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Tamihere will dump “Goff Gas Tax” as part of major transport “shake-up”

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Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere will drop the discriminatory Goff Gas Tax, prioritise road and rail projects, kick start a new harbour crossing and sack the Auckland Transport Board when he wins October’s local body election.

Releasing his Road & Rail Transport policy, Tamihere said it was vital Auckland gets moving. The policy covers road, rail, ferries, cyclists and park ‘n’ rides facilities and has been peer reviewed by transport industry bosses.

Under Phil Goff and AT, Auckland had become the City of Snails. But under Tamihere, Auckland priority projects will be “put on steroids so the city is open for business 24/7.

“It will take multi modal approach that includes track, road and more park and rides,”Tamihere said. “Plus the Goff Gas Tax will be GONE and so will the AT Board.”

His new harbour crossing is not going to cost $10 billion – as stated by Goff.

“This is scare and smear tactics from a politician who done nothing as a MP or as mayor,” Tamihere said. “He has made this number up.

“When I get the mandate from Aucklanders in October, I will head to Wellington to start a new conversation. I will not go to Wellington to get my instructions, like the present guy.My instructions will come from the people of Auckland.”

Major traffic choke points will be given priority status.

“There are investors wanting to invest in park and ride facilities that will help get this city out of grid lock,” Tamihere said. “This is not an anti-car policy and priority roading like Penlink and Mill Road, will give ratepayers who commute from Warkworth, Wellsford, and Kumeu and from the south on via Mill Road respite.”

Road Q&A
What is ATAP – the Auckland Transport Alignment Programme?

It is a deal between central government and Auckland Council to spend $28 billion on transport in Auckland between 2019 and 2028?

How much of the $28 billion comes from Auckland and how much from Wellington?

At the moment $10 billion from Auckland and $18 billion from Wellington. If elected Mayor I willreduce Auckland’s contribution and increase Wellington’s.

Why are Mill Road, Penlink, Puhoi to Wellsford, the Kumeu bypass and the Port Access important?

These roads are key to Auckland’s future. The increase in the population of Auckland means that, even with world class public transport, excellent roading infrastructure is an absolute necessity to allow people to go about their daily lives without undue transport delays, and to keep the wheels of industry and commerce turning.

Where will the money come from to make up for abolishing the Auckland petrol tax?

Central Government.

How much can Park and Ride contribute to help Auckland moving?

Lots. Park and Ride has been ignored by successive administrations. There’s an opportunity for30 privately funded new and improved Park and Ride facilities.

Is congestion charging really on the cards?

After measuring congestion and consulting with Aucklanders, if congestion is the only way to make sure that commercial and critical private journeys are made, congestion charging must follow. Congestion charging would mean that a person with two low income jobs and child care commitments would be able to get where to they need to go, when they need to go there. People on high incomes often have flexibility in their work lives – low income workers don’t.

Has NZTA considered your East-West Link route.

Briefly. In the process of preparing their application for the route that was granted resource consent, NZTA considered an elevated road, but did not give it further consideration as it decided the on and off ramps would not be feasible. That decision was wrong. Motorway on and off ramps are all over Auckland and can easily be built in the locations required for my East-West Link route.

Will it disrupt business?

Minimal disruption.

Will it have adverse effects on the environment?

Negligible. The proposed NZTA route would have significant more adverse environmental effects.

How will housing development and transport be integrated?

No new housing areas will be permitted without a plan that has transport policy and will be provided at the same time as the construction of new homes – not after consents are approved.

What about busses?

Auckland’s bus service under my mayoralty will be made better. I will investigate the possibility of building the central city bus terminal that is missing from downtown Auckland.

Isn’t Westgate and the West missing out in your plan?

The western rail line will deliver world class transport to the people of the west including those in Kumeu. Improvements to the road shoulder bus lanes along the North Western Motorway – as was done on the Northern Motorway in the years before the Northern Busway was built – must be part of the solution. Regular express busses from Westgate to the CBD must be on the agenda.

Rail Q&A
Will the current Light Rail proposal down Dominion Road be built?

No.

Why not?

The benefits of the proposal does not justify the cost. Money spent on the Light Rail proposal would be wasted. I will make the most of every cent spent on my watch.

You are proposing 49km of rail extensions, what will that cost?

The best way to get indicative costing is to look as similar projects that have been completed or have been budgeted based on completed projects. Since 1990 over 100km of electrified rail has been built in Perth, including a number of rail tunnels, with the same 3’6’’ track gauge as NewZealand. In 2018 the Western Australian State Government budgeted a combined total of $1,056 million for two 14.5km rail extensions, which is around AU$37m per km /NZ$40m per km. The planned extensions in Perth are on rail reserves ready for construction. As some of the rail in Auckland will be built on road through the CBD, on elevated structures near the airport and in two short tunnels we consider that NZ$80m per km is an appropriate costing, $4 billion for the 49km. We have added 25% ($1 billion) for cost increases and other costs a total of $5 billion. We have added 20% ($1 billion) to the subtotal for contingency bringing the total to $6 billion for the 49km expansion.

Does this include rail vehicles and other costs?

Yes, similar to the costings from Western Australia.

How much money is available for rail in Auckland?

ATAP has allowed $8.4 billion for bus and rail infrastructure. It is as sufficient to expand the rail network as outlined, and to complete other projects.

How long will it take?

