We needed Wayne Brown

Written By: - Date published: 2:01 pm, October 11th, 2022 - 81 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, jacinda ardern, labour, local government, supercity - Tags:

The left and the Ardern government need to start appreciating the new Auckland mayor.

His mandate is comprehensive. Any honest election review would be unwise because the results would blow back on the Ardern government that has smashed and shrunk the assets and decision making authority of local government. Reviews into the diminished purpose of local government and of the democratic system are already underway.

This Brown guy is already showing the Ardern government what they should have done as soon as they got into office: clear out the boards, reassert command of the remaining direct governance levers, and instruct the executive order that it will answer to elected politics again. It’s reaggregated power through recentralisation by leadership from day 1 and not taking two terms to get on with it. Imagine if Ardern had liquidated the corporate boards on entry rather than being screwed around at will by NZTA, Kiwirail, Transpower or the Electricity Authority. Instead …

This Brown guy on day 1 gained a clear impression of the whole with the helicopter tour over the whole region. Goff came from deep in Clevedon way to the south, and mostly just stuck to Council meetings. Central government ministers try to understand Auckland as the aggregate beast of 30% of New Zealanders and 40% of the national economy when there’s some civil emergency to emote about. It’s importantly symbolic and real in its purpose.

This Brown guy is the blank sheet that Auckland needs. Over 6 years we have had billions of ratepayer and taxpayer dollars pumped into projects in Auckland’s CBD, and honestly the result through disruption and COVID is a desert of beautiful concrete landscaping without a plan to revive. A poor return on investment. Any plan he forms couldn’t be worse than what’s happened now: massive regional private malls and their free parking are sucking Auckland’s centre dry.

This Brown guy is also about to reveal the City Rail Link debt bomb flying down hard at Auckland Council. Goff had already taken Auckland’s debt capacity up to its limit. Spending plans without a rating agency impact or big rates increase won’t be possible. I can see Brown appointing himself onto the CRL governance board given the risk it represents to Council. Brown is about to do what we are all doing anyway: tighten our belts in a static economy with high personal and regional public debt.

Brown will have a finely balanced council mix and will need to build a finely balanced committee structure to get much done. Anyone who thinks Mike Lee is the answer to Auckland transport’s woes should try and use Parnell train station. I suspect he will delay his committee structure and use the interregnum moment to its fullest.

We need a really noisy mayor who can push back against Wellington continuing to erase local democracy. Auckland (indeed other centres) needed a mayor not beholden to Labour politics so that he can push harder to get what we need: it’s the inverse of Mayor Len Brown cutting deals with National. For six years Auckland has had a mayor too quiet when he needed to speak out loud.  So far this term Labour has started and delivered only the tiniest of Auckland’s projects, stopped many others, and taken too long to turn around public housing. We’ve needed more.

It’s high time Auckland had a mayor who gained Ardern’s attention, and we’ve got it.

81 comments on “We needed Wayne Brown ”

  1. Peter 1

    Brown will have a year of a Labour Government and two years with a National / Act one. What will be the difference?

    • Ad 1.1

      Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    • psych nurse 1.2

      If he lives that long, he appears unwell, visible weight loss, he teeth appear too big, his clothes hang off him and the venous engorgement of his hands a sure sign of out of control high blood pressure.

      • Shanreagh 1.2.1

        I saw a close up of his hands, I had bookmarked it but cannot find it now, and they have a very dense covering of hair……would he be on hormones of some sort to cause this? Or could it be caused by other medication?

        He certainly doesn't look in the peak of perfection, very rumpled looking compared with other oldies such as Joe Biden (79)

        Perhaps he could use some of the minimal amount he is being paid of $296,000 to buy himself some better fitting clothes etc. I love beards but not keen on the hairy neck variety, he could do with a trim here and it would make him look very distinguished.

        My tips on grooming and making an impact by wardrobe selection come free today……perhaps Ad could pass them on.

  2. Radical Alternative 2

    From where I'm standing, it looks like Brown is scrambling to figure out what his agenda actually is. Cancelling all his media appearances should be a pretty big tell that there isn't much of a plan right now. As for the Labour government, it should be remembered that he wasn't the establishment National candidate, that was Viv Beck, and she had to drop out.

