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The Standard

Drip, drip, drip of job losses

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, June 18th, 2011 - 238 comments
Categories: jobs - Tags: , , ,

It seems that every day recently there are new stories of job losses in the news.  Living in National’s Brighter Future we have 304 job losses in Waipukurau and 171 full-time-equivalent jobs lost in Christchurch yesterday.  The day before we had 55 staff at Pumpkin Patch told they could face redundancy (and hundreds in their US operations).  Earlier in the week we had 61 job losses as the Colorado chain shut down.  20 jobs as Breakers Bar closed in New Plymouth.

Not long before this we had Yarrows, where 41 were made redundant and 192 forced onto new no redundancy contracts.  Designline went bust in Rolleston, with more than 90 staff having lost their jobs over the last few months.  Far more jobs at suppliers are at risk too.

Government refusing to back Kiwi jobs cost another 40 jobs at Hillside in Dunedin also earlier this month.  At the end of last month 25 jobs and 6 Whitcoulls shops were gone, with once again remaining workers being threatened out of pay and conditions.

And those were just the ones that made the news in the last 3 weeks.  The Public Service has lost 2000 jobs and is expecting 2000 more jobs to be frittered away as they make the $1 billion in cuts to services that the government has targeted.  Hawkes Bay and Northland are feeling the bite of unemployment particularly acutely.  Although Auckland with 7.9% unemployment isn’t doing much better.

But the government doesn’t seem to have a plan over this crisis.  They’ve been contributing to it by raising the dollar through excess borrowing, which is hurting our exporters.  But they refuse to help it by backing Kiwi workers to build our infrastructure like trains.  We will probably see imported labour re-build Christchurch too, as the government hasn’t put the requisite skills training in place in time.

Now their only idea for unemployment is to cut youth wages to possibly $8/hour.  The initial announcement is for up to 24-year-olds, but I suspect that will be scaled back to 19-year-olds as they follow their general bait and switch formula to appear ‘moderate’.

No-one should have to work for less than a living wage of $15 / hour.  Rent and food (up 7.4% in year to May) cost no less if you are 19 than if you are 40.  There’s no discrimination on power and fuel prices for being young.  Why should we expect people to work for less than it costs to live and do that work, whether they are 18 or 80?

I’d like to see a move amongst councils and businesses here similar to the Living Wage campaign in UK as promoted by the Fair Pay Network.  So that all Kiwi workers are guaranteed the respect of a minimum income to meet their needs, and our wages can catch up with the productivity gains we’ve seen in the last 30 years.

Then we might see a stronger economy where workers can afford to help us out of recession.

238 comments on “Drip, drip, drip of job losses”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    National no vision, no plan (except to sell our assets to their mates), and totally leaderless. On a weekly basis I run into someone who is either seriously looking at relocating to Australia or who you find out “oh yeah you have not seen them for a while because they have already gone”. Sadly my thoughts more and more are, and who can blame them.

  2. jackal 2

    I recall Roger Douglas saying that they had to sacrifice generation X. It now seems that National are following the same formula, which will destroy the futures of many young people. How does pay disparity close the gap with Australia? That’s where everybody who can is going. In this instance the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence so to speak.

    • KJT 2.1

      Now that we have sacrificed W, X,Y and Z do we start again at A or do we get rid of our politicians and rule ourselves.

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        kind’ve temporally-reversed cannibalism, each generation feeding off its offspring…

        • Colonial Viper

          Old arthritic rich pricks with lots of money and properties, but whose grandchildren are never seen and in many different far away lands because their NZ homeland was stripped bare.

  3. Peter 3

    National do have a plan. Reduce the relative size of the State sector, have a more flexible job market, sell-off assets and watch what happens.

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.1

      Oh the 80s re run, it didn’t work then it sure as hell is not working now. So were you asleep in the 80s Peter or to young to remember the havock this approached caused last time, the country went backwards and has not recovered since?

    • Colonial Viper 3.2

      have a more flexible job market, sell-off assets and watch what happens.

      We are watching what happens, Ben kindly outlined it for us above.

      more flexible job market

      You do know that this is a job market where workers are pressured, twisted, pushed, crushed, bent over forwards, and finally broken. Don’t you.

      Is this the kind of job market that you want to work in and you want your children to work in?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        Personally, I think the job market needs to be removed. People should be able to do the work they want, where they want and when they want and not be forced to do any soul destroying job by the capitalists who are withholding the necessities of life so as to make themselves richer. Yes, that is exactly what NAct mean when they say that want people off the benefits – force people to work so as to make other people richer.

        Wage Slave is a perfectly accurate description.

    • Bunji 3.3

      If you call:
      1. Sell off State
      2. ???
      3. Profit!

      A plan

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    Well somethings gotta blow. Downward pressure on wages, rising living costs, punative WINZ methods, attacks on the welfare state, more and more people unemployed. Not everyone can skip off to Aussie, or wants to. Why just hand the country over to these bastards?

    The monthly job loss tallies are a 90s re-run, but what has changed from then is fight backs will be in a changed environment of increased state surveillance powers (computer hacking with no warrant required), more cops with more gear to obtain compliance (guns, pepper, taser, light weight ‘riot’ suits), video courts, legal aid in doubt, more prisons. Talk about ‘working for the clampdown’ it is already here.

  5. Brett 5

    We will probably see imported labour re-build Christchurch too, as the government hasn’t put the requisite skills training in place in time.

    Can you expand on this.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Can you expand on this.

      In words of one syllable… or less?

    • Bunji 5.2

      It was Key himself who suggested in parliament a 2-3 months ago Chinese workers be brought over for the rebuild, although he somewhat rowed back on that…
      But still, there isn’t a plan to train the requisite number of skilled workers. See here, and here.

      So who will do the work?

      • Brett 5.2.1

        About 5 or so years ago there was a massive push to get young people into the trades.
        When the housing boom ended most of these young apprentices were laid off, NZ has a huge amount of young men who have at least a couple of years in the trades behind them.
        A lot of these guys will probably head to Christchurch when the rebuild starts.

        • Colonial Viper

          When the housing boom ended most of these young apprentices were laid off, NZ has a huge amount of young men who have at least a couple of years in the trades behind them.

          They’re not in NZ any more.

          • Brett

            Don’t know about that.
            Mates all mention how often they are approached by apprentices who have been let go and are looking for work.

            • Colonial Viper

              Young apprentices are still around but anyone who got their ticket is long gone. Those young guys still here are just desperate to finish the rest of their time and then bail.

              And you can’t rebuild Christchurch with unqualified trainees, no matter how many there are.

        • KJT

          I was looking for them for the last 14 years to work for me.

          They are not in NZ any more.

          Only one that did work experience/apprenticeship with me is still here, out of 14.

          The rest are either finishing their apprenticeship in Australia. (Courses paid for by the Aussie Government) or have good jobs over there.

          The average age in one of my trades is 52. In the other it is 56.

          • Jim Nald

            “We want New Zealanders to realise their aspirations through better opportunities in a prosperous, competitive and open economy.” In Australia.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    If lower wages for NZ workers is a “competitive advantage” according to Bill English, then zero wages and ending up on the dole queue must be a true economic miracle.

  7. Bored 7

    National represents those who HAVE versus those that DONT HAVE. In particular they represent the larger corporate interests such as banks and large foreign investors. They claim to represent all business which is from their actions simply not true.

    As somebody running sub corporate businesses the things I am seeing are slowed sales and restrained revenues along with increased costs. Gutting out the state sector only succeeds in shrinking the available market whilst delivering no cost benefits. For example if we dont make much profit we dont pay much tax, cut our markets to the bone and we wont have a profit to pay tax from, nor pay higher wages. The only business beneficiaries from this attack on government expenditure are the large businesses who hold oligarchic / monopoly positions and who demand more government support whilst at the same time demanding tax breaks.

    Most workers are employed by small businesses, larger enterprises have because of “free trade” practices offshored production to cheap labour countries. The flimsy concept that the industries offshored would be replaced by new higher tech higher value enterprises has proven farcical. What is left in NZ simply cannot keep pace with the rapacious demands of large scale international capital and finance to extract the most they can here, leaving us impoverished and without enough job creating capital.

    Whilst we on the left demand higher wages we need to be very aware that an increasing number of employers are close to going to the wall. Straws break camels backs.

    • KJT 7.1

      The obvious answer is to increase taxes for those who take money out of the economy. Pay more within New Zealand so our customers can afford our products. Higher benefits, wages and State service employment.

      We are in a downward spiral. Decreasing wages and employment = less demand = less business income =- less tax paid = less money for wages.

      Note that in successive business confidence surveys the main problems business has had is excessive interest rates/lack of development capital , too high a dollar and low demand.
      Not high wages.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Actually, the obvious answer is to dump the free-market and start to develop our society is such a way that trade isn’t needed. To live within the limits of our own Renewable Resource Base. Dump the monetary/financial economy because it simply doesn’t work.

      • KJT 7.1.2

        Thinking seriously why I am still here. Bloody minded stubbornness my wife reckons.

        Looking at what Fletchers are offering trades in Christchurch they will not get skilled tradespeople. It hardly covers the costs of going down there and gearing up.

        Cheap shoddily built houses built by underpaid unskilled labourers will mean another “leaky homes” problem down the track.

        • Colonial Viper

          All this work should be done by a publicly owned Ministry of Works.

          Thinking seriously why I am still here.

          You’re not the only one. Loyalty only goes so far.

        • Brett

          Out of curiosity, can you give an idea of what’s been offered?

          • Colonial Viper

            Out of curiosity, can you give an idea of what’s been offered?

            Average gross wages for a full time employed plumber in Australia is A$900/wk.Will be higher for subcontractors.


            • Brett

              That’s pretty average wage, it’s less than $25.00 per hour, I would expect a lot more in OZ.

