Written By: - Date published: 11:50 pm, December 11th, 2010 - 31 comments
National, under the direction of Gerry Brownlee, continue to abuse parliamentary procedure and make bad law. They tried to ram 12 bills through on Thursday, resulting in them sitting under urgency until Saturday night. There is no proper oversight, no thinking through the possible problems with bills, and far too little chance for the public to have their say. We have procedure for a reason…
Written By: - Date published: 8:58 pm, October 23rd, 2010 - 105 comments
After days of trying to read the media and rumour mill tea-leaves on the Hobbit it was time to do some fact checking.
It turns out this has been a hard lesson in how the international film industry works.
Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, October 8th, 2010 - 28 comments
The Christchurch earthquake required the suspension of democracy nationwide for 18 months. But Key had time to take a week in Hawaii. And the Social Development Minister is able to go off on a ‘study’ holiday in the US. And Gerry Brownlee, who needed all those powers to rush through laws, has spare time to intervene in The Hobbit dispute.
Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, October 7th, 2010 - 9 comments
A tailings dam in Hungary has burst. Toxic sludge over 16 square miles has killed four. If the sludge, laden with heavy metals and radioactive elements, makes it into waterways including the Danube the disaster will magnify. If Brownlee had his way, our countryside would be covered in tailings dams as miners plunder our national parks.
Written By: - Date published: 7:40 am, September 26th, 2010 - 20 comments
In the aftermath of the twin towers, the dust that accompanied their collapse gave rise to a health crisis in the medium/long term that continues to play out to this day. And given the prevalence of asbestos in Christchurch buildings, it just might be that the earthquake will result in a number of preventable deaths after all…
Written By: - Date published: 1:03 pm, September 21st, 2010 - 12 comments
Jeremy Harris has created a facebook group calling for the End of the Reign of Gerry Brownlee.
Join quick before he bans it.
Written By: - Date published: 8:07 am, September 21st, 2010 - 29 comments
On Thursday, our new dictator Gerry Brownlee decreed by Order in Council that the following Acts of Parliament were amended: the Building Act, the Local Government Act, the Resource Management Act, various pieces of transport legislation, and the Civil Defence Act. Most of the changes deal with minutiae of government. Some are less innocuous.
Written By: - Date published: 1:22 pm, September 16th, 2010 - 32 comments
The Gerry Brownlee Enabling Act is a Dictator’s Charter, and all we can do is hope Brownlee doesn’t abuse it. Even the Herald is against the unwarranted and excessive powers that have been conferred on one man with no meaningful checks or balances. This isn’t about Left or Right but too many on the Right seem happy with unfettered State power.
Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, September 15th, 2010 - 151 comments
The Canterbury Earthquake Response and Recovery Act gives the Government the power to pass Orders in Council overriding nearly every law. That makes ministers, not Parliament, the sovereign power in this country. Scary stuff, which I haven’t seen justified by the facts of the quake recovery.
Written By: - Date published: 2:38 pm, August 7th, 2010 - 10 comments
After half a government term of insisting that NACT had an economic plan, it has been ‘misplaced’. The full plan, said by informed sources to have been found in a brief case (along with a pie and a men’s magazine) and written on the back of an old rental expenses claim form, reveals that the government expects significant economic development will be lead by the construction of a single national transport infrastructure, namely a National Cycleway.
Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, August 7th, 2010 - 41 comments
Herald political editor John Armstrong has slammed National’s “arrogant” behaviour in Parliament saying it verges on “being a disgrace to itself and the institution”. This is incredibly strong language from a senior journalist. It is the result of a government which is undermining democratic accountability in Parliament by lying and obfuscating in answer to opposition questions.
Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, July 28th, 2010 - 95 comments
Closing the wage gap with Australia was one of National’s key promises in the leadup to the 2008 election, but the Dom Post reports today that the wage gap has grown by another $40 a week under National’s watch.
Can we stop pretending now that National ever really had a plan to close the wage gap?
Written By: - Date published: 12:25 pm, July 24th, 2010 - 10 comments
No Right Turn had an interesting post on National’s Energy Strategy or more correctly a general lack of it yesterday.
Yesterday the government released its Draft New Zealand Energy Strategy [PDF] for consultation. So, how does it compare with Labour’s 2007 version? The difference is easy to spot. Labour’s energy strategy was about shifting to a sustainable, low-emissions energy infrastructure. National’s is about finding oil.
Written By: - Date published: 11:34 am, July 23rd, 2010 - 6 comments
Another gem from Tom Scott.
Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, July 22nd, 2010 - 23 comments
We’ve seen the last minute back down on mining after tens of thousands of Kiwis stood up, we’re seeing a growing tide of anger as Kiwis realise that all our work rights and wages are for the chop.. but one policy that has avoided public criticism on the level it is getting from within the industry is Gerry Brownlee’s mad electricity reforms.
