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The house always wins

Written By: - Date published: 11:01 am, February 16th, 2015 - 23 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, john key, national, same old national, Steven Joyce - Tags:

Sacha is right.  The initial framing of Joyce’s announcement that Sky City will not seek further financial contribution by the Government to the Sky City convention centre is all wrong.  What is happening is that SkyCity is now allowed to build something cheaper in consideration of which it will receive the same significantly valuable legislative changes.  And John Key’s concern that we will not get a world-class, iconic convention centre has succumbed to the weight of the political reality that further public money being paid to Sky City was not going to happen.  It may be that the project is now a dog but Key can only blame the clearly flawed process for this.

SkyCity has still won. The negotiations that were completed two years ago have obviously been based on underestimated costs. And the concessions to SkyCity are unchanged. These include:

  • Extending SkyCity’s Auckland casino licence, due for renewal in 2021, to 30 June 2048, and amending it to cover all of SkyCity’s properties in Federal Street
  • Allowing an additional 230 “pokie” machines
  • Allowing 40 extra gaming tables
  • Allowing a further 12 gaming tables, with SkyCity able to swap each table for an automatic table game that seats up to 20 players
  • Allowing up to 17 per cent of electronic gaming machines to accept banknotes greater than $20, but only in restricted areas
  • Allowing ticket-based and card-based cashless gambling across the Auckland casino (Ticket in- ticket out), with differential limits applied to the amounts that could be deposited and withdrawn.

The reduction in size must affect the financial sustainability of the centre.  The original feasibility study said that “[i]n order for the convention centre to maximise its economic impact it must be capable of hosting conferences averaging 3500 delegates, including associated activities such as exhibitions”.  The revised plan will mean that the main hall will be unlikely to fit 3,500 delegates making the goal of conferences averaging 3,500 impossible.  The report also said that 35 conferences a year would be required, 25 of them international conferences.  On this basis the centre would operate on a break even cash flow basis.  Any reduction in delegate numbers would obviously mean the centre will be losing money.  The centre being at a break even position appears unlikely and you can bet your bottom dollar that SkyCity would expect a public subsidy to be paid.

The politics are interesting.  National  essentially had three options:

  1. Pay the further money and face the wrath of the public.
  2. Allow the cost and the size of the centre to be reduced.
  3. Toughen up and say no.

None of the options were good ones.  The possibility of option one was causing huge public ructions even from those usually supportive of National.  Option three risked the prospect of the project being cancelled with huge amounts of political egg on face.  Option two was realistically the only choice Key and Joyce had but the dawning realisation amongst the public that SkyCity has again won will cause increasing political damage to National.

Andrew Little has gone on the offensive and has targetted not only Joyce but also SkyCity chief Nigel Morrison.  According to Stuff:

Labour leader Andrew Little welcomed the announcement [of no further money being paid], but said if the Government had pushed ahead with a cash injection, the furore would probably have forced Joyce’s resignation.

Little also launched an attack on Morrison, SkyCity’s chief executive since 2008, saying he had played a political game along with Key and Joyce, knowing that any added costs would fall on the taxpayer.

“They all made a promise they couldn’t keep. They all led taxpayers to believe that there would be a free convention centre that would be iconic and world-class.

And he has also come up with a phrase that will no doubt start to rival “cut the crap”.  He was reported as saying that he hopes “this Government has the cojones to hold SkyCity to its promise”.

Hamish Rutherford has summarised the situation well:

[I]t appears Morrison went for more, publishing details of a significantly more expensive centre at the end of last year, knowing full well that the added costs would fall on the Crown.

In short, he breathed new life into a controversial issue for the Government, undermining the central defence that somehow National was delivering something for nothing.

SkyCity must now go back to the original deal on the original terms, offsetting higher costs by building a slightly smaller convention centre.

But its act of brinkmanship has humiliated the Government, which is already sensitive to claims that it engages in corporate welfare.

Worse still, it has made it seem as if Key and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce were outsmarted in commercial negotiations.

One of Key’s biggest selling points to date is his claimed corporate expertise.  SkyCity has shown through an act of brinkmanship that a short term money trader approach to significant public contracts will lose out every time.

23 comments on “The house always wins”

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    edited.

  3. Sacha 3

    Glad to see Little emphasising this govt’s lack of commercial competence.

    “The report also said that 35 conferences a year would be required, 25 of them international conferences. ”

    25 seems extremely optimistic. But no doubt Sky City will have quietly secured an agreement from our masters of the universe for ongoing subvention subsidies to offset any risk.

    • stever 3.1

      Yes…so would someone in the MSM ask the SkyCity chair: “what have you planned if you don’t get to the break-even numbers of conventions? Because there must be a plan.”

  4. dv 4

    On simple math 3000 cf to 3500 means 41 conference a year – 80% occupancy to break even.