              • Colonial Viper

                Sure, because NZ is swimming in $25/hr jobs

                PS employers put a lot more into your Super over there.
                PPS every A$1.00 you earn over there pays off $1.35 of NZ student and credit card debt.

                • Brett

                  You will find most tradesman are on more than that.
                  For example qualified mechanics are on around $30.00 an hour

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Uh…why are you comparing mechanics pay to plumbers?

                    I didn’t look up mechanics wages in Australia, but I know that a full diesel mechanic in WA will commonly be on A$120/hr or more.

                    In comparison there are very few diesel mechanics jobs going in NZ for $30/hr or more.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “In comparison there are very few diesel mechanics jobs going in NZ for $30/hr or more.”
                      Why would there be? Do we have mines pumping out materials, using trucks that would require mechanics? No, wait. We don’t because anything that might make NZ a better place and create jobs (like opening a mine) is very naughty.

                    • Brett

                      Probably because the A$120/hr is for a mechanic at one of the mines in the middle of the boondocks.

                      Anyway would you pay you’re local garage $160.00 an hour to fix you’re car?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Brett, Brett, Brett. Poor deluded soul. Don’t you know that all it would take to bring prosperity to our fair country is for our wise overlords to raise all wages, with the stroke of a pen to $100 an hour? (of course, be sure to tax at 99% the profits of anyone who actually produces something useful). Only someone of inferior intellect would fail to see it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Both of you are right. Hence Christchurch is going to be short of tradesmen to rebuild it.

                      Fletcher’s bread and water pay doesn’t quite cut it does it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Brett, Brett, Brett. Poor deluded soul. Don’t you know that all it would take to bring prosperity to our fair country is for our wise overlords to raise all wages, with the stroke of a pen to $100 an hour?

                      Actually, a living wage would be $15-$18/hr.

                      Currently our “wise overlords” work in the large corporates, the big banks and the financial sector, and NZ is not benefitting from their rule.

              • KJT

                My Daughter was getting $A20 and hour plus overtime for working as a cleaner in a hotel.

                Building foreman Queensland $A45 an hour. Also plus overtime. Wages. Before the floods.

                Fletchers Christchurch. Fully qualified builder and supposed to pay his subbies out of it as well $NZ45. Note on a charge out of $45 the take home pay is about $20/25. Less when you have to find accommodation and gear in Christchurch.

                After paying plumbers, roofers and sparkies it is not worth it.

                The only ones that will take the job are those who are not good enough to have ongoing work in Oz or at home.

                As for Labourers, with what they are offering in Christchurch, it is obvious they expect them to subsidise their employer.

                At the same time they are paying assessors $700 a day plus accommodation.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Looking at what Fletchers are offering trades in Christchurch they will not get skilled tradespeople. It hardly covers the costs of going down there and gearing up.

          My nephews done the figures as well – he’d be short a couple hundred dollars per week if he accepted work in Chch and yet we have RWNJs asking why don’t these unemployed people accept whatever is offered.

          • Colonial Viper

            Wait until Paula Bennett requires beneficiaries to get to work rebuilding Christchurch to keep their benefits.

            They’ll probably be in leg irons too.

            • Campbell Larsen

              Hmmm…. the Heralds’ ‘where are the jobs’ graphic is a manual laborer shoveling….(liquefaction?)

            • dotteeszedlinski

              “Chains, but they ain’t the kind that you can see”.

    • ZeeBop 7.2

      Why would a retailer want not to sell you something? Its sounds strange. Are the retail staff working to rule? Or is there some strange distortion that means business books are harmed if they have to restock. Or work to rule? Or do business only make money on shoddy goods or over prices products, but have to have a price freeze on basics that is taking money straight out of their business? I think business in NZ need to retool to actually get government off their backs and serving their customers not the edicts of the National party. Or is there some weird economics going on where business don’t want to give people change because there’s more money in China melting it down.

      Its a strange economy when sane citizens tell you that its bad to help the poor, that we need business to make profit at any cost, and seem not to understand that those profit centres have to redistribute wealth through the wider community else the costs of doing business goes up for everyone, and the access to cheap services from the wider community disappears. What comes around goes around, if everyone is bitching and raising prices, everyone hurts. Save money, sack WINZ staff and roll benefit as a negative tax cut proportionate to the bulk income of the society.

  8. SatMorningNoHangover 8

    Ironically enough, the DoL report that Zeletic quoted yesterday to buttress his/her argument suggests that between 4000 to 5000 jobs wouldn’t be created if the minimum wage was increased to $15 – at time of report modeling (based on cautious modeling assumptions). And if extended to the $17.22 advocated by some unions suggests between 9000 and 13000 jobs wouldn’t be created (based on very conservative assumptions). What happens to the people who might have filled those potentially created positions?


    Australia operates a minimum wage system that adjusts youth rates relative to adult rates. It has high youth unemployment, 15.7% (May 2011 – 15 to 19 yr olds – http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/meisubs.nsf/0/1B0DCED067D67E7FCA2578A9001387EC/$File/62020_may%202011.pdf) but not as high as New Zealand.

    New Zealand doesn’t have youth rates. It has higher youth unemployment (27% – 15 to 19 yr olds) – Jacinda Arden press release http://www.labour.org.nz/node/3613).

    • KJT 8.1

      If youth wages actually increased employment we would have expected extra jobs in the age range above when youth rates were removed as more older people were employed.

      As we know both youth and adult joblessness rose together. Just that youth unemployment rose faster.

      Dropping wages does not magically make more jobs.

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      I love these one dimensional right wingers.

      Hey no hangover, how low would the youth minimum wage need to drop to reduce youth unemployment by 50%?

      Oh, doesn’t work like that does it?

      The only certainty from going back to a youth minimum wage is that employers get to take advantage of a very vulnerable work force, discarding older workers for younger ones.

      • Craig Glen Eden 8.2.1

        What creating youth rates would do is simply redistribute some existing jobs done at a higher wage rate to the youth at a lower wage rate. The end result is shit wage rates and no gain to the NZ economy. The young worker now looks to brighter fields and what do they see Australia just across the ditch and only a small airfare away.

    • SunMorningNoHangover 8.3

      What a chump: At the very least you could have provided some comparative analysis using an established methodology employed at the Standard.

      Australian unemployment rates: total 4.7%, 15-19 16.2% (March 2011) – ratio of 0.29
      New Zealand unemployment rates: total 7%, 15-19 27.5% (March 2011) -ratio of 0.25

      If NZ’s ratio was in line with that in Australia then 15-19 would be 24.1% – 5000 fewer people aged 15-19 unemployed. Questions: better to offer youth more employment opportunities or favour those in employment with higher rates? What happens to those not employment? If on unemployment benefit average hourly earning probably around $4.5 plus not learning any workplace skills.

      Average rates of change in unemployment rates:

      Aus -total -0.03%, 15-19 0.33% (March 05 to March 11)
      NZ – total 0.45%, 15-19 2.17% (March 05 to March 11)

      Aus 15-19 Total 15-19 Total
      Mar-11 16.60% 4.90% 0.00% -0.30%
      Mar-10 16.60% 5.20% 0.30% -0.40%
      Mar-09 16.30% 5.60% 3.70% 1.60% GFC
      Mar-08 12.60% 4.00% -1.10% -0.40%
      Mar-07 13.70% 4.40% -1.50% -0.60%
      Mar-06 15.20% 5.00% 0.60% -0.10%
      Mar-05 14.60% 5.10%

      Mar-11 27.50% 7.00% 2.30% 0.40%
      Mar-10 25.20% 6.60% 6.10% 1.00%
      Mar-09 19.10% 5.60% 3.60% 1.30% GFC
      Mar-08 15.50% 4.30% -0.40% 0.00% Youth/Adult min w aligned/Recession
      Mar-07 15.90% 4.30% 1.20% -0.20%
      Mar-06 14.70% 4.50% 0.20% 0.20%
      Mar-05 14.50% 4.30%

      Sources: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Statistics New Zealand

      Same “basic” methodology as: http://thestandard.org.nz/chart-o-the-day-fire-at-will/

      And no I haven’t included reference to the 90 day employment policy as Australia operates something very similar in regard to 3 month probationary periods and has minimum employment periods before unfair dismissal claims can be made (6mths for larger businesses, 12 mths for smaller businesses) – FAIRwork Act 2009.


      Bottomline: Unemployment trends in both countries are broadly comparable in regard to youth and all age group unemployment but the relative magnitude in each country is different (NZ much higher in terms of ratio and average rate of change). Both countries have been subject to the GFC but one entered recession prior to GFC – the other didn’t. The two countries have similar employment laws around probationary periods. The two countries differ in youth to adult rate minimum wages.

      A range of factors impact on youth unemployment aside from minimum wage rates so attribution of differences in minimum wage rates can’t be made from the above. But it is fair to hypothesise that youth rates do impact on youth unemployment levels – potentially in a significant way.

      DoL will be modeling impacts of reintroducing youth rates. I look forward to seeing their findings.

      [Please pick a handle and stick to it, ta. r0b]

  9. Afewknowthetruth 9

    The collapse we are now witnessing is the envitable consequences of:

    1. Central banks creating money out of thin air and selling it on international bond markets, as promoted by both Labour and National.

    2. Globalisation, deregulation and free trade, as promoted by both Labour and National

    3. The peaking of global oil extraction, as ignored by both Labour and National.

    Anyone who thinks Labour or National will fix any of the fundamentals is utterly deluded.

    Bought-and-paid-for politicians line their own pockets and keep the proles distracted while the money-lenders and corporations get on with the real joib, of looting the country and transfering the wealth overseas.