    One of Brown's top guys, Ben Thomas, has also been working with Neale Jones, who is a lot closer to Ardern than Hooton or Hurdle are to Luxon. Like I said, I don't think anyone really knows what Brown is going to do as Mayor, but it does seem as though he won't have as bad of a relationship with central government as some are claiming.

    • tinderdry6 2.1

      "From where I'm standing, it looks like Brown is scrambling to figure out what his agenda actually is."

      He knows exactly what his agenda is, RA. Of course there's daylight between knowing what you want to do and actually doing it. And that's why the next three years is going to be so interesting.smiley

      • Radical Alternative 2.1.1

        Can he explain what it is then? I'm not going to shed any tears for CCO execs, but after a while he's going to run out of scalps.

          • Shanreagh 2.1.1.1.1

            He refers only to ratepayers as though no-one else is important. There are residents as well as ratepayers who live in Auckland.

            He seems to be the type of person that needs someone who has mana/strength and is able to talk to him and say ‘hey boss……’ about things that may be better expressed.

            He also, unfortunately seems to be the type of person though that will react very unfavorably to someone saying this, even if coming from a position of support for him & his policies.

            Luxon appears not to have this kind of person either judging by his own perception/communication blues.

            • tinderdry6 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The mayor is elected by ratepayers. Ultimately, that's who he is accountable to.

              There are a lot of conclusions being drawn about Brown after just a few days. Let's see what he actually does.

              • Shanreagh

                So residents are excluded? Surely Auckland allows residents and property owners to vote. I thought we had tossed the property qualification years ago.

                I had always thought local body elections were on the same basis as the general elections? In the past we used to have a property qualifier so that elections were restricted to those who owned property.

                Ratepayers are the ones who own property.

                By residents I mean the people who rent either by choice or necessity.

                Have I got this wrong? Then are the figures about voting developed against the numbers of property owners rather than the number of the population?

              • bwaghorn

                Um no, it's not 1850, you don't have to be a raye payer to vote.

                • Shanreagh

                  I thought so…..hence my point is valid about Wayne Brown only referring to ratepayers, no-one else exists or perhaps ratepayers are the only ones who are important. Anyway reflects a rightist mindset.

                  • tinderdry6

                    No-one is excluded. When Brown talks about ratepayers it is in the context of ratepayer's 'money'.

                    • Shanreagh

                      As I said reflects a rightist mindset.

                      I could go chapter and verse about tenants paying rates as part of their rent, most prudent LL factor in rates as part of the amount to charge in rent. So it is not ratepayers anything. Once it comes into the council coffers it belongs to the ACC on trust for the total population of Auckland.

                      Charging rates on property is a mechanism for raising funds, they could just as easily levy rates on people who have blue eyes or one leg.

                      So when the Mayor of Auckland refers only to ratepayers it is not inclusive it particularly excludes those who do not own property.

                    • Anne

                      Which is pretty much the point Shanreagh is making.

                      Ratepayers = main source of money = more money for us at the top = money, money money = right-wing tunnel-vision.

                  • tinderdry6

                    "So when the Mayor of Auckland refers only to ratepayers it is not inclusive it particularly excludes those who do not own property."

                    But he doesn't refer to ratepayers. He refers to "ratepayer's money". The expression is similar to when politicians talk about 'taxpayer's money'.

                    • Shanreagh

                      I have heard him speak about 'ratepayer' this & 'ratepayer' that. I am sure he is not meaning residents as well.

                      There is a reason for wording like this.

                      It is easily avoided if one wanted to be inclusive by using the words 'residents' and 'rates take' or words like this.

                      He is focusing on ratepayers. That is his niche. The well being of Auckland residents, different story. They are not his niche…he is centre right after all. Actually I would class him as to the right of centre or a right winger.

                  • tinderdry6

                    "There is a reason for wording like this."

                    You see it, I don't. I see a man whose relatively simple messaging resonating with enough oof the voting public to elect him by a healthy margin. History will judge him by what he achieves, not by how you or interpret every word he speaks.

                • tinderdry6

                  Yes of course. My comment was clumsy. Apologies.

