The Labour Conference

Written By: - Date published: 8:04 am, November 6th, 2021 - 50 comments
Categories: Carmel Sepuloni, chris hipkins, jacinda ardern, labour, political parties, stuart nash, uncategorized - Tags:

The Labour Party conference is on this weekend.  It is a different event this year and is being held digitally.  Last night’s events included welcomes, Rino Tirikatene singing a wonderful waiata solo, and senior Ministers answering questions and describing the newsworthy event for them in the past 12 months.  The winner was a toss up betweeen Chris “spread your legs” Hipkins and Carmel Sepuloni’s son pointing out the phallic nature of a carrot during a Zoom meeting although questions are still being asked why Stuart Nash had to take his shirt off to be vaccinated.

Today there will be speeches from senior party figures and debate on proposed constitutional changes.  The most contentious is likely to be that giving a two third majority of Caucus the right to select a new leader and bypass the rights of members and affiliates to have a say in who the new leader should be.  The New Lynn LEC has proposed that this should be 75%.  It should only be in the clearest of cases that members’ and affiliates’ rights to have a say in who the new leader should be should be curtailed.

There is a media drum beat that this is evidence that Jacinda may stand down.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The constitutional changes are part of the usual review of the constitution and there are a few bugs that need to be ironed out.

I will put up a copy of the leader’s speech when I get my hands on one this afternoon.

50 comments on “The Labour Conference ”

  1. Ad 1

    I would rather they vote on something useful like the Green proposal for a 75% Parliamentary super-majority before any proposal to sell off the new water entities.

    It's a Green Party proposal worth supporting.

    • bwaghorn 1.1

      ?? IS THE 3 WATERS JUST BUNDLING IT UP SO IT CAN BE SOLD?????

      • theotherpat 1.1.1

        well it can be seen that way….i guess we will have to keep an eagle eye on it……that issue and then seeing this issue Mickey has raised makes me wonder.

      • Patricia Bremner 1.1.2

        No if you have been following Nania Mahuta. She is doing the reverse of Bradford with Electricity. Positioning so it can NOT be sold off. Making governance better and not so piecemeal. But the safeguard of 75% would be good to stymie any Nact moves.

        • Ad 1.1.2.1

          It's not Mahuta we need to worry about. It's all mung beans and dancing when the left tilts it their way.

          It's what National will do with the legislation when in power.

          Bolger was relatively mild with Auckland's assets, then Shipley came in and eviscerated them.

          Same with the Auckland reforms. Great when Labour got them going and agreed to implement the Royal Commission findings. Then National and Act came in and we got the corporatised model.

          Same with the 49% of the electricity generators under Key.

          • KJT 1.1.2.1.1

            Given New Zealands constitution "Tory proofing" from future "theft of the commons" is damn near impossible.

            And, anything that does, can be gamed the other way as well. Locking in power privatisation, for example. Noting that, so many of the Neo-liberal "reforms" were intentionally made too expensive to reverse.

            • Puckish Rogue 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Correct me if I'm wrong but weren't asset sales started under Labour and more assets sold off under Labour than were sold off by National?

              • KJT

                Not a Labour supporter, but the current Labour party is infinitly better than the current National party.

                Asset sales. Close. When Labour were the original ACT party. Didn't support them doing that at the time, either.

              • Michael

                That's why we voted for MMP: to stop the Right from gaining control again.

        • Gypsy 1.1.2.2

          Mahuta is creating huge monopolies delivering essential services at a price. Sounds ripe for privatisation to me.

          • KJT 1.1.2.2.1

            You mean, like Key, with ACC?

            • Gypsy 1.1.2.2.1.1

              ACC wasn't privatised; it remained in state ownership. Private providers were allowed to compete with ACC, but had to set up their own infrastructure, systems etc.

        • left for dead 1.1.2.3

          @ PB yes

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    The NZ Labour Party Caucus and Parliamentary wing have long subjugated the ordinary members and LEC members. In the lead up to, and fall out from “Rogernomics” left wing elements were driven from Labour or put on the outer. Heard of the “Backbone” club anyone? I spent a few rainy Sundays supporting Labour members I knew protesting outside Richard Prebble’s Auckland Central electorate meetings.

    The Joint Council of Labour where top Labour MPs and officials met with Federation of Labour leaders on working class matters was promptly dispatched by Douglas and his henchmen. The people should be kept well away from meaningful power at all times is the monetarist mantra.

    Since the neo liberal based state was initiated by Roger Douglas and expanded by National with the Employment Contracts Act etc. Labour tops were trepidatious about left wingers ever getting near their party again.

    So in the brief period when the rules were changed it looked almost hopeful, the sour looks caught unawares by TV cameras of Jacinda and Grant said it all when Andrew Little became leader in 2014. Union affiliates, and NZ Dairy Workers Union Te Runanga Wai U in particular I believe tipped it in a very close result.