    When things start to really get bad in NZ the IMF will offer a rescue package predicaed on further looting and further transfer of wealth overseas. They’ll keep doing it till they can’t. That’s the system

    • ZeeBop 9.1

      I disagree. Even if the IMF were lock-step in with proto-fascism, that doesn’t mean they will continue to be. It served the military to have better toys, but better toys that guzzle petrol won’t defend them in the future. So it follows that the military will start needing to retool and its not helped if the economic paradigm is in the way. China needs food or its army won’t be able to defend the party against the people, so the world needs to have healthy young people to man the defenses when China comes for food. That’s why John Key has to go, we cannot afford to have his type of greedy incompetence in power, we need a Labour-Green government. And the system is ripe for such a government if Labour voters recipricate with Green voters who alreasy split their vote. Vote Labour in the constituency and hold your nose and vote Green on the list vote, then you will be guaranteed of change. Greens will be at the table, and they should then arbitrate in a government of national unity.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      Anyone who thinks Labour or National will fix any of the fundamentals is utterly deluded.

      Agreed. Both are too wedded to the capitalist paradigm which is killing us and the world.

  10. Terry 10

    Look, if New Zealanders have still not seen the huge picture on the wall, then what can be done?
    The tragedy is that there is no effective Opposition, no one with decent alternatives, we will simply have to resign ourselves to the hell and misery to come (other than the stinking rich).

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      The tragedy is that there is no effective Opposition

      You must have missed the latest Roy Morgan poll which caused National to panic in their pants.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2


      There’s an alternative. One that actually works. Will take a lot of work to take us from here to there but it can be done.

  11. big bruv 11

    Never mind guys, take a look at the polls, most Kiwis still love John Key.

    They don’t blame him for the mess we are in, they correctly blame the previous corrupt Labour administration.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      big bruv’s fictional parallel world

      Where the people (the one in six who have not already left New Zealand, nor the 300,000 who would like more paid work but cannot find it) “love” our “Great Leader”.

    • MrSmith 11.2

      Burv: enlighten us with a list of convictions for this 9 years of Corruption please? On second thoughts don’t bother, just go back to kissing your autographed photo of John Key.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      There was plenty of corruption over the last 10 years or BB – your hero John Key was at the centre of it in his role as money trader.

  12. Rusty Shackleford 12

    Deflating wages wouldn’t really matter if the price of the things we consume were deflating at a faster rate. Unfortunately we have a central bank dedicated to price “stability” (read 1-3% inflation, the opposite of stability). Remove just one coercive factor and you will improve all peoples (well maybe not the banks and big gov) welfare immediately. Then we can move on to the other low hanging fruit.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      I love Righties advocating for a deflationary depressionary spiral.

      That’s not “fruit” which is going to taste any good mate.

      • Rusty Shackleford 12.1.1

        Which “righties”? I can’t think of any.

        • Colonial Viper

          Look in the mirror, oh Maestro of Deflation.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Can you explain how a tendency towards lower prices is recessionary, but rampant inflation is A-OK?

            • Colonial Viper

              You pushed in your comment up top for the start of a deflationary depression. Good on ya, last one took massive government stimulus in the form of a World War to get out of.

              but rampant inflation is A-OK?,

              Inflation under 8 or 9% p.a is no probs. (esp if it is being used as a specific tool).

              • Rusty Shackleford

                Yes, you will get full employment and rising GDP if you build a lot of high tech equipment and then blow it up. Sounds like a lovely model for society. The real economy and employment didn’t start expanding until AFTER the war time controls were removed.

                So eroding the purchasing power of poor people (rich people, especially those with debt, love inflation) is good for poor people? That is some mighty fine double speak you’ve got going on there. Care to back it up with some logic?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Not here to convince you mate, only to remove National from power.

                  The real economy and employment didn’t start expanding until AFTER the war time controls were removed.

                  This is a lie. The creation of the General Infantrymen in WW II helped break the back of the unemployment problem in the US.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    Whoop dee fuckn doo. I can be unemployed or shot in the fuckn’ head.

                    I’m not even disputing that WWII spurred employment and GDP. I’m just asking who considers that to be a good trade off?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Don’t move away from your lying statement that “The real economy and employment didn’t start expanding until AFTER the war time controls were removed. “

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I guess you are right if you consider being shot in the head an increase in the general welfare.

                      Personally? I like to consume electronic appliances, cars, leisure time, food, life etc. All things I can’t enjoy if
                      A. the resources needed to make those goods are being blown up in Europe and the Pacific and…
                      B. If I’ve just been shot in the fuckn’ head.

                      I thought the left was anti-war? Looks like I’m more “left” than you on this issue.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Still trying to move away from your lying statement that “The real economy and employment didn’t start expanding until AFTER the war time controls were removed. “

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Notice the word “real”?

              • RedLogix

                The problem with deflation can be put into one word…debt.

                The problem is that at any one time most businesses and about 50% of households hold significant debt. Deflating asset prices are a huge problem, because as soon as the debt goes ‘under water’ (ie the amount owed becomes greater than the asset value) all sorts of especially nasty problems ensue. Essentially the economy can grind to a virtual standstill, at a bare subsistence level.

                • Colonial Viper

                  :) You saw it straight away, whereas Rusty is another Right Winger with no sense of money.

                  As wages spiral downwards during a deflationary spiral, interest bearing debt continues to climb and climb unchecked.

                  Individuals’/companies’ ability to pay the debt back gets more and more damaged as their income is gradually crushed.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  The problem with inflation is savings…..

                  I don’t see your point. It sucks if you bought an over priced asset. It also sucks if you have savings (one of the things that you need in an economy in order to enjoy economic growth). I completely agreed with you up until here…
                  “Essentially the economy can grind to a virtual standstill, at a bare subsistence level.”
                  A. I don’t believe this will happen it didn’t happen in 1920 and…
                  B. Isn’t the economy at a halt now except for yet more bubbles in a few areas?

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    That is a problem of fiat money, not sound. We’ve also never seen it in reality(I don’t think) compared with inflationary cycles.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Still got no idea mate? Fiat money is not the money which is the main prob.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Feel free to say something substantive.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Feel free to say something correct.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      If I’m such a “muppet” and a “moron”, it shouldn’t be difficult to prove me wrong.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The thing is Rusty, there is no need to prove you wrong.

                      As I’ve said, it’s a waste of energy and certainly not the job of the Left to try and “convince”, “disprove”, “cajole”, “win over”, “save”, “convert” the Right.

                    • infused

                      You should learn not to get an a debate with CV. It’s like going around in circles with his hands over his ears ‘lalalalalala’.

                  • RedLogix

                    The problem with inflation is savings…..

                    True, but it’s much less of a problem. Because banks can lend out far more than they hold in deposits fractional reserve banking:

                    Fractional-reserve banking is a type of banking whereby the bank does not retain all of a customer’s deposits within the bank. Funds received by the bank are generally on-loaned to other customers. This means that available funds (called bank reserves) are only a fraction (called the reserve ratio) of the quantity of deposits at the bank. As most bank deposits are treated as money in their own right, fractional reserve banking increases the money supply, and banks are said to create money.

                    The portion of the economy affected by inflation is far smaller than the portion affected by deflation. Moreover the effect of inflation, while undesirable, is generally more benign and is compensated for by interest.

                    Whereas deflation is just downright nasty; you owe more than the asset is worth, and you still have to pay the now inflated interest on that debt… cash that the asset is probably no longer generating because of deflation. And if your cash flow goes negative for a month or two in a deflationary environment… it’s game over.

                    The inflation and deflation are NOT symmetric images of each other, one may be a tad ugly… the other is hideous.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re teaching the Right Wingers basic monetary mechanisms! :D

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I know what fractional reserve banking is, and it is hypocritical for a (I presume) leftist, to advocate for putting that much power into the hands of a private firm. Why should they have the right to lend out an asset they don’t own at the same time demanding the rest of us bail them out if they cock it up?

                      Sound money is the answer. You want to lend a dollar? You better own that dollar. No leverage.

                      “The portion of the economy affected by inflation is far smaller than the portion affected by deflation. Moreover the effect of inflation, while undesirable, is generally more benign… ”
                      Can you quantify this?

                      “A. Whereas deflation is just downright nasty; Byou owe more than the asset is worth, and you still have to pay the now inflated interest on that debt… ”
                      A. For whom?

                      B. Yup, you will probably take a hair cut. Best not to buy capital at inflated prices.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No I don’t think you know what fractional reserve banking is. At least, not the implications.

                      Sound money

                      Is this your code for a return to a precious metal standard?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      CV, Rusty there has just got to one half of what we’ve been saying for awhile. Private banks should not be printing money.

                      Sound money

                      Is this your code for a return to a precious metal standard?

                      But you’re probably right about that.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I thought the other day that you and I could set up a political party. You could be the Left Winger and I could be the “Voice of Moderation”. We’d get two votes, maybe three. Would be fun though :)

  13. The Chairman 13

    27,000 jobs to whittle down the ranks of the unemployed, currently 155,000?

    Five out of every six of those 170,000 jobs would be required to keep up with projected population growth of 143,000 in the labour force over the same period. That would leave only 27,000 jobs to whittle down the ranks of the unemployed, currently 155,000.


    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Fallow is an idiot.

      A decent recovery is at hand, allowing the Government to concentrate on the state of its own books and on such structural issues as the appropriate level of government spending as a share of GDP, and allowing the bank to focus on the risk of inflation.

      Unless he is talking about another country of course, and not NZ.

      • The Chairman 13.1.1

        Try re-reading the article. You’ve taken that quote out of context. It was a reflection of the sentiment held by the Reserve Bank etc…


        • Colonial Viper

          Thanks, agreed. My apologies to Fallow for the knee jerk reaction. I guess I was annoyed that here was someone else repeating the same forward looking tripe in print yet again, even though it was qualified.

          Particularly as the follow up criticism he gave of ‘but these forecasts are probably too optimistic given the latest numbers’ was somewhat guarded and weak, and curiously (deliberately) avoided fingering the National Government for using them without reservation for economic planning.

