The losses keep coming

Written By: - Date published: 12:08 pm, September 24th, 2012 - 54 comments
Categories: jobs, same old national, unemployment - Tags: , ,

Welcome to National’s economy: Kiwirail has just announced 158 infrastructure and engineering job losses, and this afternoon Solid Energy will probably announce the loss of 300 jobs at Spring Creek, and 200-250 elsewhere.  This on top of the swathe of job losses in Huntly and Christchurch Solid Energy announced a month ago.

The Spring Creek miners aren’t going to take it lying down – they march on Parliament tomorrow, to appeal to their bosses bosses: the Government.  The workers plan to give their alternate plan to ministers; they accept 70 job losses to save the rest.

Kiwirail desperately needs more infrastructure and engineering work to get our tracks up to speed. Best put by the RMTU’s Wayne Butson:

“We fought hard to save as many jobs we could. With rotting Peruvian sleepers and hundreds of wooden bridges beyond their centenary of service, the last thing KiwiRail should be doing is laying off skilled workers.”

Vital rail work would not get done or would be delayed which would compromise safety and performance, he said.

“We’ll see more temporary speed restrictions in place and a greater potential for derailments and other critical incidents, with customers and staff paying the true cost of the cuts.”

These are both SOEs, that the government could be putting valuable investment into the economy through, doing vital work that is needed – instead they’re being run-down and parts flogged off.  Valuable jobs are being lost when the economy can least afford them to be; skilled workers are being lost from Aotearoa to Australia.

Great work National – best we pay more people the dole rather than have productive work done by skilled workers.

54 comments on “The losses keep coming ”

  1. Jokerman 1

    MSM-Nuplex plan to close factories in NZ and Oz in next two years

    • mike e 1.1

      delta are axing 60 jobs airnz is downsizing govt dept.s continue to down size but increase numbers of consultants

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        We have an economy which does not need workers, either skilled or unskilled.

        Let’s go trade some derivatives, that will make NZ wealthy.

  2. Jilly Bee 2

    Having travelled on the Trans-Alpine Express two years ago and to Wellington on the Northern Explorer in July – I was appalled by the condition of the tracks – some parts were worse than a badly pot-holed road. I half expected us to derail several times – it was an ordeal to get up to go to the Cafe Car and/or the toilet. I do not recall the tracks being in such a state when travelling on the Limited Express and the Railcar from Rotorua to Auckland, nor on the Auckland – Wellington Express, even though those trips were several years ago.

    • vto 2.1

      You can blame ‘Sir’ Michael Fay for that jilly bee.

      They systematically rorted NZ Rail so as to pull out every single cent of available cash for themselves rather than use that cash to maintain the lines, wagons, etc. Ever wonder why you see trains travelling at snails pace sometimes? It is because the lack of maintenance means the train tracks cannot take the trains.

      They basically thieved from NZ Rail.

  3. Poission 3

    The transfer of both skilled jobs,and unskilled jobs is becoming more apparent in the difficulty of employers to find staff.One of the foremost issues is the 90 day rule,where employees are reluctant to change.

    Another issue is the inability of employers to provide enhanced on job education with transferable skills.

    The significant problem over the next 3 months will be a decreasing pool of available labour in other regions as CHCH moves into overdrive and the drift is evident now.

    http://s1250.beta.photobucket.com/user/Poission/media/skilllabour_zpsc7661f51.gif.html

    Mobie identified truck drivers as a skill shortage in the SI as an emergent property ( there was an example of a Transport company offering sign on bonuses), very poor decision making to reduce rail development..

    • Tiger Mountain 3.1

      Also according to many unionists old fashioned fatigue (rather than the once trendy burnout) is becoming a real problem across industries and the public service. Staff numbers are cut but the work remains to be done and people are just shagged, but try and cling on to their job.

      KiwiRail tops don’t want to do the work anyway it would seem. What kind of country are we meant to be running here? When everything is sold off and only shit service jobs remain what is left–tax haven, US military base….

      • vto 3.1.1

        But Tiger Mountain don’t you know that is the way ahead?

        For example in the farming industry, selling the farms to foreigners and working as farm managers and labourers is a proven way to wealth apparently.

        Can you not see this?

        • Tiger Mountain 3.1.1.1

          Very droll vto. Not being a “1%er” I do not see this and refuse to, preferring organising and resistance.