              • clive macann

                So you are saying non-rate paying residents did not and are not allowed to vote? News to me and every other resident of New Zealand.

            • lprent 2.1.1.1.1.2

              He refers only to ratepayers as though no-one else is important. There are residents as well as ratepayers who live in Auckland.

              What is your point? Residents (and businesses) also pay rates indirectly via whatever their accommodation costs are.

              Residents vote as well. Ratepayers actually covers everyone who is resident in Auckland.

              Unless you're trying to say that people from the Waikato or other regions outside Auckland should have a vote in Auckland as well?

              • Shanreagh

                Yes my point is 'residents (and businesses) also pay rates indirectly via whatever their accommodation costs are.' I am not sure that your average renter in the street knows this though.

                So why not be inclusive and call them residents or businesses and not ratepayers. If I was a renter I would not feel very 'included' by someone talking about ratepayers only.

                My point is that language matters. Also that being inclusive & careful in language matters also.

                Not calling for votes from outside though non resident people owning property in Auckland will have got a vote.

                Judging by Brown and his likeness to Trump (pussy/piss) perhaps there is a place for people outside Auckland voting, Ha ha,

                As was often sarcastically said when Trump was elected. The electing of the President of the United States is too important in world terms to allow only those from the US to vote if Trump is the result. I can see parallels with Auckland.

                But as was said yesterday by Stuart Munro this may be a blessing as it will shine a light and perhaps knock for six this idea that righties* know how to manage. *Especially righties with more than a touch of arrogance.

          • Radical Alternative 2.1.1.1.2

            I'd like a bit more detail from the Mayor of the city I live in

            "Let’s keep finding the opportunities to give the harbour back to our people as a place to work, live and have fun."

            This sounds identical to something the head of a CCO would say

            • tinderdry6 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Fair enough. It's typically broad. To his credit, Efeso had a more detailed set of policies on his website (sorry for some reason his site is now behind a login page otherwise I would link).

  3. mikesh 3

    He said that it was "central government's job to listen to what Aucklanders' wanted, and then provide the funds". This from a guy who able to attract only about 180, 000 votes. What is the population of Auckland? Have the reached 1.8 million yet?

    I can see him choking on his own hubris.

    • Ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      Herad of how opinion polling works ?

      1000 person sample can give a good indication from a population of 4 mill voters, change that to 350,000 voters in Auckland Council election and you have an incredible good sample of how 1.2 mill people think.

      Brown didnt have a majority of the voters – no Mayor in Auckland Council ever has – but its a mandate all right.

      Its not a perfect system, but democracy is like that .

      Your hubris isnt accepting a democratic result…. a very Trumpian thing to do

    • mikesh 3.2

      It's not the result that I'm thinking of. It's his attitude. He seems to think that he should decide what Auckland wants, and that the government should then hand over he dosh without questioning. Parliament has a lot of Auckland members, on both sides of the house, who no doubt might also have an opinion on what Auckland needs.

      Whatever one thinks of Phil Goff, the video clip of Brown singing "Hit the road, Goff". didn't exactly help.

      • Incognito 3.2.1

        It appears that Mayor Brown likes to play the man rather than the ball and has a vindictive streak. Not quite the traits I’d wish to see in Auckland’s First Citizen.

    • lprent 3.3

      What is the population of Auckland? Have the reached 1.8 million yet?

      Roughly 1.65 million. It slowed (thank god) during the pandemic.

  4. Adrian 4

    Never buy a car off a bullshitter and even from this distance Brown is one of the biggest bullshitters I've ever listened to. We used to call them opticians, I men, Ï this and I that.

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    The proof or disproof of the pudding will be a little further down the track, and a vocal right of centre mayor may well prove a gift to Labour if he provides screw-ups in the pre-election period.

    The CCOs seem to be uniformly unpopular however, and their clearing away won't cause many tears to be shed. If only the same were true for the probable rates increases.

    • Shanreagh 5.1

      The proof or disproof of the pudding will be a little further down the track, and a vocal right of centre mayor may well prove a gift to Labour if he provides screw-ups in the pre-election period.

