Told you so: Right pushes ACC privatisation

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, October 19th, 2009 - 57 comments
Categories: ACC, national/act government, privatisation - Tags:

Last Thursday, Colin Espiner was mocking all of us who said that National and other rightwing groups were trying to create a sense of crisis around ACC to soften us up for privatisation:

“That somehow this is all just a VRWC* to derail the ACC, lower public confidence in it, and then sell it to the highest (or any) bidder just doesn’t ring true for me.

Now, I’m no highly-paid big-city political editor and maybe we should have all deferred to Colin’s manifest wisdom but even I could see this coming a mile away:

‘ACC may open to competition’

It turns out National is in secret talks with ACT about opening the Work Account of ACC to private competition.

acc-undermine-200National isn’t commenting about these secret talks but you can bet National’s big funders, the Insurance Council (remember this?), are involved. After all the Nats have been keeping the private insurers abreast of their secret plans to introduce part charges and cut compensation both measures that will undermine ACC and punish the poor the most.

You can bet that rightwing groups like the Business Roundtable are also letting Smith know that they think privatisation would be just swell.

Now, without wanting Colin to accuse me of being a conspiracy theorist, I can see National springing privatisation on us at the last minute. It is in their election policy after all.

[* means ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’, it’s a term used largely by right-wing bloggers to ridicule the idea that groups on the right work together to advance their political aims.]

57 comments on “Told you so: Right pushes ACC privatisation ”

  1. TightyRighty 1

    how does competition equal privatisation? youhaven’t made that clear.

    • IrishBill 1.1

      How does it not?

    • Daveo 1.2

      It’s privatising the scheme. Services provided in the past by the state are now provided by a private company.

      Workers don’t get a choice in who provides their at work cover, their employer gets to make that choice.

      That means that as an employee I would have to battle with a private insurer rather than ACC. No choice, no discussion, just imposed on me by the National government to enrich its mates at my expense.

    • bobo 1.3

      Maybe National is going to set up a rival government owned accident insurance company to bid against ACC 🙂

    • felix 1.4

      What other sort of competition can you possibly imagine in that little brain of yours, upTighty?

      • TightyRighty 1.4.1

        if there is acc and the competition, how is that privatisation. I understand that your against privatisation, but competition? isn’t that just admitting that ACC is bloated and useless and doesn’t provide the most effective means of of accident compensation?

        • Daveo 1.4.1.1

          You simply don’t get it. When you replace the functions of the state with private companies that is privatisation.

          The right gets it when it’s the other way round. When Labour ended competition your lot correctly called it the “re-nationalisation” of ACC. Why’s it so hard to understand that when the opposite happens it’s called privatisation?

          • TightyRighty 1.4.1.1.1

            no daveo i get what your trying to say. it’s just incorrect thats all. opening up an industry that was previously under state control to competition is not the same as privatisation. royal mail is a public company operating in a competitive environment, and look how poorly that performs. thats what your scared of isn’t it, competition showing up how terribly acc performs.

            • toad 1.4.1.1.1.1

              TR, what I’m scared of is claimants being wrongly refused cover and/or entitlements under a privatised scheme because it is in the linancial interests of both insurers (lower payouts) and employers (lower levies) to do so.

              Sure, the employer gets a choice, but the injured person gets no choice as to which insurer covers them for their injury. They get the one that is cheapest for the employer, which means the one that is likely to be meanest in providing entitlements.

            • Daveo 1.4.1.1.1.2

              Well, you’re wrong. But we’ll leave it there because I realise I’m not going to get anywhere with you.

              As for why I’m concerned, the issue is that every independent report has shown that the current ACC system is the fairest and most efficient in the world. Breaking it up reduces everyone’s ACC rights and forces workers into dealing with unaccountable private insurers.

              Have you actually done any research? Start with the PWC report, then get back to me.

        • felix 1.4.1.2

          upTighty:

          if there is acc and the competition, how is that privatisation.

          It’s privatisation because the competition is private you freaking moron.

          You’re not really here for honest discussion, are you?

        • HitchensFan 1.4.1.3

          oh dear you poor wee soul. Who do you think will be providing the competition??!
          Dear oh dear

    • privatisation means it is no longer in the possession of we the people but run by profit oriented organisations which have never ever been better than state run medical support.

