Urgency

Written By: - Date published: 2:38 pm, December 8th, 2008 - 50 comments
Categories: Media, rumour, workers' rights - Tags: , , , ,

During this morning’s Nine to Noon politics segment Matthew Hooton was saying how he thought the Government’s 100-day action plan would only include policies signalled prior to the election when he let slip:

“And I’m sure while there will be some complaints about one measure… er… some measures…”

I wonder what that one unpopular measure could be?

Rumours abound that National is planning to ram its 90 day fire at will policy into law under urgency before Christmas to mollify its increasingly restless business base. Could this be it?

Certainly if you were a new government having to take people’s rights off them you’d want to do it quickly and with as little time for democratic discussion and debate as possible, then hope the Christmas break helps push it down the memory hole.

Personally I think it’s unlikely smart operators like National would risk the potential backlash from such a transparently undemocratic move, but my usually reliable sources suggest otherwise. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

50 comments on “Urgency ”

  1. ieuan 1

    I don’t think so. You guys seem to be the only ones obsessed by this.

  2. Tane 2

    You guys seem to be the only ones obsessed by this.

    Funny, the post links to an article saying it’s the top policy demand of the business sector, and barely an interview goes by without Phil O’Reilly or Alasdair Thompson banging on about it. Perhaps you should read more widely.

  3. Strathen 3

    I see this story is tagged in media, rumour, and workers rights. Why is it not tagged in Employers Rights?

    I don’t like perceived rights that exist at the expense of another’s. It’s the classic line a law student gives to the bouncer, ‘I know my rights, I’m doing law’. Most of these law students haven’t quite figured out that the bouncers and the pub have rights as well. It seems to me that those opposed to this legislation are the people who have not quite realised that Employers should have rights as well. Maybe one day education will catch up with the real world and systems can be developed to embrace the fact that everyone has rights, and they need to be evenly applied across the board. Not just to favour what commentators decide is the little guy.

  4. principessa 4

    I believe in equal rights, I just don’t think many employees have equal rights with their employers.

  5. Tane 5

    Strathen, employers do have legal rights. They’re allowed to own the means of production and have the power to compel workers under their employment, fire them if they don’t perform to expectations, restructure them, make them redundant, and take for themselves any wealth their employees produce. This power is granted, and enforced, by the full power of the state.

    The reason we talk about workers’ rights is because workers need rights to balance the inequality of power inherent in the employment relationship as outlined above. In my view, and many others’, National’s fire at will measures will tip the balance unacceptably in the employer’s favour.

  6. ieuan 6

    Sorry I didn’t explain myself properly.

    You are the only one’s obsessed by this being an unpopular measure.

    As for tipping the balance, this only affects new employees, 95% of the work force are unaffected.

    I read widely, hell I read ‘The Standard’ regularly and I am not a hard nosed righty or a loopy lefty.

  7. Strathen 7

    Tane – Yes, very valid rights for the employer if they were that black and white. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work that way. The current system only sees employers as cash cows. So to do workers after recent ‘low unemployment’.

    In my eyes, the only people that should be afraid of this legislation are the crap workers. Especially those that think they are really good, when in fact they aren’t. Some people shouldn’t be in the jobs they do.

  8. Tane 8

    ieuan, we’ll have to wait and see. Everyone I’ve talked to about it who isn’t a short-sighted employer has been opposed to it. The more long-term-thinking employers I’ve spoken to have seen it as unnecessary and potentially corrosive to their employment relations, as well as having a chilling effect on labour mobility.

    As for the ‘compromise’ of making it for small businesses only, I think people a) recognise the inherent unfairness in the policy, b) realise they too could work for a small business in future and c) understand that this measure is just the thin end of the wedge and soon enough it’ll be extended to cover everyone, including them.

  9. Tane 9

    Strathen, the law as it stands already takes care of “crap workers” if managers actually manage their staff properly. This policy puts everyone at risk simply to reward bad management.

