Why First NZ Capital wants you to keep paying too much for power

Written By: - Date published: 6:48 am, May 1st, 2013 - 35 comments
Categories: assets, capitalism, energy - Tags: , ,

A couple of people have questioned this series of posts outing the financial interests of supposedly ‘independent’ commentators who are coming out against the Green/Labour plan to lower power prices. ‘Everyone has links to everyone in New Zealand’. Maybe so, but not everyone is paid by the people whose interests they’re protecting while pretending to be independent in the msm.

First NZ Capital added its opposition to NZ Power last week with a stunningly bad analysis claiming that, if you exclude lines charges, power is rising at ‘only’ 2.6% above inflation. The report was lapped up by RNZ and others.

That central claim (not backed by any data or even source) turns out to be wrong – if you exclude lines charges, retail prices have risen even faster in the past 15 years – which confirms that its wholesale prices that are the problem.

It also wouldn’t be OK if it were true – what justification can there be for increasing the price of power generated from free water on decades old dams that cost less and a cent a kilowatt hour to run at any rate, let alone twice the rate of general price increases?

Honestly, this piece of analysis was so crap that it literally asks ‘how can you work out the historic value of dams we built a hundred years ago, we don’t have the records?!’ as justification for charging the power from those dams as if they’re expensive thermal peaking plants.

So, what’s First NZ Capital’s game? Well, they’re one of the companies in charge of selling Mighty River.

As a ‘joint lead manager’, they get $666,666 guaranteed for doing, well, not a hell of a lot. They get up to a further $1,333,333 based on ‘performance’ – ie. how many people and institutions they can get to buy shares in Mighty River.

On top of that, they get a slice of 0.2% of the take from retail investors, 0.4% of the take from institutional investors, and 0.8% of the take from overseas institutional investors (yes, they make more for selling to foreigners than ‘mums and dads’). Assuming a 3rd/3rd/3rd division between those classes of buyers and the joint lead managers are getting a $5,000 slice of every million the government gets from the sale.

If the shares sell at the top of the government’s range, that’s a $9m kitty for the joint lead managers to divide up. Reduce the share offer price by, say, 70 cents as has been suggested and that pool shrinks by $2m.

So, it goes like this: First NZ Capital makes money for bringing in buyers for Mighty River both through the bonus it can get from Treasury and because the more interest there is, the more investor money going into buying Mighty River shares, the larger the slice for First NZ Capital and the other joint lead managers.

Clearly, First NZ Capital doesn’t want anyone being scared off buying Mighty River shares. Hence, its rubbish attack on NZ Power. Because anyone with two brain cells to rub together can see that a plan for cutting power prices by tackling the generators’ super-profits will lower the value of Mighty River. First NZ Capital has a multi-million dollar incentive to make people ignore or discount NZ Power by framing it as unworkable.

Actually, this post is somewhat misnamed. First NZ Capital doesn’t care if you ultimately end up continuing to pay too much for power or not. But it does care that plenty of ‘mum and dad’ investors believe that you will continue to pay too much for power. Because if it can convince them that you will, then they will buy into Mighty River, and First NZ Capital will make out like a bandit. If its shrill attack on NZ Power later turns out to be baseless and the ‘mums and dads’ lose their shirts when power prices are brought down, it won’t matter to First NZ Capital – it will have pocketed the millions and washed its hands long before then.

35 comments on “Why First NZ Capital wants you to keep paying too much for power”

  1. IrishBill 1

    I was particularly pissed off at the unchallenged run these corporate wideboys were given on RNZ. Now I know they had a $9m undisclosed conflict of interest I’m furious. Why the fuck is this only coming out now on TS? Did nobody in the MSM bother to ask?

    • tc 1.1

      RNZ has become part of the NACT spin machine under Griffin, morning report/9-noon/mora are soapboxes, Mary Wilson appears to be the only one who does what is required being question and probe armed with facts and research.

      Hooton, DPF etc all given a free run, you gotta hand it to the hollowmen it’s a slick operation.

      • Ruobeil 1.1.1

        Just like Campbell is part of the Labour spin machine.

