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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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  • iPredict Election Update: Maori Party in serious trouble
    Press Release – iPredict Maori Party in serious trouble, with 57% chance of leaving Parliament Combined Labour/Green vote rises Conservatives up at expense of NZ First, but not expected to win seat National now expected to win Palmerston North and...
    Its our future | 07-07
  • Carolyn McKenzie stands in Hamilton East
    Press Release – Democrats for Social Credit Accomplished curator, art reviewer and consultant Carolyn McKenzie is standing for the Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) in Hamilton East. MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday 8 July 2014 Carolyn McKenzie stands in Hamilton East...
    Its our future | 07-07
  • Palau first to start work on climate and disaster plan
    Press Release – SPREP Palau – Palau is the first island nation to begin work on a project to develop Climate and Disaster Resilience Plans for national broadcasters through an emergency management for media course that was completed on Thursday.Palau...
    Its our future | 07-07
  • Public service glad to help revitalise Christchurch CBD
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is welcoming the announcement that public sector workers will be returning to the Christchurch CBD...
    PSA | 07-07
  • Better waste practices to showcase Samoa as: green, healthy
    Press Release – SPREP The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Health and the Samoa Tourism Authority, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), have embarked...
    Its our future | 07-07
  • DSC selects Mischele Rhodes for Hamilton West
    Press Release – Democrats for Social Credit Patient’s Rights Advocate Mischele Rhodes has been selected as the Democrats for Social Credit Partys candidate for Hamilton West. As Vice President of Patient’s Rights Advocacy Waikato, Ms Rhodes says she is “passionate...
    Its our future | 07-07
  • Tim Groser: Address to the India NZ Business Council
    Speech – New Zealand Government Address to the India NZ Business Council Around the world, friends of India, strategists, business groups and others are all starting to ask a rather important question. With the landslide victory of the BJP over...
    Its our future | 07-07
  • Will National drop 6% in three months? A less than serious analysis…
    Rob Salmond at Polity notes that in the 2008 and 2011 election campaigns, National has dropped 6% in the three month campaign window. His analysis is fairly simple: All I did was find any published poll where the field dates included...
    Occasionally erudite | 07-07
  • Enough for everyone
    Why is it when New Zealand has a supposed rock star economy that the poor continue to take the rap? For thirty years employers have driven their workers ever harder for the same or similar pay. They have claimed that...
    Closing the Gap | 06-07
  • Greens say John Key must clarify where he stands on marriage equality
    John Key has left many with the impression he will repeal marriage equality if elected into Parliament again, said the Green Party today. Reports have emerged that at a meeting with Pacific church leaders in Mangere, on Tuesday, many attendees...
    Greens | 11-07
  • McCully mustn’t shirk scrutiny during inquiry
    The inquiry into Foreign Affairs' handling of allegations of attempted rape by a Malaysian diplomat must investigate all the actions taken by Murray McCully during this fiasco, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.A Ministerial inquiry has been launched into...
    Greens | 11-07
  • Government punishes beneficiary babies
    Papers released to the Green Party shows that the Government turned their back on babies of beneficiaries against official advice, said the Green Party today. Documents released by Treasury to the Green Party under the Official Information Act show that...
    Greens | 10-07
  • Te Hamua to do ice challenge so others can survive cancer too
    At noon tomorrow in the Kaiti Mall in Gisborne, Te Hamua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rawhiti, is taking on the ice challenge to raise awareness of the importance of getting regular health checks for testicular cancer and raise funds...
    Mana | 10-07
  • National breaks promise to insulate every state house
    National has broken its promise to insulate every state house by the end of 2013, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today."Of the 68,386 houses under Housing New Zealand's management, 30 percent have not been insulated. That is a dismal...
    Greens | 09-07
  • McCully should stand down while review considers his actions
    The Green Party is calling for the review into Foreign Affairs' handling of allegations of attempted rape by a Malaysian Diplomat to be expanded to cover actions of Ministers, and for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to stand down while...
    Greens | 09-07
  • No place for user pays in our classrooms – Minto
    “Labour’s education policy announcements last weekend have several welcome features which would be supported by Mana but we are concerned at the “user pays” proposal for children to get the educational benefits of access to the internet,” says Mana Education...
    Mana | 09-07
  • Internet Mana – “the Roadtrip!”
