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Govt breaks promise over Schedule 4 mining permit

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Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Govt breaks promise over Schedule 4 mining permit



The Government is eroding protections for Schedule 4 against their word and against the wishes of the public.


The Government has broken its promise not to allow mining on Schedule 4 land, the Green Party said today.

In April 2013 Energy Minister Simon Bridges said, “I do not think there is any ambiguity in our policy. Let me say again that we have a very clear view against mining on schedule 4 land.” Yet he has recently granted an 18 hectare mining permit which includes 3 hectares of Schedule 4 land.

“Simon Bridges is misleading the public in order to advance the National Government’s mining agenda against the public’s wishes,” said Green Party mining spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“The Government is eroding protections for Schedule 4 against their word and against the wishes of the public.

“The granting of this permit over an area of Schedule 4 sets a dangerous precedent for larger mining companies to pressure the Government for access to more of our most precious conservation land.”

Ms Delahunty said the permit was granted to Broken Hills Mining Company which has been operating a 5 hectare “hobby” mine. The company now wants to expand to 23 hectares approximately 5 of which are on Schedule 4 conservation land.

“This no longer qualifies as a “hobby” mine, and clearly is a business. The company sends its ore to Waihi for processing by Newmont,” said Ms Delahunty.

“We don’t have issues with Broken Hills improving safety in their mine, but it is unclear why the company need permission to access an additional 3 hectares of Schedule 4 land to do it.

“The Government shouldn’t allow Broken Hills to expand their mine to more than 4 times its size if it means going into Schedule 4 land.

“In 2010, 40,000 people marched to protect the treasured places protected in Schedule 4. The Government should honour its promise and stop granting mining permits on Schedule 4 land.”

The claims and opinions made in this statement are those of the release organisation and are not necessarily endorsed by, and are not necessarily those of, The Daily Blog. Also in no event shall The Daily Blog be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the above release content.

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Voluntary water accord no substitute for binding standards

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Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Voluntary water accord no substitute for binding standards



“A voluntary accord is no substitute for effective rules with controls on intensive farming and clear standards for water quality and limits on pollutants,” said Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage

The voluntary Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord is no substitute for effective binding rules and standards, the Green Party said today.

Dairy New Zealand today released the final version of its Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord, which revises Fonterra’s 2003 Clean Streams Accord. The draft was released for feedback in February 2013.

“A voluntary accord is no substitute for effective rules with controls on intensive farming and clear standards for water quality and limits on pollutants,” said Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“The dairy industry has had ten years of voluntary accords and they aren’t working.

“New Zealand’s water quality has dropped from second in the world to 43rd according to Yale University’s water rankings.

“Furthermore, 92,000 New Zealanders got their drinking water from a scheme which had faecal contamination in 2010/11, according to a recent report by the Ministry of Health.”

Ms Sage said these were the symptom of the freshwater crisis New Zealand was experiencing.

“The Accord is better than nothing but it’s not inadequate to protect our waterways and reverse ongoing pollution and degradation, particularly with the industry’s aggressive target of increasing milk production,” Ms Sage said.

“Other industries need a resource consent to discharge to rivers, lakes and waterways. We don’t allow a voluntary approach for those discharges.

“Yet the National Government has failed to require the dairy industry to get a resource consent to graze and farm dairy cows despite the nutrient leaching, sediment, and faecal runoff which dairying causes.

“The new accord is about industry good practice but voluntary accords don’t stop pollution of our rivers, lakes and streams.

“Our clean green reputation and New Zealanders’ right to clean, swimmable water in all our rivers, streams and lakes are worth more than good intentions.”

Ms Sage also noted that a major gap in the Accord that it does not apply to Westland Milk Products Ltd’s 330 suppliers and the 174,000 dairy cows on the South Island’s West Coast.

References:

NZ water quality ranking dropped from 2 to 43: http://epi.yale.edu/epi2012/countryprofiles

MoH report showing 92,000 NZers go their drinking water from a scheme which had faecal contamination in 2010/11: http://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/annual-report-drinking-water-quality-2011-2012-jun13.pdf

The claims and opinions made in this statement are those of the release organisation and are not necessarily endorsed by, and are not necessarily those of, The Daily Blog. Also in no event shall The Daily Blog be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the above release content.

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Speaker needs to consider allowing conscience vote on Skycity legislation

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Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Speaker needs to consider allowing conscience vote on Skycity legislation



The Speaker of the House David Carter needs to consider allowing a personal vote on any changes to relax gambling law in SkyCity’s favour so that all MPs can vote with their consciences, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to enact a deal signed between the Government and SkyCity to build a convention centre in Auckland. This legislation will allow SkyCity to operate far more pokie and gaming machines. Today the Green Party wrote to the Speaker of the House David Carter requesting that this legislation be treated as a conscience issue, and that the Speaker permit a personal vote instead of a party vote.

“Gambling is one of the few issues that New Zealand MPs have generally voted with their conscience on in our parliamentary history,” said Mrs Turei.

“John Key, by forcing his MPs to vote for the SkyCity deal, is forcing these MPs to vote for an increase in the social ills that will flow on from this deal.”

Prime Minister John Key last week dismissed the idea of allowing a personal vote that would have allowed MPs to vote with their consciences on this legislation.

“If John Key won’t allow Government MPs a chance to exercise their conscience then it is up to the Speaker to permit a personal vote on this matter,” Mrs Turei said.

“MPs with moral concerns regarding the social ills of gambling need to consider crossing the floor and stopping the harm that this deal will cause.

