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David Cunliffe’s speech to the New Zealand Institute

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, March 14th, 2014 - 124 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, labour - Tags:

Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.

I would like to acknowledge the New Zealand Initiative and its Executive Director, Dr Oliver Hartwich. Oliver it’s great to be here with you today – and I know this group greatly values the open contest of ideas.

You were formed from a merger of the New Zealand Institute and the Business Roundtable. This is not an audience that some would naturally associate with the Labour Party.

But I believe that we have a shared interest in an economic upgrade to a high-value economy that will support better jobs and higher incomes.

It is a project that matters to all New Zealanders, and it is one in which I have personal experience.

Before I entered politics I worked as a business consultant for The Boston Consulting Group. We worked to help companies grow, export and create more value in their operations.

In one project I led a team of mill workers at a large NZ pulp and paper mill.

Our goal was to seek practical ideas from the shop floor workers about how to do things smarter and reduce waste.

My role was to build the system that allowed all the team to contribute their best ideas, and to ensure they were analysed, implemented and tracked.

It worked beyond our expectations.  Millions of dollars a year were saved by ideas as simple as changing the wrapping on paper bales and improving work flows.

Together, we saved jobs and helped build the business.  It’s a tough industry and there have been other changes since, but we got the best we could out of what we had.

And working together – that’s what we must now do for the New Zealand economy as a whole.

Vision

New Zealanders love to say we live in the best country in the world. And it’s true. The people are great, our landscapes are spectacular, and we have a wonderful multi-cultural society.

But we are not making the most of our potential.

The problem is, while this is the best country in the world to live in, it’s not the best place to make a living.

I want to shift the New Zealand economy into high gear.

I have a vision of a New Zealand that harnesses the potential of all our people.

A vision of a country with the most productive and competitive businesses in the world.

A vision of a country with better jobs and higher wages.

It is a big step to get there.

To achieve this vision we need an economic upgrade.

That’s what I’m here to talk about today.

What’s the problem?

An old Chinese proverb says: “A peasant must stand a long time on a hillside with his mouth open before a roast duck flies in.”

It’s a warning.

Sometimes good things can fall into our lap, like periods of high commodity prices.

But it’s not a serious long-term strategy to tie our economic well-being to forces that are largely beyond our control.

Yes, New Zealand floats like a small boat on the ocean of the global economy. But I refuse to accept we can’t influence our own destiny. Together, we can achieve sustainable long-term growth.

Small states like Sweden, Norway and Singapore prove it is possible.  It’s time we woke up to what has been happening in these economies, rather than staying locked in a 1990s time warp.

I’m sure there will be some in the room who disagree. But it is the view of the Labour Party that a disproportionate and growing share of the value of the New Zealand economy is accruing to the top few percent.

Labour supports positive business, but trickle-down economics and its neoliberal parentage have failed New Zealanders and left many of our emerging businesses starved of investment capital and skills.

The opportunity gaps have widened and there is no clear, shared strategy to a high value, high income future.

That’s something Labour will change. We want an economy that works for all New Zealanders.

But in order to share wealth, first we have to make it.

We need to move away from a dependence on commodity price cycles, to build an enduring, high-value, job-rich economy that leverages our innate strengths.

What’s the solution?

An economic upgrade is needed because our economy runs on old “software”.

It’s a combination of poorly-structured investment in infrastructure, macro settings geared towards the interests of a small number of speculators, a hands-off approach to innovation, and a deficit of government-industry partnerships.

We keep doing what we’ve always done in spite of the evidence from those vibrant economies overseas. They show an intelligent hands-on approach plays an essential part in securing long-term sustainable growth.

A successful economy needs the right kinds of capital investment. It needs a culture of innovation and risk-taking which takes years to mature, and sometimes only months to lose.

It often needs partnerships at a regional and sector basis which are hard to build and to maintain.

And it needs a focus on producing more value in our businesses and our economy, instead of just a greater volume of the same old raw products.

A value focus will take a strong, far-sighted government, in partnership with business, to progress.

I have watched with dismay as many sectors of the New Zealand economy have found it increasingly hard to maintain the focus on value.  The goal seems to have slipped further away under the current government.

It will be a major strategic priority for the incoming Labour-led Government to support New Zealand business in the journey from volume to value.

From an economy driven by land banking and speculation to one extended by advanced manufacturing and innovation.

I want to set out three main parts to Labour’s economic upgrade:

  • Investment,
  • Innovation,
  • Industry.

Investment

We cannot upgrade our economy without investment. To become a high-tech economy with better jobs and higher wages, then more money going into the right areas is essential.

At the moment there is a serious shortage of cash. The NZX is a shallow cousin of stock markets around the globe. Our savings rate is dismal, meaning most new investment comes from overseas and not from local sources. Our poorly structured foreign direct investment means profits far too often drain overseas, deepening the hole in our current account.

There is significant shortage of capital, especially venture capital to go towards Kiwi businesses.

To make matters worse, most of our investment goes into the out-of-control housing market where property speculators make a killing. The productive economy sees very little of that money.

Our banking and insurance sectors, which are supposed to be the main conduit for financing smart Kiwi businesses, have become almost entirely overseas owned. That doesn’t help Kiwis build an economy they own.

Labour’s strategy is to upgrade the size and focus of our capital markets.

We will dramatically increase the local investment pool available to New Zealand businesses.

We will make KiwiSaver universal.

Every employee will contribute to their KiwiSaver account, not only ensuring financial security for New Zealanders in old age, but also making a significant boost to capital available for investment now. We have seen the success of this across the Tasman. I want to replicate that, and I know I am supported in that goal by many New Zealand businesses.

We are also committed to restarting contributions to the Super Fund. This was one of the great successes of the last Labour Government, and it will be so again under the next one.

But increasing the investment pool is not enough in itself.

Our capital gains tax will dissuade investors from speculating in the housing market and encourage them to put money into the productive exporting side of the economy.

That’s money to invest in the economic upgrade. It’s also policy many New Zealand businesses support.

The second major element to the investment upgrade is overseas investment. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is a good thing, if managed well.

But right now FDI is poorly managed, and it’s Kiwis who are losing out. Overseas investors are buying up land, farms and good companies, then sending the profits and jobs offshore.

New Zealanders want choices in their future. We need to make sure this happens.

Labour will revamp FDI to attract quality investors with a credible business case designed around creating jobs and providing new technology to New Zealand companies.

Overseas investors are welcome to be part of our economy but they must contribute to the upgrade.

Our changes to Overseas Investment Office (OIO) rules will ensure overseas investors will bring access to leading-edge technology and new overseas markets.

Investment works best if costs and barriers to business are reduced. The biggest obstacle to our exporting businesses is the consistently overvalued and volatile exchange rate. Labour has long signalled it will review monetary policy to ensure our dollar is more fairly valued to help business and lower our external balance.

My deputy and Finance spokesperson David Parker is leading this work and will be speaking more on this in the near future.

Increasing investment and getting it into the right areas with the right payoffs will be a major part of the economic upgrade. Primarily it will help fund the economic upgrade for innovation.

Innovation

Innovation is essential to New Zealand’s economic upgrade. To be a high-tech, sustainable economy that offers skilled jobs and high wages we need to be at the forefront of global innovation.

If we don’t innovate we can’t compete.

The innovation upgrade won’t just be about new gadgets and great products. It will require a culture of change.

