Southern DHB sacked

Written By: - Date published: 12:36 pm, June 17th, 2015 - 53 comments
Categories: health - Tags: , ,

So the Minister of Health has just dismissed all members of the Board and replacing it with a Commissioner:

Southern DHB Board dismissed – Commissioner appointed

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has today written to Southern DHB dismissing all members of the Board and replacing it with a Commissioner.

“The financial problems at Southern DHB are longstanding. I do not have confidence that the current governance arrangements are suitable for delivering on the changes required in Southern DHB,” says Dr Coleman.

“Southern is forecasting a final deficit of $27 million for the current financial year. That figure has effectively doubled in the last six months.

Southern covers the Otago and Southland regions. Here’s some background reading on the problems:

Southern DHB financial crisis lies with underfunding
DHB’s funding below inflation – Labour
Southern hospitals bear the brunt of Government underfunding
Hundreds of DHB workers on less than ‘living wage’
SDHB ‘in extreme difficulties’
Democracy under threat as axe hangs over SDHB

There are real and significant problems in Southern’s jurisdiction, especially around the state of Dunedin Hospital. They stem from underfunding by the government. No doubt a new Commissioner will save money. They will do it by cutting services, and placing further pressure on staff who are already at breaking point.

53 comments on “Southern DHB sacked ”

  1. Macro 1

    What a useless lot of incompetent idiots we have as a so called “government”. A do nothing minister of “finance” and a uncaring pony tail pulling “prime minister” who has little conception of what constitutes truth.
    When are the people of NZ going to wake up from their sleep? The longer this shower remain warming their fat arses on the treasury benches the more NZ as a whole will suffer.

  2. Tracey 2

    have details been given around the commissioners kpi’s

    • Chris 2.1

      Will we be told precisely what the government believes the DHB has done wrong? No, we won’t be. It’ll be government spin like what Coleman’s already saying: “I do not have confidence that the current governance arrangements are suitable for delivering on the changes required in Southern DHB”. Wait for how many ways government can say the same thing without telling us what the DHB has done wrong or what it believes the DHB is incapable of doing.

      What’s worse, though, is the opposition’s inability to ask the right questions or to do what’s necessary to find these things out. Half our problem at the moment is the fact we do not have an Opposition.

    • cogito 2.2

      kpi = kill poor innocents.

  3. dv 3

    New appointed board member been sacked once already!!!
    Richard Thomson

    Mr Thomson was chairman of Otago DHB (2001-2009) before being sacked by then Health Minister Tony Ryall who held him accountable for the $17 million fraud which took place at the DHB over six years.

    • dv 3.1

      How much of the $17m fraud is responsible for the short fall?

      • dukeofurl 3.1.1

        The fraud was between 2000 and 2006.
        “Swann spent just under $8 million of his $15.2 million booty on cars and boats, $3.7 million on real estate, a little over $1 million on food, liquor and household items, with $1.1 million taken in cash.”

        http://www.spcs.org.nz/michael-swann-checketts-mckay-fraud-and-otago-dhbs-missing-6-million-report/

      • McFlock 3.1.2

        well, none really.

        $27M this year isn’t really impacted by $17M ten years ago.

        Basically Southern DHB isn’t given enough money to run, and some of the funding is ringfenced (which is good because it helps guarantee funding for those areas) which means that the shortfall has to be made up by cuts in other areas alone (which is bad).

        DHBs are funded pretty much at a fixed per capita rate for their resident population.

        There are significant building costs that need to be funded, both to dunedin public hospital and to satellite hospitals like upgrading queenstown. These costs are basically funded on a desperate-priority basis (like roof leaks in operating theatres).

        Then there is the issue that DPH is a tertiary-level hospital and needs to fund specialists to serve the population in a halfway decent period of time, especially after trauma. We have a pretty large surface area compared to the population that needs to be served, so that impacts on things like the golden hour. And then there’s another full DHB between the northern border of Southern and ChCh hospital, which is the next closest tertiary-care hospital. Even with helicopters, invercargill or Remarkables to ChCh just isn’t cool for urgent treatment.

        So we need a lot of infrastructure that a population doesn’t need when there are two tertiary hospitals in your metro area even though you’re in a different DHB.

        • dv 3.1.2.1

          Thanks dofurl and Mc

          However that Thompson ‘allowed’ the fraud AND was sack would suggest his governance is not to good

          • McFlock 3.1.2.1.1

            He’s not too bad – Swan kept the IT budget with spec, and used an undisclosed conflict of interest in the “servicing” company for the fraud that started prior to Thomson turning up.

            Thomson seems pretty capable, really. As soon as the CFO picked up that something was amiss, the entire thing was handled pretty smartly. I reckon the previous CFO has a fair bit to answer for, though.

