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Australia’s sweatshop

Written By: - Date published: 10:29 am, July 7th, 2012 - 69 comments
Categories: australian politics, business, capitalism, class war - Tags: , ,

It’s hard to be optimistic about the future of the economy. While Tim Grosser is out there negotiating away our sovereignty, John Key is making plans to try to hawk our low wage workforce to Australians. Fran O’Sullivan is enthusiastic:

The frank admiration for New Zealand’s economic policies – which was on show at the annual Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum meeting – had not really been displayed by Australian power-brokers since this country was in the grip of Rogernomics and Bill Birch’s labour market reforms.

Yes – what a wonderful job those policies did on New Zealand. That was when we began falling catastrophically behind Australia.

The Cabinet has since made a strategic decision to capitalise on the improved Australian business sentiment towards New Zealand by “going hard” for more investment. Companies like Heinz Wattie have already scrapped hundreds of Australian jobs in favour of opening new plants in New Zealand to take advantage of lower wages and restrictive labour laws.

Australia has well organised labor and higher wages. So of course the “business leaders” are screwing their local communities and looking for somewhere we they can make bigger profits. That’s how capitalism works.

This is good news. But typically, Labour still sees it through a “glass half empty” prism as positioning New Zealand like Mexico; a low wage neighbour where Australians can outsource manufacturing jobs in the way United States corporates have outsourced similar jobs to Mexicans.

I’m with Labour on this – being a low wage drudge country is nothing to aspire to or be proud of. Remember when we wanted to close the gap with Australia, instead of going backwards?

I wish Labour would also focus on the fact that it is going to take considerable time and investment to build more high-tech growth companies which will spawn high-paid brainy jobs as well as the brawny ones.

“High-tech growth companies” from Australia are not going to spawn “high-paid brainy jobs” here any more than similar outsourcing has created such jobs in India, the Philippines, or Mexico. Outsourcing creates minimum wage crap jobs – that’s the whole point.

If we want to create “high-paid brainy jobs” in NZ we have to do it for ourselves. It doesn’t always take “investment” – companies like Apple and Google got started in a garage. One of our own local (though little known) international success stories, Tait Communications, is proudly and fiercely local, owned by private trusts, and focused on growth in Canterbury. That’s what we need more of in NZ, not Aussie sweatshops.

69 comments on “Australia’s sweatshop”

  1. Chris 1

    Trouble is brainy jobs are never going to be more than a minor % of the economy, or is that very wrong?

    • Dv 1.1

      Apple has more cash reserves than the US

      • Chris 1.1.1

        Apple doesn’t employ an equivalent % of the workforce. So don’t you need high & low-skilled jobs?

        • Dv 1.1.1.1

          I guess the point I was trying to make was that Apple is a hi tech company with lots of R&D and producing huge cash flows and profits.

          The weak point of my argument is that Apple off shore their manufacture.

          • David H 1.1.1.1.1

            Yeah to sweat shops in China. And there have been a few suicides of the workers there. Yep just what Shonky and co want for NZ. Slave shops in NZ.

  2. Olwyn 2

    There is a sinister side to this “catching up with Australia” notion, especially when the “we” who are doing the catching up remain unspecified. It is the idea that the ownership/management class should enjoy “international” levels of prosperity, despite their living and working in a small, isolated country. The achievement of this of course involves the exploitation, degradation and dismissal of those who are not members of the above-mentioned class. Why we should all be turned into manure to permit a few third rate dahlias to flourish unimpeded is beyond me.

    • Dr Terry 2.1

      Olwyn – excellent and perceptive comment.

    • Chris 2.2

      True. Key seems desperate to get any kind of jobs here, by any quick solution. Being competitive, he would call it. More R&D just won’t do it. Hitech sector growth seems to result in more social inequality not less, wouldn’t you say? Am reluctant to believe Key’s solution is the more democratic one.

  3. mike e 3

    Fran O’sullivan is just another right wing idiot.
    It takes time to build high tech industry especially if you take a razor to the research and development funding slash by more than half by short sighted Tory fuckwits.It takes time for this research to build momentum and National has done huge damage to our future by continually undermining the sector both now and in the 90’s National Fucked it up but you can add Roger Douglas to that equation to.
    Michael Cullen PHd in economic history so he knew what works as he has studied economics back to Egyptian times.Also has a masters degree with honours in economics. Cullen increased spending right across the board on R&D.Nearly 3 times what the previous govt had invested.
    It just shows you that the London school of economics was right that our country is being held back because of poorly educated people in charge Shonkey Investment wanker Who has an accounting Degree can balance books but that’s as far as it goes and double dipstick a career treasury bean counter who had to work extremely hard to get his degree because he doesn’t have the brains.