“Government MPs and the Government’s support parties need to read the regulatory impact statement that came out this week before voting for this dirty deal.”

The claims and opinions made in this statement are those of the release organisation and are not necessarily endorsed by, and are not necessarily those of, The Daily Blog. Also in no event shall The Daily Blog be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the above release content.

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TV review: Blue mist

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mob1900_police_brutality2Watching the conclusion of ‘Drug Bust’ last night on TV3 – just before X-Factor – I was struck by the final sequence where the South Auckland police drug operation is summed up by its commander: “our fight” is how he put it. Our propaganda is what it is. Free ads for the NZ Police. Police 10-7, Road Cops and so on, also fall into that category. They all tend to fuse into one long-running blur of blue flack jackets and bleeped out harranguing.

The only thing liberal about the NZ Police fight against meth and cannibas is the adjectives used in their propaganda. There was plenty of it – from the moralising police to the portentous voice-overs setting up each scene as if the Kelly-Ripper-Manson-Bundy gang was inside running a tinny house lined with human skin and skulls of decapitated hitchhikers as ashtrays, when in all reality it is nothing more sinister than aunty Dee and her man trying to get the best for their four kids by finding a way of being able to afford the same things as their middle class neighbours. Very undramatic, highly unnotable and decidedly un-sexy. And of course no “victims” either. Not that you’d ever know it from the context the producers attempt to frame these battles in their self-proclaimed fight.

Every ‘discovery’ was ‘disturbing’ – the spotting knives, a piece of tinfoil and… horror of horrors… a roach – all highly disturbing. And if it wasn’t disturbing enough try making it extremely disturbing. What looks like cannibas oil in a pot was being described as a potential meth lab – think the worst and double it, that sort of thing. Don’t contradict the initial assessment either if it means retracting. What an insight into the police mentality. Seeing things that aren’t there, hyping everything up and a raging paranoia that everyone is trying to put it over you – in other words exhibiting all the characteristics of the meth addict themselves. The telling instantaneous tongue lolling of Det. Snr. Sgt. Knobhead when he mentioned the ‘white powder’ makes you think he had familiarised himself with it intimately.

The tactics of the drug police could not be worse if it was staged by the defence in order to show the gross misuse of the search warrant. The routine seems to be someone (maybe from a rival tinny house operating with police clearance – who really knows because it’s all anonymous) narks off the tinny house or the grower and about twenty odd cops converge on the house. Usually it’s down a long driveway. In one instance they charge down with a civvy-dressed dog ranger in the throng. It’s a multi-agency response – as the householders may well have thought: every species of pig.

They then simultaneously smashed the front door to bits (broken glass crashing) while shouting ‘police!’ and ‘search warrant!’. They force the doors inside the hallway as they burst in. There is much shouting and crashing – there must be a fearful stoush underway inside by all this racket. Shouts, screams, yelling demands more crashing and smashing. It must be a hell of a scrap in there. Outside the other cops have surrounded the garage. It’s locked. The cop’s reaction isn’t to go and fetch the key from in the house – assuming they can secure the house from all the violent people – it’s to give the door a kung fu kick. Then he looks inside the busted door (he must have seen nobody because he doesn’t say anything) and lets out another kick, and another and another until the door is splintered and off its hinges, wrecked. Imagine the landlord watching all that!

What a scene, wrecked doors, smashed up house. And then… the voice-over explains… no-one was home. They had trashed the place wantonly and recklessly and negligently and without good faith – when all they had to do would have been to send one person down on a reccy – maybe even to knock on the door to see if anyone was home. And no-one was home. No-one. Spared the humiliation by the show’s producers when they should have made a meal of it. Whether they wanted a show of over-kill for the cameras, or – more disturbingly in the natural meaning of the word – if this is their standard procedure, then they have demonstrated they are incapable of discharging that duty properly. And that’s not the only thing they don’t seem to be able to manage by themselves.

The airborne portion of the busts – flying over countryside to find patches of the demon herb amongst all the other weeds – were conducted from non other than an airforce helicopter. Cheaper than a commercial charter perhaps, but what of this seamless approach to the defence force resources as being interchangeable with police? The public may be stirred by maintaining the chinese walls that exist between the external and internal spy agencies, but no such fear, suspicion or unease seems to be expressed towards the co-opting of the NZDF to do the dirty work of the NZ Police. Let us remember Whanau-a-Apanui’s protest fishing against the Petrobras exploration was supressed by the Royal NZ Navy – not by the NZ Police – in the final analysis.

Any review of the reality cop programmes will yield similar observations. They may be designed and produced and edited to promote the police, but so much of what the police do that makes it to air is provocation and mistreatment that cannot be dismissed. The character and psyche of the police is also on parade as much as their actions are. The quintessential arrogance and assumption they are above the law is plain.

When the team policing unit (the thug mob of seven foot goons brought out to quell riots but applied without sensitivity or thought to any “party” situation) start running in formation down the street (as they did in one episode) then they will bash anyone in their way. When a cop jogged past the gate of a property and the boy standing inside told him he was there to guard the house against the gatecrashers he is told by the cop: “Well, you’ve got a shithouse job then haven’t you” as he menaced past. So, will we have this officer to thank for inspiring this young boy: either into the policehood by way of attraction to the belligerence and swagger, or more likely against him and the police forever because of that moment of intimidation and hostility.

And of course it didn’t help that the kid was brown – that’s the first sign of an offender’s guilt they learn at police college. Compare this to some of the cases shown – like the white kids caught drinking on top of a roof in town who were not only let go (instead of charged with being in an enclosed yard etc.) but also got to keep their alcohol because the cop reasoned that the place they were tresspassing on was outside of the technical liquor ban area. How unusually friendly and helpful, almost enough to restore one’s faith in the local plod and his discretion… until, you know, the racial angle.

