The lesson from the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) should have been that it is time to re-think this type of so-called trade agreement. But despite warnings from internationally-recognised experts, there are more secretive “trade” negotiations happening this week, and the risks are huge. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is being negotiated […]
I took the opportunity to question the Reserve Bank Governor, Graeme Wheeler, about New Zealand’s lack of deposit protection in front of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee in Parliament yesterday.
Last week the Productivity Commission put out a report about how to grow “weak labour productivity”. These views are being criticised as being straight out of the 1980s. What is a real problem is that we have a problem of productivity gains not being passed on to workers.
The Green Party has campaigned for several years for mandatory palm oil labeling to give consumers choice. Most consumers do not want to support a palm oil industry that is destroying tropical rainforests and contributing to dangerous climate change emissions.
The charade of this Government’s sound economic management is unraveling. Misleading GDP figures, pumped up by property speculation and high immigration, have given the impression that all is well, masking our continued productivity decline compared to OECD countries. In fact, we are near the top of the OECD in hours worked, but near the bottom […]
Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise.
After the Pike River tragedy, New Zealanders realised that workplace health and safety culture needed to change. Last Saturday marked the 6th anniversary of the tragedy that killed 29 miners at the Pike River mine on the West Coast of the South Island. Six years on, the battle to improve our health and safety continues, […]
On Monday, the Civilian “reported” that the Government plans to pass legislation to end 2016 early. The Green Party will be supporting this bill. Just in the last week, we’ve had a 7.8 quake and hundreds of aftershocks, floods, Donald Trump, news of his transition team, Brian Tamaki sharing his ‘wisdom’ and a tornado. Oh, and there’s […]
This year, games expo PAX celebrated its third year in Australia. I was lucky enough to attend as part of Melbourne International Games Week. I was there to meet a number of industry players and research the significant number of steps the State of Victoria has taken to support its thriving games development sector. In […]
Barry Coates’ speech on the final reading of the TPPA Amendment Bill, 10 November 2016. Tēnā koe, Mr Assistant Speaker. I rise to talk on the third reading of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill, and I have to say, this is the story of a farce. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement has been a […]
Top of the “to do” list for incoming President Trump (it will take a while to get used to writing that) are changes to trade policy. Number one is rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). He will be supported by a Republican Congress and Senate, so it is now clear that the TPPA, as […]
I’m pretty excited. I’m off to Melbourne today to attend the Southern Hemisphere’s largest interactive media and games conference – PAX – to research supporting our games export industry. It sounds like fun, but it’s no game. Already, with minimal support, our games and app building sector’s exports are worth $89 million a year. The […]
This post first appeared on The Daily Blog – October 26, 2016 If you’re concerned about the TPPA, there is even worse to come. TiSA is a new trade deal that would leave citizens powerless to set the rules about what big multinational corporations can do in our communities and workplaces. Governments and corporate lobbyists […]
The National Government recently announced that they will be requiring community organisations to hand over client information to the government to get funding. Services such as women’s refuges and budgeting agencies will have to share “client-level data” as a condition of funding. I’ve been hearing a lot of concerns about this. Social workers and counsellors […]
Today, Christchurch City Council considered the National-led Government’s Block Offer 2017 proposal to tender for permits which allow companies to explore for oil and gas in New Zealand, including off the Canterbury coast . Thankfully, the City Council voted by 15 to 1 not to support the proposal and to ask Ngai Tahu and Environment […]
New data out this week from Statistics NZ paints a concerning picture of energy use across the economy under this National Government. You won’t be surprised to hear that there is some seriously worrying information here about how dirty our economy is becoming, but the good news is that with some decent political leadership, there […]
Thousands of junior doctors took strike action for 24 hours this week for better working conditions and safer working hours. The Green Party supports their cause.
