Saving the town

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, April 19th, 2016 - 78 comments
Categories: australian politics, christchurch earthquake, manufacturing, Mining, poverty - Tags:

Whyalla, the third largest town in South Australia, has a population of 22,000. It’s a town devoted to serving one South Australian steelworks, Arrium Ltd. Arrium has called in the administrators. Do you save the town?

Australia has lost 164,000 manufacturing jobs in the course of eight years. It’s lost Holden. It’s lost Toyota. It’s lost Alcoa. It’s New Zealand 1990s redux.

Korda Mentha, overseeing the Arrium restructure, commented “The commitment from everyone – from the banks to the suppliers to the state and federal governments – is to try to get some solutions for Whyalla. It’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to be quick.”

Observing from New Zealand, even the idea that Korda Mentha, the banks, the state, the town and the company could work together on saving a major town due to commercial collapse is bewilderingly unimaginable. In New Zealand, the closest comparison in the last three terms is the Sky City pokies-for-convention-centre deal.

Some on the extremes of right and left may argue that to save the village, you have to destroy the village. I think we should expect more from government, and each other, than that. Whyalla may be an Australian turning point in the debate.

78 comments on “Saving the town ”

  1. Rocco Siffredi 1

    The government should provide them all free bikes, then they can go and find another town with jobs. The sooner they move, the sooner they will be better off.

    • Ad 1.1

      I’m just guessing you don’t have a constructive thought on this then.

      • Rocco Siffredi 1.1.1

        A town is dead when it’s purpose disappears. Move on. That is far more constructive than hand wringing about ‘saving’ it.

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          That’s a logic of perpetual destruction. You can apply it to indusyries, towns, islands, biospheres, and countries, until there is nothing left but a great perpetual scrap heap of humanity.

          Eventually you have to stop, plan, and help. Being human, I think.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            You just have to look at what happened to the US rust belt towns from the 1960s onwards. And the journey these towns have taken over the decades as major employers left and entire neighbourhoods left.

            In our current financial system, unless there is a steady stream of $$$ going to the main street of a town and the surrounding residences, the town is over as market mechanisms will force businesses and families to depart, leaving behind those dregs who are unable or unwilling to go.

            • Ad 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Possibly not helpful labeling people “dregs”.

              Our own damage can be found in the South Island’s West Coast, the far north, East Cape, and in many rural hinterlands.

              There’s a book called Ghost Towns of New Zealand which charts the boom-bust cycles of 1860s-1920s. It’s very Lorax.

              • Colonial Viper

                You see it in failing organisations as well. All the talent and motivation bails ASAP, leaving behind the people who are unwilling or unable to go.

                Don’t call them dregs then, call them remnants or loyal local community stalwarts, if that makes people feel better inside.

                Look at the settlements in Central Otago which were based on gold and gold mining. When that went a much more modest living had to be eked out via farming.

                The only reason the area around Queenstown Lakes looks so alive right now – as opposed to 30-40 years ago – is due to the financialisation of property and the house price bubble.

                What this financial system takes away, it sometimes gives as well.

                Will Whyalla be equally “lucky”.

                • Ad

                  Central Otago is one long lesson in gutsy resilience.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I took some relatives around to the old Chinese settlement in Arrowtown over Easter. A long lesson in gutsy resilience indeed.

                • weka

                  “The only reason the area around Queenstown Lakes looks so alive right now – as opposed to 30-40 years ago – is due to the financialisation of property and the house price bubble.”

                  And tourism and export wine. And dairying. CO will have some spectacular challenges when the oil prices spike. On the other hand, there is plenty of spare houses 😈

    • Outdoor 1.2

      It is best you look up a map of where Whyalla is before you start giving them bikes.

  2. adam 2

    This has effectively happened in Westport as well, just in case you missed the constant slow dismissal of the workforce by solid energy. And barely a whimper about it. Is it that they have learnt not to have these massive lay off’s, otherwise it might get people to question things.

    Glad you talked about the 90’s here, I remember much of the same rhetoric being exposed. Mainly freezing working towns and other small centres of manufacturing in the South Island. And not a darn thing was done by government, the banks or suppliers. Was it that they were more ideological rigid at the time?

    It would be nice if more than words happen, but the state has been capture, by ideologues – so good luck with that. Least we forget, the banks and suppliers will think of the bottom line. How quick we are to forget the lessons of history.

    A couple of questions advantage

    So the idea of removing the state, even in a progressive manner not something which appeals?

    Never met a lefty who would let people suffer, well on the anarchist wing of the left at least, are you talking about Marxist? Who is this extreme left wing you speak of?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Why are we talking about the guts being ripped out of small NZ towns from the 90s.

      This was happening during Rogernomics years as well – the 1980s – as the Labour Government destroyed the system of tarriffs and import restrictions which many NZ manufacturers relied on.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        It may not work in Whyalla either. It’s a mere spark.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          With my cynical hat on, I’d say this sounds like a Rio Tinto style PR/corporate ploy to try and extract $$$ concessions from government, community, unions and workers.

  3. Ad 3

    The point of the words in the article very important – it’s the first time in many years I’ve seen even a proposal to reverse the ‘let them die or swim’ attitude. Anderton was the last substantial politician in New Zealand who could join these kinds of dots together, back when he invented the MED and the Regional Economic Development programme. Every effort is flawed, sure, but the point is to lead.

    No, I have not seen a successful replacement for the state to operate whole societal transformations. We’ve simply forgotten how to operate the levers we still have.

    As for suffering, I’ve observed plenty of commenters here willing the end of the current human order as soon as possible. I have no idea what ideology they are, but I do know humane treatment of people when I see it.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      The point of the words in the article very important – it’s the first time in many years I’ve seen even a proposal to reverse the ‘let them die or swim’ attitude.

