The Christchurch Solution – Part 1

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 am, June 23rd, 2011 - 57 comments
Categories: disaster, leadership - Tags: , ,

The Christchurch earthquakes have created a challenge which is unprecedented in this country (and probably very rare in the modern world). Large, densely populated areas are not safe to rebuild. Any government would have struggled with this.

National I think have done poorly so far. They appropriated an unnecessarily large chunk of power through CERA, then didn’t seem to do much with it. The emergency housing response was late (compared to a similar situation in Japan) and misguided (empty camper vans). The delay in getting information to affected residents has been too long, and mishandled by Gerry “blindingly obvious” Brownlee. Patience is not so easy to come by in a damp, freezing, damaged house with no functional plumbing.

But now it’s crunch time, and National could make good. If they get their response right, many in Christchurch will forgive them the delays. The stage show event for Key is today at 1:30, but substantial details have (as seems to be the norm these days) been released in advance. Favoured journo Duncan Garner reports:

Christchurch’s quake-damaged suburbs early details

Residents in Christchurch’s worst-hit suburbs will be told they can leave their homes tomorrow and the Government will pay them out. … The Government will formally name the worst hit suburbs as:

Bexley
Avondale
Horseshoe Lake
Burwood
Dalington
Avonside

3 News understands 90 percent of the houses in Bexley will be demolished.

The Prime Minister was confident he could give those in the worst affected areas clarity, but some tomorrow may have to wait further for a decision. …

Those people covered by tomorrow’s announcement will be offered the choice to stay or leave their home. Choose to go and the Government will pay out those who wish to leave to the value of their house just before the September earthquake. Residents will have nine months to make a decision. … 3 News understands 5000 homes are covered by tomorrow’s announcement.

And the payouts will cost the Government hundreds of millions of dollars up front – insurance companies and EQC will then pay the Government directly.

OK, first the good. A lot of people covered by this deal are going to be relieved, and happy. It will seem like a lifeline in a storm. They will take the money, and find somewhere else to live. Good on them. Furthermore, the system could be (on detail so far) simple and effective. No mucking about for individual households with the nightmare of insurance companies. The offer appears to be a one stop shop, cash up front, no questions asked. Simple and effective (with the government picking up the insurance legwork). Bravo.

Now the bad. A lot of people covered by this deal are going to be disappointed, and angry. The cash on offer is based on the most recent government valuation, which is typically well below market value. Furthermore, the last valuation was conducted in 2007 – prices had increased tens of thousands by 2010. Some people will feel torn by the desire to get out of their shattered suburb, and their anger at an offer which they feel is less than their house is worth (one such example was interviewed on Campbell Live last night).

Now the ugly. There are many many details here and the devil is within them. My first thought is for the uninsured, and families who decide not to take the offer. What to do with the last one or two diehards in an empty street or suburb? Presumably services will never be restored. What then, for those that remain? My fear is that the government will consider that the rescue package discharges their obligations, and that the diehards will be left on their own, in terrible conditions. (Eventually the areas will be bulldozed, and turned in to parkland or similar – what then – forced evictions?) That isn’t right.

A second obvious issue is the lines on the map. As so far described the offer applies to specific suburbs. That’s easy to administer, but liquefaction knows no boundaries, and it will only be an approximate fit to where the help is truly needed. We may get situations where sound houses inside a suburb are offered the buy-out, while damaged ones just outside are not. Then there are the grey areas. Suburbs which have not been listed, but where many houses are affected. What happens to them?

Finally, the missing. What is announced so far is a response to the most pressing issue, but it exists in isolation. What is missing is the plan for Christchurch, or a proposal to rebuild new suburbs to the North or to the West. A vision for the future, or a chance to rebuild together, may have helped many families make the decision to stay in the City that they love. A city that will need them, when so many are choosing to leave.

We’ll have more information following the stage show at 1:30, but I suspect that after it we’ll find that there are still more questions than answers for many families. I’ve labelled this post “The Christchurch Solution – Part 1” because I suspect that it is an issue that will need to be revisited many times.

Be strong, Christchurch.

[Update: According to The Herald “Government offers to buy properties won’t be made for a couple of months”. Why? Why the delay, through the hard months of winter? This is going to cause yet more anger.]

57 comments on “The Christchurch Solution – Part 1 ”

  1. The cash on offer is based on the most recent government valuation, which is typically well below market value. Furthermore, the last valuation was conducted in 2007 – prices had increased tens of thousands by 2010

    2007 was the height of the global real-estate bubble. It was the highest point for house prices in history.

    • IrishBill 1.1

      Nope. Growth hasn’t been as strong since 2007 but median sale prices are $10-$20k higher now than they were then (depending on which months in 2007 and 2011 you look at).

      That gap may be less in inflation adjusted dollars but we don’t know whether the GV payment will be inflation adjusted yet.

      [IB is correct. I’m sure there are better stats out there, but my source was here. It lists the average Chch house price as $325K in March 2007, and $352K in October 2009. See also this report (Page 15) for a median increase of 10K. r0b]

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1

        The revaluation figure of 2007 can be adjusted to the date just before the first quake. They have the sales figures from that time , its easy to do a ‘computer revaluation’.
        Remember in any sales process owners hardly get what they ask for and have to come down a bit to close a deal.