      Ask the Americans how their Medical system works. It’s expensive (in fact the most expensive in the world) does not perform (it’s much worse then ACC) and Cherry picks the people they want to insure I.e. the rich and the healthiest. The rest can, quite literally, drop dead.

      As Naom Chomski said: Privatisation does not mean you take a public
      institution and give it to some nice person. It means you take a
      public institution and give it to an unaccountable tyranny.

  2. bobo 2

    This could well turn into a horror summer for National , ACC will be just a minor issue if National repeals the foreshore & seabed act, I’m looking forward to the the christmas BBQ pit sessions with some of my friends who I know voted national at the last election , one who rides a 50cc motorbike 🙂

    • HitchensFan 2.1

      Excellent! Yes, it’s shaping up to be the summer of discontent alright. Can’t wait.

  3. Nick 3

    Competition for ACC?

    Bring it on.

  4. It turns out National is in secret talks with ACT about opening the Work Account of ACC to private competition.

    Given the talks are about … ACT … offering to back the ACC reform bill if National pledges progress on [National’s] own election promise to “investigate opening the work account to competition” it shouldn’t come as too great a surprise.

  5. Evidence-Based Practice 5

    Good turnout for Wellington lunchtime protest against ACC cuts today. Lots of sympathetic bystanders including the police who are set to lose out with moves towards privatisation or cuts to coverage.

    • toad 5.1

      And a good turnout in Auckland too – with a brief sit-in by some of the marchers at the Auckand ACC office. The police were noticeably more cooperative there than with most protests too. I guess it is often them who have to deal with the mess that results when people don’t get the therapy they need.

  6. scotty 6

    Good Listener editorial today re Nationals ‘ less than honest approach to acc discussions. sorry no link

    • Ianmac 6.1

      Wow Scotty. Gave up on the Listener monts ago but if the Editorial is a bit critical that would be amazing. They appear to me to be usually very pro National.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    I think tighty righty unfairly copped a lot of ridicule for his attempt to distinguish competition from privatisation.

    I think the distinction is very clear.

    Privatisation is when a government owned organisation is flogged off to the private sector.

    However, I don’t see any suggestion, even on this site, that the government has any such intention. Merely opening the government owned organisation to competition is not the same as privatising it since the government owned organisation is still government owned.

    • felix 7.1

      It’s a disingenuous and semantic distinction and as such it’s no surprise to see you defending it.

      Services currently provided by a publicly owned entity will be provided instead by privately owned entities, for a profit.

      Twist and turn like the worm you are but this is privatisation and you know it.

      • infused 7.1.1

        It’s not privatization, however hard you try to spin it.

        • felix 7.1.1.1

          Good luck explaining to the people of NZ that you can take something out of public hands and put it into private hands but it’s not really privatisation because… [insert whatever absurd definition of the word “private” you’re using today].

          Do let me know how that works out for you.

        • travellerev 7.1.1.2

          Actually it is.

          Private insurers will hand pick the rich and the healthy and make lots of money while a money starved public system will be left to cope with the poor and the unhealthy.

          It happened in Holland and it will happen here.

          They tried to solve the none insured “problem” caused by poverty by fining those who could not insure themselves.

          The same thing they want to do in the States. 30 million poverty stricken souls will be slapped with fines for not chucking up loads of dosh to insurers who won’t pay their medical bills anyway.

      • gitmo 7.1.2

        Privatisation definition… for wiki this is actually a pretty coherent description. (Hate those USA Zs though)

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privatization

        • felix 7.1.2.1

          I hate them too, but partly because phonetically they make more sense to me.

          Must… resist…. bad spelling….

        • Graeme Edgeler 7.1.2.2

          USA Zs?

          I guess you’ve never looked in an Oxford English Dictionary – New Zealand and Australia are the outliers here. American English, Canadian English and British English all prefer the Z.

          • felix 7.1.2.2.1

            And?

          • Stacktwo 7.1.2.2.2

            Pedants’ Corner:

            In fact, most run-of-the-mill Oxford Dictionaries, the Cambridge University Press and “Fowler’s Modern English Usage” prefer “-ise”, while the magnum opus OED recommends the use of “-ize” for words of Greek origin. “-ise” has been standard for much of the news media in Britain for many years, and is running at a ratio of 3:2 against “-ize” in the British National Corpus. Wikipedia

  8. scotty 8

    tsmithfield,
    Which govt dept do suggest should compete with acc? or are suggesting acc should compete with private companies? . = ,private companies receiving public funds to usurp govt roll, = , Privatisation

  9. Adolf Fiinkensein 9

    If you can see ‘privatization’ in National’s policy document then you’ll also believe Philip Field is not guilty of corruption and perversion of the course of justice.

