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CTU: Why is the Reserve Bank happy with low wage growth?

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, June 13th, 2014 - 124 comments
Categories: Economy, wages - Tags:

ctu_logo“There seems little prospect for better wage growth if the Reserve Bank is to be believed”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “It says the slow wage growth is because of more people wanting jobs, rapid immigration growth, and the high unemployment rate.”

“This is a circular argument. People are being forced into the job market because stagnant wages mean more people have to work for the needs of their households. At the same time harsher rules on social welfare benefits and the low level of those benefits force people into a job market where as the bank says, there is ‘elevated unemployment’. In these circumstances, immigration should not be used to undermine workers rightly asking for wage increases.” Rosenberg said.

“There is a high risk that growth peaks this year without most people seeing any sign of it in their pay packets.” Rosenberg said.

“The Reserve Bank’s rhetoric is not encouraging. It seems to see wages as just another price and it will rally against any significant rise in them.  There is no recognition of the needs of workers who depend on wages for their livelihoods, nor of their productivity, which has risen much faster than real wages since 2009. The implication is that if wages do rise faster the Reserve Bank will clamp down with higher interest rates.” Rosenberg said.

“At the same time the Reserve Bank acknowledges the longstanding problem with the overvalued exchange rate. It seems to think it is a mystery, and just sits on its hands. There are policies that could be used in New Zealand to help address it. A more competitive exchange rate would help high value exporters and reduce our reliance on commodity exports whose prices have peaked, while creating better jobs.” Rosenberg said.

“Meanwhile there is little sign of a pause in interest rate rises.” Rosenberg said.

124 comments on “CTU: Why is the Reserve Bank happy with low wage growth?”

  1. billy 1

    Considering that we are all users of imported goods if the value of the NZ$ is reduced then those goods will become more expensive. Those of us who are unfortunate enough to be on a benefit would see even less money to spend on basics to survive.

    • Naki man 1.1

      I agree billy filling the car with petrol is a big cost already do we really want to pay another 20 cents per litre of petrol and pay more for everything that is transported.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        That would just be the market re-balancing. Surely you’re not advocating that the government interfere in the market?

        • aerobubble 1.1.1.1

          Lower oil prices and high house prices have made our economy weak and unable to adapt. Both will remain holding us back, while the financial industry has the ear of our government.

    • Tracey 1.2

      I’m confused. How is the current system working for you?

      • In Vino 1.2.1

        “Those of us on a benefit” … implies that billy might be on a benefit, but actually does not say so. I suspect he is not – he is just a right wing troll.

  2. geoff 2

    The reserve bank and Treasury is still chocka block full of moronic monetarists.

    They’re either there cynically to serve the rich and powerful or they are the gullible clueless who will
    live by their false gods till their dying breath.

    Anyone who hasn’t read this must do so:
    http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2009/10/07/the-gervais-principle-or-the-office-according-to-the-office/

  3. DH 3

    Most of what the RBNZ do seems to be circular argument, they appear trapped by the cause & effect loop of their own actions.

    What’s really needed is a concise and simple summary of how it all works that everyone can understand; something people can take with them when they vote.

    What I’ve been able to work out so far is this;

    The basic monetary principle of inflation is it occurs when there’s too much money. Money is a medium of exchange so for there to be inflation there must be more money than there are goods & services to be exchanged for it.

    Money is created by bank lending so when we get inflation it must mean the banks are lending too much. The theory is that growth in money should match growth in economic output; maintain the equilibrium between money supply and supply of goods & services.

    The RBNZ increase the OCR primarily to reduce bank lending. An increase in interest rates reduces the demand for borrowed money. That slows down the growth in money and lets economic output catch up, restoring the equilibrium. That’s the theory anyway.

    Where it all goes titsup is the RBNZ have never controlled inflation. They’ve just hidden it. They know they’ve hidden it and they have to keep up with their charade to stop the whole house of cards collapsing.

    How have they hidden it?

    They’ve hidden inflation behind an overvalued exchange rate. The shopping basket that makes up the CPI is made up of an increasingly larger percentage of imported goods and cheaper imports hold CPI inflation down. Lower inflation in the country of origin also keeps our inflation down. The price of imports is directly linked to our exchange rate.

