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Doing what we’re best at

Written By: - Date published: 2:37 pm, September 24th, 2013 - 53 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, Economy, exports, Steven Joyce - Tags: ,

One of the oddities of looking at our export statistics in NZ is that one of the largest export sectors simply doesn’t show up. It is one that virtually didn’t exist 20 years ago when I started working in it. The amount of  hi-tech exports in 1993 was more of a mirage than any kind of reality. That isn’t the case these days.

What our people are really best at is producing goods and services for vertical micro markets sold worldwide, and in a hell of a lot of those markets. What our land is good at is producing grass, but we have now exploited that to the point that all our rivers and aquifers are drying up.

It is pleasant that the Labour caucus, or at least David Cunliffe appears to have recognized that. He appointed himself to the position of the ICT, which is at the crucial core of many of the hi-tech export companies as part of their products. For instance Fisher and Paykel’s core selling point to other countries isn’t their hardware. It is in their their intelligent software embedded in the processors that control the hardware.

For a comparison consider the dairy industry’s inexorable rise mostly in selling milk powders. These stats are a bit old, but should give the idea about where dairy is growing and how fast it is growing.

Export value ($NZm)
Product YE June 2003 YE June 2009
Milk Powders 2,602 4,950
Butter 944 1,693
 Cheese 1,052 1,612
Casein 999 1,055
Total all dairy 5,807 10,402
(Source: Statistics New Zealand)

And the picture of where dairy is growing hasn’t changed much since then. The number of different products that they produce is very limited.

That causes vulnerabilities for the whole country as a recent milk contamination food scare over milk powder demonstrated.

The 2012 total for all dairy was just over $13 billion largely from increases in milk powder. If you look at the stats departments overview of exports. It looks like this.

Exports – top 20 commodities

Commodity NZ$ millions Year end
Milk powder, butter, and cheese 12,428 31-Dec-2012
Meat and edible offal 5,167 31-Dec-2012
Logs, wood and wood articles  3,160 31-Dec-2012
Crude oil 1,790 31-Dec-2012
Mechanical machinery and equipment 1,716 31-Dec-2012
Fruit 1,563 31-Dec-2012
Fish, crustaceans and molluscs 1,382 31-Dec-2012
Wine 1,218 31-Dec-2012
Electrical machinery and equipment 1,119 31-Dec-2012
Aluminium and aluminium articles 1,042 31-Dec-2012
Casein and caseinates 890 31-Dec-2012
Iron and steel and articles 874 31-Dec-2012
Preparations of cereals, flour and starch 917 31-Dec-2012
Precious metals, jewellery and coins 807 31-Dec-2012
Miscellaneous edible preparations 747 31-Dec-2012
Optical, medical, and measuring equipment 721 31-Dec-2012
Wool 717 31-Dec-2012
Wood pulp and waste paper 589 31-Dec-2012
Raw hides, skins, and leather 567 31-Dec-2012
Textiles and textile articles 560 31-Dec-2012

Source: Statistics New Zealand

Which is pretty much what this current government tries to sell us as being to the rest of the world.

What we do the best is being an exporter of lightly processed raw materials to the rest of the world, with a light leavening of mechanical and electrical machinery. But that really isn’t the case. That is an artifact of the stats department’s rather antiquated classification system that appears to be designed for the 19th century.

Consider the revenues for our top tech companies from the TIN100 report in 2012. This restricts itself to companies that

▶ Originate in New Zealand

▶ Retain a meaningful presence here in New Zealand

▶ Operate in the high-tech manufacturing, ICT or biotechnology sectors (excluding food technology and health supplements)

▶ Have developed their own technology-based intellectual property

▶ Generate at least 10% of their revenues offshore

While these are revenues and is not just exports, this country will only make up a fraction of the revenues of these companies. With just a population of 4.4 million that is inevitable. Almost every hi-tech company gets the majority of their revenue from exports to larger markets.

The total for 2012 was revenues of about $7.28 billion of which $5.18 billion was from exports, and this was just the top 100 or even 200 companies.

The company that I’m currently working for isn’t in there. Indeed none of the firms that I’ve worked for in the last decade have been in there. But even if you only look at the top 100, you’ll find that they have a growth rather that is usually considerably faster than dairy or any other primary production. They also employ more people at higher wages than any other sector than any extractive industry like farming or mining.

So why since National got into government have they cut virtually any incentives for startups to grow? Putting minimal effort into helping tech firms offshore has paid off massively since Helen Clark’s government started it soon after coming to power in 1999. But National cut everything, leaving behind some high sounding phrases, no real incentives for smaller startup companies, and not much significiant support offshore as McCully trashed our existing systems.

Sure Steven Joyce ambles along to tech conferences and big notes with meaningless phrases, but he hasn’t provided any of the tools that government can provide for small companies trying to make that expensive and scary step to find markets offshore. As head of MOBIE, about the only economic development he seems to want to foster is extracting money from land and sea – unsustainably. So why is that?

Well in my view National are *the* party of lazy parasitical rentiers rather than producers. They lease and sell land for farming and mining because that way you have to do less work.