            • dv 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Thank]x

            • dukeofurl 3.1.2.1.1.2

              The real donkey was the CEO. Invoices of that scale should have been approved beforehand and werent.

              The whole thing is a case study of incompetence and poor governance

              • McFlock

                because he never saw them because the CEO never kicked them upstairs and the auditors never flagged that point.

                Captain and all, but still, a bit of a bad rap.

  4. McFlock 4

    Underfund it, run it down, gain direct control from the democratic boards you placed in an impossible position, privatise.

    BAU.

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      The board is mostly run by the Ministers appointments all ready.

      As well some elected members were first appointed by Minister.

      The Board consists of seven elected members (four from the Otago constituency and three from the Southland constituency) and up to four members appointed by the Minister of Health. The Minister also appoints the Board Chair and Deputy Chair.

  5. Ffloyd 5

    Does that mean seeing as this government has run our country into the ground we can write them a letter sacking them?

  6. hoom 6

    Obviously there will be loads of ‘DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK’ banner headlines.

    …oh wait, silly me this is Nats actually and directly attacking democracy. Again.
    No, this will just earn praise from the Dirty Columnists :-/

  7. Paul Campbell 7

    part of the problem is the way funding is done, a physically large health board covering roughly the bottom 2/5 of the south island is funded using the same per-capita rates that one in Auckland is.

    The Nats have squeezed hard on Otago, one assumes it may have something to do with our token National MP who used to run the only local private hospital

  8. weka 8

    How many local bodies has the govt taken over so far?

  9. Colonial Rawshark 9

    Worth remembering the Southern DHB cut home help to many elderly people a few years ago, resulting in some personal health disasters for vulnerable older people in the community.

  10. mac1 10

    Also, remember this health board outsourced its meals on a fifteen year contract, provoking a very strong local reaction.

    Was this an example of its poor decision making or a result of pressure to lower costs due to under-funding?

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/273059/southern-dhb-will-outsource-hospital-kitchens

    • Ergo Robertina 10.1

      Yeah, maybe the minister will sack all of the other district health boards which’ve signed the very same Compass contract as Southern; the one developed at great expense over several years by the Government’s very own Health Benefits Ltd.

  11. North 11

    From Anthony Robins’ post – “They [the ‘problems’ pounced on by Coleman] stem from underfunding by the government. No doubt a new Commissioner will save money. They will do it by cutting services, and placing further pressure on staff who are already at breaking point.”

    This typifies the approach of this fetid, corrupt, lying executive. Act so as to render problems inevitable – once the problems manifest publicly abuse the elected decision makers as incompetent and worse – then drive a truck through Democracy by appointing a yes man/woman (outrageously remunerated [viz. ‘bought’] no doubt) to do their bidding. Those more knowledgable than me will have other examples.

    Where’s the NZ Herald screeching “Democracy Under Attack” ?

  12. Wayne 12

    From time to time, over the last thirty years, various DHB Boards have been sacked when their performance is substantially under par. The common element is their level of incompetence, not particular features of their communities.

    Helen Clark sacked the Auckland Board when she was Minister. Most people thought she had done the right thing.

    These sorts of actions say very little about the ideological aspect of any particular government. To show that you would have to show that a particular govt sacked way more DHB’s than other governments. That does not appear to be the case here.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      When those events occurred, did you make any political hay out of it much, Dr. Mapp?

      In fact, it’s pretty much the duty of opposition to hold the government’s feet to the fire in any such situation, aye.

      Otherwise witless and destructive ideology masquerading as “personal responsibility” might, say, kill lots of patients.

      Like it is now.

      • Wayne 12.1.1

        Of course the Opposition has to deal with it. My point is the way they deal with it.

        Of course they could say it is all due to gross underfunding, but that immediately raises the question of why other DHB’s are able to cope.

        In my view Labour has all too frequently tried to argue that this govt is the most irresponsible ever.

        Like Andrew Little saying not achieving the surplus was the worst political deceit in his lifetime (or words to that effect). It sounded just a little overwrought. It therefore damages his credibility.

        Labour needs to choose its targets by focusing on the things relevant to the public. On housing they are doing that, and are having some effect.

        But on a huge lot of other things, the public turn off (GCSB, ponytails, Warner Bros, cabinet club, charter schools, 90 days etc), since they are simply not sufficiently relevant, or the “scandal” is grossly over-hyped.

        • RedBaronCV 12.1.1.1

          The health spend is declining as a % of GDP so looks like Nact is underfunding all. Nor does anyone know how large the unmet needs are. But hey why don’t we use that $26m of the flag referendum for health instead?
          BTW don’t bother with any more uncaring remarks- this one is kinda personal –
          wait till you know some young people who have serious but treatable issues not getting the care they need and deserve.