      Agree with this. And as thinking people we can always learn and adjust our aims accordingly.

      Ad, if Grant Robertson had been PM would you have written this post in the same way. We know you hold nothing for the current PM and perhaps it is me but I can sense anti Ardern rather than seeing if there are things we can learn from what has happened.

      Also bearing in mind that the initial thoughts of a comprehensive swing to the right have not been fulfilled once the votes cast on the day had been counted and with specials still to come.

      I agree that any last vestiges Nat/Lab of the neo-lib experiment of the late 80s & 90s should have been higher up the order to be demolished than they have been..those whose operation affects the people on low incomes especially. Electricity especially.. 'Competition' has not eventuated with supermarkets and breaking this down has been slow as well.

      I feel though that we have got the message, whatever that was, from Auckland. You could say unkindly that the white shoes and wide boys brigade that we used to tease Auckland about may just have come back with this crass and boorish person. If he does do some good then good on him…..it will be in despite him and not caused by him.

      Would you say that his tenure in Northland or in one of the Health Boards was some thing to be proud of. What bits especially? Past experience being a good predictor of future worth.

      Now I sense a large feeling of 'looka me, looka me' as we got at various times through Covid as if Auckland was in need of special pleading, special special special things for special, special people.

      Rather sick of the anti the rest of NZ coming from Auckland.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        We can focus on the performance of Auckland Council once there is a committee structure and policy starts to roll out.

        From his Far North experience he will reduce debt and transform the Council entities. Best not to get in his way.

        The political rise and fall of Wayne Brown (newsroom.co.nz)

        That tells me he will ensure that power shifts back to the political order. Plenty of the existing Council leadership team will leave – and plenty have been there for too long.

        From his commercial CV the stuff I liked was leading Vector to fix the Auckland power blackout, Chairing the Auckland District Health Board and bringing its reform back on track, and Chairing Transpower when the entire grid failed in 2006. You’re probably too young to remember any of that.

        We should expect a Mayor who doesn't appreciate the difference between a Mayor and a Council Chief Executive. That's what we used to have prior to 1989, which I like a lot: staff answering to elected people.

        • Shanreagh 5.1.1.1

          You’re probably too young to remember any of that.

          Flattery will get you hardly anywhere as they say.

          Perhaps not as young as all that as while at Uni marched against Dove Meyer Robinson's proposed train system……..what were we thinking? Walked up Queen St holding ropes?

          And the usuals Vietnam and the US.

          You have left off the less flattering bit such as the Audit Office investigations etc. Many good people in public life also have good resumes but without having had the Audit Office involved.

          https://oag.parliament.nz/2012/inquiry-far-north-district-council/docs/inquiry-far-north-district-council.pdf/view

          I don’t envy the staff, many who will have been doing their very best, being involved in largescale and long running restructurings and redundancies. Intensely damaging to souls and never really worth it in the end as the entity has to make-up for lost ground and staff. However it is a blunt NZ tool of management ideally suited to those in a 1980/90s mindset (when this NZ management style really was in its heyday)

    • lprent 5.2

      The CCOs seem to be uniformly unpopular however, and their clearing away won't cause many tears to be shed. If only the same were true for the probable rates increases.

      He is pretty much bullshitting about the CCOs. Quite simply he doesn't have the power to do jackshit alone about the boards or employees. Even the council itself doesn't have that much power – they can only vote to appoint board members as vacancies arise.

      So to get what he wants, he'd have to convince board members to step down or to change policies. The problem is that he'd have to convince them that would produce a outcome that is better than they were already providing. So far he has shown neither viable plans nor the skills and abilities to convince anyone apart from fools who have problems understanding even simple slogans..

      Like when he was in the local district health board, Brown is just blustering and will probably be pretty ineffectual because he is fundamentally unconvincing about his competence to anyone who has watched him for any length of time.

      • Shanreagh 5.2.1

        This I agree with. Bluster and bully is the name of the game.

      • Tiger Mountain 5.2.2

        This is anecdotal, but my partner had reason to go to the Mangonui Cruising Club bar in Mill Bay several weeks back to meet some friends. “Browny” was on the cash bar, and repeatedly botched drink orders and gave wrong change according to my partner. Embarrassing for a Supercity Mayor.