    Of course the rules okaying a sans membership vote for leader close to a general election ultimately came in very handy for Jacinda’s installation into what she possibly felt was Granty’s rightful spot. Anyone with half a brain and a heart loves and respects the PM’s crisis management, but she is a neo liberal in essential respects–how can anyone of her rank and age in Labour not be?

    Labour’s move will be counterproductive in the long run, people have seen them squander a once in a generation majority MMP position of unprecedented power to act. I even know a few tories that were quietly egging them on too to make some radical moves.

    People need to be directly involved in political struggle and organisation again in Aotearoa NZ or those state houses are never going to built, and the bottom 50% of NZers that own just 2% of the wealth is likely to become 60% and 70% owning zilch, renting and battling in a land of plenty.

    • roy cartland 2.1

      Totally agree with that last bit. The ONLY way democracy can work is if the demos actually does some of the crac. In fact all of the crac.

      The "people" have to take part, otherwise it will be done on our behalf, and likely not in our interest.

    • Anne 2.2

      You and I TM have interesting stories to tell about the Labour Party in the1970s and 80s. We were both there among the Auckland melee at the same time. Our paths must have crossed at some point.

      I walked from Labour around 1983, but it wasn't so much because of the rise of the Right. To be honest I didn't know it was happening at the time. My problem lay with a group of belligerent Auckland members (largely women) who I found overbearing and quite bullying in their attitude. It did not include Helen Clark who I knew and admired.

      You were either 100% for them or 100% 'agin' them. There was nothing in between. I suspect they were just as damaging to the Party as the Rogernomes, not so much for their views but the way they went about trying to enforce them. Indeed, I think they ended up being grist to the meal for Douglas and Co.

      I noted not many of them survived for very long and those that did were far less aggressive.

      Looking back the Party was being torn to shreds by elements within the party and it is a miracle it even survived.

      • Tiger Mountain 2.2.1

        Not too many Anne, emerge from Parliamentary and Party politics unscathed. Though it draws the curious of us back for much of our lives, and the internet enables anyone to be a pundit of sorts…

        I add the occasional period detail to jog memories, and show my bona fides for taking certain positions.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 2.3

      …and the bottom 50% of NZers that own just 2% of the wealth is likely to become 60% and 70% owning zilch, renting and battling in a land of plenty.

      yes Not the 'future for all' that one might have hoped for, but probably the best neoliberal Labour can do.

      'Explosion of wealth inequality' as housing boom leaves many behind – economist

      Inland Revenue tells wealthiest NZers questions are coming

      First 'questions', then soft cushions. And, if all else fails, there's always the comfy chair.

    • Mat Simpson 2.4

      " Labour’s move will be counterproductive in the long run, people have seen them squander a once in a generation majority MMP position of unprecedented power to act. I even know a few tories that were quietly egging them on too to make some radical moves "

      " People need to be directly involved in political struggle and organisation again in Aotearoa NZ or those state houses are never going to built, and the bottom 50% of NZers that own just 2% of the wealth is likely to become 60% and 70% owning zilch, renting and battling in a land of plenty "

      I don't believe that the Social Democrats will ever be purged from the current LINO party as like everything else in this country they have sold out to free market forces and behave as a corporate entity is expected to behave.

      Corbyn tried in the U.K and look what happened there. That was a perfect example of the left trying to take back their house while the squatters stayed firmly put.

      With MMP and a well organised , funded , principled approach with a non negotiable list of policy positions would form the basis of a new party of the left.

      Sooner or later LINO will need the numbers to form a governing arrangement and the best possible outcome would be to let the Green party wither and die and adopt the majority of their current policies of which there are many sensible ones into a new movement that is also puts the environment along with poverty as its main focus.

      • Tiger Mountain 2.4.1

        Agree. The Parliamentary neo liberal consensus across all main parties sees the neo liberal state and way of operating locked in. There is no anti capitalist party in the NZ Parliament, they are all class peace, or employer orientated.

        What makes quick change more possible in the next two elections is instability from Climate Disaster, capitalist wars and pandemics. The down side is that change could be to authoritarianism.

  3. Nigel Haworth 3

    I strongly support:

    1) the proposal to return the choice of parliamentary leader to the Caucus. I would have returned to the pre-2012 arrangement happily. The 2012 changes may have given party members a vote on the leadership but they simultaneously destroyed the balance of power between Caucus and Party. The price was far too high;

    2) the unsaid corollary, consequent sustained action to rebuild the Party structure – financially, organisationally and politically – so it exerts appropriate oversight over Caucus and holds it to the Platform snd Manifesto. That’s where democracy’s impact is felt most strongly.