Rather than making an effort to foster lots of smaller firms and getting them to become bigger firms, they like to wave the big notes around that are easier to do. So we get the Fonterra welfare trade agreement that sells out local tech exporters  of intellectual property –  merely so Fonterra gets easier access to a few markets.

With the clear direction of David Cunliffe’s self-appointment in the heart of the tech sector, it looks like Labour have again chosen  to foster high wage employment over National rentiers. Another clear political difference for the election in the area of doing what we’re good at….

53 comments on “Doing what we’re best at”

  1. Chooky 1

    +100%……Very thought provoking analysis and post ….thanks!….

    • lprent 1.1

      Not particularly well researched. Mostly got done late at night a few weeks ago and I haven’t had time to dig into a better set of statistics. The best source of stats on the state of the tech industry is from TIN, and it is a bit expensive for me to pay for for a single post.

  2. Chooky 2

    …add to this we are also an exporter of images….place ,space, ecology and landscapes….which although don’t directly earn us a dollar ….they do entice in the tourist dollar

    ….if we trash our land environment and rivers and lakes by overdoing dairying and mining … in the long term we trash our image and our tourist economy ( which is usually overlooked and not costed into our economy…particularly as it comes into conflict with and is weighted up against dairying….which is a very insecure monoply on the world stage in itself)

    ….the tech sector and intellectual property, does not trash the environment…..and is the way to go imo

    • lprent 2.1

      ..tech sector and intellectual property, does not trash the environment..

      Oh it can. Anyone who has seen a tech hardware dump of old computer monitors and cases is quite aware of it. However there is enough value in the commodities that cleanup of both the production materials and the end of life hardware is a relatively small part of the purchase price. Increasingly cleanup is factored into cost of production/import.

      And it is a lot easier to fix than degradation and downstream costs of an aquifer which are almost impossible to repair once they have been destroyed as it happening in the canterbury plains and the Waikato at present. I remember taking aquifer samples for geochemistry labs out towards Cambridge back in the early 80′s and being astonished at the level of contaminants showing up in the X Ray Fluorescence analysis then. Apparently it has been getting steadily worse ever since then to the point that there is quite a discernible polluted outwash effect.

  3. Rob 3

    I think you have under estimated F&P’s core capability of production engineering alongside control systems. Also exports in our wine production from natural advantages in location and wine making ability. Another growth earner is rugby with companies building off shore and local academies for players and coaching systems.

    • just saying 3.1

      As far as I know, none of our large wineries are NZ owned.

    • lprent 3.2

      Rugby is a bit too much of a short term thing as expertise eventually evens out because there are only so many things that can make kiwis distinctive. Furthermore the people with expertise earning the revenue (and their taxes) are usually exported offshore. It also has a relatively small market size worldwide which will probably forever limit its size – probably the total “export” revenue annually would be mere 10′s of millions. We’ve been “exporting” from that sector as long as I’ve been alive and it’s growth is pitiful.

      Wine has been steadily growing for the last 30 years and we do have some distinct advantages in particular types of wines. But its export growth is simply not that fast and the wages paid just aren’t that high. Up to $1.2 billion for the whole industry.

      That was why I was showing the figures of dairy against hi-tech to give a sense of scale.

  4. bad12 4

    i don’t know a hell of a lot about the intricacies of the ‘Tech World’, making the PC work is where it starts and stops for me,

    What interests me tho is why, when there is obviously the Tech intelligence present in this country are the IT needs of our Government and all it’s departments being provided by off-shore companies,

    My view is that the next Government need either build a government owned IT company able to undertake such work or encourage the formation of a ‘silicone valley’ type campus where the whole does not necessarily all have to be working on the same contracts at the same time but the capability would be present so that an Education type payroll system might call upon all parts of such a campus to contribute,

    Obviously there would then be the capability in the one place to enable work from off-shore to be imported/exported either by such a campus in it’s parts or the campus as a whole should foreign contracts require such…

    • lprent 4.1

      It is the same issue as our exports in reverse. We have vast experience in a range of certain areas and export to micro-markets world wide. When they are world wide even a niche market is big enough to get really good at something and to see off most competitors by simply being better.

      To have the required levels of skill and accumulated experience for structuring a government system, you need to have done a lot of different government systems. Otherwise you tend to be a bit of an amatuer learning at someone elses expense. You’ll find that the structural stuff is done by specialists who do this everywhere in the world. You’ll tend to find that most kiwi companies don’t have the experience to do much more than work safely around the edges of the big-iron systems.

      That being said. Datacomm and a few other kiwi companies are starting to get pretty good at their areas of expertise. But they’re gaining a awful lot of the that expertise offshore. In a large part I suspect that is where they want to continue gaining it as well. Basically you get competitive when you work on a world stage. You don’t when you’re too cloistered inside your own small country.

      The nice thing about communications tech in these days is that we can do a hell of a lot outside the country without having to have a large local base. Which is a damn good thing considering that we have a really really small local market. In the last 15 years no company I have worked for has ever had more than 10% of their revenue from the local market.

    • NaN 4.2

      Why do we have to physically clump together?
      Why can’t we teleclump?

      Why do we have traffic jams as thousands of office workers physically commute to sit in cubicles.

      Why can’t office workers live in some of the best environments in the world with those majestic vista’s, enjoy the amazing landscapes… and work closely with others as required in teams online?

