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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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  • Drones in Yemen; policy in Wellington – ‘conflation’ or global think...
    The news on Wednesday that one of the people killed in a US drone strike over Yemen last year was a New Zealander came as sobering news. The question of how to deal with international conflict in the 21st century,...
    frogblog | 20-04
  • What to do with the Civic building
    News this week that the future of the council’s civic building is uncertain once the council move out of it later this year and move to the old ASB tower on the corner of Albert and Wellesley St. The future...
    Transport Blog | 19-04
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #16
    6 things you need to know about reducing emissions Climate change and desertification a threat to social stability Climate concerns in a time of growing ‘climate fatigue’? Costs of climate change may prove high for future Drunken trees: dramatic signs...
    Skeptical Science | 19-04
  • Time for a local drone strike policy
    A message from Arthur McGee, founder of and spokesperson for the Commonsense Corrections Society...
    Imperator Fish | 19-04
  • AT Bouquets and Brickbats from the severe weather
    There’s a lot that Auckland Transport do that we criticise them for and I so always like being able to give them praise when they deserve it. As such this is just a quick post to say that I thought...
    Transport Blog | 19-04
  • Greens: Everywhere they look, Peters is there
    It's not bad strategy, it's not bad planning. It's not their fault at all. But unless the polls move dramatically in the next few months, the Greens are backed into an uncomfortable political corner. New Zealand First has them by the,...
    Pundit | 19-04
  • Varying explanations
    I had reason recently, in the context of discussion about a disingenuous lobby group peddling some of its “non-partisan” wares, to remember the quote: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not...
    The Paepae | 18-04
  • Mighty River Rail: A Fresh Future?
    Looking at a number of separate but current issues got me thinking about the possibility of the return of passenger services on the existing rail lines through the Waikato. These include: The potential appeal of well connected and well designed...
    Transport Blog | 18-04
  • Global warming can’t be blamed on CFCs – another one bites the ...
    A paper published in the International Journal of Modern Physics B by the University of Waterloo's Qing-Bin Lu last year claimed that solar activity and human chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) emissions, not carbon emissions, could explain the observed global warming over the...
    Skeptical Science | 18-04
  • The Road Marking Dance
    A neat video showing two clearly experienced guys painting doing road marking. Note to AT, see how easy it is to mark a street, perhaps you could get some people doing the same thing but instead of saying BUS STOP...
    Transport Blog | 18-04
  • Boundary changes
    The new electorate boundaries which will govern the election came out yesterday, and I have now had a little time to digest the final changes. Here are my three reactions. 1. Meh One of the nice things about MMP is...
    Polity | 18-04
  • There are no human rights on a dead planet
    Yesterday I spoke at the International Association of Democratic Lawyers congress in Brussels. In the audience there were over 500 hundred progressive lawyers from over 50 countries. Many of these lawyers focus on human rights issues. I called on the...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 18-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Date of Release: Friday, April 18, 2014Body:  The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions."Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    First Union Media | 17-04
  • Could this man be Prime Minister of New Zealand?
    If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you’ll know that I have in the past written some pretty scathing posts on Labour’s Shane Jones. Not to put too fine a point on it, I’ve dismissed him not only as...
    Brian Edwards | 17-04
  • Movies, feminism and postfeminism
    So, a confession: I've never really liked biographical movies about women I otherwise admire. I'm not entirely sure why - there's something about the cliches they indulge in, the Hollywood-isation. (She lapses into total vagueness revealing, yet again, that she...
    The Hand Mirror | 17-04
  • Barabbas – An Easter Story
    "All I know is that he died and I live. Maybe it’s what lies at the heart of that day."  “YOU’RE A HARD MAN TO FIND!”, exclaimed the sharp-featured young fellow, setting a jug of wine upon the table. “I’ve...
    Bowalley Road | 17-04
  • Low Traffic Forecast For Costly Warkworth Toll Road
    This is the fourth in a series of posts based on the Campaign for Better Transport’s submission to the Puhoi to Warkworth Board of Inquiry. The full presentation is over at bettertransport.org.nz Previously I pointed out that the NZTA produced...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Mitigation of Climate Change – Part 3 of the new IPCC report
          Guest post by Brigitte Knopf             Global emissions continue to rise further and this is in the first place due to economic growth and to a lesser extent to population growth. To...