      • aerobubble 1.1.2

        i thought moro remit was to pull in stupid rightwingers and expose them Since their statements are often as absurd as they are abuse of common sense. NR does have a duty to offer both left and right wing stand points. That the right is no longer gifted with kudos for growth and their fiscal nouse is laughable, so of course stacking the ranks with stupid right winger might actually suggest NR are doing us all a service. Imagine a Joyce, or a English, or Brownlee, actively engaging the real concerns of the business world, it would be deeply disturbing because they might actually go on and manage the economy for all NZ. It ain’t going to happen, they’ve spent to long in their metaphorical fish bowl having money thrown at them to show their naked neo-liberalism..

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      That would require them to question their Lords and Masters and their own beliefs.

    • Paul 1.3

      Maybe Eddie could email his research to several news outlets, particularly RNZ, Campbell Live and the ODT as these are the last vestiges of independent mainstream media in the country.
      Challenge them to ask these shills questions about conflicts of interest.

      • Ruobeil 1.3.1

        Campbell independent? Yeah right.

        • Paul 1.3.1.1

          Just to get an understanding of where you stand on issues? What news sources do you see as the most reliable?

          • McFlock 1.3.1.1.1

            National party press releases, obviously.

          • Murray Olsen 1.3.1.1.2

            WhaleSpew presents the facts and lets Rube make up his own mind. Alex Jones is also fair and balanced. Anything on talkback radio is above any suspicion of bias.

  2. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2

    Strange that my broker at First NZ Capital advised me against buying Mighty River Power shares after the Labour/Greens announcement, then.

    • lprent 2.1

      Were they First Capital? Otherwise what relevance does that have to the post? Should I move this one to OpenMike as being off topic?

      Edit: ha – I see the comment was updated to show it was First Capital.

      The whole point of Eddie’s posts is that power prices are excessive and there are a lot of greedy bastards giving crap advice against a policy that is designed to regulate and curb that behaviour.

      At least you had a moderately honest broker. Most of the ones I and the family have run across seem only to be interested in pushing junk with good commission values. Which is why the NZX looks irredeemable to me. Anyone with any sense treats it as being an incestuous bearpit designed to fleece “mom and dad” investors.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2.1.1

        Not updated. Always referred explicitly to First NZ Capital. Which makes your haughty tone a little offensive.

        • lprent 2.1.1.1

          Well either my eyesight is going because I explicitly looked for something after “my broker” because the comment made no sense in terms of the post, or you made an edit that your fast approaching senility has dropped out of memory.

          I could check in the comment edits log, but there hardly seems a point.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2.1.1.1.1

            If those are the two options, your eyesight is going.

    • Lightly 2.2

      Gormless. They want your custom to continue, so they have an incentive to advise you against a bad deal. But they don’t have an ongoing relationship with all the other ‘mums and dads’ and they make more money if those saps buy in. Hence, different advice to a client then to the public in general

    • Shaz 2.3

      Hi, Ex Ole,

      Perhaps you are one of the high rollers who is being privileged by being given the @real oil@ by your broker? That would make sense. As I recall share market brokers have a proud tradition of encouraging small independent investors while protecting others from risk.

      Oops see I have made the same point as lightly.

  3. vto 3

    .
    sharebrokers

    car dealers

    real estate agents

    believe them with utmost care

    • King Kong 3.1

      You left anonymous blog commentors and politicians off your list

      • McFlock 3.1.1

        indeed.
        that’s why linking to sources and/or having a coherent train of thought makes the posts on this site so informative.

      • Murray Olsen 3.1.2

        How did your parents choose the first name King?

  4. tracey 4

    Its not about nz being small, its about declaring your conflicts of interest so that the information you impart can be properly weighted. Hiding a conflict leaves wide open the suggestion you are trying to skew the debate

    • vto 4.1

      It actually puts First NZ Capital in breach of the Fair Trading Act – misleading and deceptive conduct in trade.

      Very clear (provided there was no teency tiny fine print somewhere declaring their massive gigantic overweight conflict of interest).

  5. prism 5

    . ‘Everyone has links to everyone in New Zealand’
    But everyone doesn’t pay my bills. And I don’t want to be in a position that I have to beg for that aid from the wealthier persons of my acquaintance.

    Knowing or being related to lots of people doesn’t mean that you as an individual shouldn’t be your own person. We’re not like the golden haired children in John Wyndhams science fiction story The Midwich Cuckoos. They knew everything that each other experienced or thought. There was a 1960 film version called Village of the Damned (sequel called Children of the Damned).

