The Backlash Begins

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, April 28th, 2009 - 43 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack, national/act government, polls - Tags: , ,

democracy-under-attack1

We’ve been warning that John Key faces a backlash in Auckland if he doesn’t rein in Rodney Hide and present a democratic supercity structure instead of the rort that is on the table now. We’re starting to see it.

A poll out yesterday shows only 12% of people in Key’s own electorate support his government’s proposed structure. 72% prefer the Royal Commission’s structure. 34% supported the supercity and 47% opposed it altogether.

That compares to another poll released just last week that that had 43% against the supercity and 45% for it. Opposition is growing and, as we saw with the march in Waitakere last week and the hikoi to come, it is getting organised.

Initially, the supercity was taken by Aucklanders as an inevitablity and out of their hands (the government is spending big bucks on PR to keep them thinking that way) but as people wake up to the consequences of the Government’s version of the supercity they are turning against it.

Will Key do what’s necessary both for democracy and his government’s popularity: come up with a fair structure for the supercity and then take it to the people of Auckland to have the final say in a referendum? You’d hope so, but I can’t see it happening – Key is too weak to control Hide and, anyway, the Government’s goal is to install a unitary pro-business council over all of Auckland. Making the structure more democratic would defeat the purpose.

But Key’s also a pragmatist, and a pragmatist will only take so much damage before flip-flopping. The challenge for the Left now is to turn up the heat. How can we force Key into giving Aucklanders a democratic supercity and the right to have their say over whether it goes ahead?

[PS. It was amusing to hear rightwing nutjob and spin doctor Matthew Hooton on National Radio yesterday crediting “thestandard.co.nz” with starting the ball rolling on the referendum campaign. Cheers, Matthew, but No Right Turn and Gordon Campbell got in first. Also amusing to hear Hooton say “the political left is making a mistake if they think there is widespread Auckland opposition to the supercity”. Bugger the pollsters, eh?]

43 comments on “The Backlash Begins ”

  1. Zaphod Beeblebrox 1

    Not only that, the backlash is beginning within the National Party. Paula Bennett rightly pointed that by eliminating the entire mechanism that delivers local projects and initiatives and delivering all power and technical expertise into the hands of a central bureaucracy, community projects and funding will in danger. Key’s answer was so vague that I can’t even remember what he said. It would interesting to hear what the National voting areas of Papakura and Rodney will think of being at the mercy of the Remuera wing.

  2. Scribe 2

    My gut feeling is that most people responding to the polls have very little idea of what National is proposing or what the Royal Commission’s recommendations were.

    As far as political interest goes, I’m probably in the top 5 per cent of people. I’ve hardly paid attention to this issue, despite living in Auckland. I find it hard to believe that the 95 per cent of people who are less interested in politics than I am have studied it in much detail.

    • sean 2.1

      so scribe, you must be against all democracy then. I mean if people can’t be trusted to decide on whether or not they like the government’s supercity, how can thye be trusted to elect a government to govern the whole country, administer the economy, pass complex laws and so on?

    • Lew 2.2

      Scribe,

      Of course, that’s the whole point of straw polls like this – to measure `gut reaction’. Considered or not, those are opinions which will have to be changed if Auckland governance isn’t going to become the bloodbath the opposition want. Or the policy needs changed, natch.

      L

    • Anita 2.3

      Scribe writes

      My gut feeling is that most people responding to the polls have very little idea of what National is proposing or what the Royal Commission’s recommendations were.

      In which case we can probably take the polls results to be “who do you trust more to have proposed the right thing”. Apparently in Helensville the answer is

      a) Key/Hide -12%
      b) A royal commission – 72%
      c) Neither/other – 16%

      Not exactly a massive show of support for Key and Hide’s judgement.

      • Scribe 2.3.1

        Anita/Lew,

        Fair points. But we align this poll result with the poll results released by TV3 on Sunday, which had Nats 56-33 (or thereabouts — working off memory). I don’t think this is going to be a “neutron bomb” for National.

        Also doubt it’ll be “gone by lunchtime”.

