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Hyping doesn’t help the economy, work does

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, February 26th, 2014 - 65 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags:

At the end of last week Treasury announced that they were surprised by the lower than predicted tax take. I wasn’t, and I suspect that no-one who is involved in businesses would have been. I am anticipating quite a lot of faux surprise this year and next from the numbwits who have been hyping an illusory “recovery” when it doesn’t happen.

The Crown’s operating balance before gains and losses (obegal) was a deficit of $1.79 billion in the six months ended December 31, $380 million wider than forecast in its Dec. 17 half-year economic and fiscal update, and down from a shortfall of $3.19 billion a year earlier. Core tax revenue was $602 million below forecast at $29.18 billion.

“At this stage it is difficult to determine how much of the lower than forecast tax is temporary versus permanent, but we expect this to become clearer over the next few months,” the Treasury’s acting chief government accountant Fergus Welsh said in a statement.

The smaller tax take was across the board, with GST 2.3 per cent below forecast at $7.5 billion, source deductions for personal income tax 1.2 per cent below forecast at $11.71 billion, and total corporate tax 4.9 per cent below expectations at $3.56 billion.

Now that means that National’s long promised return to a government surplus is going to keep retreating over the horizon. But it is also a pretty good indicator about the real economy. While it could simply be delayed tax payments, it is probably more likely that it reflects the reality of businesses.

It is a small market, and the government simply isn’t providing an environment that fosters economic activity. There are few new jobs, there are few wage increases coming through, and generally business is tough. The lack of effective growth means that businesses are still folding, few new ones are being created (especially new export orientated ones) and the difference between optimistic Treasury forecasts and the reality of the tax take will continue.

Sure it is less tough than it was early last year. But last summer the farming sector was still in the grip of a rather nasty drought with the inevitable flow on effects to the rest of the country. While not as severe, it is still looks pretty damn dry out there this year. Also we didn’t have the much hyped and very belated trickle of rebuild money coming into Christchurch.

The same effect is showing up in other measures. Last year the reserve bank signalled that they were likely to push the baseline interest rate (OCR) from 2.5% to 2.75% to counter price inflation that was persistently above the centre line of their band at 2%. They based this on last years expected inflation expectations. Turns out as the Greens reported, that:-

The Reserve Bank released its March 2014 Survey of Inflation Expectations this afternoon which shows that inflation prospects remain stable at two percent – the mid-point of the Bank’s Policy Targets Agreement.

I completely agree with Russel Norman (and I have to say that I’m still a bit freaked out saying that about any Green economics statement) when he then says:

“We need smart policies to fix the causes of inflation, not the blunt tool of higher interest rates that hurts families and businesses.”

The last Consumer Price Index figures released by Statistics New Zealand show that inflation was 0.1% in the December quarter and 1.6% in the past year. Housing and electricity were significant contributors to the little inflation there was. The Reserve Bank has indicated it intends to raise interest rates this year.

“New Zealand families don’t deserve to be hit with higher mortgage rates when inflation is stable,” said Dr Norman.

“Raising the Official Cash Rate now would hurt the economy and hurt families with mortgages.

“We need smart policies to address inflation in the sectors where prices are rising too rapidly – the Auckland housing market and National’s broken electricity system.”

We have a stalled economy.  I see it in my area of interest with the complete lack of new startup export orientated tech businesses over the last 5 years. All the growth that our sector is doing is coming from businesses started when the government gave a damn about them before National cut down the policy garden that they started in.

Even if the government continues with it’s simple neglect of every export sector outside of farming, then it should at least fix the infrastructure factors that are pushing inflation – housing and electricity profit gouging. Instead they’re about to sell another electricity company, Genesis, to patch the hole in their tax take.

Sure businesses are getting excited about the short term benefits of the Christchurch rebuild, but the reality is that it just a one off. It is also likely to get in the way of Aucklands ever increasing deficit in affordable housing that the government has been avoiding addressing. Almost every housing initiative they have been involved in there involves very few affordable houses, and many of the large types of houses that return developers more money. Outside of Christchurch, companies intentions on hiring more staff are going down – not up.

But there are a no longer term plans for growth from this government. But we can expect more high quality hyping of retail sales like this from National’s media outlet. What is the bet that when the stats department releases actual numbers, that we’ll find the December quarter growth to be les sthan expectations.