I am committed to completing the new rail by 2028. Services may start as early as 2025 by which stage the CRL should be open.

Nine years?

Around 80% of the build will be new tracks on undeveloped land set aside for rail e.g. alongside the motorway through Mount Roskill, or on Greenfield land between for instance, the Auckland Airport and Wiri. Building railways and railway stations on undeveloped land can be relatively quick. 49km of track can be built in 9 years.

Will the new track be heavy rail tracks or light rail tracks?

All new rail will be built to Kiwirail’s mainline standards except in some places like the Auckland Harbour Bridge which will include 5% rather than 1%, and some turns in the CBD will be 30m radius rather than 100m. If future multi-billion dollar developments bypass these tight corners andsteep grades, Kiwirail’s freight trains could operate on all the new rail track to be built over the next9 years.

You say tram-trains will run on the new rail, what are tram-trains?

Tram-trains are trains that are designed to operate on main line railways with other trains and on street rails with road traffic. Tram-trains can turn sharp corners, climb steep tracks and have enhanced braking to enable quick stopping.

Where are tram-trains used?

Tram-trains have been used for 30 years in Karlsruhe, Manchester, Paris and Salt Lake City.

Does using tram-train rule out future use of Light Rail?

No, but with tram-trains operating in the CBD, any new street track that a future generation may build, would almost certainly be for tram-trains so that Auckland’s integrated rail system can be extended further. If future generations decide to build street rail in Dominion Road or any other road in Auckland, tram-train would be able to operate on the new rails, and link into the system we intend to build in the next 9 years.

Why use tram-trains on the extensions rather than trains?

Auckland’s trains can neither climb the 5% grade of the AHB nor turn the 30m radius curves in theCBD, so fit for purpose tram-trains are needed.

What is the passenger capacity of tram-trains?

Auckland’s tram-trains will have the same dimensions as Auckland’s trains and so will have thesame passenger capacity.

How long will tram-trains be?

The standard unit will be 72 metres long, the same as Auckland’s commuter trains, but with sixsections rather than 3 to allow for sharp cornering. Tram-trains will be able to run in series as out trains do.

Who will manufacture the tram-trains?

The contract would be put out to tender.

Was the Minister of Transport and NZTA informed of the proposal?

Phil Twyford was briefed of the tram-train proposal in November 2017. At the Minister’s suggestion NZTA staff were met with during 2018 and briefed on the proposal.

Was Kiwirail informed of the proposal?

Executives were briefed on the proposal.

Do you support Kiwirail advise that to allow for express services; a fourth main rail line between Westfield and Wiri, a third and ultimately fourth main line between Wiri and Papakura, and a third main line between Papakura and Pukekohe should all be build?

Absolutely. Those are critically important pieces of national infrastructure and I will ensure that central government funds their construction.

Provincial Rail
Why not use fast tilt-train for Provincial Rail rather than tram-trains?

Britomart is at capacity in peak hours now. The CRL is predicted to be at capacity in peak hours from soon after it opens. The only way we can get Provincial Rail services into the CBD is by using tram-trains. Expensive tilt-trains are not required for the speeds that will be attained with provincial rail.

Can tram-trains really go 150km/hr?

A tram-train is just a train designed with the capability to go around sharp corners. Being able togo around sharp corners doesn’t make a tram-train any slower than a train. The Electroliner was a tram-train that operated between Milwaukee and Chicago between 1941 and 1963. TheElectroliners travelled through the city streets of Milwaukee and other towns, on the El in Chicago and on a dedicated track at up to 150 km/hr. Today’s manufacturers will bid on the contract tobuild tram-trains to run on Auckland’s existing and new rail.

Will regular trains provide some Provincial Rail services?

Yes. If for, operational reasons, is it useful to use regular trains for some Provincial Rail services, then that will happen. Regular trains would have to drop off and pick up at Mt Eden Station as the CRL is likely to be full with commuter trains from soon after opening. If some slots can be made available then some provincial trains could use the CRL.

New Harbour Crossing Q&A
Is it really possible to replace the current bridge with a superstructure?

Yes. The Milton-Madison Bridge between Ohio and Kentucky was built in 1929 as a 2 lane, 6 m wide superstructure – the same length as the Auckland Harbour Bridge. It was replaced by a new 13.5 m wide superstructure for traffic cycles and pedestrians. The method is scalable and our engineering advice is that it is entirely possible, with conventional engineering techniques, to replace one 4 lane and two 2 lane superstructures with one 10 lane wide superstructure with two levels.

Who says so?

University of Auckland Associate Professor Charles Clifton has been giving advice on the proposal since 2014. His opinion is the plan is ambitious, challenging but feasible. Dr Clifton is NewZealand’s leading expert on steel construction. Please see email from Dr Clifton at the end of this Q&A. Other bridge engineers have agreed but they work for companies that do not make public comments on proposed major projects.

Will the new superstructure have 18 lanes?

The new AHB superstructure with have 10 lanes, 2 footpaths, 2 cycleways and 4 rail tracks.

Surely it will disrupt road traffic.

There will be planned closures – likely between off peak times, like Christmas and New Year whenever possible. The Newmarket Viaduct was replaced with massive traffic disruption, including closing SH1. There was disruption; the disruption was worth it.

How many major closures will there be?