  6. John G 6

    It's also worth remembering Brown is 76 so is very unlikely to be doing more than one term. That changes the dynamics somewhat, as he doesn't have long to build relationships, but he also doesn't have to worry about getting reelected.

  7. observer 7

    This post will age terribly.

    "Things are bad, we need change, therefore the change that happened is good". The absurd justification for everything from Mao to Rogernomics to Trump.

    But there's not much point debating an imagined future for Auckland now, real events will settle it.

    • Ad 7.1

      A quick review of Auckland's most effective mayors of the last 40 years, if one assesses them by their key moves:

      – Sir Barry Curtis 1983-2007 Established Manukau Town Centre, key regional parks, about 25% of Auckland suburbs, Manukau rail spur, key industry expansion. Rapid expansion of south Auckland dislocated poor.

      – Phil Warren ARC Chair 1992-2002 formed Metropolitan Urban Limit, massive increase in regional parks. Crushed by Shipley government.

      – Bruce Jesson ARTA Chair 1992-95 partially resisted the worst of Shipley's Auckland asset privatisation. Too short in power.

      – Sir Bob Harvey 1992-2010 Waitakere Massive expansion of Auckland film and television industry, protection of Waitakere Ranges, 15% expansion of Auckland through Westgate and Hobsonville. Crippled by tiny rating base and miniscule industry.

      – Christine Fletcher AC 1998-2001 Pushed Britomart rail station ahead. One-hit wonder.

      – George Wood North Shore 1998-2007 North Shore water treatment plant, North Shore Busway, Massey University masterplan. Undersold politician who lifted entire North Shore.

      – John Banks 2001-4 and 2007-10 sold out Auckland Council's social housing, sold chunk of Auckland Airport shares. Racist monetarist rich guy.

      – Len Brown 2010-16 Auckland Mayor Did deal with Precinct/AMP and government to route and fund City Rail Link, multiple cycleways, formation of CCOs. Unable to handle corporatised power, got good deals done.

      Phil Goff 2017-2022 Auckland Mayor Entire CBD rebuilt to masterplan, went to debt ceiling, City carbon plan, CBD economic decline, 2 CCOs merged.

      Any Auckland mayor now has to deal with an exceedingly weak and corporatised set of entities, weakened still further with the removal of 3 waters.

      Of those who have sought to resist or reaggregate the loss of political accountability, Jesson was there for too little time, Goff was too timid, Wood the most successful.

      Wayne Brown so far is acting like Jesson reborn.

      • Ghostwhowalksnz 7.1.1

        The North Shore water treatment plant ( sewage) in Rosedale Rd has been around for decades

        The North Shore was able to keep its sewage treatment separate when the Auckland Regional Authority was formed and took over the Auckland and Suburbs Drainage Board.

        North Shore treatment plant and connecting sewers was only combined under Watercare when the Super city was created in 2010

        His wikipedia entry seems to be a bit of puffery over the Rosedale plant, as Mayor of the city it was merely upgraded to more modern standards and the outfall is still into the sea 1.2km off Mairangi Bay

        • lprent 7.1.1.1

          The North Shore water treatment plant ( sewage) in Rosedale Rd has been around for decades

          Yeah – I used to drive past it in the 80s heading up to the farm

    • Kat 7.2

      Observer, I would agree with your observation. I would also put forward the notion that the author is merely expressing his opinions on what he would like the Labour govt to do and uses "The Brown guy" as a convenient and controversial protagonist figure.

    • Incognito 7.3

      My gut feeling is that Brown will be a disruptor rather than a ‘fixer’, at best. Time will tell.

      • Kat 7.3.1

        He appears a disruption already. How that guy Brown responds to and manages incidents will be the making or breaking of him and his council. Doubt anyone here willing to hold their breath……….for too long

      • Grey Area 7.3.2

        Yep. He has the wrecker vibe rather than being a builder.

        • Shanreagh 7.3.2.1

          Yes indeed …disruptors can be useful but only if they can be moved aside once their purpose has been fulfilled. 3 years may be 2 years too many.