      Work nationally/globally, live locally at the beaches, lakes and mountains of NZ!

      We should be developing and applying such approaches throughout our business starting with government departments.

      We should be vigorously applying the MOOC model/ideas to the office.

  5. davejac 5

    If this is all part of a big push by DC into high tech sectors of the economy he’s shot himself in the foot by giving Innovation, Research, and Development to an unranked caucus member (Note, I think Megan Woods is a good choice for the position though)

    • lprent 5.1

      It is called mentoring. The only way to get experience in parliament is to work on it, so you usually find newbie MP’s like Woods paired up as a associate or in a coupled portfolio with a more senior and experienced politician. Happens in my industry all of the time as well for the same reason. I know very little about Woods, but her CV shows her to be bright enough to work that portfolio. The question is if she can push it to the public.

      But if you want to look at it superficially, then do so…

      • davejac 5.1.1

        She had a good stint at Crop and Food/Plant and Food- a lot of the people I know from science circles in Christchurch speak very highly about her.

        I’m not sure how I’m being superficial here- at the top of the article you talk about how David Cunliffe taking the ICT shows how important he thinks the portfolio is, I’d have liked to see them do the same thing with R&D, which I’d argue is more important to more of the companies in the top 10 than the software is.

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          The bottleneck hasn’t been in the institutional R&D, there are more ideas around than there is marketing capital to develop them.

          The problem for several years is how to realise a profit out of the existing ideas by selling the products from them offshore. The biggest hassle is the marketing development in overseas markets. The R&D development costs are relatively small by comparison. At present the commercial time from investment to reinvestment (ie to self-funding a hi-tech startup cycle) is mostly limited by the lack of capital requiring a very slow creation of overseas beachheads or even setting up production supply chains..

          If you’re talking about pure R&D, then the Marsden fund and the like are on a shortish but not inconsiderable budget. Needs to be done, but really a lot easier than trying to kickstart a startup.

          • Harriet 5.1.1.1.1

            “…..The bottleneck hasn’t been in the institutional R&D, there are more ideas around than there is marketing capital to develop them….”

            LOL.

            ‘Rich pricks’ all left NZ have they? All foreign investment stopped coming has it?

            Or have the ‘rich pricks’ decided to abandon wealth altogether – together?

          • davejac 5.1.1.1.2

            Really? Because those ideas aren’t coming through in patents. Maybe that’s got something to do with the lack of venture capital telling them to patent it or maybe patent numbers are a bad measure of it, but still.

            Anyway, this is all based on a day’s speculation on the line up, with no policy or indication on what anyone is planning to do. David Shearer had Research, Innovation, and Development when he was leader and did exactly one fifth of fuck all, so wait and see.

            • lprent 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Why patent software? To do so you have to release your software into the public domain and techniques. It is more effective to simply not release the code. Then people have to build it from scratch, while we do more code. Software really only has a few years before the hardware changes for updates anyway.

              If you want to see nz hardware patents, then look in US or european registries…

  6. Anton 6

    I’ve always admired programmers and network engineers for their amazing imaginative capacity: the vast majority of what the do is entirely invisible, but it doesn’t stop their work from being elegant. What we see here is the extension of that.

    There have been very, very, few politicians I’ve met that have a grasp on the power and implications of ICT. One of the reasons I voted for Cunliffe is that he is reputed to be one. A few Greens I’ve interviewed over the years get it too. No Tory has ever said anything that make me think they have a clue, apart from DPF. In that case I assume its that odd space where the progressive Liberal meets the nut-job libertarian going the other way, but I’ve only heard him speak at Nethui, so I can’t assume to know his real agenda. I worked for the Conservative Party (it wasn’t my idea, I assure you) and they really didn’t naturally grok ICT, where the left (including the UK Labour Party, if the Blairites could be called ‘left’) were swimming in it right from the start of commercial internet provision.

    I suppose the point is that if you want people to communicate, if you want a more democratic model, the advantages of ICT are obvious. The uses of it as a panopticon only come later, for the use of capital and repression, and then ICT makes sense to the right.

  7. Ad 7

    Lyn great post. Sounds like you’ve been reading Get Off The Grass.
    I hope you are right; yours is the grand game of changing the entire economy of the country.

    So let me trot out what appears to be the default export development programme currently in place if I squinted my eyes and sang You Are My Sunshine over and over:

    Gradually increase the productivity per hectare in New Zealand devoted to exporting

    This requires:
    - Increrase in debt per hectare (rather than acquiring more acres for mere land area production)
    - Increase in mineral inputs per hectare (requiring higher water corridor management)
    - Increase in water useage per hectare (hence far higher storage requirements)
    - Increase in machinery and technology per hectare (hence growth of Gallaghers listed above)

    - Decrease in family-owned farms towards multiple and sometimes listed agribusiness
    - Decrease in low-capital sectors such as coarse wool and other extensive pastoral production
    - Decrease in low value-added industries eg logs, whole fruit, live cattle exports

    I think this is where National is heading us, and I think it’s working at least for the dairy and new-dairy regions. Nowhere near fast enough, and with plenty of stumbling and damage. But working.

