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Social housing providers

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, November 12th, 2014 - 46 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, class war, housing, Privatisation - Tags: , , ,

Key is trying to frame flogging off much of the state housing asset as a move to “social housing”. When he does so, he likes to use the Salvation Army as an example of a possible provider:

State house could be sold to community housing groups – Key

Prime Minister John Key says state houses could be offered to community housing groups at a discount price as part of Government’s plan to sell off part of its housing stock.

Mr Key said providers such as the Salvation Army might not have the money to provide more houses for needy tenants.

To help them increase their housing stock, the Government could sell them some of its 69,000 state houses at a cut price, he told TVNZ’s Breakfast this morning.

Asked about the cost to the public of selling houses for less than their value, Mr Key said taxpayers would be “better off over all”.

Questions. (1) How exactly will we the taxpayer be “better off over all” for flogging state assets at cut prices? (2) Will the cut price offer apply to other providers – why or why not?

The second question is especially pertinent because your typical social housing provider is more likely to be a liquor company than the Sallies. “A liquor company???” I hear you cry? Why yes:

Liquor firm eyes more state houses

A liquor company that bought about 500 state houses under the last National Government wants to buy a further 1500 now that state houses are up for sale again.

Masterton-based Trust House bought all 541 state houses in the Wairarapa and Tararua districts, keeping on their tenants, for $10.5 million in a 1999 deal that current chief executive Allan Pollard describes as a discount of “probably 50 per cent” off market value.

He says the company now wants to buy 1500 more state houses “anywhere in the lower North Island”. It is looking “from New Plymouth and Hastings down to Wellington”.

So if history is a guide then the answer to the second question is yes, flog off state houses at half price to a liquor company. As a taxpayer I just can’t wait to be “better off over all” in that world.

46 comments on “Social housing providers”

  1. b waghorn 1

    Here’s a idea why not sell them to there tenants for a cut price get some good people in to advise the prospective owners about the in s and out of mortgage’s . these houses were probably built and payed for at pre 1970 s prices. Although I doubt national can get there head around putting people ahead of buisness’s

  2. RedLogix 2

    Nah – that was a rather unfair line in the Herald

    A quick look at their site strongly suggests that they are a bit more than just the “liquor company” you characterise them as.

    And one that has operated a pretty good social contract for a long time now. Most people living in the area regard them as a positive (or a least bad) presence in the community. A Licensing Trust is not really a company in the ordinary sense:

    Licensing Trusts, a form of community enterprise, were given a unique mandate when they were formed in the 1940s. Today that translates into:

    A primary responsibility to enhance the well-being of their defined community;
    The distribution of (surplus) profits back to their communities;
    The provision of good, ‘model’ facilities;
    Accountability back to the communities who own them.

    In addition, there is an inherent responsibility to efficiently operate commercial businesses profitability.

    And from experience I know they are a reasonably decent landlord operating consistent policies. There are way worse private landlords about.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      It would be better to describe them here:

      “Sixty years after its formation the Masterton Licensing Trust remains the governing/controlling organisation of the group as 75% owner of Trust House Limited, which was formed in 1998 to better co-ordinate and operate the diverse business enterprises of the Trust.

      Two sister licensing trusts, Rimutaka and Flaxmere, which became closely linked with Masterton in the 1980s, were formed in 1963 and 1975, and like Masterton, are actively involved in their communities.

      We began life by building and operating bars, restaurants, and hotels. Of those first businesses, only the recently refurbished Horseshoe remains today. But there is much more diversity today with a housing estate of 528 houses, three supermarkets joining the eleven cafes, restaurants and bars, six bottle stores, and two hotels. The organisation also covers a wider geographic area, with interests in Hawkes Bay, Manawatu, and Wellington as well as the Wairarapa towns.
      As licensing trusts they have regular elections the same time as councils.

      Whether to sell off state houses is one thing , but the stuff story is inaccurate as it sounds like a private liquor company, when its a community owned charitable enterprise.

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        but the stuff story is inaccurate as it sounds like a private liquor company, when its a community owned charitable enterprise.

        It’s either a good example of a journo not knowing a basic fact about the story they are writing – or they did know – but chose to distort the facts to fit into today’s spin cycle.

        • tracey 2.1.1.1

          The Salvation Army keeps being mentioned by Key and others in his Government. Is this going to be like offering shares to “mums and dads first” knowing, or not bothering to find out, that they can’t afford them and the shares will go to companies?

          WHY has no one asked him why he thinks the Sallies can afford the homes? Have they told him? Where will they get the money?

