web analytics

The best you can hope for, after the Local Government elections

Written By: - Date published: 8:07 am, October 11th, 2016 - 55 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, auckland supercity, Economy, local body elections, local government, Politics - Tags:

Don’t get me wrong, I love idealists. I like boosters who tell me it’s not as bad for Progressives as things may appear. Utopians. Happy people. Party campaigners. Change the country. Win the battles. Love them all.

And then after we’ve finished campaigning in poetry, we have to govern in prose. So. The best you could hope for from local government. If all stars aligned. If politics wasn’t tricky and councillors were bold. If central government cooperated. If it wasn’t actually really hard.

I’m not going to comment on every local government. But.

The best thing to hope for in Whangarei is that they open that Hundterwasser museum inside three years. Just to stick it to to the bogan councillors who tried to kill it. And figure out how to reverse selling their pure water springs to multinationals. If I was hopeful.

Crikey the best thing you’ll get in Kaipara is any democracy at all. Maybe even, some time this century, a sewerage system. Somewhere. Anywhere.

In Auckland, the best thing to hope for is that Panuku develops thousands of new cheap flats to help the urban poor. With a good government. It’s a big ask in three years. But it’s slightly more possible to build than completing anything of note in transport inside three years except a cycleway or two.

The best thing you could see in Hamilton is that the Tainui master plan for the inland port together with all its housing development actually proceeds. Lots of houses, lots of jobs. Which really has nothing to do with the Council. That council is really just a client state of Fonterra, Gallaghers, and NZTA. Very little to hope for there really.

Tauranga, well, the best thing that Council could do is enable the city actually function like a city. Third biggest joint in the country. Yet nothing that says it’s grown beyond adolescence as far as the suburbanized eye can see.

The best thing to hope for in Gisborne is Meng Foon. Who is awesome. And maybe finds a way to get the rail line fixed again.

The utmost to hope for out of New Plymouth is firstly that the new local government legislation doesn’t gut its assets, again, and secondly that it manages to deliver its legal requirement to include Maori in decision making. Best of luck there. It’s actually the region with the most awe-inspiring civic landscaping in New Zealand, by a long way. Plus get to see The Specials at WOMAD.

The best thing to hope for in Wanganui is that they get a functioning sewerage system.

The best out of Horizons is that it holds true to its draft plan to limit dairy intensification around its river tributaries. Which will be quite a fight. Hopefully central government doesn’t step in like the ham-fisted fools they are.

The best to hope for out of Napier, Hastings and Hawkes Bay generally is that the regional council is held to account of every single water issue in the region. That the regional council actually does its freaking job. Which will take political unity and some guts from everyone around it. And would be the fight worth having in the open.

Out of Wellington, well, the best to hope for is some real unity between the regional government, NZTA, Wellington Council, and a few of the others. Auckland’s City Rail Link deal shows that government transport agendas can really be bent to local needs. It takes the will to fight and to win over many years. Beyond the dead merger referendum, form a common agenda and really pull the ear of central government to co-invest with you, not just building more billion-plus useless motorways to an airport that has almost no need for it. And build thousands of flats for people who can’t afford it; subsidy be damned.

Wait, the best thing to happen to Wellington is that the current government is thrown out. Naturally.

The best thing to happen in Nelson is … Nick Smith resigns and they get a decent MP. Plus, the price of apples holds up, craft beers continue to take off, and Abel Tasman National Park doesn’t turn into the world’s longest beachfront tourist toilet. Plus they build a functioning airport. Really it’s not that much to ask.

There’s actually a lot to hope for out of Christchurch. Mayor Dalziel’s promise to have 10,000 people living in the centre of the city to revise itself is bold and simple, and by God I hope she makes it, stars align, and citizens see a sniff of the inspiration that that king-sized idiot Gerry Brownlee just will never have. Precinct after precinct will open inside three years.

And for the Canterbury region the best to hope for is government appointees that respect the clear will of the voters to adopt strong green water management measures. No matter what Federated Farmers says. Or Nick Smith. Now that would be a principled political fight to have. I see hope.

The best thing to hope for in Oamaru is they understand that Alps to Ocean is about to do to them what the Otago Rail Trail did to Central. Boomers make the place go boom.