      The National Government paid Rio Tinto a shit load of money in a very recent deal to save the Tiwai smelter in Bluff. There was a lot of debate about this on The Standard at the time.

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      As for suffering, I’ve observed plenty of commenters here willing the end of the current human order as soon as possible.

      The end of the current order is upon us Ad. It is in process right now; a suitable metaphor would be a slow motion high speed car crash which was entirely predictable minutes ahead of time.

      At the moment the stage of the crash we are in is that the plastic front bumper has been pushed in about 20mm.

      The occupants of the car are still quite happily enjoying the infotainment system and the multi-area climate control in the vehicle.

      Nothing appears to be wrong from their point of view.

      Record temps around the world, glaciers and fresh water sources disappearing, analyses of all the mineral and fossil fuel “wealth” now becoming accessible in the Arctic. An oligarchic class becoming even more ferocious and grasping.

    • adam 3.3

      Ad

      So co-operatives and collectives not to your cup of tea ah ?

      Public servicing NGO’s – just not effective?

      Incorporated societies, and trusts – just the wrong type of democratic?

      Unions and syndicates, just organisations which better served being under control of the state?

      And let me ask again who are these extreme leftist you speak of?

      • Ad 3.3.1

        I’m not one to propose a revolution without a plan for building from the rubble.

        You could smash the local, regional and central state into smithereens if you like – and this current government are well on the way to doing that.

        You could replace the entire educational, penal, and social welfare system with NGOs if you like – and the current government is well on the way to doing that.

        You could replace elected local and regional government if you like – and the current government is well on the way to doing that.

        If there’s something else beside elected government to form a basic social contract with that says: I vote you in, and you protect me and my family, and we work together toward a common future, and as a result I retain my freedom, well you go right ahead and spell that out for the likes of Whyalla.

        Don’t forget to tell me what the “transition” looks like, quantify the dead, between the complete annihilation of the public sector and this new utopian form you have in mind for us voters.

        Funnily enough, your vision looks exactly like what National and Act have been doing to us for a while.

  4. weka 4

    I depends on what you think the town is for. If it’s to provide infrastructure for a population of wage slaves and serfs that service an industry that feeds the capitalist demand and shareholders, then why bother saving it when the industry is gone? (Rocco’s argument above I guess).

    If you think a town is the expression of people, families and communities, then the failure of major industry presents immediate logistical challenges but isn’t of itself that relevant. What’s important are the people, and the wellbeing of them and the relationships that make the town a town. Saving the town is worthy, because it’s recognised that the town is a set of relationships that get destroyed if everyone has to move.

    I’d take it even further and say that purpose of the industry was to provide people a way of making a living, and the point of that was to enable the wellbeing of those people and the community. Industry goes, then the issue becomes how can that wellbeing still be supported?

    And even further still, when you look at what those things are that will ensure wellbeing, make sure they are sustinable this time and not dependent on fossil fuels and the global economy. You can still take advantage of those things while there is time, but don’t make the survival of the town dependent on them. The town being the people and the relationships.

    (that’s the argument from the far left ;-p ).

    • Bill 4.1

      Or is the argument that runs – the imposition of an industry and all the wage slavery etc that it entailed was what destroyed the community/town in the first place; is that the argument from the left?

      Thinking analogously of the long term prisoner who’s suddenly pushed out onto the street and their freedom. What do they do?

      • weka 4.1.1

        “Or is the argument that runs – the imposition of an industry and all the wage slavery etc that it entailed was what destroyed the community/town in the first place; is that the argument from the left?”

        Yep, in the bigger picture for sure. But towns in NZ post-date wage slavery and the industrial revolution, so I guess we can look at it both ways.

        “Thinking analogously of the long term prisoner who’s suddenly pushed out onto the street and their freedom. What do they do?”

        I like that!

    • Brutus Iscariot 4.2

      That’s not Far Left, that’s fruity waffle.

      Funny you’re talking on one hand about “saving” these dirty industry towns (coal, steel etc), yet on the other hand failing to recognise that they only came into existence because of a particular set of circumstances generated by a large employer.

      Cities and towns aren’t sets of social relationships. Humans didn’t move from a nomadic way of life to permanent settlement because they liked each other, they did it because it afforded enhanced survival and economic opportunities. Small towns are valued by many, but also hated and resented by many of their residents due to the inevitable narrowmindedness, enforced conformity, and lack of anonymity.

      Cities and towns are functions of geography and economics. They just “happen”, starting off as natural places where people come together to trade and do business with each other, then snowballing as the agglomeration benefits of more people and skills create a melting pot in which more things can happen.

      Cities don’t spring up by fiat, and they shouldn’t be preserved by fiat.

      • weka 4.2.1

        “Funny you’re talking on one hand about “saving” these dirty industry towns (coal, steel etc), yet on the other hand failing to recognise that they only came into existence because of a particular set of circumstances generated by a large employer.”

        Funny how you just made that shit about me. Of course I recognise how those towns came into existence. But the towns are now humans in relationship with each other. Yes, we’re not tribal any more but we still are. You can’t dissolve hundreds of thousands of years of evolution in a few short centuries. Every place I have ever lived revolved around schools, and preschools, churches, social clubs, sports teams etc as much as it did around jobs. You disperse all those people and you destroy the town. The town isn’t the infrastructure, it’s the relationships between the people (unless you think that peopel exist to service industry).

        If you want economic rationalist terms, economies function better when the wellbeing of people and communities is maintained. Where you disrupt those things you get crime, poverty, ill health, and nasty shit politics.

        “Cities and towns are functions of geography and economics. They just “happen”, starting off as natural places where people come together to trade and do business with each other, then snowballing as the agglomeration benefits of more people and skills create a melting pot in which more things can happen.”