    Seems a bit high to me.

  5. Iron Sky 5

    Our country is being run by a 2 year old who uses the Tu Quoque Fallacy

    Nationals-National Radio morning report (TM) giving there friend little Johnny his usual formulaic sound bite responses to accusations of incompetency (aka skysore or whatever)….

    I wonder how many times Johnny and his merry band of gerbils have said this on RNZ (with RNZ letting them get away with it)

    National Party Member Formulaic Response:
    1. They did X to (X = whatever you want)
    2. Therefore we can do X to

    http://www.logicalfallacies.info/presumption/tu-quoque/
    Tu Quoque Fallacy

    Explanation

    The tu quoque fallacy is committed when it is assumed that because someone else has done a thing there is nothing wrong with doing it. This fallacy is classically committed by children who, when told off, respond with “So and so did it too”, with the implied conclusion that there is nothing wrong with doing whatever it is that they have done. This is a fallacy because it could be that both children are in the wrong, and because, as we were all taught, two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Example
    (1) The Romans kept slaves.
    Therefore:
    (2) We can keep slaves too

  6. Iron Sky 6

    17 Major Conferences in NZ from now till the end of the year?

    Is that really limited by the size of our convention centers or is it our geographical location?

    You decide:

    Conferences in New Zealand http://www.conferencealerts.com/country-listing?country=New+Zealand

    Major conference cities: Wellington, Auckland, Alexandra

    Listing 17 events (go back)

    1 All

    February 2015
    17th The 2nd Annual Women in Leadership Summit 2015 Auckland, New Zealand
    24th 2015 Business Resilience Forum Wellington, New Zealand
    24th 2015 New Zealand Emergency Management Summit Wellington, New Zealand
    24th The 2nd Public Sector Women in Leadership Summit 2015 Wellington, New Zealand
    March 2015
    17th Women in Engineering Leadership Summit 2015 Auckland, New Zealand
    26th
    Medicine for Psychiatrists 2015 Auckland, New Zealand
    April 2015
    8th Transforming Together Coaching and Mentoring Conference Hamilton, New Zealand
    15th The 18th Annual New Zealand Association for Cooperative Education Conference Wellington, New Zealand
    16th Te Kura Roa: Minority Language & Dialect Conference Dunedin, New Zealand
    21st Women in Professional Services Leadership Summit 2015 Auckland, New Zealand
    May 2015
    20th Public Sector Executive Assistant Summit 2015 Wellington, New Zealand
    June 2015
    9th Women in Not for Profit Leadership Summit 2015 Auckland, New Zealand
    10th APacCHRIE 2015 Auckland, New Zealand
    July 2015
    13th ISATT 2015 – 17th Biennial Conference of Teachers and Teaching Auckland, New Zealand
    September 2015
    9th 2015 Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators Conference Auckland, New Zealand
    15th Coasts and Ports 2015 Conference Auckland, New Zealand
    December 2015
    7th The 5th New Zealand Discourse Conference Auckland, New Zealand

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      There was someone from Tourism NZ (or something) on Morning Report, saying that NZ is not even in the top 50 countries for conferences, while Australia sits at 13.

      Australia has 250 conferences in the next year: http://www.conferencealerts.com/country-listing?country=Australia

      The interviewee said that the biggest conference centre we have in NZ can manage 1000 people, which cuts us out of the big market for conferences in the 1000-3000 people range.

      Certainly it looks like there is genuine demand for bigger conference centres. But whether this demand is anything like SkyCity et al are saying it is, is another matter.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        Steven Pearlstein: Debunking the conventional wisdom about conventions

        Washington’s experience was hardly unique, as Heywood Sanders, a professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio lays out in a new book, “Convention Center Follies.” U.S. cities invested tens of billions of dollars, expanding convention center capacity by 30 percent since 2000, while the demand for the space has barely budged.

        All those consultants’ reports, it turns out, were based on optimistic assumptions and failed to anticipate the impact of industry consolidation and slower economic growth on the demand for meeting space. Even more curious was the consultants’ failure to take into account all the other cities contemplating subsidized expansions — something they surely knew because the same group of firms had prepared virtually all of the reports.

        So, the only growth in the Convention Industrial Complex across the world is in the amount of competition there is and the amount of taxpayer dollars being fed into it on the back of pure codswallop.

        Cui Bono?

  7. English Breakfast 7

    This is a shambles, no question about it. And Sky’s CEO making comments that appear to contradict what Key and Joyce have said is more oil on the fire. I’m guessing Curia’s polling changed the Govt’s mind on this, and not much else.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Guyon asked Key “how much polling have you done on this” and Key hesitated and said none.

      I wonder if he was just being incredibly literal, in that Key himself hadn’t done the polling, nor would the National Party have done the polling – but Curia would have done it *for* them.