Thankfully New Zealanders have an innovative culture. We think outside the square. We’ve always had to. We have great bones to build on.

But in commercial terms New Zealand’s investment in R&D is well below par in global terms, and it is in private R&D that we are particularly weak.

Our R&D spend is currently 1.27% (2012) of GDP, of which only 0.58% is private spending.  Compare that to Denmark, with 3.07% (2010) or Israel at 4.34% (2010).

We need to turn our numbers around, and fast.

Labour in government will restart New Zealand’s stalled innovation story.

We will renew the R&D tax credit.

We will significantly increase Crown investment in R&D, with a focus on co-funding from the private sector.

Before I became a business consultant and entered politics, I had the privilege of studying at Harvard University. In the United States I saw the value of universities, industry and venture capital working together.

That is the culture Labour will be encouraging in our research and teaching institutions; unleashing our best minds into partnerships with industry.

Labour also brings a broader concept of innovation to the table.

We must meld our creativity with capital to build small to medium companies which dominate in market niches. We must foster talent to develop innovative products and services that people want to buy, and we must protect our intellectual property.

We need to honour and replicate the likes of HamiltonJet, Icebreaker and Orion Health – mid-sized companies that have developed innovative products and services that the world wants to buy.

In these cases, the high value activity and ownership has remained in New Zealand.

But innovation is not just about hard science and new products. It is also about the softer aspects of business, such as distribution and marketing.

Our current innovation problems are hurting us in the industry that will drive our future – ICT.

If we compare ourselves with other smaller successful nations, it soon becomes clear that we have a deficit of around ten thousand high-tech jobs.

Many of our children, and those who are teaching them, are running yesterday’s technology, and are falling behind their peers in the rest of the developed world.

We cannot let that continue. ICT today plays a role similar to the railway in the 19th century.  It is the infrastructure that opens up new markets and new supply chains.

Places like Israel have realised the importance of upgrading ICT skills and related creative skills to support growth and innovation in other industries.

We need to follow in their footsteps to upgrade our ICT industry.

Labour is committed to overcoming the digital divide. We will not build a tech-savvy generation without new generation technology.

That’s why our policy is to raise the bar in terms of ensuring access to fast broadband within low-decile schools.

And Labour will introduce a “digital bill of rights” to give certainty to business and all New Zealanders that we can live, work and play safely and productively in the digital world.

We will make further announcements in this important area.

Industry

Investment and innovation are the essential frameworks for supporting business and growth and leading the economic upgrade.

But it is also essential that government mucks in and supports businesses. While I back our business community to lead in the global economy we are competing with far bigger and stronger players than us.

Government should back positive Kiwi businesses, not leave it to the wolves of international trade. Labour will do that. We want good jobs in every region in New Zealand.

That also means attracting industry to New Zealand regions that need it most.

Industry policy has become a dirty word. It isn’t. Regional development has also fallen by the wayside. Labour will bring it back. We want good jobs in every region of New Zealand.

We have witnessed a loss of heart in regional New Zealand.  There are opportunities for growth, investment and innovation in our regions, and in sectors such as forestry.

Yes, there are challenges.  But experience has shown there are ways to partner with local businesses to create value.

So under Labour the regions will play a major role in the economic upgrade.

It is time that central government stopped treating regional and local government (and their economic development agencies) as second class citizens.

Sustainable economic development means jointly developing one vision, one strategy and one engagement structure for each region.

That means simplifying the governance structures and no wrong door for businesses and communities wanting to engage in building a better future.

It means enhanced coordination and prioritisation of Crown investments, with a focus on transformative projects executed within a strong strategic framework.

Examples could include new infrastructure like a rail head to Northport or dredging the Opotiki Harbour bar to drive new aquaculture.

Or expanding research projects tailored to lead industry clusters like Scion’s Rotorua forestry expertise, or the Marlborough Wine Research Centre.

Or harnessing our polytechs to provide industry-specific training to the 70% of NZ school-leavers who do not go on to university; as centres of excellence that serve the key industries in their area, such as in forestry, tourism, fisheries, ICT, CAD, construction and viticulture.

And post-settlement iwi will have an important role as core asset owners and employers in our regions. They must be part of our shared future.

Success stories tell us something, and that is that when government is a partner in the long journey from volume to value then regions and communities can thrive.

There is no set template for regional growth. But disengagement achieves nothing. We must work together and ensure all our industries are humming.

In the very near future, I’ll be making the first of a series of industry announcements, providing concrete examples of how the economic upgrade will work.

Summary

Today I have outlined the framework for New Zealand’s economic journey to a higher value, higher knowledge, higher income and renewable future.

We want better jobs and higher wages for all New Zealanders.

We all know that in order to sustainably lift incomes we need to sustainably lift productivity.

We all know that just being a producer of raw materials, stuck on the treadmill of commodity price cycles, is not the way to that better future.

Especially when our warped tax system and our inadequate savings system incentivise over-investment in real estate, and under-investment in innovation.

New Zealand must be more than a farm to be harvested by offshore banks. We must grow our manufacturing and high-end services sectors. We must provide opportunities to inspire our best and brightest young innovators to build job creating businesses here in New Zealand.

Today I have set out for you the crucial elements of an economic upgrade that will put us on the road to shared prosperity: Investment, Innovation and Industry.

These require serious policy changes, not tinkering. That’s why we will have:

  • Capital gains tax to move from speculation to innovation,
  • Universal KiwiSaver to grow our onshore investment capital,
  • Monetary policy reform to back our exporters,
  • R&D tax credits to encourage innovation,
  • A series of industry and regional strategies that grow New Zealand’s wealth.

And all of this will leverage off a sound fiscal policy based on fairness, responsibility and sustainability.

Conclusion

We are a wonderful, beautiful country.  We can be a land of hope and opportunity for all New Zealanders.  We can truly be  – as the late Sir Paul Callaghan dreamed – a place where global talent wants to live.

We are small in size but we don’t have to be small in vision.  We cannot bet on all possible futures at once – but we can focus on what we can do well, and do it even better.

Actually we should aim to be world class in every niche we enter into.

And that – by definition – must be a shared journey. We are all in this together. Government and business, employers and workers.

Today has been about setting out the vision for a high value, sustainable future with better jobs and higher wages.

Labour’s economic upgrade is an opportunity to provide the decent society we all want.

124 comments on “David Cunliffe’s speech to the New Zealand Institute”

  1. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1

    The vision that Cunliffe is spelling out for NZ sounds infinitely more promising than National’s approach of selling out to the lowest bidder, giving contracts (& thus exporting jobs) to overseas companies, giving money to those already wealthy and keeping wage low (or lowering them) for those that are working on wages that already don’t cover living costs, ignoring workers rights to good work conditions and degenerating workers power to negotiate, amongst other things.

    • JustLikeTigerWoods 1.1

      It sounds just like what I was advocating. Deeper capital markets, more focus on investment and saving, incentivize capital investment in labour.

      So why do I get called every name under the sun, yet when Cunliffe says it, you applaud? That’s what blind tribalism gets you, huh.

      Good on Cunliffe. He’s gone up in my estimation.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        Every name under the sun? I’ve barely got started.

        It’s because your prescription will deliver the opposite of your stated aims, and this is blindingly obvious to anyone who’s been paying attention.

