Written By: - Date published: 2:22 pm, March 29th, 2015 - 25 comments
Steven Joyce is adamant that Northland was unique and what it really needed was improved infrastructure such as roads and broadband. Joyce has a narrow, blinkered view of the world. Sadly the election defeat didn’t remove his blinkers or open his eyes to look at Northlands real needs.
Written By: - Date published: 4:01 pm, March 3rd, 2015 - 25 comments
The development of new knowledge and technology is growing at a faster rate than ever before and successful businesses generally have to remain at the cutting edge of their industries to survive. But National likes the obsolete extractive industries from early last century.
Written By: - Date published: 5:51 pm, February 20th, 2015 - 136 comments
Politics involves competition, opposition and robust debate as parties jostle to capture media time and to promote their policies and points of difference. But Andrew Little has recently mismanaged his relationship with the Green Party. There is an acceptable line between promoting the interests of ones own party and maintaining a working relationship with future coalition partners.
Written By: - Date published: 7:16 am, September 27th, 2014 - 63 comments
bspout at Local Bodies was well up on the Greens list, but as the Greens only got 10%, he didn’t get into parliament. But as he says, with Labour navel gazing and NZ First lacking experience, the greens are currently the only effective opposition at present.
Written By: - Date published: 9:41 am, August 13th, 2014 - 10 comments
Dave Kennedy (bsprout) looks at the increasingly parlous current state of the smaller parties. He is also looking forward to the Green party campaign launch this weekend in Auckland. Updated with Green campaign launch details.
Written By: - Date published: 9:11 pm, August 8th, 2014 - 24 comments
Poverty deniers are also adamant that the ‘relative’ poverty that may exist has been flatlining for some time and the best way of stopping poverty is just getting people into work. They ignore the fact that 40% of children living in poverty have at least one parent in full-time employment.
Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, July 31st, 2014 - 26 comments
This National led Government is strong on ideology, weak on process and reluctant to accept responsibility. The Novopay debacle exemplifies all of these well. When questioned about Novopay, National Ministers will never accept full responsibility. Stephen Joyce has just announced that the Government will be taking over the management of Novopay after almost two years of stress and wide-ranging issues. No matter what National and its Ministers claim, Novopay is largely their fault, and taking responsibility and making apologies are not what this Government does readily.
Written By: - Date published: 12:28 pm, July 28th, 2014 - 7 comments
The National led Government are desperate to present the good news stories to promote the success of the past six years of their governance. They have increased the budget and the numbers of their spin doctors to ensure that it is mainly positive messages that make into the public domain. The Government cleverly manipulates data to hide the extent of poverty the degradation of the environment and the success of our economy. Of course most of us who live in the real world know that National’s reality is a falsely constructed one.
Written By: - Date published: 3:16 pm, July 3rd, 2014 - 42 comments
A young woman was attacked in her own home by a Malaysian diplomat. He attempted to rape her. Despite Malaysia being prepared to have the diplomat tried in New Zealand the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade suggest that Malaysia may use diplomatic immunity and have the man returned home. The relationship with Malaysia was […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, June 30th, 2014 - 76 comments
In the 1980s and early 90s the wisdom of the day dictated that our Kiwi banks were unsustainable. The buyout by Aussie banks saw huge profits and dividends head across the ditch. Russel Norman revealed an unhealthy relationship between our Reserve Bank and Westpac in an ongoing relationship that hadn’t been tendered for. This will now be tendered for and now there is a possibility for kiwi bank to win the tender. It’s about time we restored some real competition and brought more of our banking home!
Written By: - Date published: 1:44 pm, June 28th, 2014 - 3 comments
In 2004 Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald made a speech about the Public Finance (State Sector Management) Bill. Ten years later the State Sector is still not an equitable employer. Pakeha men have done considerably better over the ten years than any other demographic and this is despite the fact that for many years now females have been out performing males academically. Women still earn less relative to their qualifications than men. There is some hope that a future Green/Labour coalition may finally address the issue.
Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 23rd, 2014 - 8 comments
I had a conversation at our farmer’s market this morning about how my election campaign was going and the person I was speaking to had the view that all politicians don’t actually do much, apart from talking. I find that this thinking is actually fairly common, many people talk about the nonsense that goes on in Parliament and how all politicians are as bad as each other, “It doesn’t matter who you vote for, nothing really changes.” I find this view really frustrating, but at the same time I can see why people may feel this way.
Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, June 20th, 2014 - 25 comments
We all know from reading Nicky Hager’s The Hollow Men (or watching the documentary) that the National Party actually advocates for a small section of society. Their policies rarely support most New Zealanders and after each period of a National led Government we have costly messes like leaky buildings and dead miners as the aftermath. This isn’t to say that Labour shouldn’t take responsibility for not repealing dodgy legislation, but National has always stood for less regulation, fewer protections for workers and the environment and an upward flow of money to the already rich.