    Our exchange rate is held high by our domestic interest rates being higher in comparison to other economies. The carry trade is a $trillion industry and the large international players make a buck by borrowing money from a low interest rate country like Japan and investing it in a high interest country like NZ. The ‘carry’ is the difference between the two interest rates. When the RBNZ raise the OCR it attracts more of the carry trade money & pushes the $NZD up. That subsequently brings inflation down via cheaper imports.

    The RBNZ can’t allow our currency to fall for any sustained period because that will reveal our true inflation. A sustained 15% fall in the $NZD would, over time, result in pretty much a corresponding 15% increase in consumer prices across the board. The RBNZ mandate is to keep inflation down so they’re forced by their own prior actions to keep the $NZD up.

    From what I can see they’re pretty well, er… fucked. It’s been a long time coming and they’re nearly out of options. They certainly can’t let wages go up, it would accelerate their fall.

    I’d be interested in hearing others perspectives on it….. it’s not easy putting all the pieces together.

    • billy 3.1

      How would the RBNZ influence the $NZ so it had a sustained 15% fall?

      • aerobubble 3.1.1

        Sit on its hands and wait for global oil prices to continue to trend upwards.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        It’s more a that the RBNZ is working to prevent the 15% fall that the NZ$ should have.

        • srylands 3.1.2.1

          You may as well advocate an across the board pay cut for workers. You are relying on the economic ignorance of your cheer leaders to get away with such nonsense.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.1

            A reduction in the NZ$ would spur demand for NZ products overseas thus decreasing unemployment. The decreasing unemployment would drive wages up.

            What you’re really demanding is that the government keep the exchange rate high so that wages can be kept low due to the high unemployment that we have.

    • geoff 3.2

      So how do you see that process terminating, DH?

      • DH 3.2.1

        “So how do you see that process terminating, DH?”

        I really have no idea Geoff. My own interest was really only to gain an understanding of how it all worked so when I read about our economy in the ‘paper I’d have an informed platform to shape opinions from.

        My line of thinking at present is wondering if it’s all been deliberate or just incompetence and then who’s really responsible for it. The RBNZ are just bureaucrats doing what they’re instructed. They don’t have a mandate to help exporters so it’s unlikely they will do anything there no matter how much wishful thinking.

        From the social perspective the inflation in housing has been a gargantuan transfer of wealth from renter to property owner. The scale of it is mindblowing. There’s only about $270 billion in the entire money supply and the value of residential property alone has gone up by more than that in less than ten years.

        http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/key_graphs/house_prices_values/

        They say we’re poor savers and, well shit, property owners have collectively seen their personal wealth increase by over $200 billion in less than a decade! If that’s not good saving then what the hell is?

        Some people have become extremely wealthy out of property inflation and the question needs to be asked if that was intentional or not because the Govt always had the power to halt it. It’s inflation, house prices rise for the same reason all inflation occurs…. because there’s too much money.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          Some people have become extremely wealthy out of property inflation and the question needs to be asked if that was intentional or not because the Govt always had the power to halt it.

          I figure it’s intentional so that the banks and other financiers can continue to get richer without actually doing anything. If the government wanted to do anything about it they would have stopped the private banks from creating money years ago and stopped them from sourcing foreign money.

        • geoff 3.2.1.2

          ok, when you said ” It’s been a long time coming and they’re nearly out of options.” I thought you had a picture of how it might all come to a head.

          Isn’t the inflation of housing one of those examples of how the concept of the ‘value’ of something can change rapidly? This is bubble economics, the outcome of economic herd behaviour. Is this something the central banks can respond to quickly enough to suppress the housing bubbles?

          After watching the film ‘Inside Job’ I became fairly convinced that it could have been stopped.

          I think the reason it didn’t is central banks, the US in particular, didn’t want to be the ones who pulled the plug on the perpetual motion machine. So not so much that it was a conspiracy (i think there were elements of that) but nobody wanted to be the person who ’caused’ the crash. So they let it just crash on its own.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect

          • DH 3.2.1.2.1

            “ok, when you said ” It’s been a long time coming and they’re nearly out of options.” I thought you had a picture of how it might all come to a head.”