For all the bravado and the macho statements that undermine any notion of the traditional restraint and detachment the police may have had (like the operation commander speaking as if he was daring the meth house owners to start shooting so that they could return fire), the results of the raids were risible. The proud list of convictions following the operation were as anti-climactical as their ridiculous empty house invasion. A list of a few months Home D in most cases for selling and possession – the most being a few years imprisonment – was all there was to show. The police wrecking some stoners’ lives – that’s all it amounts to.

The multitude of cases through the news of incidents like girls (like 15 year-old Ella Mere Ekatone) being king hit by cops during one of these goon runs and having their teeth knocked out etc., and incidents like the egg firing off his stun gun and drawing his Glock trying to arrest someone in Raglan on a bullshit breach of bail, proves there is more than enough material out there in the age of mobile phones with cameras to make a show about police brutality. If only a network would have the balls to commission it.

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LATE at the Museum

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I headed along to LATE at the Museum last Thursday to check out what was happening this season. I knew a few tweeks had been made to the format this year and was interested to see how it was going.

 

Very well is the answer to that question.

 

LATE at the Museum happens on the first Thursday of the month throughout winter. This year it’s running from May to November, so you still have four chances to get along. Every season has a theme which inspires the topic of each session. This year, the theme ‘Of Gods and Men’ has seen sessions inspired by Zeus + Hera and Hermes.

 

Last Thursday, Demeter was the goddess of choice. As she was the goddess of the harvest, we were asked to think about what she might make of the the state of food today. The increasing populations and the food insecurities, the vast food production factories and more broadly, the state of our food producing environment. The breadth of the questions, combined with Wallace Chapman’s laissez-faire (in a good way) MC style meant the discussion went everywhere. We talked sustainability, clean water ways, meat, moa, colonialism, fishing quotas and more. It felt like sitting around the dinner table with lots of super smart friends talking about smart things.

 DSC02714

The panel was made up of 2013 New Zealander of the Year, Professor Dame Anne Salmond, Professor Paul Tapsell of the University of Otago, and Professor Michael Walker of the University of Auckland. With brilliant brains like theirs at the helm, they could really have tackled any topic and it would have been fascinating.

 

DSC02671

 

A clever addition to LATE this year has been the catering provided by Dawsons, because who has time to eat between work and the 6pm start time? I was a little skeptical that it might not work that well, that we’d be left standing somewhere eating overpriced sandwiches, I was happily corrected. I ate delicious Beef Cheeks & Kumara Mash and my friend had a delicious smelling Smoked Fish Pie. We shared a yummy Hazelnut Gateau also. There was plenty of space to sit and the service continued throughout the Smart Talk session which seemed to work quite well.

 

After Smart Talk wraps up, people traipse slowly downstairs. At this point in the evening there are always a couple of options on offer for entertainment and the chance to check out the downstairs galleries.

 

We spent ages in the Moana-My Ocean exhibition. I was really impressed with it. It uses technology to create really beautiful experiences. A personal highlight was the 3D screen showing footage of New Zealand Coastal waters. It made me feel like I was snorkeling at my bach. But with more close ups of crayfish. It was so clear and crisp, it was just like being in the water. Another was the circle of screens which shows schools of fish circling you, like you’re scuba diving right inside it. It was also very informative. Did you know sharks are covered in little teeth-like scales all pointing in one direction which make them swim faster and these are called denticles? I didn’t. Now I do. This will definitely be a popular school holiday option.

 

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We were treated to the ambient sound stylings of DJ Kina Cuts of Base FM in the atrium and a collaboration between Louise Potiki (Choreographer, Dancer & Video Artist) and Paddy Free (Composer). What I could see of it was stunning. That would be my only little gripe about the evening: there’s not quite enough space in the Maori Court for everyone to fit in. I don’t think this is always a problem though as often the shows are done in the Grand Foyer which is much bigger.

 

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LATE is the perfect option for midweek entertainment when you want to do something nice and interesting but there is nothing on at the movies and you don’t want a super big night. There is no pressure to dress up fancy, but you can have a nice glass of wine and some yummy food. You will be entertained but in a much more stimulating way than what watching Police Ten 7 in your onesie might offer. Great with any number of friends, as a date night or even if you’re riding solo. Also there is something about pulling up to the Museum at night when it’s all lit up and looking stunning that makes you feel proud to be an Aucklander and stoked that you’re out and making the most of being in this beautiful city.

 

The next one is on Thursday 1st August, when Tangaroa is inspiring talk about our Oceans with Wallace Chapman, Dr Rochelle Constantine, Don McGlashan and Dr Tom Trnski, with music from Don McGlashan after. You should go.

 

 

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Transcript: PQT Commentary Tuesday July 9 With @ClareCurranMP & @CitizenBomber

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Source: TDBLive Transcripts –

Headline: Transcript: PQT Commentary Tuesday July 9 With @ClareCurranMP & @CitizenBomber

TDB-Parl-Live-Coming-Up!-Clare-Curran-TDBLiveAt 2pm Tuesday PQT host Martyn Bradbury was joined by MP Clare Curran: (direct from the debating chamber) to take part in TDB Live’s Parliamentary Question Time feature PQT.

