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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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  • Rate my minister
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce wants to introduce a new ranking system, Rate My Qualification, where employers rate tertiary education courses and then students can look up the results. Well perhaps employers should be able rate other things too, such as their ministers....
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-10
  • To the field experiments!
    In the wake of the Stanford / Dartmouth schnozzle this week, this political science article caught my eye: The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or...
    Polity | 30-10
  • NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s ...
    You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, it seems — certainly not if they’re gnawing a much loved old bone at the time. The lads from the NZ Climate Science Coalition — yes, the same boys who tried to sue...
    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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