    I sincerely want our Fonterras to turn into our Nokias. But those Fishers and Paykels emerged from an age in which industry development was not something to be afraid of. One can only imagine for example what kind of company Telecom would be now if it was still under NZPost, with Kiwibank. There are so many alternative trajectories that have been lost that I think there is little will to reinvent it.

    I’m conservative enough to believe the continued evolution of protein production and broadly the food and beverage sector will be the primary basis of our export sector for many decades. We will gradually grow the capitalisation of our land, as we are now. SHould we not simply seek to accelerate that rather than strike out afresh?

    • Ad 7.1

      There’s also a problem with timing.

      Following this impending loss to Oracle at the America’s Cup, there’s going to be a backlash against governments of any stripe backing high techology ventures with high global risk and stuff all high salary jobs in return.

      Granted Team New Zealand are a sports team – hence a marketing platform rather than an exporting manufacturer. But there will be real blowback on this degree degree of central government intervention in high tech sectors rather than “sticking to our knitting” .

      Clearly that’s a mere momentary sentiment, but it will have us all dusting off our copies of “Theory K” and other managerial paroxysms of (ewk) kiwi ingenuity for slapping down those who reach high into the value-added world.

      • lprent 7.1.1

        That has only happened about (ummm) 6 or seven times in NZ since I started working tech back in 1991. Please adjust your timescale.

        It has never stopped anything apart from a few PR people. I can’t tell you how many times this “fashion” idea has come up. Most tech firms run for 20+ years slowly winding up their markets and revenue – read the potted company histories at the TIN site. They really don’t care about such transient distractions.

        What does slow things down is lack of capital, R&D tax costs, and the varying support given by MFAT to startups making their first penetrations offshore. That is where most of them fail. Right now we’re seeing the startups from the mid-00′s growing and continuing to grow. The problem is that there are few startups since 2009.

        • Ad 7.1.1.1

          “Theory K” came out pretty close after the Michael Fay successful challenge.
          Do you remember them and their staff waving from their Fay Richwhite Tower on Queen Street as the parade came down the street?

    • Huginn 7.2

      ‘SHould we not simply seek to accelerate that rather than strike out afresh?’

      No, we should not.
      There’s no connection in NZ between being able to produce a lot of milk and being able to make profitable use of that milk.

      Dairying will become more and more capital intensive, farms will go out of family ownership and into corporate control. Many of these corporations will be based offshore where profits will be expatriated.
      Higher capitalisation will lead to efficiency gains, eg through mechanisation. These farms will employ proportionately fewer people (although those that are employed are likely to generate higher labour productivity figures).
      The corporations that will end up owning and controlling dairy production will lobby effectively to reduce taxes and environmental protection.

      We will be to milk, what Guatemala is to bananas.

      It would be nice to think that we can capture innovation to protein and food & beverage but the fact that enterprises like Fonterra have not been able to do this by now suggests that they are systematically unable to do this. Worse still, the recent contamination scare has revealed how weak our scientific/technological infrastructure is in this.

    • lprent 7.3

      I’m conservative enough to believe the continued evolution of protein production and broadly the food and beverage sector will be the primary basis of our export sector for many decades. We will gradually grow the capitalisation of our land, as we are now. SHould we not simply seek to accelerate that rather than strike out afresh?

      But we’re already seeing diminishing returns all the way through the farming sector because of the tragedy of the commons issues – especially in water. Most of the area where it is feasible to put in dairy farms they now are and the environment is being degraded in many of the more marginal areas.

      The other problem is that NZ isn’t unique in having the right environment for producing protein. Like sheep meat, wool, beef, leather, flax, lumber, gold and all of the previous extractive industries that NZ has had before – our competitive advantages will pass within decades to other places where economies of scale will operate more effectively. You don’t have to look far around the world to see where vast acres are currently being turned into dairy to satisfy the demand.

      And it is notable that Fonterra ain’t exactly the most innovative company in the world. Look at the sales figures up above and consider how much of that has come from simply increasing production rather than adding value. We still export almost all of our milk powder as bulk to industrial food plants offshore.

      Furthermore you forgot that the number of people being employed in agriculture is actually diminishing as the automation and larger farms are being created. It does bugger all for the vast majority of people as a direct or indirect income earner. You only have to look at the recent population drops in Southland rural as the mixed farms have given way to dairying.

      And in the medium term over the next few decades as the worlds population growth slows and starts to fall world demand for protein will follow the same process.

      Basically depending on these kinds of bulk extractive industries is a dangerous and risky thing to make a population to depend on, especially in the coming decades..

      • Ad 7.3.1

        You will note how hard I had to defend the current pastoral exporting direction. Fonterra is an astonishing missed opportunity that is not living up to its legislated purpose to add value to New Zealand’s milk.

        I would like to see you do more posts on economic development, please.

        How do you argue against the tyranny of the cash burn that tech companies need, that the slower-growth and lower tech agricultural companies don’t appear to have?

        This broad area needs a clear weekend for us all to sharpen our pencils and go at it. Please.
        And ideally before Labour Conference so we can get our policy thoughts in order:

        Looks like we will have a government to influence.