The following is a transcript of the commentary:

1:51 PM Martyn Bradbury: Welcome to Parliamentary Question Time

1:55 PM Martyn Bradbury: Clare Curran joining us life from the debating chamber at 2pm

1:56 PM Martyn Bradbury: She will be doing this weeks live commenatry session

2:00 PM Martyn Bradbury: Speaker making his way to the chair

2:00 PM Martyn Bradbury: Prayer

2:01 PM Martyn Bradbury: Question

1: METIRIA TUREI to the Minister for Economic Development: Does he agree with the Department of Internal Affairs’ advice to his officials on the proposed international convention centre that

2:02 PM Martyn Bradbury: “virtually any of these proposed concessions would almost certainly be followed by an increase in the number of people seeking help citing problems linked with casino machines or casino table games”;

2:02 PM Martyn Bradbury: if not, why not?

2:04 PM Martyn Bradbury: Government having to defend the harm from extra gambling

2:05 PM Martyn Bradbury: Effectively their position is that they don’t really care, they’ve got a nice new convention center

2:06 PM Martyn Bradbury: Joyce claims it is too difficult to quanithy the negative impacts of gambling

2:07 PM Martyn Bradbury: Clare Curran still logging in from Parliament

2:07 PM Clare Curran: I’m on

2:07 PM Clare Curran: Ok I’m on

2:07 PM Martyn Bradbury: Welcome Clare

2:07 PM Clare Curran: Apologies for lateness. Blame Parliament connectivity

2:07 PM Martyn Bradbury: Mr Joyce having a hrad job of justifying his dirty casino deal today

2:08 PM Clare Curran: Govt benches looking grim

2:09 PM Martyn Bradbury: It’s not really a deal they can celebrate is it?

2:09 PM Martyn Bradbury: Crony capitalism + gambling + legislation up for sale = grim faces

2:10 PM Martyn Bradbury: Why won’t they let it be a conscience vote?

2:10 PM Clare Curran: This government has no conscience

2:11 PM Clare Curran: Metiria talking about the 71,000 people effected by problem gambling, half of whom are children

2:12 PM Martyn Bradbury: Question

2: JAMI-LEE ROSS to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the Government’s financial position – particularly progress in reaching its target of returning to fiscal surplus

2:13 PM Martyn Bradbury: This governments mad focus on surplus over people isn’t helping the 270 000 children in poverty is it?

2:14 PM Martyn Bradbury: Great we will be in surplus while inequality soars – not much of a win is it, unless you are already rich

2:15 PM Clare Curran: Bill English delivering the government’s propaganda

2:16 PM Martyn Bradbury: When you consider Jami-Lee Ross wants to legalize scab labour, it’s no surprise he is only focused on surplus and not jobs

2:16 PM Martyn Bradbury: Good question by Parker

2:16 PM Clare Curran: The real record of the government is that more kids are in poverty and we are not growing our economy

2:17 PM Martyn Bradbury: DAVID SHEARER to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?

2:17 PM Clare Curran: He conveniently disagrees with any reports which don’t support his propaganda

2:17 PM Martyn Bradbury: David Shearer pushing power prices

2:17 PM Clare Curran: John Key thinks our power prices are “fair”

2:18 PM Martyn Bradbury: with the freezing winter, many NZers will be looking at their incredibly high power prices and asking why

2:18 PM Clare Curran: Does John Key read his papers?

2:19 PM Martyn Bradbury: Shearer on a roll

2:19 PM Martyn Bradbury: Government vulnerable to the issue of electricity prices

2:20 PM Clare Curran: So we are all paying an extra $370 a year for power because Transpower is required to pay a dividend to the govt

2:20 PM Clare Curran: John Key doesn’t know if this is true

2:21 PM Clare Curran: Surely they would be looking at ways to bring down the price of power. Families are paying too much

2:22 PM Martyn Bradbury: Winston throwing a cheap shot at National

2:22 PM Clare Curran: Shearer asks why our prices are continuing to rise?

2:23 PM Martyn Bradbury: Key grumpy with Winston

2:23 PM Martyn Bradbury: CLAUDETTE HAUITI to the Minister for Economic Development: What progress has the Government made on establishing an international standard convention centre in Auckland?

2:24 PM Martyn Bradbury: It’s a sad day when an MP from the very culture who are hurt so badly from gambling has to ask a patsy sucking up to the convention centre

2:25 PM Clare Curran: Building a convention centre on the bodies of problem gamblers

2:25 PM Clare Curran: Is Claudette’s party positioning her on this issue?

2:26 PM Clare Curran: Clayton’s question will be good

2:26 PM Martyn Bradbury: ugly to use her in that way

2:27 PM Martyn Bradbury: Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statements regarding Solid Energy and the Future Investment Fund “Well, again I think he’s saying that technically it was in the rules

2:27 PM Martyn Bradbury: it might be possible. I haven’t actually seen – can’t recall either seeing [indistinct] and marked those things that are in the budget is an allocation process” and “If Bill’s saying it’s there, there

2:27 PM Martyn Bradbury: might be a [indistinct] allocation”?

2:27 PM Martyn Bradbury: Why are we selling assets to bail out clowns?

2:28 PM Clare Curran: Clayton seeks clarification. Get’s insulted by Key who always lashes out when he doesn’t have an answer

2:28 PM Martyn Bradbury: Key punches belwo the belt

2:29 PM Clare Curran: How about addressing the question and not avoiding it?

2:30 PM Clare Curran: John Key loses his temper

2:30 PM Martyn Bradbury: Are going to get an answer to that question or not?

2:31 PM Clare Curran: Doesn’t look like it. It’s called a diversionary tactic

2:31 PM Clare Curran: Key doesn’t want to answer these questions because he has told the country lies.