      • MarkM 1.1.2

        Median price is a reflection of the range of values of Houses sold.
        Danyl is correct that 2007 prices were higher

      • higherstandard 1.1.3

        [IB is correct. I’m sure there are better stats out there, but my source was here. It lists the average Chch house price as $325K in March 2007, and $352K in October 2009. See also this report (Page 15) for a median increase of 10K. r0b]

        ……………and what’s the average house price now ?

  2. Descendant Of Smith 2

    So they are going to bail out the uninsured and the under-insured?

    They are going to bail out landlords and trusts not just homeowners?

    Presumably banks will have first call on this money to clear their mortgages. There aren’t any guarantees of course that the banks will give the newly unemployed and the old another mortgage if they need one.

  3. burt 3

    rOb

    Nanny should just make the shaking stop.

  4. You’re right AR; the issue will have to be revisited many times, because the whole thing is a moveable feast. The September earthquake caused significant damage in Halswell, on the south-western edge of the city. Halswell School was closed, and to the best of my knowledge has relocated to temporary premises. There was widespread liquefaction. Where was the 5.4 earthquake on Tuesday night located? Just beyond Halswell, as were many of the aftershocks that followed yesterday.

    I agree wholeheartedly that this would have provided a huge challenge to whichever government was in charge. There has been much criticism of National for the length of time it has taken to reach today, but the issues involved are incredibly complex, and if the wrong decisions were made in haste, it could have a catastrophic effect. From what I’ve heard so far, I believe that the government should be commended for at least attempting to give affected homeowners some financial security, then handle the wrangling with the insurers later.

    This is, as you note, part 1, but it’s a start.

    PS: My 2010 RV is about 10% less than 2007.

    • Terry 4.1

      Some of you call this “a start”. I would like to ask what will be the ending? Dare one even think about it?

  5. nadis 5

    https://www.reinz.co.nz/shadomx/apps/fms/fmsdownload.cfm?file_uuid=A2D89DF1-B00A-462C-5EBB-E90911AA6B4D&siteName=reinz

    REINZ also produce monthly data by region and city (in the same part of the site as linked above). Average index value for 2007 = 2988.

    Average index value for the 6 months prior to September 2010 = 2920

    Highest index point ever in ChcH was Sept 2007 at 3093.

    Hard to make the case that 2007 valuations are designed to screw the householders.

    • r0b 5.1

      See my note in comment 1.1 above.

      No one said the 2007 valuation was “designed to screw the householders”. It’s just the number that they’ve got to work with. A much bigger issue is the difference between GV and actual market value prior to the quakes. THe market value now, of many homes, is obviously pretty close to zero.

      • Inventory2 5.1.1

        I think you’ll find that the Christchurch property market was at a pretty low ebb at the end of August 2010. Those most likely to have been affected adversely will be those in elevated suburbs, not in the low-lying eastern suburbs where the property market was pretty stagnant.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.2

        Nah, the market value won’t be 0 for these houses, it’ll be salvage value, depending on what you can take out. Double-glazed aluminium windows in new houses are worth a bit, kitchen cabinetry, hot water cylinders etc. You could go all the way down to light fittings and bathroom heaters if you really wanted. A lot of building material will be usable too, particularly individual bricks that aren’t damaged.

        For any large construction effort, a lot of these resources will simply have to be recycled into the new homes anyway.

        • r0b 5.1.2.1

          I certainly hope that there is a systematic effort to salvage what can be used. We shouldn’t be just condemning all those resources to landfill.

          • higherstandard 5.1.2.1.1

            Sometimes the best option is to have done with it and start again………. when all’s said and done most of what is salvageable there now will be landfill within 10-15 years anyway.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Still better to recycle than throw it in a landfill.

              • higherstandard

                Best you go to CCH and start looting then.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Is it just me or have we ended up with two higherstandards? And which is the real one?

                  Calling lprent to comment 344305

  6. Lanthanide 6

    Ok, so this $1.5B bill, is it coming out of the already earmarked $5B the government has put on the books, or will this be in addition? Budget 2011 out the window already?

    • No; it’s coming out of the $5.5b set aside at Budget for earthquake recovery, so it is already accounted for.

      From the Herald:

      The cost to the taxpayer is unknown – it will depend on the terms of each individual policy and how much is recovered from insurers – but early estimates suggest it could be between $200 million and $500 million.

      The cash will come from the $5.5 billion budgeted in May for earthquake recovery over and above the $3.3 billion allocated for Earthquake Commission and Accident Compensation Corporation payments.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10733937

  7. ianmac 7

    No one seems to have mentioned the replacement value insurance. Surely insurance companies would have to honour that as opposed to GV?

    • grumpy 7.1

      You would think so, but it only covers the house – not the land and assumes rebuilding on the existing site. With EQC payment capped at $100,000, that leaves quite a shortfall for relocation.

      Lets wait for the detail but as many mentioned before, this is a very complex issue and good for the Govt to take over all dealings with insurers – sort of a SCF solution really.

      • higherstandard 7.1.1

        “..sort of a SCF solution really”

        Apart from the fact that the SCF investors should have been the victims of their own avarice and poor judgement and the people in CCH are in the cak through no fault of their own.

        • grumpy 7.1.1.1

          True, but the idea is the same – Govt take over everything and wave the big stick at insurers (borrowers) etc.

