What gains for Nat support “parties”?

Written By: - Date published: 2:34 pm, December 5th, 2011 - 75 comments
Categories: act, election 2011, john banks, national, united future - Tags: ,

Despite all the uninformed blather about a big victory for National, they have to work with minnows to form a government. If, after specials are counted, and as seems likely, the Nats lose a seat to The Greens or NZF, then they need both Peter Dunne and John Banks to govern. (The Maori Party is still consulting and may well stay in opposition this time.) That means that Dunne and Banks have a lot of negotiating power.

Agreements are expected to be signed today, with Ministerial roles expected for both Dunne and Banks.  But it is the details of the policy gains that will tell us the mettle of these two.  Did they achieve anything significant with their negotiating power?  Or did they roll over for some minor window-dressing policies and the baubles of office?  Good luck, UF and ACT voters!  (Better luck for the rest of us, of course, if Banks in particular achieved nothing.)

75 comments on “What gains for Nat support “parties”? ”

  1. Peter Dunne will be re-appointed to the positions of Minister of Revenue, Associate Minister of Health, and gains Associate Minister of Conservation.

    Most of United Future’s top policies are addressed in the agreement – having realistic and attainable policies pays off.

    http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/confidence-and-supply-agreement/

    • Tigger 1.1

      WTF? He got some baubles and ‘achieved’ things that National was already going to do (they have never once hinted they’d sell RNZ and there’s no way in hell they would anyway this term). As an Ohariu voter this is now personal for me. Expect any support for asset sales to come down fucking hard on you Dunne – I think we’ll start with picketing your office.

      • Ari 1.1.1

        Picketing it? I say go inside and occupy it until he promises to bring down the government if they sell a single thing. 😛

    • pollywog 1.2

      sweeeeeet..so he gets to lick English, Ryall and Wilkinsons bum this time round.

      DUNNE FTW !!!

    • Lanthanide 1.3

      No commitment to passing the income sharing bill, I see.

    • anne 1.4

      He got minister of ‘conversation’ thats all he will do about nz’s conservation problems,does it include having a strong,stable view on what is needed for our rivers,land etc,i doubt it,he will
      tow party line with the mining issue.

    • millsy 1.5

      Is National going to keep our National Parks in public ownership, and not hand them to iwi?

      • NickS 1.5.1

        Just piss off with this anti-Maori bullshit would you?

        The only iwi that has any legitimate claim to a National Park is Tuhoe and that’s because the land was illegally seized from them, and they’ve gone on the record that they only want to work with DoC, instead of being given ownership.

        • millsy 1.5.1.1

          It seems that privatisation is OK for some left wingers on there, when the person getting the goodies is brown….

  2. The UF agreement is an opportunity to address the age of eligibility for Super.

    National’s agreement to public consultation on UnitedFuture’s Flexi-Super policy is a major step towards addressing the future shape of superannuation in New Zealand and putting the issue formally on the political table, UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne said today.

    Flexi-Super would allow New Zealanders to take superannuation at a reduced rate from 60, through to 65 on the current rate, or enhanced each year you wait up until 70. It would be sustainable through making KiwiSaver compulsory.

    http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/dunne-flexi-super-public-consultation-welcomed/

    A long way to go with it, but this should ensure it is debated more and options are considered.

    • Ari 2.1

      Well, John Key better get to resigning then. 😉

    • felix 2.2

      Flexi-super is all well and good from a personal choice angle, and I don’t think many would have strong disagreement with it in principle.

      But it does nothing to address the problem at hand as it’s fiscally neutral.

      • lefty 2.2.1

        Felix says
        ‘But it does nothing to address the problem at hand as it’s fiscally neutral.’

        There is no problem at hand except in the fevered imagination of neo liberals and those stupid enough to believe them.

  3. dazed & confused 3

    I’ll be interested to see how far down the track the “Flexi-Superannuation” proposal and the government discussion document investigating this issue will be developed.

    I’m in favour of that one if the figures stack up. I wonder will the Maori Party be able to be fobbed off, as they were v. keen on that graduated 60+ idea also

  4. Dunne: gives up asset sales, ACC & welfare reform, family commission cut from 4 to 1 commissioner.

    Gets – his Flexi-Super policy will be talked about and guaranteed access to rivers, lakes, forests and coastline. (beyond current levels? because if that actually flows through that would be a significant loss of property rights for a lot of high-falutin’ National types – most beaches you can’t access are rich white dudes, not Maori stopping you – Foreshore & Seabed Mark II included)

    A new law will also ban guided helicopter hunting on the conservation estate.