  10. Chris S 10

    Strathen, Freedom for the Pike means death to the Minnows.

    We all have to share this little pond, if you know what I mean.

  11. rjs131 11

    Well if it the bill will mean the end of the world for workers, then i am sure it will bring out the best in the likes of Lynne Pillay, Darien Fenton and Sue Moroney in opposing it. Or maybe the reason such outstanding candidates like these 3 and Lesley Soper lost was that the public think this bill wont affect almsot all workers and businesses

    [Tane: I’ve just had a look through your recent comments – more than half are dedicated purely to taking cheap shots at Pillay, Fenton and Moroney. Start mixing up your game or I’ll start deleting your posts.]

  12. Graeme 12

    Everyone I’ve talked to about it who isn’t a short-sighted employer has been opposed to it. The more long-term-thinking employers I’ve spoken to have seen it as unnecessary and potentially corrosive to their employment relations, as well as having a chilling effect on labour mobility.

    Opposed to it, or opposed to using them?

    Good long-term-thinking employers can benefit from this – they can advertise about how they’re not going impose 90-day probation periods, and get all the good employees.

  13. ieuan 13

    ‘Everyone I’ve talked to about it who isn’t a short-sighted employer has been opposed to it. The more long-term-thinking employers I’ve spoken to have seen it as unnecessary and potentially corrosive to their employment relations, as well as having a chilling effect on labour mobility.’

    Well count me as one of your ‘long-term-thinking employers’ who thinks it’s a good policy.

    If you guys really want to fight for something how about getting better redundancy payment terms written into law because basically there is nothing at the moment.

  14. Tane 14

    The union movement has fought for and continues to fight for minimum redundancy protections. The CTU issued a statement calling for it just last week.

    As a result of union campaigning Labour even introduced a policy for the 2008 election to bring it in, but they lost. With a National/ACT majority in the house that policy is dead until at least 2011 and with changes to employment law it’s likely going to be much harder for workers to negotiate it themselves through their unions.

  15. Akldnut 15

    Comment ieuan – you’re right you didn’t explain yourself properly, Having started a new job 2 weeks ago I will be losing my current rights in a few days time you have flippantly disregarded the current working rights for approx. 107,000 workers (5% of people in the workforce) and put about the population of Dunedin potentially at risk.

    If you read a lot you may wish to read the links above to see what I mean.

    The mole-hill just turned into a mountain

     

  16. Akldnut 16

    Whats the matter with the re-edit and links????

    [lprent: Use the links button in the tinyMCE editor, but reedit is still HTML. I will fix the links]

  17. Johnty Rhodes 17

    At least workers will have more chance of keeping their jobs under National. They will not destroy the economy as badly as a Lab/Grns govt. This is more important in these more difficult times. Labour could not get a monolopy ACC system to work after all.

    Not all workers are equal and rest assurred, the deadwood will be the first to be culled if lay-offs are NECESSARY.

    Also, employers will not hire and fire after 90 days unless they have good reason. It is not worthwhile to do this unless necessary. Employers take on risk as well as extra costs after employing new staff (extra costs above salary, ACC, super etc) such as training, low productivity to begin with, HR issues, recruitment costs etc, etc. Why would you do this for the sake of 90 days employment then fire before you hire fulltime? The left do not seem to realise this.

    Employeers need more flexibility to have the best workforce possible, not nanny state interference from non-business parties like Lab/Grns. This will in time hopefully lead to higher productivity and more jobs. This is what NZ needs not higher social costs bourne by the employers in employing deadwood when they do not perform.

  18. Leftie 18

    Do workers want this? Do they know how it will effect their lives? People who don’t work may not want to see it imposed on people they care about.
    It is time to get a petition circulating the country on this issue. Maybe some employers will sign it as well.

  19. Johnty Rhodes 19

    Leftie – did 80% of the population want the S59 changed? People should have the right not to work just as the state should have the right to say sod off when they want a benefit instead.

