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Spending Brown

Written By: - Date published: 2:41 pm, December 13th, 2010 - 46 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, election funding, len brown, rodney hide - Tags:

So ACT, through Rodney (who’s so careful with the taxpayer’s money) and Jami-Lee Ross, are trying to make an issue with Len Brown’s spending.

The TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre decided to allow candidates to use its billboard space and Brown did?  Shocking!

He accepted $15,000 donation from SkyCity (but doesn’t change his “strong views on gambling”)?  More shocking that Banks also accepted the $15,000 from SkyCity and it didn’t show up in his accounts.

But the most shocking fact to me?  Banks spent $948,937 to Brown’s $581,900 and couldn’t even get close to the SuperCity Rodney and National had designed for him to run.  Ouch, I guess you can see why Rodney’s hurt.

There are questions about big corporate money getting into local government in a non-transparent manner and the influence it has, which should be fixed.  But Brown is not the one at fault here – it’s the system that Rodney designed, so it’s rich for him to then ensure it’s complained about when it funds the Left’s candidate as well as the Right’s.

.

And finally, because I’ve been reading too much Dr Seuss recently and now everything comes out in his poetic meter:

Mr Brown came to town,
Mr Brown did not frown,
Did not frown did Mr Brown,
But turned Hide’s plan upside down.

46 comments on “Spending Brown”

  1. Sam 1

    “But Brown is not the one at fault here.”

    No, he is at fault.

    Len Brown made a choice to accept secret money.

    And he did.

  2. Herododus 2

    The TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre decided to allow candidates to use its billboard space and Brown did? Shocking!
    Bunji- a I hope that all this spin does not make the head see stars, or are you playing Wibbly wobbly ?(a game that was common at Ken Maunder Park).
    Was this offer extended to all canditates, and by what authority was this support given ? Now as I understand Mr Jefferies (CEO of the Event centre) was also part of Mayor Browns team, and now a counter balance to Rodneys board appointments? So there was a CCO using subsidised ratepayers money to supporting a specific canditate.
    How come when a \”non committed ??\” left wing canditate pushes the rules it is the system at fault, yet when a right wing person pushed the rules everythng is rotten to the core?
    Some balance required please.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      Read the links herod.

      • Herododus 2.1.1

        Re Brown is not at fault here.How is that? The PEC is a council setup entity, that has struggled to breakeven and went out 9 years ago for corporate sponsorship (Which in Nov 10 for many the final payment of sponsorship was made)
        PB this post states/implies “The TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre decided to allow candidates to use its billboard space and Brown did? Shocking!” As I asked was this offer extended to all canditates? And Mr Jeferies CEO was in positions that could be considered in conflict on what now is 3 levels, CEO, Browns mayoral team and now as an oppointed CCO board member. On this site there has been when there is a conflict of interest that this be questioned. Why are not the same high standards now being expressed towards “Our mayor” and/or Mr Jefferies, is it not a worry for a council entity to support candiates at an election: either finacially or in services propvided?
        For me all this is countering the other sides spin, especially as on the surface “our” team is not 100% clean.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1

          The post also contains some of that strange blue text. They ‘link’ to other pages on this WWW thing. I assume those links get there on purpose, rather than by accident.

          • Herododus 2.1.1.1.1

            You mean categories???
            Or to NZ herald and red Alert. (I have read these).
            Still there is on the surface a conflict that requires an answer. the answer may satisfy the questions being asked. But how do we know????
            And the post contains spin to lessen the effect of this conflict. Imagine the reverse and say Watercare assisting Banks in his campaign, and the outcry that would be heard (perhaps not from the NZ Herald) but there would be comments posted.

        • Swampy 2.1.1.2

          A bill board is worth money
          Remember bob Clarkson in Tauranga had to account for his free billboards

          When they say “it had to be put in as a value because it has a value” that is nonsense
          It had to be put in as a value because the events centre lost the use of that bill board for the time Brown was using it

    • Bunji 2.2

      No, I think the system needs transforming. When Rodney was pushing the spending limits out to a ridiculous level, allowing third parties free reign and removing requirements of transparency, I was against all that, and my parliamentary submission on the bill said so. Only small donations should be allowed to be anonymous.