Definitely two and possibly 3 major closures, for only 3 to 5 days over the Xmas period lull. The first to move approaches to the new superstructure in its temporary location. The second to move the superstructure to its permanent location on the existing piers and a possible third to pour the final concrete deck a year after the second closure.

Have NZTA assessed the possibility of replacing the AHB superstructure?

They have not considered replacing the AHB superstructure. It is not in the long list of 160 options considered in a 2008 NZTA report.

Has NZTA seen the proposal?

Phil Twyford was in November 2017. At the Minister’s suggestion NZTA staff were met with during 2018 and briefed on the proposal.

The Milton-Madison example you have given us is only a four lane single level bridge. Is 10 lanes on two levels really possible?

These days’ even buildings can be moved if needed. For example the fragile Bird Cage pub was moved 40 metres, and then moved the same 40 metres back again. The fragile Cornish Pumphouse in Waihi was moved 300 metres. The new AHB superstructure will not be fragile; it will be designed and built so that, once the original piers are ready for it, it can readily be moved the about 40 metres to its permanent location on the original piers.

What will the superstructure replacement cost?

The Milton-Madison superstructure replacement replaced a single 6 metre wide, 1,000 metre long bridge deck with a 13.5 metre wide bridge deck. The cost was $103.7m in 2014; approx. NZ$ 200 million in 2019 dollars which is approx. NZ$14,000 per square metre (sqm) of bridge deck. The AHB replacement will create 70,000 sqm of deck @ $14,000 per sqm amounts to a total of $980 million. To that we have added 50% – , $500 million – to allow for increases in costs over the time of the build and increased costs for the project being in NZ; total $1.5 billion. We have also added a 33% contingency, a further $500 million, bringing the total cost to not more than $2 billion. This is a very conservative costing. Bridges are usually costed in New Zealand at around $5,000 per sqm of deck including the cost of foundations and piers.

Is that good value for money?

Something has to be done about the AHB, and done now. Pedestrian and cycle ways are needed now. The clip-ons may not be able to take heavy trucks after 2030 and the busway may also be at capacity. The only plan in place is to consider building a tunnel in the 2040s for who knows what cost? The AHB superstructure replacement can be completed in six years as part of the $18 billion available for major transport infrastructure projects in Auckland.

Will the superstructure replacement process be safe?

Superstructure replacement is a common process and safe methods are well practised. Developments in computing and in sensors mean that every aspect of the bridge can be monitored in real time and adjusted as necessary.

Why not build a new bridge?

A new bridge would cost at least $4 billion at minimum and take a decade to build. A second harbour bridge would adversely affect the aesthetics of the Waitemata Harbour and of the existing bridge. Having two harbour bridges would create complicated road interchanges on either side of the bridge which would have adverse effects on the environment including the likely need for significant sea reclamation which is contrary to the Auckland Unitary Plan. Replacing the superstructure will cost no more than $2 billion, can be completed in 6 years and will have negligible adverse effects.

Why not make the replacement look different to the 1959 original?

The 1959 original is a mid-century classic and an icon of Auckland. There is no need to change the appearance of the bridge. There is only the need to make the bridge fit for purpose for the 21stcentury and beyond.

Why not replace the clip-ons?

Auckland needs one fit for purpose superstructure that provides all the connectivity that is possible on the St Mary’s Bay to Northcote alignment. Replacing the clip-ons would provide less capacity, may cost more and take longer to build and would make it difficult – if not impossible to include rail, and would retain the current divided carriage ways which are not as safe as undivided carriageways.

Why 4 rail lanes?

Initially only two lines will be needed. However if there is a desire to provide street based services to Northcote and Birkenhead, they would be of such a frequency as to interfere with the very frequent tram-trains heading to and from Albany and beyond.

Will houses on Stokes Point have to be compulsorily acquired?

Some residential land will be required for the replacement project. NZTA avoids compulsory acquisition and is experienced in purchasing private properties that are required for national transport infrastructure projects. Once the project is complete any land acquired for the project may stay in public ownership.

Won’t the superstructure replacement be unbearably disruptive for the residents ofNorthcote Point?

Everything will be done to minimise disruption.

Where will pedestrians and cyclists enter and exit the bridge on Northcote Point?

NZTA is currently consulting on this. One option I am interested to consider is if the area around the old Auckland Harbour Bridge Trust Board building and toll booths can be redeveloped to maximise public space and be the place where cyclists and pedestrian enter and exit the AHB on the North Shore.

How would rail, pedestrian and cycle ways connect to the ground on St Marys Bay and in Northcote?

Attractive on and off ramps will be designed for rail, cycle paths and footpaths. I am looking at the old toll both area as the main junction point on the Northcote side, and there are a number ofoptions on the St Mary’s Bay side. The eastern and western cycle and pedestrian ways will likelyconnect to eastern and western sides of the bridge at both ends of the bridge.

How will the superstructure replacement effect Skypath?

With two cycleways and two walkways on the upper level of the new superstructure.

Will the new AHB superstructure have the same sized footprint as the existing bridge in StMary’s Bay and on Stokes Point?

Yes. The road approach to and egress from the AHB is already wide enough to accommodate 10 lanes of traffic, so the new superstructure will not require wider approaches or egresses.

Will the motorways to the north and south of the bridge have to be widened?