    Having your research not continually under mined allows the R&D sector to produce results far more rapidly because it takes 15 years on average to bring new ideas to the market something Beaned brained bean counters like Shonkey and the dipstick from Dipton don’t understand As they are just political cost accountants with an election to win every 3 years.

    • DH 3.1

      I wouldn’t be so quick to praise Cullen. All of the structural economic problems that this country faces began under Cullens watch. The big buildup of overseas borrowing, the housing boom, the high dollar that killed NZ industry – all started & occurred right under Cullen’s nose. He had the power to stop all that, he did nothing.

      I used to export a bit back in 2000-03. The $NZD hovered around 40-50c. Try running a business when your selling price halves, but costs don’t come down to compensate, and see how far you get with it.

      The Nats are just a mafia but Labour haven’t covered themselves with glory either.

      • mike e 3.1.1

        DH the recent debt build up started happening under Muldoon gathered pace under Roger Douglas and has stayed the same rate of increase right through the nineties and 2000,s.The rate of increase look at stats NZ exactly the same rate of increase. Even under bill english the private debt rate has slowed down but the govt debt rate has increased to make around the same overall rate of increase.
        During the 2000,s 2 things changed Cullen started the Cullen fund and Jim Anderton Kiwisaver.
        The main reason we have a high dollar is we are linked to Australia .Where Australia’s dollar goes ours goes with a small margin of error.
        The other main reason our dollar and balance of payments is so bad is we import mountains of oil.
        Borrowing is obviously amongst the mix.
        But New Zealand has always had high level of borrowing going right back to the 1880’s its one factor but if we got rid of all our debt we would probably import more junk instead.
        It would be better if we invested off shore and imported dividends but I don’t see that happening any time soon.
        Once again our dollar would be seen as strong so would go up there are no easy solutions.
        The best thing we can hope for is the Aussie going down.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          you can’t talk of growth in debt as some kind of trend of nature.

          Cullen let private debt grow massively because it was fueling rocketing house price increases. And that made the property owning middle classes very happy. Money flowing into the economy from debt creation also helped lower unemployment throughout the country.

        • DH 3.1.1.2

          I’m not saying everything Cullen did was bad but the point still stands. Those issues are inarguably the prime cause of our present economic problems and Cullen, as finance minister, is responsible for what happened to this country under his watch.

          And one I missed is WFF. Instead of addressing the reasons why families were struggling financially Cullen just handed out more middle class welfare. He didn’t solve the problem, just brushed it under the carpet, and now we’re committed to spending a fortune on WFF while things go from bad to worse. He didn’t fix it so of course now families are struggling again, WFF just gave them a breather.

          Sorry but I can’t find much praise for Cullen. In my view he thoroughly betrayed the working class that Labour used to stand for.

          • mike e 3.1.1.2.1

            Agreed but NZ is run by the right and for labour to stay in power they have to swallow alot of dead rats so they can only make small policy changes.

        • Georgecom 3.1.1.3

          There was quite a bit the Clark led govts could have done to rebalance our economy which they didn’t do. We didn’t get a CGT or a financial transaction tax, something we need. The moves to refocus the Reserve Banks fixation with inflation were lukewarm.

          Cullen did however lay the foundations for a savings culture. That was significant. They also made some attempts to reform the tax code by cutting taxes at the bottom brackets.

          The enxt Labour govt can bring in the CGT, FTT and inject some reality into the Reserve Bank. Unfortunately the ill-conceived and costly tax cuts of Bill English have buggered the opportunity to do anything about an increased tax free bracket at the bottom for a period of time.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.3.1

            Unfortunately the ill-conceived and costly tax cuts of Bill English have buggered the opportunity to do anything about an increased tax free bracket at the bottom for a period of time.

            UBI and a flat tax (and, no, I’m not talking about the 25 to 30% that most people assume is the ideal. That idea seems to founded upon ideology and not reality).

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.4

          …but if we got rid of all our debt we would probably import more junk instead.

          Only if we didn’t produce it here from our own resources which, despite what current economic theory tells us, is always the cheapest and most efficient source. It also pushes the development* of the economy and society.

          * I use development on purpose as we don’t want growth.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        All of the structural economic problems that this country faces began under Cullens watch.