    I think some people commenting have in mind –
    “Six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world,” (from Wikipedia)
    which is just an interesting concept. And might be tested by NZs hanging around in Piccadilly Circus for long enough.

  6. DH 6

    First NZ Capital were one of the consultants the Govt used to value the SOEs. Another was Macquarie Group, also a joint lead manager for the share float.

    http://www.comu.govt.nz/publications/information-releases/valuation-reports/

    Interesting they’ve removed the Mighty River valuations, can get the 2010 ones here;

    http://www.comu.govt.nz/resources/pdfs/valuation-reports/mrp-vr-f-10.pdf
    http://www.comu.govt.nz/resources/pdfs/valuation-reports/mrp-vr-m-10.pdf

    The valuations are quite useful because they include forward projections which can be compared against actual performance in the 2011 and 2012 annual reports.

  7. muzza 7

    Eddie – Very good series, which needs to be distributed to every/any MSM outlet you can deliver the work to. It matters not if it ends up on the wire/print etc, of course that would be fantastic, but whats matters that people who work in such establishments read/comprehend such angles, and who knows, perhaps even begin to consider some rather straight forward thinking.

    What you are illustrating in this series, is that who controls the money/funding, controls the narrative, controls the resources, controls the outputs!

    Same applies to any/every industry going around, and its important for people to have commentary into such goings on!

    Really good work Eddie, appreciated, and do your best (and everyone on here) to distribute these articles, and others to the MSM emails addresses, which are easily obtained.

    Much more proactive than simply commenting!

  8. geoff 8

    That central claim (not backed by any data or even source) turns out to be wrong – if you exclude lines charges, retail prices have risen even faster in the past 15 years – which confirms that its wholesale prices that are the problem.

    Wholesale prices are the main problem but lines companies played a part too. The bogus asset revaluations that allowed the gentailers to up their prices were apparently also adopted by the lines companies for a while. But then regulation for the lines companies came in that stopped them from continuing the upwards revaluations that the gentailers got away with.

    Geoff Bertram talks about it all in the 2nd half of this audio:
    [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20130423-0908-the_state_of_state_asset_sales_percent_differing_electricity_policies-048.mp3" /]

  9. Dave 9

    Their real inflation figure nett of line charges seems about right. I got 3.2% PA using a simplistic quick calculation, and the MBIE figures don’t include prompt payment discounts etc. CPI inflation over the period 2000-2012 was 39%.

    They do give their source (“based on Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment pricing quarterly surveys”, the same monthly surveys you link to) and their rationale for the increases: gas prices went up 5.6% PA over inflation, more expensive generation methods were added to the grid, and several other reasons.

    In context this was a Credit Suisse research note for Contact Energy and how the proposed reforms would affect its share price, not a piece of punditry on the reforms in general.

  10. aerobubble 10

    Look National run out shouting that we have the fourth fastest growth…

    …perplexed…

    …haven’t National noticed, the world economies are in huge strife carrying huge debt woes…

    …didn’t National have to go reassure world banks about the heavily indebted NZ economy…

    …you know, the 2nd most after Greece.

    A pickup in the global economy will leave NZ standing, having the huge private debt, and growing government debt Key is running up, STILL to deal with. Without major revision to our tax incentives then our pirot victory of fourth fastest growing (off the back of CHCh rebuild) is just that, a false reassurance.

    National suck at economics.

  11. SomeSuch 11

    Interesting.

    Taking a shorter length of time (5 years) suggests:

    CPI + 2.4% (Stats NZ)
    Line charges +6.1% (CPI adjusted = 3.7%) (MED)
    Retail non-line charges +4.4% (CPI adjusted = 2.1%) (MED)

    Retail based on market share.

    Taking the longer view (13 years) suggests:

    CPI +2.6%
    Line charges +9.7% (+7.2%)
    Retail non-line charges +7%(+4.2%)

    Of course non-line charges now comprise a larger share of a residential power bill (62% v. 52%).

    So while First Capital’s maths may or may not be right (can’t tell without data sources or method) the general thrust of their argument in the recent term is correct. Power prices have slowed considerably relative to inflation.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Meh, first give consumers back $500M in excess power profits and we can talk.

    • aerobubble 11.2

      Power prices have slowed, well, duh, power demand has as many cut their energy use in the face of a global wide depression.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    8 hours ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    8 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    16 hours ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    17 hours ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    2 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    5 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    5 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    7 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.