  14. ianupnorth 14

    Spot the trend – right wing government happy to send manufacturing off shore; rich getting richer, poor getting poorer. Shameful.

    • Rusty Shackleford 14.1

      Are the poor really getting poorer? Got some stats?

      • Campbell Larsen 14.1.1

        A minimum wage and welfare that has not kept up with the rate of inflation, for well, almost ever, you do the math Rusty.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Got any stats?

          Someone who starts a job on low wages will remain on that wage for the rest of their life? $15 an hour is all a large swath of society should ever aspire to?

          I’m calling to abolish inflation. That way we can stop worrying about this stuff and get on with producing the things we want to use. Btw, deflation is no more recessionary than inflation is the opposite. You can have both inflationary and deflationary recessions and vice versa. Though recessions tend to be deflationary as firms are liquidating mal-investments.

          • Colonial Viper

            You’re either an idiot or a saint.

            An idiot because you have forgotten about billions of dollars of interest bearing debt in this country.

            Or a saint because you are implementing massive debt moratoria and the banning of interest as usury, as part of your plans.

            $15 an hour is all a large swath of society should ever aspire to?

            Fuck aspiration, where exactly are the full time jobs which pay more than $25-$30/hr in New Zealand?

            • Rusty Shackleford

              “you are implementing massive debt moratoria and the banning of interest as usury, as part of your plans.”

              First, where did you get this idea?

              Second much of it bad debt which should have been burned off in the recession. A lot of people would have taken a haircut but at least the malinvestment would have been gone from the economy and we could start growing again. Instead, we are doing the same thing as in the 30s and 40s and are going to get the same result. Can’t wait for the stimulus of WWIII!

              I would happily take a job at $15 an hour if I could keep 90% of it. had to leave the country to do that.

              • Colonial Viper

                OK so you are an idiot.

                I would happily take a job at $15 an hour if I could keep 90% of it. had to leave the country to do that.

                You should have stayed away.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  I’m sad but resigned to leaving the country to statists of your ilk (yes, you are no different to John Key).

            • Blue

              For those who bothered to get an education Viper, as well you know, they are everywhere. Just not in the “collective” of the great unwashed you belong to.

          • Colonial Viper

            Are the poor really getting poorer? Got some stats?

            Fuck off.

            Allow me to clarify: statistics don’t quantify misery particularly well and misery is what Key and English have in store in November.

            • Rusty Shackleford

              I don’t doubt it for a second. I’m sure they have a plan cooked up to transfer resources from one group to another.

          • Campbell Larsen

            If you needs stats to help you understand the blindingly obvious then I’m sure someone will help you out, but it won’t be me.

            Someone who starts on low wages should be able to afford a life then and also have access to further opportunities, simple as that.

            When you say ‘aspire’ I suspect you are doing something that is more like ‘conspire’ – against the people that you pretend to care about.

            Stop worrying about this ‘stuff’? Why because only a condescending ass like yourself is able to see what needs to be done?

            There is a lot of ‘stuff’ that needs to be done, but those things surely are not going to get done by inventing magic bullets and shooting them around.

            If you really want to help people, don’t hide behind your construct of complexity, this is not a game. If you have a new economic theory, let’s hear it in its entirety.
            You seem to think you are pretty smart – it had better be good.

              • Campbell Larsen

                Lead with your heart Rusty and you might find that you end up knowing more friends than enemies.
                You can keep your books, after all they don’t seem to have done you much good.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  Pearls before swine.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I suggest that the financial powers that be aren’t interested in any of that stuff.

                  • Campbell Larsen

                    There is poison scattered amongst your pearls Rusty which is why, name calling aside, I chose not to dine.
                    Though for others who may happen across this the money stuff is worth a read.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Care to point out the “poison”. I know statists hate the idea of having to give up their coercive power, but that is medicine not poison.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Rusty thinks we don’t know the simple equation he is seeking – weaken the peoples’ parliament to strengthen the coercive power of corporate boards.

              • rosy

                Rothbard seems to be an interesting character. How much of his writing do you agree with pre/post his Randian associations?

                I agree very much with his liberal tendencies, but can’t for the life of me work out where there would be an equitable exchange of goods and services in an anarcho-capitalist society. I think his method of reaching his utopia will fall on greed and usurping the rights of the powerless.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  “How much of his writing do you agree with pre/post his Randian associations?”
                  How is this relevant? I know you think she is a baddie, but that is irrelevant. You have to repudiate her philosophy (not her character), if you want to pretend to be saying something substantial.

                  Just because you can’t imagine “an equitable exchange of goods and services in an anarcho-capitalist society”, doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

                  “I think his method of reaching his utopia will fall on greed and usurping the rights of the powerless.”
                  Why? “I think” isn’t a valid argument.

                  • rosy

                    “How is this relevant? I know you think she is a baddie, but that is irrelevant. You have to repudiate her philosophy (not her character), if you want to pretend to be saying something substantial.”

                    Don’t be so defensive – I am seriously interested in knowing – I meant what I said, he seems to be an interesting character and I’m interested to know more about him and you seem(ed) to be a good source of information seeing as you put up the link. But hey, whatever.

                    It’s relevant because his thoughts on social contracts (for want of a better phrase) may have changed as his thoughts about the Randian philosphy changed. There may be two different versions of his thinking floating around. I think this is a reasonable question and has nothing to do with whether I like Ayn Rand or not.

                    “Just because you can’t imagine “an equitable exchange of goods and services in an anarcho-capitalist society”, doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.”
                    True, everything is possible even the state intervening to create a fairer society without turning into a totalitarian monster. Voting rights seems to guard against that, in some measure. Does Rothbard suggest any guards against greed?

                    btw I think ‘I think’ is a valid opinion. I didn’t think opinions were banned just yet.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I wasn’t intentionally being defensive. As I’ve said, it’s nice to stumble across someone here who is genuinely interested in the truth, rather than shouting, wang-tackling, jeryymandering and (admittedly, hilarious) name calling.

                      From my reading, Rothbard is fairly consistent. I haven’t read everything he has written (who has), nor have I checked the publishing date of the work of his I have read. In short, I don’t know the answer to your question.

                      “greed” is a nice slogan, but what does it even mean? Should the billionaire who provided a trillion dollars of welfare for society be considered greedy?

                      I know that the wall street execs (and Canterbury Finance houses) who became rich off the demise of the nation should be considered greedy. But they got that way via the thing I harp on most. Coercion.

                      Have as many opinions as you like. Everyone has them after all, and all that. Well backed premises are like gold around here, though.

                    • McFlock

                      You’re a joke, Rusty.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “greed” is a nice slogan, but what does it even mean?

                      Ask a priest, not an economist, mate

                    • rosy

                      “Should the billionaire who provided a trillion dollars of welfare for society be considered greedy?”

                      If he if he ripped society off for 2 trillion to give back a trillion, then yes. If the money was inherited then his parents were and he is not.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      You can only rip off society using (usually govt) coercion. Like the Wall St. bankers. You know I’m opposed to that.

                      ” if the money was inherited then his parents were and he is not.”
                      I’m not sure where you are going with this.

                    • rosy

                      You asked if a billioniare giving away money is greedy – people’s ethics, attitudes and motivations drive greed.

                      excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.

                      “You can only rip off society using (usually govt) coercion.” A bit simplistic. Many salespeople are schooled in coercion. Bullies are skilled in force, and coercion. Both groups will take advantage of any weakness in their targets to rip people off.

                      Yes, governments can be coercive in a way that rips off society, but I dispute ‘usually’ government coercion is the reason societies are ripped off. Having said that this government appears to be getting mighty close. Interesting how the right-wing governments have more problems with coercion from lobbying (aka salespeople, bullies) – the USA as the clearest example, yet the answer seems to be if we have more of the same policies the coercion will reduce. Yes, I know you argue for less government interference, but so do these people. You both can’t be right – that smaller government will enable a stronger, fairer society, yet the greedy also want government reduced so they can more easily go about their accumulation of society’s wealth.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I think you may have misunderstood me. I wasn’t saying the billionaire gave the money away. I said added welfare. They aren’t the same thing. Say Henry Ford. He probably provided a trillion dollars of welfare by making cars that were cheap enough for most anyone to buy and created millions of jobs. Was he greedy?

                      The key to your definition is “rapacious”. Was Henry Ford rapacious (he may have been in some way, but I’m sure he gave more value to society, than he took).

                      Salespeople can be good at what they do. If they use force, they should be thrown in jail.

                      The greedy don’t want less govt. They use govt for their own ends. How can you have perpetual inflation and warfare without the state?

                    • rosy

                      There are exceptions, yes. Cadburys is another.

                      “The greedy don’t want less govt. They use govt for their own ends. How can you have perpetual inflation and warfare without the state?”

                      Of course they want less government – it saves a step in their money-making. No minimum wage, no environmental controls etc, etc. And I don’t believe they will bring run resources and employ people in a way that does not maximise their short-term profit.

                      Warfare – who needs it when you can rape and pillage with impunity? I reckon the ultimate in anarchy will be 2 groups of the powerful waging war to take control of the resources they don’t have. The conquistadors did quite well in the Americas in this regard. Do you think the Chinese / the US business people would will play nice with us if there were no governments? And there is no point talking about a justice system without government. There must be some form of organisation for a justice system to occur – even if that government is at an city or tribal level.

                      Inflation? def won’t have wage inflation, I’m not so sure about price inflation but.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Honestly? Rothbard (and many others) cover this stuff way better than I could hope to.

                      Environmental controls? Think where almost all pollution is allowed to happen. On govt land.

                      “Warfare – who needs it when you can rape and pillage with impunity?”
                      Who exactly does this? The banks? Sure. They have the leviathan govt in their pocket. The baker, butcher and candlestick maker? I think not.

                      I’m not opposed to an army of defense. But, countries that trade with each other rarely attack each other.

