Nick Smith Archive

  • Kennedy Graham

    Targeting the next generation: National’s version of a brighter future - by Kennedy Graham

    Back in 2011, John Key’s Government headed into the election campaign with National’s plan to build a stronger economy and a brighter future for Kiwi families. The Plan included protecting communities, supporting the primary sector, creating jobs, and protecting the environment. Last Friday, the Government announced its latest version of a brighter future for Kiwi […] read more
    August 21, 2013 11:30 am - 52 Comments
  • Holly Walker

    Nail in the coffin of state housing in Sandringham - by Holly Walker

    Last month I blogged about the sale of Housing New Zealand land in Haverstock Road, Sandringham, where – instead of redeveloping its land into a groundbreaking mixed housing development – Housing New Zealand was flogging off a huge parcel of land to the highest bidder. I visited the site on 25 March, and this is […] read more
    April 17, 2013 1:53 pm - 3 Comments
  • Denise Roche

    Government versus Mayor again. - by Denise Roche

    It’s only a week since Auckland Mayor Len Brown officially launched the Auckland Unitary Plan and even before its official unveiling government ministers have been rattling their sabres and threatening to have another go at dismantling democracy in Auckland.   As Brian Rudman explained earlier this week, both the Minister for Housing and the Minister for […] read more
    March 21, 2013 4:58 pm - 19 Comments
  • Holly Walker

    Another state housing sell-off in Sandringham - by Holly Walker

    Just like it is all around the country, Housing New Zealand is busy demolishing state houses and selling off the land to private developers in Sandringham. It’s a tragedy, not only for those who have now lost their homes in the area, but also a tragic missed opportunity to invest in more of the affordable, […] read more
    March 14, 2013 1:57 pm - 5 Comments
  • Kennedy Graham

    No paradigm, please, we’re Kiwis – how did NZ do at Rio? - by Kennedy Graham

    Rio has come and gone, and so have the New Zealanders. I am off tomorrow, to New York on a different assignment for a few days. Then off again, to home where I have laid my head twice in two months. What did New Zealand achieve at Rio? I have blogged on Minister Adams’ speech, and […] read more
    June 24, 2012 5:17 pm - No Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    ACC: what we really need to ask - by Kevin Hague

    There’s nothing quite like a ministerial resignation to send political insiders and journalists into a frenzy. There are big issues arising from Nick Smith’s interference in Bronwyn Pullar’s ACC claim. Such as: Are the four letters that Nick Smith wrote concerning Ms Pullar’s claim the extent of his interference in her claim, or is there […] read more
    March 22, 2012 11:32 am - 19 Comments
  • Kennedy Graham

    Climate change post-Durban: Still “punching above our weight”…? - by Kennedy Graham

    Yesterday was just one of those days. I experienced, yet again, one of those apocryphal exchanges with Dr Nick Smith on climate change. Those who perceive global climate change as a competitive sport will be heartened to hear Minister Smith assure Parliament that New Zealand is punching above its weight in the negotiations. This is […] read more
    March 9, 2012 11:49 am - 35 Comments
  • frog

    John Key’s new Cabinet announced - by frog

    Prime Minister John Key announced his new Cabinet this morning. The line-up is pretty predictable, but some of the portfolio allocations and rankings are interesting: The big winners are Steven Joyce and Hekia Parata, moving up 10 and 13 places respectively in the Cabinet ranking. Parata replaces Anne Tolley as Minister of Education. Paula Bennett’s […] read more
    December 12, 2011 1:02 pm - 10 Comments
  • Catherine Delahunty

    Rena Oil Spill – Day Ten - by Catherine Delahunty

    Green Party member Renee Annan and I drove into the car park at Maketu Surf Club. Clumps of people were wandering around and there was a small pile of contaminated sand bags on the edge of the beach. We had no idea how bad the problems were at Maketü but we figured talking to the […] read more
    October 17, 2011 7:58 am - 3 Comments
  • David Clendon