2:32 PM Clare Curran: Either asset sales money has been or it hasn’t been appropriated for Solid Energy

2:32 PM Martyn Bradbury: Mr Key seems to be speaking out of both sides of his mouth – are we going to sink more money into Solid Energy or not?

2:32 PM Clare Curran: CLayton delivers the punchline with a Cabinet document proving that the money is coming from the Future Investment Fund

2:33 PM Clare Curran: John Key dances on the head of a pin

2:34 PM Clare Curran: Oh and the govt blocked him from tabling the Cabinet document

2:34 PM Martyn Bradbury: KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister of State Services: What progress is being made toward the achievement of the Government’s Better Public Services targets?

2:36 PM Martyn Bradbury: apparently the Government is doing an amazing job of the public service – yet our inequality rates are soaing

2:37 PM Clare Curran: I think if an independent survey of pblic servants was undertaken you’d find low morale and some very stressed workers

2:37 PM Martyn Bradbury: Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by his statement “The Government decides what the Future Investment Fund is spent on”?

2:38 PM Clare Curran: The Trasury is wrong says Bill English! Everyone is wrong except himself and John Key

2:38 PM Martyn Bradbury: Let’s hope David Parker can get an answer if we are blowing asset money on Solid Energy

2:38 PM Clare Curran: They don’t like these questions

2:38 PM Clare Curran: Steven Joyce has his head down. As does Key

2:39 PM Clare Curran: Let us table the papers Bill

2:39 PM Martyn Bradbury: Why are we subsidising irrigation by selling assets when Dairy is doing so well? Surely they can pay for their own irrigation?

2:39 PM Clare Curran: How many times are you spending the money from asset sales Bill?

2:41 PM Clare Curran: Oh now Bill English is blaming Labour for Solid Energy’s demise! Are they asleep? They are the government!

2:43 PM Martyn Bradbury: Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements on the recent controversies around the GCSB; if so, why?

2:43 PM Martyn Bradbury: what does Winston know?

2:44 PM Clare Curran: John Key’s staff doesn’t communicate with him

2:45 PM Clare Curran: when it suits him

2:45 PM Martyn Bradbury: That’s interesting did Key admit to knowing something before the date he has stated?

2:45 PM Clare Curran: I can’t recall. To the best of my knowledge. These are the answers he uses to deflect us. Does anyone believe him? Does he even care whether we believe him

2:46 PM Clare Curran: The answers will be revealed in court

2:46 PM Martyn Bradbury: EUGENIE SAGE to the Minister of Conservation: Does he agree with former Otago Conservation Board chairwoman, Associate Professor Abby Smith, who said restructuring at the Department of Conservation

2:46 PM Martyn Bradbury: has left it “dead in the water”; if not, why not?

2:47 PM Martyn Bradbury: Government really gutting DoC

2:47 PM Clare Curran: This is a really serious issue given the critical conservation values of this part of the world

2:49 PM Clare Curran: Eugenie using Treasury papers information. Nick Smith describes this as Green Party rhetoric! So Treasury is full of greenies?

2:50 PM Clare Curran: Nick Smith refusing to acknowledge the evidence.

2:51 PM Martyn Bradbury: MIKE SABIN to the Minister of Justice: What new initiative is the Government undertaking to fight crime and drug addiction?

2:51 PM Martyn Bradbury: but none of this money has gone to that

2:52 PM Clare Curran: Will any of these projects include addiction to synthetic cannabis?

2:53 PM Clare Curran: Becasue if it doesn’t then the government has jsut
massively shot itself in the foot. About to pass a law banning psychoactive substances.

2:54 PM Martyn Bradbury: Hon TREVOR MALLARD to the Minister of Internal Affairs: What actions is he taking to minimise the harm from gambling?

2:55 PM Martyn Bradbury: none I take it?

2:55 PM Clare Curran: Nathan Guy struggling to answer

2:56 PM Clare Curran: The Speaker helping him out

2:57 PM Martyn Bradbury: CHRIS AUCHINVOLE to the Minister of Internal Affairs: What progress has been made toward the Government’s targets for delivering more services online?

2:59 PM Clare Curran: Whoops I always get Nathan Guy and Chris Tremain mixed up.

2:59 PM Clare Curran: Are they twins?

3:00 PM Martyn Bradbury: they are interchangable

3:00 PM Clare Curran: I don’t think he’s read the Regulatory Impact Statement

3:01 PM Martyn Bradbury: how can Flavell stand up and ask that when his bill has been gutted?

3:02 PM Clare Curran: Sounds as if there is a bill. Not sure Chris Tremain understands whose bill it is!

3:02 PM Clare Curran: That made no sense at all!

3:03 PM Martyn Bradbury: will we see voting on line any time soon Clare?

3:04 PM Martyn Bradbury: If we know Government department is very weak in online security how can we trust ‘Real Me’?

3:04 PM Clare Curran: I support voting online in principle

3:04 PM Clare Curran: How many thousands of NZers have been affected by data breaches?

3:04 PM Martyn Bradbury: exactly

3:04 PM Clare Curran: He won’t answer that question

3:05 PM Martyn Bradbury: Thank you for your time Clare – we will see you tomorrow at 2pm

3:05 PM Clare Curran: THis is a good idea Bomber. Hope you continue with it.

The claims and opinions made in this statement are those of the release organisation and are not necessarily endorsed by, and are not necessarily those of, The Daily Blog. Also in no event shall The Daily Blog be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the above release content.