                      If China had no govt, what would they attack us with? I have never heard of a private war. Some have been fought at the behest of private interests. But, again, that is the coercive power of the state in action.

                    • rosy

                      Or the coercive power of the greedies… Admittedly a quick google search for history of private wars and another on Mark Thatcher…

                      1603 A group of Polish and Lithuanian nobles decided to invade Russia which started as completely private initiative and much later changed into war between Poland and Russia. It was organised by Jerzy Mniszech, one of the Commonwealth’s rich nobles and officials. The other countries which were popular to invade by Polish nobles and their private armies were especially Moldavia and Wallahia. But somtimes it were even such powers like Crimea or Ottoman Empire.

                      More recently

                      The 2004 Equatorial Guinea coup d’état attempt, also known as the Wonga coup, was an alleged coup attempt against the government of Equatorial Guinea in order to replace PresidentTeodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo with exiled opposition politician Severo Moto, carried out by mercenaries and organised by mainly British financiers.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I’m not even disagreeing that private wars happened. If you can think of something it probably happened. But, war is almost always perpetrated by the coercive power of the state. At least the most destructive ones were/are. You couldn’t have had WWI without states. We couldn’t have had WWI without central banks printing money. Nor the top 100 wars of the last century.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Rusty you are being disingenous yakking on about the coercive power of the state and not yakking on about the coercive power of the military industrial complex.

                      Nations are the organisations with military might, therefore they are the ones who can wage major wars.

                      You really have control issues.

                      You couldn’t have had WWI without states. We couldn’t have had WWI without central banks printing money. Nor the top 100 wars of the last century.

                      You couldn’t have had WWI without oxygen either. Your point?

                      BTW fiat money is not needed to fight a war! Gold bullion or blood diamonds will do it just as well!

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Yea, I hate the MIC as well. Leechers feeding off printed cash and the blood of brown people. Happy?

                      Ah, yea because I can create diamonds and gold out of thin air at basically no cost to myself. Fuckn’ hell.

                    • rosy

                      An Adam Curtis doco The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts that helps explain why I can’t think how Rothbard’s anarcho-capitalist theory won’t manage to produce and equitable exchange of goods and services. I’ll be reading his ideas with this in mind.

                    • felix

                      Interesting discussion, both of you. This just jumped out at me:

                      “Think where almost all pollution is allowed to happen. On govt land.”

                      What exactly do you mean by this?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Think of an area that is polluted, then ask “Who owns it?”, dollars to donuts it’s either owned by the state or nobody.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re being disingenous again.

                      The private sector has got a habit of externalising its costs by dumping its waste and pollution in the commons.

                      Look at all the polluted waterways in the Waikato or Southland.

                      Or look at a list of Superfund sites in the US.

                      You’re arguments are vacuous.

                      Pollution contaminating public property =! the government caused it.

                      Your wish of blaming the public sector so that corporatist influence can complete their takeover is most unwelcome.

                    • rosy

                      +1 CV

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Tragedy of the commons. There is no way to protect public land from degradation except to make it private property. If the farmer owned the river that ran through his land, A. He would be less likely to pollute it because it may be useful for other things. B. Polluting it would be illegal if that pollution ran downstream and polluted someone elses stretch of the river (this is well set out in common law). C. If there is no harm to others, then no foul. It’s his river, he can do with it as he pleases.

                      “Your wish of blaming the public sector so that corporatist influence can complete their takeover is most unwelcome.”

                      Inflation. Inflation. Inflation.

                      You are more on the side of the corporatists than me. I’ve repeatedly proved my anti-corporatist bona fides. You have proven time and again that you are only interested in power and aggression. WWII was good for the economy?

                      Fuckn’ hell (imagine this in Ricky Gervais’ screechiest voice by the way. Hey! You are a little like Carl Pilkington).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There is no way to protect public land from degradation except to make it private property (1). If the farmer owned the river that ran through his land, A. He would be less likely to pollute it because it may be useful for other things.(2)

                      1) Publicly owned national parks seem to do ok.
                      2) ? Farmers currently make money by polluting waterways. That behaviour is not going to change as long as its the most profitable thing to do.

                      Your anti corporatist bona fides?

                      Meh all I’ve seen you push for is disempowerment of the public sector, at which time the corporate sector is going to rule unhindered.

                      Basically you are a lone voice with a head high jacked by high theory.

                      Inflation. Inflation. Inflation.


                      You still advocating for a deflationary depression? You may still get your wish.

                      Think of an area that is polluted, then ask “Who owns it?”, dollars to donuts it’s either owned by the state or nobody.

                      And I’d like you to acknowledge that you made the above shit up.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      1) There are no private forests doing just fine as well?
                      2) It won’t be profitable if your neighbor is suing your ass off for filling his river with cow shit.

                      The MIC, big banks, inflation, warfare, central banking, property, power, coercion, liberty, history, economics.
                      All things I have something substantive to say on, and can back my premises on. How about you? You make blind assertions and refuse to back your premises and even have some that are either internally inconsistent, hypocritical or both.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      2) It won’t be profitable if your neighbor is suing your ass off for filling his river with cow shit.

                      But the Govt could sue as well. No need to turn the stream into private property to inflict costs on to a polluter.

                      All things I have something substantive to say on, and can back my premises on. How about you? You make blind assertions and refuse to back your premises and even have some that are either internally inconsistent, hypocritical or both.

                      Clearly I’ve been laughing at the superior intellect all this time then.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Then, why don’t they?

                      Also, care to explain how a tendency towards lower prices is deflationary? I don’t think the computer industry is in a deflationary death spiral.

                    • felix

                      Rusty that’s totally disingenuous. The most pristine and well preserved natural areas of our country are almost without exception managed by the state in some capacity or other.

                      If and when private businesses transgress on such areas we hold them to account via our democratically elected representatives. I happen to think this needs to happen far more often and far more vigourously.

                      Sounds like you’re just repeating a slogan you read somewhere.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Then, why don’t they?

                      Now that is an excellent question and one worth asking a bit more.

                    • McFlock


                      Then, why don’t they?

                       They do. Or more precisely, they prosecute and fine.

                      That is the main reason farmers are becoming a wee bit more concerned about letting cattle shit in our streams – but the government-imposed penalties could be stronger.

                      I also think Rusty’s arguments about private warfare are a bit disingenuous – basically because when a war is not fought by a state entity, it’s generally called “piracy” or “brigandage”. And as soon as a group becomes powerful enough to fight a state-level campaign it tends to formalise leadership structures and territorial domain, and the next thing you know they become states – e.g. Huns, Mongols and Vikings. The number of purely “private” wars are therefore minimal although the Johnson County War lasted longer than some state wars.

              • locus

                “Rothbard fails to see that all rights we have are purely social, not natural, constructs. The rights he refers to were unknown to many people throughout history – slaves, indentured servants, harem wives – you get the idea. If you consider an individual living outside society – let’s say in the mountains somewhere – he has no “rights” at all. He can’t claim a “natural right to life” in the face of a mountain lion – he either has the power to survive or not, nothing more. Therefore, it’s easy to see that there are no “natural rights” – all the rights we have are a result of social covenants. Simply speaking, society – or the people who wield real power in society – decided that it is even in their own interest to ensure that an individual can only be denied so much. Likely as not this was the result of the realization that nothing in this life is given forever (i.e. is not a “natural right”) and it’s better to set up a limit on how much can be taken from you, just in case.”

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  The dude from your blog had only read the first two chapters of a thousand odd page book.

                  Secondly, I don’t even get the dude’s point. He is saying we have no natural rights, but isn’t that why we have the state? To stop people transgressing each others liberties (although this can still be achieved privately). So, because a lion can eat us in the mountains, we should also give that mandate to the state?

                  • locus

                    I haven’t read any of the books that you’ve recommended so it’s impossible to engage in a discussion on whether the observation by ‘Simon’ is a fair criticism of Rothbard. However, I liked the quote. The good thing is that I am now interested in reading Rothbard and others such as von Mises, von Hayek and Robbins.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Good to hear. Libertarians are a little like Liverpool FC “Our year!” Or decade, or century, as it were.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Thanks CV. Keiser is good. Schiff is better though. He used Austrian Business Cycle to predict the crash.

                      locus. http://mises.org/daily/author/299?AuthorId=299 This is a huge amount of shorter work by Rothbard (I haven’t read half of it). Much of it is simply his longer work in precis form. Heaps of history.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Schiff. Can’t wait for the movie to come out.

                    • locus

                      Are you suggesting that liberals are libertarians? To my knowledge both liberals and libertarians broadly agree on the evils of totalitarianism and corporatism, but propose different ways of fighting these. Libertarians represent a singular ideology that attempts to shut down pluralism and debate about the role of society in this regard. They particularly like to emphasise that liberals want to rip off your hard-earned wages in order to pay for social programmes which ultimately reduce your liberty and ‘natural rights’. They label liberals as socialists and often equate both liberal and social ideals to communism. As a socialist I’m horrified by many of the views held by libertarians, in particular their singular belief that the rights of the individual come before the rights of society. I will read Rothbard, Hayek, Mises, Robbins et al, because I need to try to understand how their diversity of liberal thinking has somehow contributed to the horror of neo-liberalism.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I’m afraid your definition of liberal is wrong.

                      “Libertarians represent a singular ideology that attempts to shut down pluralism and debate about the role of society in this regard.”
                      Where did you get this idea?

                      “in particular their singular belief that the rights of the individual come before the rights of society.”

                      You missed a part. “The rights of the individual come before the rights of society, as long as the individual does not transgress the rights of another. Anything that’s peaceful.”

                      Taxation, for example is not peaceful.
                      http://www.vforvoluntary.com/ (George ought to help (I have yet to find a person who can defend the morality of taxation. They either write it off as “for the greater good, and change the subject, or write me off as a person)).