    Fiddling about with e-Waste - by David Clendon

    I’m  puzzled as to why the Minister for the Environment is so unwilling to use the provisions of the Waste Minimisation Act to deal much more effectively with the issue of e-Waste in New Zealand. Dr Smith has announced today that he is  “…asking businesses to come forward with innovative solutions on how we can […] read more
    September 8, 2011 9:00 am - 2 Comments
  • David Clendon

    Batteries and the Basel Convention - by David Clendon

    I asked some questions in the House on Thursday of the Minister for Environment, about how well (or more to the point how badly) we are meeting our obligations under the Basel Convention in regard to lead acid batteries. The Convention came into force in the early ‘90s as a response to the then emerging […] read more
    August 5, 2011 10:22 am - 7 Comments
  • frog

    Nick Smith lost for words on lignite mining - by frog

    It seems Environment Minister Nick Smith still doesn’t get it that “best practice” as far as lignite is concerned is to leave it in the ground. He was lost for words when challenged on this in Southland on Tuesday evening. read more
    June 30, 2011 10:27 am - 7 Comments
  • Catherine Delahunty

    Cleaning up our country – toxic sites - by Catherine Delahunty

    The “100% Pure New Zealand” myth has long been busted but work to clean up the country has lagged behind for many years. This is partly because it costs real money to tackle our worst problems such as the roughly 20,000 contaminated sites across the country. One of the reasons I stood for Parliament was […] read more
    May 26, 2011 9:06 am - 5 Comments
  • Gareth Hughes

    Shark finning: one of these isn’t like the other - by Gareth Hughes

    I’ll give you a clue: all bar one have taken on board a vast array of international advice, and adopted a policy that protects the apex predator in our largest and most complex ecosystem. read more
    May 24, 2011 10:07 pm - 6 Comments
  • frog

    MacDoctor and me: We agree and disagree on ACC - by frog

    Medical practitioner and right wing blogger MacDoctor has three recent posts on the disastrous failings of ACC to provide entitlements to injured claimants. I couldn’t agree more with MacDoctor’s definition of the problem. But I disagree vehemently with his faux solution of privatisation. read more
    May 17, 2011 7:11 pm - 2 Comments
  • frog

    Experts debunk National Policy Statement on Freshwater - by frog

    This week Environment Minister Nick Smith released a long awaited and long overdue National Policy Statement on Freshwater. Unfortunately he took the teeth out of what was a sound draft policy statement and removed the parts which would have made the most progress towards cleaning up our seriously polluted rivers and lakes. The governments’ announcement […] read more
    May 11, 2011 1:46 pm - 6 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    ACC disentitlement saga a shameful exercise from start to finish - by Kevin Hague

    Four years ago the District Court decided that ACC claimants who were not earners at the time of their original injury, but who later became incapacitated from subsequent employment due to that injury, were not entitled to weekly compensation. Irrespective of the legal technicalities, it was an anomalous decision for a compensation scheme that is […] read more
    December 9, 2010 11:04 am - 6 Comments
  • Kennedy Graham

    Questioning Nick Smith on climate change - by Kennedy Graham

    Last week I attended a seminar on climate change and the prospects for the Cancun summit in December.  I know that in our post-Copenhagen catatonia we all prefer not to think of climate change, but that will not solve the problem. The seminar was comprised mainly of government officials, academics and think tank experts.  There […] read more
    October 28, 2010 11:06 am - 8 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Nick Smith needs to open his ears to the deaf - by Kevin Hague

    As an MP I receive many lobbying letters.  Today one arrived that really caught my attention.  It was from the National Foundation for the Deaf, and it was about the cutbacks to ACC cover and entitlements for work-related hearing loss. Attached to the letter was a very detailed 82 page position paper.  The paper describes […] read more
    October 22, 2010 4:45 pm - 2 Comments
  • frog