Out of Queenstown-Lakes, the best to hope for is Council becomes more than a client government of its own airport company. Get Council to exercise its Public Works Act functions to build some actual worker accommodation, rather than more stupid boondoggles like failed convention centres. It could happen. And get its tourist operators all together to stop appealing to cheap-ass package tour operators.

Hey Mackenzie, would it be too much to ask to have an actual sewerage system for the whole of Clyde? I mean seriously?

For Dunedin the upside is pretty high. Get the courts rebuilt, the waterfront warehouse revived, the hospital rebuilt, a couple of new hotels in the centre of town, debt repaid from its CCOs, and the albatrosses keep coming back. Maybe the Council could actually show that it’s really planning with its largest employer, the University of Otago, for the good of the city? Too much to ask?

The best thing to hope for in Southland is that the decline in population slows slightly due to their spectacularly successful economic development initiatives, and that Stewart Island and Fiordland get fewer but really rich tourists. And of course more food forests. Of course.

Apologies for the omissions. Put your own wish list in. Nothing too idealistic though. Can’t be too hopeful the other side of an election. Even with Labour or Labour-Green majorities in power. Government is hard, especially local government – disempowered, cranky, dependent, constrained, ridiculed, indebted – and you have to get your ceiling of possibility just right inside three years. So it’s good to keep it real as well as have aspiration.

Is this the best we can hope to see by October 2019?

55 comments on “The best you can hope for, after the Local Government elections”

  1. esoteric pineapples 1

    I think Hundterwasser is a massively over-rated artist. He is a poor version of Art Noveau’s Antoni Guadi. Whereas Guadi brought all the elements of colour and form into a beautiful and original cohesive whole where the sum was greater than the parts, Hundterwasser is more like a successful version of your enthusiastic amateur artist who is inspired to do mosaics after being inspired by Guadi, lots of enthusiasm but not much innate talent.

    Still probably a good idea to have a museum as it would attract lots of people who don’t know the difference (and there’s a lot of them) to Whangarei. If Hundterwasser was actually a very good artist, a museum of his art would ironically struggle to attract an audience.

    • Stuart Munro 1.1

      Do you mean Gaudi? I think Hundertwasser is more environmentally concerned, and concerned with individual creation of living spaces – it is a demotic approach.

    • RedLogix 1.2

      Yeah I don’t know the difference and will happily pay money to go to a Hundertwasser museum in Whangarei. I like accessibility in my art. And plenty of boobies.

      • Anno1701 1.2.1

        “And plenty of boobies.”

        +1 !!

        • McFlock 1.2.1.1

          in art they’re symbolic 🙂

          • Anno1701 1.2.1.1.1

            “in art they’re symbolic”

            still boobies tho…

            • McFlock 1.2.1.1.1.1

              nope, in art they are depicted in order to communicate vulnerability, honesty, caring, maturity, nourishment, and/or calm, depending on context.

              In derivative, insipid artworks they’re a cheap way to increase the sticker price.

              In erotica they’re “boobies”.

              • Anno1701

                “nope,”

                uhmm i pretty sure i know what a pair of tits looks like….

                • McFlock

                  Ah, but what do they mean?

                  Fun times or fibrillation? Solace or solitude? Violence or vulnerability?

                  That’s what makes it art 😉

  2. james 2

    “The best thing to hope for in Whangarei is that they open that Hundterwasser museum inside three years. Just to stick it to to the bogan councillors who tried to kill it.”

    Yep – the best thing the newly elected local government can do is to build something out of spite ignoring all the other things that could make Whangarei a better place to live and work.

    Of course – because you disagree with the councillors who have more exposure to the issues than yourself who decided not go forward with it – best we call them a name as well.

    • Anno1701 2.1

      yep because the one thing Whangarei is ABSOLUTELY gagging for is some art , I dontknwo how they have survived o far TBH

      I mean we all know ow much the working classes enjoy a bit of European Art with their Chardonnays..

      • Roflcopter 2.1.1

        Some of the best contemporary Māori artists are from up that way, you ignorant troll.