        • JustLikeTigerWoods 1.1.1.1

          Not to you it seems, as Cunliffe is singing from the same songbook. He’s even quoting the exact same source I did, namely Sir Paul Callaghan.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.1

            “The left must convince the voters that New Zealand is on the wrong track fiscally, and present policy that would make it better.”

            “what expenditure would you cut?”

            “There is no child poverty”

            Have you come to terms with Puddleglum’s exposure of your innumeracy yet?

            • JustLikeTigerWoods 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Cunliffe is advocating the exact same things I do, namely deeper capital markets, more focus on investment and saving, incentivize capital investment in labour.

              Which is why you’re desperately trying to change the topic. Nice to know you’ve come around after someone else told you what to think.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                English Comprehension 101, OAB’s special course for special wingnuts.

                My remark “your prescription will deliver the opposite of your stated aims” is an attack on your prescription, not your stated aims.

                Puddleglum pointed out how innumerate you are with reference to your errors in understanding the definition of poverty. I had spotted them before that, so I gambled that someone else would fill in the gap for me. Puddleglum obliged. However, I note that you had been drivelling about your wizened understanding of “the mean” whereas Puddleglum referenced the median. Nonetheless, Puddleglum’s argument holds.

                You’re innumerate, and yet you arrogantly presume to lecture on Economics. Fuck off.

                • JustLikeTigerWoods

                  Stick to the topic.

                  And go fuck yourself, too, but only if someone else tells you it’s okay first. Heaven forbid you’d think for yourself.

                  In response to your off-topic dribbling:

                  http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/economics/the-problem-with-relative-poverty

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Have you comprehended that everyone can be paid at least sixty percent of the mean yet?

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      Why are you so desperate to change the topic? Go argue it in that thread, if you want.

                      This topic is about Cunliffe’s economic prescription, correctly identifying the need for deeper capital markets, savings, investment and investment in labour.

                      I agree with him.

                      How about you? You may need to ask someone else first….

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I agreed with him a long time before I’d heard of him. His prescriptions are hardly revolutionary, after all.

                      What I’m saying is that the policy prescriptions you have proposed here (and I have more quotes from you to demonstrate that if need be) will deliver the opposite of the outcomes Cunliffe wants for New Zealand.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      “His prescriptions are hardly revolutionary, after all.”

                      Same thing I’ve been saying, but when I say it, you go all tribal.

                      I look forward to seeing more detail from The Cunliffe.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No, cretin, it isn’t the aims you’ve been paying lip service to, it’s the established FACT that your prescription delivers the opposite of Cunliffe’s. Are you so fucking stupid you think repeatedly missing the point will prevent everyone else from noticing?

                      Yes, you are. Innumerate, cretinous, stupid. A typical National Party gimp. Low IQ, enlarged amygdala, utterly incapable of anything other than wearing uniforms and opening gates other people built.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      How can it when I’m agreeing with him?

                      It seems to be causing a cognitive dissonance meltdown in you that is really quite amusing.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      English comprehension 101, lesson three.

                      You agree with his ends, not his means.

                      PS: you even disagree with his facts, Maggot, when you deny child poverty.

                    • JustLikeTigerWoods

                      I’m not sure agreeing with the ends is a problem.

                      Let’s have a look at his methods:

                      Capital gains tax to move from speculation to innovation,

                      Needs more detail. Imposing a capital gains tax, alone, does not move money from speculation to innovation.

                      Universal KiwiSaver to grow our onshore investment capital,

                      Needs more detail. How is he going ensure NZers are diversified? Directing Kiwisaver into a tiny economy on the far side of the world increases risk cost.

                      Monetary policy reform to back our exporters,

                      Needs more detail.

                      R&D tax credits to encourage innovation,

                      Needs more detail. How is he going to prevent abuse?

                      A series of industry and regional strategies that grow New Zealand’s wealth.

                      Needs more detail.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Cunliffe is wrong.

                There, I said it.

                He’s still caught up in the free-market capitalism delusion.

          • dave 1.1.1.1.2

            Sir Paul Callaghan rip
            I had the privilege to listen to one of his last public presentations at 2011 labour party congress cunliffes speech was sir pauls blue print for the new zealand economy and I will take sir pauls plan over john keys anytime.

      • Huginn 1.1.2

        To the contrary, I think it’s great to hear this from you, JLTW. I think it shows you to be a pragmatic thinker with an open mind.

        Does this mean that Cunliffe gets your vote in September? :-)

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.1.2.1

          +1 Huginn

          @Just Like Tiger Woods.

          It is nice to see you saying something positive.

          Labour is a much better option to vote for than the National sell-outs

          • JustLikeTigerWoods 1.1.2.1.1

            Well, I’ll see what their other policies are, whether I think they can deliver them, then contrast them with Nationals.

            Labour would also have to distance themselves from the Greens, or give an indication of what Green policy positions they would adopt, and what they would rule out. I like how Cunliffe is talking centrist economic policy, but I have no time for the Greens and would not vote to enable them.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Hi JLTW,

              I have posted a reply to this comment of yours on today’s Open Mike (15th March). It is post 4.

              I did this because my question would lead to the conversation getting off this thread’s topic – being a question re your stance on the Greens and not Labour.

  2. Tracey 2

    interesting speech. now the right will pick it apart BUT you can only pick apart something that says something.

    i am particularly interested in how this will be dealt with:

    ” The biggest obstacle to our exporting businesses is the consistently overvalued and volatile exchange rate. Labour has long signalled it will review monetary policy to ensure our dollar is more fairly valued to help business and lower our external balance.”

    • greywarbler 2.1

      +1

    • TightyRighty 2.2

      define fair. is it fair to consumers and poor people struggling to pay for petrol? or is it fair to exporters seeking greater revenue for their product?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        That seems to me like a false and misleading dichotomy. What makes you think it can’t be both?

        • TightyRighty 2.2.1.1

          so you know the optimal exchange rate point for our dollar vs say the US$, and at the same time the AUS$? and how does that fit with the relationship between those two currencies? you wouldn’t want to create the ability for arbitrage between the three would you? coz i’d speculate and take advantage of it. has the reserve bank the reserves to push our dollar the 2-3 base points in any direction it needs to go prevent distortion?

          Currency controls are a multi headed hydra. I agree that there needs to be fair environment for our exporters to work in. But they seem to be succeeding despite the pressures of a high dollar. it, like interest rates, are not the only factor.

          It’s a nice idea, but until there is some concrete policy as to how labour expects to achieve this “fairness” (which, incidentally, you can’t define and should be able to if you believe it exists) i am sceptical of it working at all.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1.1

            Strength is strength. Sun Tzu talks about the different types of ground (external factors), perhaps you should study that a little.

            • TightyRighty 2.2.1.1.1.1

              so you have no idea what i’m talking about. yet you honestly believe your opinion is important and should be listened to. OAB, you are a complete idiot. even the internet is poorer for you being on it. if you typify the average labourite, it’s small wonder they are lacking an intelligent message.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.2

            so you know the optimal exchange rate point for our dollar vs say the US$, and at the same time the AUS$?

            Yes. It is, in fact, implied by the free-market paradigm. It is:

            1/(imports/exports)

            Thus as our imports increase relative to our exports to the same country the value of our dollar to that countries currency goes down. This will be done for every country/currency.

            The purpose of the exchange rate is, after all, to encourage trade balance between the two countries.

            PS, that formula isn’t complete yet.

  3. karol 3

    It’s capitalism as usual, but with a more caring, NZ-focused and inclusive face.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      BINGO

      Economic growth remains a good thing to aim for, especially if the proceeds are fairly shared with workers.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        Can I make a slightly out of left field comment? It is not economic growth per se that is the danger but economic growth coupled with environmental damage that is the problem. We should celebrate the idea that we could have more artists, teachers, counsellors, therapists, doctors etc to look after us but the problem is that growth is coupled with the consumption of resources and the production of pollution.

        If we could break that link then there could be a debate about growth being good for the economy.

        • karol 3.1.1.1

          Cunliffe uses the phrase “long term sustainable growth” more than once.

          Kind of hedging his bets while trying to avoid scaring big business interests too much.

          And Cunliffe talks about “growth” in relation to innovation, ICT industries and regional growth.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.2

          Julian Simon isn’t very popular, but his thesis that the most valuable resource on Earth is the educated healthy human mind is a valuable insight.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2.1

            Not just educated but experienced. IMO, a lot of the problems we have today is being caused by people who are educated but don’t have any experience. Blinglish comes to mind.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.3

          It is not economic growth per se that is the danger but economic growth coupled with environmental damage that is the problem. We should celebrate the idea that we could have more artists, teachers, counsellors, therapists, doctors etc to look after us but the problem is that growth is coupled with the consumption of resources and the production of pollution.

          interestingly, all the roles you have listed there are interpersonal ones – ones involved with the caring of others and the emotional labour associated with that. Or the transmission of a creative message to others, taking people away from the literal and arithmetic into a field which might inspire and transform the meaning of their lives.

          These are of course all things that the corporate state has sought to either destroy, or corporatise for profit.

          In their true form, they are not “economic” roles as understood by the neoliberal mindset – i.e. roles for creating private profit, the transformation and commodification of natural resources for sale, etc.

          If Cunliffe is setting out a new definition of what an economy consists of – or perhaps simply going back to the old definition where an economy exists to serve the purposes and needs of the society and its communities (not the other way around) – I would be very interested. However, that is what some would describe as a “radical” agenda.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.4

          We have to define what our resources are and what is a sustainable rate of use of them is. Then we develop our economy within those limits. This is real economics rather than the delusional financial stuff that’s taught as economics in our schools and universities.

  4. Saarbo 4

    Great speech, agree with tracey that the Right will try and tear it apart, the problem is that most of our Right are hopeless/lazy people who have relied on Capital Gains or as they put it “Passive Income” to gain their dollars, not clever/enterprising business. just look at what Amy Adam’s is doing with her Canterbury properties…classic National Party wealth generation.

    Smart/clever business people will end up siding with Labour, because although there may be an increase in their “Labour/Wage/Salary” costs there will be a much bigger increase in the Top Line…Labour’s historical average GDP growth proves it. Every ones a winner…or as DC says it “Walk and chew gum at the same time”

    and this quote:

    “Yes, New Zealand floats like a small boat on the ocean of the global economy. But I refuse to accept we can’t influence our own destiny. Together, we can achieve sustainable long-term growth.

    Small states like Sweden, Norway and Singapore prove it is possible. It’s time we woke up to what has been happening in these economies, rather than staying locked in a 1990s time warp.

    I’m sure there will be some in the room who disagree. But it is the view of the Labour Party that a disproportionate and growing share of the value of the New Zealand economy is accruing to the top few percent.

    Labour supports positive business, but trickle-down economics and its neoliberal parentage have failed New Zealanders and left many of our emerging businesses starved of investment capital and skills.”

    is spot on the MARK!!!

    • Dave_1924 4.1

      Norway floats on a sea of gas and oil for its wealth – so this means Labour supports the current governments policy of encouraging more Oil & Gas exploration? I’m totally in favour of that and setting up a Sovereign Wealth Management organisation to reap the benefits. Mighty be tough to get that past the Nimbys in the Greens though aye?

      Sweden made big money selling product and materials to fascists during WWII and has invested that loot well. They also have sat right on top of a hugely rich market called Western Europe and have been industrialised for a long time. How does NZ replicate those historical advantages or facts?

      Singapore has great geographic advantage sitting atop a major shipping route – they’ve exploited that well and used that advantage to diversify into Financial Services etc. But they have done so under an authoritarian regime which is just a little repressive. Is that what we want NZ to be – all decisions driven by Central Government?

      Totally for supporting innovative business practice – but not with state money. What does a career bureaucrat in Wellington know about risk, innovation and business?

      But one plus mark for Mr Cunnliffe – at least he is clearly acknowledging the engine of prosperity is business and risk taking. I wonder how that sits with the CTU?

      • framu 4.1.1

        “Norway floats on a sea of gas and oil for its wealth – so this means Labour supports the current governments policy of encouraging more Oil & Gas exploration?”

        are national and norways approach to resource extraction the same?

        not by a country mile

        “. Is that what we want NZ to be – all decisions driven by Central Government?”

        this has increased under national

        “at least he is clearly acknowledging the engine of prosperity is business and risk taking. I wonder how that sits with the CTU?”

        Do workers work somewhere other than businesses now? Do they not matter to the success of a business? Do they not take any risk by accepting a job at a particular workplace?

        FFS – must you parrot lines that are so easily dissected?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1

          Polly wants a cracker.

        • Dave_1924 4.1.1.2

          Re: Norways approach to Oil extraction –
          I said I was in favour of a Sovereign Wealth Fund approach as per Norways “encouraging more Oil & Gas exploration? I’m totally in favour of that and setting up a Sovereign Wealth Management organisation to reap the benefits”.
          I am also in support of a properly risk managed extraction operation – you didn’t reply to how Labour is going to get that past the Greens who want nothing to do with Oil and Gas exploration…

          Re: Increased control of by Central Government under National – examples please. Happy to be proved wrong by facts not a blind “increased under National” statement

          Re this little set of statements
          “Do workers work somewhere other than businesses now? Do they not matter to the success of a business? Do they not take any risk by accepting a job at a particular workplace?”

          Workers matter to business absolutely – valuable input to the production process for goods and services.

          But in terms of risk taking – what risks are they actually taking?

          Compared to the small business owners who employ large numbers of Kiwi workers the risk that a worker is taking is small.

          A small business owner often has a mortgage funding facility supporting their business plus having invested their hard won personal financial capital to get the business stood up. They can and some times do lose everything – a worker loses his/her job and can apply elsewhere for another one. Nothing in life, just like life itself, is for ever – change is inevitable

          That’s why Business Owners deserve the profits their business ventures generate – because they take the risk of the operation being successful and reap the whirlwind when it fails.

          If a worker wants a big piece of the pie – he/she can also form their own competing business and earn the profits the business generates. Or they can gather together and form a co-operative and share the risks and profits amongst themselves..

          You can argue that large Corporates exploit workers – in some cases I wouldn’t argue at all that is true – hence why I support unions existence to protect the vulnerable.

          But my point stands – business is the engine of growth and opportunity – and I am glad to see Mr Cunliffe admit that

          • Murray Olsen 4.1.1.2.1

            The oil exploration ships are leaving. The talk of huge reserves turns out to have been hype which, along with generous subsidies/bribes, got some of the worst countries in the world to send a few survey vessels down here. No doubt NAct was hoping for a find or two before the elections, but it’s not there. I suppose they’ll be happy with the second prize of cutting environmental protections and doing away with democratic rights to protest. It seems every black burned oil cloud has a silver lining for our masters after all.