No. At the moment there are 10 motorway lanes leading to the south side of the AHB and 10 lanes leading to the north of the AHB but only 8 lanes on the AHB itself necessitating the use of the movable median strip and tidal flow traffic control. With the new 10 lane superstructure in place the SH1 to the south of the AHB, over the AHB and to the north of the AHB will all be 10 lanes.

How quickly can the new AHB superstructure be in place?

We are committed to completing the project by 2025 – 6 years.

Will it be difficult to get resource consent for such a large project?

Not very. Whilst it is a big project, because we are replacing like with like there will be minimal adverse effects on the environment apart from effects during the construction phase. Careful planning will be needed for the construction, but the planning will be done right, and that will make it relatively straightforward to get resource consent. Please see opinion from resource management barrister Kitt Littlejohn at the end of this Q&A.

What will happen to the movable barrier and the elephant houses?

They will be removed.

Is there a plan to build a tunnel?

There is a plan – if the money can be found at the time. Central government and Council’s current position on the tunnel is: “Current investigation work into an additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing needs to be completed to provide more certainty about the optimal timing, modal mix, configuration and operation of the crossing. Consistent with earlier ATAP work construction is not anticipated to commence until at least the late 2030s.” The estimate of the cost of the tunnel is $ 4 billion plus. With the very high rate of major infrastructure construction inflation by the late 2030s the currently proposed tunnel may be unaffordable.

Would replacing the superstructure rule out a future tunnel?

If future generations decide to build a tunnel, having a fit for purpose AHB now won’t hinder any such plan. With a fit for purpose AHB in place possibilities such as a rail tunnel between the eastern CBD and Devonport can be explored.

Why are you talking about the AHB when it is NZTA’s responsibility?

Under the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 the Mayor of Auckland’s role is to
“articulate and promote a vision for Auckland; and provide leadership for the purpose of achieving objectives that will contribute to that vision.” If elected I will have the mandate to negotiate what central government agencies do in Auckland, including that NZTA replaces the AHB
superstructure because Auckland and New Zealand needs it.

Who will build it?

The contract will be tendered on the international market and is likely to attract great interest from experienced engineering and construction firms.

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Waatea News Column: Tracey Martin finally talks the talk & why Kelvin Davis must not resign from Corrections

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Two major events occurred last week that require comment.

Minister for Children, Tracey Martin, finally criticised Oranga Tamariki staff last week by saying that the State had failed children in their care.

She spoke at Rotorua’s Te Papaiouru Marae on Thursday and let lose a blistering verbal attack on her own department and threatened those social workers who weren’t prepared to change their ways to leave.

This has been a long time coming, the Minister (who is respected around the country) has failed to be critical of Oranga Tamariki and has been accused of glossing over the enormous problems within the agency.

While her words are welcome, the real test will be in the ongoing changes of policy that will not remove Māori children from their parents without enormous consultation with the wider whanau.

Beyond the Oranga Tamariki fiasco, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis faced questions of resignation after letters from white supremacist terrorist Brenton Tarrant were published on line.

There are 3 very good reasons why Kelvin should not resign.

The first is that prisoners have a legal right to receive and send letters, it is not the Minister’s fault that Corrections failed to vet Tarrant’s correspondence appropriately and quite frankly their claim that there is a problem with the law is a joke.

The second reason Kelvin must not resign as Minister is because unlike any other Corrections Minister in NZ history, he has been able to reduce the prison population by1000 prisoners merely by forcing Corrections to aid illiterate prisoners in filling out the written forms required for them to apply for home detention.

The third reason Kelvin must not resign is because his recently released proposal on healing Māori prisoners inside prison rather than simply punishing them is revolutionary and groundbreaking.

We have one Minister who is talking the talk and another who is walking the walk.

First published on Waatea News.

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GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Balanced Journalism

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My apologies for not commenting much at the moment. I’m working on two big projects that are gobbling my time . One is the Trade Secrets doco which has become such a multi-headed monster and another I can’t talk about for a few months.

However I do have a couple of minutes this morning before I seize the day for a quick grumble.

Maybe I have just become more aware of it lately but people walking slowly across pedestrian crossings while txtng,reading their cellphones or having a phone conversation are really starting to annoy me and I have been trying to figure our why.

Yes there’s the safety thing – they should watch where they are going because pedestrian accidents world wide have increased as a result of using smartphones while walking.

And yes I know for some people it’s addictive behaviour.They are so hooked on screen life they are not only missing out on real life but many will pay for their obsession in later life with neck and back pain. So I am not without some understanding of their issue.

Why then do I get grumpy when people stroll across the crossing in front of me while working their phone? Well, I suspect it’s the arrogance that gets to me. It’s the ME people who don’t give a damn about what’s going on around them because they think that life is all about THEM that gets to me..

It’s that self absorption that has become the norm in our self- centred economic and political world I find annoying, because the ME society of neoliberalism is ultimately doomed to failure and I want a return to the WE society where we help each other and, as a by product , we help improve our own lives.

On the other hand there are lots of folk who walk across the pedestrian crossings at my local shopping centre who give a small “thank you” wave and a bit of a smile to drivers who stop for them.

So there you go – balanced journalism

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UPDATE: Duncan Garner’s simplistic crap gets punched in the face

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Since John Campbell joined Breakfast on TVNZ, I haven’t watched The AM Show.

It’s been glorious.

TVNZ Breakfast with John is the best public broadcasting on TV, it is smart, intelligent, warm, funny – every single morning I feel like I have learnt something and seen real insight.