        • left_forward 2.1.1.1

          Yes, it would indeed be good if the Hundterwasser project actually did support the development of Māori and community visual arts in Northland, but that doesn’t appear to be central to the project – it’s been about a Hunderterwasser exterior so far, and little about what will go on inside the space. When you consider the recent canning of the very successful art education courses in Hokianga by Northtec (because they didn’t lead to ‘real’ jobs) it doesn’t bode too well.

        • Anno1701 2.1.1.2

          [deleted]

          [make a political point if you are going to abuse someone. And given current affairs, that gender-based abusive term is even less tolerated than usual – weka]

          • Anno1701 2.1.1.2.1

            affected, over-refined, and ineffectual.

            no longer capable of effective action

            better ?

            Although it appears

            “ignorant troll” is more than acceptable…

  3. Lanthanide 3

    So you had a post before the election, saying why everyone should vote, because the local council impacts on everyone’s daily lives so much. And now you have a post after the election, that basically says nothing much is going to change anywhere.

    • Siobhan 3.1

      Indeed.
      And this from a person who is politically engaged, knows the issues, knows the players, understands the game.

      No wonder the great unwashed don’t bother voting.

      Though to their credit, ADVANTAGE didn’t take part in yesterday’s conversation about online voting, which quickly deteriorated into a conversation about chopping off the little finger of anyone who didn’t vote.

    • Ad 3.2

      Kenny Rogers said don’t fall in love with a dreamer.

      • Anno1701 3.2.1

        “Kenny Rogers said don’t fall in love with a dreamer”

        he also dropped in to see what condition his condition is in

        mans a genius !

    • McFlock 3.3

      Small victories like sewage or museums are change for the better, and long term.

      I actually quite liked the post – the different issues for all the regions, and the small concrete achievements that we can demand of our elected officials in between the big hits like “living wage” policies.

      Improving lives isn’t just about realigning/erasing the monetary system or the entire employer/employee relationship. It’s also about sewage, and water, and art. Potholes and public transport. Things for which we can and should hold our elected representatives accountable, because the business associations sure as shit do it from their end.

      Frankly, the post struck me as being deceptively positive.

      • Lanthanide 3.3.1

        My point is that the previous article said we should all vote, because it impacts on our daily lives so much all the small things they have control over, like dog control laws and water quality etc.

        I replied by saying there was no argument as to why would should vote for candidate A over candidate B, because all candidates campaign on the same things – no one campaigns that they will do bad things in office. So it doesn’t really matter who we vote for either way.

        And now this post basically refutes the argument that the first post made, and confirms my reply – none of the small things identified like dog control laws or water quality will change as a result of the elections, the new councils can be assumed to do as good a job as the previous councils on all these points.

        If the previous post had said things like “In Kaipara you should vote for the person most likely to build you a sewerage system”, then fine. But it didn’t say that, it focussed on all the minutia that aren’t going to change anyway.

        And in any event, how do you actually know that someone who says they can build the sewerage plant better, can actually execute on that promise?

        • McFlock 3.3.1.1

          Look at the one about the Hundterwasser museum “Just to stick it to to the bogan councillors who tried to kill it”. So yeah, there is hope for a different outcome with different councillors.

          Not everywhere, by any means. But most councils have something that can be done better or differently.

          “And in any event, how do you actually know that someone who says they can build the sewerage plant better, can actually execute on that promise?”
          Well, that’s the eternal conundrum vor voters, and why you turn up to election meetings and look at the different candidates. It’s not perfect, but it lops off the half to a quarter of candidates who are either mad or bad. So you vote for someone who can do better than them.

          • Lanthanide 3.3.1.1.1

            “Look at the one about the Hundterwasser museum “Just to stick it to to the bogan councillors who tried to kill it”. So yeah, there is hope for a different outcome with different councillors.”

            So why write a post that says you should vote because local councils control dog park laws and drinking water?

            Why not write a post that says you should vote because local councils can build museums, or not?

            • McFlock 3.3.1.1.1.1

              Seriously?
              they’re all the same thing: local and frequently unglamourous issues that can significantly improve the lives portions of the local community. If the elected representatives choose to act in the interests of the community, rather than just the local elite (be it farmers or the local chamber of commerce).

            • Ad 3.3.1.1.1.2

              Walk. Chew gum. Amazing!

