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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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    Fresh off the wire from Hong Kong, from your friends and mine at io9: Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it's an "equal member" that...
    Polity
  • Buzzfeed takes the Herald
    Here's a Herald article this week, titled (I kid you not): 20 somewhat horrible things I do to my kids that I don't feel guilty about [Facepalm] I want the Herald to be good. I really do. I know some...
    Polity
  • Sad
    There's a lot of non-cheery news out there in the lead up to Christmas. There's the Taliban school massacre, the Sydney siege, the US Torture Report, and - at a much lower level, and closer to home - the Treasury's...
    Polity
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement...
    Greens
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act...
    Greens
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    Greens
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
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  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
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  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
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  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
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  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
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  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
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  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
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  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
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  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
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  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
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  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
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  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
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  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
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  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
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  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
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  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
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  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
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  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
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  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
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  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
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  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
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  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
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  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
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  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
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  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
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  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
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  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
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  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
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  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
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  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
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  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
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  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
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  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
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  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
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  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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