  8. Ghostwhowalksnz 8

    The City Rail Link Board has the usual types , one from Raglan, one from Wellington, one from Wanaka and the last two from St Heliers and Oneroa on Waiheke

    They are just board paper shufflers The majority not even living in Auckland. And only one change from when the English government appointed them, the one from Nelson replaced !

    https://app.companiesoffice.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/6267870/directors

    • Tricledrown 8.1

      When it comes to underground rail links budgets blow out very quickly.Looking around the world ie HS2 in the UK is one of the latest.With the pandemic ,Labour shortages, fuel prices , material prices and shortages all add up very quickly .Wayne Brown can't control those outside factors and won't be able to blame it on any one else.Cost's will continue to rise until its completed but this will make it even harder to get people out of Cars so more congestion as future projects will be canned by austerity driven council and an incoming National govt.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    “Wank wank money in the bank” as per the crude saying.

    Brown has a shocking record of unauthorised personal expenditure, insider trading for development projects, sacking union members but not non members. A disrupter may be needed, but not a right wing one.

    • Shanreagh 9.1

      Yes this is why I am amazed at the uncritical acceptance of his past record as if it is some thing to proud of. Many good local body Mayors and Councillors have long terms in office untainted by Audit Office queries and investigations etc. It would give me pause as to whether a person was suited for office based on this past performance.

  10. Sanctuary 10

    From what I have seen Brown doesn't go anywhere without Matthew Hooton glued to his hip. We've elected Mayor Hooton, not Brown.

    • Incognito 10.1

      The tail wagging the dog.

    • Shanreagh 10.2

      Probably wants Hooton to be his Chief of Staff or maybe Brown will lean on the CEO of the Auckland City Council to resign and slide Hooton in. Anything is possible for someone who does not follow the rules and conventions that keep everyone/everything safe. Having a personal office staffed/stuff with personal appointees can wreak havoc with the smooth operating of an organisation as the workers find it necessary to clear everything with the personal office staff first whereas before they may have had a direct link to the Mayor.

  11. From the experience of Northlanders, WB will be nothing but trouble and it will take Auckland 10 years to fix up the mess left by "Mr fix it"

  12. observer 12

    Wayne Brown update:

    When the Herald put it to him that most people would regard his salary of $296,000 as large, the businessman said: "It's not to me."

    I'm afraid that's the real Wayne Brown, not the one dreamed of in Ad's post.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/auckland-mayor-wayne-brown-cagey-about-work-hours-does-not-think-296000-is-a-big-salary/S67EM6NM2ZLYQDZOLJKCFLLAWY/

    • X Socialist 12.1

      Maybe Wayne Brown has a point? The below figures are well out of date btw.

      https://www.taxpayers.org.nz/ceo_rich_list

      Example:

      Te Puni Kōkiri – Ministry of Māori Development- Ms Michelle Hippolite -$444,000.

      A case could be made that Brown is well underpaid by comparison. The bottom line is who cares what he's paid; or how many hours he works. The only thing ratepayers care about is results. If Brown doesn't deliver he will be a one term wonder. Was Phil Goff asked these questions?

    • Anne 12.2

      "When the Herald put it to him that most people would regard his salary of $296,000 as large, the businessman said: "It's not to me."

      In other words, all that matters is what matters to him.

      I'm looking forward to the s***t storms. There's going to be plenty of them. I see Matthew Hooton is part of his top team. That's a starter for trouble to begin with.

  13. Mat Simpson 13

    " The left and the Ardern government need to start appreciating the new Auckland mayor "

    The left is dead and only New Labour exists as Tony Blair and his cohorts re packaged neo liberal policies under a social democrat banner that did not threaten capitalism or the upper classes.

    • Stuart Munro 13.1

      The economic imbalances that create the Left are significant and growing. The Blairites, aside from being an abomination, are a shrinking class isolated from the insecurity created by their failure to hold the line. Things fall apart – the 'centrists' cannot hold.

  14. Shanreagh 14

    Good grief this guy Brown is positively Trumpian

    https://twitter.com/publicaddress/status/1580276585487564800

    If you look at the tweets about CRL it seems he may not have been correct here as well.

    https://twitter.com/publicaddress/status/1580276590797557761

    If he wants to start then then he needs to get some reading in, checking for comprehension with others, keeping hold of his tongue until he has a grip on things.

