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Economy

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, April 3rd, 2011 - 80 comments
Categories: economy, education, privatisation, public services, same old national - Tags: , , ,

The economy, shall we say politely, is facing some difficulties. The global financial crisis (combined with a drought) sent us into recession; but we had zero net crown debt, so the government was ready for lean times, like the squirrel with nuts stored for winter.

With a National government there was no plan as to how to weather the economic storm.  Those nuts that were squirrelled away were spent on a tax cut for the already wealthy; John Key broke his promise not to raise GST to balance out tax cuts for the rest.

What would have been better would have been a stimulus.  The cycleway is not so much the wrong idea as (by only employing a couple of hundred people) just far too small.  Government spending should be counter-cyclical – spend when times are bad and save when times are good – to balance out the rest of the economy.  The government is not a business, but instead sets the macroeconomic tone.

There was plenty that could have been spent on.  There was a housing shortage before the Christchurch earthquake, with 15,000 state homes needed.  There is a massive chance to invest in Public Transport in Auckland and elsewhere.  Hospitals need upgrading.  Plenty to get the economy going again and to have allowed us to recover ‘aggressively’.

Jobs are created directly, but also indirectly – all those new railway and hospital builders have a bit more cash and will spend it, and those businesses that benefit will do so in turn – the wheels of the economy wind back into life.

If you were determined to do your stimulus by tax cut, you would give money to the poor, who’ll spend it – perhaps by creating a tax-free zone at the bottom of the income tax scale.  You don’t give the extra money to the rich, who’ll inevitably save it, completely failing to stimulate the economy.  No jobs will be created.

You should take the opportunity to invest in skills, so when the recovery comes we’re ready to take advantage.  You don’t cut apprenticeships and tertiary training, pushing more onto the dole.  As it is we have building firms going to the wall, with virtually no apprenticeships and skilled tradesmen heading to Australia at precisely the time we need to be gearing up to fix an acute housing shortage.

This is also not the time to attack the public service.  You cut the fat in the good times, when the private sector will pick up the spare workers.  As it is there is very little fat (as global ratings agencies agree), so Bill English intends to cut muscle.  There was a promise to ‘cap not cut’ the civil service – with 2000 jobs gone already and more on the way this is yet another promise that has been shredded (along with the one not to restructure the civil service – as National merge all the departments they split in the 90s).

Cutting the public service at this point not only adds to very long dole queues but deflates the economy further, as seen now in the UK (0.5% GDP drop in the last quarter) and in the 90s here after the Asian crisis.  Those added to the dole queue don’t have the cash to spend to keep the private sector going through harsh times.

And so with all this growth has halted.  The small amount of stimulus Labour put in before the 2008 election has done its dash at the end of 2009 and in 2010 we saw below population-rate economic growth – a decline per capita.  Wages rose 1.9%, but the high inflation was more than double that, so on average we all got poorer.

And National still don’t have a plan.

Their only thought in 2008 was ‘tax cuts’, a mantra they’d been repeating for 9 years and now had to implement, appropriate or not.  In 2011 they’re left with ‘asset sales’, an idea that failed in the 90s and will fail again now.

New Zealand has one of the largest disparities between Gross National Income and Gross Domestic Product in the OECD, at around 7%.  The difference?  Money that heads straight overseas to foreign owners and lenders.

What will asset sales do?  Just expand that difference.  Whilst John Key wants to sell to ‘Mum & Dad’ investors, Contact shows how quickly those shares will head overseas.  And with it, ever more of our economic sovereignty, our real wealth, our ability to control what happens here.  It will not benefit New Zealand in the long term, just give the government a short sugar rush of cash, before moving more of our economy offshore.  Once again National go in for short-termism and quick profit at the expense of the economy like all those pre-GFC bankers.

A real plan for the economy would involve investment in skills and education, to foster the next generation of inventors, scientists, entrepreneurs.  It would involve looking at what we can do to help those in the productive and exporting parts of the economy, those in the inventive or hi-tech areas – ie those who actually create wealth for this country.  You wouldn’t cater to the (Australian) banks and the speculators, but rather weigh fiscal and monetary policy in favour of the producers.  You look at encouraging savings (KiwiSaver, New Zealand Super Fund and more) and using those savings to invest in New Zealand innovation, not housing that just leaves us all more beholden to those overseas banks.

Of course after National left the cupboard bare with their tax cuts and then we had the earthquake, any future government does face hard choices.  The government books aren’t dire, but there’s not cash-to-flash either.  So plans can’t be for the big stimulus that would have been great, but rather just have to look at re-structuring our economy as outlined above.  There are a number of other things too – not least reducing our dependence on oil, and the general greening of our economy to make sure we can survive the future – but that might have to wait for another post…

80 comments on “Economy”

  1. r0b 1

    Excellent, thoughtful post.

    A real plan for the economy would involve investment in skills and education, to foster the next generation of inventors, scientists, entrepreneurs.

    Far too long term and strategic for Nats. They want a short term quick fix from the cargo cult of tax cuts for the rich and the mumbo jumbo of the invisible hand. Waiting for Godot…

    Good luck in North Shore by the way. I’ve been impressed with your posts here so far. Be great to see you in parliament!

    • Afewknowthetruth 1.1

      I must disagree. Some aspects of the commentary are correct, but the author appears to be fairly clueless about the big picture.. Or scared to mention it.

      1. The reason we are in the parlous state we are (worldwide) is because we are living in a post peak oil world. Without energy nothing happens. With less energy less happens. And energy prices rise. Peak per capita energy was around 1979 and we are now into declining total energy. A continuous drop in living standards worldwide is inevitable. Like most people, Ben seems to be clueless on this matter and is living in the past.