      • Bill 7.1.2

        I really don’t see what is so bloody complicated about all of this…unless the primary focus is to look after insurance companies rather than people.

        If a house was covered by replacement value insurance, then the insurance companies should cough up. No ifs or buts.

        If the land is unsuitable for rebuilding, then under CERA the government has the power to make compulsory purchases of land (to the west?) thereby allowing for home replacement.

        For those without insurance…and I guess given the socio economic situation of many in eastern suburbs, that will be a not insubstantial number of people…then the same compulsorily purchased land can be built on by government in order to rehouse those people.

        Short/medium term, the kit set houses that featured on Campbell Live (20 built in 2 weeks) that are sitting around in a holding yard could be built and rolled out on government purchased land with the intention of constructing more substantial dwellings in their stead over the medium/ long term.

        In effect, some home owners remain home owners. Some become renters in government housing stock and renters remain renters.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1

          …unless the primary focus is to look after insurance companies rather than people.

          It’s a government of Big Business – what do you think it’s primary focus is going to be?

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    r0b makes a good point – we appear to have a Government plan in place to help people in the worst affected suburbs cut their ties and leave (to where/how/with what assistance?).

    Still waiting on the plan forthe future of Christchurch however.

    Simple working assumption: Christchurch is going to continue having severe shakes for the next 5 to 10 years.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      GNS Science seem to think that the quake action should fall back to pre-September levels (I’d previously felt 3 in 25 years) within 18-24 months.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        But does mean that building between now and then is rather ridiculous? After all, there’s no point in building anything if it’s just going to fall down again.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    I think the leak last night was quite deliberate. Probably the worst case scenario has been leaked, and what comes out today will probably be better in most instances, and greeted with relief as a result.

    • D’you think so TS; Patrick Gower from 3News was on Twitter yesterday afternoon urging people who received any advice from government, CERA or CCC officials to get in touch with him. The Herald and Newstalk ZB were doing likewise. Personally, I’d like to see the media bugger off today, and let the people who are affected by this announcement digest and process the news without a microphone or camera being stuck in their face to record their emotions for the nation to see. This is one occasion where the MSM could actually earn plaudits for a “softly, softly” approach.

      • tsmithfield 9.1.1

        I heard Key on the radio this morning saying that the type of insurance policy will have an influence on the payout. (e.g. market value v replacement value policies) So I expect there is a bit more to it than a simple GV pay out on house and land.

        Perhaps a GV buyout on house and land will apply to houses in the designated zones that are undamaged. Houses like my parents that is in Horseshoe lake but written off might get a GV payout on the land, and then the insurance company builds them a new one on another section.

        Who knows. We will have to wait and see.

        My parents obviously will be very interested.

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      Under promise and over deliver, its tried and true. Although NAT usually seems to have difficulty understanding the principle. (Seeing r0b’s update).

  10. r0b 10

    Just added the following update.  According to The Herald “Government offers to buy properties won’t be made for a couple of months”.  Why?  Why the delay, through the hard months of winter?  This is going to cause yet more anger.

    • grumpy 10.1

      Stuff that, if some people want to get “angry”, they should just tell the Govt to stuff their offer and deal direct with EQC, insurers etc.

      All this so called “anger” in the face of a huge natural disaster is ridiculous.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        All this so called “anger” in the face of a huge natural disaster is ridiculous.

        Exactly.

        People living in desperation and filth for months should not feel any “so-called’ anger (what the fuck is the difference between “so-called” anger and “actual” anger, BTW?)

        Facing ruined futures for their families they should not expect their Government to do more for them than provide unaffordable campervans, photo ops, royal tours and trite statements.

        BTW the earthquakes may be considered a huge natural disaster and of course feeling angry at a natural disaster is not very productive but it happens; Brownlee and his lack of leadership and planning, cannot however be said to be a ‘natural disaster’ even though the effects are similar.

        • prism 10.1.1.1

          grumpy – The earthquakes are of course one huge natural disaster. The second and connected disaster, is the political withholding of information with no or insufficient, discussion about the problems, the planned solutions and how the various agencies will co-ordinate. And after two distinct big earthquakes still the same approach so that when the third came along there was still an inadequate consultation process, instead of the badly affected people being kept updated about the planning and work..

          There should have been large weekly meetings open to the public and media, giving a listening ear to the urgent needs, with quick responses and explanations of progress and delays. It is quite reasonable and healthy for people to be angry, to be otherwise would show a mental breakdown, sunk in apathy and hopelessness.

        • grumpy 10.1.1.2

          Somewher a culture of “anger” has developed in all things that people can’t control, even extends to temper, jealousy, envy etc. etc.

          What good is “anger” in a natural disaster? What if we had a tsunami, bush fires, floods etc.???

          The Japanese seem much more able to withstand bouts of undirected “anger”. It seems clear that the older generations, many of whom remember hardship and WWII seem to be handling things much better than those who have never had to cope with adversity.

          • prism 10.1.1.2.1

            Gee grumpy did you even read my comment. I said that people were angry about the way that authorities have been running the assistance after the natural disaster. That’s what I was saying. Couldn’t you understand what I wrote. And you waffling on about the way that people should behave isn’t helpful or compassionate to Christchurch people. Recalling the past nostalgically – thinking of phrases like how we stuck it out in the blitz, how we took it on the chin, had a stiff upper lip, doesn’t indicate the slightest empathy. Shame on you.

