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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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    Occasionally erudite | 22-10
  • Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 – what really happened?
    Three months after the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine the world is no wiser about what, and who, caused this crash. Well, we have the preliminary report but this only confirmed the bleeding obvious (“the aircraft was penetrated by a...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • It’s about history… & votes & elephants
    I think I'll start at the end. Andrew ended his recent post like this:...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More than 20 jobs saved at Auckland faculty of education
    The union and TEU members at the University of Auckland have managed to reduce proposed compulsory job cuts at the faculty of education from 35 down to just two. Local TEU organiser Enzo Giordani said feisty staff with a staunch...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the tokenism of New Zealand‘s role against Islamic Sta...
    Was John Key born lucky or what? Political performance tends to be judged on three things – the unemployment rate, the petrol price at the pump, and the market value of your house. This year, Key was lucky enough to...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-10
  • MIT chaos following job cut announcement
    Chaos reigns at MIT following last week’s announcement that the polytechnic will cut 68 full time equivalent jobs, according to local TEU organiser Chan Dixon. Over a thousand people have signed a petition opposing job cuts at the polytechnic. Staff are...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Auckland staff call for Living Wage
    The Living Wage Network held a rally and barbecue this week calling on the University of Auckland to become first New Zealand’s Living Wage university, by paying all staff, both directly employed and contracted staff, a living wage of $18.80...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Otago debates one off lump sum
    The University of Otago has not offered its staff a pay rise on their rates at collective agreement negotiations, opting instead to offer a one-off lump sum of $1000, which will not go ‘on the rates’. TEU members at the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Speaker: David Fisher: The OIA arms race
    Good afternoon everyone. I am David Fisher, a reporter with the New Zealand Herald. I have worked as a journalist for 25 years, mainly in New Zealand but across a number of other countries.I think there's some value before I...
    Public Address | 22-10
  • Employment law first act of new government
    As the prime minister promised, his government has rushed to push through its Employment Relations Amendment Bill as one of its very first actions this week. The bill, which union members and workers have actively opposed for the last year,...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • 7 inspiring stories of communities taking action for climate
    Stories of communities taking action for the climate and refusing to accept the plans of polluting fossil fuel companies are happening more and more. Here are just a few inspiring climate acts of courage taken by doctors, villagers, students, farmers,...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Blowin’ in the wind
    Wind power has a pivotal role to play in the world's energy supply over the next few years. By providing huge amounts of clean, affordable power, it can buy us time in the fight against global warming while revolutions in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Wanted: more fertiliser and horse manure
    Equality enriches the soil, just like manure, but a lot less stinky (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the...
    On the Left | 22-10
  • PM gets it right about Auckland, mostly
    Prime Minister John Key is dead right when he said: First home buyers in Auckland might have to consider an apartment in order to get onto the property ladder, Prime Minister John Key says. After all, the locational efficiencies of...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • John Key’s Multiple Identities
    Question to the Prime MinisterRussel Norman: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he txted him?Prime Minister: None in my capacity as Prime Minister.John Key...
    Local Bodies | 22-10
  • Where is the Middle?
    When Labour decides who will be the next leader, it is of interest to all of us involved in politics. After all the person chosen could be New Zealand's next Prime Minister. So the debate on the nature of the...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • Labour Needs A Civil Union With The Greens
    Much has been written about where Labour needs to go from here. One issue which doesn’t seem to have generated much interest is what do they do with the Greens?...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Lau...
    The People's Flag Is ... Mint Green? Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern (whom Twitter immediately dubbed Gracinda) pose in Mint Green for one of the glossy women's magazines. In a non-revolutionary era, superficial is about as deep as it gets. BIKERS?...
    Bowalley Road | 22-10
  • Auckland’s disturbing panopticon
    Earlier in the month, we learned that Auckland was planning to install a creepy panopticon, complete with ANPR and facial recognition, for vague and undefinied purposes. This produced a flurry of OIA requests via FYI, and one of them (for...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • How to Sell a House: Free Advice from a couple of experts. (Self-Described!...
      In the 32 years that Judy and I have been together we have bought and sold quite a few houses. Six years is the longest we  lived in any one of those houses.  Our friends regard us as gypsies. The...
    Brian Edwards | 22-10
  • Judith Collins’ two-tier OIA service
    Back in August, we learned that sewerblogger Cameron Slater was receiving extraordinary OIA service from then-Minister of Justice Judith Collins, in one case receiving a response to a request within 37 minutes. But it wasn't just extraordinary for its speed;...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Fluoridation – a racist conspiracy?
    Political activists campaigning on health issues often resort to scaremongering. This can be dangerous – especially when their stories have no real basis but rely on selective and distorted information. Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network (FAN) often resorts to this sort of scaremongering. Now...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • Unbelieveable
    This week we've seen the Prime Minister desperately trying to cover up his war plans by pretending that Obama's war-planning meeting was just a "regular" meeting of defence partners which we just happened to be attending. Over on Kiwipolitico Pablo...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Are the police using ANPR to target the disabled?
    The media this morning is full of stories of the paralysed man caught driving using a walking stick to reach the pedals. Its good that he's off the road, but there's one point in the story which raises questions:The driver...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Like a cult…
    When a party loses badly, the public expects a bit of sorrowful wailing and beating of breasts. To say “This is what we did wrong, and this is how we’ll fix it” is an important part of restoring trust with...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-10
  • Does Money make Money?
    ‘Rock star economist’ or ‘inequality messiah’ French economist Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty First Century has outsold every other book on the planet this year. The book is so popular because it floats the idea that money makes...
    Gareth’s World | 21-10
  • Cycling: the benefits of complete networks
    A group of New Zealand researchers recently published an excellent paper on the costs and benefits of investing in a complete cycle network and safe street design. Their paper, which is available online, found that: the benefits of all the...
    Transport Blog | 21-10
  • Life isn’t fair. But it should be.
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) I was not an angelic child. My mother...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Up here on Planet Key
    ...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • TDB Today: Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    In my post at The Daily Blog this week I take inspiration from the great Ian Dury, and reflect on the disconnect between political ambition and the state of the climate system as it continues to warm. It will be...
    Hot Topic | 21-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
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