      2. Development [in the orthodox meaning if the word] is not the answer, it is the problem. Development reduces the sustainability of communities, the nation and the entire planet. Development is what it driving the envronmental collapse we are now witnessing. Again, that seems to be hard for the scientifically illiterate to understand.

      3. The world is run by bankers and global corporations, for the benefit of bankers and global corporations. They are more shortsighted than everyone else.

      4. Industrial civilisation has no long term future. Either industrial civilisation collapses, due to declining energy and declining mineral resources, or desperation attempts to prop up industrial civilisation -via deep water drilling, converting food into liquid fuel, tar sands, nuclear power, strip mining etc.- render the Earth largely uninhabitable in a few decades. That seems to be the option most people prefer.

      • Galeandra 1.1.1

        Soooo…. what’s your political/governmental solution,then? The comments you make are hardly brand-new insights,and people in Average Street still need to eat and clothe their kids, get about the place and so on. Your response is not very useful.

        • Afewknowthetruth 1.1.1.1

          There is no governmental solution under the present system. Central government and local government [as they currently operate] are very much part of the problem.  By constantly pushing for economic growth, for population growth and for more urbanisation  they exacerbate every predicament we face.  And they stand in the way of appropriate responses to the predicament  -permaculture and powerdown.  

          Only when we have an informed general populace will there be any possibility of societal change. And the chance of having an informed general populace is close to zero at this point of time, I’m afraid  -the above article being a clear demonstration that the culture of denial persists.

           So individuals need to make their own preparations for the meltdown rather than looking for outside assistance. That means getting on with permaculture and powerdown immediately.

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1

            I think lots of people know this is a possibility, but cannot know for certain what the future holds.

            So we tend to try and have a bob each way… a bit of gardening here and there, while hanging out on a job and paying down the mortgage.

            It’s that bloody mortgage (literally ‘death contract’) that is the biggest social controller of all.

  2. PeteG 2

    National did have a plan – to change little in their first term, hence their nickname, Labour Lite.

    The key thing will be what plan they signpost in the next budget, and what policies they go to the electorate with in November.

    In the meantime it’s worth noting that at this stage Labour don’t have a plan either.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Actually, both parties have a plan – they just haven’t communicated it much yet. NACT, though, will go with more tax cuts for the rich and the selling off of the family silver (in other words, more trashing of the economy to benefit the already rich).

    • MrSmith 2.2

      So Pete National have spent the last 2 1/2 years wait for it drum roll please ………….. trying to get back in for another 3 years!

    • <i> In the meantime it’s worth noting that at this stage Labour don’t have a plan either.</i>

      Ummm yes it does.

      Next post by PeteG – No it doesn’t
      Next post by me – Yes it does.
      ad infinitum.

      PeteG I am saying that you are either talking about something you have no idea about or you are deliberately spreading misinformation.  If you had the slightest inkling of the Labour party you would realise at last year’s conference there were a number of papers presented and that the Policy Council of the party has been beavering away developing these into policy.  It will not, repeat will not be released until the right time which should be around the time of the election campaign.  Some stuff may come out early but this is the inevitable approach that opposition parties take because otherwise the Government will steal their best ideas.
       
      EDIT: Oops tags do not work …

      • lprent 2.3.1

        Nope not in the new editor – it has visual controls :twisted:

        I’m trying to put in a flag to allow people to toggle it on and off. But it has some annoying bugs.

  3. Jum 3

    Pete G
    National always had a hidden plan, the plan you don’t take home to the real Mums and Dads. It’s in the emails of Hollow Men for all the world to see – the greed, the manipulation, the selfish grabbing of our children’s future wealth and whatever couldn’t be stripped and sold off will be destroyed. National and its acolytes disgust me.

    Whatever NAct say to the public will be a lie. You’re already perpetrating the lies. Labour has always had a plan. Their plans have always been about raising up people not moneytraders’ bank balances. Their plan was a steady, upwardly mobile plan for everyone and NAct have done their utmost to destroy that.

    Like MMP, in the times when the bulldog Hide got in with so few votes, and nobody wanted to admit they’d voted for it, nobody will admit to having voted for National or Act. We can tinker and improve MMP to get rid of the asset-eating hyenas like Hide, but National – there’s nothing ethical nor remotely humane left to make it worth continuing their life support system.

    Even Douglas is leaving; trouble is he’s already completed his nasty little plan of creating cheap labour in a once proud little country, called New Zealand, but now owned and controlled by everyone but ethical New Zealanders.

    • Afewknowthetruth 3.1

      I must remind you that it was a Labour government that destroyed the fabric of NZ society in the 1980s. And it was a Labour government that carried on with the proglobalisation, pro-international corporatissm, pro-free trade, pro-money-lender agenda under Helen Clark.

      Try taking the blinkers off.

      • bbfloyd 3.1.1

        i’ve found, over the years, that any argument that attempts to oversimplify an issue tends to miss the important points in said issue.. using slogans to back an argument devalues the attempted point being made.

      • Jum 3.1.2

        Afewknowthetruth

        And I must remind you that Roger Douglas and the business rotundtable had control over Labour in the 1980s and Helen Clark had little control over what that fish and chips group did.

        The fabric had already been ripped to shreds by the time Helen Clark moved into Labour as PM in 1999. Whatever mistakes she and Cullen made re carrying on the selling off is miniscule compared to Douglas and Richardson and now Key and English.

        If you seriously believe that there was much she could have reversed in the new century apart from uplifting New Zealanders and trying to get back a reasonably level playing field, given half the controls over New Zealand and New Zealanders were already deals done and contracts made then you need to take your blinkers off.