Gareth Hughes says the public should get a say on Nova Energy’s proposed big new polluting power plant in Waikato
Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was an exact replica of his lost leg. Using scanning technology almost any body part can […]
We’ve had some pretty decent solar spills lately and, unlike the Rena spill, the impacts are simply a lovely day and clean energy. Greenpeace has a good write-up on Stuff Nation on why solar is a great technology for New Zealand. In New Zealand, like many other countries, we’ve seen stunning growth in solar panel […]
It’s the place where the world’s largest whales feed and the smallest dolphins live, so why would we risk it with experimental seabed mining? Submissions are currently open on Trans-Tasman Resources’ (TTR) application to mine the seabed of the South Taranaki Bight, TTR’s second attempt second attempt after the first one was turned down. The […]
How is it that New Zealand is supposed to be playing our part in the global mission to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, yet Nova Energy is proposing to build more fossil fuel-burning power plants that emit greenhouse gases?
Did cutting the top tax rate in 2010 (to better align it with the trust and company tax rates) eliminate the widespread tax avoidance occurring around the top tax threshold?
A collection of chambers of commerce, electricity lines companies, Federated Farmers, and businesses have just released a survey showing 56% of Kiwis wouldn’t want to pay less for power if others had to pay more.
Today I met with locals living rurally near Otorohanga, south Waikato, who will be affected by Nova Energy’s plan to build a new 360MW gas-fired power station. In a bit of a tag team, James Shaw asked questions in Parliament about the same thing.
Today at Parliament, I accepted a petition signed by more than 6,000 people calling for a moratorium on seabed mining. This is also the day Trans-Tasman Resources’ (TTR) second application attempt to mine the seabed of the South Taranaki Bight opens for the twenty days of submissions period under the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) rules. […]
The Green Party launched a campaign on Friday to stop the proposed construction of a new gas-fired power plant in South Waikato that would increase greenhouse gas emissions, causing climate change. Nova Energy has applied for resource consents to build a gas-burning power plant near Otorohanga. I’m asking Environment Minister Nick Smith to “call in” […]
It’s fantastic to hear today Dunedin-based game developer RocketWerkz has received substantial investment from the Chinese company Tencent and looks to employ an additional 125 people. You could say they’ve unlocked the next level. I’m a big supporter of our fast-growing game development sector and very glad to see Kiwis in creative tech jobs. RocketWerkz […]
You know your proposal has probably got something seriously wrong with it when you have councils, lines companies, businesses, chambers of commerce, Federated Farmers and the Green Party opposed. Does the Electricity Authority know it though? Today, a group of businesses, local government and electricity sector participants has come out in support of a legal […]
I had a good friend who worked at Parliament in various roles in the catering services over a number of years. I saw her almost every day. She always made me and many other people feel welcome and she went to extra effort to make sure we received quality service. She was also a really […]
John Key is in Laos today attending the East Asia Summit. Laos has been called the land of a million bombs. During the Vietnam War, the US dropped roughly 270 million cluster bombs. Approximately 80 million failed to detonate. Peterkim Manithong was 16 years old when he picked up a cluster bomb while walking home […]
The National Government has finally recognised that there is something they could be doing to ensure multinational companies like Apple and Google pay their fair share of tax here.
Over the weekend, Stuff.co.nz published a story titled “The Baby or the House” about how more and more young Auckland couples who want to start a family are putting it off because it’s too expensive to have kids and a mortgage. I think part of the problem is that renting rules aren’t very family-friendly. People […]
It was both distressing and inspiring listening to people’s stories of coping with poverty, homelessness, housing insecurity, and cold, damp rentals, and their ideas for change at the Christchurch hearing day for the joint Green, Labour, and Maori Party inquiry into homelessness.
Yesterday I visited the Wellington Women’s Boarding House (WWBH) and met with their manager Margaret and board member Belinda Sharp. The WWBH provides a safe place for women to stay in difficult times. They have low-cost, temporary housing for women on low incomes and women in transition. The house was set up by members of […]
The European Commission has ruled that Apple owes €13bn in back taxes there. It’s likely that Apple owes New Zealand our fair share of back taxes too. The New Zealand Government collected close to $11 billion in taxes for companies last year. If New Zealand companies paid the tax rate Apple does in Europe — […]
The National Government admitted last week that it will not be taking any responsibility for KiwiSaver funds that invest in cluster bomb, landmine, and nuclear weapons manufacturers. New Zealanders care deeply about whether or not their money is being used to do harm elsewhere. It’s time the Government did too.
Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists).
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.
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 […]