  8. xtasy 8

    My personal observation is that New Zealand must have one of the highest rates per population of $2 and similar discount shops and markets, of tiny “restaurants”, cafes, lunch-bars, cheap gift shops and the likes, which sadly is about the only thing that many “entrepreneurial” migrants, and naturally also locals, see as a prospective kind of “business” to start off here.

    High tech, specialised service and product retailers and wholesalers are there in niche areas, but most business and export volume is in low value added primary products, in raw commodities and the likes, as the above tables seem to imply.

    So yes, it is farming (especially dairying), horticulture, viticulture products, some forestry, fishing and oil, coal and the likes that largely go into exports, which means New Zealand is a somewhat underdeveloped country. Tourism and education of foreign students must be added, of course. Even with milk so much more higher quality products could be made, besides of blocks of butter, basic cheeses and baby formula. Do also not forget the huge “investment” ON CREDIT that is put into real estate (and speculation), and it is so clear where major structural flaws exist.

    Other countries that used to have similar economic structures, like Korea and Taiwan, even Finland, may not be the ideal examples to look at what could be done and changed, but they show that much much more can be done with not so large populations.

    Surely the National led government will not bring the needed change, as they do not even comment on criticism from the Prime Minister’s Science Advisor Peter Gluckman, on lack of application of science here and there.

    I am sure a Labour and Cunliffe led government can do better than what is happening, but that should not really be all that hard, with some bright minds setting the agenda and pace for implementing it. Investment will also be needed, and unless taking perhaps high risks, there will continue to be a high dependence on foreign investment, which should be more carefully chosen.

    People need to see the potential, but must first vote for the right alternative in late 2014.

  9. srylands 9

    How is this new?

    This thread started with a false premise. There is a limit to what a government can (or should do) to chnage an economy. The last Government launched its Economic Transformation programme (led by Jim Anderton). It had mixed results. Some successes and some abject failures. Or have you all forgotten about ET?

    But back to the real world – R&D spending is higher than ever under this government. It is mostly being driven out of services and manufacturing.

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/businesses/research_and_development/research-development-in-nz-2012.aspx

    You don’t need to get rid of the cows. Most New Zealanders are not employed in agriculture.

    There is no magic government wand to wave to deliver higher wages. You need skills and higher productivity. You also need investment, lots of it. That is the problem with the Greens. Their dream of the “green economy” is just that. They would lead us to a socialist nirvana of people living in villages growing organic crops.

    • Murray Olsen 9.1

      We do need to get rid of a lot of the cows. What we’re exporting is our clean water, our aquifers, and our wetlands. The eagerness with which the Tories embrace fracking means that very soon there’ll be nothing left. That’s your agrocapitalist nirvana.

      As for the Greens, you know about as much about their socialist nirvana as you do about your own home address.

    • McFlock 9.2

      Personally I think that once again it is you who is missing the point: what government policy exists is based around obsolete categorisations of the NZ export economy. However:

      There is no magic government wand to wave to deliver higher wages. You need skills and higher productivity. You also need investment, lots of it.

      Assuming that “higher wages” were the main objective for a change in the economy (rather than redistribution of wealth or lowering of prices or an increase in employment):

      skills are provided by education (from apprenticeships to phds – all of which progressed tepidly under lab5 and are less accessible or even discontinued under the tories),

      productivity is a function of “ability to perform task” (aka “technical equipment and training”) “management” (aka recruitment, training and monitoring/mentoring of staff”) and “incentive” (aka “management style and remuneration”),

      and investment can be diverted from gambling on derivatives into industry development via the handy mechanism of taxation.

      Problem sorted, without having to “cow-tow” to some of our largest and most persistent polluters.

      • Harriet 9.2.1

        “…..Assuming that “higher wages” were the main objective for a change in the economy …..education…..technical equipment and training………………….and investment can be diverted from gambling on derivatives into industry development via the handy mechanism of taxation….”

        So some technical skills are far superior then to others – where the aim is to increase incomes for individuals? – Which ones then – do you have a list?

        I trade for a living and all mechanisms and strategies used to create personal income are certainly not ‘gambles’. Yes – some people do enter the market under educated, and yes, some also do gamble in the markets, but that in itself is no reason to discredit ‘technical skills’ in the markets – or the market itself.

        I trained as a chef in NZ, hated the fact that ‘well trained staff’ were worth about 30% more than those who were untrained [minimum wage] and so, I left NZ. I was a chef in Aus for a further decade, learnt tehnical analysis, saved some capital, and entered the markets as a private trader. Someone else is now a chef in BOTH countries, learning skills, and earning an income.

        I now pay INCREASING income tax where some goes to a chef [aus wff].

        So much for the ‘relevance’ that my technical skills in wider society play a lessor role than the ‘relevance’ that trade skills are better!

        How do you suppose the skills of a chef will be ‘upgraded’ so as to provide ‘higher wages’ – more training; again?

        • McFlock 9.2.1.1

          Yep. they’re gambles.

          It’s the “risk” bit of the “risk:reward” equation. Ref:GFC.

          And what do you actually produce? Can you point to anything that would not have been created without your input? You could as a chef. You’re making good coin – nice for you.

          But depending on what you trade and how deeply you are immersed in the bullshit market, you might well contribute absolutely nothing to society. The cliche of the “deal maker” adding value by enabling basic transactions to take place efficiently loses relevance when talking about financial traders: all they do is place bets on what they think other people will bet on tomorrow. the returns to society of such gambling have diminished well and truly.