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McDonald’s workers claim $2.5 million in unpaid breaks

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Source: Unite Union – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: McDonald’s workers claim $2.5 million in unpaid breaks

(Reprinted from HRM Online)

McDonald’s workers claim that they are being deprived of the breaks that are their legal entitlements, according to Unite Union. “There’s always been a problem in terms of getting breaks, and also getting breaks at the appropriate time,” Mike Treen, national director, said.

In the case of McDonald’s workers, Treen said that there is a particular issue. Workers are rostered on for four-hour shifts, so that they aren’t owed a meal break under the law, but then they remain for longer – up to six hours – without being given one.

“The problem is, workers don’t like to let their team mates down if you’re busy…there’s a natural generosity in people to want to pull their weight, and that get’s taken of advantage of too much,” Treen said.

Unite alleges that for the last six years McDonald’s has been depriving workers of their breaks, and that in the last two they have failed to compensate them for that under a clause in their contract.

Although McDonald’s has refused to give the union wage and time records, Treen said that they have made a rough calculation of what they company owes. “We’ve got print-outs of the wage and time records for two stores…and it was the same pattern in both stores and roughly the same amount,” he said. Treen said that if people were paid for the breaks that they’d missed in the last two years that they would be owed a total of $2.5 million.

The union had a mediation session over the question of breaks with McDonald’s last Friday. “They’ve gone away to think about it for a week,” Treen said.

“Under the new Act [the Employment Relations Amendment Bill], it’s entirely up to the employer…they don’t even specify how long the breaks should be or when they should be held – meal breaks or smoko breaks,” Treen said. Because of this, Unite is currently in negotiations with McDonald’s to have workers’ entitlements to breaks entrenched in their contracts.

A McDonald’s spokesperson said that the company was currently in mediation on the matter and was, due to the confidentiality of this process, unable to comment.

The claims and opinions made in this statement are those of the release organisation and are not necessarily endorsed by, and are not necessarily those of, The Daily Blog. Also in no event shall The Daily Blog be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the above release content.

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McDonald’s workers claim $2.5 million in unpaid breaks

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Source: Unite Union – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: McDonald’s workers claim $2.5 million in unpaid breaks

(Reprinted from HRM Online)

McDonald’s workers claim that they are being deprived of the breaks that are their legal entitlements, according to Unite Union. “There’s always been a problem in terms of getting breaks, and also getting breaks at the appropriate time,” Mike Treen, national director, said.

In the case of McDonald’s workers, Treen said that there is a particular issue. Workers are rostered on for four-hour shifts, so that they aren’t owed a meal break under the law, but then they remain for longer – up to six hours – without being given one.

“The problem is, workers don’t like to let their team mates down if you’re busy…there’s a natural generosity in people to want to pull their weight, and that get’s taken of advantage of too much,” Treen said.

Unite alleges that for the last six years McDonald’s has been depriving workers of their breaks, and that in the last two they have failed to compensate them for that under a clause in their contract.

Although McDonald’s has refused to give the union wage and time records, Treen said that they have made a rough calculation of what they company owes. “We’ve got print-outs of the wage and time records for two stores…and it was the same pattern in both stores and roughly the same amount,” he said. Treen said that if people were paid for the breaks that they’d missed in the last two years that they would be owed a total of $2.5 million.

The union had a mediation session over the question of breaks with McDonald’s last Friday. “They’ve gone away to think about it for a week,” Treen said.

“Under the new Act [the Employment Relations Amendment Bill], it’s entirely up to the employer…they don’t even specify how long the breaks should be or when they should be held – meal breaks or smoko breaks,” Treen said. Because of this, Unite is currently in negotiations with McDonald’s to have workers’ entitlements to breaks entrenched in their contracts.

A McDonald’s spokesperson said that the company was currently in mediation on the matter and was, due to the confidentiality of this process, unable to comment.

The claims and opinions made in this statement are those of the release organisation and are not necessarily endorsed by, and are not necessarily those of, The Daily Blog. Also in no event shall The Daily Blog be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the above release content.

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New Zealand sits idly by as the Maui’s dolphin slips towards extinction

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Source: Greenpeace NZ – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: New Zealand sits idly by as the Maui’s dolphin slips towards extinction

The back-and-forth on Maui’s dolphins between Government departments, released under the Official Information Act and reported by the Dominion Post over the weekend, is gravely concerning for two reasons.

Firstly, the Ministry of Primary Industries is overstepping its mandate and determining New Zealand’s vote on (or to be precise, against) protection for New Zealand’s unique and critically endangered Maui’s dolphin. The latest population estimate showed only 55 breeding adult Maui’s remain, making this the rarest dolphin in the world. This is undoubtedly an issue that should be led by the Department of Conservation, which in the past decade has carefully rebuilt the kakapo population from a similarly low level.

Secondly, the Ministry of Primary Industry’s insistence on a “no” vote by New Zealand – making us the only country to vote against the IUCN protection motion – makes a mockery of the public consultation process the Government has undertaken. An abstention, advised by the Department of Conservation, would have indicated a Government genuine in its consideration and consultation on the options for protecting Maui’s dolphins. However, to vote “no” to a motion that was based on some of the best-available science indicates a government that has already decided on a course of inaction. So did 70,000 public submissions – the overwhelming majority calling for stronger protection for Maui’s – fall on deaf ears?