    Internet MANA will change the Government because it’s time to create an inclusive and independent Aotearoa. We are not afraid to disrupt the status quo, to fix what is not working and innovate with new ideas. Let’s reconnect New Zealand,...
    Mana | 09-07
  • Greens challenge Police to protect people on bicycles
    Evidence heard in today's inquest into the death of Jane Farrelly highlights the Police's ongoing failure to protect people on bicycles, the Green Party said today. The Police decided not to prosecute the driver involved in a fatal collision with...
    Greens | 09-07
  • High cost of storm damage sign of things to come
    New figures showing storm damage cost New Zealand $77 million in the first half of the year are a reminder of what we're up against with climate change, the Green Party said today.According to the Insurance Council of New Zealand,...
    Greens | 09-07
  • SkyCity’s commitment to preventing harm non-existent
    National has done a deal with a company that continues to flout New Zealand's gambling regulations, Green Party gambling spokesperson Denise Roche said today.In a media sting earlier this year, an elderly man was allowed to play pokie machines continuously...
    Greens | 09-07
  • Please explain Minister… yet again
    Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy needs to explain what is going on with our export of sheep casings to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Our exports of partially processed casings to China have been halted and no...
    Labour | 08-07
  • Chief Technology Officer to lead Labour’s ‘Digital Upgrade’
    A Labour Government will put ICT at the highest level of Government by creating the position of Chief Technology Officer to directly advise the Prime Minister and Cabinet on Information Technology issues, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Reporting directly...
    Labour | 08-07
  • Number of children in severe poverty reaches record high
    There’s no cause for celebration with the latest Household Incomes Report showing the number of children living in severe poverty has reached its highest level this century, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “New Zealand once valued itself as the...
    Labour | 08-07
  • Government in denial over income inequality
    Today’s Household Incomes Report from MSD underscores National’s continued failure to recognise inequality is a problem and is getting worse, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “The report shows income inequality has increased over the past year and remains higher...
    Labour | 08-07
  • Canterbury hit hard by National’s cuts to night classes
    National’s decision to cut nearly $2.5 million from adult and community education in Canterbury over the past five years was short-sighted and Labour is committed to restoring funding for the sector, Labour’s Associate Tertiary Education spokesperson Megan Woods says. “The...
    Labour | 08-07
  • Its official – Teamkey not working for all kiwis
    Latest Government data proves John Key is not working for all New Zealanders as the incomes of the poorest half of kiwis stayed the same in the 6 years under National, while the top 20 percent's rose by thousands, the...
    Greens | 08-07
  • Whanau Ora to be reviewed under Labour
    Labour has been very clear that it is necessary to review and evaluate the effectiveness of Whanau Ora for Māori, says Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. "I was pleased to meet with social service, youth, justice and health providers who...
    Labour | 08-07
  • No encore for the ‘Rock Star’ economy?
    Another significant shortfall in the Government’s books suggests the economic recovery may have already passed most New Zealanders by, Labour’ Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “With unemployment still high, wage rates stagnating and inequality widening, only the lucky few are...
    Labour | 08-07
  • Survey shows parents want smaller class sizes
    A new survey finding most parents believe class sizes are too big shows Labour is right to reduce them, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Post-Primary Teachers' Association survey of 750 people conducted by UMR Research found 54 per...
    Labour | 08-07
  • Crime targets no excuse for fewer prosecutions
    Police are being instructed to charge fewer people in order to meet National’s crime reduction targets, Labour says. “Front line police and others in the criminal justice system are telling us police have had pressure put on by senior officers...
    Labour | 07-07
  • QV figures show two-track housing market
    The two-track housing market that has developed under National is underlined in QV’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “QV’s index shows many homeowners in the regions are facing declining equity in their properties, while in Auckland and...
    Labour | 07-07
  • Housing figures National’s shame
    The number of Auckland households in urgent and serious need of housing has increased tenfold since March 2012, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.The Ministry of Social Development, which took over Housing New Zealand's assessment responsibility for social housing...
    Greens | 07-07
  • Fed Farmers leading wrong way on water
    Federated Farmers needs to show greater leadership on water quality, the Green Party said today. The Green Party is responding to claims by the outgoing and incoming Federated Farmers' dairy section chairs that 'there is no need for urgent action"...
    Greens | 07-07
  • John Key must get whaling assurance from Abe
    John Key must seek a concrete assurance from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Japan will not flout the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) ruling on whaling, the Green Party said today.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is meeting with...