            By ‘long time coming” I meant they’ve been hiding real inflation for nearly thirty years now and sometime soon we’re going to get inflation whether we like it or not because there’s a limit to how long they hold our currency high. We’ll run out of assets to sell, houses will simply get too expensive; all that overseas investment keeping the $NZD up there will one day have nowhere to park.

            Housing inflation could have been kept low if the RBNZ had been instructed by the Govt to include asset inflation in their inflation targets. It’s a deliberate omission, no question of that. Housing inflation is kept down by the same means any other inflation is kept down.

            I suspect one reason they left housing inflation to run rampant is political smoke & mirrors. The money spent on housing leads to economic growth. It has to, there’s more money being spent and that money will circulate in the wider economy. The housing inflation isn’t measured in the CPI so they can puff their chests out & brag about economic growth and ‘low’ inflation while leaving future Govts to clean up the mess they made. They don’t care, they’ll be retired on their taxpayer funded pensions & million dollar properties by the time their chickens come home to roost.

            • geoff 3.2.1.2.1.1

              We’ll run out of assets to sell, houses will simply get too expensive; all that overseas investment keeping the $NZD up there will one day have nowhere to park.

              So you do have a few thoughts on that. Cool. I think I mostly agree with you.

  4. Richard@Down South 4

    The NZD is artificially held at a high trading value because:

    • Interest rates are higher than many other countries…
    • No CGT on rentals, making 8+% PA (tax free)returns from rentals in Auckland etc, a very good looking investment
    • billy 4.1

      Richard, a CGT will only work when you sell the property. Unfortunately won’t the introduction of CGT mean that those lucky enough to own investment proprties be less inclined to sell in the future? Yet another problem for our housing supply issue!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1

        No, Billy, taxation never deterred anyone from making a profit, not even when the top tax rate was over 70% in the USA, back when it was the land of opportunity.

        • billy 4.1.1.1

          No – instead of declaring profit & paying tax you hide it by increasing expenses etc.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1.1

            Sure, spending it’s an option. Boosts the economy.

            PS: sorry, I see you mean falsify your tax return and nah, too much effort, too expensive to do properly, and too much personal risk.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2

          No, Billy, taxation never deterred anyone from making a profit, not even when the top tax rate was over 70% in the USA, back when it was the land of opportunity.

          Or at the 91% top tier income tax rate circa 1960

          • srylands 4.1.1.2.1

            You are simply wrong. High MTRs carry a significant economic cost. That is why they have been progressively lowered. The top rate in New Zealand will be 25% by 2023, because our future lies in Asia, countries that resile from high tax rates. There is no alternative.

            I suggest you read this Treasury paper prepared for the tax working group which clearly shows the relaionship between distortionary costs and MTRs.

            http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sacl/centres-and-institutes/cagtr/twg/publications/5-estimating-the-distortionary-costs-of-income-taxation-in-newzealand-treasury.pdf

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Clearly estimated. By Professor John Creedy. Let’s play a game, shall we? You get to demonstrate Creedy’s credibility, using some real world evidence.

              Or go read Picketty to catch up. Your choice.

              • Phil

                Clearly estimated.

                What gave it away? The first word in the title? To paraphrase the late Bob Peck: “Clever Boy”

                Estimation is part and parcel of economics (and climatology, too). Why?
                Because, as much as economists and climatologists would like to, we can’t turn the world into a laboratory and adjust one isolated variable in a complex system. We have to work within the ‘noise’ and distill conclusions by whatever statistical means are available.

            • geoff 4.1.1.2.1.2

              Sure tax causes some ‘distortions’, but that contribution is negligible compared to the distortions that wealth inequality has caused.

              So, srylands in the larger, more relevant picture, you are simply wrong.

              Go and read Piketty.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2.1.3

              There is no alternative.

              Shitlands, you really are short of imagination and creativity, aren’t you.