          It’s just odd that our PM is now placing such faith in the SA…

          “Rt Hon JOHN KEY: If the author of that report really meant what they said, then the author actually needs to get out a bit more, because this is a Government that has done in Auckland a housing accord…. By the way, the officials who used to advise Helen Clark are some of the same officials who advise me, and they spent virtually their entire time in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet giving her advice on housing, for which she did absolutely nothing. So if the author does not understand—” February 2014

          Twyford speaking to May budget 2014

          “The NGOs—the Salvation Army, VisionWest Community Trust, and all the others—are waiting for capital grants to help them get going so that they can build houses, ”

          rather suggests that at cut price or any other price the Sallies cant afford to get skin in this game.

      • millsy 2.1.2

        Anyone know who owns the other 25%?

        • RedLogix 2.1.2.1

          The other 25% consists of three sister Trusts which amalgamated with the Masterton one decades ago. While they retain their legal existence – for all practical business purposes it’s just one big entity.

        • tracey 2.1.2.2

          Total Number of Shares:10637000 Extensive Shareholding:No
          Shareholders in Allocation:
          Allocation 1:8000000 shares (75.21%)

          863969 MASTERTON LICENSING TRUST

          The Offices Of Masterton Licensing Trust, Level 1 4 Queen Street, Masterton, 5840 , New Zealand
          Allocation 2:2150000 shares (20.21%)

          MASTERTON LICENSING (CHARITABLE) TRUST

          The Offices Of Masterton Licensing Trust, Corner Chapel And Russell Streets, Masterton ,
          Allocation 3:337000 shares (3.17%)

          FLAXMERE LICENSING TRUST

          16 Swansea Road, Flaxmere, Hastings, 4120 , New Zealand
          Allocation 4:150000 shares (1.41%)

          FLAXMERE LICENSING (CHARITABLE) TRUST

          C/- Flaxmere Licencing Trust, Swansea Road, Flaxmere, Hawkes Bay ,

  3. greywarshark 3

    Just a thought on the lack of housing for the needs of the present. I understand the situation in housing insurance policies causes problems for those claiming after disaster or destruction. I have heard that though insurance is prepared to pay out on it, they demand that you build again in that place a house to the equivalent of what was there before. But that is not helpful for the housing market.

    If someone has to rebuild to past norms then the opportunity to use that space and building for modern requirements is lost. And it might be better to sell the land and build elsewhere. I suppose everyone else knows about this but it has just occurred to me.

    And it would explain why insurance in Chch, when an area is zoned for no rebuilds, won’t pay out for building elsewhere. The people, after paying insurance all the years, would find refusal to help them after all. These would be some of the people who could need social housing.

    • tracey 3.1

      If you are atalking about a new house then I am surprised Council will issue a CCC (Code Compliance Certificate) based on prior, not current regulations?

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        @ tracey
        I am thinking about the need for more concentrated housing. It might be that an innercity house could have a duplex put on the site so there are two dwellings where there were one. Or it may be suitable for light industrial or retail while the person buys their housing elsewhere. More along those lines than the details of some compliance code.

        And Ad yes, our NZ world is being dissolved in the acid rain of NACT’s determined attacking spray that undermines any defences.

        And RedLogix I have wondered about the Housing Associations that they have in Britain. We are slow to pick up on ideas here, I feel there must be a place for them and now would be it. How would line start and carry out useful stuff?

  4. Ad 4

    This is doing to housing what Max Bradford did to electricity in the 1980s.

    Within two terms of this kind of government we will have very little public housing left (perhaps other than in Christchurch).

    What we will have is a series of massive trusts – some with public good intent, others as tax minimising instruments – who will control most of the 60+% of New Zealand who cannot afford to buy their own house.

    This means the owners of those trusts don’t get to be held to parliamentary scrutiny, have no rent controls, no specific ethical codes in common, and whose sole regulator is the Tenancy Tribunal.

    Their next goals will be to do this to our entire public schooling system.

    New Zealand’s entire public realm is being dissolved before our eyes.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Or we could consider it an opportunity to move towards the Housing Association model – which provides a space in the market somewhere between social housing and ownership that is an alternative to private sector renting.

      Of course it’s wrong that National are dismantling our social housing system in order to achieve a change. That’s their usual ideological stupidity and laziness in action.

      • tracey 4.1.1

        Agree with this IF there are genuinely players in the market who are not looking to make profit but fill a social need, who can actually afford to buy the houses OR raise a loan to buy the houses.

        • RedLogix 4.1.1.1

          It’s not hard. Here’s the website for Community Housing Federation Victoria

          Housing Associations manage a combination of DHS properties and/or own other properties. They range in size from 400 properties to as large as 2000+.

          More like a traditional rental option, these organisations manage and maintain the property using their own staff. Housing Associations are eligible to receive Government funding to build or acquire new properties. In the past the state government has transfered a small number of properties to Housing Associations.

          And this is just one model.