        Ah, no, they all began under Douglass in the 1980s – Cullen just didn't fix them. This is probably due to the simple fact that he's still stuck on capitalism and free markets as the solution rather than realising that they're the problem.

        • Georgecom 3.1.2.1

          Agreed, the problems stemming from neo-liberal capitalism that NZ, and the western world, is grappling with are a legacy of the like of Douglas and his ilk. Cullen didn’t fix them because his government practised a variant of the ‘third way’, attempting to fuse neo-liberal economics with some social democracy. The ‘competitive market’ narrative of neo-liberalism was never seriously challenged under third way politics. The only genuine challenge was neutralised by 2002 with the falling away of the Alliance.

          Neo-liberalised ‘third wayism’, along with neo-liberalism itself, was discredited as the 2008 global crisis struck. It may take some time still for the majority view to arrive at that realisation, however the die is cast. It takes some a while longer to come to that conclusion. A genuine third way, between neo-liberal capitalism and state socialism, will also take some time to emerge.

      • “I wouldn’t be so quick to praise Cullen. All of the structural economic problems that this country faces began under Cullens watch. The big buildup of overseas borrowing, the housing boom, the high dollar that killed NZ industry …”

        Not true.

        “Big buildup of overseas borrowing” my hairy arse.

        Let me correct you, so you may be better prepared in future; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/labour-the-economic-record-2000-2008/

        As for the “housing boom” and the “high dollar” – these are all part of the much-vaunted “free market” that New Zealand currently “enjoys”. Labour’s proposed capital gains tax would have gone some way to addressing this waste of capital in speculative “investment” – but the Dear Public thought otherwise last year.

        Most borrowing are therefore PRIVATE debt – not state. (Though the Nats have been having a right old Tax cuts/Borrow Up Large, in the last four years.)

        As for exporting – didn’t you hedge against fluctuations in the dollar?

        • DH 3.1.3.1

          I think there’s a need for people on the left to wake up a little to the economic incompetence of the last Labour Govt, they got voted out for a reason. Economic growth is a product of increased spending; either domestic or international spending or both.

          The growth that occurred under Labour was driven almost entirely by the spending of borrowed money, specifically money borrowed to buy property. During Labour’s reign the banks borrowed over $100billion from overseas to feed that borrowing. Has anyone thought about what $100billion of extra spending does to an economy with a GDP in 2001 of $116billion? It must lead to economic growth (in the short term at least)

          The govt clips the ticket on economic activity, Crown revenue runs about a third of GDP, so the Crown coffers filled up with a share of that borrowed money. Forrest Gump could have been Minister of Finance and run a surplus under that scenario.

          Seriously people, the failure of Cullen to halt that overseas borrowing has dropped this country right in it. He went for short term rewards and now we’re paying the price of it, to make matters worse the Nats are gleefully exploiting the situation to loot the country.

          • Frank Macskasy 3.1.3.1.1

            As I pointed out to TS, you are incorrect regarding the “economic incompetence of the last Labour Govt”.

            Labour paid down sovereign debt.

            http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2010/bps/04.htm/bps10-03.gif

            Cullen posted surplus after surplus. Unemployment was low. Inflation was low. In fact, you probably recall the clamour for tax cuts in 2007 and 2008, because of these surpluses. (But you already knew that, right?)

            And grew GDP : http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/gdp-growth (set date parameters 2000 onward).

            The growth in debt was fuelled by private borrowings for a range of reasons – including property speculation.

            Of course Labour could have introduced a capital gains tax in the last nine years. That they didn’t is an issue in itself. But I suspect had they done so, there would’ve been a massive outcry from National, ACT, and various right wing groupies.

            Quite rightly, Labour put the proposition of a CGT on the table last election. It was not supported by enough voters. Quite rightly, again, Labour will keep this on their policy books for 2014 (if not earlier, when National falls.)

            Tell me, DH, do you support a CGT? Because most righties do not.

            We need a CGT plus a FTT (Financial Transactions Tax) to try to curb some of the “hot money” sloshing around the globe. But again, right wingers don’t like these taxes as it impinges on their free market dogma.

            I look forward to you voting Labour or Green this time around.

            Because even credit agencies don’t seem to like National very much;
            http://www.nzdmo.govt.nz/sovereigncreditratings

            • DH 3.1.3.1.1.1

              Take your blinkers off Frank.They had surpluses & paid off debt because the country was rolling in it. Tax receipts increased over 62% in the nine years Labour were in power, it increased only 25% over the previous nine years. Spending under Labour increased 63% too, and most of that extra dosh they just pissed against the wall.

              What do you think a CGT is going to achieve? I’m in favour of it because property investors are the biggest welfare bludgers of them all & it’s well past time those parasitic leeches paid their share of tax. But a CGT isn’t any kind of economic panacea, it’s not going to turn the economy around or fix the housing problem.

              • Take your blinkers off Frank.They had surpluses & paid off debt because the country was rolling in it. Tax receipts increased over 62% in the nine years Labour were in power, it increased only 25% over the previous nine years. Spending under Labour increased 63% too, and most of that extra dosh they just pissed against the wall.

                What is the source for your stats?

                And yes, Labour paid down debt. At the same time, they rebuilt the slash-and-burn of the previous National government under Bolger and Shipley. Massive cuts to health, education, Police, housing, transport, etc, all became to much for New Zealanders.

                And when Southand farmer Colin Morrison died in April 1998, whilst on a hospital waiting list, that became too much for Middle New Zealand to stomach – National was thrown out at the end of 1999.

                This current hopeless government will go the same way.

                What do you think a CGT is going to achieve? I’m in favour of it because property investors are the biggest welfare bludgers of them all & it’s well past time those parasitic leeches paid their share of tax. But a CGT isn’t any kind of economic panacea, it’s not going to turn the economy around or fix the housing problem.

                Note my comments to Herodotus on this issue.

            • Herodotus 3.1.3.1.1.2

              Your link regarding Lab paying down government debt does no such thing. All it shows is net debt
              http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/extfin/e3/download.html
              http://www.johnpemberton.co.nz/html/new_zealand_government_debt_eom.html
              Frank regarding inflation this is only an economic trick it has no bearing as to how difficult households are finding survival. Inflation was low thru to importing delation Draco T B is big on this, and I support their thoughts on the subject. Non tradables had relatively high inflation flat lining above the 3% level.
              http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-04072012/#comment-489938
              http://www.interest.co.nz/news/44415/opinion-how-ocr-has-little-impact-non-tradeable-inflation
              Then we had/have the deteriorated current account position
              http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/current-account
              And finally from the herald. Pity the net version is only a summary of the paper, whereby it was commented on the multi property holdings of the likes of Key and Shearer. CGT will not solve the land ownership issues facing NZ, as the article continues if Nat/Lab were really wanting to solve the issue then placing lending limits that the banks can loan on any property e.g. 80% of purchase price. But we all know that many Mp’s (Not just P.Field and the Greens pension fund) were also profiteering from property dealings. Even if Lab had won and installed a CGT most CG that have been achieved would remain untaxed.
              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=10818045

              • Your link regarding Lab paying down government debt does no such thing. All it shows is net debt

                Oh really? So a Treasury graph showing nett debt dropping “does no such thing”?

                In which case, you probably won’t accept this Treasury data either; http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/financialstatements/yearend/jun10/09.htm

                Whether you accept the data or not is irrelevant. Labour paid down sovereign debt and National has borrowed hand-over-fist like there’s no tomorrow.

                Frank regarding inflation this is only an economic trick it has no bearing as to how difficult households are finding survival.

                I’ll let those on fixed/low incomes know that, Herodotus. I’m sure they be relieved to know that increases in electricity, rates, food, transport, insurance are all “economic tricks”.

                It may be a “trick” to you – but it impacts of peoples’ lives.

                Then we had/have the deteriorated current account position

                As more state assets were privatised and ownership passed into foreign ownership, more profits were remitted overseas. That accounts for our constant poor current accounts deficits.

                In fact, it is a bizarre state of affairs that current accounts IMPROVE at times of recession. Why? Because with low economic activity, profits are lower, and so remittance overseas drop away. Check out your link – http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/current-account – and set data parameters to January 1980-July 2012. You will note that the positive ‘spikes’ (ie, when we are in the black) coincide with recessionary moments in our economic history.

                Hence why asset sales (ffarm sales, etc) eventually end up screwing us; profits flowing offshore impacting on our cirrent account.

                CGT will not solve the land ownership issues facing NZ, as the article continues if Nat/Lab were really wanting to solve the issue then placing lending limits that the banks can loan on any property e.g. 80% of purchase price.

                I don’t understand why people insist on one pet-option, to the exclusion of others.

                Complex situations often require a complex, multi-pronged aopproach. Rising property prices are caused by various factors – a lack of capital gains is one. Easy capital is another. Shortage of stock yet another.

                Practically every economic commentator has stated that the economy is distorted by untaxed capital gains from property – whereas profits from actual wealth-producing businesses is taxed.

                Even worse is that property-based speculation uses capital borrowed from offshore – which means that the “profits” made by property investors (speculators) is money borrowed from savers overseas.

                This is not just ludicrous, it is dangerous to our economy and society. Even Key has stated that our private debt is reaching dangerously high levels.

                But I’m sure you know all this already, Herodotus. You simply have to consider the wider aspects of these issues insteads of contextualising in a Left-Right paradigm.

                • Herodotus

                  Gross Govt debt Jan 2000 $31.389b Debt Dec 08 $31.627, so debt was around the same No debt was paid. Govt assets (some of questionable worth) are included to determine Net Debt. But from my reading of your material you know that.
                  As you would regarding that interest rates are not included within the inflation numbers, and paying 10+% mortgages in 08 Did hurt household disposable income as tax creep.
                  And your reference to non tradables e.g. power, rates etc were hidden by the importation of deflation to offset these costs. Problem is that non tradables are inescapable but the benefits of tradables e.g. electronic consumables are the nice to haves.
                  And re current account I am surprised that the govt has not made more of this with their PR commentary of how in the long term their economic plan (not necessary believable) is on the right track :-(

                  “Even worse is that property-based speculation uses capital borrowed from offshore – which means that the “profits” made by property investors (speculators) is money borrowed from savers overseas.” such activity is already provisioned to be taxed. It is just unfortunate that both Nat and Lab have over the years given this scant thought let alone directing the IRD to actively follow up- In many cases MP’s greatly increasing their wealth on the back of this-So why would they want to change this?. And the tax rate applicable to these profits is far greater than any CGT rate mentioned, for most of us owning 1 property is the max of our property ownership dreams.
                  My limiting what can be loaned by a bank then at least reduces this amazing feat of the banks in making money out of nowhere, but we have to IMO attack the banks 1st, then follow it up with modifying peoples behaviours then towards property.

                  • Gross Govt debt Jan 2000 $31.389b Debt Dec 08 $31.627, so debt was around the same No debt was paid. Govt assets (some of questionable worth) are included to determine Net Debt.

                    If nothing was paid off and government assets used to determine net debt – then Treasury data would show a steady graph line and figures for net debt.

                    But it doesn’t. So your assertions are incorrect. Again.

                    Something was paid off, Herodotus – the data shows a drop in sovereign debt. So unless Treasury is lying and the media has swallowed the line; and only you’re telling the truth… *shrugs*

                    I’m not sure why you’re trying to re-write history unless it’s top make National look good? In which case you’ve got a tough job ahead of you.

                    It’s also worthwhile to note NZ’s credit rating; http://www.nzdmo.govt.nz/sovereigncreditratings

                    Note that out AA+ (Stable) credit ratings were reaffirmed during Labour’s tem., And note that we were downgraded during National’s current and previous term (in the 1990s). (Or is the NZ Debt Management Office wrong as well?)

                    • Herodotus

                      Don’t want to get into a cross purposes argument. I think you are saying that we NZ incorp increased our equity and assets, and I am trying to in a clumsy manner that for debt to be PAID off then debt must reduce. As debt was not reduced then it was not paid off. I cannot see anywhere on your links that display that debt was reduced. I will give you a clumsy e.g..I am 30, I have a mortgage of $100k 5 yrs later my mortgage is still $100k but I have a kiwisaver scheme worth $15k. Have I paid any debt off ?
                      I accept that we increased govt “assets” e.g. student loans as an asset of $10b
                      Mike Kiwi saver grew but much of this was a substitution from private schemes so their has been commentary that the increase in savings was marginal “A Colmar-Brunton survey has suggested about 29 per cent of contributions are new savings that would otherwise be spent while the rest would be saved regardless.” So we the tax payer has paid out all these subsidies for 29% increase, much of this cost at little or no benefit to the beneficiary or the PAYE worker.
                      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/6255732/300m-KiwiSaver-plan-adds-little-to-savings
                      Mike e govt books were as many here like to comment was nil debt, yet as the likes of student debt went de=]from $1b to $14b what is the real value even Peters & Joyce comment that there is about a 50% collection history, and this debt cost NZ $500m to service. No one comments on the cash flow and this is where the likes of Current account or balance of trade are so good as they are very difficult to manipulate until govt surplus/deficits.

                    • McFlock

                      H, am I missing something?
                      Doesn’t this say that govt debt was being paid off as a percentage of GDP? I.e. if I had a $10k credit card and ten years later still owed $10k, but had gone from earning $20kp.a. to $40kp.a. I’d still be in a much better position.
                          
                      And then two years later I’m still on $40kp.a., but now I owe $17k? I’m not sure I’d be happy about the way things are going…
                         
                       

                    • Herodotus

                      McF, I must be missing something !!!!
                      Repayment of debt to me has the action of thru repayment of some of the principle results in the level of the debt reduces.
                      Perhaps you and Frank have a different meaning of “And yes, Labour paid down debt” than I do. But the world is made up of people viewing the world from differing perspectives, and still seeing the same thing ;-)
                      And mikee re $19b of debt you have to listen very carefully as to what is being referred to. That is why I used the 2 links for the $30b debt level to support my comment.

                    • McFlock

                      You mean like the net debt? That definitely reduced quickly in the 2000s. And it’s what Frank was referring to.
                            
                       
                       

                  • mike e

                    Hero The economy grew during that time by 30% strange that.
                    The Cullen Fund Grew from 0to $20 billion dollars.
                    Kiwisaver grew from 0 to $7 billion
                    Acc grew by so much
                    Don’t know all the figures off hand but what the govt owed and what was surplus’s on the govt books when balanced was
                    Zero NZ stats dep has all the figures

                  • mike e

                    debt from what i’ve read was only 19 billion hero.
                    Michael Cullen made a deliberate policy change saying it was more important to grow the economy than to rush to Zero Debt which is a right wing fallacy.
                    Thats why Key is BSing us now

  4. Dr Terry 4

    Simply showing an academic degree does not prove that a person is necessarily Intelligent or able (though we might make an exception of Michael Cullen). Key, with a very ordinary degree, in my opinion has NOT proven even that “he can balance the books”. He substitutes craftiness for intelligence.
    O’Sullivan possibly feels that her love for Key goes unrequited. Her pathetic columns are nothing more than laughable. Arguably, she is even worse than Roughan!

    • mike e 4.1

      Dr terry Key is no doubt intelligent but blinded by neo liberal BS. Investment Bankers don’t make money out of producing things.They are nothing more than money shufflers and Dodgy ones at that.

    • Hami Shearlie 4.2

      Of course Fran loves the idea of Aussies having plants here employing locals at substantially less than they would be paid in Australia. Why? – ‘Cos Auntie Fran is NOT ONE of those locals earning a pittance!!

  5. prism 5

    Tait Communications yeh! Long time nz company hasn’t sold out to overseas and has worker participation. Find out more from link in headline above.

    • DH 5.1

      Tait just won a big contract to supply radios to Aus, for their fire service I think.

      Christchurch probably has more people knowledgeable about high frequency electronics than any other part of NZ, lot of innovation comes out of there and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that ChCh is also the home of Tait. To my mind it shows that you need local industry to create the skilled people who go on to start high-tech businesses of their own.

    • mike e 5.2

      Tait was a family company with no heirs.While it was in family hands they were able to break the Market accounting ideology of just making profit for the owners and ploughed much of the profits back into R&D.Unlike floated companies which have to continually deliver profits .

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    It doesn’t always take “investment” – companies like Apple and Google got started in a garage.

    Google started at Stanford University, an extremely wealthy, well funded private Ivy League-class school.

    Two years after the initial university research project started, a Sun Microsystems co-founder provided US$100,000 in start up funds to allow Google to become an actual company.

    The rest is history.

    So what I have to say is this: you don’t always need a huge investment to launch a high tech enterprise. But you ALWAYS need some.

    • mike e 6.1

      $ 100’000 US is what you need just to register your company in the home of the free Market.
      In NZ you can do the same for a couple of hundred dollars

  7. KhandallaMan 7

    THERE IS NO SIGN THAT VOTERS SEE LABOUR AS A SUITABLE AND READY ALTERNATIVE says John Armstrong.
    “But it has also been a very torrid six months for National. The party may have suffered only minor damage in the polls, and there is no sign that voters see Labour as a suitable and ready alternative. ……Thursday night’s speech sounded like a pitch for the centre vote, an attempt by Key to reassert National’s dominance in that crucial swing voter territory.”

    National and Key has presented the Labour frontbench so many  easy targets, and with the exception of Cuniffe and a few more,  Shearer and his team have not inflicted any serious Labour led injury on this dangerous government.
    Time has run out. What is Shearer’s strategy? I don’t care: it is not working.  Time has run out. 

    • Hami Shearlie 7.1

      +1

    • Ad 7.2

      What I also struggle with is the lack of secondary platforms with which to launch opposition.

      The Ports of Auckland one, was (eventually for Shearer) custom built for Opposition. As were many others. But they have not sparked anything beyond that. Without a charismatic central leader or a central story to link disparate points of opposition together, they all just fizzle out.

      I think this site really underestimates how good Key is, and how much better a Labour leader needs to be if power is to be taken away from Key. So far nothing in the top three of Labour has even scratched him or English.

      • AnnaLiviaPlurabella 7.2.1

        +1. There is a lazy hoping that the Natz will just become unpopular, the media will turn on them and that Labour Green will inherit the earth. Sheer efffffing laziness and gutlessness. I despair at the void in clear leadership and fight been shown on the left. The membership and activists need to put a rocket up their MPs.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    “I’m with Labour on this – being a low wage drudge country is nothing to aspire to or be proud of. Remember when we wanted to close the gap with Australia, instead of going backwards?”

    Importing jobs from Australia will help close the gap. Its like osmosis. When the cost of NZ wages plus the cost of servicing the distance = the cost of wages in Australia, then the flow of jobs from Australia to NZ will stop. Until then, the increased demand for jobs due to Australian companies moving here will serve to drive up wages in NZ.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      In other words, beggar thy neighbour.

    • Georgecom 8.2

      Sorry mate, the bold claim was ‘closing the wage gap’. Now it is ‘exploiting the wage gap’.

      Are you now admitting that the vague ‘closing the wage gap’ statement/intention from Key and English has now been dropped? Thank you. Unfortunately we are not seeing the same honesty from Key, English and O’Sullivan.

    • TS – National has cocked up on practically every issue confronting it;

      1. Poor economic growth – and that’s despite two tax cuts, the RWC, Christchurch re-build (such as it is)…

      2. Asset Sales – the public hated it before. The public hate it now. Aside from losing public ownership and profits; if this is National’s ONLY plan for economic growth – then it has NO plan. Shuffling shares around does not create economic growth nor jobs. It may even fuel speculative borrowing.

      3. Welfare. When people confront National with poor economic gowth – Key blames the GFC. When National looks at welfare and beneficiaries – they blame the unemployed for a doubling of joblessness in this country. This is victim-blaming taken to dizzying new heights (or depths).

      4. Sky City/Convention Centre – not only is Key trying to sell legislation in return for a convention centre, but Dear Leader has been telling us porkies,

      * there will not be 1,800 new jobs out of this. Estimates put the number around 300-400.

      * this IS a cost to tax-payers – around $2 million (at least).

      Plus likely increases in problem gambling.

      Alongside asset sales – is this ALL that Dear Leader has to offer this country?!?!

      5. TVNZ7 – the public wanted it, National wouldn’t have a bar of it. Evidently, whilst Key and his cronies can waste $100-$200 million on “consultants” to sell our state assets – they couldn’t stump up with a measely $16 million for TVNZ7.

      And yet, it was the cheapest public broadcaster on the planet.

      Now we’re the only OECD nation (except Mexico) without a public, non-commercial, broadcaster.

      6. Education. One stuff up after another. The Nats haven’t got a clue what they’re doing here. And they haven’t been very honest with us either.

      7. ETS – another broken promise from John Key, as well as SUBSIDISING farmers. I thought subsidies for business were a no-no under free market ideology?

      8. Tax cuts for the rich… big increases in Family Courts charges for the poor and Middle Classes. Noice.

      9. More on tax cuts; National’s 2008 Tax document makes this derisable claim,

      “ This makes it absolutely clear that to fund National’s tax package there is no requirement for additional borrowing and there is no requirement to cut public services. “

      http://www.national.org.nz/files/2008/ECONOMY/Tax_Policy_Paper.pdf

      10. Alcohol reforms – Key’s double standards on using pricing mechanisms on tobacco and alcohol is breath-taking. The man deserves a Diploma for Doublethink.

      11. National’s cost-cutting on MAF biosecurity is one of their most irresponsible, lunatic policies yet seen. Basically, your National Party heroes have put at grave risk New Zealand’s multi-billion agricultural sector, for the sake of saving a few million bucks?!

      Does this make sense to you, TS??? ‘Cos it doesn’t to me. Nor to a lot of other worried farmers and growers.

      12. And the most disgusting is how John Key used breast cancer sufferers in 2008 to push his election campaign… but doesn’t give a sh*t about five fellow New Zealanders who face a death sentence because of their disease (Pompe Disease).

      For more detail, see: http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/national-what-else-can-possibly-go-wrong/

      TS, I cannot begin to fathom why people like you see National as rational, responsible, and adept at handing economic and social issues. A most basic glance at their track record shows Key, English, Ryall, et al, to be the most incompetant political managers in living memory.

      They have not achieved ONE SINGLE BENCHMARK since 2008. Not one.

      The National Party you support must be from a Parallel Universe. Because our lot here are hopeless. They make North Korea look like clever buggers.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.3.1

        A most basic glance at their track record shows Key, English, Ryall, et al, to be the most incompetant political managers in living memory.

        Nope, it shows them to be very good political managers and that, once you take into account the facts, that they’re not working for the benefit of NZ.

    • Until they bugger off somewhere else again, chasing cheap labour, in other other benighted nation…

      Charming.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    If we want to create “high-paid brainy jobs” in NZ we have to do it for ourselves.

    I really do wish more people would realise this. It doesn’t take foreign investment to develop our economy, just us investing in ourselves. The fact is that foreign investment results in us being worse off as a) profits are taken out of the country making us poorer and b) when we do produce a good high tech start up a lot of the time when it gets bought out by foreign investment it also gets removed to the new owners home location so we miss out on both the profits and the development.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      It would help if we had banks and financiers as willing to loan to startups and small businesses, as for people to speculate on real estate.

      • prism 9.1.1

        CV
        We could start off crowd financing through the internet for small business projects. And more People’s Kiwi Only Investment funds with reasonable interest rates to allow for higher risk.

  10. Old Tony 10

    More weeping and wailing! You guys make such hard work of life.

    Its not hard at all to be optimistic about the future of the economy. By any standards NZ is a current economic success. It’s just that our own view of ourselves is tainted by the even greater success of Australia and the fact that we have a common labour market which causes some difficulties.

    Ask your friends and relatives in Greece, UK, Italy, France and so on where they would rather be right now?

    But of course you can’t do that because you need to maintain the rage and set up a straw man of economic failure in order to justify the need for a change to the Left.

    All rather pathetic and demonstrating the negativity in the NZ psyche that more than anything else has acted as a brake on our economic endeavours.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      The negativity comes from National selling the country off, from claiming that dropping worker incomes is good for workers, and for asserting that black is white and white is black.

      Ask your friends and relatives in Greece, UK, Italy, France and so on where they would rather be right now?

      That’s what happens when you let banks and the elite 0.1% rule your country.

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      By any standards NZ is a current economic success.

      Remove the $300M borrowing and injecting into the economy that English is doing a week, and see how much of a “success” NZ looks like.

    • gnomic 10.3

      Tell me you’re having a laugh, yeah? Otherwise consider a brain transplant, your grey matter needs help.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.4

      The only thing acting as a break on the NZ economy is capitalism in general. The profit motive causes the capitalists to a) reduce wages b) use up all the resources and c) hoard whatever cash is actually available.

      BTW, I hear more about what we can’t do coming out of National supporters and RWNJs in general. All they seem to want us to be is a bunch of ignorant farmers.

  11. xtasy 11

    Soon the only difference between Mexico and NZ will be, that NZers are still able to fly or sail out across the (Tasman Sea) border and enter the “richer” neighbouring country legally, while many Mexicans have to dig holes and crawl through underneath the fences, to enter their “richer” neighbour’s territory.

    But wait, if things will turn out like Key, English, Grosser and co are dreaming of, then one day Australia will also eventually re-enforce its eastern shorelines, to stop “boat people” from NZ entering in droves.

    What a “brighter future” for Aotearoa NZ?

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Soon the only difference between Mexico and NZ will be, that NZers are still able to fly or sail out across the (Tasman Sea) border and enter the “richer” neighbouring country legally

      The atmosphere over there will turn much less friendly for NZers if their economic downturn steepens, or if some high profile employment losses to NZ gets reported in their news media.

  12. newsense 12

    The All Blacks announced today that due to a lack of stadiums and parks to play in they were happy to be a mostly youth oriented semi-professional feeder team for the Australian rugby team.

    John Key and John O’Neil announced the decision together. Key laughed and joked that it gave NZers excellent opportunities to show their skills to the world.

  13. Dividends, or payments made by a company to its stock holders, are one of the ways you can make money in stocks. Most stocks that offer high dividend rates are large, established companies with a steady cash flow. By investing in good quality stocks that also offer high dividend yields, you can potentially make extra money from your investments.

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  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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