        She knew National and Act would rush into a free market with anything and anyone. At least some control would have been made over the China free trade deal as regards our workers. No, I have taken them to task for all sorts of things and shall continue to do so. They’re still better than NActMU.

        As for Labour being government in the 1980s. What a joke. It was Act then and it has been Act since 1984 and you need to accept that. A year before Labour even gained the Treasury benches in 1999, Douglas was working with Treasury on his plan. ‘His’ no doubt a cover for all manner of low-lifes seeking to own and control New Zealand.

        Any investigation into global politics throws up the ‘it’s all about the money, honey’ moneytrader thinking. If you think she as PM of New Zealand could have held that at bay, then you lose some of my earlier respect for your point of view, Afewknowthetruth. Your post 1.1 is excellent but in attacking Labour which is more green aligned than NAct (we can fight over the degree later) you will get NAct. Good luck with that.

        This year it is totally up to the people of New Zealand to decide what is more important to them. I hope it’s not selfish greed.

        • Carol 3.1.2.1

          I think it was quite hard for the left in most countries to stand against the international neoliberal tide, because there have been strong pressures coming from corporates, the media and the most powerful western countries to adopt the neoliberal way.  I disagreeed with some things the Calrk government did, but they did resist the strongest of the neoliberal pressures, and made a bit of a buffer for NZ.  This buffer has, of course, been largely torn away by a couple of years of NAct.

          • Jum 3.1.2.1.1

            You’re absolutely right, Carol.  The work Clark and Cullen and Co did to stop the full frontal attacks by the extreme rightwing will be recognised one day.
            Until then, we have to put up with the 5th rate government our citizens voted in 2008.  But Labour is on notice.   If they act in any way as a NAct lite government in 2011, and I am confident of them winning, then I will attack them.  Social support systems must take precedence again as they did in 1999 to 2011, but with more courage and more planks against the garbage right wing that intend to feed off us.

            • Jum 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes, 2008 to 2011 there were still planks of support but NAct, I am unhappy to say, has finally finished unravelling them.

            • Herodotus 3.1.2.1.1.2

              “The work Clark and Cullen and Co did to stop the full frontal attacks by the extreme rightwing will be recognised one day.” Yes some already attribute what they had achieved in NZ. Allowing a country to follow the lines of the 80’s. Looking after the rich, allowing NZ to continual to fail financially and socially, and what did eventuate from the Lab strategy? The one that was to move up into the top 1/2 of the OECD rankings …. We fell further and slipped a few more places. Jum a few quickies for you .. How was our current account? most peoples “increase” in wealth was from where? how was it that NZ wages were going backwards? how is it that a family earning twice the average income is considered wealthy? and finally how is it that all Lab politicians I have corropsonded ( 5 from the front bench in 06/07)did not have an idea what a livable wage is for a family ( a basic I thought that PM, Min fin, Min of Soc Wel would have a strong hold on)? They had no idea and still dont on what it costs to live, how to fix it,  just what to say. With a diet of words from a politician, result we starve, just look atthe inadequate benefit levels that have been set 
              ps to those running the site nice user friendly modes ;-)

              • Jum

                herodotus
                Aren’t the OECD ratings wonderful – you can pick out rates you can use to your advantage and ignore the ones that don’t.
                Current Account – ask the people why they were silly enough to fall for the ‘you can have it now’ mantra – honestly you people make me tired – and the marketing spin  Labour didn’t force people to go out and buy what they couldn’t afford.  The greedy moneytraders spun that.  NAct spun what you are spinning now.  They are now government.  The thought of another term with more people like you? – like eating brussels sprouts.
                Wages – ask the national supporting businesses why they insist on paying low wages to their employees when they can get away with it – thank goodness we have a minimum wage (at least for now).  Guess what – wages are an expense and businesses hate expenses.  Answer me why when NAct came in, very soon after business was saying they could handle the recession and keep their staff, a group of NActs visited and suddenly staff were being laid off; NAct had told them they could take on new staff under the 90day probation and treat them like shit.  That’s business for you; that’s NAct for you.  Happy a happy life with your neos.
                Liveable wage for  a family – do some homework yourself, you lazy hooah.  Try the Otago uni scales for a nutritional diet for children, for teenagers, for men, for women.  Check out the rents which Labour kept at reasonable levels but NAct are increasing stealthily – they do everything stealthily.
                 
                As for you… goodnight.  You’ve already wasted too much of my valuable time.

                • Herodotus

                  Jum- ince to see yet again someone who cannot answer what should be a simple question – A livable wage, and yes I have done some work on it. Lab has not and that is my issue, those in the party have no idea.
                  Labb accordingly to T Mallard kepf the rents low by giving subsidies for the landlord. Remember the reason that Lab opposed the tax changes … because rents will increase. I never saw a policy of subsidising landlords on any manifesto
                  Re OECD is was helen Clark and co who referred to this sio I am not cherry picking- refer to 2000-07 budget comments and see what reference the lab govt placed in it, until the last budget when it was not commented on. So dont throw this crap at me talk to those within Lab at the time who used this measure for NZ to progress-unfortunately you need policies, committment not just good luck to achieve, and Lab whilst lucky were not that lucky
                  All the problems you associate with Nat can also be leveled at Lab, (low wage growth, benefit levels that remained unchanged after adjustments etc) and as long as many here view the world Lab Good = Nat Bad , the crap that Lab dished out will be forgetton and we will end up with another lite govt that continues along the neolib track. Try and open the other eye JUM so you can see the world, and look at what was and is happening. No wonder lab lost 08 they forgot to experience the real world.