It’s hard to know, when the Minister of Conservation still hasn’t made a decision, six months after the public consultation. With a species on the brink of extinction, we just can’t afford such delays. It seems the Government has opted – whether consciously or by neglecting to make a decision – to sit by and watch the extinction of Maui’s dolphins, which the International Whaling Commission advised may happen in the next 20 years if protection is not increased. I wonder if the Ministry of Primary Industries ( which defended our response, or rather lack of it, to the IWC scientific Committee last month) will be quite so keen to take the lead when it comes to announcing at the IWC that New Zealand has become the first country to drive a marine dolphin to extinction.

We know Maui’s dolphins are on the brink of extinction. We know the main threat to their survival is bycatch in fishing nets, and we know their habitat range extends well beyond the limited areas where protection is currently in force – making it an urgent priority to extend that protection. If the government doesn’t do this, New Zealand is going to be answerable for the extinction of the world’s smallest and rarest marine dolphin. Let’s not go there.

The claims and opinions made in this statement are those of the release organisation and are not necessarily endorsed by, and are not necessarily those of, The Daily Blog. Also in no event shall The Daily Blog be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the above release content.

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TDBLive @2pm: Parliament Question Time Commentary – Tuesday July 9 With @ClareCurranMP & Martyn @CitizenBomber Bradbury

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TDB-Parl-Live-Coming-Up!-Clare-Curran-TDBLiveAt 2pm today MP Clare Curran joins Martyn Bradbury as guest commentator for TDBLive’s Tuesday Parliamentary Question Time session.

Parliamentary Questions for July 9, 2013 are:

Questions for Oral Answer

Tuesday, 9 July 2013
Questions to Ministers

Q1: METIRIA TUREI to the Minister for Economic Development: Does he agree with the Department of Internal Affairs’ advice to his officials on the proposed international convention centre that “virtually any of these proposed concessions would almost certainly be followed by an increase in the number of people seeking help citing problems linked with casino machines or casino table games”; if not, why not?

Q2: JAMI-LEE ROSS to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received on the Government’s financial position – particularly progress in reaching its target of returning to fiscal surplus in 2014/15?

Q3: DAVID SHEARER to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements?

Q4: CLAUDETTE HAUITI to the Minister for Economic Development: What progress has the Government made on establishing an international standard convention centre in Auckland?

Q5: Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statements regarding Solid Energy and the Future Investment Fund “Well, again I think he’s saying that technically it was in the rules it might be possible. I haven’t actually seen – can’t recall either seeing [indistinct] and marked those things that are in the budget is an allocation process” and “If Bill’s saying it’s there, there might be a [indistinct] allocation”?

Q6: KANWALJIT SINGH BAKSHI to the Minister of State Services: What progress is being made toward the achievement of the Government’s Better Public Services targets?

Q7: Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by his statement “The Government decides what the Future Investment Fund is spent on”?

Q8: Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his statements on the recent controversies around the GCSB; if so, why?

Q9: EUGENIE SAGE to the Minister of Conservation: Does he agree with former Otago Conservation Board chairwoman, Associate Professor Abby Smith, who said restructuring at the Department of Conservation has left it “dead in the water”; if not, why not?

Q10: MIKE SABIN to the Minister of Justice: What new initiative is the Government undertaking to fight crime and drug addiction?

Q11: Hon TREVOR MALLARD to the Minister of Internal Affairs: What actions is he taking to minimise the harm from gambling?

Q12: CHRIS AUCHINVOLE to the Minister of Internal Affairs: What progress has been made toward the Government’s targets for delivering more services online?

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George Carlin The Best 3 Minutes of His Career “The American Dream”

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George Carlin The Best 3 Minutes of His Career “The American Dream”

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Why Central Government ended up supporting the Rail Link

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Auckland-Inner-City-Rail-Link1

As I think about the embarrassment of riches that were the announcements from government at the end of last month, delivering the funding (albeit with a built in delay) for the rail link, the third harbour crossing and the completion of the motorway network; I am trying to keep some sort of perspective.
“Blimey almost enough to make you vote for National” said a friend in an over emotional moment brought about by one or three glasses of bubbles. Seriously though, I have to admit to a huge sense of relief to have the rail link finally endorsed as a critical piece of infrastructure for New Zealand, now we just need to sort out the timing. Whilst it would be churlish not to say thanks, I am not in the mood however for getting carried away.

The politics leading up to the announcement were very interesting and the final announcement a surprise. So why did the government say yes? For the rail link, we simply set out the very clear vision, worked to build a very clear financial case and then the Auckland community stated very clearly that they understood the case and supported the investment and wanted the government to back Auckland.

Another vital ingredient was the support and strategic backing given by the wider local government community to the rail link proposal. The government has realised it can no longer on play the “Jaffa card”, relying on the outrage of the rest of the country when a large chunk of money headed to Auckland.

As I have said before, the local government sector is working in a real spirit of collaboration these days, brought about by the collective frustration at central governments ongoing negativity towards our sector. I believe that the strategists looked at the support for the rail link in Auckland, the election coming up and the fact that there were no votes in saying no any more.

Despite the announcements, it does get challenging trying to maintain a positive outlook in the local government environment. We remain the ‘whipping boy’ for central government when a distraction is needed, Minister Amy Adams is busy preparing legislation to ensure that councils are unable to support the wishes of their local communities and take a more precautionary approach to the release of GMOs. We have the resource consenting issue in Christchurch, where the agenda to centralise planning into one or two national processing centres rolls on and finally to add insult to injury, the constitutional review currently underway, doesn’t even mention local government.