    The Forestry NES: Robert Guyton thumbs up, Nick Smith rotten - by frog

    Congratulations to one of our regular commenters, Robert Guyton, on his election to Environment Southland last weekend. I really hope Robert can make a difference in stopping the “Double Dipton” plan to double Southland’s dairy herd numbers, and stopping Gerry Brownlee’s Lignitemare. I was pondering a post on Nick Smith’s proposed National Environment Standard on forestry. read more
    October 12, 2010 7:03 pm - 13 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    More questions than answers over ACC cost shifting - by Kevin Hague

    A couple of months ago, following ACC Minister Nick Smith’s u-turn on counselling for ACC sexual abuse claimants, I called for an independent review of the wide-ranging cutbacks to ACC imposed by the Government. I have now asked some questions about people being moved from ACC to welfare benefits. What really disturbed me about the replies is the huge increase in the number of people being shifted from weekly compensation onto welfare benefits since March 2009. read more
    October 6, 2010 4:39 pm - 8 Comments
  • frog

    OIA laughs for a Friday afternoon - by frog

    I’ve been enjoying Idiot/Savant’s posts over at No Right Turn about his ongoing battles trying to get various Ministers in John Key’s Government to respond adequately to his OIA requests. I’ve had a couple of classics myself this week. read more
    September 24, 2010 2:54 pm - 6 Comments
  • frog

    MEUG complains $145m free money isn’t enough - by frog

    The Major Electricity Users Group (MEUG) is complaing that the $145 million cash dollars of taxpayer money that Nick Smith’s ETS will give them between now and the end of 2012 is simply not enough free money. read more
    September 3, 2010 2:23 pm - 15 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Case for wider probe of ACC entitlement-cutting culture now even stronger - by Kevin Hague

    ACC’s use of Dr. Felicity Goodyear-Smith to advise on sexual abuse claims can only have resulted from catastrophic systems failure or a sick culture. New Zealanders need to know which, and Minister Smith must take steps to thoroughly investigate so the problems can be fixed read more
    August 30, 2010 10:58 am - 11 Comments
  • frog

    Yes Minister, climate change requires action - by frog

    John Key’s Government is going to do absolutely nothing to help New Zealanders prepare for what the scientists and actuaries know is already happening. read more
    August 20, 2010 2:58 pm - 20 Comments
  • frog

    Urgent: Tell the Govt that air quality matters! - by frog

    If you are concerned about the fact that 49% of New Zealanders live in areas where the quality of the air is dangerous because of avoidable particulates – submit by Friday this week on Nick Smith’s proposed changes to air quality standards! The Government is proposing to lower and delay air quality standards, which will […] read more
    July 6, 2010 1:53 pm - 23 Comments
  • frog

    ACC “crisis” was all in Nick Smith’s head - by frog

    Remember the financial crisis with ACC? Remember Nick Smith describing ACC as “technically insolvent”, a claim that was rubbished at the time by NZ Herald economics editor Brian Fallow and actuary Jonathan Eriksen? Guess what? ACC is set to make a $2 billion surplus, and that’s before the levy increases and entitlement cuts have any impact, as they are only now beginning to phase in! read more
    June 28, 2010 9:38 am - 43 Comments
  • Gareth Hughes

    Nick Smith says ‘let them eat yellowcake!’ - by Gareth Hughes

    Nick Smith is undermining the blood sweat and tears of Kiwis in the 1980s that fought bravely to entrench New Zealand’s nuclear free status on the world stage. read more
    June 24, 2010 5:31 pm - 19 Comments
  • frog

    Rules for freshwater management? Never! - by frog

    Kiran Chug has a great story in this morning’s Dominion Post: the sorry tale of the proposed National Policy Statement on Freshwater management. Our rivers are getting dirtier and dirtier while this document languishes. A quick history: National policy statements are tools that can be developed under the Resource Management Act to guide local and […] read more
    June 16, 2010 10:45 am - 11 Comments
  • frog

    Thousands protest against the ECan coup - by frog

    It’s great to see the people of Canterbury fighting back in their thousands, and to see Green MPs Russel Norman and Kennedy Graham supporting them, to return to democratic regional governance. read more
    June 13, 2010 7:47 pm - 9 Comments
  • frog