When I watched the The AM Show every morning, I was always left exhausted by the moronic bullshit spouted, it’s the intellectual equivalent to having a mince pie washed down with a can of coke for breakfast, a sugar high that leaves you angry and tired.

So I’ve simply changed my morning news diet and I’m a better human being, better neighbour and a better father for it, however this morning I had accidentally left my TV on 3 from the night before and stumbled onto the AM Show this morning.

The debate was Garner’s favourite bugbear, smoking in cars with children. He’s been pushing for a bullshit law to fine parents money for smoking in cars with children for ages and this stupid brainfart has apparently made it all the way up the foodchain to actually be considered in Parliament.

Now anyone with a basic education and reading skills can automatically see how this will be just another stick to beat the shit of Māori with. Māori women are the biggest smokers, punishing them with $50 fines will simply become the new go to harassment policy by cops, which is fine by Duncs who screams ‘something must be done’ but he had his arse handed to him by a researcher who eloquently took down every single one of his claims in an interview that is so embarrassing one wonders who the hell is the Producer of The AM Show and why hadn’t they informed Duncs that his crusade was so stupid in the first place?

65% of Māori offenders have a driving offence as part of their initial jail sentence and about 5% of jail sentences are just for driving without a license. Criminalising smoking in the car will target Māori women and it will lead to fines, people unable to pay the fines, penalties added and eventually imprisonment.

Your first job as a Producer is to ensure your host doesn’t make a fool of themselves, The AM Show Producer failed horribly at that this morning.

It was a trainwreck of an interview and simply exposed Duncs desire to punish masquerading as ‘won’t someone think of the kids’ style morality.

Thank God for Breakfast on TVNZ because I threw up what The AM Show was offering.

There is a way to make The AM Show work now it’s fighting a broadcaster of the class of Campbell, but sweet Jesus it isn’t what Garner’s doing.  Currently, The AM Show is like getting a concussion before work each day.

UPDATE: So it turns out that the researcher involved in this debate actually gets a revenue stream from the fucking tobacco industry. Worse than that she is a friend of Carrick Graham who was deeply involved with Slater in funding dirty politics attacks against health academics. I have no time for the tobacco industry, as far as I am concerned they are the enemy of humanity, but I stand by all my above criticism and believe that criminalising smoking in cars will simply be an attack against the largest group in this demographic, young Māori mothers and I stand by my criticism that  this will end up being another discriminatory policy. 

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Political Caption Competition

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Does this make me look gay and Polynesian? Can someone call Alan Jones and ask him?

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The Daily Blog Open Mic – Wednesday 21st August 2019

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Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

Moderation rules are more lenient for this section, but try and play nicely.

EDITORS NOTE: – By the way, here’s a list of shit that will get your comment dumped. Sexist language, homophobic language, racist language, anti-muslim hate, transphobic language, Chemtrails, 9/11 truthers, climate deniers, anti-fluoride fanatics, anti-vaxxer lunatics and ANYONE that links to fucking infowar.

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Why would you trust the neoliberal Wellington Bureaucratic elites to cost political promises?

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Yay! The neoliberal Wellington Bureaucratic elites who brought you the state housing meth testing fiasco, Census fiasco & Oranga Tamariki baby trafficking fiasco get to denounce any actual political promise for real change by claiming it’s too expensive!

Why on earth would we trust these people to cost out political promises? Didn’t the Greens just catch WINZ out lying about drug sanctions against beneficiaries?

MANA suggested a Financial Transaction Tax in 2014, Treasury would prefer to crawl naked over broken glass while being sprayed with vinegar than ever allow that to become policy.

The job of Politicians is to control bureaucrats, not empower them to simply veto policy ideas during an election.

 

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Jacinda steals from Hone to pay Wiremu – shocking betrayal of Whanau Ora & Māoridom

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I wear the culture Ma'am, I don't support it

No. Way.

After announcing $80million to Whanau Ora, the Government have astoundingly lied to Māoridom and in fact are giving that money to baby stealing Oranga Tamariki and the MSD who were just caught out lying over penalising drug tested beneficiaries!

Whānau Ora providers accuse Māori MPs of failing their people

 Chair of Te Pou Matakana, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait didn’t mince her words either, “We’ve got Māori members of parliament in there, and what the hell are they doing, where  is their voice raised? We expect Māori members of Parliament to be there to advocate for their people, and that’s not happening and so we’re over it.”

Tait says the Government mislead Whānau Ora providers, “We actually thought we were getting $80 million which was announced in the budget for Whānau Ora, it is not coming to the commissioning agencies, we have had funding slashed, where is it going? Its going into Ministry of Social Development and Oranga Tamariki? Why would they go there? Why would you put millions into Government organisations. They’re not the ones who support our people, when you say, we are form the Government we are here to help, our people just glaze over.”

This Government are bewildering! Why tell Māoridom that they had $80million in whanau ora funding when they intended to sink that money into two agencies who have utterly failed Māori?

The naked contempt this Government have for Māori is astounding. Oh sure, they can pronounce the Te Reo perfectly, they can sound empathetic when it comes to the abuse Māori face and they can pay all the lip service to the politics of kindness but when it comes to actually funding Māori they deceive and hand the money over to agencies with a track record of abusing Māori.

Māori won the 2017 election for Labour, that this is their reward is jaw dropping.