          • john 12.1.1.1.1

            Some facts about what you call “underfunding”.

            Health has risen from $11.297 billion in 2008 to $15.075 billion in 2015.

            That’s over 30% increase – around three times faster than inflation which was 11% over the same period.

            Or you could look at it on a population basis – $2646 / person in 2008 up to $3281 / person in 2015 – that’s a 24% ($635/person/year) increase – still more than double inflation.

            The increases are even more remarkable if you factor in that 2008 was at the end of years of a boom economy and 2015 is after years of the global financial crisis,

            • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.1.1.1

              All you have to do now is factor in the increasing age of the population, and the consequential increased costs, and you’ll look like you know a little bit about the subject.

            • Malconz 12.1.1.1.1.2

              The 2010 OECD per capita expenditure figures might enlighten you. NZ paid US$2454 per person for healthcare, the lowest of any comparable nation. The UK paid $2992, Australia $3357, Germany $3558, Netherlands $3837, Canada $3895, and the USA $7290.
              My own experience of working in rural hospitals is that staff routinely work loooong hours to paper over the cracks.
              And anyway, if you look closely at the SDHB’s deficit ($27 million), it’s a tiny fraction of their billion-dollar budget.
              So basically the whole thing is another Tory jack-up, an excuse to seize control (see Christchurch etc etc).

              • greywarshark

                @Malconz
                Clear figures that indict us. Can you put the link to those stats?

                • Malconz

                  The figures are on an OECD chart that I screen-grabbed a couple of years ago, and I don’t know how to post the image here.
                  But here’s a link to an equally damning 2014 EOCD report: it shows that in 2012 our per capita expenditure on health was US$3172, while the OECD average was $3484. That places us at number 20 out of 34 OECD nations. Not great!

                  http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/Briefing-Note-NEW-ZEALAND-2014.pdf

                  • greywarshark

                    Thanks Malconz. Facts like that are gold when trying to get a handle on comparisons with the rest of the world. I’m always trying to find out if we are a banana republic already, or whether we can never hope to reach that level!

    • Tim 12.2

      How could we possibly question the ethics of health minister Jonathan Coleman who after accepting an invitation to watch U2 in a corporate box from British American Tobacco in 2006 subsequently caused an altercation by blowing cigar smoke in a woman’s face?

      http://tvnz.co.nz/content/910849/425825.xhtml

    • dukeofurl 12.3

      In those days they were all elected, whereas now the Minister puts his own people in the key board roles.

      This board has been ineffective for a while, under Tony Ryalls oversight.

      I still think they are underfunded, but Ryall was the one who sat on his hands for 6 years with his people running the show.

  13. Jester 13

    I struggle to see where this is democracy under attack. Surely a government has a responsibility to ensure the best possible services are delivered and DHBs are fiscally responsible.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      *whoosh*

      • Jester 13.1.1

        Are you suggesting that is not a correct assumption OAB?

        • McFlock 13.1.1.1

          The government’s failure to provide the funds for your first SDHB responsibility renders the second responsibility impossible and any attempt at it morally and possibly legally criminal.

          • In Vino 13.1.1.1.1

            Well said, McFlock. And let’s not pretend that other DHB’s are coping well. Their staff at the ‘coalface’ are all overloaded, and the whole system is under dangerous threat of errors and failures due to work overload. Moreover, what about the secret waiting lists that patients get pushed off – nationwide?

          • Jester 13.1.1.1.2

            You need to read the released documents. Their is no suggestion that the DHB is under performing fiscally due to underfunding. Please provide a link to “possibly legally criminal” actions at SDHB otherwise I assume you are simply just talking shit again.

            • In Vino 13.1.1.1.2.1

              Their (sic) is no suggestion? Who are ‘they’ to whom ‘their’ must refer?
              Please get literate. And please bear in mind that most Ministries now serve to cover the Govt’s backside rather than promote the social good. Their reports NEVER blame underfunding. Funny how people at the coalface have a different perspective.

            • McFlock 13.1.1.1.2.2

              No suggestion?

              Well, that’s wrong for a start. Which means that there is at least a suggestion that my dichotomy reflects the situation facing the board, based on the two priorities that you initially identified.

            • Mark 13.1.1.1.2.3

              I know shitheads like you actually exist in the world but fuck off to the troll hole you came out of.
              You want anyone with an IQ bigger than 10 to take any documents released by this government as true and factual then you are a bigger fuckwit than you sound.
              But as someone who has managed to read the documents only hours after their release, you give yourself away as the troll shithead you are.
              Have a look before they came out did we?
              Slater is missing you, fuck off home.