    • lprent 9.3

      ET worked (you myopic moron) – where do you think all of these hi-tech firms managed to jump into the world markets from?

      Your problem appears to be is that you have a problem with needing short-term immediate pleasures rather than having the patience required for real world economics. It takes at least a decade and often two to create new sectors in any economy. But I suspect that you’re one of those guys with no stamina and a tendency to shoot off too early…

      R&D spending isn’t particularly the issue and most of what this particular government is providing is being squandered on stuff that doesn’t provide much export returns because it is in local businesses and old industries doing “R&D” to import technology. What is of more use is assistance in the initial marketing runs into beachhead markets. That has always been the difficult bit.

      There is no “magic wand” – only the fools like yourself expect that or even talk about it. It takes a great deal of persistence to start up a new export company and make it profitable. The advantage is that they really don’t cause the country the kinds of fiscal misfortune that we have whenever a drought comes along or a financial crisis or commodity price falls. They’re usually providing a core need rather than a commodity.

      I think I pointed out that cows are only growing via production of simple milk-powder. To do that they have just about used most of the land in the country than can be made into dairy.

  10. tricledrown 10

    Rob the wine industry is primary
    Productin.
    Rugby primal production.
    Technological advanced countries got their by pumping huge amounts into R&D .
    National are a laissez faire govt?
    No they put money into pet projects that bring very little in most cases negative return.
    National have decimated research and development since they have been in power.
    Cutting funding only to find out that it was a bad mistake returning funding in adhoc fashion.
    So our best scientists are snapped up by overseas govts even third world govts that have more foresight than Nationals bimbo bean counters!
    Example one of many the worlds foremost wool researchers were
    made redundent after making huge breakthroughs it wool fireproof clothing ,loomless weaving,shrink proofing wool wash and wear etc!
    The miserly budget was cut when more needed to be spent especially on marketing!
    Nactionals excuse was that their wasn’t any money so we will cancel the whole idea.
    South Africa picked up our world class scientists and their knowledge for next to nothing.
    Natenomics= vote buying over economic sense.
    SCF Riotinto etc get more funding !

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Rob the wine industry is primary
      Productin.

      Well, you could say that exporting grapes or grape juice is primary production.

      However, crafting wines which sell for $50/L and beat the product of specialist artisans in France and from around the world – that’s a knowledge industry.

      • lprent 10.1.1

        Yep, and it’d be great if the dairy industry could get off their acre and figure out how to do the value add thing as well. So far their efforts for the last 30 years have been pretty pathetic. I’m pretty sure that the real value they get returned per KG of product is diminishing over that period compared to the costs of producing it..The only reason that dairy farmers aren’t broke is because they’ve increased the size of the production per person.

        • Saarbo 10.1.1.1

          Interesting, it wouldn’t be surprising if a whole category of exports were not being recognised. Your list of large organisation definitely suggests that a big group of exports are being missed.

          It is critical that we diversify away from Dairy, not only because of the huge impact it is having on our beautiful environment but also because as we discovered in 2008 and again in 2012, the Dairy export market is bloody volatile. The current dairy price increase (Fonterra paying a record $8.62 2013/14 season) is in part being caused by the north island drought earlier this year, if this is the case, then a very small drop in volume in the NZ market has caused quite a big movement in the international Dairy price. As you point out, many countries around the world are ramping up dairy produce including USA, refer this article http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/9090751/NZ-dairying-warned-of-US-threat

          It wont take a very big imbalance in supply over demand in the export dairy market for the dairy price to collapse, and it seems that with both North and South America working hard to get into the dairy export market, we could see the dairy price cycle head south within the next 2 to 3 years. Today Fonterra announced a 2013/14 payout of $8.62, which means that the international dairy price is incredibly attractive for other nations to chase. This is scary for NZ I reckon.

  11. tricledrown 11

    Ad you are right we have built nearly all the AC72 boats because our country has the leading edge technology in this type of boat building to ditch funding because we have lost
    would be an absolute travesty.
    Nactional have said they will not help fund another Campaign if; we loose more shortsightedness from myopic bean brained brained counters!

  12. ghostwhowalksnz 12

    Its stunning that ‘optical and medical’ category is greater than Wool !

    • Murray Olsen 12.1

      It’s also something that gives me a small flicker of hope, ghost. There is a hard limit to the amount of wool we can grow, which has been pushed downwards by the turn to diary, and is imposed by the amount of suitable land available. While there will be limits to the amount of optical and medical technology that can be sold, they’ll be more to do with markets than production.

  13. davejac 13

    If you can find a good niche you can make a fortune- have a look at how Buckley Systems have cornered the market on electromagnets for semiconductor manufacture.

  14. Sable 14

    Interesting article but I think it misses the point. National “don’t care” about this country, they care about themselves and their supporters. Most of their decisions to date have been to the detriment to the country and the majority of the population.

    Its time to acknowledge that they are really a bunch of scroungers who like most free loaders take advantage of an opportunity when its presented.

    Labour have failed to remove National because they are perceived as a similar animal by the public. If Labour wants to have a role its time to “differentiate” themselves from these creeps and start doing something that emphatically demonstrates that they actually give a damn about this country and its people.