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Surprise, surprise – the bloody pigs clear themselves over illegal Hager raid

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Surprise, surprise – the bloody pigs clear themselves over their illegal raid on Investigative Journalist, Nicky Hager…

Police did not intentionally deceive judge in Dirty Politics raid – IPCA

An unlawful police search of journalist Nicky Hager’s home came from officers neglecting their duties rather than intentional misconduct, the police watchdog says.

Officers did not deliberately deceive a judge when they failed to mention that Hager was a journalist while applying for the search warrant, the Independent Police Conduct Authority said in a ruling released this morning.

Instead, the IPCA found the unlawful search of his Wellington home in 2014 was the “result of unwitting neglect of duty” and “did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer”.

Police searched Hager’s home on October 2, 2014, for 10 hours. They were seeking evidence about a hacker who provided information to Hager for his book Dirty Politics, which was published on August 13, 2014. They were acting on a complaint from blogger Cameron Slater, who said his emails had been hacked.

my case against the Police for involving me in this fiasco is still in front of the Human Rights Review tribunal where the Police are attempting to hold a secret trial using secret evidence and watching how far a corrupt police force will go to hide their corruption is sickening.

Note the language here, there wasn’t any misconduct in not telling the Judge who signed off on an illegal search warrant against Hager that he was a journalist, oh no, it was a “unwitting neglect of duty”!!!!!

What a load of bullshit! The cops knew full well that the idiot Judge wouldn’t have signed off on a warrant if they knew Hager was a journalist with the protections that has, they specifically left it off and they have gotten away with it.

These lying scum bags will do anything, say anything and plead ignorance at anything to hide their abuse of power, and when you try to hold them arseholes to account, they attempt to rig the Court process so it can all be heard behind closed doors.

The IPCA are former cops investigating cops and they are as trustworthy as a fox in a henhouse.

If only the media spent as much time on the bloody cops clearing themselves of illegally raiding an Investigative Journalist doing real journalism as they are on Celebrity Treasure Island and a stupid Australian talkback host saying mean things to the Prime Minister

What a sickening, duplicitous outcome.

There is no justice on these shallow Islands.

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TV REVIEW: Years & Years on Soho – your new addiction

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After the first episode.

I am addicted!

This incredible new TV series is terrifying and hilarious at the same time.

Set 5 years into the future, it gloriously captures the decline into fascism inside Britain and the break down of culture.

The interracial parents struggling to understand their moping whinging teenage daughter who wants to be ‘Trans’ (Transhuman that is), the older Grandmother struggling to understand her grandchildren, the slow erosion of basic general knowledge so that flat earth is accepted and tsunamis are questioned, Trump firing a nuclear missile at China in his last days as President, the slow rise of a new Fascist no nonsense Prime Minister, the sudden influx of refugees into the UK running from Putin’s Russia, and everyone EVERYONE glued to their bloody phones –   it has all the current seeds of entropy and watching the utter madness expand is so surprisingly satisfying.

We have all made the bed of our current decline, watching people forced to lie in it is deeply gratifying.

This is clever, insightful and troubling TV. You. Must. Watch. This.

 

 

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Green Party shocked WINZ are lying maggots when it comes to drug testing – who is actually running this Government? The elected MPs or Wellington Bureaucrats?

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Wellington Bureaucrats worship their new Big Data Fascism, Orac

Ongoing drug-test sanctions contradicts Government’s rhetoric on drugs

Reports that two-thirds of beneficiaries who fail drug tests are still having their benefit sanctioned contradicts the Government’s so-called health approach to drugs. Auckland Action Against Poverty is calling on the Government to immediately act on its word and end the drug-test sanction regime.

“We’ve got a hypocritical Government punishing beneficiaries who fail drug-tests yet speaks of moving towards a health based approach to drug use, reassuring people it was not aiming to continue applying this sanction last year”, says Ricardo Menendez March, Auckland Action Against Poverty Coordinator.

“The drug-testing regime is not only expensive, but most people who are subjected to one don’t test positive for drug use. The people who test positive and have a substance abuse problem need support, not punishment.

 

When news of this broke last night that WINZ have been lying about punishing beneficiaries who fail drug tests, Green MP Jan Logie came out and said that she was shocked WINZ misled her.

Really? What else shocks the Green Party?

The sun rising?

Tides?

Basic principles of electricity?

We know that WINZ have a toxic culture and that they are staffed by sadists who love the power imbalance they have over beneficiaries. We see time and time and time again abuses by the State on the most vulnerable and when they get caught out, what happens?

Nothing.

The only reason the head of Stats quit last week was because the mistake impacts people beyond the poor, it impacts electoral boundaries and Government spending.

WINZ are a neoliberal welfare agency focused on punishing the poor and beating them with a bloody great big stick, all Labour have done is put a small cushion on the stick.

Who the fuck is actually running things? The elected MPs or Wellington Bureaucrats?

Let me guess, no one will be punished at WINZ for deceiving our MPs.

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Just because the Prime Minister is embarrassed is not a good enough reason to suddenly change the law

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Prison letters: Cabinet pushes ahead with law changes to Corrections Act

Cabinet ministers will discuss possible law changes to what mail can be received and sent by prisoners, after the accused Christchurch gunman was able to send mail to supporters.

