NZ Herald online coverage of the Sky City fire, concerns the CBD can be shut down by a blowtorch & why the fire is a perfectly delicious metaphor of National in power for 9 years


As the news broke that a major fire had erupted in downtown Auckland, people turned to the media sources that would be in the know.

Foolishly I turned to the NZ Herald, who kept promoting a live stream link of the fire, which after two – YES TWO ADVERTS (gotta get the dollars in during a crisis) kept playing a bloody interview with Steve Hansen instead of the bloody live stream of the fire!

You would think that the biggest breaking story of the year might require some effort on behalf of the Herald, but apparently not. I mean we all want to bask in the bloke philosophy of Rugby Svengali Steve Hansen on the eve of the bloody ring world cup, but you know, breaking fire in downtown Auckland that is blanketing most of the city downwind in a toxic poisonous smog, I’d like some info on that alongside my Rugby mantras for the day.

Is that possible NZ Herald?

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Bewildering Herald incompetence aside, and all the Nu Zilind basic bitch sensibilities that we never criticise anything because it’s so untoward (remember how that played out at Pike River Mine?) does it concern anyone else that the entire fucking CBD can be shut down and poisoned because of a bloody unattended blowtorch?

Doesn’t it say something about the total lack of resilience in our groaning infrastructure that this can happen and knock out the whole CBD?

Personally the fire seems to be a perfectly delicious metaphor of National in power for 9 years.

The fire is the National Party and Labour are the firefighters trying to put out the fire National have caused for a decade.

The conference centre is a metaphor for the rushed  infrastructure funded by corporate crony con job capitalism cooked up by John Key and Steven Joyce which throws ethical concerns out for Casino morality while selling off TVNZ state property without any due diligence and inadvertently poisoning everyone who comes anywhere near it.

Thanks John! What a fitting legacy.





  1. if Labour were the firefighters the fire would be spreading while they had a working group to discuss the best ways to fight it

      • Nope both JK and Sam are right but my guess is that Jacinda is meeting with the stakeholders to give them corporate welfare. Free visas for the migrant workers who lost their jobs, speed up visas for relatives to live here, corporate handout and kind face for Fletchers and Sky City shareholders.

        Those who have nothing to do with it and being put in hospital or can’t work or live in the CBD, will get sweet fuck all.

        Rio Tinto just heard about Labour’s billion dollar surplus so is already out there advocating for hand outs, so the queue will be growing for big business to get their hands on some more taxpayer cash.

          • No hatred to migrants just hatred of stupidity and unfairness based on nationality aka reverse racism, just pointing out the next steps of being shafted — ask yourself that question why so many contract workers on Fletchers site, and all the MSM sympathy – and anger at anyone who dares to point out all the pollution for everyone else.

            In spite of all the bankruptcies little sympathy for all the other construction workers who lose everything when the company goes under but often get nothing and the government don’t change the rules to help them and it’s been happening for 30+ years.

            Just pointing out the double standards, based on where the lobbyists always go to which is change the law to keep the gravy train going for poor quality business in NZ.

            How much profit and inefficiency there is with 985 contractors on site with only 185 employed by Fletchers – sounds like the disaster was just waiting to happen with hands off modern construction, little oversight, filled with the cheapest quotes they can find, no questions asked!

            In NZ the neoliberal mantra is increase profits while lowering costs, then they wonder why wages are lowered and everything costs more under that model which is not good for society and very inefficient because the risk management is very high when that is the model.

            Countries that operate different models with much more liability (aka in Germany you go to jail if you are a tradie that does a bad job and does not fix it, so it is not profit driven and cost driven model in countries like Germany, but by quality control, something absent from NZ executive decision making and government policy to do with work.

          • Spiky – why don’t you set up a Give-a-little for Rio Tinto, such is your love of NZ taxpayers propping up offshore business with cheap labour and welfare to help their bottom line.

            • Don’t worry the corporates can weather the storm, (sarcasm), Spiky and great the woke & unions will be so keen to help them lobby the government, because pretty sure that Fletchers and Sky City won’t be helping the workers that they bring in to work on their site, with their own money!

              “At 1pm on Tuesday, right before the fire started, shares in Fletcher Building were at $4.74. By that evening they’d fallen about 5 percent, but have since recovered to $4.71. SkyCity shares fell by slightly more, and haven’t recovered quite as well.

              “We saw in the share market investors are quite worried and share prices have come down quite a lot,” said Eaqub. “As long as there is certainty that the insurance payments are going to protect most of the downside, Fletcher building is in a relatively good position to weather the storm.”

  2. Son: I uh…I wanna be a tradie
    Father: Why don’t you be more like Sarah at TVNZ. She doesn’t have a blowtorch.
    Son: What still living at home at 30 and doing Twitter news out of a makeshift broom closet in emergencies? I’ll have a qualification and I’ll physically build the nation, I just won’t have a job if I cock up and burn a site down (unlike white collar fraudsters who get promoted when they intentionally steal from society).
    Sarah: I’m 48!