    One thing going for Trump, clothes-wise, is that he looked smart, well fitting clothes etc.

    • Incognito 14.1

      Pissing against (wrong) trees, scent marking, and showing who’s top dog in a dog-eat-dog world aka Wayne’s World. Yes, definitely some similarities with Trump, but Auckland is a completely different pen compared to the US of A. IMHO.

  15. mark 15

    Yes, the country needs more thieves who want more for themselves, sack public officials so they can steal from the public purse without scrutiny and place their own cronies in power to cover their tracks.

    NZ has enough billionaires buying land to hide from the world without more help from inside the country.

    Lots of complains but nothing in concrete ideas

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  • Might Kamala Harris be about to get a 'stardust' moment like Jacinda Ardern?

    As a momentous, historic weekend in US politics unfolded, analysts and commentators grasped for precedents and comparisons to help explain the significance and power of the choice Joe Biden had made. The 46th president had swept the Democratic party’s primaries but just over 100 days from the election had chosen ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    16 hours ago
  • Solutions Interview: Steven Hail on MMT & ecological economics

    TL;DR: I’m casting around for new ideas and ways of thinking about Aotearoa’s political economy to find a few solutions to our cascading and self-reinforcing housing, poverty and climate crises.Associate Professor runs an online masters degree in the economics of sustainability at Torrens University in Australia and is organising ...
    The KakaBy Steven Hail
    22 hours ago
  • Reported back

    The Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back on National's Local Government (Water Services Preliminary Arrangements) Bill. The bill sets up water for privatisation, and was introduced under urgency, then rammed through select committee with no time even for local councils to make a proper submission. Naturally, national's select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Vandrad the Viking, Christopher Coombes, and Literary Archaeology

    Some years ago, I bought a book at Dunedin’s Regent Booksale for $1.50. As one does. Vandrad the Viking (1898), by J. Storer Clouston, is an obscure book these days – I cannot find a proper online review – but soon it was sitting on my shelf, gathering dust alongside ...
    24 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Biden Withdrawal

    History is not on the side of the centre-left, when Democratic presidents fall behind in the polls and choose not to run for re-election. On both previous occasions in the past 75 years (Harry Truman in 1952, Lyndon Johnson in 1968) the Democrats proceeded to then lose the White House ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 day ago
  • Joe Biden's withdrawal puts the spotlight back on Kamala and the USA's complicated relatio...

    This is a free articleCoverageThis morning, US President Joe Biden announced his withdrawal from the Presidential race. And that is genuinely newsworthy. Thanks for your service, President Biden, and all the best to you and yours.However, the media in New Zealand, particularly the 1News nightly bulletin, has been breathlessly covering ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 day ago
  • Why we have to challenge our national fiscal assumptions

    A homeless person’s camp beside a blocked-off slipped damage walkway in Freeman’s Bay: we are chasing our tail on our worsening and inter-related housing, poverty and climate crises. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Existential Crisis and Damaged Brains

    What has happened to it all?Crazy, some'd sayWhere is the life that I recognise?(Gone away)But I won't cry for yesterdayThere's an ordinary worldSomehow I have to findAnd as I try to make my wayTo the ordinary worldYesterday morning began as many others - what to write about today? I began ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • A speed limit is not a target, and yet…

    This is a guest post from longtime supporter Mr Plod, whose previous contributions include a proposal that Hamilton become New Zealand’s capital city, and that we should switch which side of the road we drive on. A recent Newsroom article, “Back to school for the Govt’s new speed limit policy“, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 22

    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 7:00 am on Monday, July 22 are:Today’s Must Read: Father and son live in a tent, and have done for four years, in a million ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Monday, July 22, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:US President Joe Biden announced via X this morning he would not stand for a second term.Multinational professional services firm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 14, 2024 thru Sat, July 20, 2024. Story of the week As reflected by preponderance of coverage, our Story of the Week is Project 2025. Until now traveling ...
    2 days ago
  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    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 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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, ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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, ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago

  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    3 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

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