    • Ad 3.1

      What are the mechanisms for your "unsaid corollary" that enable appropriate oversight over Caucus?

      It looks more like the Members are needed less and less every year.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        Puzzles me that they keep failing to follow Bunnings' model and designate them Team Members. The whole point of being neoliberal is to corporatise everything and the corporate team-building ethos has been essential since the '80s when my old mate Bill Watson, a psychologist, was a consultant/leader teaching Ak corporates how to do it.

        I presume Labour are just waiting for AI to become sufficiently robust that they can enroll androids as Team Members and then eliminate the pesky humans.

      • alwyn 3.1.2

        It isn't needed less and less but wanted that is the correct interpretation, at least as I see it from the point of view of someone who isn't a party member. This seems to have me to have been the aim of the politicians in the party since Helen Clark came to power.

        The only real need of the members in the modern parties is to raise money for the campaigns. If, heaven forbid, we get to the stage of taxpayers being compulsorily levied for party campaign funds the need for members will vanish and the Parliamentarians will rejoice. Be careful what you wish for.

        I did like the way that the author of the post said, so delicately, "there are a few bugs that need to be ironed out". Weren't the election of both Cunliffe and Little the two outcomes of the current election method? A few bugs? They seemed to be rather better described in the title of the Coney/Bunkle article. "the Unfortunate Experiment … ". Those elections weren't just a few bugs. They were total disasters.

        • Patricia Bremner 3.1.2.1

          Really? Andrew Little drew the members together for a common purpose. I feel realy proud I voted for him in the Leadership rounds.He has a gritty realism and honesty. Which is why he 100% supported Jacinda Ardern when he saw her ability and connection with the public. As a person on the right Alwyn, tell me what power do you have in electing a Leader?

          • alwyn 3.1.2.1.1

            Why should I have any power at all in electing a political party leader? I am not a member of any political party. I never have been and never will be. Why would they let me vote for their leader?

    • KJT 3.2

      "Democracy is a bitch", eh?

    • mickysavage 3.3

      Hi Nigel. Good to see you here. What about the requirement that MPs at least have to consult with their MPs before voting on the new leader?

      I would respectfully disagree with you. I thought the contests were good for the party in allowing a debate about the future and that if leaders could not negotiate the politics within the party they could not negotiate the politics in the country.

      • Nigel Haworth 3.3.1

        Happily here because this is an issue of fundamental importance for the future of the Party.

        I can’t do the historical argument justice here, but the LP Constitution emerged as a clever way to balance the interests of the Party – long-term, through the electoral cycle, socialist, member-driven – and the Caucus – a separate body of generally good people often with strong roots in Labour, driven in part by its own dynamics, supported by generous funds, and technical support often not linked to the Party, subject to advice and pressure from many directions, the site of some careerism, nominally governed by the manifesto etc but under pressure to shift in different directions.

        A strong, well-resourced, democratic party is needed to manage that relationship on a broadly equal footing. The 2012 changes gave members a voice in an important area, but also reduced the capacity of the Party to maintain its long-term status as different from, and overseeing of, Caucus.

        This is also why I argue for other changes to safeguard the independence of the Party – for example, no-one on Council should be able to stand for Parliament for, say, three years after leaving Council (to reduce the incidence of patronage and its consequences).

        I understand that these views will not find favour in some quarters, but this is a debate to be had, if only to focus on the our gradual slippage from a party committed to socialist transition to an alliance of sectional interests jockeying for precedence.

        • mickysavage 3.3.1.1

          I understand that these views will not find favour in some quarters, but this is a debate to be had, if only to focus on the our gradual slippage from a party committed to socialist transition to an alliance of sectional interests jockeying for precedence.

          Agree with you about this but isn't giving members a say in who the leader is one way to prevent the slide of the party into an alliance of sectional interests?

          • Nigel Haworth 3.3.1.1.1

            I’ve tried the “Render unto Caesar” shorthand explanation but it confused Mr Trotter. I see voting on The Leader as a limited exercise of power which brings with it a much greater threat – the loss of presidential and council authority to a unitary leadership lodged in Caucus and speaking over and round the Party’s democratic structures. It downgrades the authority of members and Party between occasional leadership elections.

            • mickysavage 3.3.1.1.1.1

              Good point although it is arguable that leadership contests are the only occasions where members have significant control over caucus.

              • Nigel Haworth

                It’s a debate, but the important question is whether the simple change today is allowed to lead to that debate. If we don’t get this right now, we face very difficult times in the future as the electoral cycle plays out.

                • Tiger Mountain

                  Opaque comment. An NZ Labour insider supports centralised control…no surprises there bro’.

                  The leadership method of election is important because of basic democracy, and the fact the leader helms the whole party, not just the Parliamentary wing, and potentially the country. So genuine leaders are required rather than obsequious Keir Starmer types.