I’m guessing the vast amount of NZers who decried the prisoner letter fiasco actually had no idea Prisoners had the right to letters in the first place – I say this as someone who has posted prisoner letters online for about 15 years.

I’ve posted prisoner letters online for that period of time because prisoners have the least power in society and the ease with which the system can abuse them is vast. Allowing them access to publicity forces corrections to treat them properly, Arthur Taylor wrote for us while he was inside and his work on holding the Government to account on Prisoner Rights has gone to the Supreme Court a number of times.

It seems this Government didn’t know Prisoners have the legal right to send and receive letters and you get the feeling that this sudden need to change the law is because Jacinda has been embarrassed by this.

She toured the planet and held the ‘Christchurch Call’ demanding social media act responsibly, and here she is being embarrassed because the terrorist was able to send a letter that got posted to 4Chan.

The simple truth is that  the existing legislation works fine…

Mail to and from prisoners

76Prisoners may send and receive mail

(1)

A prisoner may send and receive as much mail as the prisoner wishes.

(2)

Subsection (1) is subject to—

(a)

sections 105 and 108 of this Act, and directions given under section 168A (no-contact conditions if family violence offence defendant remanded in custody) of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011; and

(b)

any restrictions relating to the manner in which mail is received or sent, the provision of materials for writing letters, and the payment of postage contained in regulations made under this Act.

Compare: SR 2000/81 r 97(1)

Section 76(2)(a): amended, on 1 July 2019, by section 50 of the Family Violence (Amendments) Act 2018 (2018 No 47).

…Corrections are lying when they say there needs to be a change, they are the ones filtering these letters, they allowed this to pass through that filtration process.

Prisoners have rights, whether we like that or not. To suddenly change the law to what, stop them sending and receiving letters, who exactly is that helping?

This is a bullshit knee-jerk reaction every bit as spiteful as National removing Prisoner’s rights to vote. The Prime Minister is seriously suggesting every Prisoner’s right to send and receive letters gets changed because of one Prisoner?

While we are at it, doesn’t it concern everyone else that the politics of the prisoner will be vetted here? Sure, we don’t mind the State having that power when beloved Jacinda is in power, but what happens when the evil National Party becomes the Government again, you really want then to have the power to stop Prisoners from sending and receiving letters for ‘political reasons’?

The existing law works fine, Corrections need a kick up the arse and told to do a better job of vetting this Prisoner’s communications, but to change the entire law and allow the state to vet prisoners political views sounds like a terrible step backwards, not forwards.

 

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BREAKING: IPCA finds Police repeatedly broke the law while investigating RawShark

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Nicky Hager welcomes today’s Independent Police Conduct Authority report upholding a complaint by the Green Party.

The complaint was into the Police’s handling of an investigation into RawShark, one of Mr Hager’s confidential informants and the principal source for his book Dirty Politics. The report concluded that there were multiple breaches of the law by Police.

Nicky Hager is pleased to receive further vindication of the position he took when he sued Police in 2014, “Again, an independent investigation has found extensive evidence of many unlawful acts by Police,” he said. “I hope these findings will further strengthen the protection for journalists in the future.”

The High Court previously found that Police had breached the duty of candour when applying for a warrant to search Mr Hager’s home. The IPCA further found that the warrant application lacked reasonable grounds and was too broad. It also found that Police failed to give Mr Hager an adequate opportunity to claim privilege, then breached that privilege, seized too much and in a non-selective way, and unlawfully conducted investigations based on what was found. The IPCA also found similar breaches in relation to various efforts by Police to obtain Mr Hager’s information from third parties.

However, Mr Hager believes that the IPCA report is disappointing for what it does not say. So far, there have been no recommendations of any consequences for the many breaches of law by Police.

The report found that some breaches of the law were caused by faulty legal advice and faulty procedures. Felix Geiringer, a barrister acting for Mr Hager, explains why that is not a complete answer to the issues raised by the report, “Of the many breaches of law by Police identified in the report, really only one or two have anything to do with faulty legal advice or the procedures at the time,” he said. “Indeed, some breaches appear to be police officers acting against legal advice and breaching police procedure even as it stood back then.

“Even for those few issues where this excuse is relevant, it is not a final answer. Our understanding is that the faulty legal advice came from internal police advisors. In other words, police were advising themselves to break the law and then following that advice. That is something that needs to be followed up to ensure it does not happen again.”

Mr Hager was also hoping for more from the IPCA. “I am disappointed that the report has not looked into the behaviour of Police after I brought my claim,” he said. “That was something I asked them to look into.”

The report shows that Police now admit many unlawful acts. However, that was not always the case. “For a long time they denied them, including to the High Court under oath,” Mr Geiringer explains. “They also withheld documents that provided evidence of those breaches and made untrue statements about what was in those documents and why they were being withheld. That is very troubling and something I would expect to have been of concern to the IPCA.”

So, while Mr Hager welcomes the many damning findings against Police, he wants to know what is going to happen now and what, if any, consequences there will be.

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Big losses for dairy giant as plant milk popularity increases – Vegan NZ

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As Fonterra is projecting multi million dollar losses for the second year in a row, it is clear the writing is on the wall for dairy as more and more Kiwis turn to plant milks. 22nd August is International Plant Milk Day and there is now a different plant milk for each day of the week available right here in New Zealand. As the country’s green credentials are, like the cows, dragged through the mire over the winter cropping issue, diversifying into crops is becoming a very sound alternative for many dairy farmers.