65 comments on “Hyping doesn’t help the economy, work does”

  1. shorts 1

    hype and bluster is all this govt has…. leaving loads of room for the opposition to make some pre election hay

    We know the Greens and Labour have policies – now for both to convey that to the public in a positive and filled with hope manner – the average kiwi needs some hope… underscored with solid prospects

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Apart from the right policy environment, Government has to spend into local communities and SMEs in order for the economic engine to fire. Exporting NZ tax payers dollars by awarding contract after contract overseas is part of what is killing the NZ economy.

    • Pasupial 2.1

      CV

      I don’t disagree, but SME is a truly awful TLA.

      “Government must invest in SME, so we can all reap the bounty of SMEG” would be a misguided, if accurate, slogan. Then we’d have to deal with press releases issuing from a Small & Medium Enterprise Growth Maximisation Association. Best avoided by sticking with Small & Medium Businesses as a tag.

  3. Saarbo 3

    I reckon that the larger than projected deficit is a sign that things are probably MUCH worse than suggested. Quietly bean counters tend to keep upsides hidden away in case of inaccurate projections, so Im guessing that in this case the mistake in the projection (over estimating the Tax take) was so large that it absorbed the upsides and then some (not that I ever did this when I was a bean counter :-)).

    Something has gone wrong and I will be very interested in the next Deficit announcement.

  4. Ant 4

    I’m unsurprised economists were wrong, for the plain old fact that they have things the wrong way round and try to make reality fit their models.

    The people who are winning are white collar home owners, but their consumption can’t prop up an economy on its own

  5. Ad 5

    Would be a little cosmically unfair if the Christchurch earthquakes’ insurance-based sugar-rush provided the economic growth impetus to win an entire election. It may.

    To counter this, Labour needs two stories to grow: firstly that economic growth must be for the many and not the few (if it is to be real for individuals, families and for the country), and secondly that inequality can break down for each person when they can see a ladder of success upwards and that only central government can make that ladder of success.

    I hope that is the challenge David Cunliffe is articulating. I will get pretty tired of Russell Norman saying that “we need policies…”. He needs to do his own job and convince the public of what those policies are.

    • Crunchtime 5.1

      I’ve come to the realisation that National must be hiring the all the marketing and PR people money can buy. Their words are always pitch-perfect – usually far from the truth, and often full of bullshit, but pitch-perfect. Labour’s and the Green’s words in response are usually a little weaker, and without knowing the truth of the matter National “seems” better, comes across better.

      In short, Labour needs better and quicker wordsmiths for every occasion. Every soundbite coming out of every Labour spokesperson needs to be turned up a notch or two to dominate this election. …same goes for the Greens.

  6. Crunchtime 6

    Weird – I just tried to share this to Google+ publicly – it would not share. I tried to paste the link and share it – it said “Your link was not shared, please try again”. I tried many times. Stupid G+.

    I was able to paste the URL and post but no preview.

    [lprent: Added to my longish list of things to test and fix. I have to confess that I have never tested the google+ mostly because I haven't really used it. ]

  7. captain hook 7

    the actual economy is too hard for the National Party. They are more interested in looting the treasury and finding sinecures for their mates than actually getting the country working again.

    • captain hook 7.1

      Imagine my surprise when I picked up the Dompost after writing the above and there was an item about one of their mates picking up a top job with a faked CV.
      Standing there with a big cheezy grin next to Murray McCully.
      hmmmmmmmmmm.

      • Tracey 7.1.1

        and michelle boag saying it was a minor matter, he just failed to put “incomplete” beside his law degree

        Lprent

        I have been waiting for some one in opposition to remind people that while the Pm crows about lowest interest rates… they are still high compared to everywhere else, hence the climbing dollar… and a RB raise will see this escalate.

        Aussie is a big market for NZ businesses and the dollar is hammering them.

        Th economy and its rockstarness is being perpetuated despite much of it being down to earthquake recovery. In fairness tot he Govt without the earthquake they would have had some money they otherwise had to put into CHCH BUT alot of the “boom” they now crow about is due to that same event.

        Despite being poo-pooed by many the recent warning of an economist to his clients about trouble ahead for NZ deserves more analysis than it is getting. Why? because the majority of economists have missed the last few major economic crises in recent history.

        Economist and public relations are the growth communicators of the neo lib movement. God help us all, you can barely move without falling over one or the other.

  8. Rob 8

    I’ll enter into this discussion in good faith and outlay our experiences of managing a medium sized manufacturing business in consumer durables through the GFC and now.