  3. Until the fire one forgets what price we paid for SkyCity to improve their bottom line on us for a bloody conference centre we had to have but none of us realised it. The loss of TVNZ facilities and land and the extra pokie machines for the next 4 decades was an appalling deal. And honestly, who knows what person/s did awfully well in that dirty little deal, such was the opaqueness of it.

    And where was the media of the day shining the cleansing light of day on it? Maybe the dumb public didn’t care?

  4. … { The conference centre is a metaphor for the rushed infrastructure funded by corporate crony con job capitalism cooked up by John Key and Steven Joyce which throws ethical concerns out for Casino morality while selling off TVNZ state property without any due diligence and inadvertently poisoning everyone who comes anywhere near it. }…

    Yes, … the Sky City complex ,…the symbol of rapacious corporate wealth , the hang out of drug kings doing deals, of poor people addicted to gambling while their family’s starve ,… and the favored hang out of John Key.

    Babylon burns…

  5. Oh ,… and one other thing… remember when the protests at the TTPA closed down parts of central Auckland for a day? And they posted a ton of Police to keep us, the public, from getting too loud?

    And that was for something that mattered to ALL new Zealanders…

    So now we have have John Keys pet monument go up in flames , – and closes down the area for 2-3 days in a destructive fire , – belching toxic smoke and fumes everywhere…

    I just cant help but see the irony.

  6. Yes Martyn, to all bloggers before me here,

    JK used his influence to build another “white Elephant” again!!!!!

    Shit!! does that make me a racist???
    using ‘white’?

    Anyway; – John Key has ruined this country in his ‘slash and burn’ policy in hhis nnine years.

    So now we see the policies burning that he set us up to pay for until we are another bankrupt country like Greece..

    Thanks for nothing John key.

  7. Keep it simple. God doesn’t like John Key, Steven Joyce, or Auckland. Same here. There’ll be an earthquake next, or maybe a volcano.

    Joyce and Key should be repatriated to Transylvania asap. One small cardboard suitcase each.

  8. Were there Fire Safety Officers present while this work was being carried out ? Standard Procedure is they wait around for 30 minutes after the work has been completed, in case there is any flare ups from residues ?

    It will be an interesting situation if they have not followed documented Health & Safety Procedures, also Hazardous Substances Protocols etc.

    I don’t think the Insurance Companies will be in a hurry to pay out until they get to the bottom of it ?

    Sounds like another Pike River ?

    • “Were there Fire Safety Officers present while this work was being carried out”

      Is it,
      a) on a smoko
      b) If you are big and powerful you don’t need safety officers present with Auckland Council
      c) self regulation, Fletchers contractors ‘self certify’ fire risks
      d) Who bothers to look at resource/building consent conditions, here! Not my problem, mate.

  9. The belching of toxic fumes is Natz flatulance but just another day in the office in a country gripped by hopelessly neoliberal ideology.

  10. I would extend the analogy of the cheap, nasty and toxic building materials to Key and Joyce’s favourite mates who have special a visa category to launder cash at the casino. Or on Auckland’s property market if they so chose.
    Bitumen and straw eh. What a compelling mix for the roof, evidently it wasn’t even designed to be fire resistant.
    And was that straw the stuff horses bed down in, or the plastic remnants left over after cocktails at the casino that normally get dumped in the most convenient place.

  11. Didn’t these clowns place Grenfell Tower type cladding over this building (AFTER the Grenfell Tower disaster) only to have it all removed at a cost of $25 million? And whose head will roll over authorising a highly flammable material for a roof of this scale in a central business district? A material that once on fire cannot be put out, instead must be left to burn! Health and safety issues anyone? This is industrial culture as ‘accident’. Not just an accident waiting to happen, but the culture IS the accident. We are all living and breathing the accident every day, regardless of industrial scale fires. This is merely a practice run for what’s coming, what is slowly happening as we go about our daily lives, out of sight, out of mind. And talk to any hard-boiled retired Kiwi builder and they will tell you the construction industry has gone to the dogs with the hiring of thousands of Filipino and Chinese migrant workers, under-skilled and exploited as near slaves. The promised enquiry into the ‘facts’ will be a whitewash for certain. There will be no account taken of the neoliberal business model. No, there will be much talk of heroism of the firefighters and the ‘challenge of getting up and running again, overcoming the ‘setback’, business as usual and the accident will carry on, bigger and better, more and more toxic, relentless expansion of the human enterprise.

  12. That fire was a blessing in disguise, I think, good riddance to Sky City corporate madness, and more or less corrupt governments under Key and Jacinda supporting the build of a convention centre to allow participants in meetings to feed us more of the same economic and other BS.

    It will also set Fletcher back a bit, I think, but they can rely on endless government contracts now, whether Kiwi Build, Rail and Light Rail build, and what comes next.

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