          • geoff 4.1.1.2.2

            Business isn’t the engine of growth. Econ 101 fail.

            You’ve got your supply and demand completely around the wrong way. Supply rises to meet demand. Not the other way around.

            Remember, all pathways of economic demand must eventually terminate at a person.

            So if the population has no money to spend then they cannot create economic demand and the economy tanks.

            This is what has happened in many Western economies as the system has contorted to such an extent that the bulk of the population is now mired in debt and is incapable of generating the demand that a growing economy would require.

            • RedLogix 4.1.1.2.2.1

              This afternoon I had a conversation with a local businessman that went along these lines:

              BMan: “Australian wages are far too high and need to be cut”.

              RL: “So you would like all your customers to be a lot poorer?”

              BMan: ” Well yes, but with lower wages I could drop my prices”

              RL: “Fine but what about your other costs that are related to asset prices? Are you happy for property and asset prices to drop as well?”

              BMan (after a bit of a pause): “I guess that would be ok, but what about the mortgage?”

              RL: “That’s the problem with deflation, it’s far worse than inflation because the debt is fixed. Would it not be easier to just devalue the currency instead?”

              BMan: “But then you just finish up with a whole lot of imported inflation!”

              RL: “But isn’t that just the same as dropping wages? I thought you were keen on that?”

              BMan: “But devaluing the currency makes the whole country poorer”

              RL: “What not just the workers?”

              (Temperature drops a few degrees as it is prone to do around here quite rapidly…)

              BMan: “Only weak and failed economies have low value currencies”

              (I was tempted at this point to mention how the NZ dollar is almost at parity with the Aussie but I figured that would be a counterproductive tangent)

              RL: “So what are we to make of China fixing it’s currency at a fraction of it’s float value then?”

              BMan: “Isn’t there a paddock full of merinos where you should be right now?”

            • dave_1924 4.1.1.2.2.2

              Demand is extremely important – but was there a demand for the iPhone before it was designed and built then offered for sale? Didn’t Apple take a large risk and invent a product, employ people and firms to produce and distribute it – without the demand existing already??

              Demand and Supply co-exist. Some time there is demand for a product or service which is not already available in the market place and someone steps in and fulfils that demand. Other times demand is CREATED by people or business offering new products and services which people have never heard of before

              So – no, not econ101 fail. I actually passed that puppy a long time ago….

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2.3

            I said I was in favour of a Sovereign Wealth Fund approach as per Norways “encouraging more Oil & Gas exploration?

            We don’t need oil and gas extraction. In fact, considering AGW, we’d be far better off without it. You’re a typical RWNJ – you think that there’s only one type of resource and that we need to dig it up ASAP and sell it to become wealthy.

            Re: Increased control of by Central Government under National – examples please.

            Warner Bros, SkyCity, Rio Tinto, ECan, etc, etc,

            Workers matter to business absolutely – valuable input to the production process for goods and services.

            The bit that you don’t understand is that they’re more valuable to the business than management.

            But in terms of risk taking – what risks are they actually taking?

            Lose your job, lose your house and family. Massive amounts of stress which damages the body. Yeah, huge amount of risk being a worker.

            That’s why Business Owners deserve the profits their business ventures generate – because they take the risk of the operation being successful and reap the whirlwind when it fails.

            See, that’s actually a load of bollocks. Every employee at a business is taking a huge risk which is why every business should be a cooperative.

            But my point stands – business is the engine of growth and opportunity

            Nope, business as it stands is a wealth siphon that rewards only the rich rather than supporting the whole society as it should.

            • dave_1924 4.1.1.2.3.1

              Draco – where are the peoples co-operatives? If your diatribe on workers being more valuable why are they not organising themselves into co-operatives to make a living for themselves…. Why are the Unions not leading that charge?

              Go on get out there and storm the barricades instead of ranting on a blog site. Do something practical ,form a co-operative and start trading for a living, don’t rely on those fat cat business owners….. I look forward to you posting here on the Standard a report on your success…….

              as for being a RWNJ – nah not me chap I am no fan of the far right and multi national corporations. I just don’t think central control of everything is the way to go…

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        What does a career bureaucrat in Wellington know about risk, innovation and business?

        Why don’t you ask John Key? He has, after all, been a career bureaucrat*. He also participated in the destruction of billions, if not trillions, of dollars of paper wealth and the selling out of a country.

        BTW, did you notice how Cunliffe shared a story about how they found far more value talking to the workers than talking to the business managers?

        * bureaucrat

        a person who is one of the people who run a government or big company and who does everything according to the rules of that government or company

        • RedLogix 4.1.2.1

          Which is not such a bad thing DtB. After all what is the alternative to doing things by the rules?

          Occasionally the odd flash of genius will slip through, but mostly it just descends into favours, nepotism, graft and outright corruption.

  5. Ad 5

    And he did a pretty compelling job at the Committee for Auckland yesterday as well.

    Feel the fluidity of it, and compare it to the lumpy and poorly-stitched passages in the welfare one he did at Kelson a month ago. Feels like either there’s a new speechwriter in the office who has his cadence down, or Cunliffe is taking a clearer role controlling the pen himself.

    Signs are good. Now all he has to do is throw the notes away – he doesn’t ned to deliver every line. Journos always know there’s differences to delivered text – and the really quotable stuff comes in the Q and A afterwards.

    A couple more of these and maybe the donors will come back after last weeks’ fuckups.

  6. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 6

    Anyone know what the audience’s reaction was?

    I understand the NZ Institute to be a right wing think tank

    I trust some were turning varying shades of green, yellow and red (perhaps even purple needs to be mentioned for some holding the most extreme right-wing views : ) ).

    I would like to think that many [o.k even some will do] saw the sense in what Cunliffe was saying.

    What was the audience reaction, anyone know?

    • dw 6.1

      The NZ Institute was an evidence based relatively neutral organisation not captured by the neoliberal disease. The NZ Initiative is a reverse take over from the Business Round Table, and has amply demonstrated a return to it’s Roger Kerr roots. Shame on them.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 6.1.1

        Thanks DV,

        I was not immediately aware* that there were two organisations with such similar names, nor that they had been conflated in this post, and thus, had carried it on (NZ Institute vs NZ Initiative). Guilty [again] of not reading carefully enough.

        *Your comment jogged my memory.

        Thank you for clarifying the matter – it is an important distinction.

  7. Fransisco Franco 7

    Would have been interesting to see David explain how a government saddled with the Greens is going to drive the New Zealand economy forward. Which will create employment and growth without blowing out in costs , red tape and compliance!

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.1

      Responding to the Greens issues is not really Mr Cunliffe’s main job as leader of the Labour party.

      However the query you have is pretty simply answered.

      If you are setting up a business that stands to create problems in the environment all that is required of you to ‘save money on compliance’ is come up with a well thought out plan that minimises these environmental problems.

      If one doesn’t want to think of such considerations and push through an unsustainable idea – this costs a lot – that is when RMA is followed in the spirit it was meant to be.

      If businesses are allowed to create unsustainable businesses (i.e. ‘red tape’ and ‘compliance’ is in existence) this causes a great deal of costs to others (if not the owner as well) in the future.