    Greens | 06-07
  • HAVE A KITKAT DAVID, THERE’S A LONG WAY TO GO YET – Harawira
    “Internet MANA is not ruling out the possibility of a entering into coalition with Labour after the election”, said Internet MANA leader Hone Harawira with tongue firmly in cheek, after Labour leader David Cuniliffe said it was ‘highly unlikely’ that...
    Mana | 06-07
  • Government underfunding jeopardises recycling
    The Government's underfunding of the TV Takeback scheme jeopardises the whole e-waste drop-off network across the country, the Green Party said today. The TV Takeback scheme was put in place to deal with the glut of old TVs needing to...
    Greens | 04-07
  • Whaling must be top of agenda for Japan PM visit
    New Zealand must make protecting whales a priority during next week's visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes said today.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make an official visit to New Zealand next week...
    Greens | 04-07
  • ACC investments risking native species
    The National Government has invested in a gold drilling company whose activities threaten a critically endangered native frog species, the Green Party has revealed today.Despite being a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)...
    Greens | 03-07
  • Small class sizes and school meals get another big tick in schools report
    “Congratulations to the Child Poverty Action Group for making it crystal clear what’s needed to ensure kids from the least well-off communities can get the best out of school” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau. ...
    Mana | 03-07
  • Government’s bottom lines for water create a licence to pollute
    The Government has pulled the plug on cleaning up our dirty rivers so they are safe for swimming, the Green Party said today. The Green Party was commenting on the Government's national bottom lines for water quality released today by...
    Greens | 02-07
  • Green Party’s answer to climate Big Ask
    The Green Party has welcomed a Gen Zero report calling for concrete climate commitments from all parties ahead of the election."Gen Zero's Big Ask report is a timely reminder about what real climate action looks like," said Green Party Climate...
    Greens | 02-07
  • Shots fired at Mana office – Harawira
    “I get threatened with violence and I get death threats, but when somebody starts taking shots at my office then that’s another matter altogether”,  said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira after shots were fired at one of...
    Mana | 01-07
  • Protecting Papatuanuku a Priority for MANA – Harawira
    “Big ups to Greenpeace for their Climate Voter initiative http://www.climatevoter.org.nz/”, said Hone Harawira, MANA leader and MP for Tai Tokerau. “Letting people see which parties stand up for Papatuanuku and which parties stand for overdevelopment and pollution should help focus their...
    Mana | 01-07
  • Ae Marika! 1 July 2014
    I got a really good response to last week’s article about forestry safety, including this gem from an old mate - “Back in the early 70′s our Maori bush gangers showed you the ropes. You never forgot a thing they...
    Mana | 30-06
  • Green Party MP Holly Walker to step down from party list
    Green Party MP Holly Walker has decided to withdraw from the party's list in the upcoming election and will not seek a second term in Parliament. Ms Walker was number 12 on the Green Party list."Unfortunately, a recent unexpected change...
    Greens | 30-06
  • Pasifika Immigration Plans for Labour- too little, too late – James Papal...
    The Labour Party has recently announced that it has plans to speed up family reunification for Pasifika people. “I have seen these plans and I believe that these are too timid” says MANA Pasifika vice President, James Papali’i. “After waiting...
    Mana | 30-06
  • Support for USA in Iraq “not a deal to die for” – Harawira
    “When John Key says ‘New Zealand fully supports the current steps announced by President Obama (in Iraq) 100%’ he is one step away from committing our troops simply to get a good trade deal with the USA,” said MANA Leader...
    Mana | 24-06
  • Ae Marika! 23 June 2014
    Another key spot for me to meet people is Auckland Airport, on my way back from parliament to either go to Waitakere or the North Shore, or to catch link flights to Whangarei, Kerikeri, or Kaitaia on constituency business. Every...
    Mana | 23-06
  • Every bomb Israel drops on Gaza creates 10 new ‘terrorists’
    The latest round of horror Apartheid Israel is using to justify their latest disproportional response seeds from a couple of events. America’s need to talk to Iran because of Iraq has spooked Apartheid Israel into manufacturing a new crisis that...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • Media Release: 2014 Household Incomes Report from MSD
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: Media Release: 2014 Household Incomes Report from MSD 10 July 2014 CPAG says high child poverty rates have become normalised and New Zealand’s poorest children should expect a far greater...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • How can New Zealand help defend the Palestinian struggle?