        • ZeeBop 3.1.2.2

          Pretty simple, dob in a drug dealer. Then the people who are behind National won’t have their fix to comfort them. If you love your children dob in a drug dealer, people who wield such power and don’t care how they hurt the citizens of NZ have to be self-medicating on something illegal. Key lied, he said no cuts to services, no GST and he could give a tax cut to the rich, now he won’t break the tax cut, who does he think he’s kidding? Its your classic bait and switch, now we are in debt to the tune of the cost of tax cuts for the top end of town. Like nobody noticed! Labout could see Key could not count and quite openly called him on trust. Why will nobody talk Key who knows this economy backwards to task for no being able to count how tax cuts would cause massive government borrowing and are now forcing cuts to services and rises in taxes for most citizens.

  4. bbfloyd 4

    pete… you have no idea how boring it has gotten seeing that tired old mantra trotted out every time someone puts forward a relevant critique of this govt’s obvious shortcomings… (labour has no plan).

    it’s utter rubbish, and if you were to think past your own mental blocks you would recognise it for the “common sense” that it is… it surely can’t be that hard to see that sensible, forward thinking policies, and decisions that actually work are preferable to slick ad campaigns and cynical propaganda.

    common sense shouldn’t have to be dressed up in tinsel to get across to people.. it speaks for itself, and the ones who can’t see that are the ones doing the most damage to our future.

  5. burt 5

    Ben

    Ever so slightly thought provoking post. “Participated”.

    Next time you try and spin the National bad line you might want to add the context that 2008 was pretty much a re-run of 1990 where the outgoing Labour govt departed with the economy in tatters and hidden financial time bombs broadsided National & NZ tax payers to squeals of delight from myopic Labourites who would rather we all starved under Labour than flourished under National.

    • seeker 5.1

      Bert

      In what way do we “flourish” under National??

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        By broadening our culinary horizons.

        My bf read the post about cockroaches and cat food over my shoulder, and said “the last time I remember hearing these sorts of stories was the late 80’s and early 90’s.”

      • Galeandra 5.1.2

        and ‘pretty much a rerun’ is just a straight out fabrication as Burt has been told over and over. Troll

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Ah, look at that, burt’s back with his National good, Labour bad false dichotomy.

      The 4th Labour government was the first Act government – the economy was trashed by neo-liberalist policies, the ones that NACT are following now. We will never flourish under NACT, in fact, we never have done.

  6. Tangled up in blue 6

    Yes great post.

    I would love to see a post outlying the justification of voting Labour over National this election. The general public view seems to be that Labour failing as an opposition party justifies supporting the National Party although it has has failed NZ’s economy.

    • bbfloyd 6.1

      T.u.i.b….the perception you talk about is one pushed relentlessly by the tory lapdogs in the media.. the reality is rather far from that. of course, doing the right thing by ones constituents, and representing them at every opportunity isn’t as “exciting” as yet another photo opportunity, but it actually counts, because that is what true democratic representation is.

      i really find facile assumptions based on propaganda to be as irritating as they are boring and counterproductive.

      • infused 6.1.1

        Sorry but you’re wrong. If that were true, why does Labour still suck in the polls?

    • Jum 6.2

      Tangled up in Blue

      Maybe the public has to be asked what they think is a failing in Labour. Are they suggesting that Labour isn’t being attack-dog like NAct? I thought they made it quite clear they didn’t like bad behaviour in government, although it never seemed to bother them when National/Act were doing it.

      Maybe the New Zealand public is just selfish and greedy and if promised some money will back NAct, without remembering the tax which NAct gave but also took much more away in stealth.

      I certainly can’t blame people wanting extra money when their wages are so low to begin with. NAct’s quoting ‘take home wage’ not improved gross wage is just another example of their slimy cunning.

      I don’t really know what New Zealanders want. They have reacted to what the top-down leaders of the country have done in the 80s and 90s – got greedy and selfish. I thought the building up of Kiwis in the last decade would be enough to bring back some hope but NAct has effectively crushed that in just a couple of years.

      We must always remember that New Zealanders voted in a slick moneytrader, when globally, voters were turning off the neo-greed. They are certainly gullible. Perhaps a course in political history in early schooling might reinforce the basic truth that the government is only as good as the voters. Maybe that’s why Kiwis still ‘love’ Key. They’re too embarrassed to admit they made a mistake and have sentenced the rest of New Zealanders to a miserable future.

      It’s great having freedom as an individual. Trouble is, a group of individuals working together is needed to get back this country’s reputation as a caring, socially-minded place. I hope it is Labour/Greens/Progressive. It certainly won’t happen under NActMU.

      • infused 6.2.1

        Yeah blame the people. Maybe you should look outside-in. Labour have been utterly useless for the past two years.

        They were useless in 2008, which is why they got chucked out. I still don’t think Labour has woken up to that. It’s like “What have we done wrong?”

        • Jum 6.2.1.1

          Yes, infused, I will blame the people, all those who voted in NActMU. Thank you for your kind offer.

  7. burt 7

    Ben

    Of course after National left the cupboard bare with their tax cuts

    Have you forgotten that Cullen left the cupboard bare and when Labour departed there was a decade of deficits forecast ?

    Let me guess Labour’s tax cuts were good because they were designed to get Labour re-elected but Nationals tax cuts were bad because they… well because National did it of course.

    This little reminder from May 2008 might help you remember how it really was Ben rather than how you wished it was;
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/audrey-young/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501219&objectid=10511832

    • bbfloyd 7.1

      burt… you’re quoting an arch tory to show “proof” of your illogical opinions? you’d be a worry lad.