      But Len was going to have a lot less money as it was, so to reduce his funds massively by allowing Banks to have all the corporate greed he wanted, but for Len to not have any company cash is expecting the ridiculous, and would allow the right to buy the election as was their original plan. He hopefully won’t be beholden to it, but I’m all for fixing the local government election law.

      On your other point Richard Jeffrey has got a board appointment on the tourism & events board – he would seem overly qualified for the role. He alone was not responsible for the decision to the billboard space, it was a Counties-Manukau Pacific Trust Board decision – a board that included amongst others a former National MP… so probably the decision to allow “whoever asked” billboard space was legit as the mayoral spokesman says.

      • Herododus 2.2.1

        Bunji- was this offer extended to all and how was this given?-(If so I will creep back into my hole and accept that it was legit and all had the same opportunity) Though I still have an issue with CCO’s and the like taking positions. Or was it that if anyone asked we (PEC) would accommodate, BUt will not make it known that this is our policy, in reality giving Len an advantage, especially when given the large exposure from the motorway given The PEC location. It also raises a question that Transfund (Or who ever they are this week) has strick rules on billboards etc on the motorway. Especially due to diverting Drivers attention. e.g signs containing www address, phone nos, size etc. (I take it that the advertising was facing SH1 and not Gt Sth Rd.)
        I am also sure that Mr Jeffery has skills that would enable such an appointment (and I have some contact with Mr J ), it is just that such appoinments raise the question to be asked (and we should be able to ask the question), the same for ex MP’s.

        • Bunji 2.2.1.1

          I don’t know the details of how the offer was given, Herod.

          Councils provide space for all candidates to have boards up, so it’s not really out of line with that though I would suggest.

          It is tricky with many of the board appointments going to ex-executives of the former councils etc – seems a money-go-round, but they are also the most obviously qualified people for the job, with knowledge of how the system currently works, and a proven track record of doing the job required… So I guess fair enough that questions are asked, but they probably have legitimate answers…

          • Herododus 2.2.1.1.1

            “Councils provide space for all candidates to have boards up, so it’s not really out of line with that though I would suggest.”
            Yes councils do allow their land to be used in this manner for both local and central elections. But the do not charge for this. So as PEC have made a donation (That appears to be in lieu for advertising space – a commercial activity for the centre) that this is different to that of just making the land available for one and all. If there is nothing in it then for someone within PEC to come out and say so. The longer they leave it the more it appears to be self interest, mates looking after mates and come tomorrow perceptions will be entrenched. I am no spin dr but the easiest way to kill a false story is to correct the facts,……. yesterday!!!
            And re My J appointment into CCO’s have no prblem IF he is appropiate for the role (and abit of divine justice in rebalancing out the appoinments by both spectrums)

            • Bunji 2.2.1.1.1.1

              The “donation” was free billboard space – but as the trust is set up as a private entity it has to be given a monetary value. It would be the same value on council land, but it doesn’t need accounting for. As far as correcting facts, they’ve come out and said “it was available for all”, so I don’t really see what more they have to say.

              • Herododus

                How can billboard space be available to all if it is the site that faces the motorway. there is only 1 billboard from memory. To add to this space (i.e addtional signage)takes time for council resource consents to be processed and Transfund approval. Sorry to disagree this is not the same as on council land, as MCC does not have private billboard space to rent out. It may have been available for all, but that does not mean that the others would have been given it for “free”, this quote is just a play on words. Banks and co may have had the opportunity to use this, was this also at no cost? There are more questions as time goes on, with no satisfactory answers being given. But hey “our” team won who cares about the rules. As said before if the shoe was on the other foot all hell would be released on this site towards banks.
                There was an opportunity cost associated to this that has a cash consequence. the centre has had a chequered history regarding its funding (does it make money or not) and promises that no council money would go into this and yet there is council subsidies.

