TVNZ pays Chief Executive a bonus after massive plunge in profits

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 am, November 14th, 2017 - 40 comments
Categories: class war, Media, Privatisation, telecommunications, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, tv, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

From the you have to be kidding file.

TVNZ’s financial performance has been on the decline with the reduction in profit especially pronounced.  Its profit in 2016 was $12.7 million.  Last year it plummeted to $1.397 million.

After such a significant loss in profit you would expect the Chief Executive’s pay to be adversely effected.  But no.  In 2016 it was $1.1 million but last year it increased to  more than $1.35 million.  He personally earned almost as much as the company profit.

Is someone taking the piss?

From Stuff:

Television New Zealand boss Kevin Kenrick banked more than $500,000 in extra payments last year, the broadcaster has revealed, taking his salary to more than $1.35m.

TVNZ’s entire profit was only slightly larger than its chief executive’s pay. It made $1.392m for the year – down a whopping $11.295m on the previous year.

Kenrick collected a $409,727 bonus payment in September 2016 for meeting “performance criteria” and that, with other extra payments, significantly bumped up his base pay of about $840,000.

He’s by far the highest-earner at the network, with their annual report disclosing today that three other staff earn over half a million dollars a year. TVNZ do not have to disclose the names of those earners and have refused in the past to identify who their biggest on-screen bankers are.

The causes for the savage drop in profitability are described as being difficulties over a decision to bulk buy programming from Disney and reorganisation and redundancy costs relating to the newsroom.  Fair enough.  But rewarding the Chief Executive overseeing self imposed contracting difficulties is just strange.

And what happens elsewhere?

The highest-paid figure at RNZ is paid between $400,000 – $410,000.

Meanwhile, the executive director of the BBC, Tony Hall, was paid an annual salary of £450,000 as of March 2017 – equivalent to about $850,000 in New Zealand currency.

I will shock a few by saying this but maybe it is time to consider privatising TVNZ.  The released capital can be used to improve the performance of entities who do not use a rabid right winger as its front person and who do not pay the chief executive a bonus for overseeing a massive drop in profitability.

40 comments on “TVNZ pays Chief Executive a bonus after massive plunge in profits ”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    So there’s not a lot of profit in having a right wing, Nat-cheerleader as TV host and election moderator?

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    The SOE model doesn’t work. The best thing to do to TVNZ as it stands is to asset strip it and give everything of value to a public service broadcaster.

    • Carolyn_Nth 2.1

      Yep. And the new public service platform will surely be RNZ+, with funding unfrozen.

      Hence the job swaps going on at RNZ with hosts with TV experience taking turns at the Checkpoint radio with pictures.

      And I suspect there will be a John Campbell TV show in the pipeline – maybe also Mihingarangi Forbes and Espiner.

      • Anne 2.1.1

        Yep. And the new public service platform will surely be RNZ+, with funding unfrozen.

        Yep, and RNZ deserve it. The last govt. did everything they could to try and bring the public broadcasting entity crashing down. Don’t forget John Key refused to be interviewed by RNZ staff for the first years of his reign. They reduced their funds then froze what was left. It was a disgusting display of bias and bullying by way of starvation.

    • OnceWasTim 2.2

      Yes!. Why privatise it? Keep the assets buildings, equipment et al for public service purpose

    • cleangreen 2.3

      yep agreed OAB. 100%

  3. patricia bremner 3

    So, all the hype about dropping programmes to increase revenue??

    Ha ha ha!! Pardon my mirth. New Zealanders voting with their feet? Had enough? Hell yes!! So sick of Hoskings et al.

    Bring back NZ content, decent production values and stories. We are sick of the tossers and the posers.

    Clare Curran has signaled public broadcasting. Yay, can’t wait. Bring it on. Some decent presenters and interviewers.

    I’m with Adrian, it is so good to have a team of people all working for us. Good things happening every day.

  4. MG 4

    It is unrealistic to compare BBC and TVNZ.

    While TVNZ is an SOE, it is reliant on advertising revenue, whereas BBC is Government funded.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      What an excellent idea.

