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Darkhorse: The answers are simple the solutions are complex

Written By: - Date published: 10:55 am, August 13th, 2012 - 133 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags:

The answers are simple the solutions are complex.

We are broke and getting broker for some very simple reasons …
  1. Our exchange rate is too high
  2. Our exchange rate is open to manipulation (it is unstable).
  3. The worse our economy gets the higher our currency rises when we need it to fall – this is the complete opposite of what needs to happen
  4. We play by the rules of free trade and no one else does
  5. Foreign owned banks use inflation and speculation to fill the country full of debt and capture our productive surpluses.
  6. Banks can print money without any effective control by the state
  7. We spend more than we earn
  8. We are squandering the talents of our young
  9. Our retirement savings are inflating the share-market
  10. Anything of value is sold to foreign investors
  11. Our employers have to meet the social costs of trading in New Zealand while their competitors don’t (an effective subsidy)
  12. Labour is taxed while capital and land aren’t
  13. We treat basic infrastructure as an “investment” rather than as a basic function of production – roads aren’t there to make money they exist to allow business to function – same with power telephone and a whole raft of other things.
  14. And we to often allow the core institutions of community and commerce to act with impunity with regard to the law and to moral behaviour.
It is not foreign forces or some compelling logic causing these things to happen to us.
The last reason is that we have just suffered thirty years of ideological leadership.
It is our leadership that has made us poor as we have wished this on ourselves.  The mess that is the Euro is the best illustration of the problem of exchange rates not reflecting the relative earning potential of separate national economies.  We have the same issue with Australis the US and China,  as Greece has with Germany.  We are over-valued to an extent of about 30% in comparisons to them.  This could be resolved overnight – but it would take courage.
It is this ideological base is the first thing that needs changed.Once that has happened then fixing this country is easy – we are rich in resources, we are well educated, we should be energy self sufficient.

133 comments on “Darkhorse: The answers are simple the solutions are complex”

  1. Steve 1

    Yeah, what we have here is some “learnings”, around our ability, to move from the ideological fog coming from the north vent, but moving forward, a al kiwi rail style, we have a tender out, getting best international advice, as a world leaders in the field. We’ll put in a plan, after an inquiry, where we will gather further “learnings” around the issues and move forward on a Spanish train set.Crisis? what crisis?…

  2. prism 2

    9 Our retirement savings are inflating the share-market.
    Don’t understand this as a negative. Isn’t it good that there is NZ investment in companies listed here to help them grow, raise capital etc? A short explanation would help me here.

    As for the rest – making a list is so neat. I’m sure someone will think of something left off but it all seems so clear what’s wrong. Now what to do to change?

    You talk about courageous – we need some Olympic mental and economic athletes. Our athletes believe in the NZ merit, and strive to achieve good results for the country. Our leaders though are ambivalent. Where will they get the best medal, standing in NZ’s corner or rubbing up against the more powerful so that some of the gold dust flakes off onto them?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      9 Our retirement savings are inflating the share-market.
      Don’t understand this as a negative. Isn’t it good that there is NZ investment in companies listed here to help them grow, raise capital etc? A short explanation would help me here.

      1) The top listings by capitalisation on the NZX
      http://www.smartshares.nzx.com/products/tenz/NZSX10_index
      The biggest ones include Auckland Airport, Telecom, Fletchers. Which all contain value stolen from the public sector. These are not companies which need NZ capital, and their owners are not even necessarily mainly NZ.

      2) Because of the conservative nature of retirement savings, these big “blue chip” stocks are where most of the money will go. Not into high risk IPOs for small companies tryng to raise equity.

      3) The number of successful new IPOs on the NZX is pathetic. NZ investors do not take risks on small new companies. That is part of the drive for the Tories wanting to put Meridian etc on the NZX, because they won’t support the growth of small/start up businesses.

      4) We (like the rest of the developed world) are an aging population. Net retirement funds are going to be exiting the financial and property markets over time, not entering them, as older people cash out.

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    I dont know where he got the idea the’ Banks can print money’

    The local lunch bar can create credit when a regular customer pays next payday.

    But the Banks are not doing the same thing on a bigger scale

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Yes they are. They extend you credit by making an electronic deposit of funds into your account, funds that they do not need to have on hand. They simply even it out with the creation of a ledger entry saying that you owe them that money. As interest is charged on the principal sum created and released into the economy, it encourages the need for the creation of more money.

      Banks look for the reserves they need to meet statutory reserve requirements afterwards eg on the short term interbank money markets.

      Through fractional reserve lending, banks can create a large ratio of credit to reserves they hold on hand.

      The base money used as core reserves in the world financial system is printed into existence by the US, the EU and Japan.

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      Sure they are.

      I bid $250,000 on a house, some other joker bids $300,000 because the bank is willing to lend it to him.

      Into the vendors bank account is deposited $300,000 which they take out and use on an overseas holiday.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        Interest bearing debt based bank credit is the main source of money in this economy. It sucks. Bankers rule OK.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2.1.1

          What you are saying doesnt make sense .

          If I borrow $300,000 they have to borrow the $300k to balance it up. Some of that would be local deposits, say $100k and the rest would be borrowed overseas at 30 day or 90 day terms.

          After all if the $300k is to buy a house the seller gets the money but he could be with a different bank .

          I understand there is a bit of creating credit around the margins relating to liquidity in the money system and covering cheques and overdrafts and the like but that is dwarfed by the massive amounts lent with security and for credit cards which have to be covered by equivalent borrowing by the bank.

          • Ben 3.2.1.1.1

            Google “Fractional Reserve Banking.”

            I would try to explain it, but it’s best left to people who know much more than I.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2.1.1.1.1

              You are joining the ‘payment system’ which covers the transactional side of banking with the loans side

              But even here the Reserve Bank website says something different to what you are saying

              “Each morning prior to 8.30am the Bank runs an “end of day” process. All ES Accountholders must have a positive NZ cash balance in their ES account at all times. If an ES Accountholder facing a shortfall cannot borrow NZ cash from another ES Accountholder, it will need to borrow cash from the Bank via a repo of NZ Government Bonds at a yield of OCR +0.50%.

              The loans side of banking is handled differently, they can only loan out money when they have borrowed it from someone else of have the deposits.

              Essentially they make money by borrowing short ( 30-90days) and lending long ( 5-20 yrs).

              Why would they do this if they can create credit for loans as you imply

              Lets take KiwiBank Their loans are $11 bill which are roughly matched by their liabilities to depositors and institutions they borrow from

          • ChrisH 3.2.1.1.2

            OK how it works is like this, as I understand it:

            1) Anybody can create a “promissory note” which is the technical term for IOU or “draft” which is a credit chit any time they feel like it, including dairy proprietors or tradespeople who are willing to be paid in instalments for work done; though it is usually banks and financial businesses that create the majority of drafts, including overdrafts and mortgages. This is literally done at the stroke of a pen or keyboard, exactly the same whether you are talking about a bank or a dairy. The fact that the beneficiary of bank credit might want to pick up the sum of the newly issued overdraft or loan in the form of a sack of cash is supposed to discipline the banks against over-lending, but it does not always do so.

            2) Banknotes used to be promissory notes when they were backed by gold until the early 1970s, hence “I promise to pay the bearer on demand etc etc” which used to be written on them.

            3) Once upon a time, ordinary banks could literally print these cash notes themselves, which is presumably why they are called banknotes. The fact that paper money was originally a promissory note for gold also explains why they are called “notes.” Government banks with a monopoly of this responsibility are a fairly recent invention in some countries (the USA did not get its Federal Reserve till 1913). Back in the days of gold the issue of these was disciplined, in turn, and again imperfectly, by the risk that the banknote holder would want physical gold coins–there was a sort of ‘regress’ from drafts to cash to gold in other words.