        Actually in NZ, Brits came here looking for better lives. Yes, they settled in palces that were conducive to that, geography is a factor, and being able to make a living. But it’s ridiculous to suggest that relationships aren’t critical to that. How do people trade without relationships? And of course towns evolve naturaly out of a multiplicity of things. But try pulling relationships out of the core of that and see what happens.

        Your description is very patriachal and based on what men do. None of what you describe exists without families. Sure you can make temporary towns to build industry, but let them exist for any length of time and families will also happen and then you have community.

        I’m also not talking about fiat (thnks for making shit up again about my argument).

    • Ad 4.3

      Seeking a single originary purpose for industry, or for cities, or towns is a folly best left to Time Team.

      And not much use when a desperate town’s people just need somewhere to live, somewhere to work, and a better life for your kids. They don’t need the pontificating, they just need a plan. That’s the standard argument from the centre.

      • weka 4.3.1

        “Seeking a single originary purpose for industry, or for cities, or towns is a folly best left to Time Team.”

        Who is doing that? I’m not.

        “And not much use when a desperate town’s people just need somewhere to live, somewhere to work, and a better life for your kids. They don’t need the pontificating, they just need a plan. That’s the standard argument from the centre.”

        What? Sorry, I don’t get why you are replying to me with that? Are you saying I’m pontificating? You could engage with the actual ideas.

  5. adam 5

    Silly question is Ad, advantage the author of this piece?

  6. Bill 6

    I’ve read a few articles on UK towns where locals have taken over the running of local amenities and run them on collective lines (the PO shop etc). When or if they shift away from income attaching to atomised individuals and push the interface between market and society back one step, so that a community rather than an individual accrues income, then I think they’ll be on the cusp of ‘cracking it’.

    • Karen Bates 6.1

      Murupara is a good NZ example of a strong community that is doing it’s best to cope with all the problems that come with very high unemployment rates . In the 1970s there was full employment and high wages but the restructure of the forest industry in the 1980s resulted in Murupara becoming one of the poorest places in NZ.

      If you have a few minutes to spare this Māori TV doco (from about 3 minutes) will give you an idea of what happened.

      http://www.maoritelevision.com/tv/shows/pakipumeka-aotearoa-new-zealand-documentaries/S06E001/murupara-dreaming

      Nobody ever seems to add up all the health, education and justice costs that ensued because of the decision to privatise forestry.

      • RedLogix 6.1.1

        Oh yes they did. The neo-libs very carefully calculated the profit to be made if they captured the cash flow, and dumped the costs onto the community.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Australia has lost 164,000 manufacturing jobs in the course of eight years.

    Australia has roughly 11.8M employed persons.

    164K job losses over 8 years, say 20,000 per year, isn’t a big deal on the macro scale of things, is it?

    It’s a rounding error in the big picture.

    • Te Reo Putake 7.1

      Except these are productive jobs, CV. They make things (well they used to).

      In addition, ancillary jobs go as well. For example, the closure of the big car plants killed all sorts of local parts supply firms, such as the tyre rim makers, car seat fabric suppliers and the like. Then you add in related job loss in services to the maufacturing sector. The lunch bars, the transport operators, the external trades people etc.

      Every one of the those manufacturing jobs lost that you sneer at as a rounding error has a knock on effect on other workers, their families and their communities.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Just putting it in perspective mate. 20K p.a. job losses out of 12M employed.

        For example, the closure of the big car plants killed all sorts of local parts supply firms, such as the tyre rim makers, car seat fabric suppliers and the like.

        When subcontracting plants closed down, they form part of the total manufacturing job losses figure provided do they not.

        Every one of the those manufacturing jobs lost that you sneer at as a rounding error has a knock on effect on other workers, their families and their communities.

        No, that’s you sneering. I’m just looking at the numbers.

        • te reo putake 7.1.1.1

          No mate, your Actoid analysis is not only lacking humanity, it’s lacking figures. For every job lost in a car plant, it’s been estimated that more than 6 ancilliary jobs go. If the same applies to the wider manufacturing sector that figure of 164k could actually be a million lost jobs.

          We can’t all be baristas in the future and these are real jobs that are lost, real people affected and real pain felt. Just how isolated from reality and insulated from the lives of working people are you, bud?

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            It’s a 164K manufacturing jobs gone out of 11.8M or more employed.

            Affecting 0.2% of Australian jobs, year on year, over 8 years.

            Keep it in context. It’s minor. And the car plant closures have been on the cards for a decade or more.

            • Te Reo Putake 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Jeez, you’re a piece of work. It’s hundreds of thousands of human beings affected. It’s not minor to them. This new neo-liberal, 1% lovin’, fuck the workers CV is rather disturbing, I’ve gotta say. I told you what would happen if you kept dropping acid with Roger Douglas.

              • Colonial Viper

                Further, the V8 fossil fuel guzzling big car industry was always going to end up consigned to the dust bin.

                Just the way economic and environmental reality is going mate, sorry to break it to you.

              • Pat

                CV could have put it a little more diplomatically….you say “it’s hundreds of thousands of human beings affected.” but in reality it is billions being affected and one way or another these things will happen…is it wiser or kinder to pretend otherwise?

                • Colonial Viper

                  TRP is busy character assassinating me so I let him do his immature knife work and pretend not to notice.

                  Just how isolated from reality and insulated from the lives of working people are you, bud?…

                  This new neo-liberal, 1% lovin’, fuck the workers CV is rather disturbing, I’ve gotta say.

                  etc.

      • Gosman 7.1.2

        How can they be productive if the companies they are working for are making huge losses? This is why left wingers don’t generally make good business decisions.

  8. Atiawa 8

    NZ is shrinking. The towns and cities on the periphery have mostly served their purpose for business interests, but the people often remain. Northland, the East Coast, South & Westland and if oil & gas doesn’t make a return, Taranaki.
    How does a person with a home in Patea for example sell up and relocate to somewhere else without incurring a huge debt for housing? The South Waikato town of Mangakino was built and developed for the hydro workers and their families, yet many people remained after the projects were completed because they had affordable housing.
    urban drift has become URBAN drift.