    • family commission cut from 4 to 1 commissioner

      Refocussed with gains:
      – new monitoring, evaluation and research functions to drive quality services for families
      – a Families Status Report will be developed to measure how New Zealand families are getting on
      – government will re-direct $4m over four years to fund extra parenting programmes and relationship education in secondary schools

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        “- a Families Status Report will be developed to measure how New Zealand families are getting on”

        I hope this includes a gross count of how many Kiwi Mums And Dads got to partake in the Mixed Ownership Model of formerly state-owned enterprises.

        • Pete George 4.1.1.1

          🙂 – might have to check the fine print.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.1.1.1

            What has that got to do with families ?
            Unless its to be allocated shares in 3-4 persons from one family but actually be paid for by one person who does a quick share transfer days later ?

    • Peter 4.2

      Aerial trophy hunting is the term we all should use for this activity (to use the term suggesed by the New Zealand Conservation Authority). It’s basically where you hop in a helicopter, herd and haze the animal, and then shoot it once its scared and exhausted. Hardly ethical or sporting, and yeah, getting it banned will be welcome. Most conservation and recreation organisations are opposed to this, with the NZ Deerstalkers leading the charge.

      Guided hunting is a bit different, as it involves setting down a hunter and guide, and then stalking the animal in a more traditional way. That is a legitimate activity.

      There is also some confused wording about wanting to ensure equitable access to wilderness areas for guided hunting, which could either mean no aircraft access for aerial trophy hunting into wilderness areas (GOOD), or somehow opening up hunting access (BAD). I need to see more to comment.

      • Uturn 4.2.1

        You can’t ban aerial trophy hunting, it would discriminate against cowards and egotistical spoil sports! And we all know how they squeal the loudest. It’s been viewed as poor form since the Great White Hunter discovered his model T could chase antelope across the African Savannah.

    • NickS 4.3

      The cut from 4 to 1 is so Dunne can remember the name of the commissioners, as his hair is eating up more brain power these days.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    From stuff.co.nz: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6088040/Banks-Dunne-strike-a-deal-with-National

    The regulatory reform bill, previously advanced by former ACT leader Rodney Hide but still yet to pass, was set to be enacted within a year.

    Legislation would also be set down to cap Government spending. A new bill would be passed within two years that limited expenditure growth to the annual increase in the rate of population growth multiplied by the rate of inflation.

    How would SFC have been handled? Or the CHCH earthquake? What about tax cuts, do they count as ‘spending’?

    • ak 5.1

      Same article, in case it hasn’t sunk in yet: However, National could lose up to two votes when special votes are counted by Saturday, although it is more likely it will lose only one.

      Get the rosary beads out. The closest Maori have come to real power in nearly two centuries. Tina!

      All of us a knife-edge away from relieving untold immiseration and reclaiming our reputation and assets.

      E taku atua…..

      • ianmac 5.1.1

        What would happen if the MP chose to not give supply etc? and the National lost one (or 2) MPs?

        • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1

          At the moment National have 60 seats with 2 votes coming from UF and “ACT” for 62 with a majority requiring 61.

          If they drop to 59, then the status of UF and “ACT” increases and they have stronger bargaining positions, although because they’ve already signed their agreements things probably won’t change much in the short term.

          On 59 with 2 from UF & “ACT”, a single by-election going the wrong way could force the issue to be looked at again.

          On 58, National will require UF, “ACT” and at least 1 other abstention vote from any motions of no confidence or issues of supply (the budget, essentially). They could get this from any party in parliament, but the most likely candidate is the Maori Party. The Maori Party are in a very tight bind at the moment, however, with their electoral margins dropping significantly and having lost 2 seats compared to 2008, presumably as a result of their last agreement with National. But if they go into opposition, they won’t get squat and risk Whanau Ora being dismantled.

          If the Maori Party chose not to abstain on confidence/supply, it would mean that National could not form a government on current votes. This could be an opening for Winston to abstain in return for policy concessions – my pick is his bottom line is no asset sales, just as it was back in 1998 when his last National partnership broke down.

          If neither MP or NZFirst abstain or vote in favour, presumably Labour, The Greens and Mana would prefer a new election rather than propping up National and that’s what we’d get.

          A new election would widely be seen to be the fault of the MP, and they’d likely be punished. Mana would likely pick up more seats at their expense.

          I suspect all of this is why Goff set his step-down date as 13th of December, which is next Tuesday. The final results come out this Saturday, so it’ll give a little bit of time for the dust to settle for the MP to make up their mind which way they’re gonna go, if it comes down to it.

          • felix 5.1.1.1.1

            Alternately in the scenario where National lose 2 seats at the final count, a new election is not necessary if Lab Grn NZ1 Mana and mP can agree to form a govt.

            • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1.1.1

              True, I really should have covered that for completeness. I was mainly addressing the “what happens to National” question.