  4. weka 4

    Thanks for a post that understands the South Island exists Ad 😉

  5. KJT 5

    The Hundertwasser.
    A costly white elephant that the majority in Whangarei were against, for very good reasons.

    Now happening after a gerrymandered poll where the options were split to ensure the Hundertwasser would go ahead.
    A prime example of a few councillers determined to build a monument, against the majorities common sense assessment.

    And a waste of money that could have been used to build the town basin area up, with some excellent and original plans that we had some years ago, which would have made Whangarei a unique city. Showcasing the Pacific, Māori and local history.

    I rather like Hundertwassers art,. The small folly they are building is quit neat.

    But i am sure that the supporters of cladding an incongruous building Hundertwasser style, will not be paying for it’s inevitable loses when the thousands of extra tourists do not materialise

  6. As a Cantabrian and former ECan staff member, I am more interested in seeing how Nick Smith and John Key react to the ecologists that I and others voted for. We want our rivers back. Recreation contributes $1.7 billion to the New Zealand economy per annum and a significant bit of that comes from water based activities.

    It is true that there might be a prolonged drought ongoing that means some waterways are running lower than usual, but the 100% use of the known ground water resource is definitely not a natural thing. Nor is the degradation of water quality from cows crapping and peeing in them and in irrigation courses. The subsequent increase in nitrates is certainly not a natural thing.

  7. Penny Bright 7

    I shall be increasing the pressure for the LAW to be upheld regarding transparency in the spending of Auckland Council and CCO public monies on private sector consultants and contractors under s.17 of the Public Records Act 2005.

    What I expect Auckland Mayoral Phil Goff to do is to make the following information about spending on consultants and contractors available for public scrutiny on the front page of Auckland Council and CCO websites under ‘Procurement – Awarded Contracts’:

    * The unique contract number.

    * The name of the consultant / contractor.

    * A brief description of the scope of the contract.

    * The contract start / finish dates.

    * The exact dollar value of each and every contract.

    * How the contract was awarded – by direct appointment or public tender.

    The first step, in checking for cost-effectiveness in public spending, is to find out exactly where the costs fall.

    THIS is the first step ….

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-privatisation / anti-corruption Public Watchdog’

    [lprent: This is a central government issue as they are the people charged with changing this type of law. Normally I’d boot this to OpenMike. In this case, it is sort f on topic. So I’m putting it into tomorrow and at the end of this post’s comments to prevent it diverting the comments on this post too much. It should allow those who like arguing about legalities to talk about it, while making sure that people who want to talk about the actual substance of the post can see something less tedious and boring. ]

    • james 7.1

      Penny – I doubt Mr Goff will be listening to you very much at all.

    • Stunned Mullet 7.2

      Mad trout is still mad.

    • Lanthanide 7.3

      Why would anyone do work with the government, if the cost of their contract will be publicised to all their competitors?

      You know, “commercially sensitive” isn’t always just an umbrella term used as an excuse to hide information from the public.

      • Penny Bright 7.3.1

        errr…. because it’s the LAW?

        Public Records Act 2005

        http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345729.html

        17. Requirement to create and maintain records

        (1)Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.

        Kind regards

        Penny Bright

        ‘Anti-privatisation / anti-corruption Public Watchdog’

        • Sacha 7.3.1.1

          Sigh. For the benefit of new readers (and certainly not because Ms Bright is likely to listen this or any time), the PRA governs the *keeping* of records, not their release. That’s stipulated in the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA). Like the OIA, it contains exceptions for commercial transactions in some situations, for the reason Lanth has noted.

        • Lanthanide 7.3.1.2

          Please demonstrate how they are failing to comply with this law.

          • Penny Bright 7.3.1.2.1

            Seen this?

            This is the Select Committee Report of the Local Government and Environment Select Committee, in response to Petition 2014/33
            which I initiated.

            https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-nz/51DBSCH_SCR69296_1/924613ec7fb831c4e74bd062f73287ac2ceb5081

            The petitioner believes that the transparency of CCO operations would be improved if the Public Records Act 2005, specifically section 17 (Requirement to create and maintain records), was “implemented and enforced in a proper way”.

            The petitioner acknowledged that some Auckland CCOs have made progress towards providing more transparent information.

            She praised Watercare Services Limited for acting on some of her concerns.