            • philj 13.1.1.1.2.4

              You are very quick to get this report and to comment. Are you associated with the Gov?

  14. hoom 14

    Maybe they can replace Southern DHB outright with some Social Bonds? /sarcasm

  15. Keith 15

    Sacking boards is becoming just another day in paradise for National. Can’t run your organisations on cut budgets, or stupid edicts and policy, well tough!

    2009 saw the sacking of the Otago District Health Board (DHB) chairman Richard Thomson by Tony Ryall, Thomson, then a member of the Labour Party was the scape goat for a fraud that occurred by a pair of staff members both before and yet uncovered during his tenure.

    2010 saw the sacking of 14 Canterbury democratically elected regional councillors after complaints by amongst others, former National Minister Wyatt Creech.

    Then there is the revolving doors of school boards and commissioners.

    The sundry threats to take over democratically elected boards or else or to do just that as with the governments response to sideline the Christchurch City Council in early 2011 and take over the rebuild to “punch through red tape”. I think I’ve heard that one since in Auckland too, none of this namby pamby democracy rubbish when we feel like it!

    And now the entire Southern District Health board.

    There is probably more but these control freaks with their warped economic management aren’t going to let democracy get in the way of the National Party!

  16. millsy 16

    You cannot cut a big deficit without cutting services or increasing revenue (ie more funding from the government). The SDHB realised that, and that is why this has happened. Most of the fat from the health system was slashed years and years ago.

    • tc 16.1

      Not all the fat has been slashed and this govt has done nothing about the dysfunctional politics, waste and highly paid paper pushers that are littered throughout the DHB system upper levels.

      Combine that with year upon year under NACT of funding decreases in real terms, ryall’s shonky shell game with waiting list numbers and it’s another sector desperately in need of major reform in many areas that don’t actually treat patients.

      Like education, research, social services etc it’s being deliberately run down by the haters and wreckers on treasury benches

  17. saveNZ 17

    Better start standing up, because there is so many democratic positions being ‘sacked’ at present.

    Health in real terms is being underfunded 25%.

    Hello, TPP will come and ‘help’ us reform.

    We can just off shore the health jobs, and have health, USA, style, the worst health system in the world for a developed county.

    • cogito 17.1

      “Better start standing up”

      Well said. But I can’t see kiwis standing up for anything worthwhile anymore. There’s far too much fear and brainwashing.

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  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    6 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    6 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    6 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    7 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    1 week ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but important read. IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the Greens had egg on their faces. At the time, Christopher Luxon said ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Government moves to ensure flood protection for Wairoa

    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced his intention to appoint a Crown Manager to both Hawke’s Bay Regional and Wairoa District Councils to speed up the delivery of flood protection work in Wairoa."Recent severe weather events in Wairoa this year, combined with damage from Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023 have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • PM speech to Parliament – Royal Commission of Inquiry’s Report into Abuse in Care

    Mr Speaker, this is a day that many New Zealanders who were abused in State care never thought would come. It’s the day that this Parliament accepts, with deep sorrow and regret, the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.  At the heart of this report are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges torture at Lake Alice

    For the first time, the Government is formally acknowledging some children and young people at Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital experienced torture. The final report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State and Faith-based Care “Whanaketia – through pain and trauma, from darkness to light,” was tabled in Parliament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government acknowledges courageous abuse survivors

    The Government has acknowledged the nearly 2,400 courageous survivors who shared their experiences during the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State and Faith-Based Care. The final report from the largest and most complex public inquiry ever held in New Zealand, the Royal Commission Inquiry “Whanaketia – through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Half a million people use tax calculator

    With a week to go before hard-working New Zealanders see personal income tax relief for the first time in fourteen years, 513,000 people have used the Budget tax calculator to see how much they will benefit, says Finance Minister Nicola Willis.  “Tax relief is long overdue. From next Wednesday, personal income ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Paid Parental Leave improvements pass first reading

    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden says a bill that has passed its first reading will improve parental leave settings and give non-biological parents more flexibility as primary carer for their child. The Regulatory Systems Amendment Bill (No3), passed its first reading this morning. “It includes a change ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Rebuilding the economy through better regulation

    Two Bills designed to improve regulation and make it easier to do business have passed their first reading in Parliament, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. The Regulatory Systems (Economic Development) Amendment Bill and Regulatory Systems (Immigration and Workforce) Amendment Bill make key changes to legislation administered by the Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • ‘Open banking’ and ‘open electricity’ on the way

    New legislation paves the way for greater competition in sectors such as banking and electricity, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly says. “Competitive markets boost productivity, create employment opportunities and lift living standards. To support competition, we need good quality regulation but, unfortunately, a recent OECD report ranked New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

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