    Real Climate | 17-04
  • A message from Greenpeace about Simon Bridges
    I received this email today, from Greenpeace; . Hi Frank, We’ve called for Simon Bridges to be sacked over his incompetent mishandling of the Energy and Resources portfolio. The final straw was him opening the Victoria Forest Park up for...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • A message from Greenpeace about Simon Bridges
    I received this email today, from Greenpeace; . Hi Frank, We’ve called for Simon Bridges to be sacked over his incompetent mishandling of the Energy and Resources portfolio. The final straw was him opening the Victoria Forest Park up for...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Letter to the Editor: John Key and State-sanctioned murder
    . . FROM: "f.macskasy" SUBJECT: Letters to the editor DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200 TO: "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz>  . The Editor DOMINION POST . A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more precise - by...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Letter to the Editor: John Key and State-sanctioned murder
    . . FROM: "f.macskasy" SUBJECT: Letters to the editor DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200 TO: "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz>  . The Editor DOMINION POST . A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more precise - by...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Judith Collins explains
    Judith Collins explains what really happened at that dinner, and why it's no big deal....
    Imperator Fish | 17-04
  • Citibanker: the age of renewables is here
    Kathryn Ryan’s interview earlier this week with Michael Eckhart, Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance and Sustainability at the giant investment bank Citigroup was arresting. He was in New Zealand as a keynote speaker at the Wind Energy...
    Hot Topic | 17-04
  • Media Links: Kiwi killed in drone strike.
    I did interviews on TV 3 and Radio NZ about the drone strike that killed a Kiwi dual citizen in Yemen last year. There are many questions raised by the incident, but time constraints precluded addressing all of them. The...
    Kiwipolitico | 17-04
  • Photo of the Day: Lorne St
    A quick shot of Lorne St in front of the library. It appears Brobdingnagian gardeners have dropped by with some seriously big pot plants. I love them! About the only criticism I every heard about the shared space in Lorne...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • National: American lickspittles
    Yesterday we learned that America had murdered a New Zealand citizen in a drone strike in Yemen. Today, the government was closely quizzed about its views on this in Parliament. Steven Joyce (standing in for the PM) was very clear:...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • A $130 million gift to the rich
    When the government announced that it was selling off Genesis Energy, it deliberately underpriced it, with a discounted price, generous bonus scheme, and huge dividend. And today that has had the expected result, with Genesis shares leaping almost 20% on...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Defamation via Facebook and ‘a private website’
    This defamation case should be a shot across the bows of various internet wide-boys who think ‘defence of truth’ or ‘opinion honestly held’ is some kind of magic elixir or Get Out of Jail Free card. It’s worth noting the...
    The Paepae | 17-04
  • Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink
    It is three years and one day since Danyl wrote this blog post about South Canterbury Finance. I was re-reading it today, and something stuck out like a sore thumb: December 2008: SCF undertakes a high risk loan strategy, losing...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 17-04
  • Access: I Can’t See You, But You Should See Me
    Being lost for words when you’re a talkback host could hardly be considered ideal. But back in September of 1992, I was hosting an evening talkback show on a fledgling radio station in what was then a newly deregulated, highly...
    Public Address | 17-04
  • Judith Collins: guess who’s coming to dinner?
    Judith Collins, Justice Minister, is playing dumb in parliament at question time and avoiding media. Her patronising responses, or non-responses, to allegations of corrupt influence is not becoming of a Cabinet Minister.  Her abuse of the House by criticising questions...
    Tumeke | 17-04
  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting polic...
    Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting police racism and injustice you were undefeated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Maori Party wine and dine invite
    Maori Party wine and dine invite...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget
    For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Never forget the GCSB lies
    Never forget the GCSB lies...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • The Empire strikes back
    The Empire strikes back...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • God bless capitalism
    God bless capitalism...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Drone killings erode social constraint on using violence
    The drone killing of an (unnamed) New Zealander in Yemen should prompt us to look at the ethics of this practice. We’re told from birth that murder is wrong. Yet drone killings (as conducted by the Obama administration) convey the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Labour’s first 100 days – where the messaging needs to be
    ‘The first 100 days’, an expression coined by President Roosevelt in 1933, is generally used to describe the successes and accomplishments of a government at the time when their power is greatest. During the 2008 election campaign, John Key issued...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Pharrell: a new brand of feminism?
    I think most people heard about how the song Blurred Lines featuring and co-written by Pharrell and performed by Robin Thicke (who has adeptly just been named “Sexist of the Year”) really pissed a lot of people off last year. ...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • ACT Speech: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail
    Last year there were more than 52,000 reported burglaries. According to the Treasury, for every 10 reported burglaries, there are another 12 that go unreported. This means there were more than 120,000 burglaries last year – or over 2000 a...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Derek Leask: Media Advisory Re: Nigel Fyfe MOJ Appointment
    Derek Leask yesterday 20 April 2014 made the following observations in response to a media enquiry about the recently announced appointment of Mr Nigel Fyfe, currently Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Justice (Legal and Operational Services and Legal...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oceans In The Spotlight At Election Year Oceans Forum
    The marine environment will be in the spotlight at an ‘Election Year Oceans Forum’ at Kelly Tarlton’s SEALIFE Aquarium on April 27 from 10.30-12.30. A panel of non-governmental advocates and scientists will outline challenges facing our seas, and MPs from...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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