      Commercial-free, unbound from any corporate loyalties. Reports to the public annually.

      Sustaining citizenship and civil society
      Promoting education and learning
      Stimulating creativity and cultural excellence
      Representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities
      Bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK
      Delivering to the public the benefit of emerging communications technologies and services

      I agree, MG, we should definitely change TVNZ along these lines. Well said.

      PS: the British public pays for the BBC directly via license fees. So strictly speaking it isn’t “government funded”.

      • Craig H 4.1.1

        We used to do that until Ian Wishart got them to cave by constantly going on about the license fees being an illegal tax.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1

          Then I can think of a perfect name for the legislation to reinstate it 😈

          Or just fund it through taxation.

  5. DH 5

    The buck sure doesn’t stop there does it. Reminds me of the Fletcher Challenge bigwigs running around clucking it wasn’t their fault either.

    I don’t agree they should sell TVNZ off, not in this state anyway. An asset is valued by its yield and while there would be expectations of greater future yields by potential buyers offers would likely be well below the book value. Selling distressed assets is never a good idea.

    To my mind it’s the perfect opportunity to return TVNZ to being a public broadcaster. If it’s not making any money there’s no purpose to running it as a business so why not turn it into something useful instead.

    • Carolyn_Nth 5.1

      It could be. However, my understanding is that built into such an organisation structurally, are all kinds of ways of operating, and related values that may be hard to change significantly. ie staff used to systems and ways of working that incorporate commercial values.

      That, I think, is why Labour is considering developing RNZ to a multimedia platform, because, at its core, they are organised around public service values. They may be able to shift some resources (cameras, IT equipment, etc) from TVNZ.

      RNZ has a great raft of (often young and keen) journalists. It also shouldn’t take much to expand Freeview channels to broadcast more diverse drama and documentaries according to a public service remit. Maori TV does that well.

      I don’t know about the potential to incorporate TVNZ’s website and that of RNZ for more ondemand, or straight to the web programmes?

      • DH 5.1.1

        It’s the infrastructure they need to keep. One of the quirks of business is you can depreciate your assets when the actual earnings capability of those assets doesn’t fall at all. A three year old camera can be worth bugger all on the books yet still do much the same work, and earn the same amount of money, as a brand new camera. That applies to office fitouts, broadcasting equipment and all the other plant that makes up its assets.

        Getting rid of the corporate culture is no big deal, that just requires a few changes to key staff and a new directive on how TVNZ is to operate.

        • OnceWasTim 5.1.1.1

          +100
          And when you look back over the years RNZ/RadioNZ/NZBC has been systematically stripped. (E.g. once owning its own transmission facilities, Broadcasting House Wellington, etc.)

          For me there are a number of issues. I’m a big fan of CBB/BPM, but I’ve always thought that striving for a single PS TV channel was too little.
          I don’t see why this population of 4.5 million can’t have
          RNZ National, RNZ Concert FM AND an on-air The Wireless (bear in mind people were advocating for a youth radio network years ago)
          and a TVNZ7 style TV1 as well as a TV2 style Heartland and children’s TV.
          PS TV could create alliances with other global public service broadcasters as well as NZ regional operators, simulcasts etc. for content.
          Then there’s NZ’s orchestras, and up and coming bands that have been absent from our screens for a long long time

          I also come from the perspective of public money going towards PSB – not towards effectively subsidising commercial TV.
          And I’m not sure all that ‘funder-provider’ model works that well. Years ago we tried that with our health system. What we’ve created is a number unnecessary bureaucracies many with highly paid execs.

    • cleangreen 5.2

      I stand with DH,

      TVNZ was paid up and established by us every taxpayer and should keep ownership and control of this “Public broacaster, not sellit off just because some idiot decided SOE was the way to ge as SOE is the progressive step to sale.

      Take our public assets back we say.

      And Claire please remove that awful word from ‘Radio NZ’ please as they use that swear word often called “National”

      Now it is introduced as;

      “Radio NZ National”

      So remove that draconian name “national” please as it is offensive.