Even here in New Zealand, it can take up to 2000 litres of water to produce just one litre of milk, not to mention the problems in certain areas of nitrate runoff causing river pollution, reducing our water quality, all the while taking up precious groundwater in traditionally dry areas of the country. The fact that so many cows exist is pushing up our greenhouse gas emissions, burping methane in huge quantities and of course breathing out carbon dioxide. Then there’s their consumption of palm kernal extract adding to the deforestation of Indonesia and orangutan habitats.

As people become more aware of the need to change the way we live, certain choices are being made. When you choose a plant milk you can be sure the resources used were far lower than the dairy counterpart (no matter what Fonterra scientists will try to spin to you). Many Kiwi dairy farmers are already exploring growing plants alongside their current dairy business. Hemp is often a great choice for such people as it grows in a diversity of environments, doesn’t require pesticides, herbicides or much in the way of fertiliser. We need government incentives to help farmers diversify and not bear the brunt of the cost. They need to be rewarded for doing their part for the Zero Carbon Bill.

Today’s plant milks are no longer just soy, rice and almond, now there are milks made from oats, coconut, cashews and even hemp, the next new delicious and nutritious milk out on the market. Hemp has a great protein profile and with omegas 3 and 6 in the right balance, it is ideal to keep your skin and tissue supple and supplies all the essential amino acids. Whichever plant milk you enjoy, you are not getting any saturated fats or cholesterol, while some such as soy and oat, actively reduce your blood cholesterol.

Why not take up the dairy free challenge for the week 22nd to 29th August to celebrate Plant Milk Day and get your chance to try one of the 34 vegan cheeses available in NZ!

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Dave Macpherson: End of dispute between Nicky Stevens’ family and Waikato DHB means a new phase of the mental health work starts

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Most readers will be aware that my family’s long-running (four and a half years long) ‘dispute’ with Waikato DHB is now over.

Our son, Nicky Stevens, died while in the legal care of Waikato DHB’s Henry Bennett Centre, after DHB staff let him out on an unsupervised ‘smoke break’ even though he was a known suicide risk, and even though our family had specifically warned the DHB about the risk of harm to Nicky if he was not supervised.

Despite several contacts with the Police following Nicky’s disappearance, they did not start searching for him for over two days, during which he was seen alive by two members of the public.

Nicky’s body was found in the Waikato River three days after being let out unsupervised from Waikato Hospital, not far downstream from the Hospital.

One year after Nicky’s death, the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) ruled that the Police actions following Nicky’s disappearance breached Police policy in several ways, and 100% upheld our complaint about the Police. The Police force formally accepted all the IPCA findings, and apologised directly to our family.

Three and a half years after Nicky’s death, an Inquest was held and Coroner Wallace Bain ruled that Nicky’s death was “avoidable”, and that Waikato DHB’s actions had contributed to his death. The Coroner made a number of recommendations that supported our family’s proposals for improvement in mental health services in this sort of case.

Some months later Waikato DHB leadership broke off discussions with our family, under instructions of their insurance company, and attempted to get the Solicitor-General to order a re-hearing for the Inquest, and the replacement of the Coroner. This step was unheard of previously in this country, and was widely condemned in the community.

Throughout the last four and a half years, our family has faced huge challenges in getting any official information and support. We have had to complain to the Ombudsman on at least a dozen occasions about the DHB failing to release information relating to our son’s death; we have made complaints about the actions of DHB and DHB staff legal representatives that disadvantage us, the DHB has on three occasions refused legal support for our family in relation to the Coroner’s Inquest, and the previous Government effectively refused to acknowledge the issues we were facing.

At the same time, our family has received huge support from right around this country, and overseas, from people from all walks of life, and especially from many families facing the same issues we have. We have spent, and still spend, many hours supporting and working with other affected families, some of whom have been waiting for justice longer than we have.

That wider community support has more than compensated for the official failure of support.

In the last two months, three important things have happened – the Government sacked the Waikato DHB leadership (I was ‘collateral damage’ in that exercise) and installed an experienced Commissioner; the Prime Minister met directly with our family to discuss these issues; and the Government signalled Mental Health was a key issue with a very large allocation in its 2019/20 Budget.

Almost immediately the new DHB Commissioner scrapped the previous leadership’s strategy and agreed to re-open direct talks with our family, leading to mediation and a mediated settlement just under a month ago.

The DHB has apologised, in writing, to our family for our son Nicky’s death, and has formally withdrawn its outrageous attempt to overturn the decision of the Coronial Inquiry into his death.

The IPCA Report and the Coroner’s Report stand as the official, correct, and only independent word on the causes of, and contributing factors to Nicky’s death.

While we miss our son deeply, we are now able to grieve properly for him – without having a massive ongoing fight with backside-covering officialdom hanging over our lives. We can now move forward with our lives.

At the same time, while we applaud the Government’s stated commitment to action to reduce this country’s huge mental health and suicide crisis, we know families like ours will need to continue to hold DHB’s, the mental health profession and the health leadership generally, accountable for implementing the changes proposed in the Budget and demanded by the community.

No-one can rest on their laurels in a country with the worst youth suicide statistics in the world, and with a mental health crisis that is out of control.

 

Dave Macpherson – TDB mental health blogger & Former Waikato DHB Elected Member

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