    FOR MOST NEW ZEALANDERS the Middle East is shorthand for war without end. When I was growing up most of us knew no better than to believe Israel was a small, plucky state standing up to big, thuggish neighbouring bullies....
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • “I got an apology”… said no survivor of rape or gendered violence eve...
    When I was 15 my cousin who lived with me and my mum would come home black and blue. Her dealer and boyfriend, Nick Ge used to beat her for whatever reason, for whatever justification he saw fit. Men who...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • NZ – Inequality and poverty measured
    The Household Incomes Reports by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) are providing powerful evidence that New Zealand is a deeply unequal society with intractable levels of poverty that includes many with jobs as well as those without. The reports which are...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Child Poverty Action Group – Those with the least left furthe...
    This week a delighted – and no doubt relieved – Minister of Social Development gave us the news we had all been waiting for: under her careful watch, child poverty has fallen 3%. The figures are in the latest Ministry...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Charter Schools are working, why not ...
    Tomorrow is the third anniversary of the day Parliament dumped the TVNZ Charter, ceremoniously, by 64 MPs to 56.   The Broadcasting Minister of the day, one J Coleman, said without too much of a smirk that the removal of the charter would have little...
    The Daily Blog | 10-07
  • Greens challenge Police to protect people on bicycles
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Greens challenge Police to protect people on bicycles Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Motorists passing people on bicycles and other vulnerable road users owe them a high duty of care.”...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • High cost of storm damage sign of things to come
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: High cost of storm damage sign of things to come Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 | Press Release New figures showing storm damage cost New Zealand $77 million in the first half of...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • SkyCity’s commitment to preventing harm non-existent
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: SkyCity’s commitment to preventing harm non-existent Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 | Press Release National’s deal with SkyCity means that a company that flout’s New Zealand’s gambling regulations has the opportunity to greatly...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Please explain Minister… yet again
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Please explain Minister… yet again Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy needs to explain what is going on with our export of sheep casings to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says....
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Chief Technology Officer to lead Labour’s ‘Digital Upgrade’
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Chief Technology Officer to lead Labour’s ‘Digital Upgrade’ A Labour Government will put ICT at the highest level of Government by creating the position of Chief Technology Officer to directly advise the...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Murray McCully must go: sign the petition to demand his resignation
    Sign the petition to demand Murray McCully resign and stand with Tania Billingsley and the thousands of women who have survived sexual assault in New Zealand. Tania Billingsley, who is at the centre of the Malaysian diplomat case, has lifted her own...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • More mining our protected places
    Today is the last day for submissions on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s (CRP) marine consent application to mine the seabed in a protected area, in our most productive fishery. I just got my submission in which you can read here. This...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Poverty and inequality denial are no reasons for celebration
    The headlines proclaim that concerns about poverty and inequality is just a lot of left wing PC guilt squawking because according to cherry picked statistics there isn’t really any inequality or poverty. Cue a rousing round of ‘we don’t know...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • National breaks promise to insulate every state house
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National breaks promise to insulate every state house Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 | Press Release “It’s not just a broken promise, it’s poor economics.” National has broken its promise to insulate every...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • “World Class Welfare System” My Arse. Come Clean Nathan Guy!
    Pigs are not safe in New Zealand. How many farms do activists have to film before the Ministry of Primary Industries comes clean and admits their accreditation scheme is an absolute failure? Do activists need to do the job of...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Tania Billingsley – hero
    The astounding courage exhibited by Tania Billingsley last night on 3rd Degree should put the Government to shame. Her criticism of those charged with upholding her rights is to the bone and righteous… The woman at the centre of a...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • McCully should stand down while review considers his actions
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: McCully should stand down while review considers his actions Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 | Press Release Mr McCully would never have considered a TV apology good enough for the Prime Minister and...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, why I love John ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • If Oprah had been the ref for the Brazil-Germany game
    If Oprah had been the ref for the Brazil-Germany game...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • No place for user pays in our classrooms – Minto
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: No place for user pays in our classrooms – Minto  Posted on July 10, 2014 by admin in John Minto, Press Releases“Labour’s education policy announcements last weekend have several welcome features which...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • 7 reasons why online voting isn’t a solution
    Online voting is being waved around again as a means to increase participation.  Here are the 7 reasons why I think online voting is a bad idea. 1 – 21% of those asked why theory didn’t vote in 2011 gave ‘didn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Greg Presland – National and Pacifica
    John Key and National have recently been claiming that Pacifica are leaving Labour en masse and are heading towards National.  I am sorry John but there is no chance of this happening.  But Key and co have been able to get the...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Police sweeping domestic violence under the carpet?
