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 […]
Margaret Spencer, a family carer who has looked after her son who has Down’s Syndrome for 47 years, has finally won backpay after years of struggle. Family members such as Margaret who care for their disabled children should be paid the same as non-family carers, otherwise it is discrimination. She has finally beaten the Ministry […]
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 […]
Threats by the Aviation Security Service (AvSec) that striking workers could be locked out are a classic example of a public service employer playing hardball, backed by an anti-worker government.
Currently, some NZ Bus drivers in Wellington earn up to $5 per hour more than the drivers at some rival bus companies in other parts of the country. Those rival companies are likely to be able to bid for the Wellington bus contracts at a lower price, because they pay their drivers less.
This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was looking forward to an interesting and informative day, and I wasn’t disappointed.
News last week that Israel’s Finance Minister will insure savers’ bank deposits means New Zealand will be left as the only country in the OECD that has no deposit insurance to protect savers’ funds should a bank fail.
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.
The gender pay gap in the public service is worse than in the private sector. I’ve always found this particularly galling because I expect our Government to provide an example to the private sector on things like human rights, rather than lag behind it.
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 […]
I’ve been hearing an increasing number of stories about how hard it has become for people to get the help they need, and are legally entitled to, from Work and Income. I’ve heard of people who are have become homeless because of Work and Income decisions, people who are homeless who are sent away without […]
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 […]
There’s nothing in this budget to increase wages, address inequal pay for carers or deal with the shocking pay rates and employment statistics for new New Zealanders.
To paraphrase Justin Trudeau – “It’s 2016”. Money needs to be in the budget to deliver equal pay this year to caregivers at the very least and that may require widening the tax base, which in turn if done well would help reduce inequality in our society at the other end.
On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the role of government to ensure that everyone has a warm and safe home to live in. Our announcement outlined how Housing New Zealand […]
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 […]
A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things had arrived at the point where this woman was faced with taking her children […]
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 […]