              I’ll tell you what we have no alternative about – the loss of fossil fuels over the next 40 years.

              But keep playing your silly electronic numbers games.

      • aerobubble 4.1.2

        It aint a one horse race. There are a number of changes, that are found elsewhere so no worries about being cutting edge, on the cards for the next government to deal to housing.

        But mostly its about allowing Auckland to grow upwards, and outwards-upwards on its rail lines (i.e. goto sydney get on a train to parra).

    • Phil 4.2

      New Zealand’s interest rates have been comparatively higher than our trading partner’s for at least the last thirty years, if not longer. During that period our exchange rate has moved from lows of USD 39c to highs of 86c.

      The real drivers of our high exchange rate are high commodity prices and our compulsive need to (as a nation) borrow more than we earn. This has been the case since the 1960’s or 70’s.

      http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/key_graphs/exchange_rate/

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        The value of the NZ$ jumped yesterday on the announcement of the higher OCR. That said, the fact that we’re living beyond our means is what’s keeping interest rates high.

        Billy and Nakiman prove that the RWNJs want to keep it that way. One wonders why especially considering that the political-right has been saying for decades that we shouldn’t be living beyond our means.

      • DH 4.2.2

        “The real drivers of our high exchange rate are high commodity prices and our compulsive need to (as a nation) borrow more than we earn. ”

        I’m not sure you’ve got it right there. We don’t borrow more than we earn, well by definition any borrowing would be more than earning, but there’s no rash of bankruptcies or mortgagee sales and most borrowing is buying property assets for which people are servicing their mortgages.

        Overseas investment has also gone straight into asset inflation, the value of property in NZ has risen by over $400 billion in the last decade alone. People are borrowing more not because we’re profligate wastrels but because the things we buy with borrowed money keep going up in price.

        It’s a bit like people claiming the banks borrow from overseas because they need more funding. Banks don’t need more funding. They want it, and want is a very, very, different definition to need.

        • billy 4.2.2.1

          The reason banks need funding is because NZ’ers are poor savers but want everything now so have to borrow from the bank to pay for it!!

          • Colonial Viper 4.2.2.1.1

            Of course NZers are poor savers, with cost of living increasing month by month and wages low and static.

          • Tracey 4.2.2.1.2

            how much are you saving on the benefit billy?

            • billy 4.2.2.1.2.1

              Absolutely nothing but if the exchange rate is lowered then everything I have to buy will go up in cost & I will have even less to survive on!!

              • Tracey

                you realise where your thinking is heading?

                • Colonial Viper

                  goshdarnit buying trinkets on round the world trips and silly imported luxury toys will get more expensive

                  Absolutely nothing but if the exchange rate is lowered then everything I have to buy will go up in cost & I will have even less to survive on!!

                  Try buying NZ made

              • Draco T Bastard

                Well, in theory, only imported stuff would go up in price whereas the NZ made stuff would stay low and thus you’d buy NZ made boosting the economy. What will actually happen is that NZ producers will sell offshore at the higher price to maximise profits and thus continue the increasing deprivation that we’ve seen since we adopted the sociopathic free-market ideology.

                It is kinda amusing though seeing a RWNJ demand that the government keep prices low.

                • DH

                  “What will actually happen is that NZ producers will sell offshore at the higher price to maximise profits ”

                  Yeah, that’s why I figured we’d see an across the board price increase matching the drop in the $NZD. We pay international prices here for anything we export so most of the local content would go up by the same amount.

                  I really don’t think there’s any real argument a long term cut in the $NZD would cause pretty severe inflation. Short term cuts don’t have much of an impact because of hedging & import inertia, need the rate to stay low before inflation takes hold. The big fall we had in ’09 was just starting to show up in CPI figures when the $NZD went back up again.

        • Phil 4.2.2.2

          Gah! Brain fade!
          I meant to write “… spend more than we earn” which, of course, makes us net borrowers.

        • Sacha 4.2.2.3

          “Banks don’t need more funding”

          Quite right. Their main product is debt – and they have been extremely successful at creating more of it.