    Prior to GFC in 2008 we employed 217 souls nationwwide. From mid 2008, the GFC eneterd and as a result our revenues were in a consistant decline of 10 -15% PA until our bottom in Sept 2012. During this time the business went through a huge re-engineering and change . Staff dropped to a low of 98. We moved buildings , exited out leases, implemented new ERP with increased BI capability and a full CRM. We negotiated with suppliers on increased payment terms, indent raw material supply and other initatives. We opened new distribution, closed non performing distribution. We were forced to innovate and we developed more products and new services in 3 years than the business had done in the previous 10 years. In short , this business like many others around us worked incredibly hard to get through and it was full of sleepless nights, constant stress and health issues. Our peer group have all had similar circumstances. Dealings with the bank and taking on more debt and signing many PG’s was a sign of the times

    Where we now is that the business is up 22% on the year to date previous, last October we did starting wage salary increases of 4% . We will end this year with +10% NPAT, a massive improvement.

    My view and many others around is that this is a fastly growing economy and it is not hype.

    • Tracey 8.1

      Glad to hear it Rob.

      What is your debt level today compared to, say, 2007?

      • Rob 8.1.1

        Yep good question

        Debt has grown, so we have greater debt servicing charges. however due to our profitability now we are well under our banking covenant so we are able to negotiate better rates etc. But it will be a long road back for us. To be honest I think most banks did do a pretty good job of helping businesses through the GFC, if the business understood the level of change required in their businesses and were able to articulate a way forward in a strong business plan.

        Just on a side note I really enjoyed reading this and actuially had the full study sent to me. Being a manufacturer and fighting to keep manufacturing in NZ this did make me feel stronger.

        NZ Maufacturing Sector

        • Tracey 8.1.1.1

          Thanks Rob

          Is your debt double, triple that of 2007? You said you made some pretty big changes. Am thinking in manufacturing that would be expensive?

          Thanks for the link

          • Rob 8.1.1.1.1

            Yes, some big capital investments, new machinery, RF wireless bar coding that came from doing a “Lean” Six Sigma review. Thats the thing about running a manufacturing base is that it is hard, expensive and long and requires visible leadership and management

            The idea of being able to take a day to”work from home”, when you run shifts and millions of dollars of assets to keep opertaing doesn,t really happen in these types of businesses.

            Just on a side note, NZTE subsidised our “Lean” manufacturing programme and co-ordinated all the ‘tool box’ sessions and work shops on deconstructing our processes, then rebuilding them and time and effort balancing them. We gained a great deal from their input. I would recommend any manufacturing unit to look at using these guys.

            • Tracey 8.1.1.1.1.1

              So how much has your borrowing increased by Rob? Just percentages, I dont want you to risk any commercial sensitivity. It seems tome your debt will be pretty big? I know you are able to service it and give 4% wage increases, but am still interested.

            • Ad 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Be great to see Rob do his own post.

              Sounds like a hard, dedicated, rewarding life.

              Great lessons for a progressive gov’t there that need unpacking further.

              • Rob

                Thank you very much Ad. I am not sure I could be as articulate and entertaining as your regular posters.

                • JK

                  Rob – you didn’t say how many your firm now employs. What’s that figure ?

                • RedLogix

                  Your comments Rob reminded me of something I’ve often said before – that SME business owners are emphatically not the problem. For instance:

                  I too am pretty close to a company very similar to the one you describe. Your typical SME owner is a very courageous and decent individual who works very hard in his business, and is very, very loyal to good staff… who are often more like family than employees. This downturn will hit these good folk harder than anyone else.

                  But as much as these people are nominally business owners, I wonder if they are really capitalists? Sure they may well be owners of the means of production, but the reality is that they are also workers in their business, equally as much as their employees. The capital they have invested is often a secondary consideration to the fact that the business only exists because of their skill, knowledge and the enormous commitment of time and energy they put into it.

                  The real capitalist is a rather more removed creature, someone whose participation in the productive process is one almost entirely of a monetary/predatory nature.

                  http://thestandard.org.nz/es-ist-mein-teil/#comment-116426

                  Any real economy has three principal actors; workers, business owners and various forms of financiers, bankers, speculators and sundry corporate spivs. Its this latter class of parasites who attract most of the angst around here.

                  While there is always a natural tension between employers and employees much of that has been moderated in recent decades with the rise of the skilled knowledge worker whose become an important part of the business.

                  This merging and blurring of the old distinction between employer and employee means that almost no-one really thinks of themselves as ‘working class’ in the old economic sense of the word. (Sure there are plenty of people who don’t identify with the habits and customs of the middle class – but they’re more likely to call themselves bogans, or goths, or Gen-Y – anything but working class.)