            However, she says that more needs to be done.

            In particular, she believes that all Auckland CCOs should clearly and uniformly display information on their websites about the procurement of their awarded contracts.

            She suggests that the following standard information be made readily available to the public:

             the unique contract number

             the name of the consultant or contractor

             a brief description of the scope of the contract

             the start and finish dates for the contract

             the monetary value of the contract (including subcontractors)

             whether the contract was awarded by direct appointment or public tender.

            To require all CCOs to clearly display this information—given that, according to the petitioner, they are not classed as local authorities for the purposes of the Local Government (Rating) Act—the petitioner sees value in making minor legislative changes to one or more of the following Acts: the Local Government Act, the Local Government (Rating) Act, or the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009.

            We asked the petitioner whether she had tried using the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 to obtain information about contracts.

            The petitioner said that she has not received the level of information that she has requested.

            Usually, this is on the grounds that the information is commercially sensitive.

            The petitioner considers that this information should not be classed as commercially sensitive once a contract has been awarded.

            We note that CCOs are subject to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act and if people are dissatisfied with the information provided as a result of requests they should seek redress through the Ombudsman.

            Conclusion

            We would like to thank the OAG for its report on the governance and accountability of CCOs.

            The report provided us with useful information that helped us consider Ms Bright’s petition.

            We also would like to thank the petitioner for coming down from Auckland to speak to us about her petition.

            We agree that ratepayers should be able to easily access information about how public money collected through rates is spent.

            We support the petitioner’s plea for transparency and standardisation of the information that Auckland CCOs provide to the public.

            ….”

            Penny Bright

            ‘Anti-privatisation / anti-corruption Public Watchdog’

            • Lanthanide 7.3.1.2.1.1

              So no actual evidence that they aren’t complying with the law, merely that a select committee agrees with you that the law should be changed.

              • Sacha

                “The petitioner believes” – is all they can politely say about that loopy argument.

                “We support the petitioner’s plea for transparency and standardisation of the information that Auckland CCOs *provide to* the public.” – which relies on using the LGOIMA, not the PRA. Nowhere do the select committee agree with changing the latter law, because they are smarter than that.

                • Lanthanide

                  True, but they also said this:
                  “We agree that ratepayers should be able to easily access information about how public money collected through rates is spent.”

      • KJT 7.3.2

        If you take on a public contract paid for by rate/tax payers, why should the cost be secret?
        Don’t your employers have a right to know what they are paying?

        That is an invitation for corruption.

        • Sacha 7.3.2.1

          It is hard to get the best price for contracted work if you release previous ones. That means poorer use of public money.

          You may be correct about the trade-off between that and corruption, but it’s a basis for the current setup. Some of this stuff goes back to Michael Bassett’s local government changes which reflect the tenor of his libertarian cabal who infested Labour’s cabinet at the time.

          Like many people, I’d prefer to see in-house services except where the expertise sought is genuinely rare or there is a similar sort of advantage like access to knowledge shared across other organisations – that’s sometimes the case with resource management lawyers who work for multiple councils, for instance. Shares the load of keeping up to date with law and policy changes. For smaller councils, that can make a big difference.

          • McFlock 7.3.2.1.1

            It is hard to get the best price for contracted work if you release previous ones.

            Why?

            I mean, most tenderers would have a reasonable idea of ballpark price for a given service, and they still don’t know what the other tenders are for the next round.

            And if someone new to the region/industry goes “holy shit, I can do that for half the price”, that can be even better.

            • Sacha 7.3.2.1.1.1

              I’m not in procurement. Best ask someone who is why that’s gospel in their world. The fixation on cheapest bid over quality or innovation is a broader problem.

    • Penny Bright 7.4

      Actually – I think that we’re now far closer to the ‘Rule of Law’ being implemented and enforced regarding transparency in the spending of public monies on private consultants and contractors than ever before.

      What is being unveiled now in the Auckland High Court, is evidence which proves how, in my view, contracting breed$ corruption.

      How can you have proper transparency or accountability without full and accurate public records available for public scrutiny?

      Perhaps you missed this?
      _________________________

      Corruption at council widespread, says Crown

      http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11717850

      “…Dickey said the Court would hear from nearly a dozen former staffers from RDC and Auckland Transport who would show – sometimes reluctantly as they were themselves implicated – that corruption was widespread and had become deep-rooted.