        • r0b 2.3.1.1

          I don’t think this is going to be a “neutron bomb’ for National.

          More like a case of radiation poisoning – a slower death. National have just stepped up to take personal ownership of everything that Aucklanders feel pissed off about for the foreseeable future.

  3. The Voice of Reason 3

    It’s interesting that you should speculate on the extent of Key’s power. Of course there is the possibility that Key has never had any actual power to begin with and he cannot meaningfully rein in Hide, English, Worthless etc. and he’s just a cheerful, empty headed puppet a la Sesame Street’s Guy Smiley. Electable, then ignorable.

    Or, my theory, that a caucus that large quickly develops its own internal opposition and Key already knows he doesn’t have the numbers to force a showdown on any major issue.

    Add in the difficulty of very publicly giving Rodders the job of ‘cleaning up’ local government and then having to stop him actually doing something substantial in the largest urban area and you’ve got a major PR headache for John Boy. No doubt Crosby/Testicle are working on a spontaneous soundbite to smooth over the cracks right now. City of Fails, anyone?

  4. gobsmacked 4

    Also amusing to hear Hooton say “the political left is making a mistake if they think there is widespread Auckland opposition to the supercity”.

    He’s probably right about Auckland. He just forgot about Waitakere and Manukau and North Shore and Rodney and Franklin and Tamaki Makaurau and so on.

    You can walk from Key’s home to Banks’ to Hide’s to Hooton’s to Ralston’s to pretty much any other cheerleader’s Auckland home – and not set foot in the other 90% of the region they want to govern.

  5. gingercrush 5

    I would be interesting to see how they phrased the questions in the Helensville electorate etc etc. Also 401 people doesn’t exactly sound like that many people polled. More importantly, one presumes the Waitakere council got Phoenix Research Ltd to conduct the poll for them.

    A total of 34 percent said they were in favour of the Government’s proposal, while 47 percent were not.

    Is one to presume from that percentage which seems much higher than Helensville and Waitakere that New Lynn and other electorates fared better? One would certainly be interested to see the whole polling and not mere aspects to it.

    —-

    I would say that I’m rather skeptical about some of these polls. I have no doubt there is genuine tension and concern about the Super City proposal. But these polls aren’t exactly providing clarity. And I certainly believe that community meetings and community protests provide much better clarity and actual opinion on the “Super City” than the polls are.
    As for you Voice of

    • The Voice of Reason 5.1

      “As for you Voice of …”.

      Go on Ginge, let me have it! Don’t leave me waiting. Or did you collapse, choking and spluttering on your outrage at my sensible contribution, only to have your spasming fingers fall on the send button as you went down?

      Come back, Ginge, don’t walk into the light. It’s not your time.

      • gingercrush 5.1.1

        I was going to write something about how your name <b.The Voice of Reason doesn’t actually represent you very well. Since when I hear such a name I think of someone moderate. Someone that isn’t stridently left or stridently right. But then I thought better of it, I just forgot to delete that part of the post.

        I’m trying to watch question time and read blogs at the same time.

        • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1.1

          Voltaire, Paine, Locke et al would show that:

          reason /= moderate
          reason /=passionless
          reason /=temperate

          Quite the opposite in fact. 😉

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox 5.1.1.1.1

            John Raulston Saul has some not so nice things to say about these three. Sounds like you have read it.

          • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1.1.2

            Nah I’ve not read it, but I think I know who you mean.

            I’m a fan of the first two dead white guys. Less so of the last, and don’t think much of the right hand side of the equations, at least if they are seen as ends.

        • The Voice of Reason 5.1.1.2

          Yeah, it’s ironic GC.

          I chose it because it sounds like the kind of handle a frothy mouthed racist might use when calling for the castration of immigrants/sending home of paedophiles etc. But actually, I am pretty reasonable for a wannabe stalinist apparatchik with crippling personality failings, a cheap suit and an over eager ego.

          It’s all a question of balance, as the mountain goat said to the falling man.

  6. GFraser 6

    To come back to Hooten on nine to noon, what about his comment about “the fantastic news that 250 people have lost thier jobs at the IRD” I am paraphrasing, but that was the guts of his statement.
    Also 250 people attended the meeting at Kelston Community Centre last night, great turn out at short notice.