          Personally I’m thinking that rather than trying to hold back the tide on National flogging off the State Housing asset – that Labour would be smarter to be pushing for more transparent and socially acceptable alternatives around who actually finishes up purchasing them.

          • tracey 4.1.1.1.1

            is that one of the options our Government has in mind red? I haven’t seen any detail on what models they have in mind.

            • RedLogix 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Hence my concerns around transparency.

              The very, very worst thing that could happen is another free-for-all fire-sale that happened in the 90’s when the Nats last did this.

              Lots of speculators made out like bunnies on that one.

              • Tracey

                i am with you 100%.

                based on past behaviour the nats have little or no intention of doing anything other than selling to developers…

          • Ad 4.1.1.1.2

            What is missing is a proper price regulator for rents.

            Back in the day there were rent controls. No more.

            For both lines companies and generators, the Electricity Authority sets very clear controls on the amount these privatised utilities can charge, against the assets they hold. There are of course expensive court cases about this, but that’s natural when there’s such a huge amount of revenue at stake.

            Currently there is nothing to hold these massive private landlords to account.

            Of course there are a few good trusts operating housing at the moment. But what is there to stop there charging full market rents, for example? Nothing.

            This debate occurred over the last five years for example in the Community of Refuge trust, one of central Auckland’s largest landlords who bought a significant amount of housing stock from Auckland City Council – and are already in partnership with central government for a major housing development in Weymouth.

            • RedLogix 4.1.1.1.2.1

              First of all I’m not sure it’s fair to label a Trust or Community charity as a ‘private landlord’. We get all wound up when the right distort meanings to put their spin on it – it’s no prettier when we do it.

              But I do agree with the need for better regulation in the whole rental sector. I’ve argued for this many times previously – while wearing my hats as both a landlord and a tenant at the same time.

              I’m not sure that just straight rent controls are the whole answer. Overseas experience shows that they can badly distort the market with quite perverse outcomes. If for example rental incomes are fixed too low – then landlords simply stop maintaining or improving their properties. That’s not greed – it’s just cash flow.

              What I would prefer to just straight rent controls is a well resourced system that worked to protect the rights of both good tenants and good landlords. And made life harder for the bad ones.

              If you do that then the price thing tends to sort itself out. The DBH site already gives excellent transparency for rents – which has helped market efficiency a lot.

              • Ad

                I am not proposing any solution.
                But this is what you can expect in a few years, as corporations break open the public sector properly, trading on extracting about 1/3 of people’s income for a place to live:

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11357109

                Nor am I imputing that all private landlords are bad. After all, I’m one.

                We have corporatized housing, out-sourced, it, and now privatised it. Even within Trusts there is zero public accountability. I am simply stating that only a strong public housing sector can best guarantee a house over my head at a reasonable cost, and further degrading this part of the public realm degrades society as a whole.

              • Ergo Robertina

                And there’s loads of genuine charities and community organisations involved in providing social care, such as DHB home help, which don’t pay a living wage, provide job security, professional development, or decent mileage rates.
                Their argument is they work with funding parameters set by the government, and if they relinquish the work it will all be left to corporates. But it’s made hypocrites of them.
                The state housing selloff will create a similar situation of lower standards and entrenched exploitation.
                Read David Harvey’s book on neoliberalism in respect of the role of NGOs as enablers.
                A good rental WOF as proposed by the Greens will prevent the perverse outcome you conjured in regards to rent controls. They are needed urgently.

                • RedLogix

                  I agree that becoming the defacto agents for the state does create issue for many social providers, mainly because as individual operations they lack negotiating clout with the govt.

                  Problem might go a long way toward being solved if they formed an umbrella organisation that is willing to fight for minimum standards on their collective behalf. Somewhere above I linked to a similar sort of entity that represents all the many dozens of social housing associations here in Victoria – so it can be done.

                  A good rental WOF as proposed by the Greens will prevent the perverse outcome you conjured in regards to rent controls.

                  Couldn’t agree more. All our units would fly through the Greens WOF proposal I saw with room to spare. Bring it on.

                  But you can’t really implement a WOF and the rent controls Ad was suggesting at the same time.

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    ‘But you can’t really implement a WOF and the rent controls Ad was suggesting at the same time.’

                    Why not?

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    ‘Problem might go a long way toward being solved if they formed an umbrella organisation …’

                    My point is the real world outcomes of the system that’s been in place for 20 years.
                    And what you suggest is likely to fall foul of the terms of tender processes anyway.

                    • RedLogix

                      Professional and trade bodies exist for this exact purpose all over the place.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Yes.
                      But you touted your ‘umbrella organisation’ as a solution to the problem of worker exploitation and low ball contracting, thus I assumed you meant something different.
                      Existing bodies like the NZ Home Health Association appear to have been ineffective, despite making submissions etc about the problems of low funding and worker pay.
                      What will your organisation do differently?