      “The extensive provision of benefits to staff at all levels of their teams resulted in a culture where corruption flourished and was normalised, with no questions asked,” he said.

      “There was very little chance of disgruntled or principled employees speaking out as everyone was being ‘looked after’ or was compromised.”

      Kind regards

      Penny Bright

      ‘Anti-privatisation / anti-corruption Public Watchdog’

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Climate Change: Submit!
    The Environment Committee has called for submissions on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Friday, 17 January 2020, and can be made online at the link above. The bill makes a number of changes to the ETS, including linking it to the carbon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • The Message From Messenger Park.
    Coasters Turn Out In Droves: It’s precisely the widening gulf between those with actual experience of things like guns, chainsaws and drilling machines, and those who regulate their use, that accounts for the angry crowd at Greymouth’s Messenger Park on Sunday, 17 November 2019. In the rarefied atmosphere where decisions ...
    20 hours ago
  • JFK’s assassination: a bit of physics
    There are perennial arguments about the circumstances of the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, and in particular whether more than one shooter is required by the evidence (such as the Zapruder film). Those who know little about physics frequently claim that the sharp backwards motion of JFK’s head as ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    24 hours ago
  • Is car washing so bad we need to ban it?
    Apparently, some people enjoy washing their cars. Each to his or her own, I suppose. I mean, some people like duck shooting, some people follow Coronation Street, and some people’s idea of a good day out is to sit on a grass bank at Seddon Park and watch cricket all ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 day ago
  • If Shane Jones isn’t corrupt, he is trying very hard to look it
    Last week we learned that New Zealand First had apparently tried to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Today in Question Time Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones had his ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: We need to end fossil fuels
    Finally, governments seem slowly to be beginning to act on climate change. But its not enough. While they're publicly signing up to targets, they're planning to destroy the world by continuing fossil fuel extraction:The world’s nations are on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • As bad as we expected
    Stuff has begun interviewing NZ First's secret donors, and it turns out that its as bad as we expected. They start with racing industry figure Garry Chittick, who is predictably grumpy about NZ First's coalition choices. Meanwhile, I'm looking at the list of pork NZ First has effectively given its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The Second (And Final?) Crucifixion Of Winston Peters.
    Stag At Bay: Twelve years ago, Winston Peters was still robust enough to come back from the political crucifixion which his political and media enemies had prepared for him. In his seventies now, the chances of a second resurrection are slim. We should, therefore, prepare for the last gasp of ...
    2 days ago
  • Earth’s artificial rings
    Satellites pass over NZ all the time (literally). Here I focus on the 187 Planet Labs ‘Dove’ Earth-imaging satellites, and I show that one can determine in advance where they will be, enabling scientists on the ground to correlate their environmental and other data collection with opportunities to get imaging ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 days ago
  • Softy Jejune Parson – the new Mother Superior of Wellington
      The Council of Disobedient Women has learned that the Prefect of Aro Valley has been promoted to a new role with the blessing of the Pope of Wellington. Softy Jejune Parson has been appointed Mother Superior of Woke Wellington for the work she has been doing calling out heretics, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Atlantic shakeup: US and UK leadership contenders ripping up the usual scripts?
    On both sides of the Atlantic, some purportedly “contentious” and “difficult to deal with” leadership contenders to lead the US and UK, as President and Prime Minister respectively, seem to have thrown a few spanners into the works of the normal messaging most are used to hearing constantly. Except they’re ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 days ago
  • Winston is the PM’s problem
    In Question Time today the Prime Minister was naturally facing questions about Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his dubious party financing arrangements, which seem to violate electoral finance law. Her response was to pretend that it was nothing to do with her, and that she is not responsible for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia’s secret prisoner
    A prisoner stripped of their name, imprisoned for a secret crime after a secret trial, with all details legally suppressed for secret reasons. A story by Kafka or Dumas? China? No, its just the latest stage of Australian tyranny:An Australian citizen was prosecuted, convicted, and jailed in the ACT last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Bridges should put his money where his mouth is
    Stuff has more details on what New Zealand First's slush-fund has been funding, with much of the spending directly benefiting the party. Which makes it look a lot like hidden donations, rather than the completely-innocent-giant-pile-of-cash Winston is trying to portray it as. The Electoral Commission is now investigating, but Simon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The APEC police state enabling bill