            4) In the United Kingdom seven ordinary retail (trading) banks still have the right to print cash banknotes to their own design, which look different to ordinary pounds issued by the Treasury or the Bank of England, but which still circulate in the high street as money. This is unusual internationally today and a sign of how old-fashioned the Poms are. Actually strictly speaking this kind of retail bank money is more common in Scotland and Northern Ireland, so I shouldn’t say Poms.

            5) A note becomes money if the government will accept it in payment of taxes, including the notes printed by the seven licensed UK banks. This is the acid test of true money, which in the old days included gold coins and banknotes banks that promised to pay in gold on demand, so long as the tax department regarded the banks in question as sound, or properly licensed as in the UK. Anything not accepted by the tax department in payment of taxes is just a private IOU and stays that way.

            6) Forging money is only forgery if you are forging someone else’s note or draft (which is obvious really). Otherwise best of luck in getting people to take your IOUs instead of honest to God money that can be used to pay taxes.

            7) Credit bubbles and general malfeasance happen because it is so difficult to stop people issuing IOUs especially if they have some kind of racket going with some related parties all issuing IOUs to each other to make it look like everything is on the up and up (“Ponzi scheme,” “golden circle” etc), especially if the government and tax authorities decide to look the other way (hence the significance of the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act, which allowed bank-issued IOUs to spiral out of control).

            8) Reform of the system generally also involves a shift toward greater reliance on “state money” i.e. cash printed by the government and Reserve Bank credit, but of course that cuts out the middleman, as they say, and is resisted.

          • mike e 3.2.1.1.3

            Ghost The aussie banks have been told to reduce their fractional reserve from 90% down to 60%.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2.1.1.3.1

              Thats the ‘payments system’ not where they get money for loans to individuals and businesses

          • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1.4

            If I borrow $300,000 they have to borrow the $300k to balance it up. Some of that would be local deposits, say $100k and the rest would be borrowed overseas at 30 day or 90 day terms.

            Can’t possibly happen. A growing economy requires an increasing amount of money at all times. The majority of that increase comes from the banks using the Fractional Reserve Banking system. In fact, IMO, that’s the reason why the Gold Standard doesn’t work – there simply isn’t enough gold.

            I understand there is a bit of creating credit around the margins relating to liquidity in the money system…

            Around the margins? Around 95% of the money in the system was created through the banks printing it. Some estimates I’ve seen put between 50% and 80% of inflation is actually due to the banks printing money.

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1.5

            If I borrow $300,000 they have to borrow the $300k to balance it up. Some of that would be local deposits, say $100k and the rest would be borrowed overseas at 30 day or 90 day terms.

            You are thinking of pure ‘Savings and Loans’ institutions who lend out what they have taken in.

            Worthwhile reading this on Steve Keen’s blog to learn more.

            http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2009/12/23/mish-on-the-fictional-reserve-system/

            This video is good too

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Txi8sXO16VU#!

            • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2.1.1.5.1

              As the Reserve Bank says , at 8:30 each weekday morning they have to balance up, if they are short they borrow from the Reserve Bank.

              Why would they do this if its created out thin air by the trading banks.

              • Colonial Viper

                The retail banks still need to meet the requirements of the Reserve Bank core funding ratio at the start of each day. (They have overnight to find any reserve shortfalls that they have).

                In other words, the retail banks can ‘print money’ (electronically credit accounts as they wish) for brief amounts of time, but eventually have to make the ledgers balance, and they have to meet RB requirements.

                Also being retail banks (as opposed to say, the US commercial banks who are Federal Reserve Primary Dealers) they have far fewer privileges in the financial markets.

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  You are making it up : just reading US blogs and Wikipedia doesnt mean you know what you are talking about.

              • DH

                “As the Reserve Bank says , at 8:30 each weekday morning they have to balance up, if they are short they borrow from the Reserve Bank.”

                It’s the settlement process that has led to a lot of the bollocks about banks printing money. In short a bank can make a loan from a virtual line of credit from the Reserve Bank, they don’t need the cash reserves or deposits at hand to make the loan because they know they can borrow it from the RB or another bank at end of the days trading.

                They don’t need the money until it comes time to settle so they appear to create it out of nothing when they make the loan. Its really only events happening out of order in a (compressed) business day due to the way the banking system works. It’s put back in order before the start of trading the next day so no they don’t print money.

          • Mikesh 3.2.1.1.6

            “If I borrow $300,000 they have to borrow the $300k to balance it up. Some of that would be local deposits, say $100k and the rest would be borrowed overseas at 30 day or 90 day terms.”

            The banks can’t spend overseas currency in NZ. They first have to exchange it for NZ currency. So where do they get this NZ currency? The create it out of nothing.

          • AAMC 3.2.1.1.7

            ghostwhowalksnz >>

            Fiat Money
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx16a72j__8

            A Primer on Endogenous Money 1
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKDicjsiHrY&feature=player_embedded

            Who Creates Money? (Hint: Banks, as debt, via Fractional Reserve Banking)
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc6kKOGp560

  4. djp 4

    I think most of this is complete bunk. Here is my interpretation.

    >> 1. Our exchange rate is too high

    We have too much money

    >> 2. Our exchange rate is open to manipulation (it is unstable).

    Prices are not what I would like. Someone please implement price fixing.

    >> 3. The worse our economy gets the higher our currency rises when we need it to fall – this is the complete opposite of what needs to happen

    Repeat of #1

    >> 4. We play by the rules of free trade and no one else does

    Our consumers are free to choose what is best for them. Consumers from other countries are not – somehow this is made into a bad thing.

    >> 5. Foreign owned banks use inflation and speculation to fill the country full of debt and capture our productive surpluses.

    This is somewhat confused. How does inflation fill the country with debt? I suppose because new mortgage holders get a hold of the hot (debt created) money they get the benefit of the new money before the inflationary effect is spread through the economy – perhaps I do sympathise with this point.

    >> 6. Banks can print money without any effective control by the state

    ok I am not a fan of inflation (or the state) either

    >> 7. We spend more than we earn

    True some do.

    >> 8. We are squandering the talents of our young

    Rather nebulous statement….

    >> 9. Our retirement savings are inflating the share-market

    Where should our retirement savings go? Under the matress.. thats not gonna fly with inflation at current levels.

    >> 10. Anything of value is sold to foreign investors

    This is hyperbole. Anyway – Wah.. other people are selling their own property, get a life =)

    >> 11. Our employers have to meet the social costs of trading in New Zealand while their competitors don’t (an effective subsidy)

    This needs more substantiation

    >> 12. Labour is taxed while capital and land aren’t

    I have no love of labour tax but I fail to see how this is dooming the country compared to anything else.

    >> 13. We treat basic infrastructure as an “investment” rather than as a basic function of production – roads aren’t there to make money they exist to allow business to function – same with power telephone and a whole raft of other things.

    No this is completely wrong. Everything has an opportunity cost. We cant build everything so we decide that we should build the most effective infrastructure we can…. hence ROI (seriously guys)

    >> 14. And we to often allow the core institutions of community and commerce to act with impunity with regard to the law and to moral behaviour.

    Finally the “I wish I could tell people what to do” point.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      And that’s got to be the most wilfully blind rant of complete and utter gibberish that I’ve ever seen.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Rabid monkey tapping at keyboard keys randomly

        • djp 4.1.1.1

          Come on CV, attempt to be charitable.. you dont want to look like a close minded idealogue

          • Rusty Shackleford 4.1.1.1.1

            It’s pointless djp. They are only interested in telling others how to run their lives. Reasoned debate is anathema to them. And when they do get drawn into debate and it looks like they might lose, they will just write you off as a heartless bastard who isn’t as in tune to the needs of the “poor” as they are.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.1

              They are only interested in telling others how to run their lives.

              You’re a lazy hack. Where’s that successful Austrian school based economy again? Oh yes it doesn’t exist.