  7. Anita 7

    Here is a linky to a more detailed set of survey results.

    • gingercrush 7.1

      Thanks Anita. I find it interesting that they split the questions.

      This question:

      In favour of government decision for new Auckland council?

      Its interesting that they ask about the government proposal for a super city and yet go on to ask a separate question about local boards. In favour of local boards or local councils
      . But rather than simply ask that question they actually split the answers so it isn’t a yes or no answer but rather whether you prefer six local councils, 20 or so community boards etc etc. There is no specific question on whether the idea of a Super-city is a good thing.

      To me the questions and how they designed them show that rather than really finding the opinions of Waitakere people. Instead, their sole purpose was to frame the questions so carefully that the poll was bound to oppose the Super-City. I think Waitakere actually does it own people a disservice. Particularly, when they opposed the six councils at one stage but now they want to go back to that?

      Poor polling I think and actually doesn’t find out the truth of the Super-City either.

      • lprent 7.1.1

        Yes, but there is actually support for the super-city idea (me for instance). We’ve had it for a long time in the ARA and ARC. Both have been too powerless to work on required infrastructure

        The issue is about the representation of the regions of Auckland, because if there is one thing this city is not, it is not homogeneous. The problem is that Hide’s proposal makes the representation too blocky at the councilor level with 12 wards across the whole city. It makes it ineffectual at the boards level because there are no effective powers or leverage on a council that will be elected by campaigning money getting name recognition.

        So the poll was correct to look at the actual gross outline proposals. That is what a referendum would also have to do.

        • gingercrush 7.1.1.1

          Why then did they not ask about the original Royal Commission views on the Super-City and whether they supported that?

          And I love how you criticise there being 12 wards across the whole city. Yet it was the Royal Commission that suggested the at-large councillors. And actually National/Act cut the number of at-large councillors and increased the number of ward councillors. Yet you are constantly attacking Key and Hide because they’re ignoring the Royal Commission. Something you are also doing. And something Phil Goff is doing. You cannot carp on about Key and Hide ignoring the Royal Commission when you yourself are doing so.

    • r0b 7.2

      Thanks Anita. Good to see you back btw.

  8. ripp0 8

    The challenge for the Left now is to turn up the heat. How can we force Key into giving Aucklanders a democratic supercity and the right to have their say over whether it goes ahead?

    Maybe now I’ll havbe time complete something I ‘lost’ yesterday on the way through.

    You folks might recall one of the enduring catch cries that every Independence Day (July 4) produces — No Taxation Without Representation.

    Borrowing from this I’d suggest a distinct possibility could arise out of, say: — No Rates Without Representation..

    Only a suggestion… payment being the performance of obligation in this case… but with a recession/depression scenario payment nonetheless requiring considerably more than its former obligation/s… alternatively paying ‘more’ for less is just not on, so to speak..

    • Lew 8.1

      Referenda, rate strikes – is there any plebiscite mechanism to which people won’t appeal when it suits them?

      L

  9. I’d still like to specifically see what Labour and the Greens would propose as an alternative. I’ve said many times before that I have issues with aspects of both what the Royal Commission came up with and the changes to that proposal made by government.

    What I would like to see would be Labour and the Greens come up with how they’d do things. Give the public an alternative. Back local councils with real power and having all councillors elected from wards.

    Come on…. have a bloody opinion on the matter that goes beyond “we should have a referendum”. Not that I oppose that idea, I just want to know what they’d do differently.

    • ripp0 9.1

      I’ve said many times before that I have issues with aspects of both what the Royal Commission came up with and the changes to that proposal made by government.

      excusez-moi jarbury, but when you talk of what the RC came up with, is that its final ‘solution’ or something else..? Have you considered how an answer to your question might well lie within the RC deliberations..?