                  But while no-one was watching our real owners, that class of hyper-wealthy who control more wealth than the bottom 3.5 BILLION humans – were fighting a stealth class war behind our collective backs. And won comprehensively.

        • KJT 8.1.1.2

          I found it rather depressing actually.

          The report says our level of manufacturing is comparable to countries, which, like us, have decimated their manufacturing base in fits of idealogical madness. UK, Ireland, Greece, UK

          The lack of skilled workers is an own goal by employers, who do not want to pay the price of training and paying them, nor pay the taxes required for the State to do it…

          The perennial complaints about not being able to get skilled workers.
          Expecting the lack to be supplied by Government or immigration.
          Well. Employers supported reducing taxes, so the Government has no money to train workers.
          And, expecting skilled workers to pay for their own training and, then, work for the low wages on offer………..
          That is why we are all working in Australia, Asia or Saudi Arabia.

          Then there is the unsaid problems, of over-hyped exchange rates and costs of borrowing, due to the insanity of the reserve bank act.

          • Rob 8.1.1.2.1

            Oh well KJT that is your view, I did see it differently as actually being part of the sector.

            I assure you that a lack of skilled workers is certainly not a goal of ours , nor any business i am aware of and if you really think about it , its not a method to build a sustainable and strong business.

            I think the call is ” what happens if you train people and they leave , or, what happens if you dont train people and they stay” . A business is reliant on people, processes and technology. Under investement in any of these three leads to poor performance.

            • Ennui 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Rob, you did not mention the pace of change and the increasing specialization that takes time and effort to learn / train. We constantly face that issue, I am sure you do as well. We bite the bullet and do it, yes we may lose people. I think that retaining staff comes down more to being a good employer and creating a good atmosphere / environment.

              • Rob

                Yes, one of the big requiremenst in specialisation and increased skill sets actually came from putting in the new ERP. It completely changed the way all aspects of our business was run and enabled simple and complex changes.

                For example at the simple change end before ERP we would be mailing out 2,000 statements per month, now we have a bulk email generator, obviuolsy savings in terms of postage and envelopes has been considerable, but we have had to train internal skills to be able to manage CRM systems and be able to generate our own reporting systems to so these seamingly simple tasks.. Order confirmation is now emailed.

                The more complex changes were in regards to runing Kan Ban “lean” inventory systems and this has required a huge change in working practices and systems.

                What I dont get is that there is this idea that manufacturers want to chuck skilled staff out for untrained staff to save a few dollars per hour. Once you have invested and implemented these changes and skills then you would be an absolute moron to just chuck skilled staff (even if you could) because it could save a few dollars less per hour. I just cant believe that businesses could do that and still be in business.

                I would like to think we have a good working environement with stable staff. However I am a realist as well.

                • KJT

                  “I just cant believe that businesses could do that and still be in business”.

                  Seen it happen often.

                  I was one, at one stage. They kept the people that were costing them several million a year, and chucked anyone who could show the managers up..

                  Many businesses do. Usually so they can pay a useless administrator more 100’s of k. Which is one of the reasons I think, so many New Zealand businesses are finding it hard to compete.

                • Ennui

                  Rob, which ERP / CRM package are you using (just curious as we are currently reviewing our CRM)?

                  Also you are so right about the foolishness of chucking out trained staff. That ignores the amount of cultural fit, company / workplace intellectual property embedded in these employees and resultant effectiveness. Then there is the cost and time frames around rehiring, training etc…the lower wages have to be extremely significant (and market warping) to justify such a move.

                  • Rob

                    We assessed SAP One, Infor and Microsoft AX (eventually went with AX) and bolted on their Dynamics CRM and BI Module.

            • KJT 8.1.1.2.1.2

              What makes you think I wasn’t in the sector?

              Gave up when National got in and made all my local customers too poor.
              A wise decision, as it turned out.

              I Agree with you. Which is why I am puzzled why so many new Zealand employers treat good staff like crap, and refuse to invest in people expecting the Government, or their employees, to do it. A vote for “big Government” I suppose.

              Or worse, bleat to the immigration department.

              Though I will admit it is not all employers, just too many of them.

              • Rob

                If you havn’t been in manufacturing for a while then I tell you business is very different that what is was even 5 years ago. Maybe it is time for you to have an honest look and you may be suprised by what you see.

                • KJT

                  I am not aware of what is happening in your industry necessarily.

                  However I do keep in touch with various people in the ones I was involved in.
                  Still do some subbing occasionally..

                  Another one, Fitzroy Yachts, has just hit the wall. So from where I sit, things look far from rosy with export manufacturing.