Enough of the negativity, the Unitary Plan process is progressing well with all the pieces of feedback from our community being processed and scanned and put up on the website (all 22 700 of them!) This keeps our promise to be as transparent as we can be and try and pioneer new ways of working. Our community has come up with with amazing solutions to some key issues we have been challenged to solve and we have been weaving these into the plan. It is tremendously rewarding to see a plan come together utilising the wisdom of the Auckland community, the process is not without risks but I believe the more we do this as a collaborative process the less risk will be.

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TRAINSPOTTING: The high cost of car-dependency

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Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 9.20.35 AM

 

As part of our Reconnect Auckland campaign for smart, green transport, I have been giving a talk to numerous community organisations, business associations, high schools, unions and even the Auckland Business forum and trucking associations. (You can watch a short, filmed version here.)

I start with a statement we can all agree on. In Auckland most people have to use a car to get most places.

This state of affairs is known as car-dependency. And it is very costly. I am not even talking about the environmental costs, like greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution. Or social costs like road crashes, obesity and related chronic diseases, or reduced access for those who can’t drive.

Local government spends $1billion a year on transport infrastructure. Mostly roads and road maintenance – and of course that comes from our rates. Central government spends $3billion a year, from petrol tax and road user charges, and the vast majority of that is on roads. The largest share, over $1billion a year alone will be spent duplicating a few state highways that carry less than 4% of all daily vehicle trips.

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 9.26.14 AM

But households and business spend far more than that. Last year we spent $8 billion importing oil, and $3 billion importing vehicles. Another way of looking at is to multiple average annual cost of owning and running a car (about $5,000.) by the 2.3 million cars = $11.5 billion. So, we are having to spend nearly three times as much as government just to use the infrastructure being built with our tax money.

 

Car dependency is, contrary to popular belief, not the inevitable result of “progress” or people’s preferences. It is not as simple as the catch-phrase “New Zealanders love their cars”. The culprits are not the many motorists who have little better option than to drive. The culprit is not even the road transport lobby, (though they may also be somewhat mistaken about the relative merits of new motorways in reducing congestion.)

The main culprit, is an array of local and central government policy that has reduced people’s choices. We are not at all alone — North America and Australia have high car dependency as well, for similar reasons. Although in the United States, there are obvious private interests that drove these car-oriented policies: the car companies, the tyre companies and the oil companies.

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 9.22.55 AM

In New Zealand, hardly anyone benefits from transportation and land use policy that is entirely oriented around cars. Those who build and maintain infrastructure would also benefit (perhaps more so) from a people-oriented infrastructure approach. As would households, business, the wider economy, public health, the local environment and the climate. Even, perhaps especially, those who will still use the roads.

This makes transport one of our best avenues for progressive, smart green change. We have everything to gain from reducing car dependency.

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Minister must up his game to secure meat exports

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Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Minister must up his game to secure meat exports

Damien O’Connor  | 
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 – 08:21

The lag in communication between Chinese authorities and Government Ministers responsible for ensuring a secure passage for our meat exports is concerning, says Labour’s spokesperson for Primary industries Damien O’Connor.

“A new set of rules for meat exports to China, introduced following the latest shipment hold-up in Dalian, could have serious ramifications for the industry.

“If the Chinese require the veterinarian certification of all meat, the Government may have to reverse its programme of deregulation for meat inspection in freezing works across the country.

“This is our most important growth market and the new Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy and his new super ministry are failing in their duty to nurture and build it. If they don’t sort this quickly our advantage through our early Free Trade Agreement with China will be lost to our competitors.

“The fact is, despite numerous assurances that the meat trade is secure, delays are becoming increasingly common. Mr Guy can talk all he likes about our ‘successful trading relationship’ with China, but until he gets advice of delays ahead of time, the relationship will be seen as a work in progress.

“How many new certification processes can the industry expect this year and what can the industry expect from new meat access negotiations due to be discussed by officials next week?

“Government ministers have once again given only vague and timid excuses for the latest meat holdup, frustrating those whose business relies on absolute efficiency.

“There is much more going on here than the Minister is prepared to say. He has blamed his officials, dumped on his new Ministry system and used the Food Safety Authority as a crutch, but still we find shipments blocked at the border. The Minister needs to make sure he has the confidence of Chinese authorities,” Damien O’Connor said.

The claims and opinions made in this statement are those of the release organisation and are not necessarily endorsed by, and are not necessarily those of, The Daily Blog. Also in no event shall The Daily Blog be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the above release content.

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Key needs to put on his hard hat and get Auckland rail moving

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Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Key needs to put on his hard hat and get Auckland rail moving

Phil Twyford  | 
Monday, July 8, 2013 – 15:40

Auckland Council’s agreement to negotiate with Precinct Properties to build a section of the City Rail Link four years before the project’s start date, shows Auckland businesses are champing at the bit to get started, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford.

“National’s refusal to start the City Rail Link before 2020 is holding Auckland back and denying it the growth, prosperity and jobs the City needs.

“Businesses don’t want to wait until 2020 to reap the rewards of this important project. They know the development opportunities the rail link will bring will revitalise local businesses, nearby housing developments, and grow a range of economic opportunities.

“Plans to do nothing until 2020 don’t impress anyone. In fact, by National’s completion date Transport Minister, Gerry Brownlee will be riding the City Rail Link on his Super Gold Card and John Key will be just a year away from doing the same.

“Labour would get the link underway by 2015, meaning it would be moving Aucklanders around the central city by 2020.

“At that stage John Key would just be putting on his hard hat. He needs to get with the programme,” Phil Twyford said.

 

The claims and opinions made in this statement are those of the release organisation and are not necessarily endorsed by, and are not necessarily those of, The Daily Blog. Also in no event shall The Daily Blog be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the above release content.

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