    What workers should also ask in these harder times is also, do I want to keep my job? Unemployment will affect their lives more than a slightly more pro employer workplace. Lets face it, after 90 days all will be sweet as long as you pass muster. Most people will be ok. I may have to go thru the same 90 day process one day, it does not bother me. It has worked ok in the UK under a Lab govt for over a decade now.

  20. Chris S 20

    Johnty, you’re actually not hearing, or addressing, the argument.

    The argument is that this law is wide open for abuse. By taking away the employees right to appeal a wrongful termination, you’re seriously tilting the balance of power between employer and employee.

    What is wrong with the current probationary law? What doesn’t it allow you to do? How can it be improved without severely limiting the rights of a worker in these troubled economic times?

  21. gomango 21

    Very funny Tane:

    The union movement has fought for and continues to fight for minimum redundancy protections. The CTU issued a statement calling for it just last week.

    As a result of union campaigning Labour even introduced a policy for the 2008 election to bring it in, but they lost.

    Lack of a minimum redundancy payout is a disgrace and there should be a legal minimum – say 3 weeks for the first year and then 2 weeks for every year of service afterwards, and have it rank either ahead of or pari passu with the IRD.

    But the humour in your comment is classic – Labour were in power for 9 years and they got around to introducing a policy to maybe bring it in if they got in for a fourth term. What on earth where they doing for 9 years? Put that one along side all the other policies labour thought were brilliant and necessary (3 weeks out from an election).

  22. [Tane: Dude, you know better than that. Deleted, and warned.]

  23. Tane 23

    gomango – my comment addressed the issue of unions campaigning for minimum redundancy entitlements and illustrated the fact that they have. I’m not defending Labour taking nine years to bring it into policy – that’s why I vote Green.

    However, what I will say for Labour is that they overwhelmingly move in the right direction on workers’ rights, just very slowly. National overwhelmingly moves in the wrong direction, and often quickly. Minimum redundancy entitlements are a case in point.

  24. Tim Ellis 24

    Tane wrote:

    However, what I will say for Labour is that they overwhelmingly move in the right direction on workers’ rights, just very slowly.

    An interesting point Tane. If Labour moves slowly, and the Greens are up to speed with the direction that the unions want, why do so many unions continue to affiliate and provide so much support to Labour? If the Greens are the true voice of small-“l” labour, then why don’t the unions back the Greens instead of Labour?

  25. Tane 25

    Tim, there are a few reasons.

    First, working people don’t tend to vote Green. The Greens’ policies are very pro-worker, but their voters tend to be well-off middle class liberals. As a party its branding, its issues and its culture are not conducive to mass working class support.

    Second, unions have a long history with Labour going back nearly a hundred years. There are very strong links and they’re not going to go away in a hurry.

    And of course, unions have democratic structures to decide on affiliation. If members of unions want to affiliate or disaffiliate then in time they will. Labour’s number of affiliates is growing; I don’t think the Greens have provision for it in their constitution.

  26. principessa 26

    I couldn’t resist posting this headline that’s currently on the front of http://www.nzherald.co.nz: IRD: Tax system under pressure from rich avoiding tax

  27. Tane 27

    And their answer? Stop asking them to pay it.

  28. burt 28

    Certainly if you were a new government having to take people’s rights off them you’d want to do it quickly and with as little time for democratic discussion and debate as possible

    Not only new Govt’s. I’m thinking EFA. You guys supported the undemocratic way that was passed was that because Labour did it rather than National?

    Is it really that simple; Labour Good – National Bad !

  29. Tane 29

    burt – the EFA went through select committee and months of intensive public debate, and rightly so. It was not rammed through under urgency and without discussion like it appears the 90 day legislation will be.

  30. burt 30

    Tane

    Have the Human rights commission recommended the 90 day legislation be scrapped?