        • Craig H 3.3.1.2

          I joined Labour the day after the 2014 election, and have certainly been happy with the election results, but have noticed the lack of accountability of Caucus, especially Cabinet, to the party manifesto and policy once elected. Very interested to hear your experience and thoughts in this area as to me it feels like the party membership puts a lot of time and effort into both fundraising and policy for quite limited actual results.

          • Tiger Mountain 3.3.1.2.1

            Go to the top of the class Craig H. NZ Labour is essentially an electoral machine that runs on a cycle, not a consistent force for social change that benefits working class people.

            My partner was involved in New Lynn LEC during the “FJK” election, and detected some electorates were starved of resources while effort was expended on keeping Internet Mana out at all costs in Te Tai Tokerau electorate.

            New gen voters will have to learn quickly if the NZ neo liberal state is ever to be rolled back.

          • Anker 3.3.1.2.2

            100%Craig

    • DS 3.4

      The 1980s destroyed the balance between Party and Caucus. If the dirty peasants are protective of their recent (and hard-won) right to determine the leader of their party, the Caucus has only itself to blame.

    • Michael 3.5

      Precisely as I'd expect from you. Labour is no longer a mass-based political party that can claim legitimacy from broad popular support. Instead it is a vehicle for narrow elite agendas that have nothing to do with the Party's founding principles. Your time as President only reinforced that position.

      • Nigel Haworth 3.5.1

        To be clear, my desire is precisely to rebuild a strong party base that is committed to socialist principles. That project is made easer by the recent rule change, but requires party members to decide if they see the party's future as a class based party or as an alliance of sectional interests.

  4. Visubversa 4

    The Labour Party in Government seems to be determined to remove the hard won principle of separation of Church and State, and to allow the levers of the State to be used to promote an ideology. There is no more evidence for the possession of a separate and immutable "gender identity" that transcends biological reality than there is for the possession of an "immortal soul". The promotion of gender ideology is seen in Health and in Education as well as in at least 3 of the pieces of proposed legislation currently before the House. The lack of proper consultation – and the ignoring of the majority of submitters, as well as the appalling behaviour of some of the Labour Members on the Committees demonstrates the promotion of this ideology.

  5. UncookedSelachimorpha 5

    Ardern announces an extra $20/week for 350k families in her keynote speech.

    A very, very, very small move. Certainly will transform nothing – most will disappear instantly into increased fuel and accommodation costs. I'm not sure of the detail, but looks like a tax credit, so beneficiaries miss out.

    Must be seen in the context of Labour's powerful decision to avoid taxing wealth. NZ's richest man, Graeme Hart, had his wealth increase by $3.4 billion during the first year of the covid pandemic. This increase alone – by one person – would pay for the entire announced spending increase for over 9 years! But Labour wants to leave thousands in poverty rather than risk inconveniencing a single rich person.

    When Ardern says "Ending child poverty is a priority for this government" I just can't believe her.

    • Nordy 5.1

      I suggest you look at the detail before making assertions that should be an embarrassment. The detail is not hard to find.

      This set of changes come on top of a large set of changes since this govt took office in 2017. They need to be see in there entirety, not as a piecemeal exercise.

      Transformation does not occur as a result of a single decision. It is about the sum of all the things both said and done, and things that are planned to be done. That is how the real world works.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.1.1

        Of course transformation typically does not result from a single decision (although single decisions can have huge effects – for example The Mother of All Budgets). Unfortunately in the real world, appalling levels of poverty and homelessness persist and grow in New Zealand, despite the entirety of the changes Labour has made and not made since coming to power in 2017.

        I have no doubt things would be worse under National, but that is a very low bar. Labour could and should do much better. For any kid with bronchitis and scabies living in poverty in New Zealand today – and there are plenty – what Labour has said, done and planned doesn't count for much.

        • Barfly 5.1.1.1

          Well as a beneficiary – I am looking forward the second part of the increases due on 1 April 2022. Whilst there is no shortage of naysayers bagging the governments efforts my situation has certainly improved because of a large number of small increases.

          • Patricia Bremner 5.1.1.1.1

            I am pleased for you Barfly. smiley

            • Michael 5.1.1.1.1.1

              So am I. I only hope your landlord didn't capture all your increased benefit by hiking your rent. Any Labour Party worth the name would have made sure they could not.

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    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    3 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

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    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    4 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    5 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    6 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    6 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response

    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment

    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President

    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Questions from God

    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • The politics of money and influence

    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity

    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?

    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    1 week ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?

    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.

    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Women in Space.

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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13

    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
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    3 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
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    4 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
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    4 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
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    4 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
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    5 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
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    5 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
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    6 days ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
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    6 days ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
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    6 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
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    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
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    1 week ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins

    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
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