    Pressure to lower stats – MPPolice were under government orders to “minimise” the number of domestic violence charges they lay to make crime statistics look good, Labour MP Andrew Little claimed yesterday. This latest allegation of Police downplaying domestic violence...
    The Daily Blog | 09-07
  • Invite: AGM & Political Forum
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: Invite: AGM & Political ForumCPAG AGM & Election Year Political Forum 08 July 2014 When: Wednesday 30 July Where: St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont St, Ponsonby, Auckland RSVP here! Please...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Housing figures National’s shame
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Housing figures National’s shame Monday, 07 Jul 2014 | Press Release “These figures are a shame on the Government. All New Zealanders deserve secure housing, whether renting or owning.” The number of...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • QV figures show two-track housing market
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: QV figures show two-track housing market The two-track housing market that has developed under National is underlined in QV’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “QV’s index shows many homeowners...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • GUEST POST: Michael Wood – Just Structures
    The headline number at this weekend’s Labour Congress was a very good speech from David Cunliffe, the centre-piece of which was the well-received announcement on class sizes. The Congress ended on a high note, with delegates energised and positive media...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Cunliffe vs Key
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • A letter to Hekia
    A letter to Hekia...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Animal abuse unacceptable for pigs and consumers
    I was a kid on pig farms in the 1970s. Piglets were castrated using a scalpel without anaesthetic, wire cutters were used to trim their teeth and cut off their tails. Wire was forced through their sensitive snouts. Row upon...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • A better Canterbury and a better NZ
    Labour’s first 100 days is going to be a busy time – we’ve got a lot to change!  Kick-starting the Canterbury recovery is going to be a crucial part of those first 100 days.  Labour has announced several Canterbury specific...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Dear Leader loves you! Our cult of no personality
    .   The Cult of Dear Leader . It was inevitable. The poll-rated ‘popularity’ of Prime Minister has evolved into a full-blown, carefully-choreographed, Cult of Personality the likes of which this country has never before seen. The recent National Party...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Low income families hit hardest by global crisis and high housing costs
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Low income families hit hardest by global crisis and high housing costs “The effects on families of the global financial crisis, lack of adjustment of the accommodation supplement and high housing costs show...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Low income families hit hard
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Low income families hit hard Council of Trade Unions – Media Release Low income families hit hardest by global crisis and high housing costs “The effects on families of the global financial...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Number of children in severe poverty reaches record high
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Number of children in severe poverty reaches record high There’s no cause for celebration with the latest Household Incomes Report showing the number of children living in severe poverty has reached its...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Government in denial over income inequality
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Government in denial over income inequality Today’s Household Incomes Report from MSD underscores National’s continued failure to recognise inequality is a problem and is getting worse, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says....
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Canterbury hit hard by National’s cuts to night classes
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Canterbury hit hard by National’s cuts to night classes National’s decision to cut nearly $2.5 million from adult and community education in Canterbury over the past five years was short-sighted and Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Its official – Teamkey not working for all kiwis
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Its official – Teamkey not working for all kiwis Tuesday, 08 Jul 2014 | Press Release The latest Household Incomes Survey shows income inequality widening further under National, but that it is...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Whanau Ora to be reviewed under Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Whanau Ora to be reviewed under Labour Labour has been very clear that it is necessary to review and evaluate the effectiveness of Whanau Ora for Māori, says Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • No encore for the ‘Rock Star’ economy?
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: No encore for the ‘Rock Star’ economy? Another significant shortfall in the Government’s books suggests the economic recovery may have already passed most New Zealanders by, Labour’ Finance spokesperson David Parker says....
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • NZ Police to spy on people in pubs? We like our fascism casual thanks
    Ummmm. What? Undercover cops to ‘spy’ on bar patronsAn ”outrageous” initiative will see undercover police officers ”spying on patrons”, Hospitality Association chief executive Bruce Robertson says. Southern district police last month began stationing plain-clothes officers in licensed premises to ensure...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Survey shows parents want smaller class sizes
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Survey shows parents want smaller class sizes A new survey finding most parents believe class sizes are too big shows Labour is right to reduce them, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says....
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Positive and Solution Based Politics
    It has been a fascinating month – at times depressing – to be watching New Zealand politics from afar. Over here in Pakistan where I am currently working we have seen the Government begin a military offensive in North Waziristan...