    I've joked before about how hosting international summits effectively turns part of your country into a police state for the duration. Well, New Zealand is hosting APEC in 2021, with events throughout the year in Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland. And the government has put up a bill to give itself ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Why coastal floods are becoming more frequent as seas rise
    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 I saw an article claiming that “king tides” will increase in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • The cost of a range clearance.
    It has been revealed that firing ranges used by the NZDF while deployed to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, contained unexploded ordnance that caused numerous deaths and injuries after the NZDF withdrew the PRT in April 2013. In 2014 seven children were killed when an unidentified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Still denying responsibility
    Stuff's story on NZDF's negligence around its Afghan firing ranges has produced a result, with a commitment from the Prime Minister for an urgent cleanup. But this doesn't mean NZDF is accepting responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have occured - they're still refusing compensation. Which given that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A corrupt practice
    Last week RNZ broke the news on NZ First's mysterious "foundation" and its dodgy-looking loans. The arrangement seemed to be designed to evade the transparency requirements of the Electoral Act, by laundering donations. But now Stuff has acquired some of their financial records, and it gone from dodgy to outright ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Democracy “A Bit Bonkers” – Thoughts Inspired By Lizzie Marvelly’s Latest Co...
    Didn't See It Coming: NZ Herald columnist Lizzie Marvelly's latest column merits serious scrutiny because such a clear example of anti-democratic thinking is encountered only rarely on the pages of the daily press. Which is not to say that the elitism which lies at the heart of such social disparagement ...
    4 days ago
  • Colombia: historic memory, massacres and the military
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Initially it was reported that in an aerial bombardment that took place on August 30th seven children were massacred; the figure then went up to eight and then on November 11th Noticias Uno reported that, according to people from the community in close proximity to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • On the road to Net Zero, the next step is to update our UN pledge
    A lot has happened since the UN’s report on 1.5ºC was released in October 2018. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill has passed, and enshrines the 1.5ºC goal in law. The UK and France have also legally strengthened their targets to Net Zero 2050. The School Strike For Climate and Extinction ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • Corruption as usual
    Next year is an election year, and Labour needs money to fund its campaign. So naturally, they're selling access:Labour is charging wealthy business figures $1500-a-head to lunch with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at its annual conference later this month. [...] On the weekend beginning November 29th, around 800 delegates will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Fairer rentals
    Yesterday the government announced its changes to tenancy laws, including an end to no-cause evictions, limits on rent increases, and anonyminity for tenants who defend their rights against bad landlords (sadly necessary because landlords are scum who maintain blacklists of "uppity" tenants). They're all good moves, and have resulted in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Another NZDF coverup
    In 2003 New Zealand sent a Provincial Reconstruction Team to Afghanistan to support America's doomed war there. While there, they conducted regular weapons practice on local firing ranges, littering the landscape with unexploded ammunition. These ranges weren't secure - they're on land used by locals for animal herding - so ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A loss for the Greens
    Green MP Gareth Hughes has announced he will retire at the election. Its understandable - he's been there ten years, and wants to actually see his children grow up rather than miss it while drowning in the toxic parliamentary sewer. But his departure is also a huge loss for the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • New era for Ngāti Kuri and Auckland Museum
    Words and images by Jacqui Gibson Gone are Auckland Museum’s days of doing science using a museum-centric academic approach, after Māori land rights holders Ngāti Kuri gave the museum an ultimatum.
    Tom Trnski holding a fossilised whale tooth from the Far North.Aussie-born Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland Museum ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Circling vultures: Why MediaWorks TV is really in trouble
    MediaWorks announced in October 2019 that it intended to sell off its struggling television business and cancel or cut back on several popular local programmes, including New Zealand Today, Married at First Sight New Zealand and 7 Days. Its radio and outdoor advertising arms are currently performing well, but MediaWorks’ ...
    Briefing PapersBy Peter Thompson
    5 days ago
  • Scary Opinium Poll
    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    5 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    1 week ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary 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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    10 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    12 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    2 days ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    4 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago