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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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    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
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  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
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