            As for Japanese – their culture is different to ours. They repress feelings a lot I think.
            I heard recently about the Japanese Embassy in Paris having to assist their people visiting there because they couldn’t handle the culture shock of rude Parisians and the uncontrolled rather dissipated city that is so different from the romantic image presented by travel promotions. One man was sent home with a nurse in attendance. That’s just what I heard. E&OE

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      I would say because the Govt felt it had to do something given the public mood and pressure from Labour MPs pointing out massive shortfalls, but it didn’t actually have any plans in place for this plan. It’s something they have cobbled together in the last 1 week.

      So in fact they have not set up any processes or systems to actually implement it yet.

      That is what the next 2-3 months will be for.

      And guess what…I bet the first few offers will be made in a “couple of months.” But it will be a long time before all 5000 offers get made. A long long time.

      I wonder when the timer on that 9 month window for residents to make a decision starts.

      • Lanthanide 10.2.1

        A “couple of months” ties in nicely with the RWC, so media reporting on it will be drowned out, although I’m sure local reporting in CHCH will be quite pervasive as we don’t have any local cup games of our own anymore.

        • Colonial Viper 10.2.1.1

          So they’d have to get all the offers finalised by the end of the RWC then; they wouldn’t want this dragging into November as it would pose multiple risks for them.

          A lot of people are going to be waiting a while longer to hear anything.

          (queue the astroturfers saying that assessing properties is time consuming etc and four months(!!!) isn’t enough time to have assessed the houses in those suburbs etc)

      • Draco T Bastard 10.2.2

        …but it didn’t actually have any plans in place for this plan. It’s something they have cobbled together in the last 1 week.

        Well, it’s been about a week since I suggested it…

        I wonder when the timer on that 9 month window for residents to make a decision starts.

        Well, if they were doing it correctly, the day the offer gets signed as received with witnesses present. But they’ll probably just settle for putting a public notice in the local rag.

    • NickS 10.3

      What. The. Fuck.

      It should be ready to go as of this week to reduce the hardship, heck there’s already far to many elderly and those with respiratory issues living without decent heating sources plus power/water/sewerage at present with is going to lead to more hospital admissions and winter deaths.

      It is unlikely the Government will deem any area so badly damaged it must be abandoned.

      Mr Brownlee said yesterday that no area was too damaged to be fixed.

      “All land can be repaired,” he said. “There is an issue then about how easily that is achieved, the time it will take and what will be the disruptive factors for communities.”

      /facepalm

      Generally fucked land stays fucked, and on top of that, many of the affect areas are within a couple of meters of the current sea level and thus at increased risk of flooding. So ruling these areas out for rebuilding would have a long term benefit of avoiding much higher sea level rise mitigation costs. Along with planning new subdivisions out west to factor in public transport, services etc, but instead it looks like National is going to provide a solution that fails to consider any future issues.

      Bravo you morons, bravo.

      • Colonial Viper 10.3.1

        At the very least, the saleable value of repaired land in any of these affected areas drops to $100 or so per sq m, and future insurance premiums go up quad times or more.

        So yeah, technically the land could be repaired, but whoever did it would suffer massive losses.

    • weka 10.4

      Someone pointed out to me yesterday that in the time it takes NZ to talk about what to do, Japan will have rebuilt much of its infrastructure and housing damaged in the tsunami.

  11. Chris 11

    National have done well. This sems a a fair deal. They have my vote.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Only a third or a quarter of heavily damaged houses in Christchurch have anything resembling a resolution, and the first payments have not even been made yet.

      Maybe you could watch how things actually turn out and hang back from making a decision until say, Nov 25? 🙂

