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A report from Auckland Council's boarding house inspectors shows out of 44 properties suspected to be breaking the law, 40 were “operating unauthorised transient accommodation or boarding houses.” Many had issues with fire safety breaches, growing numbers of gang-affiliated guests, and owners questioning council authority. Andrew Dickens had two ca…
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I presume the lead story in the Herald on Sunday was welcomed by police and those behind our stronger gun laws. An Auckland pensioner and his daughter have been caught for legally buying 13 guns for the Comancheros motorcycle gang. It's the latest of dozens of discoveries by police of licensed gun owners buying for gangs who cannot legally purchase…
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Welcome to Budget Week. Which I am looking forward to. After all the warnings from economists and world agencies like the OECD, that this is the wrong part of an economic cycle to bring in tax cuts, it ill be interesting to see the way they're going to pull it off. Personally, I can't see the budget being nearly as harsh, nearly as radical or nearl…
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Now, I'm not part of the tribe who automatically thinks that Auckland Transport is a bunch of ideological toss-pots who want to force us out of our cars. I'm the sort of urbanist that gets there's a limit to the number of cars that can use our roads, and when that limit is hit then you have offer choices so we can all get somewhere. I don't reflexi…
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I was surprised that the news that Auckland had inked a deal with the Government over water wasn't the lead story on last night's TV news. I would have thought that John Campbell would have had a deep dive on its repercussions for Auckland and the country. Basically, water and housing are the biggest issues for this country because every single per…
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New Zealand seems to be waking up to an issue I thought would have caused more concern. As part of the bonfire of the public service, the Government seems to be eyeing cuts to our public research and development sector. Principally that means the Callaghan Institute, the Crown agency that employs about 300 people and has been the target of attack, …
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It is fair to say the country is not in a good place right now. Job cuts dominate the headlines. A double-dip recession came true. Inflation is robbing us of our purchasing power. Last week an IPSOS poll found that 60 percent of us think that New Zealand is in decline and 65 percent believe that the economy is rigged to benefit the rich and the pow…
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Since we were last together, the collapse of television news and current affairs has continued. And with it, we have been subjected to a lot of highfalutin thinking about the metaphysical and cultural reasons why linear TV is dying. You know - go woke go broke. Or- this is because nobody trusts you, because you're all raving lefties. Meanwhile, Mel…
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I vividly remember the first time I saw Christchurch Cathedral. I was 10 so it was 1973. I was on tour with the Auckland Boys Choir. It was winter and it was twilight and we went into the Square, which was bustling with cars and buses and Victorian buildings and a marvellous magic shop. People wore overcoats and scarves and there was the cathedral.…
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I was not going to talk about dolphin-gate- but from first thing this morning, everyone was talking about it. Sir Russell Coutts has had an epic meltdown over the cancellation of Saturday racing of his SailGP series. He had to refund the spectator's tickets, which meant at least a third of his income went up in smoke. Now he's belittling all New Ze…
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So if you've listened to me for any length of time, you'll know I respect Liam Dann very much indeed. Liam is the Herald's Business Editor at Large. He hosts podcasts and writes stories about the business world and he's been at the NZ Herald for 21 years. He's at pains to stress he's not an economist. He's the guy who interviews economists and then…
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When National formed it's new government there was a snappy little phrase that supporters were fond of using. Thank God the adults are back in charge. Suggesting that the left wing Labour Government were naive, inefficient fools who had driven the country into the ground like a 12 year old in a ram raid. National would lead a government run by grow…
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So two big video interviews over the weekend. Firstly, Tucker Carlson interviewed Vladimir Putin. Tucker said it was because no-one but him had bothered to ask which is BS. There's always people in the media claiming they're the only people holding power to account. My feel is that Putin knew Tucker was desperate for the scoop following his embarra…
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So there was a little bit of excitement yesterday as Jack Tame caught the National Party spreading misinformation on Q+A. Chris Bishop was talking about dropping smokefree legislation and made the claim that there would only be one outlet in all of Northland. Tame had done his research and said there was more likely going to be 35, which resulted i…
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Congratulations to the new coalition Government, which was sworn in today by Governor General Dame Cindy Kiro. And as our new Prime Minister says- they're ready to get stuck in. But things are already getting better. Some say it's just because of the vibe. But don't discount plain good luck and timing. The so-called hermit kingdom is over. As we he…
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So, still no Government. It's not a biggie. Remember, they only started talking after the specials were counted so it's only been a fortnight. But then again, why did they only start talking after the specials were counted? But still not a biggie. Meanwhile, all those getting stuck into Winston are not using their knowledge of history or politics. …
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This is my first ZB shift since the election brought in our new Government-to-be. And I must say it’s been the most fantastic fortnight, until we lost the Rugby World Cup final due to first half sloppiness and a trigger-happy TMO. But we had our chances. We can’t complain. You have to play to the rules. But really, it’s been 2 weeks of calm and con…
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So the political party that didn’t know what it stood for anymore and offered no real future lost the election to the party that offered tax cuts that are affordable only by increasing taxes on the wealthy and then claim that we’re back on track. I’d argue that New Zealand is confused. How else can you explain a nation that just 3 years ago so grat…
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Well, here we are. Finally in the last week of an election campaign between the most incompetent cohort of politicians seen in a long time and wouldn't you know it, an international geo-political crisis just to accentuate that statement. Obviously, Nanaia Mahuta sympathises with Palestinians. She feels they've been colonised the same way Maori were…
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I want to start the show with tributes to 3 people. The first is Brooke Graham. My neighbour and friend from the Coromandel who died recently at the age of just 42 from brain cancer. A fast death inside 9 weeks but slow enough for her to make plans for her 10 year old daughter and her husband. Hers was a death of great grace and I am immensely sad.…
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What a funny old week it's been listening to the media and the Government howling for National's costings on their foreign house buyers tax and National's refusal to release them. Personally I don't give a flying fig on the costings. It seems perfectly obvious that National will not raise the money it says it will because that would take a record l…
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What a wild and woolly weekend on the hustings. Christopher Luxon turns up on Q&A to talk about National's policies. First up, he promises to close Rotorua's emergency housing motels and kick any troublesome Kainga Ora social housing tenants out. Obviously, this is great news for law abiding Rotorua residents and New Zealanders suffering from the n…
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So we're off and running with an election 40-odd days away and both parties promising the world. Labour is out of the gate with their policy of free dental care for the under 30s. A policy they, themselves, said was unachievable just a month ago. A policy that needs more dentists, but we only train 60 a year and it takes 6 years for them to be in t…
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So last week we lost Sir Michael Parkinson, the great interviewer. His son interviewed in the weekend saying his father was proud of his working-class roots but hated politics. While he hated politics but loved policy. He thought most of politics was just an act, but policies are actions. I thought about that watching the corny play that was acted …
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So the World Cup has finished it' stellar month downunder with a victory for Spain. Who, I hope, took the time to thank Palmerston North for the city's contribution towards their success. After all one would presume that if the team was so bored with the Palmie nightlife then they'd be getting good sleep and spending plenty of time practicing and i…
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