    The Daily Blog | 08-07
  • Let’s be honest about National’s education policy and ‘lolly scramble...
    Let’s be honest about National’s education policy shall we? It’s got nothing to do with student achievement, that’s the bait National are using, what National’s Charter School fetish and National Standard league table obsessions are all about is injecting a...
    The Daily Blog | 07-07
  • Crime targets no excuse for fewer prosecutions
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Crime targets no excuse for fewer prosecutions Police are being instructed to charge fewer people in order to meet National’s crime reduction targets, Labour says. “Front line police and others in the...
    The Daily Blog | 07-07
  • The Return of the Worm : Introducing The NZ Election Reactor
    Scoop Independent News has formed a partnership with leading polling company, Roy Morgan Research, to bring the original Worm back for the NZ 2014 Election....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Brazilian tourist behind bars for cocaine smuggling
    A 20-year-old Brazilian tourist will not see much of New Zealand, after being sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in the Manukau District Court today for trying to smuggle around $656,000 of cocaine into the country. He will be deported after...
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Naenae College to benefit from ACC’s Mates and Dates pilot
    National Candidates Lewis Holden and Chris Bishop welcome the news that local students at Naenae College will directly benefit from being involved in ACC’s Mates and Dates pilot programme against sexual violence....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Mr Ismail’s bail conditions
    Mr Ismail was required by the Court to surrender his passport by 5.00 pm on 12 May. By this time, Police had been able to confirm with MFAT that he had diplomatic immunity and therefore the bail conditions were unenforceable....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • What Stops People Moving Out of Poverty
    Speaking For Ourselves is the title of a new report drawn from ground-breaking research that follows 100 families for one year. The families are long-term users of the Auckland City Mission’s food bank and have contributed their experience of what...
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Police continue to build pressure on the Headhunters Gang
    Three patched Head Hunter Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMCG) members and an associate have been found guilty of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery following the conclusion of a successful Police covert operation....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • The Nation 12,13 July: Poverty, Offshore Drilling, Regions
    Then as it tries to balance environmental concerns with jobs, Labour energy spokesperson David Shearer reveals his party’s new policy on offshore drilling....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Sexual and reproductive health in the Pacific
    Today on World Population Day, the New Zealand Parliamentarians Group on Population and Development (NZPPD) calls on governments in the Pacific to urgently invest in sexual and reproductive health, particularly family planning, to improve the choices...
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Its the economy stupid
    A poll being conducted on the Massey Birdwood Settlers website asks the question - Its Election Year - what will you base your vote on?...
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Global Thinking Needed to Spark New Zealand’s Digital Future
    Giving Kiwi digital innovators the tools to help them think globally from day one is how New Zealand will become world-leader in the digital economy, says the Internet Party....
    Scoop politics | 11-07
  • Seafood Industry Strongly Opposed to CRP Mining Application
    The seafood industry strongly opposes Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine the Chatham Rise, saying it will have “significant and irreversible adverse effects on the marine environment.” In its submission to the Environmental Protection...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Māori Parenting Course already a hit
    Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has commended programmes that rise up out of the community that work ‘with’ families, as opposed to interventions that do things ‘to’ families. She was speaking as guest of honour at the recent launch...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Royal visit no king hit
    Support for a Kiwi Head of State is still high after April's royal tour....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Captioning to give hard of hearing community greater access
    New Zealand political programmes on TV will soon be accessible to the Deaf and hard of hearing community. Able is pleased to announce that from Wednesday 23rd July, it will be providing closed captions for TV ONE’s Q+A, TV3’s 3rd...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Conservatives Law and Order Policy Based on Mythology
    “The Conservative Party’s Law and Order current slogan ‘Stand for Something’ should be changed to ‘Stand for Anything’ says Kim Workman, Rethinking Crime and Punishment, in its latest ‘Smart on Crime’ blog....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Billingsley reminds us that sexual abuse can be prevented
    Tania Billingsley’s choice to have name suppression lifted and to talk about the wider issue of rape culture that facilitated her assault has highlighted the prevalence of sexual violence in New Zealand and reminds us that it can be prevented....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • 90 jobs lost in the Waikato as NZ Post closes mail centre
    New Zealand Post has confirmed that 90 jobs will be lost when it closes its Waikato mail processing centre. The confirmation comes after NZ Post announced in June last year that it would be closing its Waikato, Wellington and Dunedin...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Award for excellence in International Development journalism