              • Rusty Shackleford

                I’ve explained this to you ad nauseam. Those economies that have allowed the most economic freedom have been the ones that have been the most successful economically. Economic freedom isn’t a switch that you turn on and off, it’s a continuum.

                • bad12

                  New Zealand is supposedly one of those economically free economies, i fail to see where NZ is a world success at anything much,

                  Define this success for us, where do the number of those reliant upon a State Benefit fit into this success…

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    We have OK GDP per person. Not great, could be higher. You might be able to consider us an outlier, but I don’t.
                    http://www.heritage.org/index/default
                    And considering we are literally an outlier (in the sense we are far away from our trading partners) in world trade terms, we are probably doing OK.

                    Can you see a trend here?
                    http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

                    • KJT

                      Dropping dozens of places in the OECD rankings for almost everything, against countries that did not follow the whole “free market” b-s is hardly success, even in RWNJ terms.

                      In other terms like how well our society is functioning, unemployment and increasing poverty we are even worse off.

                      RS. Answer this one. Has austerity and neo-liberal economics ever worked? Anywhere?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      If by “austerity you mean cutting govt spending in real terms. Many of the supposedly “austere” nations today did not cut govt spending. If you mean “cut govt spending”…

                      The US in 1920. They had a recession with as high unemployment and growth contraction as that in 1929, Harding cut taxes and govt spending, they recession was over by the end of 1921.
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czcUmnsprQI

                      NZ in 1991.
                      http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2010/06/ruth-richardson-and-fiscal-austerity.html

                      Estonia recently, apparently.
                      http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/303329/austerity-works-michael-tanner

                      Where the opposite didn’t work.

                      -The US in the 30s.
                      -The US in the 2000s
                      -Much of Europe in the last 5 years.
                      -NZ haven’t been “austere” over the last 5 years either.

                      http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/government-final-consumption-expenditure-in-us-dollars-2012-3_govxp-table-2012-3-en

                    • KJT

                      Rusty, rearranging History.

                      What Republican website did you get that from.

                      You can see from US graphs of employment and other indicators that Austerity = downhill. Stimulus = rise in positive economic indicators, every time.

                      Where Keynes got his ideas about stimulus and economic cycles from. Real life!

                      The Austrians interviewed their assumptions, like Hayek and Friedman.

                      If you think Richardson did anything for our economy you were either not there or delusional. She managed to cause a recession in NZ even when the rest of the world did not have one.

                      In NZ you can see the same cycle. Small Government = downturn.

                      If you don’t think the USA is practicing austerity ask a firefighter in Chicago.

                    • mike e

                      Rusty the wall st journal Murdoch.
                      They have only published a small amount of data relating to NZ.
                      To say Singapore and Honk Kong have freedoms we do is bs.
                      If it weren’t for Australia being next door and china being our major trading partners the resilience comment would read dire straits more good luck than good management.
                      Put Child poverty and wealth distribution in the mix and were at the bottom of the OECD.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “Rusty the wall st journal Murdoch.”
                      Don’t know what this means.

                      “They have only published a small amount of data relating to NZ.”
                      Agree. It’s annoying. Just spent 20 minutes trying to find government expenditure across time. Cannot find.

                      “To say Singapore and Honk Kong have freedoms we do is bs.”
                      Hong Kong’s freedoms are being curtailed. Expect their economic growth to start converging with China’s

                      “If it weren’t for Australia being next door and china being our major trading partners the resilience comment would read dire straits more good luck than good management.”
                      Completely agree.

                      “Put Child poverty and wealth distribution in the mix and were at the bottom of the OECD.”
                      Agree, it’s not awesome.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “You can see from US graphs of employment and other indicators that Austerity = downhill. Stimulus = rise in positive economic indicators, every time.”
                      Can you give some examples?

                      “Where Keynes got his ideas about stimulus and economic cycles from. Real life!”
                      Which examples did Keynes give? The pyramids. He was a big fan of those as economic “stimulus”

                      “The Austrians interviewed their assumptions, like Hayek and Friedman.”
                      Friedman wasn’t an Austrian and Hayek is merely the most famous, not the best.

                      “If you think Richardson did anything for our economy you were either not there or delusional. She managed to cause a recession in NZ even when the rest of the world did not have one.”
                      Present the data, then.

                      “In NZ you can see the same cycle. Small Government = downturn.”
                      How does that work? We don’t have a small govt. It continues to get bigger.

                      “If you don’t think the USA is practicing austerity ask a firefighter in Chicago.”
                      Government spending cuts refer to all of govt. Pointing to one small (but important) part of the whole picture and saying “there you go” doesn’t work. Total govt spending in the States is getting bigger and bigger. That is a fact.

                      And Chicago Fire Fighters are paid for by the state of Illinois. So, I don’t know what you are on about.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I really hate the neolib RWNJs trying to condense Keynes entire economics to “spend spend spend” or in your case Rusty, all he was about was “pyramids”

                      What bullshit

                      The neocons in the US even describe the bank bailouts as Keynesian which is utter tripe, Keynes would never have advocated such an approach to a financial crisis.

                    • Matt

                      Oh yay, a lecture on economics from the same dingbat that described China’s subsidizing of major industry to underprice and eventually squeeze out foreign competition as their being “generous”. Drink some turps.

                • RedLogix

                  Yes we know that closed totalitarian economies do not show the fast short-term growth we have come to accept as normal in the OECD since WW2. But the simple fallacy you perpetually fall into goes something like this:

                  Too much water is a bad thing; therefore no water must be a very good thing.

                  Besides you totally fail to define what you mean by ‘success’.

                • Colonial Viper

                  the ones that have been the most successful economically.

                  Is this measured by dramatic losses in middle class incomes and job security as the top 0.1% become multiples richer?

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    Where have I said that is a good thing. We can only work with the data we have.

                    Do you have the data that the 0.1% is getting many multiples richer at the expense of everyone else? The notion gets bandied about a lot, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the data.

                    It could well be happening. All I’m saying is, the people who say that never present the data.

                    • KJT

                      In NZ. Top 3% 17% increase in wealth in the last 12 months.

                      Average wage rise for the rest. 0%. Negative against inflation in other words.

                      Source Stats NZ.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      That is the top 3%. That is a group of people 30 times larger than the .1%.

                      And not to boo hoo for that group, but they suffered the biggest decreases in wealth during recession.

                      “Average wage rise for the rest. 0%. Negative against inflation in other words.”
                      Let’s abolish systemised inflation! Good idea!

                    • KJT

                      On the contrary the top few percent have had double digit increase in wealth every year for the last 5.

                      The only way to get rid of inflation is to get rid of interest and financial expansion of the money supply.

                      Fighting inflation with higher interest rates is like hauling up a bucket while standing in it.

                    • mike e

                      Rusty Estonia still has 12% unemployment race to the bottom economics.
                      Undercut everybody short term thinking.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The notion gets bandied about a lot, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the data.

                      Can’t have been looking too hard or, more likely, ignoring the facts as they go against your ideological blinkers.

                • KJT

                  Like the UK, Ireland, Somalia.

                  Yeah right!

                • KJT

                  The reason the banks here did not go the way of Lehmans, and others, is because an Aussie, Paul Keating, restricted their economic freedom.

                  Compared to NZ finance companies. Who had far more freedom than they could handle.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Also the Reserve Bank in NZ keeps a pretty iron grip on bank prudential behaviour. (As opposed to the former finance companies).

                    Regulation is good, Rusty.

                  • mike e

                    Circa 2003 Clark govt wanted more regulation, the finance sector rejected that any legislation was required, nact complained nanny state self regulation same old diatribe.
                    who didn’t bother listening to treasury advice bungling bill english.
                    $1.7 billion later

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Bungling? You think it was “bungling” which led to a whole lot of Southland farmers getting their money in South Canterbury Finance back?

                      I call it serving your constituents.

            • djp 4.1.1.1.1.2

              I dont often participate in this forum, it is hard to keep the debate focused on the issues

            • prism 4.1.1.1.1.3

              Good old Rusty turns up. You can ride out on the horse you came in on.

          • McFlock 4.1.1.1.2

            Suggesting that the only two places retirement savings can be invested are the sharemarket or under the mattress looks pretty close-minded to me.
                         
            E.g. govt bonds.
                   
            There were a couple of other odd issues you raised, such as the exchange rate being high because “we” have too much money. Love to know who “We” is, because most people in the country do not have all that much. And you also failed to see that although we (people in NZ) might have greater freedom of choice in what we buy, we (people in NZ) also compete with low wage economies for jobs. So while “We” might have too much money, most of us can only afford to “choose” low quality shite made in a developing nation. Sucks to be a worker in this country.
                   
            Oh, and ignore Rusty. He just feels put out because he is actually a heartless bastard, and got called on it.

            • djp 4.1.1.1.2.1

              >>There were a couple of other odd issues you raised, such as the exchange rate being high because “we” have too much money. Love to know who “We” is, because most people in the country do not have all that much.

              Devaluing our currency will reduce the purchasing power of all NZ’ers (the Greeks face this in a huge way if they exit the Euro). Arguing for currency devaluing will make the even the low quality shit we buy more expensive. In short it will make us all (consumers) poorer. Exporters always complain when the currency is high because they would like an currency intervention which would effectively redistribute wealth from one part of NZ (all of us who are consumers and/or hold NZD savings) to themselves..

              • Colonial Viper

                Rich people complaining that their European holidays and their foreign cars are going to become more expensive.

                Boo-hoo

                • djp

                  dont be obtuse.. we all have items labled made in china/thailand/vietnam ranging from “the warehouse” marklah to hard drives and slr lenses

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Rich investors also want to buy foreign shares and holiday homes in Hawaii, so its important our NZ dollar is strong, even if it strangles our export industries and manufacturing industry at home.

                    • djp

                      Yes, a strong dollar increases the purchasing power of rich New Zealanders and poor New Zealanders. Whats your point?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It doesnt increase the purchasing power of working class NZers, it reduces it.

                    • djp

                      >It doesnt increase the purchasing power of working class NZers, it reduces it.

                      I would love to see you explain your reasoning here. To my mind this is totally at odds with reality.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      How much extra earning power did the high dollar give to workers of F&P when their plant was shut down, the production offshored, and they were made redundant because of the high dollar?

                      And the other thousands of other NZ manufacturers who have closed down or downsized because of the high dollar.

                      But as long as the already wealthy get their cheaper imported toys and cheaper overseas holidays thats fine.

                    • djp

                      Those jobs werent offshored because of high dollar, they were offshored because of a high wage.

                      Besides, think of the recipients of those jobs, they who are *much* poorer then any NZ working class now have more purchasing power and job options then they otherwise would.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Besides, think of the recipients of those jobs, they who are *much* poorer then any NZ working class now have more purchasing power and job options then they otherwise would.

                      So you think that making NZers poorer is ok because a few other people become slightly less poorer – gotcha.

              • McFlock

                a low dollar increases the local and the export value of goods produced domestically. It creates local demand, bigger export opportunities, and local jobs.
                     
                Yes there needs to be a balancing act so we can import that which we can’t produce at a satisficing value ourselves, but it would put the “we” in “We have too much money”, even if it deemphasises the “too much” aspect.
                     
                At the moment my theory is that a few people are getting richer and a lot of people are getting poorer. If only there was something we could snap to find out – like a magic genie or something…
                     
                Not saying the exchange rate is the sole cause of our worsening inequality. But it helps. 

                • djp

                  Please support your first premise: “a low dollar increases the local and the export value of goods produced domestically”. I fail to see how a floating exchange can affect the value of a good. For example I work for a company that prices its export goods in USD.

                  • McFlock

                    Does it pay its NZ staff in USD? Or pay dividends to its NZ owners in USD? 
                             
                    Funny how exporters tend to go bust when the NZD gets high.  Must be a coincidence.

              • Draco T Bastard

                (the Greeks face this in a huge way if they exit the Euro)

                And do you understand what that will actually do?

                Arguing for currency devaluing will make the even the low quality shit we buy more expensive.

                Which means that the high quality stuff we make becomes more affordable both here in NZ and overseas.

                In short it will make us all (consumers) poorer.

                Considering that over consumption is what’s killing the world I don’t see a problem with that.

                Exporters always complain when the currency is high because they would like an currency intervention which would effectively redistribute wealth from one part of NZ (all of us who are consumers and/or hold NZD savings) to themselves..

                Them’s the breaks in the free-market system.

                • djp

                  >> (the Greeks face this in a huge way if they exit the Euro)

                  >And do you understand what that will actually do?

                  The Greeks will have to accept a lower standard of living if they move to a low valued drachma (arguably they will have to anyhow)

                  >> Arguing for currency devaluing will make the even the low quality shit we buy more expensive.

                  >Which means that the high quality stuff we make becomes more affordable both here in NZ and overseas.

                  How will our high quality stuff become more affordable here? How does exporting goods at a lower price help us? Does selling labour at a lower price help workers?

                  >> In short it will make us all (consumers) poorer.

                  >Considering that over consumption is what’s killing the world I don’t see a problem with that.

                  Fine. That is tangental.

                  >> Exporters always complain when the currency is high because they would like an currency intervention which would effectively redistribute wealth from one part of NZ (all of us who are consumers and/or hold NZD savings) to themselves..

                  >Them’s the breaks in the free-market system.

                  I am not sure what you are saying.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The Greeks will have to accept a lower standard of living if they move to a low valued drachma (arguably they will have to anyhow)

                    Only for a short time and then their own economy will provide what they want.

                    1.) How will our high quality stuff become more affordable here? 2.) How does exporting goods at a lower price help us? 3.) Does selling labour at a lower price help workers?

                    1.) The boost in the local economy will boost local wages. 2.) Increases demand 3.) See 1.)

                    I am not sure what you are saying.

                    Suffice to say that the value of a currency is one of the risks inherent in free-market capitalism. I don’t have any sympathy for people who most likely demand a free-market and then, when it becomes too hard for them, demand that the government do something to guarantee their profits. See it all the time though.

              • prism

                djp
                These are your own words –
                Devaluing our currency will reduce the purchasing power of all NZ’ers (the Greeks face this in a huge way if they exit the Euro). Arguing for currency devaluing will make the even the low quality shit we buy more expensive. In short it will make us all (consumers) poorer. Exporters always complain when the currency is high because they would like an currency intervention which would effectively redistribute wealth from one part of NZ (all of us who are consumers and/or hold NZD savings) to themselves..

                These are relevant points to other people that you choose not to consider.
                There would be advantages to devaluing our currency, then the prices of imports would go up and there would very soon be small businesses in NZ set up to compete with those prices. The exporters would get more of their money back in to NZ and there would be more cash flow in the economy, and some more employment directly by farmers and if they bought NZ equipment with their spare cash.

                The effect of importing cheap goods into NZ increases the purchasing power particularly of middle income people here.
                The goods have to be paid for with overseas reserves earned from our exports.
                To earn the maximum return is the aim of exporters.
                NZs often have to pay the export prices which are higher than they would be if made for the domestic NZ market.

                The imported goods replace those originally made within the country by NZs.
                The goods exported for higher prices are expensive to buy for low income people.
                Those low income NZs who used to be employed in these basic manufactures find it difficult to get full-time employment in similar areas, and are forced to work for very low pay in ‘caring’ jobs, or casual work that doesn’t pay much or allow workers set working hours.
                Overall these low income people are not helped by lower-priced imports, because they have suffered reduced wages, and are limited in choice to the lowest.
                In other words their living standards have decreased because of imports replacing their previous work output.

                Then also the low income people find housing increasingly expensive.
                There is so little to safely invest in within NZ money is going into housing by investors because it is permanent, and dodgy financiers have shaken the confidence and trust of investors. But this has created a housing inflationary ‘bubble’.
                So low income people find the proportion of their income that they spend on this essential requirement, housing, is growing beyond half their income for the most basic housing.

                You will no doubt quibble with points made. Hopefully the others who are more informed than I am will note any bads I’ve made.

      • mike 4.1.2

        And that’s a big call coming from a guy who has survived Pete George, King Kong, and Oleobiscuitbarrel.

        • prism 4.1.2.1

          mike 4 1 2 4.11pm
          What’s that then? And who has survived? And should we give them a medal or not care?

      • djp 4.1.3

        Thankyou, would you like to elaborate on that?

    • Mikesh 4.2

      “>> 12. Labour is taxed while capital and land aren’t

      I have no love of labour tax but I fail to see how this is dooming the country compared to anything else.”

      The returns on capital (ie interest, profits, rents, etc) are taxed.

      The problem with taxing capital directly is that capital is formed by putting aside part of income, on which of course it can be assumed tax has already been paid. Taxing capital would therefore involve us in double taxation. A land tax however would be reasonable since land is a “common” and anyone who wishes to”own” land could be expected to pay the community for the privelege.

      What Darkhorse is alluding to is the lack of a tax on capital gains. But CGT is a dubious proposition anyway.

      • djp 4.2.1

        There is an argument that taxing land and capital is better.. as they are somewhat fixed in location compared to labour.

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1

          Taxing land is easy. We do it all the time. Taxing capital is easy, we do it all the time, by clipping transactions.

          Bottom line: its easy to do. IF you wanted to.

        • KJT 4.2.1.2

          First raised by Adam Smith in the “wealth of Nations”.

          The bits that RWNJ’s prefer to ignore.

          Paraphrasing a bit.

          Do not tax Labour and Entrepreneurs. Tax the landowners and the owners of capital, as they do not produce anything and it will make them use their capital and land for the good of all.

    • bad12 4.3

      You are wrong at 1,

      Our exchange rate is too high,

      The exchange rate is too high because the unit of trade the American Dollar was diluted in value by the Obama administration’s bail outs of finance and business, in effect by ‘printing money’,

      To have kept the New Zealand dollar on a par of value we would have also needed to have printed and spent into our economy New Zealand dollars of such a value so as to dilute their international price while keeping inflation within the 0-3% target,

      Easy really, the state could have killed two stones with one bird by simply building high density state housing with the monies printed to enable a devaluation of the New Zealand Dollar,

      Such low cost rental housing built in the major cities would have solved a number of social and financial problems our economy faces, with low rentals allowing for wage stability while enabling promotion of spending in the local economy via releasing incomes now spent upon rents as real disposable income…

      • KJT 4.3.1

        Exactly what we did in the 30′s.

        And Germany in the 50′s.

        Which got us out of the great depression earlier and more positively than most other countries.

        They needed a war!

        Of course, because it worked, it is not a policy New Zealand’s government will follow. NACT or Labour.

        • bad12 4.3.1.1

          Aha, Basic Socialism, perhaps the Labour Caucus needs to undertake a historical review just so that they all have a clue so to speak,

          The State being the major builder/renter of note in the economy would have direct bearing upon the price paid, both for private rentals and actual purchase of homes taking the inflationary push out of both,

          Obviously where those on low and fixed incomes are paying rentals that are 50,60,70% of their income the State able to offer rental of 25% of Household income would also be freeing up large tranches of actual cash on a weekly basis able to be spent into the local economy,

          Again obviously, the State begins to gather more tax from both the direct use of the freed up monies being used in the local economy, employment lifts again creating a plus for the State as further taxation is gathered and less benefits are paid,

          I have yet to see any economist anywhere that can actually knock over the argument for such sate building/renting of housing except for the fact that any negatives in society or the economy are borne by those who are by choice landlords in the private rental market…

      • djp 4.3.2

        You havent explained why the NZD should keep on par with US inflationary printing.

        If NZ was to pursue inflationary printing that would reduce the purchasing power of each dollar you and I hold. It would also maker workers poorer in wages (because they are sticky) for a while.

        You state how the govt could spend this newly minted money. I would rather avoid this kind of tax and keep my money but that is orthogonal… I still dont see why our exchange rate needs to be lower.

        • McFlock 4.3.2.1

          Because we export. And we import stuff we can make perfectly well here.
             
          And my personal theory is that actual exports tend to involve money going to all parts of the nation (e.g. wages, small business profits and follow-on expenditure) and then goes through regional centres into the main cities, whereas investment earnings tend to fall straight into the Auckland CBD monetary maelstrom – before going byebye to aussie banks. But that’s just a vibe.

          • djp 4.3.2.1.1

            Sure and you possibly could make all your own clothes but I would guess you probably do not.

            We export and (just as importantly) import so we can get the benefits of economic specialisation (or division of labour), without this we return to the hunter-gatherer state.

            • prism 4.3.2.1.1.1

              djp
              Really ! :grin:

            • McFlock 4.3.2.1.1.2

              Nice false dichotomy: free trade or stone age.
                 
              But you missed the point that if we are not the best producers at anything, we will produce nothing, so have no money to import anything. 
                        
              ’tis a balancing act. Free trade and no income at one end, hunting and gathering at the other. 
                 
              Or you could look the the real world, rather than just pretending your theory corresponds to reality.
               

        • bad12 4.3.2.2

          Wrong again, i state how i think the State SHOULD spend such monies printed,

          Myself, i aint here to provide the likes of you a 101 lesson in basic economics, but, a high NZDollar provides less for exports to the economy while a lower NZDollar provides more,

          The rest you should be able to find via self-education…

          • djp 4.3.2.2.1

            >a high NZDollar provides less for exports to the economy while a lower NZDollar provides more

            I could possibly get more work a rate of $5 per hour compared to $30 per hour but I wouldnt nessesarily be better off. Dont be so quick to concede a price discount for the entire NZ export industry.

        • bad12 4.3.2.3

          You are also wrong at 4,

          Consumers are only ‘free’ to buy whatever importers stuff the shelves with, there is very little ‘choice’ involved except for that of the importer…

          • Rusty Shackleford 4.3.2.3.1

            That’s bull. Importers import stuff people want to buy. If they don’t people don’t buy and they go broke.

            The only way your reality would work is if every single person who imports goods into NZ, or close to it, got together and decided they would only import things people didn’t want. And that still wouldn’t work because even working in concert, they couldn’t force people to buy what they were selling. Only the govt can do that.

            • bad12 4.3.2.3.1.1

              Wrong, i want Australian rasberry jam, in the supermarket i can buy Polish rasberry jam but not Australian,

              I either buy Polish raspberry jam or i go without…

              • Rusty Shackleford

                hahaha, what the crap are you talking about? Why do you care where it comes from? Most people are looking for quality and price. If Aussie jam was cheaper and better, someone would import it. Which I’ll guarantee they do. Even if they didn’t, someone would if you were offering the right price.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  I just went and looked at all the breakfast condiments in my fridge. Literally every single one was produced in NZ. Not a single Polish product to be found. This wasn’t even on purpose. I could give a crap where my breakfast condiments come from. I want price and quality. So do most people, as far as I know.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I just went and looked at all the breakfast condiments in my fridge. Literally every single one was produced in NZ.

                    Peanut butter and tomato sauce made in China.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Why do you care where it comes from? Most people are looking for quality and price.

                  You’re an idiot.

                  Not only do you not understand about product/branding intangibles, but Rusty now tells you what is important to you as a consumer.

                  Hey Rusty didnt you hear about free choice? How the customer is always right? How you don’t get to dictate what is and isn’t important to the consumer?

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    I’m not dictating anything to anyone. I’m just saying what I think people value. Obviously, I could be wrong on that but I’m not saying what anyone should do.

                    • mike e

                      Freidman Chicago school crap RS T rool of the day

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      You are a genius.

                    • McFlock

                      You seemed to imply that a wine has no additional value, even to the uninitiated, because it comes from France. Or lamb from NZ (I guess all that branding strategy is pointless). Or, indeed, maybe jam from poland.
                            
                      Looks to me like marketing isn’t your forte.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Was that the point bad12 was getting at? It would surprise me if it was.

                    • McFlock

                      Nah, it was more along the lines that importers import what they think will sell, not necessarily what people ideally want. It’s one of those dickie “imperfect information” things which means free markets suck in the real world.
                                
                      You just nitpicked on the example rather than  addressing the point. Surprising, that.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      The best alternative doesn’t have perfect information, either. So, that isn’t really a valid criticism of free markets.

                    • McFlock

                      Lol.     
                           
                      And that alternative would be? 

                • bad12

                  Not crap buckwheat, just pointing out how wrong your previous post on the subject was…

            • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2.3.1.2

              Importers import stuff people want to buy.

              No, what they import is what they think people want to buy. If they guess well they make a profit, if they don’t they go broke. Quite a lot of the stuff I buy I purchase from offshore simply because it’s not available here, i.e, the importers guessed wrong and so did the manufacturers. Now, it could be that my tastes are extreme or it could be that there’s actually a lot of frustrated people out there.

              The only way your reality would work is if every single person who imports goods into NZ,

              Or the consumers could put their orders in democratically before the importation was order was sent out and thus the importation would exactly meet demand eliminating the waste of a few people guessing.

              • Rusty Shackleford

                “Or the consumers could put their orders in democratically before the importation was order was sent out and thus the importation would exactly meet demand eliminating the waste of a few people guessing.”
                A properly functioning market does a fairly good job of doing just this, already. What “waste” exactly, are you referring to?

                And the problem with your idea (apart from it never having worked in the past, a charge you seem to like throwing at me) is that people change their minds.

                And how cumbersome would your “voting” idea be. Who is going to administer it? Are they going to do it for free? If not, will the govt play a role? How much will that cost? How do you prevent suppliers from influencing the vote? Will they be allowed to advertise, just like in a real election?

                What’s to stop people from selling their vote? I don’t really care about the market for raspberry jam, so I might sell my vote to bad12.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  A properly functioning market does a fairly good job of doing just this, already. What “waste” exactly, are you referring to?

                  In theory, in reality it sux. All the product that gets thrown out because no one bought it is waste. All the people actually having to go to the store is waste (delivery is more efficient but profit maximisation requires that the delivery be paid for preventing use of the more efficient system).

                  And the problem with your idea is that people change their minds.

                  Generally, not after they’ve purchased.

                  (apart from it never having worked in the past, a charge you seem to like throwing at me)

                  Strange, can’t recall or find anywhere where it’s been tried and when I point out something that you say hasn’t worked in the past it’s because it has been tried and hasn’t worked.

                  And how cumbersome would your “voting” idea be.

                  I doubt if it would be any more cumbersome than buying off Trademe.

                  Who is going to administer it? Are they going to do it for free? If not, will the govt play a role?

                  The government would probably be the best option.

                  How much will that cost?

                  Less than the private competitive system with the dead weight loss of profit, excess waste and duplication.

                  What’s to stop people from selling their vote? I don’t really care about the market for raspberry jam, so I might sell my vote to bad12.

                  Well, if you don’t care to have something then you won’t be voting for it. Voting for it is the same as purchasing it. You vote for raspberry jam, you get delivered raspberry jam.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    Why don’t you go and do this then?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’m working on it but taking over the country and implementing rational policies can’t be done overnight.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Yuck.

                    • Gosman

                      You taking over the country?!?

                      I haven’t laughed so much this week.

                      Good luck with that. Let us known when you actually do something of substance beyond posting on comments on this blog. Perhaps you could start a website to attract like minded individuals.

        • prism 4.3.2.4

          djp Someone who can use the word orthogonal, and know it’s a word and what it means shouldn’t be pretending to be a naive questioner. Just present your ideas why don’t you without making a list long enough for one complete wallpaper cut.

        • jimgreen 4.3.2.5

          The kiwi dollar is the 10th highest traded currency in the world and this is a choice by successive governments lapping up praise for low interest rates. With the americans dishing out sub-1% interest loans to their banks this hot money flies off the presses looking for a home and our comparatively higher interest rates with an openley traded currency are a no brainer.

          A financial transaction tax is a good idea just for this reason alone. The status quo is great if you have collateral and are in the process of ticking up your rental portfolio but savers and first home buyers are priced out of the market and we swing from one housing bubble to the next. A finacial transactions tax would help reduce demand for NZD’s and combat this flood of money from people we could never compete with, be that the already rich here or the really rich abroad.

          The way the exchange rate is priced currently is (and always will be) a very political decision.

  5. steve 5

    ha, darkwhorse, the answer is simple, i will play baseball in the field of dreams, after-all the sacrificing my son does… for me 2 this job

  6. AAMC 6

    More evidence of Bank Generated money & Fractional Reserve Banking with this IMF paper proposing Full Reserve Banking and acknowledging the private debt build up that results from unregulated endogenous money..

    http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/2012/08/imf-backs-full-reserve-banking/

    Just to clarify, I’m not necessarily endorsing Full Reserve Banking as an alternative to the Gold Standard, just pointing out the IMF’s acknowledgement of banks creating money without reserves. Anne Pettifor this morning is arguing in favor of Fiat, just tightly regulated..

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      “endogenous money…” who in Sydney have you been reading up :D

    • Gosman 6.2

      Quick question for you AAMC.

      Why do you think no political party in the NZ Parliament, (that I am aware of), is advocating serious reforms to our banking system if Fractional reserve banking is the problem. Not even Mr Harawira is advocating we do away with this system. Have they all been bought off do you think?

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        Because they’re either stupid or owned by the banks.

        • Gosman 6.2.1.1

          Nice to know Harawira is on my side then

          How’s your mission to over throw the current order going by the way?

          • AAMC 6.2.1.1.1

            I’m not really interested in who’s advocating what in NZ Gosman, because ultimately the narrative is not formed here and we traditionally obediently follow.

            Anyway, I was posting in relation to yesterday’s discussion about Banks creating money, and was linking not an NZ parliamentarian, but an IMF paper. Which gave some further evidence to those who think banks lend in relation to their reserves.

            Here’s the IMF paper
            http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=26178.0

            And here’s the article I earlier linked which was discussing it
            http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/2012/08/imf-backs-full-reserve-banking/

            You’ll notice I stated that I didn’t endorse and end to Fiat, but clearly the banks will eventually be limited in the way that they flood the system with debt in order to enrich themselves. And this is a discussion which is happening in the mainstream Gos, in The Financial Times, The Telegraph, on Bloomberg…

            So your point??

          • AAMC 6.2.1.1.2

            They’re doing a good enough job of it themselves.

            And no, I don’t think they’ve been paid off, I think they’re caught in a world of “rational actors” and their faith is preventing them from figuring out the world isn’t in fact flat.

  7. Gosman 7

    Of those points the only one that has any real validity is Point 12 -.Labour is taxed while capital and land aren’t. The rest is just ideological base scaremongering.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      You mean with more than 50% of Maori and Pasifika youth not employed and not training, we aren’t squandering the talent of NZ young? It seems to me we are.

      It also appears to me that banks can increase the money supply with very little state control – in fact they can increase the NZ money supply at basically the same pace that they can sell debt to the public.

      And of course, I thought you would agree that as a country, we spend more than we earn. Certainly in terms of both balance of payments, and as the Government accounts.

      Dude thats 3 more points right there Darkhorse nailed.

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  • A tale of two lists
    The National party list came out yesterday, and all the talk was of gender balance. National does not have it. According to Kiwiblog, if National gets 49% of the vote, is will have a caucus that is 71% male. At...
    Polity | 27-07
  • Bye bye, Colin
    National has all-but confirmed today that there no deal for Colin Craig in East Coast Bays, or for any other Conservative. This was the right thing for them to do, for one simple reason. All the stuff about Winston running...
    Polity | 27-07
  • Speaker: A true commitment
    In recent weeks, the Government has come out in support of a push for strangulation to become its own offence. One of a number of recommendations by an independent committee into family violence deaths, the Family Violence Death Review Committee...
    Public Address | 27-07
  • June 2014 Patronage
    The patronage results for June are out and like recent months the results are particularly good for the rail network. The June stats are also significant as they represent the end of financial year results for Auckland transport. The 12...
    Transport Blog | 27-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    Press Release – iPredict The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealands online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus...
    Its our future | 27-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    Press Release – Democrats for Social Credit Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Its our future | 27-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Press Release – Public Good Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy....
    Its our future | 27-07
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #30
    SkS Highlights Dana's Climate models accurately predicted global warming when reflecting natural ocean cycles examined a new paper by James Risbey et al that takes a clever approach to evaluating how accurate climate model temperature predictions have been while getting around the noise caused by...
    Skeptical Science | 27-07
  • Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping....
    MUNZ | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill to protect workers from exploitation and abuse....
    MUNZ | 27-07
  • Womensfest at UOA
    Apologies for lateness!...
    The Hand Mirror | 27-07
  • Update on the Downtown Shopping Centre
    There’s a good article up on the Herald website today, with an update on what’s happening with the Downtown Shopping Centre. I’d suggest heading over there and checking it out. The article notes that “Precinct [Properties] expects to release images...
    Transport Blog | 27-07
  • Party Lists – Election 2014
    . . ACT Party 1. Dr Jamie Whyte 2. Kenneth Wang 3. Robin Grieve 4. Beth Houlbrooke 5. Don Nicolson 6. Stephen Berry 7. Dasha Kovalenko 8. Gareth Veale 9. Ian Cummings 10. Sara Muti 11. Toni Severin 12. Max...
    Frankly Speaking | 27-07
  • Party Lists – Election 2014
    . . ACT Party 1. Dr Jamie Whyte 2. Kenneth Wang 3. Robin Grieve 4. Beth Houlbrooke 5. Don Nicolson 6. Stephen Berry 7. Dasha Kovalenko 8. Gareth Veale 9. Ian Cummings 10. Sara Muti 11. Toni Severin 12. Max...
    Frankly Speaking | 27-07
  • I am still waiting for my cheque
    I have often said I wonder how some of the anti-science propagandists sleep straight in their beds at night. Lately this refers to various members of the local anti-fluoridation movement and their claims. Pity I am not the litigious sort – there...
    Open Parachute | 26-07
  • Yet Another National MP Spending Tens of Thousands of Tax Payers Money…
    The list of National MP’s whose arrogance is beyond measure, grows … “National list MP Paul Foster-Bell is defending a huge spike in his taxpayer-funded expenses as he campaigned for a seat selection. Wellington-based Foster-Bell’s spending increased from $7459 between...
    An average kiwi | 26-07
  • National Party Plans on Near-Starving Hospital Patients to Save Money
    Yes, the National Party continues destroying the Health system and now it’s patients with it! Article below from the ODT Warning over hospital food cutbacks Nutrition experts have warned a government cost-cutting team that patients could suffer malnutrition or even...
    An average kiwi | 26-07
  • Northcote Walking and Cycling improvements
    Auckland Transport are starting consultation tomorrow for a series of walking and cycling improvements to Northcote. All up there will be 5.2km of improvements from the intersection of Taharoto Road and Northcote Road through to the Northcote Ferry Terminal. Along with improving cycling facilities...
    Transport Blog | 26-07
  • Thankfully, Tories are ALWAYS wrong
    Back in 2008, 2009 and 2010, were we not assured, absolutely assured, that debt rising above 90% of GDP would send the economy into a deathly death spiral and lead to death?Indeed, ladies and gentlement, you had better hope the...
    Left hand palm | 26-07
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #30B
    14 concepts that will be obsolete after catastrophic climate change Abrupt climate shifts in the past offer warning for future Changing human behavior is major factor in selling cleaner cars, curbing congestion China’s energy plans will worsen climate change, Greenpeace...
    Skeptical Science | 26-07
  • French Lessons
    Aux Armes Citoyens! Exacerbating Labour's current difficulties is the unfinished character of the rank-and-file's 2012 revolution. It was as if the revolutionary crowds of Paris, having torn down the Bastille, then decided to build it back up again!“APRÈS MOI, LE...
    Bowalley Road | 26-07
  • Most politicians don’t care about elderly
    Back at the end of June the New Zealand Aged Care Association ran a full paged advert in the NZ Herald concerning a number of questions they wanted politicians to answer. They also sent each party a letter outlining their...
    The Jackal | 26-07
  • I wish you all solidarity
    On Thursday night was my valedictory speech in Parliament – the last official word of my nearly nine years as a Labour MP. Valedictories are rites of passage.  Some of us will be remembered.  Most of us won’t, until we...
    Red Alert | 26-07
  • Billboards
    We drove out to Porirua today and back through the Wellington commuter suburbs: Johnsonville, Ngaio etc. There was a scattering of billboards around, almost all of which were TeamKey/National billboards. Here’s a picture of the cluster near to where I live on...
    DimPost | 26-07
  • Billboards
    We drove out to Porirua today and back through the Wellington commuter suburbs: Johnsonville, Ngaio etc. There was a scattering of billboards around, almost all of which were TeamKey/National billboards. Here’s a picture of the cluster near to where I live on...
    DimPost | 26-07
  • Reconcile this, please, Mr Coleman
    National’s Jonathan Coleman has some explaining to do. He has stated that: “Ministers had absolutely no knowledge of any pending FBI-NZ Police investigation.” The NZ Herald reports that Immigration NZ received a detailed briefing regarding the FBI’s interest in Kim Dotcom, ahead...
    Occasionally erudite | 26-07
  • Much to fight for in the Maori seats
    We all know it could be a fight to the death in the Maori seats this election, but it's startling to think that some candidates are borrowing money off their mortgages just to be able to stand at this election.It seems...
    Pundit | 26-07
  • A plea to all Labour Party activists
    Let's focus on being unfocused. Hey, maybe it will work....
    Imperator Fish | 26-07
  • Hosking hits back
    Greetings and salutations to you all. I’m broadcaster and National Party stalwart Mike Hosking and I just wanted to take a bit of time out of my busy Saturday eating Gruyère cheese and supping trim latte’s to speak on a...
    My Thinks | 26-07
  • The CRL and City Centre Office Shortages
    When the government finally announced they would support the CRL – but starting in 2020 – they listed two targets that would need to be on track to being met to bring construction forward. Rail Patronage to double to 20...
    Transport Blog | 26-07
  • A tale of two meetings…continued
    Last week I pointed out the marked difference between how many people are attending National's campaign meetings compared to the Internet Mana party's and thought a follow-up on how things are going is in order. Unfortunately for National thing's aren't...
    The Jackal | 25-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    It seems that Conservation Minister Nick Smith has again been caught out interfering to allow more pollution in our rivers, the Green Party said today. Last year the Department of Conservation submission on the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was suppressed after...
    Greens | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    National's deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says."These parties have no electoral mandate and will return to Parliament only...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative costs are skyrocketing while the level of investment in actual science remains a mystery, says Labour’s Innovation, Research...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built under Gerry Brownlee in the last two years, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove....
    Labour | 28-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    The National Government should allow scientists and businesses to get on with innovation rather than allow Steven Joyce's heavy hand to direct it, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today. Dr Norman was responding to reports today that several...
    Greens | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait for solutions, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Of course CERA officials do need to...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they don’t keep in line with Government’s views, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “Nick Smith...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    “It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP.  ”She’s strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven’t had any – and won.  That...
    Mana | 27-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect New Zealand beaches from oil spills. The plan is the second component of the Party's environmental priority this election: Rivers clean enough to swim in again, and beaches safe from oil...
    Greens | 26-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Something Fishy About Nick Smith’s Game.