    They also need to stop being complacent about their media presence and start to develop channels to get their message out to the majority of the population circumventing the lies told by the sleazy mainstream media.

  15. MrSmith 15

    Lets face it National is the farmers party and although growing protein may seem like a nice safe bet it has it risks, the elephant in the room is a foot&mouth outbreak, it could decimate farming here for years.

    Something that pisses me off about this lot (Farmers) is the way they unite and work together to make more profit, yet mention the word union and they will start screaming from the roof tops.

    Also farmers will continually have there hands out over the coming years due to Climate change.

    Farmers continue stealing from the environment to enrich themselves, paying little or no tax but crying as they hand over a few dollars for a hard days work, oh and how I enjoyed hearing them crying when they had to pay their way during the last labour governments term.

  16. Lefty 16

    You have to look at the banking and finance industries and the power they weild to understand why the Government makes the economic decisions it does.

    New Zealand is definitely run for a rentier class but only because they serve the purpose of the banking industry.

    For example there is huge profits in the sale and transfer of dairying land (and other farms) from one highly indebted farmer to another. Each time it happens banks get to make high interest loans that are totally guraranteed by the ever rising price of dairying land.

    On top of this further loans, often backed by the Government, are made for irrigation and new technology on farms.

    It is a perfect closed system with the same land been sold and resold over and over again and conservative farmers pumped out of our agricultural institutions convinced they are very clever with their groundbreaking farming methods when they are really just bagmen for the bankers.

    At the first sign of a drop in land value the banks kick them off their land and load someone else up with debt to take it over.

    Housing is becoming very similar.

    Before any real change can happen we need a government prepared to stand up to the finance industry.

    Banning private banking would be a good start.

  17. Not Another Sheep 17

    The input and discussions of different industries and markets for growth potential for the NZ economy have great merit. I would pose though that in any of these area’s ‘growth’ would not necessarily change lives for most New Zealanders (e.gs higher wages, better working conditions, less poverty), because it would be in the hands of the “controllers” whether benefits/profits were disseminated fairly down to the masses.
    On a global scale this growth of wealth over decades has been deliberately engineered and allowed to be captured only by a FEW as successive nations adopted, then ‘hoodwinked’ and forceably coerced its people (e.g. via engineering the ERA) into believing doctrines that shored up these glorious “free-markets”. Generations now have swallowed the sales pitch of “free- markets”, that ‘austerity’ measures are good for us as a sacrifice for the greater good (yeah right), citizens also thought that they were democratically participating, voting gullibly for a “Brighter Future” and yet the promised gold for all was just the gold foil wrapping around a piece of Shonkeyshite.
    Before ‘growth’ with benefits for all happens how does a government break down a globally entrenched (30 years??), insidious system which is overwhelmingly controlled by the few ‘rich’ with their powerful ability to manipulate, dominate, dictate, threaten or hold to ransom (Tiwai?) any government ( be it left or right now) into acting in the ‘FEW’s’ interest.
    Lefty (above) has part of the solution, banking being one industry, “Before any real change can happen we need a government prepared to stand up to the finance industry” but having evolved into a global world that is now captive and so dependent on “financiers” and rich global cooperates, how would a government do this (or want to as they are actively part of the free-market and reliant on it) without massive economic disaster for all?

    Xstasy has mooted how the core of the problem is that people don’t stand up, they’re “lazy”. I’d go with that but also with a paucity of knowledge that the majority of casualties and sufferers of the “system” seem to have about the SYSTEM and who it really does serve . Gould puts it like this “..but also from the quiescence and apathy of that much greater number who fail to understand that democracy is necessarily sidelined if the market cannot be challenged. The substance of democracy has been hollowed out, so that only the shell, the forms, remain, because we have not cherished and made a reality of what was our most valuable protection and greatest achievement.” [community].
    I am sceptical that any ‘government’ can truly change current ills, say by investing in this or that industry, to benefit the everyday majority… “Virtually the whole of the increased wealth of the last three decades has gone to the richest people in our society; poverty, even in the “rich” countries, has risen while inequality, with its attendant social ills, has widened; the rights of working people at work have been weakened; joblessness is endemic;” successive governments have all colluded in varying ways to this demise. “Myths, Politicians and Money” Gould.B. (2013).Palgrave. Launched in UK but in New Zealand soon.

