And they wonder why we call them troughers…

Fairfax even calls them “pigs at the trough“.

Auckland councillors and local board members spent more than $280,000 in the past year feeding themselves at meetings.

As election day looms some local board members, including Kaipatiki Local Board member John Gillon and Orakei Local Board chairwoman Desley Simpson, say the council needs to put a stop to the lavish spending on food.

In fact, Gillon and Simpson want council’s well paid mayor, councillors and local board members, all 154 of them, to pack lunches like ordinary workers do.

Council figures show that in the 2014-2015 financial year Auckland Council’s committees, including the Governing Body, spent nearly $130,000 catering meetings and events while Auckland’s 21 local boards spent more than $151,000.   Read more »

Questions for the Nelson Mail


The Nelson Mail appears to be the public outreach for Mayoral Candidate Pete Rainey. Instead of asking him the tough questions that need answering they talk about dirty politics.

Instead of asking the tough questions of Pete Rainey they try to make out he is an absolute angel who is being subjected to an unfair attack. The problem with this narrative is that Rainey has not answered important questions about a variety of issues, and it makes everyone wonder if the Mail should be renamed “ Pete’s Pravda”. Read more »

42% of you bastards contribute nothing



The Government says its tax reforms are benefiting lower income households, and it’s got the figures to prove it.

Acting Finance Minister Steven Joyce has released new Treasury data showing the top 10 percent of households will pay 37.2 percent of total income tax this financial year, compared with 35.5 percent in 2007/08. Read more »


More hypocrite-driven road-lice lies

Guest post

Have a read of this post by Bike Auckland, bragging about bike numbers being up in Auckland.

Then have a look at the Skypath patronage figures – the ones ratepayers will be underwriting:


(click here for a larger view) Link fixed now

Read more »


Here come the pre-election pork barrels: National roll out a brand new trough

Troughs of all sizes are troughs nonetheless. National have created a new one just in time for election year next year.

People seeking government money for community projects can apply under a new programme.

The Community-Led Development Programme (CLDP) replaces the Community Development Scheme (CDS) and comes as a pilot ends on June 30.

“The programme will allow selected communities to identify community aspirations, then partner with the Department of Internal Affairs, other government agencies, local government, private funders, businesses and local iwi to achieve their goals,” says Jo Goodhew, the community and voluntary sector minister.  Read more »


Wow! Pigs do fly

Wonders will never cease, it seems the government has worked out that pigs really do fly.

Cities are emptying out for the school holidays and so is parliament in Wellington.

Parliament is in recess this week so several ministers are off overseas.

Prime Minister John Key is in China with officials hoping to improve the free trade agreement New Zealand already has with China, and a business delegation is travelling with him. He has two ministers with him — Nathan Guy and Todd McClay.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce is leading a delegation of exporters trying to get government contracts in the US and they’re heading to Washington DC for an event organised by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

Climate Change Issues Minister Paula Bennett is also in the US to sign the Paris climate change agreement at the UN in New York. She’s also going to Washington DC.   Read more »

Oh dear, how sad, academic troughers get it wrong…again


Looks like arts, travel & lifestyle blogger, David Farrar, has scored a direct hit against the troughers banging on about a sugar tax.

He’s calling out the sugar petition that’s being organised by well-known anti- sugar troughers as misleading. And he’s right.

A sugar tax petition states:

            New Zealand has a problem. We are the third fattest nation in the world.

This is not true.

The WHO database for Obesity is here.

We are 29th, not 3rd.

Outrageous that a petition has such a misleading “fact”.

Read more »


Otago University really needs to get over itself

Oh boo hiss, those poor public health academics troughers from the University of Otago really do need to get over themselves.

Today’s ODT runs the article Challenging ‘big food’ can mean attacks, continuing the positioning of troughers as hard done by because they are apparently facing a dastardly foe called ‘big food’. This time the comments are from visiting Oxford University academic Professor David Stuckler, who says:

Taking on “big food” and other business interests can mean facing personal attacks and underhand tactics from powerful vested interests, a prominent Oxford University professor told health academics in Dunedin yesterday.

The “real politics” of the arena included attacks aimed at individual careers, and attempts to create arguments and division within the ranks of health advocates, Prof David Stuckler, a professor of political economy and sociology, said.

Tactics used by “big tobacco” appeared to be deployed by “big food” companies, too.

“We confront powerful vested interests who make and manufacture products that when used as intended cause grave harm.”

Read more »

$110,000 trough to research why Maori women are thought inferior

Where there is a trough there is someone wanting to swill about in it.

The way early settlers documented Māori women is disturbing and has had a damaging impact on how wahine are viewed today, an emerging health researcher says.

Ngahuia Murphy has received $110,000 from the Health Research Council to complete her PhD studies into Māori beliefs of the womb or whare tangata.

“I am looking at some of the pre-colonial ceremonies and ritual knowledge traditions around the whare tangata and I’m going to be tracing those ceremonial practices into the context of today.”

In order to complete her masters Ngahuia Murphy read texts from colonial ethnographers, who studied Māori in the early days.

“What they have written about Māori women and particularly Māori women’s reproductive body is that it is a source of inferiority in our culture, which completely contradicts our cultural paradigms about the significance of the whare tangata as the house of humanity.”   Read more »

Health Troughers blinded by plain packaging

It’s the beginning of the year and the troughers are back at it, moaning about wanting more action on Maori smoking.

It seems my good friend and exposed serial trougher Shane Kawenata Bradbrook is back out of his box, complaining about the Government not doing enough.

Shane Kawenata Bradbrook is well known to this blog, after being exposed for spending up large on the taxpayer with little observable results. After a Ministry of Health investigation into his Te Reo Marama rort, his overseas jaunts came to a spectacular end when their $250,000 annual funding was axed.

Now it seems he’s back, this time under a new guise of Te Ao Hurihuri. Let’s see how that works out for him.

One thing Shane Kawenata Bradbrook won’t be keen on Maori hearing or reading is a blog post titled ‘The Relentless Failure of Plain Packaging’.   Read more »