      This is how having rules that safe guard our environment saves money and moves the economy forward whereas weakening such safeguards moves us backwards.

      e.g. If our water supply become undrinkable – this costs everyone ill health and someone (most likely taxpayers) the expense of new fangled water filters. In this way, living with disregard to the environment is a way to damage the economy – not move it forward.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        +1111

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.1.1.1

          Heck – I just realised there is a major error in this comment of mine (thanks for reading past it DTB)

          Correction: “If businesses are allowed to create unsustainable businesses (i.e. ‘red tape’ and ‘compliance’ are undermined/removed) this causes a great deal of costs to others (if not the owner as well) in the future.

    • karol 7.2

      Cunliffe talks about sustainability several times in the speech.

    • framu 7.3

      what would be interesting is seeing people actually bothering to read what green policies are – not what their opponents claim them to be

    • Murray Olsen 7.4

      I always get a laugh when some RW douchebag names himself after a fascist dictator and spells the name wrong. A tomar por el culo, fascista!

  8. ianmac 8

    “Labour supports positive business, but trickle-down economics and its neoliberal parentage have failed New Zealanders and left many of our emerging businesses starved of investment capital and skills.”
    Now there is a basic truth that Politicians have avoided saying. And brave to do so at the New Zealand Initiative forum.
    There were some who have been critical that Labour had failed to engage with the Business. But David’s excellent speech is the opening round.

  9. Tracey 9

    less of the thinkimg tank.

    ask yourselves two questions:

    why did they change their name/s
    why do we almost nothing from them when national is in power and cant shut them up when labour is in power

    • ianmac 9.1

      True Tracey but what better place to approach the enemy but in their own bunkers.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 9.2

      Thanks Tracey, It is a bit hard to understand your comment – yet I believe you are responding to my reference to the ‘NZ Institute’ as being a think tank – I see I was in error – it would be more a big business self interested anti worker group of cronies, wouldn’t it?

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 9.2.1

        Correction: That should be NZ Initiative – not NZ Institute

  10. ianmac 10

    And come to think of it David has worked with Business and helped with innovation. John Key on the other hand has no experience other than buying and selling money. David’s approach to business innovation by involving the workers is transformational and suggest much more support for Research and Development. (Shades of Charles Handy’s approach including flatter management styles?)

    • greywarbler 10.1

      iJohn Key on the other hand has no experience other than buying and selling money
      or another way, experience in buying and selling other people’s money clipping the ticket, each time it goes round and making money from others who are trying to protect their money from people like him who are buying and selling and clipping the ticket each time, and setting arguable values on all of that, may change tomorrow, or tonight, or in the next hour, or now.

      They are busy little wasps raiding other people’s honey pots, and doing very little original gathering. That’s how John Key made his money, and the banks and finance houses who have taken ownership of the financial system and run governments and a fiefdom over the worlds’s people. And we expected him to care about we NZs? What an innocent or ignorant lot.

  11. Tracey 11

    it should make the nzi look stupid if they criticise cunliffes vision, but its how its reported that matters.

    most dont know this is the rebranded round table, which is why they merged and dropped the rt tag.

  12. arandar 12

    I thought this speech of Cunliffe’s was to the NZ Initiative?

    this: What is The New Zealand Initiative…
    The New Zealand Initiative is a business group with a difference. We are a think tank that is a membership organisation; we are an association of business leaders that is also a research institute. And we believe that these are not contradictions.

    Is it the same as the NZ Institute just wearing a different hat? Or what?

    • karol 12.1

      At the beginning of the speech Cunliffe addresses it to the New Zealand Initiative and says it was formed from the NZ Institute and Business Roundtable – so an error in the title and front page of the post.

  13. Tracey 13

    srylands, chris, bm, and others have been conspicuously quiet these past couple of days. have farrar and slater been slow to spin the collins and williamson and guy stuff?

  14. tinfoilhat 14

    Meh same old Labour (National light)……… still that’s why I vote green I suppose.

  15. greywarbler 15

    David Cunliffe’s speech strikes the right tone.
    Labour and leader Cunliffe and the NZ Insitute and their champion Oliver H.
    A bit like Ukraine and Russia squaring off.
    They need to find how to see ways to work together for good outcomes.
    A Cold War, or a hot one, a conflict or a standoff, isn’t to anyone’s advantage.

    • Pasupial 16.1

      Karol

      Yeh, I saw that earlier on. There’s some nice shots of Jones looking uncomfortable at not being able to blurt out his random brainfarts. Little footage of the actual speech, but long unexplained minutes of some unidentified hands counting out a stack of $100 notes.

      It comes across like the speech recording was done over the top of the NZI’s version of a porn tape (giving a new meaning to the term; “money-shot”).

      • karol 16.1.1

        Yes, the $100 bill inserts were strange.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1.1

          Strange, unless you think that someone was trying to make it look simultaneously boring and a bit dodgy. Then it would make perfect sense.

    • David H 16.2

      I just wish they would put these up on You Tube of their own site as a lot is lost in the reading the speech, when listening/watching then you get all the nuances.

  16. Penny Bright 17

    Posted in the interests of informed debate:

    If Labour are genuine about rolling back neo-liberal Rogernomics (which the 1984 -87 Labour Government started), how about ‘opening the books’ and ‘cutting out the contractors’ – at both central and local government level?

    Where does David Cunliffe (Labour) NOW stand on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)?

    I for one am not interested in any ‘weasel words’ that PPPs aren’t actually privatisation, because public assets aren’t sold.

    At central government level -the Rogernomics blitzkreig was commercialise, corporatise – PRIVATISE.

    First SOES (State-Owned Enterprises) – then PRIVATISATION.

    At local government level it was LATES ( Local Authority Trading Enterprises) then – the alphabet name change to Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs).

    Now of course – with the ‘economies of scale’ provided by the forced Auckland Supercity amalgamation – there is a greater possibility for CCOs – then PPPs.

    Just read the Ernst and Young Report that the Auckland Mayor Len Brown commissioned on PPPs (- yes – the same Ernst and Young who provided the ‘whitewash coverup review’ that helped to protect him from possible criminal prosecution – in my considered opinion).

    http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/document/pdf/201348/PPPStudyForAttachmen1.pdf

    “The Mayor has asked for a position paper to be developed on the nature and uses of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). This paper is to focus on the range of PPP options that may be suitable for major Council and CCO projects.”

    I don’t see anything David Cunliffe is saying to the former Business Roundtable (Now NZ Initiative) and (apparently ) the Committee for Auckland (who really run the Auckland region) – that would frighten these big business robber barons – because – in my considered opinion, he’s not putting forward policies that would really help to ROLL BACK ROGERNOMIC$.

    ie: Opening the books and cutting out the consultants and private contractors.

    For some suggestions for how to bring about some GENUINE ‘transparency’ in New Zealand – help yourself …..

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/ANTI-CORRUPTION-WHITE-COLLAR-CRIME-CORPORATE-WELFARE-ACTION-PLAN-Ak-Mayoral-campaign-19-July-2013-2.pdf

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    • tricledrown 17.1

      Penny not so bright.
      Being a martyr to the cause is really dumb
      Time to get your house in order so you can continue the good fight.
      Not knowing when to retreat and fight another day has lost many wars.
      Time to retreat lick your wounds and have a good base to fight from
      .

      • Penny Bright 17.1.1

        ‘It is not rash to take a calculated risk’ (General Paton).

        ‘Faint heart never won fair go’ (me).

        Thank you for your concern – but I know exactly what I’m doing – defending my lawful right to ‘open, transparent and democratically-accountable’ local government.