    • Tarquin 8.1

      It’s not all bad news, Marsden A & B power stations were the last of the think big projects. People used to follow these projects around the country for many years. There was nowhere to go after this and a lot of the people ended up staying in the area. There have been a few problems, but in general it worked out well and there is a very diverse population which I don’t think has done the area any harm. Admittedly there are some big employers in the area which has helped and now half of Auckland seems to be moving up here, so the future is looking quite good.

  9. RedLogix 9

    Ad makes the same point I made a month or so back. The Aussies still believe in themselves, they still believe in something beyond the neo-liberal madness, they believe there is still power in acting collectively.

    The plant was built there by human decision, it can be retained there by the same force. The only reason it is in financial trouble at the moment is because the totalitarian CCCP is able to manipulate it’s economy so as to keep an excess amount of steel production going, well beyond it’s current domestic needs. This manipulation is slowly putting all other steel makers in the world, especially in the first world, out of business.

    Right now there is a parallel crisis in the UK steel industry.

    Big developed nations face the prospect of losing their entire steel-making capacity; and if nothing else happens there is a real prospect of the Chinese being the dominant, perhaps only, steel makers left in the world. And while global demand will unlikely rebound much in the near future (or indeed any future), it is still a strategic, core industry the entire industrial world depends on.

    “Free trade” is useful given some conditions, and one of them is that everyone plays by similar rules. The CCCP’s “comparitive advantage” here is built on corruption, an entirely opaque banking system and totalitarian political power.

    If the Australians decide they don’t want to be beholden to those rules, well good luck to them.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      The aussies could decide to stop shipping metallurgical coal and iron ore to China.

      Just saying.

      • Ad 9.1.1

        Alternatively the Chinese state could enable free competition between its bloated steel companies and their shit product (witness even our own government moving against their steel), and the higher quality more expensive Australian steel. Same argument applies for Tiwai Point.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          The Chinese state requires maximum employment through all these industries for the sake of social stability and governing legitimacy.

  10. Expat 10

    Whyalla is only one of three towns suffering from this fate, Orange just closed it’s Electrolux factory, losing over 300 jobs, been there since the forties, and Townsville’s Copper and Nickle plant just layed off 600 more workers after serious mismanagement by Clive Palmer, leaving the Govt to pay the estimated $73m to the workers in entitlements.

    It is likely the Whyalla steel works will be saved, but imported steel from China must be stopped, is doesn’t meet the same quality standards as the local product and countries like the Phillipines and Malaysia have incurred tariffs on Chinese steel products as they can’t compete with the price either. Low quality steel is responsible for the collapse of many structures in third world countries, most recently the one in India, where a major road construction collapsed, killing dozens.

    Killing off small towns only results in more congested large cities which in Aus and NZ, have failed to keep up with infrastructures required to keep them moving efficiently, and what is currently quite evident, who can afford the housing, as demand increases, and speculation just exasperates the problem.

    Even a city like Wellington is under pressure, as businesses move north, it’s up to the Govt to recognise these issues and plan and regulate accordingly to minimise negative outcomes, at the end of the day, employment is probably the most important aspect of any ones life.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Exactly, while states like Victoria long ago recognised the folly of letting Melbourne grow indefinitely and have active policies intended to slow that trend.

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      at the end of the day, employment is probably the most important aspect of any ones life.

      Well, that’s got to be changed.

      • Expat 10.2.1

        Colonial Viper

        Any suggestions, besides winning the lottery or inheriting a couple of mill, or maybe propagating a money tree.

        • Colonial Viper 10.2.1.1

          For starters, go down to a 4 day working week, reintroduce penalty rates, and implement a substantial UBI to compensate.

          • Expat 10.2.1.1.1

            Colonial Viper

            Yeah, but that still includes “employment”, therefore you agree that’s the most important aspect of ones life.

          • BM 10.2.1.1.2

            Will have to be done in conjunction with policy to stall or shrink the population.

            Can’t just keep producing people if there’s no purpose.

            • Expat 10.2.1.1.2.1

              BM

              “Can’t just keep producing people if there’s no purpose.”

              ????????…………

              • BM

                You don’t need people to work and drive the economy, robotics and computer algorithms are going to be doing all the work.

                Combine that in with people living longer, wouldn’t be surprised if the average life expectancy jumps to at least a 100 in the new 25 -50 years.

                Therefore is seems like utter madness to allow uncontrolled population growth, what are all these new people going to do, sit around and weave baskets?

            • pat 10.2.1.1.2.2

              “Can’t just keep producing people if there’s no purpose.”

              Odd, thought people were the purpose, guess I was wrong….what then is the purpose?

              • BM

                That’s the million dollar question.

                And it’s something society needs to come to grips with going forward.

                • Pat

                  You do understand there is no reason for economic activity without people,but there is reason for people without economic activity…..

                  wheres my million?

                  • BM

                    So you’re saying we should be breeding for the sole purpose of creating consumers?

                    Call me one of the possum peppering greeny/weka types but I don’t think that’s a very good idea.

              • Macro

                I know! I know!
                What is the economy for?
                It is to provide the greatest good, for the greatest number, for the longest run (time). Strictly speaking an economy exists for no other purpose.

                • pat

                  even more basic….to supply the needs and wants of PEOPLE….no mention of quantity, profit, method, robotics or algorithms.