Written By: - Date published: 12:38 pm, June 16th, 2014 - 49 comments
There is a false perception that free trade agreements are vital to our economy. Our open borders may make us the 3rd easiest country to do business in but that doesn’t mean that is an economic advantage, it actually exposes us to exploitation and is one of the reasons why our Current Account deficit is one of the largest in the OECD. The real fear should not about the loss of FTA’s but the real consequences of having them in the first place.
Written By: - Date published: 10:20 am, April 24th, 2014 - 26 comments
Local Bodies provides this interesting comparison on John Key compared to some of the more ethical leaders of our past. Suffice it to say that the ever forgetful John Key doesn’t measure up to past standards. He is really only distinguished the his sustained level of pathetic mediocrity.
Written By: - Date published: 11:18 am, April 17th, 2014 - 8 comments
We now have a Ministry of Education that is under the beck and call of the Minister, and where political ideology determines policy, and shortly we will have a new Teachers Council that will be governed only by political appointees. Under a National led Government, teachers will lose any professional independence and become classroom technicians that have to support politically prescribed programmes and data collection. Anyone want a career in teaching?
Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, April 7th, 2014 - 24 comments
Gamble Big’ rather than ‘Think Big’ should be this National Government’s mantra.Opening up huge areas of our land and territorial waters for open slather oil and gas exploration is a gamble on so many levels. When many countries like Denmark are actively chasing a sustainable, clean energy future, this government is throwing all its hopes on a big strike of fossil fuel.
Written By: - Date published: 3:11 pm, March 27th, 2014 - 20 comments
In 2008 New Zealand was internationally ranked in the top seven for educational achievement, and when you compared us with other countries that were also culturally diverse and were experiencing growing inequality we were extremely successful. A National led Government was elected and New Zealand’s public education system came under heavy attack… Hekia Parata continues this.
Written By: - Date published: 10:36 pm, March 18th, 2014 - 35 comments
The crazy thing about Gerry Brownlee is that he is so incompetent because he never seems to study anything that he is responsible for. On Monday, Local Bodies wrote about his current burst of illiterate and untutored whining and blowhard posturing about roads. And yet people on the inside of the National party appear to rate him? What does that say about their competence?
Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, March 13th, 2014 - 35 comments
Dave Kennedy (aka bsprout) at Local Bodies is the Green candidate for Invercargill. He posted this on Monday in response to Josie Pagani’s pundit post. It is on the preparedness of the Green party for this election It got overshadowed in the news cycle by burst of corrupt stench of self-entitled elitist behaviour from National, but is worth reposting anyway. It is going to be interesting to look at this election campaign where National is fighting two large parties on the left.
Written By: - Date published: 4:24 pm, March 8th, 2014 - 34 comments
This National led Government has seriously mismanaged things and is desperate to hide the true effects of its governance over the last five years. I half suspect many of the retiring National MPs are jumping ship because they don’t want to be around when the proverbial hits the fan. National have carefully constructed showy facades that hide flimsy realities
Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, February 27th, 2014 - 18 comments
When John Key announced the Government’s plan of spending a whopping $359 million on education it was received with a sort of stunned incredulity. The problem is that few conservative governments understand education and the value of professional knowledge and the treatment of the Christchurch schools revealed a total disregard of the importance of communities.
Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, February 18th, 2014 - 28 comments
Local Bodies looks at some (very cool) solar installations and the Greens solar policy. We are now seeing a stark contrast between a Government desperate to support the status quo of increasing charges and large company profits, while the future focussed Greens are truly progressive in their thinking.
Written By: - Date published: 3:33 pm, February 14th, 2014 - 6 comments
Local bodies makes points about the changes in the school system over the years. The nett effect over decades has been to force the inter-generational inequality that a good school system is meant to prevent. The type of school system that this government favours appears to be designed to remove the opportunities for those whose parents aren’t lucky. Is it time to start again?
Written By: - Date published: 12:31 pm, January 8th, 2014 - 170 comments
The Southland Times devoted the whole of the front page to celebrate Shell’s decision to do some exploratory drilling in the Great South Basin. The best scenario will be that they discover a sizable gas field similar to the one in Taranaki. Then royalties we will get are only 5% of the value of what is sold, almost 40% less than the OECD average AND we will have to pay full commercial rates to have any of it ourselves. The worst case scenario…. Well that is really bad and has no effective cover
Written By: - Date published: 3:27 pm, January 29th, 2013 - 87 comments
Reprinted with permission, from Dave Kennedy (bsprout) at Local Bodies.
Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, November 26th, 2012 - 49 comments
Reprinted with permission from Local Bodies. See also the anonymous editorial in The Herald today – written no doubt by some genius who has never even looked at Dr Joy’s data, let alone understood its implications.
Written By: - Date published: 1:25 pm, October 16th, 2012 - 7 comments
Dave Kennedy (bsprout) at Local Bodies writes on crime statistics and the vulnerable in our society.
Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, September 24th, 2012 - 85 comments
Reprinted with permission from Dave Kennedy (bsprout) at Local Bodies. “While National Standards has cost around $60 million to force onto schools many programmes designed to address the causes of underachievement have been under resourced or cut altogether.”