  5. john 5

    If we lower exchange rates, my petrol costs go up, my car costs go up, everything that is transported (i.e all my food) goes up, all imported goods go up, and of course interest rates then have to go up to counter all that inflation, so my mortgage goes up as well.

    Please remind me why I would be better off?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      It isn’t about you.

      I’m not convinced that we have enough clout in the global market to significantly affect the exchange rate, nor do I know enough about macro-economics to figure out if that would be a good thing or not, but if it upsets someone with your track record of drivel, it can’t be all bad.

      • john 5.1.1

        You might be stupid enough to want to be poorer than you are now. Most people are not.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          You silly billy, this is what happens when you hollow out your own manufacturing and productive economy: you become dependent on foreign currency to buy foreign goods.

          And the more you go down this road, the more the majority of people are impoverished as good jobs disappear, and a few at the top (who you shill for) do very well indeed.

          • srylands 5.1.1.1.1

            Let’s bring back import licensing.

            • McFlock 5.1.1.1.1.1

              stronger immigration controls on neolib australians might be a better start…

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Why? The best step right now is to not sign the TPPA.

              Following on from that we need to make speculating on the NZD risky and unprofitable.

              Thirdly a buy NZ made campaign with teeth – including support for NZ manufacturers, designers and technology developers.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1.3

              Why would we do that? Just allowing the forex to properly balance as per your preferred free-market ideology would do just fine.

          • john 5.1.1.1.2

            We’ve always been dependent on foreign currency to buy goods.

            Even for manufacturing, we need foreign currency to buy the raw products – steel, plastic and fuel.

            And if things were really as bad as you say, for the reasons you say, National wouldn’t be polling 50% and Labour wouldn’t be polling 30%.

            But then the real world always looks worse when you constantly look at it through your vortex of negativity.

            • Tracey 5.1.1.1.2.1

              half of the workforce takes home less than 30k per annum.

              You are being duped and you are spreading it.

              Do you understand how advertising and marketing works? Designed to trigger hot buttons, to make you think you want something when you dont need it. Sure they spend billions per annum, and not fruitlessly.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.2.2

              We’ve always been dependent on foreign currency to buy goods.

              No we haven’t. We’ve been told that we are but we could easily have made those goods here.

              Even for manufacturing, we need foreign currency to buy the raw products – steel, plastic and fuel.

              Nope, we have the raw resources here in NZ thus there’s no need to buy them.

              But then the real world always looks worse when you constantly look at it through your vortex of negativity.

              That’s just it, you’re not looking at it through the lens reality but through the lens of denial and delusion.

              • Tracey

                imported goods was never about altruism it was about profit taking. Steve tindall made millions. Yes he employed minimum wage kiwis and gave them a day off on their birthday but he also assisted the downfall and death of our apparel industry. He has a knighthood and a charity. That doesnt change his part in it.

              • john

                DTB says “Nope, we have the raw resources here in NZ thus there’s no need to buy them.”

                Aluminuim? Plastic? Steel? Copper? Rubber? Or dozens of other metals and mineral needed to manufacture modern products.

                Good luck with your car made from pine trees and wool.

                Perhaps you could make it wind powered.

                • Colonial Viper

                  What do you need cars for?

                  Hundreds of thousands of people in NZ already cannot afford a car. That number will steadily increase over the next 30 years until only the 1% will be able to afford cars: exactly like the situation in the 1900’s.

                  • Tracey

                    john doesnt know anyone in those circumstances so he is easy for the pm to mislead into thinking they dont exist

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Aluminuim? Plastic? Steel? Copper? Rubber? Or dozens of other metals and mineral needed to manufacture modern products.

                  Yep, all here.

                  Good luck with your car made from pine trees and wool.

                  I’d probably use hemp. Not that I’d use a car – horribly inefficient devices.

                  Also, apparently you can also get better cloth from hemp than cotton.

                  Perhaps you could make it wind powered.

                  Well, that, hydro and solar.

                  • john

                    Yeah right – we’ve got bauxite mines, copper mines, rubber plantations, and oil wells all over the place.

                    I’d get a more intelligent debate arguing with a brick.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Go away john, you’re a shill for the 0.1% you don’t give a fuck about anyone else.