  31. Tane 31

    I don’t know if they’ll get a chance burt, it’s being rammed through under urgency. It does appear to be in breach of ILO conventions though.

  32. gingercrush 32

    Tane sorry but what is the ILO?

    I actually disagree with the 90 day bill being urgent. I agree with the policy but feel it should go through the normal thorough process. They could speed it up sure and bring it into urgency after a select committee process. This would mean that it’d be faster than normal policy but still allow for some decent debate and questioning about the policy. But it really shouldn’t be so urgent that proper questioning and debate can take place.

  33. burt 33

    gingercrush

    I agree, It’s not a case for urgency. As the EFA wasn’t a case for urgency to deny a strongly recommended second round of public consultation. The ETS wasn’t a case for urgency either. Perhaps I missed the posts being critical of Labour at the time. DPF certainly had a few, I wonder if DPF (and WhaleOil for that matter) will go bananas if Key uses urgency as Tane suggests he might.

  34. Tim Ellis 34

    Tane wrote:

    I don’t know if they’ll get a chance burt, it’s being rammed through under urgency. It does appear to be in breach of ILO conventions though.

    I’m sorry Tane but you really have no evidence for that. The 27-point plan that National published just before the election spelt out the priorities for the first 100 days. In case you missed it you can read it at http://national.org.nz/web/post_election_action_plan.pdf . The 90-day probation period isn’t in there.

    You have based your “rumours” on an online survey to justify a claim that National is planning to ram through under urgency a move that it did not set as one of its 27 priorities. I think that is mischievous, on your part. The article you link to clearly has Kate Wilkinson saying that the 90-day probation period is not one of National’s first 100-day priorities.

    As for what Hooton might have been referring to as controversial measures, you can judge for yourself where the controversy might lie. It’s hardly a secret agenda. Obviously in that list, some of the more contentious issues are:

    1. National’s tax relief
    2. RMA reform
    3. EFA repeal

    Labour is welcome to relitigate those issues if they choose to do so but if they are hoping some big fight over the 90 day probation period is going to be rammed through Parliament under urgency, they might be disappointed.

  35. burt 35

    gingercrush

    If we are really talking about democratic process. Retrospective validations weren’t a case for urgency either. Validations for misappropriations are by convention validated in the next budget. Timing is everything sometimes isn’t it.

  36. Tane 36

    Tim, the rumours I’m basing it on aren’t in the article. They’re based on what I’m being told by several sources who haven’t put me wrong yet. As I can’t reveal my sources, we’ll just have to wait and see.

    gc, International Labour Organisation.

  37. Tane 37

    burt, I think you accidentally bolded the word retrospective.

  38. burt 38

    Tane

    Sorry, I also have a comment in moderation. I think I used the ‘w h a l e’ word. That comment adds some context to the comment where I slipped with html tags.

    Oops – my bad.

    edit: Cheers.

  39. burt 39

    Tane

    Ummm, let me think…. Labour’s employment law allows a catering company to openly say the surcharge helps make up for quieter times of year. F###k me, what BS employment law allows that to happen.

    I can see that the situation published for the 7’s will add considerable support to almost anything National do. You see when people get a sniff of the fact that prices are hiked and workers are not getting the benefit. ERA suddenly looks a little tardy under that sort of flouting of it’s intent.

    I still don’t support urgency, it smacks of can’t be trusted. Why do you think some people nagged about it here on the standard over the last while?

    [Tane: That’s a wee campaign the hospitality’s been running against the Holidays Act for years. And while it’s highly visible I don’t see it having a lot of effect. Most people don’t begrudge workers being paid extra to work on a public holiday, and if businesses genuinely need to put their prices up to maintain their profit margins then good on them.]

  40. burt 40

    Tane

    May I also respectfully suggest that organising a strike at the 7’s would not be a good idea for the unions public relations. That is unless it was swift and effective at delivering the benefit of any price rise to the workers.