    • SpaceMonkey 3.2

      I thought that link was a political poll at first… 🙂

    • Jokerman 3.3

      “they” cannot source or attract enough engineers to fabricate and maintain manufacturing in the province where i live, and are flogging the one’s they have.
      ( yes, i do flat with a local engineers union organiser if you are wondering)
      they call their H.R person “the knife”
      wotta waste of human control degrees, slashing people’s lives in the back!

      btw, to paraphrase a plinth where i was gardening today-“Work is for people that have not learned to garden yet”

      organic Everything. Thats the way to go, imo. 🙂

  4. burt 4

    Kiwirail has just announced 158 infrastructure and engineering job losses

    Makes you wonder why Labour paid twice the market valuation for a lemon… I guess they had to in a bid to make sure National had a hard 6 years so they (Labour) could get back to being a disaster for NZ working people by ruining the economy again implementing failed (but popular) policies like they always do.

    [The govt paid exactly market value for KiwiRail.. the price that the seller and buyer agreed upon. …RL]

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      They didn’t, they paid market value and it’s not a lemon although NACT are trying their best to portray it as such.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      National has vandalised a key part of the infrastructure NZ needs to survive the future, simply in order to serve its roading industry mates.

      Trust you to undermine democratic values by suggesting that common sense policies wanted by the people must be opposed by the who? The wealthy elite?

      Piss off shit for brains.

    • Poission 4.3

      National did not invest nor did private companies such as pike river,Solid energy invested heavily in the rail infrastructure,and the PR disaster left it with both less coal for the route,and requirements for additional strengthening from both Black swan events.

      This was both a mixture of adverse luck,and under capitalization of the SOE’S The inappropriate level of the “market return” as required by directors left Solid Energy insufficient capital.The so called losses at spring creek,are not operating losses but accounting losses.

      http://www.coalnz.com/index.cfm/1,214,655,0/Agreement-to-move-Pike-River-Coal-by-Rail.html

      • RedLogix 4.3.1

        The so called losses at spring creek,are not operating losses but accounting losses.

        Yes. I’ve been encountering this kind of insanity quite a bit lately. Things are perfectly desirable from an engineering point of view are rejected by the bean counters with absolutely specious waffle about ‘opex’ and ‘capex’ and ‘depreciation schedules’ and all sorts of drivel that end up costing money.

        For instance. DoC are required to put a ‘value’ on their visitor assets, the tracks, bridges and huts. Then the govt charges them ‘depreciation’ that has to come out of their ‘opex’ (operations) budget. Then in some crazy money go-round the same money lands back in DoC’s ‘capex’ budget … which can only be spent on ‘new’ assets. Maintenance has to come out of opex.

        So each year as their asset base grows the depreciation charge grows, which means that existing tracks and huts get less and less maintenance. (Not to mention that the biodiversity protection work falls even further down the list of priorities.) At the same time they’ve got biggish lumps of cash to spend on ‘new’ assets that the local community doesn’t want or need. While at the same time DoC are demanding cash and volunteer time from the same community to maintain the older huts and tracks we really DO value.

        This is just one piffling little example of how accounting rules are driving decisions in completely perverse directions.

        • Poission 4.3.1.1

          There are two significant problems here,first the over complication of the SOP,which reduces decision making,and secondly the overweight role of BCA and MBA in running organisations with little understanding of flow dynamics or how things work.

          • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1.1

            What you have a is bunch of shitty “managers” who don’t understand operations, value, or leadership, and instead spend their life steering by the numbers.

            And they also tend to get paid the most in this sociopathic society we’ve allowed.

            • RedLogix 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes. It’s the same story I keep hearing over and over. Our fascination with technology seems to have seduced too many of us into thinking that everything, including leadership, judgement and wisdom can be automated, ie reduced to rigid SOP’s.

              Paperwork and process substituting for experience and skills will always end badly.

            • Poission 4.3.1.1.1.2

              This is not a criticism of Don Elder in the SE case,he was constrained from above a board with a deep ideological agenda,this is the deep malignancy of the underlying pathology,and where they try to cure the symptoms and not the causal mechanism,hence it will reoccur with persistence.

              If accountants are the rule,and they are using accounting procedures in say NZ rails case to reduce spending in infrastructure and maintenance,then they should be accountable if in the unfortunate case of an accident that is attributable ie personally accountable such as the directors of the finance companies.

              That may be the ghost of Christmas to come an enhanced risk is always incentive in the decision making process.