  11. Macro 11

    I live in one of the oldest (European) towns in the country.
    It has had a number of reasons for existence,
    Firstly it was one of the original settlements for the early pioneers and it was from here that Logan Campbell and Brown first arrived and sailed up the Firth to Auckland.
    Originally the timber from the Kauri and Kahikatea forests was the primary source of industry and the subsistence farming of pig and sheep. Then gold was discovered. The township burgeoned to over 30,000 inhabitants, and industries associated with the mining were established some of which still exist today. A and G Price are still in existence (although now foreign owned) and has carried on as a foundry from the 1860’s.
    With the Depression in the 1930’s the mining industry closed down with the consequent loss of many jobs. The effect on the town was dramatic. The local council had borrowed heavily for infrastructure development and was faced with a crippling debt crisis as the ability of rate payers to pay was suddenly realised. The incoming mayor went straight to Government and the town was placed in administration until 1947. The consequence of this is still to be seen with substandard civil works still in existence and a relatively high rating.
    The town did not die however. There were a number of reasons, There were farming and fishing communities to supply and other small manufacturing industries and Prices diversified into rail workshops (there are still “silver fern” carriages waiting in the paddock out back). Nissan recognising the industrial strength of the community founded a vehicle assemble plant – now servicing Toyota’s “Signature” range. Timber mills for the Coromandel have been here since the beginning as well. And a base hospital for the peninsula.
    The current population is around 8,000 and for many that is the ideal size. Much of the infrastructure of a far larger township is here. There is a history and culture of manufacturing and “can do”.
    So while Whyalla is facing a severe down turn at the moment, and for a good number they will have to seek employment elsewhere, the chances are that if there is enough diversity within the town it will survive. Admittedly with a reduced population. and the local government will have to tighten its belt.

    • Ad 11.1

      It’s been a steady alteration in Thames. Witness also Paeroa getting a shove from bicycle touring – a smaller-scale version of the Otago Rail Trail effect.

      Thames has also been very lucky to have fat, rich Aucklanders blowing through every week. Not all are so lucky.

      BTW, love the weekend markets in Thames.

      • Macro 11.1.1

        Ad It wasn’t a steady alteration in Thames in the 30’s. Nor in Paeroa.
        With the fall in the price of gold the town shut up shop. Just like the fall in the demand for steel. (hastened by the Abbott govts withdrawal of support for Holden and the loss of 50,000 car manufacturing jobs).
        It had borrowed heavily on the expectation of continuing income from a population in work and able to pay rates – and then! With the mines closed the population which had been around the size of Whyalla suddenly faced a major crisis. The town couldn’t pay off its loans, the incoming mayor was forced to go to Wellington and face the PM with the fact that the town was suddenly bankrupt. It had no elected council for 17 years!
        Like Dunedin, much of the city of Auckland is based upon money coming out of the goldfields of the Coromandel, so we don’t mind now getting some of it back.
        Yes I too enjoy the weekend market – one of the best in the country IMHO. And do take a look at our 117 year old Historic Kauri church which is open on the sat morning, and if you are lucky you can hear the 100 year old manual keyboard pipe organ. Recently restored. A real treasure. We had dancing on the green outside last sat. And then across the road for refreshments at the Junction – what could be better 🙂

  12. I think that we need to investigate why we are losing all these companies. It’s not as if we don’t have the people to work in these industries what with all the promotion for engineering and all that. There has to be a reason why these businesses all want to move out of here.