      • Swampy 2.2.2

        ISnt there any existing law for local government elections
        You seem to say they made up new laws just for Auckland

        • lprent 2.2.2.1

          Correct.. There were three bills passed last year just for Auckland. Substantial amounts of the law on local actions was changed including the spending limits, ward boundaries, number of councils, number of councilors, the role if the various layers of the auckland local government. Most of it was crap we didn’t want, some bits were, but that arsehole Rodney and his minion Key stuffed them down our throats anyway.

          I’m sure you were leaving these late night streams then. Surely you must have read the posts?

  3. Bright Red 3

    both Banks and Brown (and Parker) used trusts.

    I would think that you actually needs some kind of financial vehicle independent of the candidates’ personal finances for these large campaigns.

    Political parties have their own accounts but independent candidates at local level don’t have party structures to use.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Total spending by any candidate in any campaign needs to be capped and capped relatively low.

    You see the corrosive effect in the US where senators etc have to go cap in hand to big corporates for money to be able to even have a chance in their multimillion dollar races.

  5. Roger 5

    “He accepted $15,000 donation from SkyCity (but doesn’t change his “strong views on gambling”)? More shocking that Banks also accepted the $15,000 from SkyCity and it didn’t show up in his accounts.”

    I wonder if this is a standard US corporate ploy where a less than socially desirable outfit fund both campaigns but do so in a way that the candidate they want to win is left better off. By funding their right leaning candidate in a way that it won’t show up, but funding the left leaning candidate in a way that it will show up; either their candidate gets in, or the other candidate can easily be smeared, presented as a hypocrite, and eventually voted out so that their candidate can push through favourable policies (for the company doing the funding).

    The company comes up smelling like roses since they can say they were just sponsoring the democratic process.

  6. Bunji 6

    Some more figures:

    Spending cap for last 3 months: $579,560

    Brown – $581,900 spent in total (edit: donated in total – and presumably mostly spent)
    $499,000 anonymous
    $390,761 spent in last 3 months
    237,487 votes

    Colin Craig – $569,321 spent in total – with no donations declared (entirely self-funded?)
    42,598 votes

    Banks – $948,937 spent in total (edit: donated in total – and presumably mostly spent)
    $624,012 anonymous or with no name attached (apparently different…)
    $87,000 his own money
    $554,958 spent in last 3 months
    171,542 votes

    edit: donations only include those of $1000 and over

    • AndyB 6.1

      please change that to:

      banks – declared $948,937 in donations and $554,958 spending

      not $948,937 spent. never get a miss-truth get in the way of a good story huh?

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        What happened to that $394K surplus?

      • Bunji 6.1.2

        I believe I’ve got $554,958 spent in last 3 months (ie “the electoral period”) – there was a lot of advertising and spending going on 1 year in advance of the elections. Those massive billboards he had up for the whole year don’t come cheap. Bill Ralston’s services probably don’t either…

        And this was the man who gave up his Auckland mayoral salary to pay for his own political adviser (like that was a great benefit to the ratepayers of Auckland).

        You don’t donate $87k to your own campaign to cover a surplus.

        • AndyB 6.1.2.1

          cheers … didn’t mean to sound too cocky, apologies. i was just going off the herald article that stated the spending caps so i initially thought you deliberately misrepresented the figures for effect.

          hate banksie, he is far too cocky for his own good. so more than happy for him to be gone. i just wish the right had come up with a better candidate. never mind … next time.

      • lprent 6.1.3

        I’ll let bunji change it or argue it when he sees it.

        But it is an interesting question that because of the funding limits we will probably never know – how much was actually spent.

        But the nett effect is also pretty clear at least for this election. The amount of money spent on the Auckland 2010 in total is just outright crazy. The dollars per vote cast in the mayoral race is also crazy. Buying votes did not work.

        However this was an exceptional election. People were a wee bit pissed from both the right, left, and everywhere else about Rodney and NACT’s idiotic super-city scheme that ignored the wishes of Aucklanders. The gerrymander didn’t work largely because voters deliberately voted against it.