Written By: - Date published: 2:28 pm, July 20th, 2010 - 48 comments
Well done Kiwis! A rousing show of solidarity and strength has forced the Nats to back down from their plans to mine Schedule 4 land. We have preserved some of the most precious places in our country for future generations. This is a straight craven backdown driven by Key’s relentless need to remain Mr Popular. But whatever the reason – its the right result!
Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, July 19th, 2010 - 18 comments
Today we should find out the fate of Schedule 4 – the precious Department of Conservation land that Key put up for mining. RNZ reports that the Cabinet are looking at the proposal today…
Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, July 6th, 2010 - 12 comments
There are a lot of risks New Zealand will face when more deeper water off-shore oil exploration goes ahead. The more you look, the greater the risks appear. Brownlee and the crazies at the MED don’t look like they know what a risk assessment is. Consequently they’re getting screwed. Perhaps they should read Gordon Campbell…
Written By: - Date published: 12:16 pm, June 30th, 2010 - 18 comments
Every night before they go to sleep, good little Labour and Green spin doctors pray for another headline involving Gerry Brownlee. The guy has an amazing tin ear for public opinion. He’s had 50,000 people march against his mining plans and, now, he’s made a Treaty breach over the one area of foreshore and seabed that was settled. Gerry, you’re a godsend.
Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, June 22nd, 2010 - 14 comments
The New York Times has a excellent article on the failure of the last line of defense on the sunken Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Even as they are lambasting the regulatory framework that allowed the failure to happen, I’m looking at it and seeing how pathetic our regulatory framework is by comparison. Somehow I don’t think that Gerry Brownlee is capable of making it better.
Written By: - Date published: 12:48 am, June 18th, 2010 - 34 comments
Solid Energy chairman John Palmer has suggested that a partial sale of the SOE could be on the cards. John Key has backed down on every time when he has been challenged on whether he would ever sell a specific asset. We now have permanent promises that Kiwibank and NZPost will never be sold, in full or in part. Someone should ask him if he’s ever going to sell Solid Energy.
Written By: - Date published: 11:19 am, June 14th, 2010 - 19 comments
The Deep Horizon oil spill drags on and on and the estimates of the daily leak keep growing. The oil industry has proven itself incapable of plugging an oil well leak in deep water. Yet the government is pushing ahead with deep sea drilling a disturbingly dismissive attitude towards what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico and could happen here.
Written By: - Date published: 11:55 pm, June 10th, 2010 - 100 comments
McCully and Groser put their drinking habits on the taxpayer bill. Jones charged his own, um, habit. Carter played far too loose. All broke the rules. Carter and Jones paid the money back eventually. Groser and McCully better soon.
I say we deserve better. And if one’s gotta go, they’ve all got to go. Goff, Key, which one of you is going to set the standard? Sack ’em all.
Written By: - Date published: 7:47 am, June 3rd, 2010 - 39 comments
Fresh from a stinging rebuke from the public over mining, Gerry must have hoped he was on to a winner with the announcement of offshore oil exploration. But of course the timing could hardly be worse, with an environmental catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. The Greens are right to call for a moratorium until the industry proves that it has the ability to rapidly and effectively deal with leaks.
Written By: - Date published: 2:26 pm, May 15th, 2010 - 9 comments
The United Nations declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. They have stated ‘It is a celebration of life on earth and of the value of biodiversity for our lives.’ National has taken up the cause wholeheartedly in a variety of weird ways. They seem hell bent on enacting policies that will do nothing but destroy biodiversity in the name of the economic growth.
Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, May 15th, 2010 - 20 comments
You sometimes have to wonder about headline writers sometimes (including myself). But take a look at this one from Bloomberg.com, a site with a focus on investment. Windmill Boom Curbs Electric Power Prices for RWE RWE AG is a power utility and wind farm operator in Germany. The reason that they’re getting reduced prices for […]
Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, May 10th, 2010 - 11 comments
If, as seems increasingly likely, the Government drops its plans to desecrate the best of schedule 4 land, will it be cause for celebration? In a word, no. Kathy at Greenpeace weblog examines Brownlee and his wet dreams
Written By: - Date published: 12:04 pm, May 9th, 2010 - 37 comments
As a NIWA vessel heads out to investigate the mineral potential of seamounts, Gerry Brownlee says: “We have no plans whatsoever to prospect offshore”. The truth is, Brownlee has already given underwater mining the go ahead. Back in February, Brownlee issued a permit to Widespread Portfolios for prospecting 4,700 sqkm of the Chatham Rise.
Written By: - Date published: 3:27 pm, May 4th, 2010 - 28 comments
In 2000, Labour gave permission for two companies to carry out traditional gold-panning for tourism purposes on Schedule 4 land. National seems to think this is a great scandal. As if zero-impact gold-panning in rivers is comparable to gold cast mines and massive tailings lakes. They’re really getting desperate, aren’t they?