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    Rob MacCulloch writes –  Last year, in the lead up to the national election, Governor Orr said in May 2023 that he was “very confident” there would not be further interest rate hikes, stating the Reserve Bank had done enough in terms of rate rises. He was interviewed by ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 hours ago
  • Parliament’s increasingly toxic ethnic identity wars
    Bryce Edwards writes Toxicity and disinformation are becoming a big part of New Zealand politics. And much of this relates to debates about ethnicity, race, and racism. We should all be concerned about this trend. Personal abuse, dishonesty, and contempt in the public sphere are bad for democracy, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 hours ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Tuesday, May 28
    House-building and infrastructure industry leaders are begging the Government for project-pipeline certainty and warning of a 2009/10-style exodus of skilled staff overseas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government won last year’s election with a pledge to ‘get things done’ and ‘get New Zealand back on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 hours ago
  • Slippery People.
    What's the matter with him? (He's alright)How do you know? (The Lord won't mind)Don't play no games (he's alright)Love from the bottom to the top.You’re alright, but how about her, or him? What makes them tick? Are they a solid citizen or a slippery fecker? Why are we all so ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    8 hours ago
  • Children’s Voices in Auckland’s Future
    Recently, the transport consultancy Crank publicly released a report about children’s vision for transport in Auckland. It was produced in 2023 to help shape Auckland Council’s Vehicle Kilometres Travelled (VKT) Reduction Strategy. That got me thinking, and after going back to the recent Long Term Plan Consultation Feedback results, one ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    8 hours ago
  • Med school backdown the “right thing” says Seymour
    One of National’s showpiece election promises appears to be in more trouble with Waikato University yesterday withdrawing its call for tenders to develop a new medical school. The move will delay any substantial increase in the number of doctors being trained in New Zealand. The University’s decision just over a ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    10 hours ago
  • Of ‘said’ and Dialogue Tags in Writing
    Today, I ran across a Twitter thread about writerly use of the word ‘said’: https://x.com/APoetForThePyre/status/1794895108581859794 As a writer, I have my opinions about this, and since it has been a long, long time since I offered thoughts on the unwritten rules of writing, I thought I would explore the matter ...
    20 hours ago
  • The silent tragedy of local restrictions on renewable energy
    This story by James Goodwin was originally published by The Revelator and is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. Communities across the United States may soon find themselves facing a grim scenario. By adopted local ordinances that obstruct the development of new renewable energy resources within ...
    21 hours ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Parliament’s increasingly toxic ethnic identity wars
    Toxicity and disinformation are becoming a big part of New Zealand politics. And much of this relates to debates about ethnicity, race, and racism. We should all be concerned about this trend. Personal abuse, dishonesty, and contempt in the public sphere are bad for democracy, social cohesion, and the integrity ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    23 hours ago
  • What to say on the government’s racist Māori wards bill
    I've spent the afternoon working on my submission on the Local Government (Electoral Legislation and Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill - National's racist bill to eliminate Māori representation from local government. It's an important bill, and the timeframe for submissions is tight - only two days left! National ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Collins will be abroad when critics react to science funding – but Matauranga money should not be ...
    Buzz from the Beehive With just a few days to go before Finance Minister Nicola Willis delivers her first Budget speech, her colleagues have been focused in recent days on issues beyond our shores. Education Minister Erica Stanford made the only announcement of concern to citizens who want to know ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    23 hours ago
  • New Caledonia’s troubles
    James Kierstead writes –  White sand beaches. Palm trees waving in a gentle breeze. Seas of turquoise and ultramarine, cobalt and denim stretching out as far as the eye can see.  Such is the view of New Caledonia that you get on travel websites. And it’s not an ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • The Negative social impact of taxpayer-funded partisan charities
    Bryce Edwards writes –  Whenever politicians dole out taxpayer funding to groups or individuals, they must do so in a wholly transparent way with due process to ensure conflicts of interest don’t occur and that the country receives value for money. Unfortunately, it’s not clear that this has ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • The Letter from Mayors & Chairs
    Frank Newman writes –  Earlier this week Local Government NZ sent a letter to the leaders of the coalition parties and Ministers Simeon Brown and Tama Potaka. It was signed by 52 local government leaders (see list appended). The essence of the letter is this: Our position…is ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on South Africa’s harsh election choices
    T he ANC’s goal in Wednesday’s election will be to staunch the bleeding of its support. The ANC has reason to feel anxious. For months, the polls have been indicating the ANC will lose its overall majority for the first time since the Mandela election of 1994. The size of ...
    1 day ago
  • The Kaka’s diary for the week to June 3 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to June 3 include:PM Christopher Luxon is expected to hold his weekly post-cabinet news conference at 4:00pm today.Parliament’s Environment Select Committee resumes hearing submissions on the Fast-track Approvals Bill from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm today.Auckland ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • May-24 AT Board Meeting
    Tomorrow the AT board meet again and I’ve taken a look through the items on their public agenda to see what’s interesting. It’s also the first meeting for two recently appointed directors, former director at Ritchies Transport, Andrew Ritchie and former mayor of Hamilton, Julie Hardaker. The public session starts ...
    1 day ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Monday, May 27
    The Government is looking again at changing fringe benefit tax rules to make it harder to claim a personally-used double-cab ute as a company vehicle. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Having repealed the previous Government’s ‘ute tax’ last year, the new Government is looking at removing a defacto tax ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Some Dark Moments from Netflix's Dark Tourist
    Hi,I pitched a documentary to a big streamer last week and they said “no thanks” which is a bummer, because we’d worked on the concept for ages and I think it would have been a compelling watch. But I would say that because I was the one pitching it, right?As ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 day ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #21
    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, May 19, 2024 thru Sat, May 25, 2024. Story of the week This week's typiclal compendium of stories we'd rather were plot devices in science ficition novels but instead ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s bulldozer dictatorship bill
    This National government has been aggressively anti-environment, and is currently ramming through its corrupt Muldoonist "fast-track" legislation to give three ministers dictatorial powers over what gets built and where. But that's not the only thing they're doing. On Thursday they introduced a Resource Management (Freshwater and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: The Negative social impact of taxpayer-funded partisan charities
    Whenever politicians dole out taxpayer funding to groups or individuals, they must do so in a wholly transparent way with due process to ensure conflicts of interest don’t occur and that the country receives value for money. Unfortunately, it’s not clear that this has occurred in the announcement this week ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • My Lovely Man.
    Last night began earlier than usual. In bed by 6:30pm, asleep an hour later. Sometimes I do sleep odd hours, writing late and/or getting up very early - complemented with the occasional siesta, but I’m usually up a bit later than that on a Saturday night. Last night I was ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Pressing the Big Red Button