                    • john

                      Another brick.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Don’t you think we’ve learnt from the last 30 years of your neoliberal bullshit? From 3 decades of Rogernomics, Ruthanasia, John Key banksterism?

                      Mate, answer me this – why the fuck haven’t YOU learnt? Why the fuck can’t you see that the neoliberal way doesn’t work for the 99%?

                      Is there a particular reason that you’ve decided to be a paid serf to the interests of the 0.1%?

                      The world is going to run out of affordable fossil fuels in 30 years or less. And here you are playing your part in business as usual ‘pretend and extend.’ You can’t be so brainless as to not see that we’re fast running out of road to kick the can down.

                    • john

                      CV says “Why the fuck can’t you see that the neoliberal way doesn’t work for the 99%?”

                      What a load of extreme nonsense. If that were true, National would be polling at 1%, instead of 50x higher than that

                      The vast majority of people have a vastly better living standard now than they did in the 70s.

                      What there is, after 30 years, is charity fatigue towards people who won’t bother contributing to society and believe everyone else should work so they don’t have to.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      we’ve got bauxite mines, copper mines, rubber plantations, and oil wells all over the place.

                      Just because we don’t have the mines doesn’t mean that we don’t have the resource, i.e, there’s a 20 million tonne bauxite deposit in Northland.

                      What there is, after 30 years, is charity fatigue towards people who won’t bother contributing to society and believe everyone else should work so they don’t have to.

                      Probably, you’re problem is that you’re misidentifying them. The people who don’t contribute are the 1%, the rich – and we cannot afford them.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The vast majority of people have a vastly better living standard now than they did in the 70s.

                      Another cheap, useless, materialistic measure.

                      Let me ask you a real one – what percentage of under 25 year olds have steady permanent jobs today, compared to the 1970’s?

                      How about this one: what percentage of 30-40 year olds own their own home today, compared to 30-40 year olds in the 1970’s?

                      Not that you give a fuck, but just asking. You see, the 1% whom you shill for are massively better off nowadays. No one is disputing that. Its everyone else who has been left behind, and particularly the bottom 50% of society.

                      Again, not that you give a fuck.

    • Tracey 5.2

      let me answering that by quoting a popular expert in these things

      ” … attempt to blame every problem and crisis on past governments has lost credibility… The bulk of..s so-called experience is in the dark arts of ducking for cover and shirking responsibility….

      New Zealand now has one of the world’s highest interest rates, something that is encouraging speculation in the dollar even while it puts enormous pressure on the manufacturing sector, exporters

      homeowners and exporters are now paying the price…

      “The high dollar and rising interest rates are not solely the products of a short term economic sea change.??”

      • john 5.2.1

        We’ve got one of the lowest mortgage rates in decades. Because it’s fractionally off the record lows, you say home owners are “now paying the price”. That’s funny.

        It wasn’t that long ago mortgage rates were 11%.

        • Tracey 5.2.1.1

          sorry john, are you saying we dont have one of the worlds highest interest rates? Are you saying that having one of the worlds highest interest rates isnt why the dollar is so high? If you are saying that, how do you explain the nzd jumping 1 cent against usd yesterday on the rbnz announcement?

          Its got to be good news if you holiday in hawaii dont you think.

          • john 5.2.1.1.1

            We have near record low interest rates, but they are higher than most other countries because out economy is performing better than most other countries (a GOOD thing).

            Our exchange rate is high because
            – our exports are massively up on a few years ago so people have to buy our dollar to purchase our goods ( a GOOD thing)
            – our economy is performing well so we are attracting overseas investment (a GOOD thing)
            – tourist numbers are up (a GOOD thing).

            It sounds like you want a lower exchange rate meaning the price of everything – that’s EVERYTHING – will go up.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Overseas investment is a) not needed and b) bad for the country as it results in even more of our wealth heading offshore.

              • john

                Foreign investment has massive benefits for NZ, and the economy would collapse without it. So would jobs.

                Even the Green Party stated n their policy that 25% of New Zealand jobs would not exist without foreign investment.