    A privatisation lesson from an unlikely source - by frog

    Cameron (Whaleoil) Slater has been having a bleat about how he has been treated by the private insurer Fidelity Life, which has cut off his income protection insurance. Funny how those on the political right don’t seem to get it – until it affects them personally, that is. read more
    May 25, 2010 11:34 am - 37 Comments
  • frog

    ECan Act “constitutionally repugnant” - by frog

    … constitutionally repugnant … contains elements of subterfuge … a constitutional affront … simply unacceptable … failed the legal requirement that the law should be general and forward-looking, not retrospective … denied all the equal protection of the law … either gratuitous or disingenuous … does nothing to promote respect for the law … a disproportionate response to the issues. Pretty strong words from a Professor of Law read more
    May 20, 2010 9:52 am - 16 Comments
  • frog

    Cabinet celebrates the ECan coup - by frog

    A picture is worth a thousand words! If you are in or near Christchurch tomorrow Friday 30 April, come and join the protests against this abrogation of democracy: 5:30 pm @ ECan office 58 Kilmore St, moving to the Jenny Shipley gloat-fest lecture at the Copthorne Hotel, corner Durham and Kilmore Streets an hour or so later. read more
    April 29, 2010 7:57 pm - 41 Comments
  • Sue Kedgley

    Strong reaction against ECan sacking - by Sue Kedgley

    It was standing room only at a public meeting organised by the Green party in Christchurch last night to protest the government’s sacking of Environment Canterbury. 100 people who couldn’t get into the meeting held an impromptu meeting outside. The meeting hadn’t even been advertised in the media—who knows how many would have turned up […] read more
    April 15, 2010 2:01 pm - 41 Comments
  • frog

    Environment groups line up to slag government on water conservation - by frog

    It seems the Environment Minister is getting short on friends… read more
    April 4, 2010 10:11 am - 11 Comments
  • Catherine Delahunty

    Will Cathy Taewa get answers from Paula and Nick? - by Catherine Delahunty

    Four years ago, Bay of Plenty meatworker Johnny Taewa tragically died of the occupational disease leptospirosis. His widow Cathy has been told she was not only ineligible for a benefit, but won’t be eligible for five years, because the lump sum payment she received from ACC in respect of his death is treated as income. read more
    February 2, 2010 2:06 pm - 36 Comments
  • frog

    Levy hikes prelude to privatisation - by frog

    If ACC is made to work like an insurance company, then it’s a lot easier to flog bits of it off to insurance companies some time in the future. Levy hikes and entitlement cuts will undermine public confidence in ACC and soften up public opinion for the privatisation agenda. read more
    December 11, 2009 10:35 am - 2 Comments
  • frog

    Global concern at Nats’ plan to mine national parks - by frog

    Scrutiny of Government plans to mine our conservation lands is deepening internationally. And it’s got people hot on Facebook too. The Sunday Star Times ran a powerful feature on the weekend called “Picture imperfect”. It looks at international concern at New Zealand’s environmental performance, including National’s plan to mine conservation land: IT’S JUST a stock-take […] read more
    December 7, 2009 8:30 pm - 10 Comments
  • frog

    ACC: Mirrors smashed and smoke dispersed - by frog

    Crisis! What crisis? ACC’s reserves are now above forecast by $739 million (5.4 percent), a further improvement over last month, said CTU Economist and Policy Director Bill Rosenberg. The main problem is the full funding of future claim payments which means ACC accounts will always be susceptible to large apparent variations which in reality may have little practical consequences for the ACC scheme. read more
    December 4, 2009 6:43 pm - 6 Comments
  • frog

    Faux savings from gutting ACC - by frog

    Shunting injured people off ACC onto welfare benefits where they may languish for years rather than rehabilitating them into employment is a false saving – as bad for the economy as it is for the injured person. read more
    December 3, 2009 1:52 pm - 7 Comments