    Early in the COVID-19 days, the Boris Johnson government pressed a Big Red Button marked: act immediately, never mind about the paperwork.Their problem was: not having enough PPE gear for all the hospital and emergency staff. Their solution was to expedite things and get them the gear ASAP.This, along with ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Of Pensioners and Student Loans: An Indictment on New Zealand
    Up until 1989, you could attend a New Zealand University, and never need to pay a cent for your education. That then changed, of course. The sadists of the Fourth Labour Government introduced substantial fees for study, never having had to pay a cent for their own education. The even ...
    2 days ago
  • Putting children first
    Ele Ludemann writes –  Minister for Children Karen Chhour is putting children first: Hon KAREN CHHOUR: I move, That the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the bill. It’s a privilege ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Te Pati Maori go personal
    David Farrar writes –  Newshub reports:    Applause and cheers erupted in the House on Wednesday afternoon as Children’s Minister Karen Chhour condemned Te Pāti Māori’s insults about her upbringing. Chhour, who grew up in state care, is repealing section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act – sparking uproar from ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Threads of Corruption
    I could corrupt youIt would be uglyThey could sedate youBut what good would drugs be?Good Morning all,Today there’s a guest newsletter from Gerard Otto (G). By which I mean I read his post this morning and he has kindly allowed me to share it with you.If you don’t already I ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • The days fly by
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Aotearoa, you’re being dismantled… so take the blinkers off and start talking honestly about it.
    Is the solution to any of the serious, long term issues we all have to face as a nation, because many governments of all stripes we can probably all admit if we’re deeply truthful with ourselves haven’t done near enough work at the very times they should have, to basically ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Has Labour Abandoned the Welfare State They Created in 1938?
    The 2018 Social Security Act suggests that Labour may have retreated to the minimalist (neo-liberal) welfare state which has developed out of the Richardson-Shipley ‘redesign’. One wonders what Michael Joseph Savage, Peter Fraser and Walter Nash would have thought of the Social Security Act passed by the Ardern Labour Government ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs’ financial interests under scrutiny
    MPs are supposed to serve the public interest, not their own self-interest. And according to the New Zealand Parliament’s website, democracy and integrity are tarnished whenever politicians seek to enrich themselves or the people they are connected with. For this reason, the Parliament has a “Register of Pecuniary Interests” in ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Mastering FLICC – A Cranky Uncle themed quiz
    By now, most of you will have heard about the FLICC taxonomy of science denial techniques and how you can train your skills in detecting them with the Cranky Uncle game. If you like to quickly check how good you are at this already, answer the 12 quiz questions in the ...
    4 days ago
  • Shane Jones has the zeal, sure enough, but is too busy with his mining duties (we suspect) to be ava...
    Buzz from the Beehive The hacks of the Parliamentary Press Gallery have been able to chip into a rich vein of material on the government’s official website over the past 24 hours. Among the nuggets is the speech by Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and a press statement to announce ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Cut the parliamentary term
    When Labour was in power, they wasted time, political capital, and scarce policy resources on trying to extend the parliamentary term to four years, in an effort to make themselves less accountable to us. It was unlikely to fly, the idea having previously lost two referendums by huge margins - ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • More terrible media ethics
    David Farrar writes – The Herald reports: When Whanau Ora chief executive John Tamihere was asked what his expectations for the Budget next Thursday were, he said: “All hope is lost.” Last year Whānau Ora was allocated $163.1 million in the Budget to last for the next four years ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Bringing our democracy into disrepute
    On Monday the government introduced its racist bill to eliminate Māori represntation in local government to the House. They rammed it through its first reading yesterday, and sent it to select committee. And the select committee has just opened submissions, giving us until Wednesday to comment on it. Such a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The censors who’ll save us from ourselves… yeah right!
    Nick Hanne writes – There’s a common malady suffered by bureaucracies the world over. They wish to save us from ourselves. Sadly, NZ officials are no less prone to exhibiting symptoms of this occupational condition. Observe, for instance, the reaction from certain public figures to the news ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • The case for commissioners to govern the capital city
    Peter Dunne writes – As the city of Tauranga prepares to elect a new Mayor and Council after three and a half years being run by government-appointed Commissioners, the case for replacing the Wellington City Council with Commissioners strengthens. The Wellington City Council has been dysfunctional for years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Thoughts about contemporary troubles.
    This will be s short post. It stems from observations I made elsewhere about what might be characterised as some macro and micro aspects of contemporary collective violence events. Here goes. The conflicts between Israel and Palestine and France and … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On Blurring The Lines Around Political Corruption
    It may be a relic of a previous era of egalitarianism, but many of us like to think that, in general, most New Zealanders are as honest as the day is long. We’re good like that, and smart as. If we’re not punching above our weight on the world stage, ...
    4 days ago
  • MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Bryce Edwards writes – Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • King Mike & Mike King.
    I built a time machine to see you againTo hear your phone callYour voice down the hallThe way we were back thenWe were dancing in the rainOur feet on the pavementYou said I was your second headI knew exactly what you meantIn the country of the blind, or so they ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The register published on Tuesday contains a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • How much climate reality can the global financial system take without collapsing?
    Microsoft’s transparency about its failure to meet its own net-zero goals is creditable, but the response to that failure is worrying. It is offering up a set of false solutions, heavily buttressed by baseless optimism. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 24-May-2024
    Another Friday, another Rāmere Roundup! Here are a few things that caught our eye this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, our new writer Connor Sharp roared into print with a future-focused take on the proposed Auckland Future Fund, and what it could invest in. On ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Earning The Huia Feather.
    Still Waiting: Māori land remains in the hands of Non-Māori. The broken promises of the Treaty remain broken. The mana of the tangata whenua languishes under racist neglect. The right to wear the huia feather remains as elusive as ever. Perhaps these three transformations are beyond the power of a ...
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, May 24
    Posters opposing the proposed Fast-Track Approvals legislation were pasted around Wellington last week. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: One of the architects of the RMA and a former National Cabinet Minister, Simon Upton, has criticised the Government’s Fast-Track Approvals bill as potentially disastrous for the environment, arguing just 1% ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to May 24
    There was less sharing of the joy this week than at the Chinese New Year celebrations in February. China’s ambassador to NZ (2nd from right above) has told Luxon that relations between China and New Zealand are now at a ‘critical juncture’ Photo: Getty / Xinhua News AgencyTL;DR: The podcast ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Beijing troubleshooter’s surprise visit
    The importance of New Zealand’s relationship with China was surely demonstrated yesterday with the surprise arrival in the capital of top Chinese foreign policy official Liu Jianchao. The trip was apparently organized a week ago but kept secret. Liu is the Minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) International Liaison ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • UK election a foregone conclusion?  That’s why it’s interesting