                    • locus

                      “I’m afraid your definition of liberal is wrong….

                      I didn’t define liberal! What I was responding to was your comment suggesting I might become a Libertarian if I read prominent liberal writers such as Rothbard, Mises, Hayek and Robbins.

                      Wikipedia and google searches don’t tell me that libertarianism shuts down pluralism and debate, that’s entirely my own observation. Mind you, follow a few of the ideas raised here and you may get my drift.

                      Regarding my view of neo-liberalism, have a look at David Harvey who “conceptualizes the neoliberalized global political economy as a system that benefits few at the expense of many, and which has resulted in the (re)creation of class distinction through what Harvey calls “accumulation by dispossession”.” And also Peck, Theodore and Brenner in Neoliberal Urbanism Models, Moments, Mutations who argue that “…neoliberalism aspires to create a utopia of free markets, liberated from all forms of state interference, it has in practice entailed a dramatic intensification of coercive, disciplinary forms of state intervention in order to impose versions of market rule.”

                      Given your view on taxation, I would say that you don’t have much understanding of what is required to build the organisation, systems and human values necessary to meet the needs of society. You certainly can’t deliver the needs of society through holding to the simplistic maxim: “The rights of the individual come before the rights of society, as long as the individual does not transgress the rights of another. Anything that’s peaceful” . Who provides protection for the rights of the individual? How is that protection provided? How do you resolve a situation where the rights of two individuals conflict? Who designs the cities? Who builds the infrastructure? Who looks after the disadvantaged and misfortunate? Etc. etc.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Whilst I agree with some of the action taken under the neo-liberal reforms, I can’t get behind the (Friedmanite) monetarist parts. Friedman was a great advocate for liberty, then let it all down by advocating for full monopolization of one side of all transactions (the currency side). As you point out, they use state coercion to achieve liberal goals. I can’t get behind that at all. Not peaceful. You might have to follow through the ideas yourself. I’m not willing to take them at face value.

                      The Libertarian wikipedia page could be one of the most well footnoted pages I’ve ever seen on that site (in terms of number, at least). You will have to

                      “Who provides protection for the rights of the individual?”
                      Courts. State or private. Makes no difference as long as there is choice.

                      “How is that protection provided?”
                      Contracts are enforced through the courts.

                      “How do you resolve a situation where the rights of two individuals conflict?”
                      Can you give me an example?

                      “Who designs the cities?”
                      You think cities are designed today?

                      “Who builds the infrastructure?”
                      Construction companies.

                      “Who looks after the disadvantaged and misfortunate?”
                      Their families. The church. Their neighbors and friends. Personal savings. Insurance. Charity groups.

          • idlegus

            just to cut in briefly, but all those retail workers we see everyday, 1000s of them, not many of them are earning over $15 an hour (in fact, when/if the $15 an hour for minimum wage comes in, most will be getting a pay rise!). i dont like your arrogant attitude.

          • ianupnorth

            Some light reading
            How about

            Latest figures from the Salvation Army showed a 16% increase in demand across its network of 48 foodbanks last year. Auckland City Mission gave out 7752 food parcels – up from 4500 the year before – with staff estimating that, if current trends hold, 9000 parcels will be distributed this year.
            Wellington’s Downtown Community Ministry is also on track for an increase, giving out 1350 food parcels between June and December, compared to 2700 for the entirety of the last financial year.
            In Christchurch – partly as a result of job losses post-earthquake – the City Mission distributed 13,140 food parcels – a whopping 52% increase on the year before. Figures for the past three Januarys show steadily increasing demand: 636, 1331 and 1469 food parcels, respectively.
            Last week, in West Auckland, a “freestore” that began life as an art project in Wellington, and is now operating as a community social project, attracted 3000 visitors on its first day of business, and ran out of food within 90 minutes of opening.

            Presumably it isn’t the rich using these services…. (full article http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/4676276/Hunger-pains)
            OK< so if the poor are getting poorer, that’s ok, but…..
            Even the middle class are worse off!

  15. Colonial Viper 15

    He wants to laud power over you, thinks he knows what is best for you, whilst at the same time having no interest in your welfare.

    This coming from the guy who doesn’t believe that the poor in this country is getting poorer, and that 200,000 NZ children live in poverty, in this rich abundant country.

    He is just a tyrant like all other statists.

    No my friend, the power lies in the people, not in the state nor the corporations nor the hoarders of capital. You should be afraid of this simple fact.

    • Rusty Shackleford 15.1

      You can’t demonstrate that poor people are getting poorer. How many people who were poor in 1995 are still poor now?

      “the power lies in the people”
      Nice slogan. Let’s wipe the slate clean. Lift every NZer 100 meters into the air and return NZ to it’s pre-colonial nature (hell go back further if you want. Statists proclaim to love environmentalism so much, we can get back the flora and fauna devastated by the earliest discoverers of NZ), then drop them gently back to earth.How do you think that abundance will help them?

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        You can’t demonstrate that poor people are getting poorer. How many people who were poor in 1995 are still poor now?

        Well Key certainly can’t see the poor people in NZ from his mansion in Hawaii so I guess they don’t exist for him – or for you.

        Lift every NZer 100 meters into the air and return NZ to it’s pre-colonial nature

        Time to unpick the neoliberal nightmare of today, not dream about the past mate.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Telling me John Key does this or that means nothing to me. I’m no more in favor of the guy than you are.

          How did we get to our current standard of living?

          • Colonial Viper

            You can’t see the poor and neither can he. Hop into bed with him.

            • infused

              Great arguments CV. Looking like a tool as always.

              • Colonial Viper

                :-) its true though, Key sees no evil, hears no evil, anything he does see or hear he is “quite comfortable” with.

              • Rusty Shackleford

                I know it’s a waste of time trying have a rational argument with CV. However, I think it’s important to point out to people who might sympathise with his view point, that coercing people to do what we want won’t bring prosperity to our country. After all, isn’t prosperity for all people the ultimate goal?

          • Draco T Bastard

            How did we get to our current standard of living?

            By over extracting the resources from the environment setting us on course for an Anthropogenic Extinction Level Event (don’t you just luuurv the capitalist free-market).

            • Rusty Shackleford

              So, fridges and automobiles come out of the ground fully formed? I’d never have guessed.

              Reading your article (I’m guessing you wrote it) now. On first skim I’ve already found one error. You claim in your section on information asymmetry that people weren’t aware of the risks of smoking. King James I published a treatise on the dangers of smoking in 1604 http://ebooks.gutenberg.us/Renascence_Editions/james1.html

              • Rusty Shackleford

                The depression of the 1930s was caused by govt planning. I don’t see how you can claim otherwise when A.There was no depression following the similarly severe recession of 1920-21 that somehow righted itself and B.The massive Keynesian stimulus enacted under the New Deal.

                There was never a prolonged and deep depression in the relatively free market 19th century (at least in the States), but almost immediately after the enactment of the Fed and govt actively manipulating the market there was the largest depression in history.

                Also, information overload sounds like a good thing to me. I don’t know what you are proposing as an alternative but we all know what the alternatives to the free market looks like.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The depression of the 1930s was caused by govt planning.


                  Certain small interest groups made a fuckload of money during the Great Depression acquiring valuable assets for pennies on the pound.

                  Ask who they were before pointing fingers, because THEY are the ones who had a very large role to play in engineering the Great Depression.

                  It is happening again right today, engineered by the same players, for their own financial benefit.

                  Remember, for some players Great Depression events are extremely advantageous and profitable.

                • Bunji

                  New Zealand long depression from 1885 – 1900.

                  Your theory that that government planning caused the 1930s depression is hardly widely believed, however much you assert no other version of history is possible. The removal of regulation allowing a freer market causing the 2000s bubble and subsequent GFC burst is somewhat more populat though.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    I’m more interested in true theories than popular ones.

                    The popular theory of the cause of the 2000s depression is deregulation. I don’t doubt that certain actors got special privileges under the law, but the trend certainly wasn’t towards less regulation. Are there more, or fewer rules now than in 1999? Markets were most certainly not made freer.

                    A more logical explanation is that monetary expansion caused bubbles in certain areas which deflated but were never liquidated. In order for the economy to get back on a growth trend the malinvestments need to leave the system. All that malinvestment from the bust in ’07 is still there. If nature had taken its course it’s more than likely the recession of ’07-’08 would be a forgotten memory today. As I’ve pointed out it worked in 1920. The opposite didn’t work in 1933 and it hasn’t worked today.

                    Mr. Rothbard can tell you all about it. “America’s Great Depression” is imminently readable and enlightening. Also,this is amazing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUvm9UgJBtg&feature=related
                    How did it turn out?

              • Colonial Viper

                You claim in your section on information asymmetry that people weren’t aware of the risks of smoking. King James I published a treatise on the dangers of smoking in 1604

                You have to be fucking joking.

                I don;t know what the literacy rate was in 1604 but i am willing to bet it was less than 10%.

                You really are a two dimensional thinker, smart just like Khan, but no more.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  It would surprise me if the average person in 1604, even if they could read, would benefit from the book. Considering the average life expectancy was around 30, I think they would be dead of the hundreds of other endemic diseases before lung cancer would be a problem.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You are saying that people knew of the dangers of smoking in 1604, except the people who couldn’t read???? Meh, technically then you may be correct.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Books have this amazing way of persisting across time. I know you might find it hard to believe, but a book written in 1604 is actually readable to a person in 1940! Amazing, I know.

                  • ZeeBop

                    If you live only to 30 smoking might actually have been good for you and prolonged your life in those disease ridden times. I say might.

                • rosy

                  Reading your article (I’m guessing you wrote it) now. On first skim I’ve already found one error.

                  One person writing an opinion piece in 1604 stating that smoking is bad for you simply because he didn’t like it, and considered the habit a moral failing, does not constitute empirical evidence that the dangers of smoking were known before mid-20th C.