    I hope you enjoy your ride down to single digit party vote figures. Shouldn’t take long if you keep up this standard of lying.

  10. tc 10

    Bottom line is a badly run inefficient public service driven organisation is still more cost effective/cheaper in the long run to the user/taxpayer than any privatised/outsourced service…look at the gouging our ‘corporatised’ power companies delight in, imagine if they were all owned by the same types of overseas investors who drive telecoms behaviour.
    The pattern’s always the same…..socialise the losses, privatise the profits. Muldoon would be proud of this lot, especially the way the media heels like a doting labrador at their side.

    • gitmo 10.1

      “Bottom line is a badly run inefficient public service driven organisation is still more cost effective/cheaper in the long run to the user/taxpayer than any privatised/outsourced service”

      No this is not true, there are numerous examples supporting either perspective. Have a look at this wiki link.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privatization

      As an aside from the same link

      “The largest privatisation in history was Japan Post. It was the nation’s largest employer and one third of all Japanese government employees worked for Japan Post. Japan Post was often said to be the largest holder of personal savings in the world.”

      Ye Gods one third of all public servants employed by Japan post !!

  11. Ron 11

    Couldn’t agree more tc.
    This is what happened last time.
    Many organisations were forced to take a cheaper insurance with private firms. That insurance did not cover their workers in the way that ACC did so we a ludicrous situation in the organisation in which i worked in which the students working there were covered if the used the lift from the fourth floor but not the stairs.
    So – what happened last time was:
    injuries occurred that weren’t covered by the new private insurance and so the state ended up paying for the treatment anyway.
    injuries occured and the private insurance wasn’t as comprehemsive as ACC and workers were forced back to work too soon
    injuries and illness occured and companies’ insurance wasn’t comprehensive enough and sick workers lost their jobs when they weren’t able to return to work soon enough for the company.

    In all three scenarios the private insurer pocketd the premiums and the organsiation/company/state/or individuals bore the cost.

  12. Guys like Espiner(who can be very informative and insightful) are sometimes too close to the politics to see it clearly. Wouldn’t be the first time the Press gallery saw one thing and people outside see another…and were more accurate.

    I base my assessments on years of hearing what the pollies say…and then watching what they do. You get to know what the weasel words are, what they likely mean…and where it’s all headed.

    This national government is in the pocket of several powerful interests…and the insurance industry is near the top of the list. Mainly foreign insurance companies, too….which begs the question as to which country “National” party actually refers to.

    Too often, it isn’t New Zealand….

    Are there any journos doing “crony watch” on appointments to government bodies?

  13. logie97 13

    Afternoons on RNZ today. Appalling – you had apolitical chairman Judge making outright politically motivated statements while pushing his own barrow. And then the highly intellectual commentary of panelists Bishop and actor Peter Elliott hanging on his every word – no balance or challenge to Judge’s political stance. What a dreadful bit of radio – probably set up by Crosby-Textor. And then to round the programme off they had Farrar commenting on the most recent opinion poll.

  14. Rex Widerstrom 14

    There’s no denying ACC has structural problems. I even support some of Nick Smith’s suggestions. But competition / privatisation is a nightmare scenario — one only has to look across the ditch to see that privatised accident insurance is just a huge mess. Employers end up getting stung by huge premiums to cover work-related accidents, the health system struggles to cope with private accidents, and employees are routinely screwed by the insurance companies.

    I’ve worked with a hard right politician here in Australia… someone who is hated by the unions, who thinks the ECA is a brilliant bit of legislation, and so on. And I was dumbstruck one day when, appropos of discussing my background, he commented on how much he admired the ACC concept and how it was a major political disappointment to him that he couldn’t get the support of enough of his colleagues to get something similar passed here.

