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The Standard

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

            • 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)

  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 ! 😀

            • 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 😀

    • 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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    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    6 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    6 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    6 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    7 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    1 week ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    1 week ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    2 weeks ago

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