              I’m not sure that NZFirst and MP could reasonably work together; I think a MP – National agreement is more likely. On the projected numbers, such a government would be as fragile as National’s currently looks and with far more competing voices trying to be heard. I also think the NZ public would reject such an outcome as undemocratic – I think it’d be in Labour and The Green’s interest to go for a new election (if there was sufficient conflict between NZ First and MP to warrant this).

              • felix

                The other difficulty would be between Labour and the mP, or more specifically between Tariana and Labour.

                Not sure what you mean by undemocratic though – multiple parties working together in coalition is what’s meant to happen in an MMP parliament.

                If a majority of representatives can agree to work together (and I’m not saying they could in this case) then their majority is as valid as any other.

                • Lanthanide

                  We’re talking about the same public that voted National back in and think John Keys is a top bloke just like them, remember.

                  • felix

                    Only half of them 😉

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I just read that John Pagani doesn’t think that most voters are being fooled by National.

                    Which seems to imply that John Pagani thinks that John Key is actually just like them.

                    • felix

                      Yeah, well it’s not unusual for people to project their feelings about themselves onto large groups of other people.

    • This is from the Nat-Act agreement itself …
       
      “To this end they agree to legislate within the next two years to provide that core Crown operating spending, excluding finance charges, spending on the unemployment benefit, asset impairments and spending on natural disasters, will be subject to a spending limit. Under this limit expenditure will grow no faster than the annual increase in the rate of population growth multiplied by the rate of inflation.”
       
      This is a Californian type cap that will never work.  Note that DPB, superannuation, and health are not included in the exceptions.
       
      Wow …

      • Lanthanide 5.2.1

        I wonder if “spending on natural disasters” would include ACC or not. Refer recent Christchurch earthquakes.

      • Vicky32 5.2.2

        asset impairments
         

        Does this mean maintenance and repairs, or things like ‘Rena’? I really would like to know…

      • Carol 5.2.3

        So they are expecting a rise in unemployment then?

      • millsy 5.2.4

        We can kiss our health, education and welfare system (along with other public services) goodbye now.

        DHB’s will have no choice but to close hospitals and chop services under this cap.

        This is the end point of Rogernomics and Ruthenasia.

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.4.1

          Its like the voters in this country have no collective memory of nationhood stretching longer than 3 months. Ah well, whatever.

  6. Bunji 6

    I like the subtle dig at whether one man can be a “party”.
    When I was at university you needed 4 people, music & alcohol to be a party…

    • McFlock 6.1

      Not peter dunne’s parties. He just sat at home alone for a couple of hours after saying how many people would come over to his place because he was so popular popular. He would then mooch over to the neighbour’s party (which actually did have people in it) and be blandly amiable enough that he didn’t get kicked out, even if he didn’t really add anything to the atmosphere.

      The morning after, he would proceed to talk about how successful and nice his party was by helping out the neighbours’, and how he did everything cool at the party (usually by giving the people who actually did XXX “the idea”).
        

  7. fender 7

    And Pete George & Mary gets web based media liason role.

    John Banks misses out on Minister For Small Brains due to being over-qualified.

  8. Frida 8

    Charter schools…it’s started 🙁

    How much damage can be done in 3 years?

  9. Frida 9

    As Key is reported to have said on the tape, ‘we are playing NZ like a guitar’

    Shock Doctrine anyone??

    • Bob Stanforth 9.1

      I hear he also said ‘kill them all’. I’d be really afraid.

      No really, it was on the interweb, its be true!!

      Making up shit for effect anyone?

      • felix 9.1.1

        Well Bob, we’ll all know as soon as either

        a) Parliament sits and Winston gets an itch, or

        b) The media accept their role as the fourth estate and report what our politicians say about us behind our backs.

        Whichever comes first. (Probably Winston).

        • Lanthanide 9.1.1.1

          And just watch the media fall over themselves to prove how moral they are by not reporting Winston’s comments.

          How long does it take for the hansard transcript to be published? There’s always youtube too, I guess.

      • Frida 9.1.2

        Tell us what he said then Bob and why he was so panicked about us hearing it that he let his smiling mask slip and showed us Bully Boy for a few days?

        Meantime here’s what (so far) is rumoured to be on the tape:

        Playing NZ like a guitar
        I’m getting unbridled power
        NZ First supporters are dying off
        Brash is a strange fellow, let’s roll him and install Catherine Isaac as leader

        Yep, makes him sound like a lovely bloke alright.

    • anne 9.2

      Also,on
      They are like goats,easily led
      intelligence level pre-chimpanzee
      so there wont be any problems there
      its all under control.

      That by a person that heard it.