    • burt 7.2

      bbfloyd

      OK, fair enough you can target the messenger – are you brave enough to say Cullen never made a statement about the cupboard being bare around the time of the 2008 election ?

      Funny thing the facts being able to stand independently from who repeated them…. Wake up bbfloyd….

      • ianmac 7.2.1

        When Labour take over in November by winning the Election, will they find that National has left the cupboard bare? Shame on them.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.2

        are you brave enough to say Cullen never made a statement about the cupboard being bare around the time of the 2008 election ?

        You’re saying that the cupboard was bare, burt?

        Yet English still managed to give the rich a whole lot of tax cuts? If the cupboard was bare where did the money come from? Oh yeah, he borrowed it from the Chinese. Borrowing money from the Chinese to give to the rich.

        Smart people you’re backing, burt.

  8. Jum 8

    Burt,

    Seriously, learn to compare like with like.

    Cullen brought back a railways (with 75% support from New Zealanders). If Joyce stopped living in the 19thC with his vicious, selfish disregard for huge swathes of the population who can’t or don’t drive, by disallowing rail coaches to be built professionally and competitively in New Zealand by men absolutely behind giving quality work for quality belief from government and by using valuable land to build unneeded ‘holiday’ roading at this time of recession and repression, then New Zealand would be progressing not regressing.

    Key gave huge tax cuts, and continues to do so, to only a few. We have seen zero positive results in the economy for him having done so.

    Get the story right, Burt. Act left New Zealand in financial and social tatters in 1990. Act left New Zealand in social and financial tatters in 1999; Labour left New Zealand with zero government debt – don’t blame Labour for greed within society which was tempted by moneytraders and the ‘you can have it now’ mantra. NAct created ‘futures’ debt in departments like ACC to make the figures look worse than the truth which was a fund managed financially by valuable shareholdings with Government. The recession, brought on by the rich bros reduced that shareholding, not Labour.

    JKeyll and Hide and English have squandered that excellent inheritance on tax cuts to the rich which have gone nowhere in this economy and they have reduced a huge portion of New Zealanders to rags.

  9. Sanctuary 9

    I see Mr. Hickey continues to bang his debt drum in the Herald – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10716700 and in particular the on-going campaign against WFF. What absolutely astonishes me about Mr. Hickey’s prescriptions is his total silence on stagnant wage growth and the political realities that underlay the Labour decision to introduce WFF. Mr. Hickey appears to think that the government should just axe WFF, free child care and interest free student loans as if these will have no impact whatsover on vast numbers of New Zealand families. If the Pigs on our Animal Farm are the absentee landlords who demand monopoly rents from their NZ banks and other businesses then I would like to see Mr. Hickey to include some thoughts on we can force the Jessie’s and Bluebell’s of New Zealand’s compliant Quisiling class to put wages and salaries up. These people at the moment can get away with simply refusing to lift wages and salaries in line with productivity growth, inflation or in line with anything except their own and their coporate overlords greed and self-interest.

    For better or worse, the Labour government chickened out in 2000-2001 when confronted by a truculent capitalist class and it’s threats of a capital strike. Unable to move the entrenched neo-liberal fanaticism of our managerialist class, Lbour sought other ways to re-distribute wealth to maintain middle New Zealand’s standard of living. To my mind you cannot discuss axing WFF without addressing the need to reform labour relations laws to allow wage and salary workers to achieve meaningful pay rises. To simply do away with WFF – as Hickey appears to advocate – would be to suck so much spending out of the NZ economy that it would collapse into a severe depression.

    Like most of New Zealand’s simplistic economic commentators Hickey fails to take into consideration the reality that power, social and cultural considerations inform political decision making at least much as simple raw economic data, and he simply to fails to grasp that the economy is not an island uninfluenced by the needs of the people who work in it. To my mind, this strain of particularly obtuse analytical stupidity is rampant in our economic commentary, and it means you would get economic advise that is at least as useful from a professor of divinity or philosophy as you get from the likes of Bernard Hickey.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    “Their only thought in 2008 was ‘tax cuts’, a mantra they’d been repeating for 9 years and now had to implement, appropriate or not.”

    It would be interesting to see what governments would do if those wealthy, who pay the bulk of tax in NZ, decided to bugger off on mass and take their wealth with them. Then I bet governments from whatever political persuasion would be offering all sorts of tax incentives to get them to come back.

    Perhaps those on the left should think about this possibility. As it could happen if they get their wish to put tax rates back up for the wealthy.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      The top 10% own about 50% of the wealth but fail to pay 50% of the taxes. This would indicate that they are not paying the bulk of the tax.

    • RobC 10.2

      Given we have 6 y.o.’s eating cockroaches and elderly eating cat food, if all the rich and wealthy fucked off life may actually get better.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.2.1

        No “may” about it – life would be better just so long as we were smart enough to prevent them from taking our wealth with them. We really can’t afford the rich.

        • tsmithfield 10.2.1.1

          If the top tax rates are dicked around with again, a tax strike would probably fix the problem. Similar to what happened with the TV licences awhile ago.

          • RedLogix 10.2.1.1.1

            Explain to me where the rich would go for lower taxes?

            Korea or Mexico?.

            • tsmithfield 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Actually, Britain looks quite good. Especially for those with companies.

              • Colonial Viper

                Let them go to the UK then TS.
                They are in a more miserable social and economic situation than NZ, and their austerity measures are leading to massive social upheaval and unrest.
                People who decide to relocate their lives based on tax rates need their heads read.
                And of course, the discussion misses the point completely – people move for higher incomes, not for lower taxes. Bill and John can’t deliver on higher incomes so they fake it with lower taxes.