              • Jokerman

                apparently it pays ” to believe six impossible things before breakfast”

              • RedLogix

                If you have the interest here is an excellent account of the Cave Creek disaster from a systemic failure perspective. Especially pertinent:

                “The old New Zealand Forest Service seems to have had a carefully structured system using appropriately skilled employees for designing and building quality structures. Those systems are no longer evident within the Department of Conservation and the appropriately skilled employees have either gone or are doing different jobs. I believe that the department was malformed at birth; no place for the necessary systems was ever provided.”

                Cave Creek had a deep impact on not just DoC, but the wider implementation of the 1992 Health and Safety Act across the entire public and private sectors. But as well-intentioned as the designers of the act were; the implementation of it is notoriously bureaucratic and clumsy. Yet despite all of the immense expense involved, twenty years of the the H&S regime has not really seen a major drop in serious harm incidents.

                Again paperwork attempting to substitute for skill.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Do you want to know how incompetent, corner cutting and badly led this country has become? To me, the opening night of the Rugby World Cup demonstrated it perfectly. Years of planning, hundreds of thousands of management hours, and god knows how many millions upon millions spent in preparation for the opening ceremony.

                  And this country could not even get people across town on time.

                  Absolutely mind numbingly, fucking useless at every single level.

                  God help us if we have to ever do anything of real importance, like say, rebuild a city after a major disaster.

                • Poission

                  Indeed the reduction of institutional memory and great tomes of Potemkin wallpaper undoubtedly constructed at great expense by legions of highly qualified consultatants

                  Haven’t they done well.

                  http://dol.govt.nz/News/Media/2012/consultation-open.asp

        • Jokerman 4.3.1.2

          Jesus Wept!

    • mike e 4.4

      burt 4.000 kms of tracks three ferries rolling stock and land less than the cost of one lane of motorway from Auckland harbour bridge to the airport!
      Typical lack of understanding of infrastructure from redneck bean brained bean counter!

    • mike e 4.5

      John Banks sold kiwi rail to Fayricwhite and Alan Gibbs who live in Switzerland where all corrupt people hide their ill gotten gains 1.2 billion dollars worth of tax payers investment handed to 3 people for a song that money could have been used to up grade Kiwirail with out us having to borrow to fix the run down asset!

  5. burt 5

    Bloody Labour and their Muldoon-esq policies of nationalising everything. It didn’t work for socialist Muldoon and it didn’t work for Labour – but just watch them gain popularity by promising the short memory sheeple they will do it all again.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      It didn’t work for Muldoon because he borrowed the money from offshore at interest and he also created bloody great loopholes in the tax base. Don’t do those things and the nationalising of large parts of the economy works. It’s privatisation that doesn’t as the GFC, the Great Depression and every single recession in between and before prove.

    • mike e 5.2

      Burt Especially if they think like ewe

    • Colonial Viper 5.3

      What was wrong with 1980 Burt? You could raise a family and pay off a home with just a single full time income, and have a parent at home raising the kids too.

      • burt 5.3.1

        1984 – that is what was wrong with 1980 – it was unsustainable. Socialist la la land – the same boom and crash bullshit but you only remember the artificial boom created by failed interventionist ideology. You blind adherence to said ideology prohibits you from associating it’s implementation with it’s consequences. Grow up – stop being a child CV – that big scary “National party” monster is the counterbalance your failed ideology requires every 6-9 years. It’s always been that way with socialism, it always will !

        • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.1

          Hey dickhead if you want unsustainable just look at the crony capitalist economy created and run by the shadow bankers.

          BTW the reason 1984 happened in such a disastrous way was because of your dickhead neoliberal god Roger Douglas and his mates Prebble Moore etc

        • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.2

          burt, reality and what actually happens under capitalism (over accumulation in too few hands, power shifting to those same few, corruption becoming endemic and over use of resources resulting in collapse) is against you. It doesn’t work, it never has done and never will do.

        • mike e 5.3.1.3

          45 farmers committed suicide in one year burt our national debt was only $1 billion in 1976 $16billion after think big and SMP’s after Rogernomics the economy the debt grew to $100 billion thats 100 times worse than Norman kirks debt 6 times worse than Muldoons now the debt is over $300 billion yeah burt neo liberal BS

  6. lefty 6

    Great work National – best we pay more people the dole rather than have productive work done by skilled workers.

    National has no intention of paying the people it throws out of work the dole. That’s why Bennett is doing her welfare ‘reforms’.

  7. Richard 7

    If your ideal government is going to dole out taxpayer money to save 500 uneconomic jobs, why these ones? Surely we can find 500 more worthy jobs to save. There must be some teachers, or university staff, or nurses somewhere to save instead.