        You can see why Rodney is pissed. It shows him as being an incompetent politician who couldn’t carry the voters with his great idea – he tried to jam them into his preferred straightjacket and they subverted the design . But it was rather obvious that Rodney was better in opposition than government before this fiasco.

        • Herododus 6.1.3.1

          At least we are not here yet …
          From a business sense I would love to see the financial feasibilty to justify these spends. There must be some money for Senators/Congress positions.
          Unfortunately we set the rules and political parties just display contempt.. remember 2005 pledge card or GST issues anyone ???
          Easiest way to comply with the rules … have none, but that creates other issues.
          Another problem no matter who is inpower, justy watch CYPs, action against violence etc on TV adds. Displaying an indirect message to the public by the govt. look at what we are doing for society and you… we care. the spend on govt depts in the last few election years has increased. Actions like this are not counted but do give the incumbent govt an advantage.
          http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/535566/Money-for-Nothing%3A-Whitman,-Fiorina-and-McMahon-Burn-Nearly-$200M

  7. bobo 7

    Not the best judgement from Brown accepting the 15k I agree… But Wodney is laughable trying to kick up over this with his track record on rorting and dishonesty.

    • TightyRighty 7.1

      the 15k is nothing. It’s the 3375 from the Events centre, whose staff then go on to have positions on CCO’s despite the fact they operated at a stupendous losss.

      • bobo 7.1.1

        Wodneys just pissed off his powergrab for Auckland backfired or maybe he wants a position on a CCO after the next election if he doesn’t get back in? Surely he is planning for his life after ACT with a mini-me on the way?

        • George.com 7.1.1.1

          Maybe Rodney should perhaps spent his time ensuring Ministers and Ministers use tax payer subsidised flights correctly. Maybe break his silence over what looks, on face value, to be misconduct with government spending. I wonder why Rodney isn’t referring thisto the auditor-general. 9 letter word beginning with H and ending in Y with a C in the middle?

  8. Graeme 8

    who owns lenny?

  9. Carol 9

    DF is just on Mora’s afternoon RNZ show, saying he’s been on the case trying to find out Brown’s “secret” funding…huh?! Did I miss where DF has been trying as hard to get NAct to be more transparent about their funding/trusts etc?

    Oh, and DF is saying if Brwn is not careful he will end up with a brand of secrecy….. and yet NAct out does all that & more on secrecy & lack of transparency. Come on, Mora, where’s your scrutiny of DF on this?

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      Though to be fair, he did come right out and say that the Waitemata Trust is a bloody dodgy look both for the donors and the National party and that no one can be sure whether or not the National Party introduces various bits of legislation in return for Waitemata trust donations. He didn’t say national actually do this policy for cash business, but he flat out said it’s a possibility and that no one can know fer sure and that them thar Waitemata trust is dodgy as all hell.

      Well, he didn’t say it as such, but he totes implied it pretty directly but possibly by accident.

  10. Sanctuary 10

    Why do you bother with listening to nMora? He is an intellectually lazy and smug bastard who does all his research on kiwiblog, and although he frequently calls on David Farrar he consistently fails to reveal Farrar’s extensive political connections to the National party and government- an omission of Mora’s which to my mind amounts to an oging, deliberate attempt to deceive and mislead his audience.

    Recently, Mora got very aggresive very quickly when challenged by Gordon Campbell about his biases and right wing spin. His aggressive reaction to being challenged (typical of fundys like Mora) told me everything I needed to know about how thin his affable veneer is before his deep and nasty prejudices are exposed, and how deliberate is his propagandizing on his show, and I’ve simply stopped listening to his bullshit.

    • TightyRighty 10.1

      how do you feel about kim hill?

    • Carol 10.2

      I don’t listen to him that often these days – usually only when I’m interested in his guests. But this arvo I was listening to him in the car on the drive home from the train station. Have switched off since as I can’t be bothered with these guests. But DF’s biases were sooooo glaring.

  11. Rodel 11

    The main thing is that awful Banks person got wasted.
    It’s not right, but boy as an Auckland resident I’m sooooo glad!