                  It certainly does not provide evidence that the paragraph about asymmetrical information in DtB’s link contains an error.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    I was simply saying that people probably knew smoking isn’t that good for you. Ingesting smoke into your lungs is intuitively bad for you, mot people can grasp that. Also, I’m not saying smoking is good. Just that it probably isn’t a good pretense to allow others to run our lives via force.

                    • rosy

                      They probably didn’t. As CV says not many could read. Also the article you’ve linked to seems to say people thought it was an antidote for the pox – something that would have been much more significant back then that the effect of tobacco on the lungs. I also cannot see at all how it relates to the pretense of allowing others to run our lives via force.

                      Also a very left-ish liberal idea is not allowing others to run our lives via force, I would have thought. Maybe you could go tell all those people workers who work without rights

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      I wasn’t specifically referring to people in 1604, I was using it as an example that the notion that smoking isn’t good for you may not have been a foreign concept to someone in the early 20th century or even before that.(tobacco was relatively new to Britain in 1604). ie. that tobacco companies didn’t pull the wall over everybodies eyes. Considering tobacco is one of the deadliest drugs available, why wasn’t it banned after all the evidence finally came out?

                      Many of the countries in your link have weak rule of law. How can you appeal to a court system if it is owned by a mate of the dude who runs your factory? Those abuses are horrible and I obviously don’t condone them, but A.The workers won’t be made better off if you shut down the factory (or hand it over to the workers) and B.See a social or economic problem? It can usually be traced to someone (usually govt) coercing someone to do something they wouldn’t otherwise do.

                    • rosy

                      Considering tobacco is one of the deadliest drugs available, why wasn’t it banned after all the evidence finally came out?

                      In simple terms – 1. because big tobacco had too much to lose, and 2. because smokers fight tooth and nail for their ‘right’ to smoke. I’ve done a fair few tobacco literature reviews so have quite strong views on this.

                      I agree that there is not much point in going to the courts in countries with weak labour laws, nor did I advocate that. I do believe labour law should be strengthened and that international labour oversight and agreements are essential.

                      Do you really believe business owners are coerced into being cruel? I think the pursuit of profit above all else, lack of labour rights and poor oversight of working conditions is motivation enough.

              • Draco T Bastard

                So, fridges and automobiles come out of the ground fully formed? I’d never have guessed.

                Rule #2, 3, 4, 5,

                King James I published a treatise on the dangers of smoking in 1604

                No errors there no matter how you’d like there to be (Rule #20 I think). It was merely an example of the misdirection and outright lies that businesses use to make money at the expense of everyone else. A well known one that people could relate to.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  What are the rules people keep talking about? You will have to enlighten me. I am completely ignorant on this count.

                  I think if I wanted to dig around I could probably find articles and books warning of the dangers of smoking. However, I’m not about to start defending tobacco companies. Just that, I think people weren’t as ignorant as you make out. And as can be seen from the modern day, it is social stigma that is turning people off smoking. I doubt people would have given up cold turkey if the risks were fully known by every person in 1890.

  16. “The Public Service has lost 2000 jobs and is expecting 2000 more jobs to be frittered away as they make the $1 billion in cuts to services that the government has targeted.”

    How many carrying out core services at local and central government level are members of the privatised ‘CONTRACTOCRACY’, as opposed to ‘in-house’ members of the ‘BUREAUCRACY’?

    Which is a more ‘cost-effective’ use of taxpayer/ ratepayer monies for the provision of core central and local government services – the privatised ‘CONTRACTOCRACY’, or ‘in-house’ ‘BUREAUCRACY’?

    Anyone got any ‘cost-benefit analyses’ which have the FACTS and EVIDENCE to prove the mantra

    (I’ve asked under the OIA /LGOIMA and received nothing…….)

    Penny Bright

  17. The National Party believes in market forces and market forces certainly are at work. But National also believes things will work out for the best…..which they might well do if the best is NZ as commodity-based increasingly impoverished country where we can’t actually start any new businesses for fear of falling foul of some multi-national’s intellectual property rights.

    In the end, we will have to bring back tariffs on some things to ensure a local base for knowing to how to make stuff and provide jobs for people who live here. It’s really just a question of how stupid our governments continue to be in the meantime.

    (China isn’t stupid. They never got rid of tarrifs.)

    The outlook isn’t good for our governments (or vast numbers of voters) not being stupid.

    • Rusty Shackleford 17.1

      IP is a pernicious evil.

      China’s growth is unsustainable. They have govt built cities that stand empty, they own billions in debt of a leecher nation, they’re devaluing their currency to keep the leech fed.

      In the long term both the States and China could come right. China has become less coercive and thrived because of it. America has become more coercive and is in trouble. If China carries on the trend (especially if their bubble bursts), and America can get back on the trend it followed up till the 20th century, all big ifs, then who knows?

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        You clearly have issues with power. (Or coercion as you call it).

        Isn’t it interesting how undemocratic countries like China or Singapore can do so much better economically than the “free world”.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Yea, I hate violence and aggression. Especially when it’s ostensibly for my own good.

          China is a better place to live than the USA or NZ?

          Singapore enacted market reforms under the guise of an authoritarian regime. Are they still authoritarian? (I honestly don’t know the answer to this question). South Korea is the same. They dropped the the dictatorship, but the same guys still run the show.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yea, I hate violence and aggression. Especially when it’s ostensibly for my own good.

            Societal violence and political aggression against the poor and underprivileged is OK though.

            • Rusty Shackleford

              Yea, propagating dependency is quite violent.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yep. As is propogating poverty.

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  CV, you are hypocrite. You advocate inflation on the one hand, but harp on meanies kicking poor people on the other.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Are you for coercion and aggression against peoples or not?

                    Trapping people in a pit and not giving them a ladder to clamber out* – that’s the society we have created.

                    *A few find plane tickets to Australia though

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Ah, yea. I’m against that. Ever rising prices and jobs destroyed by over-regulation. Caused by govt coercion.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Didn’t you notice all those high paying NZ jobs destroyed by the promotion of corporatist freedom?

                      All we have got in exchange for that is lower tax rates for the already rich.

                      And didn’t you notice the trillions in losses caused by under-regulation of the financial system?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      What high paying jobs? Paying people $10 to do $5 worth of work?

                      People who work hard and become successful through offering goods and services people want to buy are A-OK in my book. They can keep their cash if they want. Same should go for everyone else (keeping their cash, I mean).

                      Lack of regulation doesn’t adequately explain the bubbles that keep occurring in commodities. Some people manipulate the existing regulations for their own gain, but it wasn’t the lack of regulation that caused the bust.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What high paying jobs? Paying people $10 to do $5 worth of work?

                      The value of work to a society can’t be properly measured by how much return that work generates to capitalist shareholders.

                      People who work hard and become successful through offering goods and services people want to buy are A-OK in my book.

                      How about those who become successful by ripping others off or clipping the ticket without adding any value?

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      “The value of work to a society can’t be properly measured by how much return that work generates to capitalist shareholders.”
                      How would you measure it? The other ways failed disastrously. Feel free to expound.

                      “How about those who become successful by (A.ripping others off) or (B.clipping the ticket without adding any value?”)

                      A.If they broke the law, the govt should fine them or throw them in jail. That’s what they’re there for.

                      B.What does this even mean?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      A.If they broke the law, the govt should fine them or throw them in jail. That’s what they’re there for.

                      No no no, this can’t happen as the govts are riddled with insiders helping the corporatists and the bankers.

                      If anything, govts like to give these people tax money which should have been spent on services and support for the people.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      You won’t get any argument from me. Which is why we should remove the power of the state to hand out giant stacks of cash as it sees fit. You can’t legislate for corruption. You can only make the gains from corruption as small as possible.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Don’t suggest “solutions” which will only increase corporate power.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Inflation. Inflation. Inflation. You got nothing brother.

                      Why don’t you just be quiet? I’m starting to feel like a bully.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Just making sure you realise that your ideas of government and economics are good only in books.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Well, yours don’t work in practice, so there is that.

                      Also, 1920. A little black swan for ya.

          • ianupnorth

            Making any comparison between Singapore and anyone else is an incredibly flawed strategy; Singapore is what it is for several reasons
            1) geography – it has a very big deep sea port conveniently positioned on the equator midway between south east Asia and mainland Europe.
            2) As a former UK colony it had the benefit of considerable inward investment for many years, along with the exploitation of a very low wage culture.
            Are they still authoritarian – go there and see! As anal a place you will struggle to find and class then race as determinants of whether you live in a house, a state flat or a prison.
            Mr. Key is trying the same model – business should run the show – but by virtue of geography there is no way the model will work.

            • Rusty Shackleford

              Hmmm, I don’t buy your premises. Neither 1 nor 2 worked for other colonies. Plenty of African colonies have natural resources and received investment from their masters as well as having basically zero wage economies.

              • ianupnorth

                Plenty of African countries were asset stripped before the exit of the former colonisers.
                Geography is their biggest asset – WTF do you think a fair few international flights all stop there – it isn’t by chance! It was the first major air hub in Asia, it was the first major container hub in the world.

            • Colonial Viper

              True points, but Singapore did not get a major financial centre, semiconductor industry or biotech industry because it has a deep sea port. The Government wanted those things and was willing to spend a lot of money and influence to get them.

              NB when Singpore became independent of the UK (when was that, the 1950’s?) it was still an extremely poor country per capita relative to NZ and Australia.

              Consistent self interested leadershipover decades focussed on developing economic sovereignty has made all the difference.

              • ianupnorth

                It had the third highest GDP in Asia before independence. It wasn’t poor in Asian terms. It was already the biggest trans-shipment port in the world at that time.
                The government there, whilst keen to develop the economy, have trampled an a few things, such as human rights – you do not get a trial by jury, they still have corporal and capital punishment.