                Hey how come there aren’t any more paragraph gaps when I press return? Darn except this one when I edited the comment.

                The other thing is, why participate in a race to the bottom of the barrel in terms of tax rates? That’s as sensible as a shop trying to reduce it’s pricing close to zero, thinking that is going to attract the types of customers it wants.

                NZ should find niches where it is strong and go for them.

                • I like Monbiot’s comment on the argument when it was raised in England.

                  He said:

                  “It’s a bitter blow. When the ­government proposed a windfall tax on bonuses and a 50p top rate of income tax, thousands of bankers and corporate executives promised to leave the country and move to Switzerland. Now we discover that the policy has failed: the number of financiers ­applying for a Swiss work permit fell by 7% last year. The government must try harder to rid this country of its ­antisocial elements. ”

                  Link is at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/22/bankers-executive-flight-tax-avoidance

            • RobC 10.2.1.1.1.2

              We established this the other day. Somalia – 0% tax rate.

          • Pascal's bookie 10.2.1.1.2

            Hey T, hear this lot; this notion of yourn; that rich folks’ll flee the high taxes and suchlike. The Galt thesis, or whatevs.

            Cite? Sounds fairly testable. how about we look at where the millionaires live and what the taxation is. Perhaps within the US? Migration between states is simple and has less negative consequences, making the shift easier. Also, we have a graph.

            http://www.asymptosis.com/1098-if-millionaires-vote-with-their-feet-they-apparently-dont-care-about-incomes-taxes.html

          • Jum 10.2.1.1.3

            Bring it on.  A huge embarrassment will result.  If a reasonable tax rate is given for the middle income earners and a really high one for the wealthy and they take a tax strike on the really high one, we won’t notice.  We won’t notice because the wealthy pay so little to begin with.  And when we remove the tax cuts from them because it has to be aligned to what tax they supposedly pay, they’d be even poorer.
            Or maybe we could just be a fairer society and give money from those wealthy who didn’t pay tax to those who did and then the wealthy may be welcome when they get old and need our support.  But they will go overseas to collect their money which is overseas and they’ll spend it overseas, as they always have.

          • felix 10.2.1.1.4

            O NOEZ!! If tsmithnorrisellissgeorge’s mates all piss off, who’ll suck all that excess money out of the economy?
            And where would we find people talented enough to replace them in their oh-so-important corporate roles?
            Lol.

        • LynW 10.2.1.2

          Agreed Draco T Bastard. Corporate welfare is crippling us!

    • Jum 10.3

      Stop the utter tripe TSmithfield.

      Those wealthy don’t pay tax in New Zealand; that’s moneytraders lore 101. They just steal ours. They should be jailed not knighted for the damage they have done.

      The bulk of taxes are paid by the middle income earners that don’t have accountants or overseas bank accounts or’special financial support’ from government.

      In fact if they left the wages of New Zealanders would go up. The ethical standards in New Zealand certainly would.

      Another one for my list of NAct toadies who stand to gain from ripping off the New Zealand worker:

      TSmithfield

    • ianmac 10.4

      Actually the exodus might be a good thing. New Zealand would be left with a poorer but more just society, I reckon TS.

    • Galeandra 10.5

      By ‘their’ wealth you mean the billions belonging to people like Messrs Fay & Richwhite? Ha! Didn’t they take their wealth to Geneva anyway. Or is that sort of thing just urban myth? And where does Doug Myers live these days?
      The ‘wealthy’ in my youth paid high taxes and got a high social return. Today the “taxes” are just as high: PAYE, GST, insurances for income protection, and against disability or premature death, as well as for private healthcare without rationing or waiting lists, & retirement orientated investments that are required to live in a modest way in old age. All add up to a damn sight more than 39% or 45% or even 55% of gross earnings, and a lot of the ‘tax’ paid for these services goes straight to corporate profits.
      Most of these needs were met by public services paid for out of taxation under the old regime.

  11. Jum 11

    Hickey was a ring-in for NAct. He’s just like Colin James who purports to want the best for New Zealand and even New Zealanders believe it or not, but somehow along the way, the only people who suffer are the workers.

    His recent pretence to want the best for all New Zealanders was a lie. Colin James columns are always slanted towards the neo-cons in government.

    Whenever people like that gain, the rest of New Zealanders always lose. Neo-cons always remove the safeguards or ensure there aren’t any because perpetrating their sentences on citizens in any country they control needs a desperate compliant population.

    That’s the only plan NAct and the advisers like Hickey and James have – remove the safety measures, turn on the gas and watch the populace rip each other apart in their rush to reach higher ground.

    It’s disgusting in a country like New Zealand; that is what makes this current recession so unforgiveable; there was no need for it to be so bad here. Greed made it so.

  12. seeker 12

    @Burt 11.12am

    Did you go to lunch?

    I am still waiting to hear in what way(s) you believe we ‘flourish’ under National.

    • burt 12.1

      seeker

      We don’t flourish under National, well not at least in the first 2 terms of recovering from Labour tax and spend recession causing policies. Did you forget that when Labour left office we had a decade of deficits forecast?

      Poor Ben seems to think that the failed economy that National took over was their fault. I guess 9 years of Labour policies might have created a domestic recession but that’s National’s fault right ?

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1

        Did you forget that when Labour left office we had a decade of deficits forecast?

        Which was due to…

        Oh, that’s right, a global fucken recession which NACT has made much worse in NZ by cutting taxes for the rich while increasing taxes on the poor.

      • burt 12.1.2

        You are a moron. Labour left office with a decade of deficits predicted because of what National did in the 18 months after that occurred. What a twat.