  12. Jeremy Harris 12

    What a ridiculous apologists post, the leftist post you were looking for was:

    This stinks

    After the 2005 election, public outrage over the National Party’s habit of laundering their donations through a secret trust boiled over. The result was the Electoral Finance Act, which (among other things) broke the veil of secrecy around trusts, forcing those who transmit donations to political parties and candidates to identify who they are transmitting them for. While the Act has been repealed, this rule was retained, politicians accepting that the higher degree of transparency was required to retain public confidence in the political system.

    Except it wasn’t just national-level politicians playing these games. There have also been problems with trusts in local body politics. In Christchurch, Mayor Bob Parker laundered his donations through a trust, granting secrecy to his donors. Given the secretive way he has run the council, and the dodgy property deals it has engaged in under his watch, we cannot be sure that they are not getting payback. Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast and Hamilton mayor Bob Simcock did likewise. In Palmerston North, Mayor Jono Naylor tried to do the same, but was thwarted when someone leaked his secret donor list. It turned out that his primary donor was a wealthy property developer, and that he had already received his payback in the form of a significant planning change, without the conflict of interest being declared. Preventing that sort of corruption is exactly why we require donations to be disclosed in the first place.

    And now, Auckland Supermayor Len Brown has joined the club, laundering almost half a million – 80% of his total – through a trust to hide the identity of his donors. The result is that we do not know who he his beholden to, and what council decisions he should be stepping aside from to avoid the perception of corruption. And this is simply not acceptable.

    (John Banks did the same, BTW, so we’d be having this conversation regardless of who had won).

    Politicians have accepted that the age of laundered donations is over. Its time we applied the same rules to local body politics. We have a right to know that our local government decisions are above board and free of corruption. And we cannot do that as long as there are large secret donors, their identities protected by trusts.

    http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2010/12/this-stinks.html

    I don’t often agree with I/S but at least he’s consistent… The outrage is the donation from the events theatre, not much better than theft and outright corruption that…

  13. Logie97 13

    Now let’s see what big projects Len could have been tainted with.
    There’s the The Rapid Rail business – Tranz Metro flushed with cash??? Construction companies??? How about a Chinese Hovercraft Company???

    Nah, don’t think so.

    What about planning approval for Mega-Churches. Flipping hell. Might be something there. A few of their Pastors are flushed with the folding…

    • Herododus 13.1

      For those you think that it was Ok as both Banks and Brown were given funds thru anomalous sources. Now every non notified resource consent, developments that are against town planning rules could be inferred to have special treatment. The same would be applicable to Banks.
      How do we not know in future when cases (as linked below arise) and questions are asked. For 99+% of the cases there is nothing sinister, and even the 1% is most probably not connected, yet there is always that doubt, and this is where anomalous sourced funds have issues- it destroys peoples confidence in the system. 🙁
      And good on idiot/savant for calling it as it is, and not excusing anyones actions like some !!!
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/auckland-city-council/news/article.cfm?o_id=13&objectid=10615791

      [lprent: Corrected one wee typo. I don’t think you meant to say that I/S was a goon 🙂 ]

  14. Irascible 14

    When I see that J Lee-Ross is at the bottom of the scandal whipping and that R Hide is joining in the chorus I smell a huge rat. This campaign funding attack on Len Brown is but a continuation of the baseless “credit card scandal” that Quax & Ross were behind at the beginning of the campaign.
    I wonder if there are any connections between Lee-Ross and Pansy that might lead one to suspect that this is a NACT diversionary tactic to divert the media from Wong-gate??

  15. tc 15

    mmmm that’s the smell of fear rising in NACT land as their attempt to engineer a right wing council to match their supercity model failed miserably and the consequences could be very telling in next years election.

    Interesting to see Cameron Brewer grandstanding on some art deco buildings in St Heliers the former council (JBanks’s council) have given a developer a green light to demolish…..good luck with that Cameron who you gonna blame this time ?

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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    6 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    6 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    7 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    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 How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
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