  10. Zaphod Beeblebrox 10

    This process could be handled properly, but I would seriously doubt the competence of the Office of local government and its minister. The timeline is unachievable, given the scale of what is attempted, no accurate costings have been provided, no details of the mechanics of the Establishment Board have been provided and there appears no contingency of how to handle the inevitable political fallout. Judging by the quality and vagueness of the brochure that was sent out (all grey appears menacing not reassuring?), they will need to spend some serious PR money to win back support.

  11. Gareth 11

    The problem with the brewing fight is that people are just automatically decrying whatever is proposed due to the feeling of alienation from the process. The Government runs the real risk of having good proposals railed against and turfed out simply because they aren’t properly presented and consulted on.

    • lprent 11.1

      Exactly. That is why Rodney’s proposals were so bad. They took a process that had been worked on for 18 months, turfed it, and stuck in something largely different in a week or two.

      The backlash was inevitable and will steadily deepen the longer that Rodney attempts to push his own personal vision over the rest of us.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 11.1.1

        Kind of like the Iraq war and the response to 9/11. Use your inflexible ideology to drive a process. When it cannot cope with the complexity of the situation you then retreat into your bunker and deny what anyone else has to say. The longer it goes on the more cornered you become. The Commission was sort of like Colin Powell at the UN, good theatre but not much else.

        • Ford Prefect 11.1.1.1

          I concur.

          Good moniker by the way.

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox 11.1.1.1.1

            I’m impressed that someone remembers the book, read it in high school. BTW everyone should read chapter one, kind of sums up the situation we are talking about.

          • Dentarthurdent 11.1.1.1.2

            everyone should read chapter one, kind of sums up the situation we are talking about

            Quite.

      • Gareth 11.1.2

        And lprent, the thing is, I agree with some of the things he stuck in. I prefer lower-level community boards etc etc (with a whole bunch of caveats around ward alignment, funding and responsiblities) and would hate to see the structure opposed simply because the Gummint screwed up the way they approached it. Which I think is happening – I would wager that a good chunk of your reported opposition to the structure is actually an opposition to the approach.

  12. Tom Semmens 12

    The Achilles heel of right wingers is their assumption that they can fool all the people all the time. Grounded in a born to rule contempt for democracy, the like of Hooten will always think people are to stupid to worry their bovine heads about the details of the machinery of government.

    Most Aucklanders support the idea of the super city.

    Despite what Hooten and the Remuera CitRat mafia think, they are also able to recognise a naked grab for power by a nasty elite when they see it. Opposition to the super city is all about opposition to not so subtle power grab of a tiny self-appointed elite.

  13. hvillvoter 13

    I am sure if an election was held tomorrow in Helensville, Key would lose in a landslide to Darien Fenton. He is seriously out of touch with his electorate

  14. Pat 14

    401 were polled in Waitakere City. How many of them were from Helensville electorate? 150? 100? How many do you need for a poll to have credibility?

    Edit: Thanks to Anita, I see it was 100.

    • Anita 14.1

      I’m bad at margins of error, so someone should correct me 🙂

      Helensville has an estimated eligible voter population of 49,500, of whom 47,128 were enrolled on the 31st of March (source).

      Let’s use the estimate as, I assume, the polling company checked age etc but not enrolment status. So we’re looking at 100 of 49,500.

      Using the handy margin of error calculator we get +/- 9.79 at 95% confidence.

      The problem is that the calculation is based on a two option question where opinion is evenly split. Which is not true of these questions, so the margin of error will be greater than +/-9.79 at 95%. If anyone’s up for the necessary ugly calculation they should do it, it’s where my grasp of stats gets all dodgey, I know I can’t just scale out the no opinions, but i don’t know what I can do 🙂

      This calculator is pretty and allows you to figure out what sample size you’d need, but again it’s looking at a two answer question.

  15. Rodel 15

    Please don’t use the words Hooten and doctor in the same sentence even in the expression ‘spin doctor’. Doctor implies a modicum of intelligence.

  16. Rodel 16

    A ‘super-city’ dreamt up in Rodney Hide’s delusions and controlled by the spectre of John Banks? Are Aucklanders really that stupid?

    Better to rename it Actland the ‘stupor city’

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    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    6 days ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that 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 our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago

  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
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    6 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
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    1 week ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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