      Key in effect would have told a lie, but knows the media will never have the proof of this. The only chance would be if an employee from Curia wanted to discredit him, but it seems like a pretty minor thing to effectively throw away your job for.

  8. Treetop 8

    The cost to build has ballooned by 30% to $532,000,000 ($402,000,000 + $130,000,000). The government have stated that they would not accept anything smaller (reduction in size) than by about 10% which takes $53,000,000 off the bill. The cost of the build would be $479,000,000.

    Would there not be more land for the 5 star hotel which would increase profits?

    Has anyone heard how much the hotel is going to cost?

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      Building costs are not linear, you can’t say that by decreasing the size of something by 10%, you automatically decrease the cost of it by 10%.

      Likely a good chunk of the cost reductions will be from a lower-spec interior (and possibly exterior) fitout.

      • Treetop 8.1.1

        I agree about the 10%.

        No matter what, SkyCity went courting the government for $130,000,000. It will be interesting to see what the final cost and size of the build will be.

      • Tracey 8.1.2

        Was at a Mediation last Friday at which a Quantity Surveyor was present. in the interval we discussed rises in construction costs. He said from 2014 to 2015 not much rise but 2013 to 2014 was 8 to 12%.

        • Treetop 8.1.2.1

          There was an American architect who works in London who was on RNZ, think before 7am and he thought $402,000,000 was sufficent to build a world class covention centre and that a rise of 30% seemed to be too steep.

  9. wyndham 9

    Excellent summation from the inimitable Gordon Campbell.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1502/S00093.htm?source=email

  10. What most people don’t seem to get is that just like McDonalds, the core business of Sky city is not so much hospitality, conferences and gambling, it is real estate. To them trying to weasel the money out of us, the Kiwi taxpayers was just a gamble and a bit of fun. Their real business is Real Estate and on that they will win big time!

  11. ianmac 11

    “Prime Minister John Key says the SkyCity convention centre plan grew in both size and “flashness” until a public backlash persuaded the Government not to spend any more money on it.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11402525
    And there we have the predictable spin. Thank you so much Mr Key for listening to the people. You are such a good leader to be able to get a good deal. Thank goodness we have you and Mr Joyce working tirelessly for we peasant folk.

    Oy! What happened to the Eyesore?

  12. Murray Rawshark 12

    A decent government would have a 4th option. Cancel the contract, charge the CEO of Sly City with attempted blackmail, and nationalise the casino. There is also a possible matter of manipulation of share prices. I hope to live to see a decent government.

  13. felix 13

    Matthew Hooton spelled it all out very well this morning:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/20167381/political-commentators-matthew-hooton-and-mike-williams

    (Mike Williams agreed with Matt).

  14. Iron Sky 14

    Lanthanide & Draco T Bastard I Like your posts both of you (i.e. different perspectives)

    I’m trying my best to remain objective (i.e I am not a fan of spending public money on this or their arrogant cost overruns but in the desire to stay fact driven here is an interesting report figures ):

    Note the actual market for conferences in the world has almost grown exponentially.

    From:
    1963-67 2,069,060
    to
    2008-12 21,962,221
    http://www.iccaworld.com/cdps/cditem.cfm?nid=5180

    Yet the % attendance per conference is dropping (i.e. you don’t need big convention centers – well you can still cater for the smaller ones at the same time using the bigger convention center)

    Questions
    1. Is it the fact that we don’t have enough conference facilities in NZ to access the market (if we do, then what is stopping us as the market seems to be growing for smaller sized conventions below the 500 participant number)?

    2. If the potential market in NZ is so lucrative why are we actually giving away money to the private sector to make more money for themselves (a Casino), what do we the public actually get apart from dribble down?

    3. Why the hell is AKl getting it all?
    Questions if the average number of participants per conference

    4. If it is so lucrative why the hell does not Skysore just build it themselves unless they are after a CHEAP lone.

    http://www.iccaworld.com/cdps/cditem.cfm?nid=5180
    Year # Participants Numbers
    63-67 2,069,060
    68-72 2,707,543
    73-77 3,141,762
    78-82 4,048,112
    83-87 4,997,936
    88-92 6,816,187
    93-97 9,018,874
    98-02 12,596,377
    03-07 17,325,864
    08-12 21,962,221

    http://www.iccaworld.com/cdps/cditem.cfm?nid=5180
    Year Average participant numbers
    63-67 1,253
    68-72 1,104
    73-77 840
    78-82 725
    83-87 621
    88-92 591
    93-97 572
    98-02 528
    03-07 454
    08-12 424

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    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    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 If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks 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 ...
    21 hours 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 ...
    2 days 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 ...
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
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    11 hours ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours 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
    13 hours 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
    13 hours 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
    13 hours 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
    14 hours 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
    17 hours ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
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