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    National's Christopher Luxon unveils trio of fiscal transparency policies, RNZ, 15 May 2023: The government had "abused" taxpayers for the past six years, Luxon said. "I am sick of taxpayers being treated like a bottomless ATM, to be raided at any time, for any reason. National will respect taxpayers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • NZ on Hamas and Zionist Settlers.
    Here is one for the road before I shut down for a while due to the previously mentioned family medical issues. It is about NZ designating Hamas as a terrorist entity, adding its political wing to the 2010 decision to … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Migration surge reduced inflation, says Orr
    Record high net migration in 2023 produced a net detraction from inflation because of a surge in labour supply, but the effects may be more inflationary this year. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Te Pūtea Matua (Reserve Bank) Governor Adrian Orr told me in an interview yesterday that record ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 1-March-2024
    Welcome to Friday, and to March, traditionally the busiest month for people trying to get into and around our city. The Northwestern Cycleway has been going gangbusters this week. How’s it looking out there for you, around the rest of the isthmus? Here are some of the articles that caught ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    3 days ago
  • February AMA
    Hi,As someone generous enough to pay for Webworm — literally allowing this thing to exist — I always want to give you extra stuff (next week a story I’ve been wanting to tell for about eight years) and make myself available to answer any questions.Hence these AMAs, which I really ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #9 2024
    Open access notables Rockfall from an increasingly unstable mountain slope driven by climate warming, Stoffel et al., Nature Geoscience: Rockfall in high-mountain regions is thought to be changing due to accelerating climate warming and permafrost degradation, possibly resulting in enhanced activity and larger volumes involved in individual falls. Yet the systematic lack ...
    4 days ago
  • Newshub awaits a miracle – but in the meantime its Mātauranga Māori debate has spurred Jerry Coy...
    Emeritus Professor Jerry Coyne, from his base in the United States, may well be oblivious to the furore raised about the state of  the news media in New Zealand – and the implications for our democracy – after TV3’s American owners announced Newshub’s fate.  The news service will be shut ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Correction
    Sorry!!! Today’s edition has the wrong damn link for Chlöe Swarbrick’s excellent speech.This is the right one. Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Correction
    Sorry!!! Today’s edition has the wrong damn link for Chlöe Swarbrick’s excellent speech.This is the right one. Read more ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • A speech and a beer, both delivered perfectly
    So, what can we do about these deplorable people and the appalling things they are doing?Every time Chlöe Swarbrick gets to her feet or leans into a mic, she offers a very good  answer. Clear, plain, compelling words. Clear, plain, compelling thinking.Guys, she tells new MPs who have just given maiden ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • A speech and a beer, both delivered perfectly
    So, what can we do about these deplorable people and the appalling things they are doing?Every time Chlöe Swarbrick gets to her feet or leans into a mic, she offers a very good  answer. Clear, plain, compelling words. Clear, plain, compelling thinking.Guys, she tells new MPs who have just given maiden ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • 2024 Reading Summary: February (+ Writing Update)
    Completed reads for February: Tarzan of the Apes, by E.R. Burroughs The Lost World, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Poison Belt, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Struwwelpeter: Merry Stories and Funny Pictures, by Heinrich Hoffman The Moon Hoax, by Richard Adams Locke The Strange Voyage and Adventures of ...
    4 days ago
  • Aoteraoa, Ukraine, and Gaza
    Today the government designated the political wing of Hamas as a terrorist entity, making supporting them a criminal offence. I honestly don't know much about Hamas' organisation, or how involved its politicians were in planning its crimes in October last year, but when Israel is actively carrying out a genocide ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • ETS review will be good news (we think) for the forest sector but govt gets tough with Hamas and Isr...
    Buzz from the Beehive When the Luxon government took office last year, forest owners and investors were among the myriads of interest groups who pressed incoming ministers with pleadings, urgings and advice – typically self-serving –  for change. The forestry bunch hoped the new government would give clearer direction on ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Tougher Love.
    "Ullo, ullo, ullo, what's coming off here then?" Mark Mitchell’s Gang Laws are separating the Liberal Sheep from the Authoritarian Goats.  THE INTENSIFYING POLITICAL CONTROVERSY over the Coalition Government’s policy on gangs promises to be one of those sheep-from-goats moments. While the Left will veer instinctively towards the sociological, the Right ...
    4 days ago
  • The Clue Is In The Name.
    Truth In Advertising? The Nats do best when they take the “National” part of their name seriously, WHEN ITS FOUNDERS christened New Zealand’s newest anti-socialist party “National”, they had two objectives. The first was largely cosmetic. The second, and much more important objective, was ideological.In 1936, the year in which ...
    4 days ago
  • Another forced break.
    Well, the time has come yet again for my son to go back into Starship for another major surgery (the fourth in five months). The mass in his chest is growing and has enveloped his left carotid artery as well … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • BRYCE EDWARDS:  How Wellington City Council got captured by vested interests
    Bryce Edwards writes – Wellington City has become a great case study for those that are suspicious that both local and central government politicians have become enthralled by property developers, the “professional managerial class”, and other vested interests. Politicians from parties of both left and right are increasingly ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Newshub/Smokefree twin fiascos
    H</spanere’s a tale of two sunset industries. One has a track record of quality investigative reporting, and sound reportage of the 24/7 news cycle. The other sunset industry peddles a deadly substance that kills and injures tens of thousands of New Zealanders every year, while imposing significant annual costs on ...