    VSA is proud to launch its award for excellence in International Development journalism. VSA is New Zealand’s largest and most experienced volunteer agency working in International Development....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Marchers Keep Maui’s to the fore
    After successful marches around the country, Maui’s dolphin campaigners continue their pressure on the Government with a march to John Key’s electorate office in Kumeu on Sunday 13 July at 10am, leaving from the Kumeu Arts Centre at 10.30, 300...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • ESC announcement ‘shamefully late’, says safety campaigner
    The government announcement that Electronic Stability Control will become compulsory on new vehicles is effectively locking the stable door after the horse has bolted, says the car review website dogandlemon.com. Electronic Stability Control detects...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Susan Devoy urges New Zealanders to stand up for the refugee
    Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy urges New Zealanders to stand up for the refugee. “Let’s replace the barbed wire of refugee camps with our own No. 8 wire mentality. Let’s be there for some of our planet’s most vulnerable...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Internet Party Wades in to Fix Sick Waterways
    New Zealand’s waterways will be cleaned up and much higher standards set on water quality in a 10-year plan to be introduced by the Internet Party by 2016....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Time for Kiwis to start punching above weight in Humanity
    Acknowledgments and warm greetings to you all. I would especially like to welcome the relatively new representative from the UNHRC Thomas Albrecht..welcome to our part of the world, the Deputy CE for Immigration Nigel Bickle and the Ian Axford...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • SSC Releases Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) Reports
    The Performance Improvement Framework (PIF) reviews released by State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today include the full reviews of the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Treasury....
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • Will new farming leader jeopardise NZ’s GE-free advantage?
    The recent election of William Rolleston as president of Federated Farmers could mean a push towards genetic engineering (GE) in farming, warns the Soil & Health Association. Dr Rolleston has for many years been a proponent of GE, and some...
    Scoop politics | 10-07
  • President of PGA to attend Workshop for Arms Trade Treaty
    Labour’s Associate Disarmament Spokesperson and Parliamentians for Global Action (PGA) President Ross Robertson will be attending a Workshop next week in Siem Reap, Cambodia, to promote signature and ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Calls for Government Intervention Premature But Inevitable
    The Taxpayers’ Union is reacting to calls for a Crown Manager to be appointed to shepherd Auckland Council through its budget crisis, with disappointment. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Seeking Sanctuary
    What would you do if you were forced to flee your home because of war or persecution?...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Entrenched child poverty no cause for celebration
    Child Poverty Action Group says high child poverty rates have become normalised and New Zealand's poorest children should expect a far greater level of ambition for their well-being....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Cyclists want answers from political parties
    Cyclists are calling for better protection, following the Coroner's inquest into the death of Jane Farrelly, held in Hamilton this week. Mrs Farrelly was killed after being struck by a truck near Taupo on March 16 last year....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Malaysian embassy employee
    Police are continuing to support Tania who has recently applied to the court to vary the automatic name suppression given to her based on the charges involved. Police did not oppose this course of action as we wanted to support...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Christchurch Chep workers strike for national pay parity
    Workers at the Chep pallet plant in Christchurch are going on strike on Thursday 10 July, demanding pay parity with Chep’s Wiri pallet plant in Auckland, according to FIRST Union, the union for workers in the transport and logistics sector....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Margaret Mahy boat unveiled on anniversary of ship bombing
    Greenpeace is naming a new boat after one of New Zealand’s best known children’s authors, Margaret Mahy, at a ceremony today on the 29th anniversary of the Rainbow Warrior bombing in Auckland harbour....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • ACC announces schools in sexual violence prevention pilot
    ACC has announced the nine secondary schools and facilitators who will pilot its new sexual and dating violence prevention programme....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • PISA results shed the spotlight on financial literacy levels
    PISA financial literacy results shed the spotlight on financial literacy levels for young New Zealanders...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • NZPI urges Government to consider planning principles
    The New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) is urging the Government to consider a suite of NZPI-developed guiding principles on freshwater quality issues when it implements its upcoming freshwater reforms....
    Scoop politics | 09-07
  • Labour Party Policy a Mixed Bag
    The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) would welcome any review of insurers’ response to the Canterbury earthquakes, rejects the Labour Party’s proposal for another regulator of the industry and supports its policy of transferring levies...
    Scoop politics | 09-07
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