    With a crushing 20-plus point lead in the opinion polls, all the signs are that Labour leader Keir Starmer will be the PM after the general election on 4 July, called by Conservative incumbent Rishi Sunak yesterday. The stars are aligned for Starmer.  Rival progressives are in abeyance: the Liberal-Democrat ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2021
    Open access notables How much storage do we need in a fully electrified future? A critical review of the assumptions on which this question depends, Marsden et al., Energy Research & Social Science: Our analysis advances the argument that current approaches reproduce interpretations of normality that are, ironically, rooted in ...
    5 days ago
  • Days in the life
    We returned last week from England to London. Two different worlds. A quarter of an hour before dropping off our car, we came to a complete stop on the M25. Just moments before, there had been six lanes of hurtling cars and lorries. Now, everything was at a standstill as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Forget about its name and focus on its objective – this RMA reform bill aims to cut red tape (and ...
    Buzz from the Beehive A triumvirate of ministers – holding the Agriculture, Environment and RMA Reform portfolios – has announced the introduction of legislation “to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling development in key sectors”, such as farming, mining and other primary industries. The exact name of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • More National corruption
    In their coalition agreement with NZ First, the National Party agreed to provide $24 million in funding to the charity "I Am Hope / Gumboot Friday". Why were they so eager to do so? Because their chair was a National donor, their CEO was the son of a National MP ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Submit!
    The Social Services and Community Committee has called for submissions on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Wednesday, 3 July 2024, and can be made at the link above. And if you're wondering what to say: section 7AA was enacted because Oranga Tamariki ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Reading the MPS numbers thinking about the fiscal situation
    Michael Reddell writes –  The Reserve Bank doesn’t do independent fiscal forecasts so there is no news in the fiscal numbers in today’s Monetary Policy Statement themselves. The last official Treasury forecasts don’t take account of whatever the government is planning in next week’s Budget, and as the Bank notes ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Charter Schools are a worthwhile addition to our school system – but ACT is mis-selling why they a...
    Rob MacCulloch writes – We know the old saying, “Never trust a politician”, and the Charter School debate is a good example of it. Charter Schools receive public funding, yet “are exempt from most statutory requirements of traditional public schools, including mandates around .. human capital management .. curriculum ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Paranoia On The Left.
    How Do We Silence Them? The ruling obsession of the contemporary Left is that political action undertaken by individuals or groups further to the right than the liberal wings of mainstream conservative parties should not only be condemned, but suppressed.WEB OF CHAOS, a “deep dive into the world of disinformation”, ...
    5 days ago
  • Budget challenges
    Muriel Newman writes –  As the new Government puts the finishing touches to this month’s Budget, they will undoubtedly have had their hands full dealing with the economic mess that Labour created. Not only was Labour a grossly incompetent manager of the economy, but they also set out ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Rishi calls an Election.
    Today the British PM, Rishi Sunak, called a general election for the 4th of July. He spoke of the challenging times and of strong leadership and achievements. It was as if he was talking about someone else, a real leader, rather than he himself or the woeful list of Tory ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Photo of the Day: GNR
    This post marks the return of an old format: Photo of the Day. Recently I was in an apartment in one of those new buildings on Great North Road Grey Lynn at rush hour, perfect day, the view was stunning, so naturally I whipped out my phone: GNR 5pm Turns ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    5 days ago
  • Choosing landlords and the homeless over first home buyers
    The Government may struggle with the political optics of scrapping assistance for first home buyers while also cutting the tax burden on landlords, increasing concerns over the growing generational divide. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government confirmed it will dump first home buyer grants in the Budget next ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Orr’s warning; three years of austerity
    Yesterday, the Reserve Bank confirmed there will be no free card for the economy to get out of jail during the current term of the Government. Regardless of what the Budget next week says, we are in for three years of austerity. Over those three years, we will have to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • An admirable U-turn
    It doesn’t inspire confidence when politicians change their minds.  But you must give credit when a bad idea is dropped. Last year, we reported on the determination of British PM Rishi Sunak to lead the world in regulating the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps he changed his mind after meeting ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Can we really suck up Carbon Dioxide?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Is carbon dioxide removal - aka "negative emissions" - going to save us from climate change? Or is it just a ...
    6 days ago
  • Public funding for private operators in mental health and housing – and a Bill to erase a bit of t...
    Headed for the legislative wastepaper basket…    Buzz from the Beehive It looks like this government is just as ready as its predecessor to dip into the public funds it is managing to dispense millions of dollars to finance – and favour – the parties it fancies. Or ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Why has Einstein Medalist Roy Kerr never been Knighted?
    Rob MacCulloch writes – National and Labour and ACT have at various times waxed on about their “vision” of NZ as a high value-added world tech center What subject is tech based upon? Mathematics. A Chicago mathematician just told me that whereas last decade ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Contestable advice
    Eric Crampton writes –  Danyl McLauchlan over at The Listener on the recent shift toward more contestability in public policy advice in education: Education Minister Erica Stanford, one of National’s highest-ranked MPs, is trying to circumvent the establishment, taking advice from a smaller pool of experts – ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How did it get so bad?
    Ele Ludemann writes – That Kāinga Ora is a mess is no surprise, but the size of the mess is. There have been many reports of unruly tenants given licence to terrorise neighbours, properties bought and left vacant, and the state agency paying above market rates in competition ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    The scathing “independent” review of Kāinga Ora barely hit the table before the coalition government had acted on it. The entire Kāinga Ora board will be replaced, and a new chair (Simon Moutter) has been announced. Hmm. No aspersions on Bill English, but the public would have had more confidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Our House.
    I'll light the fireYou place the flowers in the vaseThat you bought todayA warm dry home, you’d think that would be bread and butter to politicians. Home ownership and making sure people aren’t left living on the street, that’s as Kiwi as Feijoa and Apple Crumble. Isn’t it?The coalition are ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Getting to No
    Politics is about compromise, right?  And framing it so the voters see your compromise as the better one.  John Key was a skilful exponent of this approach (as was Keith Holyoake in an earlier age), and Chris Luxon isn’t too bad either. But in politics, the process whereby an old ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    7 days ago

  • Successful New Caledonia repatriation winds up, need for dialogue remains
    Over 300 people have been successfully flown out of New Caledonia in a joint Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) operation.   As of today, seven New Zealand government aircraft flights to Nouméa have assisted around 225 New Zealanders and 145 foreign nationals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Minister to Singapore for defence, technology talks
    Defence and Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Judith Collins departs for Singapore tomorrow for defence and technology summits and meetings. First up is the Asia Tech X Singapore Summit, followed by the Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers Meeting and wrapping up with the Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
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