  6. Cinny 6

    One would think if a companies profits took such a nose dive that the CE is not doing their job properly.

    Why on earth would they increase the C.E salary, if they can’t run the company correctly why would you give them more money? Unless there is some sort of underlying agenda… it makes no sense at all.

    Public broadcasting please, new CE please, time for some new stars to shine, hosking is yesterdays news.

  7. tc 7

    Good boy Kevin, here’s a final bone from national should they lose…. which they did.

    My how surprising, nice work from the ex travel exec with zero broadcasting experience who ensured the likes of hoskins remained with soapboxes for Boag etc on Q&A. Job Done Kev.

    There’s little of value to privatise Mickey as it’s been racing towards the bottom for years.

    No ability to make content and it can’t even buy content competently it seems. Gut it and transform it into a public broadcaster ensuring the numbers around the shonky skycity convention giveaway of land and buildings get prominence.

  8. savenz 8

    Shocking normal in our neoliberal world.

    Yep, make workers redundant, lose profits, lose viewers, become a right wing news outfit on the tax payers dime and WTF the CEO gets as much pay as their entire profit! Madness! And the pay is totally out of scale with what other CEO’s of better news organisation’s are earning.

    The first thing the government should do is stop the out of control public wages to CEO’s in councils and other tax payer funded organisations like TVNZ.

    No more that 20x the lowest workers. So if TVNZ employs someone at $15.75 p/h then max amount for top performance as measured by increased viewers, national and international awards, happy workers, balanced reporting, good feedback from viewers and staff etc etc) then max amount $655k for CEO and if lowest worker on living wage of $20 p/h then max amount $832k.

    Also there should be a metric linked to median pay so that it is an advantage for a CEO to have more people on median wages than lowest wages.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 8.1

      65% tax on income above 500k would also help. And I think most NZers would support such a move. Cutting tax on the top tier has never been driven by public demand – it has been imposed by the rich influencing politics.

  9. I will shock a few by saying this but maybe it is time to consider privatising TVNZ. The released capital can be used to improve the performance of entities who do not use a rabid right winger as its front person and who do not pay the chief executive a bonus for overseeing a massive drop in profitability.

    Except that that doesn’t do what you want. We’ve seen several times where the CEO has presided over a massive drop in profits and even the collapse of the company getting a huge ‘performance’ bonus.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/24/bonus-for-pearson-chief-despite-biggest-loss-in-companys-history
    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/10/03/nine-ceo-gets-pay-rise-despite-annual-loss

    Privatisation has never resulted in the promised benefits. Instead, how about we stop running TVNZ as a profit making machine and turn it into community service with good documentaries providing high quality information and without advertising.

    Oh, and reduce CEO pay to say $150,000 per year less than the what the PM gets (the PM should be the highest paid civil servant in the country).

  10. Philg 10

    Let’s face it, he does have a lot of smelly stuff to shovel.

  11. cleangreen 11

    Mickey,

    Jst another grotesque result giving a public servant (CEO) all this money when our public service Radio NZ netwark is so poorly funded now it has no reginal reporters in many places any more now.
    HB Gisborne have been without a regional reporter for upwards to a year now and all other regions reporters are too busy to take our community issue to print or place on radio NZ now.

    I recieved a letter from a CEO office weeks ago after asking why we have no reporters here and this man said “currently we have no local reporter in your region,” so we are left withour our public repesentation while the TV networks still shell out thousands for a TV One CEO!!!!!

    Unbelievable.

  12. Ad 12

    It was good to see the State Service Commission dare to criticise the $800k salary of the CEO of NZSuper. last month.

    But for lack of Board control over salaries, and lack of enforcement from the State Services Commission for many years, we have to go back to the instigation of New Public Management from the late 1980s and the whole idea of the need for Board,s and Chief Executives of public entities as a whole:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_public_management

    https://eclass.uoa.gr/modules/document/file.php/PSPA108/4NPM%20origins.pdf

    I’m guessing that ripping that entire managerial carapace off Wellington would put the entire ruling class there into shock like little grey slaters running away from the sun. That really is the 1% that runs our public realm and its execution, rather than Ministers as a whole.