        [Burt I know these are anxious-making times we live in... but do you think you might do your bit keep the tone less confrontational?....RL]

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.2.1

          English has steered the country into a fiscal iceberg. He created a fragile economy which was then further frakked by the earthquake.

          • ianmac 12.1.2.1.1

            Actually not sure that he steered into an iceberg CV. I think that he was paralysed with indecision and no one was steering our ship. And Key was too busy flouncing for the cameras.

        • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2.2

          burt, you make absolutely no sense. Labour left office with a decade of deficits predicted because of the GFC. NACT have made that worse by cutting taxes and so increasing the deficit.

  13. seeker 13

    Thanks Burt

    But you wrote:

    “myopic Labourites who would rather we all starved under Labour than flourished under National.”

    – so obviously you believed we would flourish under National. Why? Am genuinely interested.

    • burt 13.1

      seeker

      I think you missed the point. for example;

      Just before leaving office Cullen spends all the spare cash on railways, he left the cupboard bare knowing full well it was a maintenance spending shackle on what would be a cash strapped economy for National.

      National have been borrowing from day one because all Labour did for 9 years was bank the over taxation to reduce national debt. The govt were awash with cash and personal/consumer debt skyrocketed. With one of the lowest national debt to GDP ratios (and one of the highest personal debt ratios) in the world and a failed stagnant economy what option was there but to borrow.

      Now of course it’s National’s fault isn’t it…. because like Labour they also gave overtaxed people tax cuts to win the election. Just National’s were bigger and they won so therefore they are evil.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        and a failed stagnant economy what option was there but to borrow.

        Blah blah running the old “There are no alternatives” line are we burt?

        How about not giving billions in monies back to the already wealthy, that’s an alternative. How about levying a one off property and income tax to help rebuild Christchurch, that’s an alternative.

        But I will agree with one thing – Labour did let private debt levels rise way too high – essentially allowing our Australian owned banks to borrow from overseas up to the eyeballs.

        all Labour did for 9 years was bank the over taxation to reduce national debt.

        Don’t be ridiculous, the reduction in our public debt levels was what saved our bacon in the GFC, and also what gave Bill and John such an easy time.

        And what are they doing with this cushion? Gifting it to the already wealthy.

      • RedLogix 13.1.2

        Just before leaving office Cullen spends all the spare cash on railways

        burt it was $670m. Less than three weeks of borrowing by the current govt.

        As for being a ‘maintenance shackle’ on a National govt… well hell that would only be fair. After all it was a Nat govt that sold the rail system to a pack of corporate asset strippers in the first place….was it not?

        As for this idea that NZ is overtaxed…. NZ already has one of the lowest total taxation on personal income in the OECD.

        • Pascal's bookie 13.1.2.1

          RL, burt thinks that running a surplus is overtaxing. Labour was obviously overtaxing; the fact the were running surpluses proves it so.  But when National runs a deficit, that’s Labour’s fault.

      • Macro 13.1.3

        burt
        You should have a read of this:
        http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/05/top-one-percent-201105?currentPage=all
        This is where Nact want NZ to go. We are well on the way – Govt’s since 1984 have been leading us down this garden path towards greater inequality. There was some respite between 2000 and 2008  – but not much. NZ now has the 6th highest income gap (how much richer are the top 20% to the bottom 20%) of around 7 (ie they are 7 times more wealthy) after Singapore and the USA with income gaps of around 9 and a half. These figures are for Western “Developed” countries. p17 “The Spirit Level” no you don’t like that book – but the facts are the facts!
        I suppose you may consider yourself to be one of the top 1% and are quite happy that things progress along the path of redistributing wealth by more handouts to those who do not need it. I myself am also fortunate to not to have to worry where the next dollar is coming from. But the path of increasing inequality is patently an unjust path. It leads to increasing social unrest, and ultimately revolution. Societal disruption is not something unique to the Middle East – as the French well know.

      • seeker 13.1.4

        Thanks Burt
        I think you have courteously tried hard to answer my question, but no matter how I try I can’t agree with your assertions.
        My observations and experiences since the eighties have led me to conclude that the majority of people do not flourish under National or any other Conservative party/ideology.I also notice the horrible irony today that starvation has returned to our great country (see A Class Massacre) and this is under National not Labour as you feared.“myopic Labourites who would rather we all starved under Labour than flourished under National”.
        I agree with Macro @ 8.29pm. and hope that one day you will see the truth too.

  14. randal 14

    somepeople on here think this government really cares about people.nada. they only care about themselves.
    the whole country can go to hell in a handbasket and they will still be sitting pretty so why should they care?

    • Afewknowthetruth 14.1

      Agreed.  The average politician is a self-serving liar.

      Jum.
      Cuba has stood up to ‘the neofascists’ remarkably well for over 50 years. Starting from an incredibly impoverishsed base and against a continuous US blockade , Cuba has built up one of the highest doctor- to- patient ratios in the world, has one of the lowest inequality of income rates, and one of the most sustainable food production systems anywhere. Helen Clark could have easily stood up to the free marketeers  -she just didn’t want to. Tresury ruled the roost under Labour,  just as it did under National.  HC was quite happy with that arrangement. Besides, HC had her eye on a UN position and wasn’t going to rock the boat.  And don’t foget she was forever tripping the world looking for free-trade deals to sign instead of getting real solutions  to the predicament implemented. I vividly recall contating her to discuss real solutions to our predicament: she ‘wasn’t interested’ ( of course).

      The reason we have a National government right now is because people were thoroughly sick of Helen Clark and Michael Cullen  -who was personally responsible for losing billions of dollars of our money- and the direction they were taking NZ.  All the preconditions for the implosion we are experiencing were set in place under the 9 years of HC and MC. National have just made it worse.