        In the 2013 Auckland Mayoral election – I campaigned on ‘open the books’ and ‘cut out the contractors’ and polled fourth with nearly 12,000 votes.

        It would be an interesting development if others who support my stand were to email Mayor Len Brown, and state that they were considering joining my ‘rates revolt’ for genuine transparency in Auckland Council and CCO spending?

        As long as the Auckland Council and CCO ‘books’ are not open, and we’re not being told exactly where public rates monies are being paid:

        ie: the NAMES of the consultants / contractors
        the SCOPE of the contracts
        the TERM of the contracts
        and the VALUE of the contracts

        I WILL NOT PAY AUCKLAND COUNCIL RATES.

        End of story.

        Please be reminded of the Public Records Act 2005:

        http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345729.html

        17 Requirement to create and maintain records

        (1) Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.

        So – when Auckland Council does not comply with the RULE OF LAW – what happens to them?

        Oh yes – they try to neck-stamp concerned citizens / whistle-blowers who have the guts to stand up to them.

        If you think I’m going to put up with that sh*t – think again.

        Kind regards,

        Penny Bright

        http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

        • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.1

          Is there somewhere we can donate to help you keep your house, your madjesty?

          If we donate, do you promise to not accuse us of corruption for funding Auckland City Council?

  17. freedom 18

    I’ve got $5* that says the ‘paper bales wrapper’ comment will become a focal point of the Government’s attempts at criticism of what is a strong and clear statement. That statement being there is more than enough proof, after thirty years, that this dangerously expensive experimental machine has failed and the future can not continue the mantras of a free market ideology driven by profit and fuelled with unaccountability.

    *I really don’t have $5 so if you don’t mind, no bets will be taken :)

  18. The Real Matthew 19

    The problem with Cunliffe’s speech is that the policy doesn’t match what he is trying to achieve

    “Capital gains tax to move from speculation to innovation,
    Universal KiwiSaver to grow our onshore investment capital,
    Monetary policy reform to back our exporters,
    R&D tax credits to encourage innovation,
    A series of industry and regional strategies that grow New Zealand’s wealth.”

    A 10% non-universal CGT is not going to see people abandon housing for other investments. Overseas has shown us this. Overseas has also shown us that house prices rise over time when a CGT is introduced. Surely not what Cunliffe is trying to achieve?

    Given the number of people in Kiwisaver already, universal Kiwisaver is not going to suddenly bring a huge pool of funds. Also, Kiwisaver investers need to be diversified in their investments to ensure certainty in returns. How is Cunliffe proposing to maintain diversification whilst investing more heavily in New Zealand?
    Sounds good, exactly what is the policy here? There is no such thing as a free lunch. If you tailor your monetary policy further towards exporters someone else will suffer elsewhere in the economy.

    Last time out this was a hugely complicated regime that achieved little additional R&D expenditure. Made for some additional accounting fees though so I guess one sector benefitted!

    Again what’s the detail here? Taranaki has enjoyed regional growth on the back of oil & gas exploration. Is Cunliffe backing this? Regional growth in NZ has been good and has been widespread in the last year or so. Not sure exactly what this policy entails.

    • The Chairman 19.1

      Exactly.

      These are virtually the same policies Shearer and Goff were offering. Their past approach which failed miserably.

  19. Tracey 20

    whereas nationals detail is

    ” we wont sell more assets” followed by defining silence, no plan b.

  20. lefty 21

    I read this speech several times looking for something to be hopeful about in it.

    I am really sorry that this meaningless blather is the best Mr Cunliffe can do.

    I have heard variations of the same speech made by a number of politicians, right wing think tank spokespeople and various other odds and sods over the last thirty years.

    It offers nothing to those who need relief from the drudgery and pain of poverty right now but is rich in promises on how he will make capitalism work better for those who already have plenty.

    Even if his simplistic bollocks about deeper capital markets, innovation etc were to work some time after we are all dead there can be only one set of winners in following that course and it is not the workers who create the wealth or those excluded from participating in the economy in any meaningful way at present.

    Hopeless!

    • JustLikeTigerWoods 21.1

      Cunliffe is short on detail, but he is correct about the problem. And the solution.

      “there can be only one set of winners in following that course”

      People in work or people looking for work.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1.1

        Bollocks. Their employers will also benefit. Mind you, they always benefit from the better educated healthier workforce the Left delivers.

        • JustLikeTigerWoods 21.1.1.1

          Their employers are in work.

          Are you saying people are less educated and less healthy since Rogernomics? Do you now agree, with Cunliffe and myself, that deeper capital markets are needed, more savings, more investment?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1.1.1.1

            English Comprehension 101 for special winguts, lesson two.

            “I agreed with him a long time before I’d heard of him”, means exactly what it says.

            Perhaps some sort of IQ therapy is required.

            • JustLikeTigerWoods 21.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s nice.

              Meanwhile, looks like Cunliffe and I are on roughly the same page, although I await further detail. You appear to be waiting for someone else to tell you which page you are on, lest you inadvertently agree with me, a black hole opens up, and you get sucked into the swirling orifice.

              Cunliffe is sounding very National Lite in that speech….

          • lefty 21.1.1.1.2

            Deeper capital markets, more investment, more savings.

            They won’t make the slightest bit of difference to most of us.

            And moving the precariat a bit one side or other of the employment/unemployment line by getting them into crap jobs and making bosses even richer is not the answer, even if this could actually be achieved some time in the far distant future by following the Cunliffe recipe.

            I know!, I know!

            The Cunliffes of this world believe in quality jobs based on innovation, investment in research, regional development strategies, blah blah blah and a lot more old bollocks.

            Various snake oil salespeople have offered up this blander, gentler form of business as usual in the last few decades, both here and in other countries. Jim Anderton used to talk like this for example as did the third wayers in the UK.

            It is just empty rhetoric to justify trying to make capitalism work instead of confronting the difficult task of trying to build an economy that serves us rather than rules us.

  21. adam 22

    And the winner on the day – liberalism. So we tinker whilst America burns – joy.

  22. Ron 23

    WTF! What is Cunliffe doing even addressing the NZ Initiative (formerly Business Round Table). It is giving then a legitimacy they do not deserve. Considering the unholy relationship with these people in 1984 talking to them now seems pointless and almost a betrayal of those that fought against the Labour direction in the 1984-1990 period.
    Look at the people involved. It proudly proclaims its close relationship with Australia’s CIS which Ruth Richardson was connected with if my memory serves me correctly.
    Their motto might well be “When the people find our what we are up to we will change our name and continue ripping them off for a few more years”
    Stay away DC it will only leave people with the impression that you are more interested in the fascist right than you have publicly said.

  23. BLiP 24

    David Cunliffe To Kiwi Translation Service

    A value focus will take a strong, far-sighted government, in partnership with business, to progress.

    PPPs

    We will dramatically increase the local investment pool available to New Zealand businesses. We will make KiwiSaver universal.

    Turn New Zealand’s retirement savings into a gamblers ante and commence playing the markets.

    The second major element to the investment upgrade is overseas investment. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is a good thing, if managed well. We will renew the R&D tax credit. We will significantly increase Crown investment in R&D, with a focus on co-funding from the private sector.

    A corporate welfare and tax dodge combo for international corporations.

    Sustainable economic development means jointly developing one vision, one strategy and one engagement structure for each region. That means simplifying the governance structures and no wrong door for businesses and communities wanting to engage in building a better future.