    They should sell off the profitable bits and merge the charter functions as a shell under RNZ. We have too many entities with too many boards and too much managerial make-work generating very little collective public good.

    Whether it would be worth the effort when it would simply piss off the elites and transform nothing, well, that’s another debate. about how much Ministerial time and effort the relevant Ministers would want to debate.

  13. Gristle 13

    Tvnz has been commercially hamstrung since the late 1990’s. All its attempts to generate alternate revenue streams and participate in a modern media environment have been hamstrung by the government.

    The philosophy was that a government entity couldn’t outperform private entities because everyone knows that is not what the neoliberal playback says. Therefore the government kept on pulling TVNZ out of expansion opportunities and taking cash from them. At one stage there was an attempt to load it up with debt because debt was good for companies and cash was good for the shareholder. Oh that bit of advice was from Westpac, who had no interest in the whole matter except for collecting fees and the interest.

    Parking TVNZ and using RNZ as its vehicle in broadcasting may make sense. I would love to see more information.

  14. KJT 14

    National “Governments cannot run a business”.

  15. tracey 15

    Maybe Nats thinking they would win the election watched as tvnz butned and were going to use public outrage to justify a sell off?

    • cleangreen 15.1

      All very very true there Tracey love it all Micky did great with this article.

      We need to reinstate martyn bradbury on Radio NZ too as he is highly motivated.

      Today his blog onhow to kill TPP is exellent we need to have him back interviewing at the sharp edge of politics.

      In his article today he has had discussions with Government and has released a plan to beat TPP.
      Take a look at this. we need him back inside politico again.

      Tuesday November 14th, 2017

      https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/11/14/being-economically-occupied-by-china-politically-owned-by-america-and-what-everyone-is-missing-about-how-to-defeat-tppa/#comment-408054

      Being economically occupied by China, politically owned by America and what EVERYONE is missing about how to defeat TPPA
      By Martyn Bradbury / November 14, 2017 /

      We can stamp our feet like the Green Party and the Unions have and throw a tantrum and just refuse to actually engage with the process OR we can see this as an opportunity to directly influence our political and economic independence.

      What was really funny about Q+A on TVNZ over the weekend was the naked shock so many of the journalists exhibited when the true extent of China’s influence over the National Party was exposed.
      That was followed up yesterday by Newsroom also examining the ground breaking academic study by Canterbury University Professor Anne-Marie Brady that shows the National Party of NZ is less a Political Party and more a front for Chinese Business interests.

      This is all hilarious because we here at The Daily Blog have been banging the ‘National-are- compromised-by-their-Chinese-mates’ drum for quite some time now…

      I simply don’t trust the National Party when it comes to handling our economic interests with China because the National Party itself is now wedded and compromised personally to wealthy Chinese interests. Jenny Shipley, Don Brash, Ruth Richardson and Chris Tremain are Director’s of the China Construction Bank, Judith Collins interaction with Chinese Officials to help her husbands Chinese Company, Oravida, to gain more Chinese money and Maurice Williamson’s love affair with Donghua Liu saw him become Liu’s personal handyman when doing up Liu’s batch and heavying the Police to drop domestic violence charges.
      The National Government are as dependent on their Chinese friends as the entire economy now has become.
      …the fact that Metiria’s courageous admission that she took for her child 25 years ago could face more scrutiny and attention from the mainstream media of NZ than a National Party MP who is a Chinese Spy tells you all you need to know about how fucking braindead our corporate media are, and also how their owners are very sensitive to annoying Chinese business interests themselves.
      The truth is that we are economically occupied by China. They see us as the Tibet of the South Pacific and in their cold war (soon to be hot war) with America over the Pacific, they intend to push their interests aggressively as they seek to become the dominant force in our region.
      This economic occupation by China is of course happening while we are utterly politically owned by America.

