that the council allowed it, I feel the real story lies with how and why the consent for removal was ever issued.”

      One of the locals points out in the video that the local residents would never have gotten permission to do something like this. The developers have said they’ve done everything legally, but I would guess they’ve also used their influence and experience to make this happen as well. Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it should happen. Think dairy farming, where there is virutally no public input at all into decision making that is obviously well within the common good.

      So for me there are multiple valid aspects. One is the law changes that have meant it’s harder to get trees protected. One is the process that the AC used in this particular instance. And one is what the developers have done despite significant opposition from the comunity.

      • tracey 5.2.1

        Developers go through a separate part of Council to ordinary folks. That is certainly how it works with Building Consents. IF you are a developer you get a “number” and that means when it is seen on your application it goes to a different group which deals only with “commercial” (developers). A dedicated team to deliver speed and efficiency.

        • Rosie 5.2.1.1

          “Developers go through a separate part of Council to ordinary folks.”

          Really Tracey? Thats interesting, but actually, of course it’s not surprising, and of course they would need to streamline procedures for mass development as opposed to a person wanting to build a single dwelling on a site.

          I am trying to learn all I can about developers and their relationships with councils, and how to get councils to listen to the resident’s concerns. Sadly, after experiencing what I have on the development where I live, I was unsurprised that Akld council granted consent to cut those tree’s down.

          Why does it appear that councils have disturbingly cosy relationships with developers? Are they after the rates from those properties and just see the $$$? Is that what happened in Titirangi?

          I reckon thats what happening here where I live. A 500 lot development on a tree less scarred landscape, with not one but three medium density housing projects within the development. Thirty nine townhouses on one lot, going up as we speak, Fifty one townhouses and units on another and an undisclosed number on another. All miles away from the nearest amenities.

          I had no idea all this was going ahead otherwise I would have never bought here. Now it’s full stream ahead trying to redress the power imbalance between residents and developer and trying to get past the brick wall at council to get information, let alone get our grievances across.

          Never mind the Police who ignore all the threats and the intimidation tactics the developers dish out to residents who are whistleblowers for their multiple breaches of consent………

          Developers must be getting away with this shit all around the country. Probably big funders to cabinet club so they can get their desired changes through RMA “reform”.

          • Murray Rawshark 5.2.1.1.1

            My experience is also that many developers are thuggish and threaten people. Rather ironic that this Parnell couple is claiming they’ve been threatened.

            • Rosie 5.2.1.1.1.1

              You wouldn’t believe these guys Murray. They are neanderthals. It’s the wild west out here.

              They have followed one resident, on foot, and in vehicles when that resident is out walking. They just drive along side and glare at him. The cops were informed as this happens frequently but they say there is nothing they can do.

              Work was stopped on a lot behind this same person while council were investigating a compliance issue (The developer has been issued with several fines for breaches of resource consent). The contractor took his revenge by spray painting a massive dick n balls (yes really) on the upturned bucket of the loader and parked it behind and above his house so half the street could see it.
              What was really awful is that there are young children that got to see that and one 12 year old girl told me she couldn’t play in her back yard because of “the thing”. It was a really arrogant act of intimidation. Police didn’t respond when phoned about it.

              It’s just ongoing. I already had a run in with one contractor this morning, at 6.45am. Great start to the day!

              • Murray Rawshark

                This is what they can get away with when we have a NAct government and a council busy trying to privatise everything. Sadly, I would believe you. I know exactly what these scum are like, and they are often drinking buddies with the local poaka.

      • Ant 5.2.2

        “One of the locals points out in the video that the local residents would never have gotten permission to do something like this.”

        Local residents did get permission to do this, that’s what the whole fuss is about.

    • tracey 5.3

      Opprobrium they have faced? Not from the MSM that I have read? I have focused my own comments on the Council’s hypocrisy… until today when the owner/developer/architects published a letter, which I read closely after some here drew closer attention to it.

      If the Kauri is “only” 100 to 125 years old, does that change the discussion markedly?

      If a Kiwi’s nest had only eggs in it would it be ok to drive over it in a tractor?

      IF you are referring tot he inaccuracy of our media, fair enough, but that is a constant topic of dismay on this site.

      The problem with the real story lying with Council is that protesting to council would have seen the tree gone by now.

      I agree the owner/developer/architects followed the Law but that provides a minimum level of behaviour. There were ways to design and build leaving the Kauri there. They chose not to. They are entitled tot hat choice and the consequences thereof.

      • weka 5.3.1

        ok, I get the kiwi thing now 🙂

        I was under the impression that the community had been trying to do things for quite some time.

        Twitter is not being kind to the developers, but it’s not being hugely critical/mean either (haven’t looked a much today though).

        • tracey 5.3.1.1

          I don’t do twitter…

          I am shamed

          • Karen 5.3.1.1.1

            You don’t need to join twitter to read what it is being said – just google the name and open the twitter account.
            Look at Lisa Owen https://twitter.com/lisaowennz
            It seems the developer mislead the iwi by saying only that there was vegetation that needed removing and then told the planners he’d consulted with them. The planner then said no need for the consent application to be notified.

            I have been told by a friend working in council that this kind of sham consultation is happening all the time in Auckland, and the planners just accept the developer’s word that everybody is happy. Most affected parties don’t even know what is happening.

            • tracey 5.3.1.1.1.1

              Thanks Karen

              Council is short staffed… but still have statutory deadlines…

              shave the bonuses from CCC’s CE’s and others and employ a dozen more people. Human nature comes into play too cos the officers get to know developers over time due to regular contact.

            • weka 5.3.1.1.1.2

              Wow, go Lisa Owen!

    • Murray Rawshark 5.4

      I’m not uncomfortable at all. They thought they were special because of influence with the council bureaucracy. It backfired on them. Boohoo. They can always build at Omaha and lose their McMansion to global warming. Haha.

  6. tracey 6

    Number 40

    Latest capital value
    $200,000
    Latest land value:
    $200,000

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    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 ...
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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

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