    4 days ago
  • RBNZ's dovish pivot revives rate cut hopes
    The question now is which hint banks will take: the one from Orr that they pass on rate cuts, or the one from Assistant Governor Karen Silk saying they have some leeway to continue not passing them on. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Reserve Bank held the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • That was Then, This is Now #32 – What's the difference between aluminium and democracy?
    ..Thanks for reading Frankly Speaking ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.That was then…Rio Tinto will not reimburse the $30 million Government subsidy it received to keep Tiwai Point open, in spite of posting a $3.7 billion 2013 profit.[…]…if Rio Tinto had closed straightaway and ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • A Market Model for Intercity Rail
    The North Island Main Trunk rail line between Auckland and Wellington is 680km long, mostly electrified, and low speed for intercity rail (80-100kph). It’s a major public asset, but woefully underutilised. How can we work this asset harder, to deliver way more benefits for our country and our people? This ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    4 days ago
  • Redundancies Bite.
    We all knew this government meant redundancies - lots of them. National highlighted they’d be taking a scalpel to government departments, cutting them to the bone. ACT fantasized about going deeper.Thousands losing their jobs in a sector that won’t be hiring any time soon. I could make a joke here ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Tough choices on climate change for new government
    Slowly but inexorably, the country is getting to the point where it is going to have to make some tough choices about actually lowering greenhouse gas emissions rather than planting or buying its way out of them. Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, at the weekend, removed any last hope that climate ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • That was Then, This is Now #31 – Urgent for me, but not for thee?
    ..Thanks for reading Frankly Speaking ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.That was then…“In Parliament today, Labour was pushed to justify their use of urgency to rush through a Bill to get rid of a public veto on Māori wards, and they couldn’t,” National’s Local ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Rattus Supermarketicus: Countdown Reopens
    So my infamously rat-infested local supermarket was finally able to re-open today, after spending a good two and a half weeks closed. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/510363/countdown-dunedin-south-reopens-after-rat-infestation I went in for a look this evening, having heard that they were offering chocolates earlier in the day. I was disappointed. No chocolates. ...
    5 days ago
  • Clearly still no adults in this Chaos Cabinet, aiming to sell Aotearoa off to the highest bidders…
    Grant Roberston has left the Labour team in Parliament, Efeso Collins tragically died at the outset of what was surely to be a stellar career as an MP… a heavy result last year, losses and a tragedy to start this year. That overall sense of tragedy is not limited ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Productivity Commission gone tomorrow, Māori Health Authority gone in June – so what should we do...
    The Productivity Commission will cease operations tomorrow, to make way for the new Ministry for Regulation. On the same day, the Waitangi Tribunal will begin an urgent inquiry into the government’s proposal to disestablish the Māori Health Authority. But legislation passed under urgency by Parliament will result in the authority being ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • QUESTIONNAIRE NEW ZEALAND
    So you want to be a member of this exciting new government, eh? Good thinking! There’s obviously no future in journalism. We’re not just hiring any old comms person though. We want someone with the right attitude and MOJO. So grab a pen and fill out this questionnaire will you? ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Another secret OIA “consultation”
    When the previous government decided in 2018 to review the OIA, the Ministry of Justice decided to do the entire thing in secret, planning a "targeted consultation" with a secret, hand-picked group of lawyers, bloggers and commentators. Because obviously, wider civil society has no interest in the operation of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Puff! And before you can get through a packet of 20, Parliament will have stubbed out parts of Labo...
    Buzz from the Beehive Health dominated the government’s announcements over the past 24 hour or so, at the same time as Parliament was debating legislation to abolish the Maori Health Authority and repeal parts of the previous government’s planned changes to regulate smoked tobacco. Health Minister Shane Reti brandished a ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Journalism in New Zealand Is Collapsing
    Hi,I was not intending to send out a Webworm today, and I hate that I am having to write about this.After nearly 35 years of broadcasting, the TV newsroom in New Zealand that was my home for about a decade is set to close in June.Some of my closest and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • A revolting breach of Te Tiriti
    In 2019, the Waitangi Tribunal released a preliminary report in the Wai 2575 inquiry, finding pervasive inequities in the New Zealand health system which systematically disadvantaged Māori, in breach of Ti Tiriti O Waitangi. It recommended the creation of an independent Māori Health Authority as one way of remedying these ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Bishop wants house prices to halve vs income
    TL;DR: Housing, Infrastructure and RMA Reform minister Minister Chris Bishop gave the new Government’s most important and ambitious speech of its first 100 days yesterday, pledging to flood cities with land for homes and help give councils new revenue to pay for the water and transport infrastructure needed to build ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Lyin' Luxon
    All we want is a touch of truthnot cue-card words for the polling booththis ballhead man and his MacDonalds wisdomselling soap or a new tax systemSo begin the lyrics for the new single, Lyin’ Luxon (and his tobacco goons)”, from Darren Watson - released just this morning. You can check ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Albo gives Luxon a big invite