    Now when a cross between Roger Douglas, Bill Birch and Rodney Hide is talking admiringly of a socialised accident compensation regime, you start to realise NZ has something worth preserving, not ripping down and replacing with an alternative that has been repeatedly shown to be a disaster whereever else it’s tried.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      The thing is that all corporations and businesses require some sort of structural adjustment. IME, most are usually going through some sort adjustment most of the time. Picking on government corporations to point out that they aren’t perfect is disingenuous at the very least because private ones aren’t any better and are usually worse.

  15. Herodotus 15

    We gave up the right to litigate with the intro of ACC. With the reduction of the ability to recover loss (Financially re rehabilitation or compensation of earnings). Should not the ability to litigate be returned?
    I ask this a rhetorical question, as I that the presumption is NO. But this I believe should still be rasied as to one of many flaws in this policy.
    p.s. as I asked before re Private memebers bill. David Parker has one to extend the fully funded timetable from 2014 to 2118 (I Think) that failed recently. Who put a halt to this, as Nats on their own I thought did not have the soul right.

    • logie97 15.1

      Herod.. are your multiple typing errors by design or accident? Or are you actually the PM? I notice today that he talked about “bought” to the committee rather than brought. What is it about these MBA’s…?

      • Herodotus 15.1.1

        I do not have such a grand education as a MBA (Shakespear misspelt many words but I am not being defensive here). Is there a job opening for the PM, at least for a day !!
        My sentiment was that we have given away our ability to litigate in return for for a FULL ACC system, that is being erroded. As the answer to “that we do not want to revert to a ligitation system” is No, then we have to run with the ACC framework. It is not to be taken over by the IFRS type accounting/reporting system.

  16. tsmithfield 16

    felix said:

    “it’s a disingenuous and semantic distinction and as such it’s no surprise to see you defending it. Services currently provided by a publicly owned entity will be provided instead by privately owned entities, for a profit. Twist and turn like the worm you are but this is privatisation and you know it.”

    Right. So, we have a public health service, and private health providers. The public health service is still the public health service, despite the fact that private health providers exist. If you agree with this in respect to public health, then you really have no argument with respect to ACC and competition, if it comes. The presence of competition won’t make ACC any less public anymore than it does with public health.

    • felix 16.1

      Yes, we have a partially private health system.

      Now the nats want to partially privatise ACC.

      Glad you agree.

      • tsmithfield 16.1.1

        And a partially private health system has proved to be a bad thing? At least those who can afford it fund a substantial portion of their own health care, taking the load off the public system.

        How about Kiwibank. A publicly owned bank in the midst of a competitive environment. Would you subscribe to nationalising all the other privately owned banks so we can have a completely publicly owned banking system?

        • logie97 16.1.1.1

          The private sector will rarely do the complicated procedures. They will give you the consultation on your private insurance in their private clinic and then refer you to the public system and … guess who your specialist will be … yep the private consultant. Same thing happens if your procedure becomes difficult as well. The public system will pick you up.

        • felix 16.1.1.2

          Ah, so everything in the public system is directly comparably to everything else in the public system. And likewise for the private sector.

          I support private car dealers, so therefore I must support private prisons.

          Sorry, but I can’t lower myself to a discussion at this level. I just don’t have time to get you up to speed.

  17. Marty it’s a little bit unfair to be expecting msm journalists to like, use reason, facts and research and stuff to base their columns on. I mean, unlike amateur bloggers they get paid to do a job, they can’t be expected to be accurate and professional too 😉

  18. tc 18

    Gitmo: I read the link, few examples, mostly theory and rhetoric, which is the what we get from Jk and his buddies. We are talking about NACT here not sophisticated economies in countries with centuries of leadership/cultural/political experience to draw from and voters who share that.
    We all know this is about payback to insurance companies as a contra for pre EFA activities contributions….Gutting ETS looks after more mates whilst the mining/exploration permits are growing whilst they plough more of our money into Rugby.
    Can’t wait for the foreshore/seabed outcome

  19. Actually it was Hillary Clinton (Does she still use the Rodham?) who first coined the term Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vast_right-wing_conspiracy

    You might like to get even some basic facts right.

    [Dude, give us some credit, I’m aware of its origins. The fact is, while it may have originally been uttered by Clinton, it has since been appropriated by right-wing bloggers as a term of ridicule – particularly in the form of the “VRWC” acronym.]

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    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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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. ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks 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
    3 hours 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
    11 hours 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
    11 hours 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
    13 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
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