    Why do railway infrastructure workers and miners get the free jobs?

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Tax payer money is not “doled out” you fucking moron. Your use of the word “dole” deliberate and cruel, completely underestimates the ECONOMIC value of rail and energy infrastructure to NZ. As well as a pathetic and transparent attempt to turn workers against each other.

      The true UNECONOMIC work in NZ is done by the foreign banks and private monopolies.

      Tax their super-profits at 79% and give the masses of resulting money to teachers, university staff, nurses and yes, public railway infrastructure workers and miners.

      Fuck you and the neoliberal disloyal horse you rode in on.

      Your concept of “uneconomic” is any activity which doesn’t make profits for your capitalist money masters. Piss off.

      • Richard 7.1.1

        Zzzzzz, wake me up when the revolution comes, comrade.

        Until then, the question remains, how do we decide which worker’s jobs to arbitrarily save?

        It can’t be based on return on investment, since the return on investment for these jobs is, as shown by their being disestablished, negative.

        Social value? I fail to see how the excavation of planet-killing coal is socially valuable.

        Guess we’re in a bit of a pickle, then.

        • McFlock 7.1.1.1

          Typical tory bullshit. One-dimensional thinking that thinks short-term selfish gain greed is the same as a long term public good.
                   
          What richard fails to comprehend is that the cards are almost certainly  stacked against him, just like the rest of us. Although the possibility that he’s a friedmanite 0.05%er would be a perfect demonstration that the unrestrained capitalism we face today is not a meritocracy, but a fuckwitocracy.

        • mike e 7.1.1.2

          Richard Cranium We should just retrain them all to become Con sultants at $1200 to $1800 an hour!

    • fatty 7.2

      Richard…can I call you Dick?

      “Why do railway infrastructure workers and miners get the free jobs?”

      If you’re gonna ask a question, can you please make it one that is answerable? Otherwise you look like a Richard.

    • mike e 7.3

      achually railways made $ 130 million in profit last year take away the fact that their has been no real investment in infrastructure for 40 years no new engines for sixty years . The fleecing of capital by John Banks and his mates Fay Richwhite ,Alan Gibbs and Wisconsin rail, Who asset stripped the company of equity built up by NZ taxpayers over 150 odd years.

    • Richard 7.4

      No one actually had a coherent answer I see. Unsurprising.

      The best one was the “130 million dollar profit”, which as far as I can see, was completely made up since Kiwirail actually made a profit of just 34 million last year, representing a terrible return on capital.

      • Colonial Viper 7.4.1

        You certainly don’t have a coherant criticism. Rail enables billions in trade and infrastructure. And it does this efficiently against a very highly subsidised road transport industry.

        representing a terrible return on capital.

        This narrow financialised measure does not even begin to capture the value of rail to this country.

      • mike e 7.4.2

        $123million in 2010
        $34 million in 2011 $100 million operating surplus -cost of govt grant. don’t forget Joyce’s forced depreciation value of land. Kiwi rail is expecting a 29% increase in profit this year !if we did the same calculations for road transport most trucking companies would not be profitable as their is no depreciation for the roads they drive on, then road transport is subsidized by car users and taxpayers!
        Then the Canterbury Earthquakes cut profits from the previous year and this year by 30 million plus pike river loss also affected Kiwirails performance not to mention the lack of investment for the last 40 odd years!

  8. Poission 8

    Gold miner announces 20 job losses today,which is an effect of the high dollar (being unable to capture the increased prices)

    Solid energy had a loss to earnings of 31million after hedging due to the FOREX.

    The arguments that a lower TWI will increase the inputs of NZ manufacturers and producers and decrease the wages of NZ workers is in effect voodoo economics.

    If we use the widely used example ( Joyce) of fuel increases that argument does not hold up with the pump price.As we are paying around the same as the 2008 peak price,when oil was fuel 30% higher and the NZ/US cross rate 7c lower ,someone is making windfall profits.

    The deflater portion of the revalued exchange rate is rarely fully imputed to the sale price,and hence consumers are subsidizing importers.

  9. Georgecom 9

    Bung $20 million to a foreign film company and change the law of the country – no problem.
    Change the law for a large corporate gambler – no problem

    Put in $36 million to keep skilled workers employed and keep a provincial town going – nah.

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    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    5 days ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    6 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    1 week ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 weeks ago

  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
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    1 week ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
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  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
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