                And Labour Party policy “welcomes” foreign investment.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Foreign investment has massive benefits for foreigners. That’s why they invest here, silly billy, they aren’t charities you know, they’re in it for themselves and have no connection or loyalty to this land other than to empty it out asap.

                  • john

                    Colonial Viper – if you took out foreign investment you’d wipe out 25% of our jobs. Even the extreme Greens see that.

                    You’d have to be stupid in the extreme to wipe out over half a million jobs in NZ because a small amount of what’s produced goes overseas in profit.

                    You’d certainly kiss goodbye to benefits if you did that.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well of course, as usual you are wrong on all counts. Foreign companies suck out $15B per annum from the NZ economy into the pockets of foreign shareholders.

                      By keeping that money in NZ we could create 600,000 NZ jobs.

                      As usual, you are shilling for the 0.1%.

                    • john

                      Duh – if they suck out $15b in profit, then they CREATEe $150-$300b to get the profit. That also means the CREATE half a million jobs, CREATE billions in GST, CREATE billions in company tax, and CREATE billions in PAYE.

                      And you want to get rid of all that.

                      Your argument is idiotic – even extreme left parties like the Greens realise NZ would be stuffed without foreign investment.

                      You’d destroy the jobs of half a million Kiwis because you don’t like someone making a profit – the stupidity is mindblowing.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      if you took out foreign investment you’d wipe out 25% of our jobs.

                      No we wouldn’t because the skills, the people and the market would still be there.

                      You’d have to be stupid in the extreme to wipe out over half a million jobs in NZ because a small amount of what’s produced goes overseas in profit.

                      10% or more of GDP isn’t a small amount.

                      Duh – if they suck out $15b in profit, then they CREATE

                      Foreign investment doesn’t create anything. In fact, capital ownership doesn’t create anything. Never has done that’s why, as the rich get richer we get poorer.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Foreign investment has massive benefits for NZ, and the economy would collapse without it.

                  No it doesn’t and no it wouldn’t. Really, why do we need foreign money to utilise our own resources when we can do it with our own skills?

                  Even the Green Party stated n their policy that 25% of New Zealand jobs would not exist without foreign investment.

                  It seems that the Greens are getting as delusional as Labour and National then.

                  • john

                    Anyone who is left of Greens or right of ACT is best ignored for the way out extremists they are.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Left of the Greens is getting closer to reality. Right of the Greens is getting more delusional.

            • Tracey 5.2.1.1.1.2

              Who did you vote for in 2008 john?

              • john

                I’m a swing voter in the middle, so I vote for the direction I believe policies need to go – that could be left or right.

                If Labour came up with better ideas, I’d quite happily vote for them.

                But as a swing voter, I’ve voted for the winning side on five out of the last five elections.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Of course you’re in the political middle, just like Maggie was.

                • Tracey

                  In 2008 our interest rates were higher than most other countries because our economy is performing better than most other countries (ajohn key said this was a BAD thing ).

                  Our exchange rate was high because
                  – our exports are massively up on a few years ago so people have to buy our dollar to purchase our goods ( john key said this was a BAD a thing)
                  – our economy is performing well so we are attracting overseas investment
                  – tourist numbers are up .

                  So, was john key lying to get your vote then john, or is he lying now

                  Now, interest rates dropped because of gfc, not national policy, and they are still one of the highest in the world

                  • john

                    Tracey, you’ve just totally shot down your own argument in flames.

                    You’ve just made several contradictions to your own argument.

            • Tracey 5.2.1.1.1.3

              so, you agree we have one of the worlds highest interest rates?

              • john

                You’re so desperate to find something negative about the interest rates.

                Most countries who have lower rates than us, have those rates because their economies are much weaker than ours.

                You need to take off the blinkers and look at the whole picture.

                • Tracey

                  If you re read our whole exchange in this thread with an open mind, you will see who is wearing blinkers.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    One Anonymous Bloke put it well:

                    I get tired of reading the same lame groundless bullshit from right wing gimps year after year after year, as though they operate as some kind of Borg, only with less imagination. A grey blancmange of grey blended parrots twittering grey blended dribble.