      Our inclusion into the 5 Eyes network with vast new upgrades for mass surveillance means our Intelligence Apparatus answers to Washington, not Wellington. The forced mass surveillance legislation rammed through under urgency, the rules gagging telecommunications companies from informing their customers that the GCSB or SIS are spying on them, aggressive whistleblower laws to prevent Public Servants from telling the people about illegal Government spying, the entire prosecution of Kim Dotcom and the attempt to assert US jurisdiction into cyberspace – all of these developments in NZ are part of an attempt by the deep state to cement their power over our political establishment.
      China to the Left of us, America to the right – and here I am stuck in the middle with you sleepy Hobbits.
      So what does a tiny country do when caught between two mammoth powers?
      You tread bloody carefully.
      What the new fangled CPTPP actually does is present NZ with a genuine opportunity to try and push for an independent economic direction with a trade deal that doesn’t include China or America.
      Are there still concerns about the ISDS powers that could drag us in front of an international tribunal?
      Of course there are.
      Are there concerns about protecting Māori sovereignty?
      Yes there is.
      Are there concerns that this trade deal will only help NZ big business and none of our small exporters?
      Absolutely.
      Does this CPTPP do enough to enshrine environmental and human rights?
      No it doesn’t.
      So what should we be doing as a response to this situation?
      The Greens bewilderingly have decided that they aren’t in fact members of the bloody Governmentand instead are stomping their foot like a petulant child who doesn’t like the rules of the game being played.

      Could someone please send the Green Party a memo that they are actually in the fucking Government now? You don’t just throw tantrums, that’s what Opposition Parties do, you are now the Government and as such have enormous influence over the final agreement.
      NZ First at least has the decency to show enough political skills to wait until the text is in front of us before they are ruling it out!
      What everyone needs to do now is pause, take a deep breath and just try to consider all the moving parts of this before throwing tantrums.
      I’ve argued that Jacinda, David Parker and Winston are all playing a dangerous game trying to navigate elites at home who want to trip the new Government up and an MFAT who are religiously free market and that the CPTPP represents us kicking for touch rather than a sell out of all the values arguing against the ISDS. Add the far larger geopolitical machinations between China and America and we either see the CPTPP as a means to advance our interests away from China and America or we all sulk while refusing to acknowledge that is even happening.
      Having spoken directly to David Parker and Jane Kelsey over the last 24 hours, here is the process that needs to occur before this thing is signed off.
      All 11 countries first have to
      • Finalise the negotiations (Japan is pushing for the sidelines of WTO ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires in December; haven’t heard from the Canada end)
      • Scrub and revise the legal text
      • Sign the text (Japan is saying this should happen in Japan in January)
      Each party then undertakes its own domestic processes
      Standing orders (397) require a new agreement (which this is branded as) or an amendment to an existing agreement to be tabled in the House with an NIA.
      That is referred to the select committee, which does not have to hear submissions but the PM said they would.
      The committee has to report to the house – although there is no requirement for a vote. National did not even have a debate on the report, only the implementing legislation. There is no set time frame.
      It is not clear whether any implementing legislation would then be required; they will probably have to make some amendments to the existing Act to change the entry into force provisions regarding the IP stuff.
      So what this all means is that there has to be a process, and it is our obligation as citizens to interact with that process to ensure that the CPTPP poses no threats to our democracy, that it it actually benefits all NZ business and not just some and that it protects the environment and human rights WHILE providing us independence from China and America.
      Now, we can stamp our feet like the Green Party and the Unions have and throw a tantrum and just refuse to actually engage with the process OR we can see this as an opportunity to directly influence our political and economic independence.
      You can’t be screaming about corporate threats to our democracy and ignore the current influence China and America has over our democracy because to do so would make you sound really stupid.
      IF during the process we can’t get what we want, we always have the option to walk away and outright oppose it, but to do that before we’ve even understood the process or considered the geopolitical realities seems like the actions of children who are not ready yet for the big questions.
      So what are we? Children or Adults?

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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    4 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘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 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    4 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    4 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    4 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago

  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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