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    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
  • MANA CANDIDATE FOR IKAROA RAWHITI OPENS UP ABOUT SUICIDE
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Accessible healthcare also affordable
      It is obvious from Tony Ryall’s hasty attack of Labour’s plans to extend free GP visits to older people that he hasn’t bothered to actually read the policy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. "Mr Ryall’s response to Labour’s...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Full details of oil execs’ junket revealed
    Full details of a $237,000 taxpayer-funded oil executives' junket in 2011 have emerged.National paid the nearly quarter of a million dollars to wine and dine 11 oil executives in New Zealand during the World Cup.The trip included yachting, wine tasting,...
    Greens | 10-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • “Even though my hours are being cut, my rent doesn’t get cut to compens...
    Fast Food = Slow Pay   Lola is a manager at a major fast food chain. Last year her employer arbitrarily cut her hours from 32 hours to anywhere between 18 and 26 hours each week. “I said I can’t...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Hate Politics has no place in NZ Politics
    I wasn’t going to write about Nicky Hagar’s ‘Dirty Politics’.  There are plenty of policy issues to discuss. Then I read the book, and what it reveals strikes at the very heart of our democracy. My overwhelming feeling is one...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Pak’nSave pull adverts from Whaleoil
    Pak n Save have replied to complaints that their adverts were appearing on hate speech site Whaleoil by deciding to block their adverts from appearing on the site. Their reply… Congratulations for Pak’NSave on making this type of ethical stand. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Herald Poll – Why the Greens will hit 15%
    The biggest problem for John Key is that there are swathes of National Party voters who are educated and decent people whom will be forced to read Dirty Politics out of intellectual curiosity and will be horrified by what National...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media
    The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly. When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • “You just have to keep on fighting” – an interview with Metiria Turei
    We’re meeting in her office. It’s austere, though she does have a nice teapot. The view is startling. One can map the Bowen Triangle, though the teapot is still more interesting. A group of pink faced men are running across...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Taxation and Real Estate – turning housing debate on its head
    The debate about property prices in New Zealand is disingenuous. It is clear that there is a global process in which speculators are using massive amounts of unspent and borrowed money to blow bubbles in the world’s major asset markets....
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Faith and politics
    In a week which has seen our collective focus shift to those who see politics as a great game to be manipulated for their own ends, it is timely to reflect on the fact that many people are in fact...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Test Stream
    width="600" height="400"> archive="http://theora.org/cortado.jar [3]" width="600" height="401">...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • LIVE STREAM: You, Me and the GCSB ChCh Public Meetings
    LIVE STREAM EVENT here at 1pm & 7pm: The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. PLEASE NOTE: TDB recommends Chrome and Firefox...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today,
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • How @whaledump might destroy the popular vote for National
    Dirty Politics is now creating a meltdown and National are in danger of a total vote collapse. The real threat to for National was if Nicky had all the emails released via the anonymous hacker who took them. That danger is now a...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Open letter to Radio NZ – you need to make a retraction now
    I have just sent this off to Radio NZ right now Dear Radio NZ Firstly, what a great interview by Guyon Espiner this morning with the Prime Minister. Great to see such hard hitting journalism. Unfortunately I am not contacting...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Te Kuiti man imprisoned for images of young children
    A Te Kuiti man caught with pictures of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Sickness beneficiary Daniel James Parry, 35, appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Japan Maritime Training Squadron visit – Open Day, Band
    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron will make port in Auckland from Wednesday 3 September to Saturday 6 September...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • MP Perk Transparency Needed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the increase in taxpayer-funded entitlements for MPs and their families published on the legislation website this afternoon . Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Debating the future of Auckland’s housing
    With only weeks until the General Election, Auckland’s mounting housing crisis will be put under the spotlight in an Election Debate hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. The debate’s topic “Market forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Let’s sort this out – Human Rights Commission
    A Whangarei woman allegedly censured for greeting customers with Kia ora can get in touch with the Human Rights Commission says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “We really need to resolve these kinds of issues. I had thought that...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Aged Care Association welcomes Labour’s wages policy
    The New Zealand Aged Care Association welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement that if elected, it will raise the minimum wage for aged care workers within its first 100 days in Government....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN
    An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya
    The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Bob Parker, China State Media and Tibet Forum
    Former Christchurch mayor was signed up to position statement without his knowledge; observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • “Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap”
    There’s just a few weeks left to convince the candidates of all political parties that reducing the wage gaps makes good sense....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Digital Currency on the Drawing Board
    Government policies and digital currency ideas and issues will come together at three public workshops next week....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • NZ Cycle Trail welcomes $8 million fund
    Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT)....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Judges Comments Bonkers – McVicar
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar is accusing a Judge of forgetting that he is the gate-keeper for the community and not a benevolent caregiver for law breakers. "The comments by this Judge are not just alarming, they're completely...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians
    As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Degrees in Picking up Rubbish
    Responding to the Fairfax media report of a University of Otago survey of Wellington’s street-connected walkways, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Another Union row
    “ The teachers union the NZEA is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Whyte: Speech to Grey Power
    National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Local Govt should not go into business
    “No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Join the hikoi to end child poverty in New Zealand
    CPAG is calling on people across society to join a march from Britomart to Aotea Square in Auckland to demand action on child poverty in Aotearoa....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Ngapuhi Chair Says Enough of the Political Sideshow
    Time for side-shows to end so we can focus on future of our nation – Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • “Bromance” Marriage Stunt Insulting Says LegaliseLove
    A promotional competition asking two best mates to get married in order to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup is insulting, marriage equality campaign LegaliseLove Aotearoa claims....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Cannabis Party first to register for 2014 General Election
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party became the first party to register for the 2014 General Election today, when it meet with the Electoral Commission in Wellington at Midday....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • PGA: Addresses NZ’s ratification of Arms Trade Treaty
    President of Parliamentarians for Global Action and New Zealand MP Ross Robertson today addressed a celebration to mark New Zealand’s imminent ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is expected within the next few weeks....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
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