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon gets his first big foreign affairs opportunity next week when he travels to Melbourne for the 50th Anniversary of Australia’s partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has invited the heads of all ten members for a special summit. ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Of Mining Interests and the West Coast-Tasman Result: Look at the Split Vote
    The various New Zealand election donations have been disclosed, and one Jonathan Milne has noticed the role of mining interests in backing an independent candidate on the West Coast: https://newsroom.co.nz/2024/02/23/big-coal-company-bought-west-coast-election-campaign/ The article goes on to suggest that the independent candidate’s performance – garnering some 5903 votes – was key ...
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Is Greenland gaining or losing ice?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Dark money has entered the New Zealand electoral scene at unprecedented levels
    Radio NZ’s Farah Hancock has analysed the Electoral Commission returns of money paid to influence the 2023 NZ General Election. Her article $2m surge in election campaign spending by third-party groups (RNZ) shows that as well as the huge donations-directly-to-the-parties imbalance, previously reported, a large amount of untraceable dark money ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • I remember better days
    The school property system is BORDERING ON CRISIS according to the Prime Minister and his Education Minister.Same old crisis panic button. God only knows what they’ll press when they get a real one.The self-serving agenda here is pretty transparent: Find ourselves an out for not delivering what people expect us ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • No, it isn’t a surprise – the government is disestablishing the Māori Health Authority (just a...
    Latest from the Beehive The mainstream news media have been grimly auguring this news for  the past few days under headings such as… Axing Māori Health Authority before hearing ‘disrespectful’ — expert (One News); Coalition Government to forge ahead with repeal of smokefree laws, Māori Health Authority this week ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • BRYCE EDWARDS: NZ elections are being Americanised with “dark money” flowing into campaign grou...
    Bryce Edwards writes –  Elections in the United States are dominated by big money. But what isn’t commonly understood is that most of it is raised and spent, not by the political parties and candidates for office, but by special interest groups who run their own election campaigns to ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • More dishonesty from Costello
    When Cancer Minister Casey Costello was caught lying to the media and to Parliament about whether or not she had requested advice on cutting tobacco excise tax to benefit the cancer industry, her explanation was to blame "confusion arising from my understanding of the differentiation between seeking specific advice and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL: Child poverty – complex or simple?
    Question: Do you understand how the child poverty statistics are derived? Clearly some people do not. Last week the latest child poverty statistics were all over the media. But there are a number of misunderstandings that need addressing. Like this one from NewstalkZB’s John MacDonald who wrote: Living in households ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: Tougher love
    Mark Mitchell’s gang laws will separate the liberal sheep from the authoritarian goats Chris Trotter writes – THE INTENSIFYING POLITICAL CONTROVERSY over the Coalition Government’s policy on gangs promises to be one of those sheep-from-goats moments. While the Left will veer instinctively towards the sociological, the Right ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Top 10 @ 10 am 'pick 'n' mix' for Feb 27
    A mega-documentary about the influence of China’s Communist Party in our political system that remains stuck inside Stuff’s editorial system. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāHere’s my top ten links to news, papers and reports elsewhere as at 10 am on Tuesday February 27:Today’s must-read: Whatever happened to Stuff Circuit’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The day our infrastructure deficits came home to roost
    Ugly moments of infrastructure deficit truth are popping up all over, including the revelation that Wellington’s train service will be disrupted for up to 15 years. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: National and Labour are bickering over who is to blame for ‘mismanagement’ of infrastructure spending on rail and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • It’s March Madness Time again
    We may still be in February but yesterday marked the start of March Madness, typically the busiest time of the year for transport of all modes. That’s due to a number of factors, such as: The summer holiday period is over meaning All schools and now University’s being ...
    6 days ago
  • What do you think about Christopher Luxon?
    As some of you might know Darren Watson's new track "Lyin' Luxon" will be out tomorrow.I'm going to write about that subject today so if there's anything you'd like to say about Luxon, his government, policies, his partners and investors, or what he's doing to our country then please feel ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • A TV Hero Goes Down the Wormhole
    Note: This story includes feedback from a central character in this story — I’ve included that at the end in its entirety.Hi,When I started Webworm four years ago, it seemed like a novelty to write about people getting sucked into beliefs like QAnon. As Kiwi lingerie makers opened their third ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Are food influencers wrong about climate change?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). The food industry is one of the biggest drivers of climate change. So how are our diets causing disaster? Some people ...
    7 days ago
  • Funding announced for landfill improvements and farmers – but the headline grabber is news of a cr...
    Buzz from the Beehive The government has been dishing out sums of money in much the same way as the Ardern-Hipkins government has done. Four historic landfill sites will benefit from the granting of $6.6 million to clean up old landfill sites And the coalition Government is  providing support for ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Yes, voters supported the scrapping of the Māori Health Authority – but Stuff reminds us of the W...
    Reinforcing the credence of an article posted here last week, Stuff yet again has been promoting the notion that “The Treaty” should over-ride the country’s democratic governance arrangements. In the article published on Point of Order under the headline Media chiefs struggle to understand democracy, Graham Adams noted that New ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago

  • Remand prisoners to receive rehabilitation support
    The coalition Government has taken the first steps to ensure prisoners on remand can access the rehabilitation and reintegration support they need to turn their lives around, says Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell.   “The number of people on remand has increased by 146 per cent over the past 10 years. With ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ongoing security plan will help keep hospital EDs safe
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says a continuation of increased security measures at eight key hospitals around New Zealand reflects the Government’s ongoing commitment to the safety of healthcare staff, and patients. “I’m very pleased Health NZ – Te Whatu Ora have been able to confirm that additional security support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports safer digital transactions
    The Government supports the recommendations of the Finance and Expenditure Committee reports on bank scam processes, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly says. “Scams are becoming more sophisticated and causing a growing number of vulnerable Kiwis significant emotional harm and financial loss. “Altogether, nearly $200 million was lost to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government congratulates JPs on centenary
    Associate Minister of Justice Nicole McKee has extended her congratulations to the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices’ Associations on its centenary this year. The occasion is being celebrated at the Federation’s annual AGM and Conference, which opens in Wellington today.  “Justices of the Peace (JPs) play a vital role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government going after gangs’ guns with FPOs
    The Government is continuing its work to restore law and order, announcing new measures that will enable police to crack down on gangs through Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs).  “Firearms are being illegally used by gangs to intimidate, to commit violent crime in support of their profit making, and to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Open ocean salmon farm a win for the economy
    The final approval of New Zealand King Salmon’s Blue Endeavour open ocean aquaculture project is a significant step for New Zealand’s aquaculture, and a win for the economy, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones says.  “Blue Endeavour will be the first open ocean aquaculture salmon farm in New Zealand. It’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ – UAE trade agreement consultation begins
    Following a meeting with UAE Trade Minister Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, Trade Minister Todd McClay has launched public consultation for a trade agreement between New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).   “The UAE is a top-20 export market for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister thanks Public Service Commissioner
    Public Service Minister Nicola Willis has thanked retiring Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes for his 43 years of service. Mr Hughes retires today, after serving eight years as Public Service Commissioner.  “Peter Hughes is an outstanding public servant who has served many governments, regardless of their political leaning, with professionalism and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tourism data shows determination of sector
    New tourism data out today shows the continued importance of tourism to the New Zealand economy as tourism steps up to become our second-biggest export earner, Tourism Minister Matt Doocey says. “The Tourism Satellite Account shows how strongly tourism rebounded post-pandemic with total tourism expenditure in New Zealand of $37.7b ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Housing Minister thanks outgoing Kāinga Ora Chair
    Housing Minister Chris Bishop has today thanked outgoing Kāinga Ora – Homes & Communities Chair Vui Mark Gosche for his many years of public service. “Mr Gosche tendered his resignation as Chair yesterday evening. He will remain a member of the Board until the end of March,” says Housing Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New sanctions package against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced a new package of sanctions as part of the ongoing international sanction response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.   The new sanctions are:   Implementation of the G7-plus price cap on Russian-origin oil; making explicit the prohibition on exporting restricted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Travel bans on extremist Israeli settlers
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced travel bans on a number of extremist Israeli settlers who have committed violent attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank.   “New Zealand is seriously concerned by the significant increase in extremist violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers against Palestinian populations in recent months. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ designates entirety of Hamas as terrorist entity
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced today the designation of Hamas in its entirety as a terrorist entity.   “The terrorist attacks by Hamas in October 2023 were brutal and we have unequivocally condemned them,” Mr Luxon says.    Following these attacks, then Prime Minister Chris Hipkins commissioned advice from officials about designating the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government announces independent review of forestry ETS costs
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay has today announced an independent review into the forestry component of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) Register to ensure it is efficient and cost-effective. “Up and down the country forestry owners have been raising concerns about the excessive costs that have been imposed upon them by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Access barriers to PET-CT scans removed
    New Zealanders now have the same access to PET-CT scans no matter where they live, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora has approved funding an updated national set of criteria that will allow for about 1,000 more PET-CT scans a year to be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines’ alliance extended
    Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey announced today that the Government has extended Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines’ strategic alliance for another five years. “Reauthorising this strategic partnership means that passengers flying in and out of New Zealand will continue to have access to a wide range of flights and destinations,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health system reforms need further action
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says the latest report into New Zealand’s health reforms shows a few benefits, but overall once again demonstrates a lack of leadership by the previous Labour government.  The Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) report released today was commissioned by the previous government to provide an independent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Parallel assessment means new medicines assessed sooner
    Pharmac is changing its process so it can assess a funding application at the same time Medsafe is assessing the application for regulatory approval. This means that medicines will be able to be considered for funding sooner in New Zealand. “Access to medicines is a crucial part of many Kiwis’ ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Smokefree Amendment Bill Introduced
    The Government has today introduced an Amendment Bill that will repeal three parts of the previous Government’s planned changes to regulate smoked tobacco. “The Coalition Government is committed to the Smokefree 2025 goal, but we are taking a different regulatory approach to reducing smoking rates and the harm from smoking,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Targeted support for young people
    Recently allocated Ministry of Youth Development funding will support more than 6700 young people to receive targeted youth development support to remain in education or transition to further training or employment and improve their wellbeing, Youth Minister Matt Doocey says.  Funding of $10.69 million will be allocated to 34 community-based ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Reshaping the health system to bring Māori health closer to home
    Legislation that will disestablish the Māori Health Authority will be introduced in Parliament today, heralding the start of a new vision for Māori health says Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti.  “We have said we will bring healthcare for all New Zealanders closer to the home and closer to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce
    Acknowledgements Good morning. Can I start by acknowledging Simon and the team at the Chamber. Thanks for the invitation to be here today. Introduction In October last year New Zealanders voted for change. The Coalition government was elected with a clear mandate to rebuild the economy and reduce the cost ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ welcomes Australia and Brazil to agreements
    New Zealand has welcomed Australia to the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG) and Australia and Brazil to the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement (GTAGA) Minister for Trade Todd McClay says.  As the current chair of ITAG and GTAGA, Minister McClay hosted the signing ceremony and issued the Abu Dhabi Joint ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Inquiry announced into school property
    The Government will conduct a Ministerial Inquiry to address problems with the school property system where the scope of property works planned was unrealistic and unaffordable. “The coalition Government has inherited a school property system bordering on crisis,” Education Minister Erica Stanford says. “There have been a number of cost escalations ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Chair for Guardians of NZ Superannuation
    Company director and investor John Williamson has been appointed as the new Chair of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, the Crown entity that oversees the NZ Super Fund and the Elevate NZ Venture Capital Fund, Finance Minister Nicola Willis announced today.  Mr Williamson will take up his new position ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Northland open for business as critical works to repair SH1 Brynderwyn Hills begin
    The Government is encouraging New Zealanders to support, visit, and explore Northland, as the closure and detour of SH1 at the Bryderwyn Hills begins, and critical repair work by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) gets underway, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Many regions across the country suffered extensive and devastating ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government backs police to crackdown on gangs
    The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell.  “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase. At the same time, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Northland’s new Kāeo Bridge officially open
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