    Hamilton Super City, Wellington Super City, Christchurch Super City, Dunedin Super City . . .

    1984 – here we come. Again.

    • Draco T Bastard 24.1

      Well said BLiP

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 24.1.1

        But is it well said?

        Or have some of these statements been taken out of context? [Genuine question]

        e.g.

        “We will dramatically increase the local investment pool available to New Zealand businesses. We will make KiwiSaver universal.” – Cunliffe

        “Turn New Zealand’s retirement savings into a gamblers ante and commence playing the markets”. – Blip

        If Cunliffe’s comments re a government push to stop speculation is combined with the above quote of Cunliffe’s – surely this move becomes one to increase the pool of investment for productive enterprises (jobs) and move away from ‘gambling’ ?

        “A value focus will take a strong, far-sighted government, in partnership with business, to progress.” – Cunliffe

        “PPPs” – Blip

        Again, what are Labour’s other stances that would make this move a different nature than those set up by a right-wing government. This might be that of encouraging small – medium sized businesses (as mentioned in the speech) rather than big/corporate ones.

        Blip’s third quote of Cunliffe does hold cause for concern – I don’t really understand what Cunliffe is driving at here and it does sound somewhat dodgy – particularly: “That means simplifying the governance structures “.

    • Jim Nald 24.2

      From David Cunliffe, that is a great speech, very well rounded and most sensible.

      But, just one BUT for the moment, while reading all that, what I could think of is: the Labour caucus, with David T.I.N.A. Parker’s direction and blessing, will be pushing out the age for retirement?? So what are the alternatives, David Cunliffe? Please explain and justify, Davids. (And please try not to lose out on the debate against National.)

      From BLiP, that is very interesting. I have a lot of respect for your comments and compilations, and thank you for these.

  24. JK 26

    David Cunliffe is saying publicly the neo-liberal experiment of the last three decades have failed. This , to me, is the most significant statement – and all else will now flow from that. What’s more, he has his finance spokesperson on side with that too.

    ” Labour supports positive business, but trickle-down economics and its neoliberal parentage have failed New Zealanders and left many of our emerging businesses starved of investment capital and skills. The opportunity gaps have widened and there is no clear, shared strategy to a high value, high income future. That’s something Labour will change. We want an economy that works for all New Zealanders.”

  25. Draco T Bastard 27

    Our savings rate is dismal, meaning most new investment comes from overseas and not from local sources.

    It’s not savings that are the problem. In fact, we could do without savings just as we can do without foreign investment. The problem is that the private banks create and control our money and they create it primarily into the housing sector. Take that control away from the private banks and have the government create the money and spend it where it needs to be spent and we’ll get the innovation and prosperity that we need.

    There is significant shortage of capital, especially venture capital to go towards Kiwi businesses.

    That’s because the capitalists are looking for short term sure things. They really don’t support the decades long research and development that brings true innovation to an economy. That takes a government that’s determined to actually do right for the country which, since the 1980s, has precluded both Labour and National as the chased the delusional free-market utopia. Mariana Mazzucato describes that quite clearly in The Entrepreneurial State. It’s not the free-market nor private enterprise that ultimately developed the PC that you’re reading this on.

    Foreign direct investment (FDI) is a good thing, if managed well.

    Nope, it’s always a bad thing as it turns NZers into serfs of the foreign owners. There’s a reason why we got rid of feudalism and those reasons still stand and so our governments, our political parties, should not be trying to bring it back.

    Before I became a business consultant and entered politics, I had the privilege of studying at Harvard University.

    That wouldn’t be privilege, that would be indoctrination.

    In the United States I saw the value of universities, industry and venture capital working together.

    And failed to see that most of that R&D was supported by the US government through departments such as DARPA, ERPA, NASA and scores more. The US actually has a research and development structure that works and it’s entirely centred on government support and direction. The only real problem with the US system is that the private sector ends up with all the profits while the government and the country that supported all that development gets nothing. This is exaggerated by the tax havens and other tax dodges that the private companies use to prevent paying tax.

    We will renew the R&D tax credit.

    Waste of time and money.

    Investment and innovation are the essential frameworks for supporting business and growth and leading the economic upgrade.

    Silicon Valley became possible because the US government put in, in today’s dollars, billions of dollars per year of support and infrastructure which included the initial fabrication plants.

    And, after all that, there’s still no such thing as sustainable growth. There is such a thing as sustainable development.

  26. Jim Nald 28

    DC’s speech and, particularly, his statement “We want better jobs and higher wages for all New Zealanders” brings to mind this and let’s hope he lives up to making that happen:

    “Remember the days when families could live off one income?

    “The graph shows a market failure which has made this near impossible for most families. We’re working harder and longer than ever before, but wages have remained flat. The failure of wages to keep up has meant many families are living in poverty. It hurts me to think that 270,000 kids live in poverty in this country. Part of the solution is a Living Wage for all Kiwi workers, and fairer workplace laws.

    “I’ll lead a government that is prepared to tackle this injustice head on.”

    http://thestandard.org.nz/mind-gap-way-forward/

    • The Chairman 28.1

      Is he bringing back Unions to help restore wage disparity?

      Is he going to increase benefits to help address inequality and help drive up the minimum wage?

      Is he bringing in a price freeze to prevent the fiscal benefits of minimum wage increases being lost to inflation?

      Despite the great sounding rhetoric, just what do they plan to do to achieve this aim?

    • geoff 28.2

      Cost of living is just as important in my opinion.
      Cost of housing, food, electricity are at criminal levels considering our natural resources available and those extortionate costs are mostly due to a lack of regulation.

  27. newsense 29

    Time for Labour to set out clearly how they would pick winners as opposed to how National is doing it.

  28. Ad 30

    So I want to return to the content of this. Check out this passage:

    These require serious policy changes, not tinkering. That’s why we will have:

    Capital gains tax to move from speculation to innovation,
    Universal KiwiSaver to grow our onshore investment capital,
    Monetary policy reform to back our exporters,
    R&D tax credits to encourage innovation,
    A series of industry and regional strategies that grow New Zealand’s wealth

    He also mentions a “shift in gear” and a programme “upgrade”.

    Now compare to The Dolphin and the Dole Queue speech from two years ago.

    Both speeches are saying – to quite different audiences – that he not only analyses deep into the Structural Adjustment of the 1980s and 1990s and into the GFC. Not only that. He also wants to re-establish the radical edges of the whole polity.

    In the New Zealand Institute audience he knows he is with players who depend on radical shifts in economic policy to get radical shifts in wealth (their way of course). Our economic history of 30 years tells us that’s how it’s done. He has an audience who know that their wealth aspirations are tied to policy. They are not by and large farmers and rentier-classes.

    He is laying out the bold moves Labour has on offer. Nothing new. Except that such a set of shifts looks inevitably like it has a political energy that Key’s government utterly lacks.

    The same bold moves are also seeking a parallel place at the edges of left radicalism. No other party leader has laid out such a deep understanding of the need to find common ground with the young and hungry of both the hard left and hard right.

    This is not the same as Third Way-ism. This is forming consensus strong and hard enough that people who are hungry for economic and fiscal policy change, both left and right, will back a broad and major policy shift. He wants to make them hungry for the ideas that National will themselves not to have.

    This is the heart of a radical, providing a deep reading of his audiences, preparing to unite both hard edges of New Zealand. He is preparing to shift the heart of capital itself.

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    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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