  18. 4 got 18

    Dear Ben,

    I can see the Labour party has an impressive ability to notice, record and write about the problems of this government.

    How will you convince people you can do a better job and what are you intending to do?

    How are you going to match this National PR machine?

    Writing to the converted on the Standard is nice, but probably won’t win you any more votes unless you count the ones potentially lost to Mana or the Greens by poor stories about Labour

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      How will you convince people you can do a better job and what are you intending to do?

      How are you going to match this National PR machine?

      Yes Labour is going to tell you its campaign plans on this blog.


    • ianupnorth 18.2

      That is a fair comment, and one I have mentioned on here in the past; it is a terrible indictment on NZ society that their political knowledge and understanding is abysmally poor.

      • Rusty Shackleford 18.2.1

        What is the point in learning the intricate details between a giant douche and a turd sandwich?

        • ianupnorth

          Well you have well and truly defined your intellect this time Rusty.
          Maybe there are a few people who actually have a genuine concern for others rather than self post here; maybe they would like any forthcoming election to be based on an informed choice, rather than a smile and a wave.
          The point in learning (and you seem to claim to be an expert in economics) any detail is exactly that – informed choice; we may as well have possums sat it parliament by your analogy!

          • Rusty Shackleford

            What does knowing about the soap opera that is politics have to do with concern for other people?

            As I’ve said. What is the difference between a giant douche and a turd sandwich? Possums sound good too, though.

            • The Voice of Reason

              Actually, you didn’t say it. You nicked the turd/douche comparison from SouthPark. Given that you stole your name from King of the Hill, is it fair to assume that all your thoughts come second hand from cartoons?

              • Rusty Shackleford

                I’m not hiding that. I thought it was a well known thing.

                • freedom

                  it was well known that your thoughts are second hand ?
                  , wow, most of us here actually think for ourselves

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    Utter bull. 40% of what goes on here can be boiled own to “National suck, Labour rule!”. 40% childish name calling. 20% debate intermixed with childish name calling.

                    [lprent: That is the case across most of the net. We enforce a minimum standard and we tend to get pissed off with critics on the general basis that they don't do much themselves.

                    If you want higher minded debate with less of the robust part that you're objecting to- then try kiwipolitico, red alert, or public address. The hand mirror is pretty good around feminist issues. They are all reasonably active in both comments and posts.

                    There isn't anything particularly comparable on the right except for the sewer, which is a bit of a boring echo chamber for trolls commenting in syncopation. Looking at your comments here today, they are descending into troll level as you seem to be running out of stamina. You may do well over there (and I may wind up removing your ability to comment here). ]

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And yet you choose to hang out here, pretending to be above it all. Interesting.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s no good being a Randian superhero aloof from society if the sheeple don’t know you’re a Randian superhero aloof from society. It would be mortifying if they thought Rourke was just a self-obsessed fuckwit who designed shite leaky buildings.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Rourke. He was a character with a twisted sense of his own cold happiness.

  19. Frank Macskasy 19

    Revelations that this government is planning to make 400 defence personnel redundant, and to make 600 more “re-apply” for Defence Dept jobs is sickening. This is poor reward for New Zealanders who have opted to serve their country, either at home; overseas in war zones; or assisting with disaster relief in Christchurch.


    When listening to Defence Minister, Wayne Mapp, on TV1 (23 June) justifying the redundancies, he confirmed that many of the sackings would be staff “nearing the near of their careers”! Did we hear that right: “nearing the near of their careers”?!


    Why not simply take out all 50+ year olds to the back paddock and simply shoot them?

    We have achieved an apalling state of affairs when this is how we treat our fellow Kiwis who have served their country for many years. And made even more obscene when those facing redundancy are “nearing the near of their careers”.

    Personally, I hope that many National MPs will likewise be “nearing the near of their careers” on November 26. I’ll be voting to achieve that end.

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  • Ebola Fear outstrips risk
    It's not just that Ebola sounds like a modern day black plague and probably originated from blood sucking bats living in dark caves - reason enough for people here in the United States to react like there's a Zombie-Vampire apocalypse...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • National lets Shell drill illegally
    Back in 2012, National passed the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act. At the time, they made a lot of noise about how this was the first legislation to properly protect the EEZ, and that it would...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • The crime is not being rich, the crime is we don’t tax all the income tha...
    In our last blog we looked at whether the claims of ‘rock star’ economist Thomas Piketty held any water or not. Short answer is that some did, some didn’t. In this blog we turn to what we should do about...
    Gareth’s World | 22-10
  • Justice for Nisour Square
    On September 16, 2007, Blackwater mercenaries ran amok in Nisour Square, Baghdad, indiscriminately firing at civilians. 17 people were killed and 20 injured. Today, a US jury has convicted them of that crime:Three security guards working for the private US...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • The gentle art of believing nothing
    I remember, quite a few years ago now, Jenny Shipley addressing a room and asking the question, “What is the purpose of the National Party?” The answer was: To defeat the Labour Party. National was there to be the party...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-10
  • Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 – what really happened?
    Three months after the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine the world is no wiser about what, and who, caused this crash. Well, we have the preliminary report but this only confirmed the bleeding obvious (“the aircraft was penetrated by a...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • It’s about history… & votes & elephants
    I think I'll start at the end. Andrew ended his recent post like this:...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More than 20 jobs saved at Auckland faculty of education
    The union and TEU members at the University of Auckland have managed to reduce proposed compulsory job cuts at the faculty of education from 35 down to just two. Local TEU organiser Enzo Giordani said feisty staff with a staunch...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the tokenism of New Zealand‘s role against Islamic Sta...
    Was John Key born lucky or what? Political performance tends to be judged on three things – the unemployment rate, the petrol price at the pump, and the market value of your house. This year, Key was lucky enough to...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-10
  • MIT chaos following job cut announcement
    Chaos reigns at MIT following last week’s announcement that the polytechnic will cut 68 full time equivalent jobs, according to local TEU organiser Chan Dixon. Over a thousand people have signed a petition opposing job cuts at the polytechnic. Staff are...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Auckland staff call for Living Wage
    The Living Wage Network held a rally and barbecue this week calling on the University of Auckland to become first New Zealand’s Living Wage university, by paying all staff, both directly employed and contracted staff, a living wage of $18.80...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Otago debates one off lump sum
    The University of Otago has not offered its staff a pay rise on their rates at collective agreement negotiations, opting instead to offer a one-off lump sum of $1000, which will not go ‘on the rates’. TEU members at the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Speaker: David Fisher: The OIA arms race
    Good afternoon everyone. I am David Fisher, a reporter with the New Zealand Herald. I have worked as a journalist for 25 years, mainly in New Zealand but across a number of other countries.I think there's some value before I...
    Public Address | 22-10
  • Employment law first act of new government
    As the prime minister promised, his government has rushed to push through its Employment Relations Amendment Bill as one of its very first actions this week. The bill, which union members and workers have actively opposed for the last year,...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • 7 inspiring stories of communities taking action for climate
    Stories of communities taking action for the climate and refusing to accept the plans of polluting fossil fuel companies are happening more and more. Here are just a few inspiring climate acts of courage taken by doctors, villagers, students, farmers,...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Blowin’ in the wind
    Wind power has a pivotal role to play in the world's energy supply over the next few years. By providing huge amounts of clean, affordable power, it can buy us time in the fight against global warming while revolutions in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Wanted: more fertiliser and horse manure
    Equality enriches the soil, just like manure, but a lot less stinky (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the...
    On the Left | 22-10
  • PM gets it right about Auckland, mostly
    Prime Minister John Key is dead right when he said: First home buyers in Auckland might have to consider an apartment in order to get onto the property ladder, Prime Minister John Key says. After all, the locational efficiencies of...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 23
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk Economic ProgrammePolicies 1. JAMI-LEE ROSS (NationalBotany) to the Minister of Finance : What measures is the Government taking to help the New Zealand economy become more productive and competitive?QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS Economic Programme—Policies...
    Its our future | 22-10
  • John Key’s Multiple Identities
    Question to the Prime MinisterRussel Norman: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he txted him?Prime Minister: None in my capacity as Prime Minister.John Key...
    Local Bodies | 22-10
  • Where is the Middle?
    When Labour decides who will be the next leader, it is of interest to all of us involved in politics. After all the person chosen could be New Zealand's next Prime Minister. So the debate on the nature of the...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • Labour Needs A Civil Union With The Greens
    Much has been written about where Labour needs to go from here. One issue which doesn’t seem to have generated much interest is what do they do with the Greens?...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Lau...
    The People's Flag Is ... Mint Green? Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern (whom Twitter immediately dubbed Gracinda) pose in Mint Green for one of the glossy women's magazines. In a non-revolutionary era, superficial is about as deep as it gets. BIKERS?...
    Bowalley Road | 22-10
  • Auckland’s disturbing panopticon
    Earlier in the month, we learned that Auckland was planning to install a creepy panopticon, complete with ANPR and facial recognition, for vague and undefinied purposes. This produced a flurry of OIA requests via FYI, and one of them (for...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • How to Sell a House: Free Advice from a couple of experts. (Self-Described!...
      In the 32 years that Judy and I have been together we have bought and sold quite a few houses. Six years is the longest we  lived in any one of those houses.  Our friends regard us as gypsies. The...
    Brian Edwards | 22-10
  • Judith Collins’ two-tier OIA service
    Back in August, we learned that sewerblogger Cameron Slater was receiving extraordinary OIA service from then-Minister of Justice Judith Collins, in one case receiving a response to a request within 37 minutes. But it wasn't just extraordinary for its speed;...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Fluoridation – a racist conspiracy?
    Political activists campaigning on health issues often resort to scaremongering. This can be dangerous – especially when their stories have no real basis but rely on selective and distorted information. Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network (FAN) often resorts to this sort of scaremongering. Now...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • 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
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
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