    NICK SMITH’S crude intimidation of the Fish and Game Council points to the bleakest of environmental futures should National be re-elected on 20 September. It is now considerably clearer than 60 percent of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and streams that...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Key’s odd personal hypocrisy in Epsom, his kiss of death to the Maori Par...
    Aside from tricking Colin Craig into running in an electorate National can crush him in, John Key has announced three things in his election deals that are ill thought out. The first is his deal with the Maori Party. At a time...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Why it’s all over for the Conservative Party
    Whatever flirtations were made months ago to Colin Craig by National strategists, the polling must have come back showing them too much of their soft urban vote would walk if Key was in Government with Colin Craig.  The necessary inside muscle to...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Balance in the NZ Herald and has something gone terribly wrong at the Heral...
    So the ‘balance’ in the NZ Herald this year for the election will be… Guest columnists will include the acerbic Cactus Kate from the radical right, former Labour candidate Josie Pagani and broadcaster Mark Sainsbury. Right, so that would be...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Phew – National Party hubris seals strategy
    The National Party are bot listening to Matthew Hooton. Phew. Hooton has crunched the numbers and based on past polling National always drops 6 points come election day. National aren’t listening. Barging through the need to cut deals with all...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Noam Chomsky on the TPPA
    Noam Chomsky on the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Unacceptable secrecy around labelling people terrorists
    It’s good to see the Sunday Star-Times attempting to get more information from government agencies about Daryl Jones, the Kiwi killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.  The paper is right to complain about the government’s refusal to provide...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • A critical deconstruction of John Key – what’s behind the facade?
    Aspiring national leaders need a popular narrative of their rise to power.  Once in office, the narrative can be refined to fit the requirements of leadership and re-election.  Such is the purpose of John Roughan’s John Key: Portrait of  a...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Radio Live – off Mark
    The Top Marks lasted five weeks on Mediaworks radio station The Sound. This may have something to do with last being relevant in the mid-1980s when there were only two commercial FM licences in Auckland and they were on one...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Shasha Ali – I am an indigenous person but I will never call ...
    Yesterday was indeed a politically hectic day in Aoteaora New Zealand, especially if you are an activist that cares about both human and non-human animal rights. Protest actions were organised to demand an end to factory farming from about noon, and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine or ‘Pro-Peace’?
    Latest protest for people of Gaza in Auckland In the past couple of weeks I have heard a lot of people say that they are neither Pro-Israel nor Pro-Palestine; they are pro-peace. This is a stand that I respect. Everyone...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Forest & Bird supports Fish and Game’s freshwater advocacy
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is concerned over allegations the Fish & Game Council has been threatened over its advocacy for freshwater quality....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Time for Epsom to say “no deal”
    “Epsom voters will be disgusted by the deal announced today to try and once again gift their electorate to the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Petition for release the of seven Bah
    At the invitation of the Honourable Annette King the New Zealand Bahá'í community is presenting a petition to the House of Representatives asking the NZ government to demand the release of the seven former leaders of the Baha’i community in...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Capital gains in the capital city
    Victoria University will today be hosting a public debate on the merits of more comprehensive capital gains tax—a step which taxation expert Associate Professor Dr David White considers would be beneficial for New Zealand. Organised by student group Beta Alpha...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Te Kupenga supports efforts of anti-violence campaigner
    Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga – National Network of Stopping Violence Services (Te Kupenga) wholeheartedly endorses statements made by DJ, Kickboxer and Anti-Violence Campaigner Richie Hardcore this morning on TV3’s Firstline about the role of men...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealand’s online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus is now just 0.22%...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    “Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Getting privacy right in our data future
    Privacy Commissioner John Edwards welcomes the release of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum’s report....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Paddock to plate, and smart roads possible
    New Zealand’s international brand and exports could grow significantly with the creation of a data sharing ‘eco-system’ according to a paper released by the NZ Data Futures Forum today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ngapuhi wants to overthrow Maori King
    Ngapuhi is planning a hui for the end of the year – organised by iwi leader David Rankin – in which the future of the King Movement will be discussed....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Housing warrant of fitness little help for sick children
    A housing warrant of fitness has been promoted as a way of preventing sickness among children in poverty. The attached report shows that such a regime would have little impact on health outcomes but would come at a considerable cost,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Upcoming Fabian Events in Auckland
    Sue Bradford ’s PhD thesis, 'A major left wing think tank in Aotearoa—an impossible dream or a call to action?' looked at why no major left wing think tank has developed in Aotearoa and whether the left in 2010-2013 was...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens
    The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the merits and costs of the “ No car? No problem! Getting around your community without a car” brochure, released by the Office for Senior Citizens. The brochure’s purpose is to explain to senior citizens...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • NZ Troops Hone Their Skills in Queensland
    Around 260 New Zealand troops are on a 25-day Australian-led warfighting exercise in Townsville, Northern Queensland....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Maritime Union backs Green Party call for shipping lanes
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban
    Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban The Auckland Council has announced that they are abandoning the rodeo ban on council land, put into place in 2008. This was done with virtually no consultation, says SAFE, the animal advocacy organisation....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor
    Ministers Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor Police Minister Anne Tolley and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman have a rare opportunity this week to gain first-hand knowledge about Indonesian police and military activities in West...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Minister Right to Give Fish & Game a Serve
    Reacting to Radio New Zealand’s report concerning allegations that Conservation Minister Nick Smith warned the Fish and Game Council that it acts like a 'rabid NGO', Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ivory trade laws look set to tighten following petition
    A petition mounted by an Auckland schoolteacher has won the support of a powerful Select Committee and has moved the New Zealand closer towards a fully enforceable ivory trading ban....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Bilingual guide a demonstration of leadership
    “Waikato River Restoration: A Bilingual Guide” to the Waikato River that saw Tainui Waikato, Landcare Trust and the Waikato River Authority working together is a demonstration of rangatiratanga or leadership says Race Relations Commissioner...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    "It's great to have Georgie on board" said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP. "She's strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven't had any - and won. That...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Sir Bob Harvey
    SUSAN Sir Bob Harvey was behind the transformation of Norm Kirk, and one of New Zealand's most popular Prime Ministers. He also advised Bill Rowling, David Lange and Helen Clark, the latter as Labour Party President. Wild Westie a new...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Rod Drury
    Xero boss Rod Drury told TVNZ’s Q+A programme what the political parties are offering at this election is ‘all too small.’ “There's no policy, all it is a bunch of incremental stuff. “All too small. What we want to do...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Gerry Brownlee
    Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee Rules Out Fastracking Auckland’s City Rail Loop Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee told TV1’s Q+A programme this morning that he won’t be bringing forward an Auckland City Rail loop based on new figures showing...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey
    Lisa Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey Headlines: Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey suggests “we can move on some” changes to welfare for New Zealanders in Australia New Zealanders “brothers and sisters” who make “a massive contribution”,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Flavell and Harawira on The Nation
    Lisa Owen interviews Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana leader Hone Harawira Headlines: Hone Harawira says realistically his Mana Party can take three Maori seats, Te Ururoa Flavell sticks to prediction that Maori Party will win all seven....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
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