    [Tane: Burt, they’d have to be unionised and in bargaining for a collective agreement to strike.]

  41. Greg 41

    The government just recieved a very strong mandate from the electorate – as for public consultation about the policies thats about as democratic as you can get. JK signaled this was his intention and campaigned on it. I realise you did not vote for it, but a majority of New Zealanders did. Thats called democracy my friend.

  42. For all DPF’s bloody preening and carry on about how destructive Helen Clark has been to parliamentary institutions, conventions and what not, this whole putting parliament into urgency to pass what could be some pretty controversial stuff, seems very very unprecedented. At very least everything passed aught to have a 1 year sunset clause requiring it all to be re passed properly into law with proper consultation and process.

    “Strathen
    I don’t like perceived rights that exist at the expense of another’s. It’s the classic line a law student gives to the bouncer, ‘I know my rights, I’m doing law’. Most of these law students haven’t quite figured out that the bouncers and the pub have rights as well”

    You sound more like you have a chip on your shoulder than something to contribute, but moderately ironically, the student more likely hasn’t worked out that the bouncer knows he won’t ever be legally held accountable for his actions, so a comment like that is likely to get him a bashing.

  43. r0b 43

    I realise you did not vote for it, but a majority of New Zealanders did.

    Oh don’t be daft.  By far the majority of people who voted National would not have had a clue that this policy even existed.   It’s on National’s web site, but I don’t recall them “campaigning on it”.  More like “tried to keep very quiet about it”.

  44. Tigger 44

    The 90 day employment law is being drafted at the moment.

    Of course, it is being drafted under urgency and, no doubt, will be full of holes – this will create uncertainty. Businesses will end up cursing National as they stave off the inevitable law suits as lawyers test the loopholes.

    All in all should be a fun mess to watch unfold.

  45. higherstandard 45

    “Of course, it is being drafted under urgency and, no doubt, will be full of holes – this will create uncertainty. Businesses will end up cursing National as they stave off the inevitable law suits as lawyers test the loopholes.”

    Sounds like the EFA.

    “All in all should be a fun mess to watch unfold.”

    If it turns to cak it won’t be fun watching it unfold – unless you only think that our parliament exists so the public can cheer on their team and take joy in the other team failing.

  46. Felix 46

    Well, not all of parliament exists for that purpose but question time pretty much does. And I miss it so.

    Not long now…

  47. Tane 47

    Well, whaddya know?

    You read it here first:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4786640a6160.html

  48. Graeme 48

    The 90 day employment law is being drafted at the moment.

    Of course, it is being drafted under urgency and, no doubt, will be full of holes – this will create uncertainty. Businesses will end up cursing National as they stave off the inevitable law suits as lawyers test the loopholes.

    The 90 day bill was drafted a couple of years ago, and has already been to select committee. With any luck, all of those submissions should have picked up all the drafting flaws (there were some – removing the right of going to ERA to seek unpaid wages was pretty stupid, for example).

  49. Tane 49

    Graeme, can you tell me, are teachers covered by the policy? Because Anne Tolley and Kate Wilkinson have different answers.

    What about an employee of a Subway franchise with fewer than 20 staff? Are they covered?

  50. Graeme 50

    No, I cannot.

    My point was only that this bill *should* be more free of drafting errors than other bills introduced and passed under such haste. Not quite a silver lining for you, but better than it might have been.

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    Turn awayIf you could, get me a drinkOf water 'cause my lips are chapped and fadedCall my Aunt MarieHelp her gather all my thingsAnd bury me in all my favourite coloursMy sisters and my brothers, stillI will not kiss you'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving youI remember the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why we shouldn’t buy new planes for the PM
    Its not often that one has to agree with Judith Collins, but yes, it would indeed cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” (at least) to buy replacement aircraft to fly the Prime Minister on his overseas missions of diplomacy and trade. And yes, the public might well regard that spending ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    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 ...
    7 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
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