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    ‘But you can’t really implement a WOF and the rent controls Ad was suggesting at the same time.’

                    In the absence of an answer to my question above I will infer you mean that without the cashflow of high rents landlords can’t afford to get their properties up to scratch.
                    Thing is though good landlords like yourself would ‘fly through’ the Greens’ WOF scheme now.
                    Why should the bad ones get longer to gouge tenants just because they made poor choices and haven’t maintained their properties?
                    If a few decide it’s not worth their while and sell their ‘investments’ to first home buyers, that’s a good outcome. Same with the reduction in hospital admissions caused by respiratory illnesses from substandard housing.

            • Tracey 4.1.1.1.2.2

              average rent increase of $24 a week. …

        • minarch 4.1.1.2

          “Agree with this IF there are genuinely players in the market who are not looking to make profit but fill a social need’

          the two aren’t mutually exclusive you know ?

  5. NZJester 5

    The Salvation Army will be very unlikely to be able to afford any of the houses without cutting back on other important services they currently offer to the sick and needy groups such as food and clothing. Things that a lot of people they help can no longer count on the government for. Now they want the Salvation Army to also try and supply the poor with houses on the existing budget they have?
    Using the Salvation Army name is just a big lie unless they are willing to give them the houses for free.
    Even given free to them the Salvation Army might find the cost to high as a lot of the houses need a large injection of cash to be repaired as the government has been very lacking on the maintenance needed on a lot of them to keep them in a habitable condition.
    I can see a lot of the sick and needy people going without food and clothing if the Salvation Army did take the government up on the offer of taking over those houses.

    • Ad 5.1

      Oh, they can afford them.

      Check out the Salvation Army properties on the Ak Council website. Whether developers are inside a trust or charity or a business, banks understand equity wherever it is.

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        Agreed. Banks look at three main criteria – equity, serviceability and credibility.

        If the Sallies buy them for 50% of market value that takes care of the equity and serviceability.

        And as a sound organisation with decades of social work experience – they also have the credibility to manage the loan. Something many social housing tenants on their own simply do not have.

    • greywarshark 5.2

      ! NZ Jester
      And the poor are being bled more for second hand clothes and other things. The SA prices have been going up for some time. Also other well known charities, St Vincent de Paul, Red Cross. Anything really cheap or free is likely to need sewing, mending, or is marked, spotted, or the surface rubbed and worn. The government loves to tell us there is no free lunch. But then it wants to operate in denial of that basic truth itself.

    • Treetop 5.3

      I’m with the free concept (capped at 20% of homes), but with a gradual increasing dividend paid to the government dependent on profit.

  6. Penny Bright 6

    Let’s get it right.

    State Housing is public – Social Housing is PRIVATE!

    Beware the use of charities and Iwi as Trojan horses for the PRIVATISATION of State Housing – the sell off of this major State asset for which there is NO electoral mandate!

    The simple answer is for State tenants to stay put – refuse to accept 90 day eviction notices – refuse to budge – and for those who are opposed to the privatisation of State Housing to support them.

    As has happened with Niki from the Tamaki Housing Group in Glen Innes.

    Penny Bright

  7. coaster 7

    If a liquor trust has a chance to buy a half price house, why cant mum and dad investors.
    I would like a half price house.

  8. A voter 8

    Easy money, no morals ,wont sell or mortgage to tenants cant be bothered ,Im here to tell you the Mickey Savage history is over you idiots, Im the Capitalist Antichrist of the socialist history of NZ and any hope the poor have will be lost
    I ONLY CAME BACK TO RUN THIS COUNTRY TO THE GROUND
    And turn it into another American military base like Hawaii you know its about the same strategic position in the Pacific but south
    Cheers NZ I will stay pissed for you
    JK

  9. Treetop 9

    The government are not interested in housing. They need to stop their STALE bullshit and just hand over 20 % of the state homes to the Salvation Army. Then some people with families living rough, just may get a decent roof over their head. Instead the government just piss about trying to sell precious assets which can be made over by more intelligent management which actually cares about housing.

    A lot has been handed over by this government already e.g. partial privatization.

    Some sort of dividend could be paid to the government.

  10. Religious groups are the last people who should be in charge of social housing ,
    The are judgemental and biased .
    If in their narrow minds you have been naughty then no house.
    Dickens must be turning in his grave.
    Just imagine those Tory religious Blue Rinses deciding who is deserving of a social house . I shudder , and I wonder just what has happened to our lovely egalitarian country . I cannot believe we have allowed our country to have such a ghastly right-wing government ,

    However on a brighter note it was good to meet Penny last Saturday at the protest meeting in Hamilton. Nice to have meet you Penny .

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    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    4 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    6 days ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    6 days ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    6 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    7 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    2 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
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