      Please don’t think that by criticising Labour I am supporting National or Act  -they are more lothesome than Labour. I am just saying is Labour is not the answer because Labour  doesn’t have any strategies that will work.  Labour consists of a bunch of incompetent fools who just want to tweak the knobs slightly when what is required is a total rethink.

      The choice on offer does not appeal to me at all:  off the cliff ulltra-fast under National or a off the cliff a little more slowly under Labour. Two faces of the same coin.  That”s why I won’t be voting for either.

  15. Carol 15

    Crown Lynn provides a bit of a study in what has happened to our economy since the 1980s.  Real productivity headed offshore, NZers now have little control over their capacity to generate a stable, secure and adequately-paid workforce.  Meanwhile, the unions role in keeping the employing classes honest has been weakened.

    Crown Lynn succeeded as a producer of pottery since the early 20th century, through trial and error, ingenuity, hard graft, close contact between owner/manager & workers, government protection from international competition. Albeit this was done through using a significant number of modestly-paid, women workers.  According to NZ History Online:

    Successful Government lobbying to place higher tariffs on imported goods assisted in the company’s fortunes. By 1960 it reached its peak production of about 10 million pieces, becoming the largest pottery company in the Southern Hemisphere at that time.

    But after the 1984 neoliberal shift, Crown Lynn/Ceramco collapsed

    Crown Lynn became Ceramco in 1974 and diversified into a series of new interests, including electronics, appliance wholesaling and making acquisitions including Bendon lingerie. Ceramco announced the Crown Lynn factory closure on May 5, 1989. By then staff numbers had fallen to between 180 and 220, and many amongst the largely female workforce believed that the Government had sabotaged the company by allowing cheap imported tableware into the country. Crown Lynn’s share of New Zealand’s domestic tableware market was then less than 20% in value, despite the company’s successful move from the lower end of the market to a more middle ground.

    Ceramco’s mangement blamed that lack of a shift to flexible labour laws:

    Ceramco blamed the closure in part on union inflexibility in a pre-Labour market reform economy. Although Crown Lynn was showing signs of recovery after years of trading losses, the company simply could not compete with the advanced manufacturing technologies of Asia and Europe. All of Crown Lynn’s assets, including plant, designs and brand name, were sold to GBH Porcelain Sdn Bhd of Malaysia in September 1989.

    But such a shift in labour laws in the long run would only have shifted NZ workers to being underpaid, over-worked and/or casualised.  So now, the famed brand of Crown Lynn is a thriving foreign company, based in Kuala Lumpur.

    We need a government who will, once again, back NZ producers, enable and support innovation and experimentation, and protect the NZ producers and workers from powerful overseas corporate competition.

    • mikesh 15.1

      “We need a government who will, once again, back NZ producers, enable and support innovation and experimentation, and protect the NZ producers and workers from powerful overseas corporate competition.”
      Agreed. Our workers shouldn’t have to compete with firms whose only advantage is that they underpay their workers and provide crummy working conditions. We should be prepared to impose tariffs, or other forms of protection, not to protect our workers so much as to protect our workplace values.

    • Afewknowthetruth 15.2

      It was much the same story for the tanning industry under successive National and Labour governments.  NZ went from a producer of finished leather products  -shoes, handbags etc. to a supplier of semi-processed hides and skins for overseas tanneries. The same with most of the textile industry: sell the raw material and buy back the finished goods. Timber: sell the logs, buy back the furniture.  Food: sell all the best stuff overseas and buy in cheap, low quality food from China etc.  Great for the charlatans and saboteurs who have been looting the country for the past 30 years.

      Now that the economy is close to completely rooted ordinary folk can’t get decent jobs and can’t afford good food and good clothing. Thanks a lot Labour and National. 

      Mind you we can’t simply blame the poltiical parties; the ‘idiots’ who keep voting for them are just as much to blame. More so, in fact.     

  16. clandestino 16

    Essentially what’s required is a phased withdrawal from GATT and its regional spawn and tariffs on certain important industries reintroduced to enable NZ lead time in preparation for the inevitable slump in global trade brought about by, amongst other things, energy scarcity. 

    Those who are truly against the ‘neo-libs’ – who, with the Uruguay rounds in the 80s and 90s gutted sustainable employment in western countries, and who with the Doha round are obsessed with bringing about mass social dysfunction in the third world through imposition of ‘efficient’ agricultural practices – must surely be in favour.

  17. Mamadoc 17

    Hey Ben – whare does the agricultural sector fit in? they are still great producers and should be in a place to do more- the world is alwaysgoing to need food and fibre….

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    Brian Edwards | 22-10
  • Judith Collins’ two-tier OIA service
    Back in August, we learned that sewerblogger Cameron Slater was receiving extraordinary OIA service from then-Minister of Justice Judith Collins, in one case receiving a response to a request within 37 minutes. But it wasn't just extraordinary for its speed;...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Fluoridation – a racist conspiracy?
    Political activists campaigning on health issues often resort to scaremongering. This can be dangerous – especially when their stories have no real basis but rely on selective and distorted information. Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network (FAN) often resorts to this sort of scaremongering. Now...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • Unbelieveable
    This week we've seen the Prime Minister desperately trying to cover up his war plans by pretending that Obama's war-planning meeting was just a "regular" meeting of defence partners which we just happened to be attending. Over on Kiwipolitico Pablo...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Are the police using ANPR to target the disabled?
    The media this morning is full of stories of the paralysed man caught driving using a walking stick to reach the pedals. Its good that he's off the road, but there's one point in the story which raises questions:The driver...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • 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
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • 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
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • 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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