The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.
The intention of the Bill is to address maritime terrorism. We support that intention. Our Green Party Charter principle of non-violence commits us to work for peace, including an absence of terrorism around the world and clean and peaceful seas.
Council staff have prepared a 600+ page document responding to Independent Hearings Panel (IHP) recommendations on Auckland’s Unitary Plan.
We need to talk about Bill English’s repeated accusations that planning is responsible for stratospherically high house prices and inequality, and about the opportunity the Auckland Unitary Plan has to get housing back on the right track. Ever since he wrote the forward to Demographia’s 2013 annual housing affordability survey, our Minister of Finance has […]
Kiwis are going solar in record numbers to escape rising power bills and get a degree of energy freedom, but the electricity industry is using a host of tactics to try and discourage them.
The Labour Party launched its package of ideas to fix the housing crisis over the weekend. Their ideas match ours in many ways. This is good news, because it means that when we change the government we’ll be ready to hit the ground running with a common policy programme to tackle one of the most […]
On Friday last week, the Treasury released a report by MOTU economic consultants into the effectiveness of the controversial 90-day work trial legislation. The report found that there was “no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by firms on average, either overall or into employment that lasted beyond the trial period” – which is what National said it would do. It also had no effect on the number of “disadvantaged jobseekers” being hired. In short, 90-day trials have failed to do what National said they would do.
This week SAFE and the SPCA presented a very strong, well-researched submission to the Primary Production Select Committee in support of their petition signed by over 62,000 people calling for an end to rodeo. They pointed out that rodeo relies on the use of a range of painful devices and practices in order to force […]
Yesterday we told New Zealanders thirsty for a better country that change is on the way. Yesterday Labour and the Greens announced an historic agreement to work cooperatively to change the Government at the 2017 election. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between us commits us to working more closely together in Parliament and includes […]
Budget 2016 once again left our only public broadcaster, Radio NZ (RNZ), worse off. After eight years of funding freezes, you have to wonder if RNZ is being iced-out for ideological reasons.
Ordinary working New Zealanders don’t fare very well from this Budget. Setting aside the spin from the Government, it contains a lot to be concerned about and a fudging of the numbers. For example, the forecast is that the average wage is set to increase to $63,000 per annum by 2020, but when you consider […]
New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system so we have a single provider, a monopoly called Transpower, which is meant to be […]
Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips paper” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Australian media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their New Zealand businesses (NZME. and Fairfax NZ) which could lead to what’s being […]
The government may not get its way on relaxing the restrictions on Easter Sunday shopping hours after all. Today the Commerce Select Committee reported back to the House on the Shop Trading Hours Amendment bill but – unusually – the amendments the Government members wanted to make to the bill couldn’t be included because they […]
Energy Minister Simon Bridges revealed in Parliament this week he has no idea what majority state-owned power companies are up to, when he wrongly claimed that Genesis Energy would not burn coal at Huntly unless there was a shortage of renewable electricity. Was it ignorance or a smokescreen? Responding to Genesis Energy’s decision to backtrack […]
The National Government surprised almost everyone this week by announcing that NZ Post, which owns 100 percent of Kiwibank, is likely to sell 25 percent of its Kiwibank shares to the Superannuation Fund and 20 percent to the ACC Fund. This comes shortly after the Green Party launched a new policy to strengthen Kiwibank so […]
If you had a trillion dollars to spend on energy, would you invest it in burning coal for electricity? Well that’s exactly what is slated to happen internationally, according to a new report. The report, published by Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and CoalSwarm, explains that coal-generating capacity equal to 1,500 coal plants is either in […]
This Easter I’m at home reading papers on urban development and social development, in between trying to catch up on Masterchef and make up time away from my partner. It’s a peaceful time, but I know many people are spending this Easter waiting in trepidation to find out if they’ll have a job in a […]
We’re calling for a change to the way that Governor-Generals are selected. At the moment the Prime Minister decides, without needing to consult with any other party in parliament. This is a pretty old fashioned system that doesn’t reflect the modern MMP environment. It’s hard to see why we shouldn’t have a new, more democratic […]
On Friday, about 70 percent of Auckland’s buses will be off the road for 24 hours as drivers from NZ Bus and Howick & Eastern Buses strike over the breakdown in the negotiations of their employment agreements. While this is a major inconvenience for bus users, it is not a decision that the drivers make […]
Yesterday in Parliament I asked the Prime Minister if he is planning to change our laws to implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), even before it is clear if the US Congress will ratify it. The Prime Minister said he was going to push ahead with changing our laws and wouldn’t wait to see if […]