                • miravox

                  “Most countries who have lower rates than us, have those rates because their economies are much weaker than ours.”

                  http://www.global-rates.com/interest-rates/central-banks/central-banks.aspx

                  What’s negative about it? They’re also countries with low wages and high inflation. According to you neolib types, thats a bad thing.

                  Your blinkers seem very effective John.

                  • miravox

                    edit: According to you neolib types, thats a bad thing – the high inflation bit that is. You seem quite happy to sell workers to the lowest bidder while ‘investors’ profit from chasing interest rates.

            • Tracey 5.2.1.1.1.4

              how important are those things to you?

        • Tracey 5.2.1.2

          do you understand the notion of affordability john? For example interest rates could be lower in 2014 than 2007 but living costs are higher, real wages static or fallen.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Goddamn it, another RWNJ demanding that the government keep prices low.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    John describes very clearly the neoliberal trap that our country has been walked into. You decimate local production and expertise, making NZ a country of consumers, not producers. As a result you become reliant on foreign goods – everything from pens and lightbulbs to engines and machine parts.

    But to purchase foreign goods you need foreign money – so more than ever the country is subject to changes and manipulation in its foreign exchange rate.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      +1

      And the selling off of the country to pay for the imports that we now need that we made ourselves before.

      • srylands 6.1.1

        We could have an import substitution policy, and raise tariffs? Or a “Buy Kiwi-made” campaign?

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          What is this “WE” business Shitlands, you’re a foreigner shilling for the 0.1%, you’ve never lived or worked in NZ. Fuck off.

          • john 6.1.1.1.1

            The country would be a far better place if we swapped intelligent foreigners for abusive Kiwis.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              You disloyal little fuck, Kiwis are intelligent too.

              • john

                You just proved my point. I’d far rather have have working intelligent immigrants than lazy abusive Kiwis who think the rest of the hard working population owes them a living.

                • Tracey

                  wow john. Just wow

                  • john

                    Pretty easy choice – hard working people who contribute, or lazy abusive parasites.

                    • framu

                      lazy abusive parasites.

                      wow john – turn around your looking in the mirror

                      arsehole

                      you dont know shit about those who comment here – i suggest you stop making claims that only prove what a colossal prat you are

                    • Tracey

                      speaking of parasites, how bout all those banks which were bailed out back in profit and paying big bonuses again.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Tracey – the big banks never stopped paying out huge bonuses even at the height of the GFC when they were being given TRILLIONS in tax payers money. For instance as detailed in this Wall St Journal article written mid 2009.

                      As far as the big banks were concerned, getting bailed out by governments for free, was the culmination of a very successful business strategy and bank executives deserved to be rewarded for their “talent”.

                      http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB124896891815094085

              • Marksman33

                Srylands would be better off trying to defend the ignorant little fuckwit he has for a PM in his own country.What an embarrassing moron that man is.Australians should be ashamed of themselves.

            • Tracey 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Like Mr Liu?

          • rex 6.1.1.1.2

            Who moderates this site? Instead of having intelligent debate about some of the serious issues this country is facing.. is the best thing that some people can say is “fuck off”? So does that mean in general if somebody says something I don’t agree with I should just tell them to “fuck off”? I’ll tell my kids to try this strategy at school. You people need to grow up!!

            [lprent: Before you make a complete dork of yourself, perhaps you should read the policy. The debate is "robust" and we don't stand for "pointless abuse" which is definitely not the case here. The comment you are referring to was quite pointed and relates to previous comments by the person he was replying to that has formed the impression that they don't know much about NZ.

            So yes, you can. Politeness isn't required. You just have to explain why you are saying it. Otherwise you might find a moderator removing your ability to comment.

            While you are there I suggest that you also read the last section in the about, and the relevant sections in the policy about people who try to tell us how to run our site. We don't tolerate much of it, especially by first time commentators. ]

    • miravox 6.2

      +1. High wage countries with a strong manufacturing base undestand this.

  7. dimebag russell 7

    the RB is involved in class warfare. obviously if profitability goes up and wages go down then someone else is getting the money.

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    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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