  10. Rodel 10

    Banks! Associate minister for Education..that’s unbelievable ..To think that fool that nobody really wanted to vote for has any…ANY! influence on the education of my children and grandchildren
    just beggars belief.. John Key if you had any credibility ..it’s gone..

    Please god. don’t tell me it’s Tolley and Banks in charge of New Zealand’s education…

  11. TW 11

    United Future’s agreement with National achieves nothing

    – National have never indicated they will sell RNZ.

    – it says it will lock in current RNZ and TVNZ funding – current RNZ funding is not enough for it to even keep doing what it does now. The current TVNZ funding does not include funding for TVNZ7, which will still close – as far as I know there is no funding to TVNZ that is being preserved.

    Pathetic.

    • fender 11.1

      It’s vital National put a stop to Backbenches, Media7, The Court Report and the other quality programs on TVNZ7 in their efforts to dumb down the population.

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1

        These are some of the lesser publicised losses thanks to National’s election win.

      • anne 11.1.2

        TV7 is now included in sky’s basic package,so maybe this is why $600 grand was given to sky from nz on air,in the lead up to the election,also national changed the charter of tvnz under urgency,so questions need to be asked there,the election still not decided and sky are to announce their deal with tvnz about igloo a new business model for tvnz and sky,shonkey deals all round.

      • Anne 11.1.3

        It’s vital National put a stop to Backbenches, Media7, The Court Report and the other quality programs on TVNZ7 in their efforts to dumb down the population.

        As Key said to Banks:

        I’m playing the country like a guitar.

  12. Tom Gould 12

    It has taken the lazy, craven, Tory MSM only a few days to revert to form now they have delivered their boy back in power. Headline says ‘PM shrugs off forecast’ which is code for ‘relax folks, our boy has it all under control.’ Pathetic. Buckle yourselves in for another 3 years of the MSM John Key publicity machine. Together, they might actually crack that 50 percent target next time.

    • mik e 12.1

      Not if we can help it using modern tech we can make documentaries go viral on the net. Just shear numbers of people involved we can set up a news network keep people informed most people i talk to are sick of mainstream Television full stop there is no satirical or comedy of any quality.MSM had not one political satire show leading into the election can we do some ourselves .
      YES WE can
      Mocumentries you tube

  13. millsy 13

    Well folks, its time to get off our asses and march in the streets.

  14. millsy 14

    Would love for John Banks to walk into the local hospital and explain to the patients why they should have to go without treatment.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    I wouldn’t get too optimistic about National dropping two seats.

    If advance votes are a proxy for special votes (i.e. those who care enough about voting to make a special effort) then National did better in the advance votes than they did in the general vote.

    • Lanthanide 15.1

      You know that a lot of special votes come in from overseas, right, where The Greens typically do quite well because they actually run expatriate voting campaigns?

  16. NickS 16

    Charter Schools – oh joy, now we get even more child indoctrination centres

    Spending Cap – brainless and disconnected from reality

    Hunting Council – Stupid anti-1080 bullshit will soon have another governmental home and conservation in forest parks will be further fucked. I look forward to the skeletonised trees, higher erosion and bare understories caused by too many deer, which I may just have to get a bow and go a slaughtering by way through the Canterbury High Country with. Drinking delicious hunter tears from all the online whining from the aftermath.

    Giving Banks Education duties – worse than Ann Tolly he shall be.

    On his other ministerial positions – Ye gads, small businesses are fucked, and the RMA is about to get further stuffed over by an idiot who can’t think his way out of a paper bag, let alone grok the precautionary principle.

    • millsy 16.1

      I thought our schools were already charter schools in a sense? They enjoy autonomy that public schools in places like the US and Britain dont?

      • Frida 16.1.1

        Less about the degree of autonomy and more about the funding. That’s what I was reacting too. See discussion on other thread

    • RedLogix 16.2

      Stupid anti-1080 bullshit will soon have another governmental home and conservation in forest parks will be further fucked.

      I’m surrounded by anti-1080 fuckwits at work. They all admit that doing nothing about introduced species is not an option, but then in the same breath refuse the need for DOC funding to be increased for any other method other than 1080.

  17. felix 17

    And the gloves have come off. The Nats can finally advance their hard-right agenda.

    Public health, public education, and social welfare are next up for privatisation.

  18. Mark 18

    Just had some lols by re-reading the old posts on here asserting Charles Chauvel was well ahead in Ohariu. So much wishful thinking!

    Obviously very little understanding of MMP in this crowd – people should be applauding Dunne for being there to counteract Banks and to pull National closer to the centre. But this is really more about personalities, isn’t it?

    The left lost and will still have lost after the specials…

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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, ...
    5 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 ...
    6 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    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
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    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
    14 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
    20 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
    21 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
    6 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
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