The protests against the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yesterday were an energetic show of people power. It was great to see such a big turnout – at least 15,000 in Auckland by some estimates. That’s a lot of people not buying the National Government’s spin on the TPPA. I was at the Auckland protests […]
Chief Investment Officer for AMP Capital Investors, Keith Poore, has said today that crashing prices for coal and oil could present attractive buying opportunities for investors who want to make money from a fossil fuel industry that is destroying our climate. There’s money to be made by gaming climate change. Back in the real world, […]
The National Government today announced long-overdue support for an earlier start to City Rail Link (CRL) project. The CRL will double the capacity of the entire rail network, allowing trains every 5 minutes at peak times and enable the extension of rail to the airport and to the North Shore. But the CRL hasn’t always […]
From November 30 to December 11, the governments of more than 190 nations will convene in Paris and try to reach a global climate agreement. The generally agreed aim is for that agreement to limit global warming to 2°C. Paris is the very best chance we’ve got to formalise an agreement of weight and ambition, […]
Over 1 million people didn’t vote in the last election, many of those people didn’t/don’t believe their vote matters. The majority were low income New Zealanders. Yesterday we heard from the Salvation Army that children in Auckland are living in cars, garages, camping grounds and emergency housing. We heard that this is due to […]
Earlier this year I launched a campaign for mandatory palm oil labelling. For the last two months I have been following the news coming out of Indonesia with a growing sense of dismay and frustration. Indonesia is burning . Thousands of hectares of pristine rainforest is going up in smoke to make way for palm […]
When Prime Minister John Key shouted that opposition parties “backed the rapists” on Tuesday, he not only tried to distract people from his failure over the Christmas Island detainee issue, he trivialised rape and was deliberately offensive to many MPs. What’s more, the Speaker allowed him to do it. We asked the Speaker to hold John […]
Geoff Simmons, who works with Gareth Morgan, has published a blog post about my Fair Go For Solar Bill. I welcome the debate. I hope tomorrow Peter Dunne will break the 60/60 vote tie in Parliament so we can continue the solar conversation and hear from all those involved around a select committee table. Simmons […]
Environmental research continues to be the poor cousin in the Government’s National Science Investment Strategy (NSIS) receiving the least of the five major science sectors in 2014 with no commitment to increase future funding for the sector; in contrast with all the other major research sectors. The NSIS promises increased spending on research in manufacturing, […]
New York City is going the way of California, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut by moving to divest from coal and reconsidering its investments in oil and gas. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio this week called on his city’s $160 billion pension fund to divest from coal. Divesting from coal posed little risk to […]
On Wednesday, John Key visited the southern Coromandel area with local National MP Scott Simpson and was challenged by citizens who spontaneously organised protests against the Government position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). I went down to Waihi expecting a handful of people but in fact there were 50 locals, many of […]
Good on the midwives taking their case straight to the High Court. Of course, it’s for the Court to decide if this is a case of gender discrimination, but the public arguments sounds pretty compelling. I’m not sure how anyone would think a midwife, after three years of training, with significant legal and medical responsibilities, […]
What do you call four years of consistently mis-forecasting inflation by a $50 million government agency set up to do just that? Whatever word you use, it should cause you to ask some questions about how our Reserve Bank is being run. Analysis by the Parliamentary Library of Reserve Bank inflation forecasting versus the actual […]
In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote. National and ACT consistently voted for it because they all thought the same. Since then, […]
In June this year, Prime Minister John Key stated that “New Zealand is never going to sign up to the TPP unless it is in New Zealand’s best interests”. As the TPPA negotiations enter their final stages in Hawaii, these increasingly seem like hollow words. The little information that we have about the draft agreement […]
Whenever we’ve asked the New Zealand Superannuation Fund what they’re doing about climate change, they’ve said they’re waiting for the Mercer report they’d backed to come out. Well it’s now out and it’s unequivocal about the impact of climate change – investing in fossil fuels is objectively bad for your returns. Mercer has made one […]
This Wednesday just past, I was privileged to attend the Kerikeri launch of Signpost North, a new online magazine covering the Bay of Islands and the Far North. Spearheaded by Sandy Myhre, a journalist with a lot of passion for the Northland region, Signpost North will be published monthly, and the first issue is available […]
This week in Parliament I questioned Energy Minister Simon Bridges about the high prices facing some of our most vulnerable families who use pre-paid electricity. The Government is fond of telling people to shop around to get a better power deal – in fact, that’s pretty much their only policy to help households lower their […]
The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the letterboxes of Northland voters over the last few days, and it does no credit to […]