          • Saarbo 8.1.1.2.2

            “The lack of skilled workers is an own goal by employers, who do not want to pay the price of training and paying them, nor pay the taxes required for the State to do it…”

            Agree with this 100%

    • Ennui 8.2

      Great result Rob. My companies don’t manufacture but we do add value by way of developing IP and deploying systems to improve other companies process etc. Our experience was subtly different, but we had to basically change the way we operated (processes, deliverables etc) to maintain margins. I am really interested in your comments below re Lean Sigma Six and NZTE help, will definitely follow up on that.

      The Personal Guarantee thing from the banks…dont get me started. The bit which annoys me most is the way they expect to be bailed out by the taxpayer, plus hand off all risk. The charges also increase to reflect this when in reality the bastards carry no risk.

      On the debt loading, we don’t carry debt, there was years back a deliberate move by us to avoid overdraft..(because of the lovely personal guarantees) what it means is that we have some very scary cash flow patches that are highly stressful. What we have struggled to do is to keep the fixed costs (salaries etc) down as a decreasing proportion of revenue…if anything it goes in line or increases….which is why we need to constantly rejig the processes etc to drive more efficiency.

      Yes it is tough out there, which is why on this blog I criticise those who seem to think the money grows on trees and can just be spent into existence, or taxed out of companies to pay for whatever they wish to be funded.

      • KJT 8.2.1

        Like the businesspeople who expect State support, infrastructure and educated employees, yet demand ever decreasing tax rates.

        • Ennui 8.2.1.1

          Don’t get me started down that track either: Cant think of a single bit of state support we receive (or for that matter really need). Infrastructure and educated employees….fekk what we get in the way of both of those is becoming increasingly substandard. Good thing is we have got it into our directors heads that it is good for us to train and develop talent.

          On that note we have hired young people with aptitude and attitude who don’t have tertiary qualifications: a degree comes with an expectation that is rarely realistic and the debt impoverishes the holder. Better no debt and real world development whilst earning cash. I wish to hell other employers would do the same, give young people an career entry without a debt.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1.1.1

            Infrastructure and educated employees….fekk what we get in the way of both of those is becoming increasingly substandard.

            The inevitable consequences of cutting taxes on the rich and pushing productivity in education.

            On that note we have hired young people with aptitude and attitude who don’t have tertiary qualifications: a degree comes with an expectation that is rarely realistic and the debt impoverishes the holder.

            That’s something that I agree with.

          • KJT 8.2.1.1.2

            Certainly agree with you there.

            My best apprentice was a retired housebreaker. Very useful when someone forgot to leave the key out. :-)

            I still prefer those I can train myself, before they learn bad habits. Or get their heads filled with theory, overconfidence and BS at a tertiary institution.

      • Rob 8.2.2

        Good on you Ennui. Really agree on your PG issue with banks.

        I am very impressed at how you obviusoly manage working capital to be able to run a business without even a basic overdraft.

        Your last comment is on the money. Non producers that have no regard for how jobs, incomes and communities are actually created, have an innate ability to over spend and over commit as they do not care where it has come from. There does need to be more accountability on how tax payers contributions are distributed.

        I had a converstaion on Friday with a guy from Auckland Transport and he was laughing at how the office on a Friday is cleaned by 4:00pm and in fact at 3:00pm people are “still” rolling out the drinks trolley. This is what creates anger from producers around lazy, fat and soft civil servants and their operations.

        • greywarbler 8.2.2.1

          Rob
          And I have a laugh at the way that some employers will embroider their stories and then it becomes an anecdote, based very loosely on fact, which becomes airier and fairier each time it is repeated. By the end the workers have caused the employer an ulcer, and his family is breaking up and he has to sell his boat to avoid his house being foreclosed on – all because they won’t work hard enough and want to have a cup of tea in the afternoons as well as half an hour for lunch, sitting down at Their Leisure, or talking on the phone doing their own business. On the premises!!

          and Ennui
          I think the money grows on trees thing that I have read, is that the government can create money to fund infrastructure, instead of borrowing it overseas it borrows it within NZ’s financial system, and then applies it to the needed infrastructure that may not be earning any income but forms the basis of other revenue-earning businesses to utilise the advantages at no or low cost.

          I thought that was the idea. And the money would not be inflationary, although there would be a rise in the amount of money in circulation from net wages.

          • Ennui 8.2.2.1.1

            Grey, raising cash by fractional banking practices, even by national treasuries works on the basis of generating tomorrow sufficient from the investment to pay off yesterdays debt. That works well in a growth economy. What happens however if we decline or stay in stasis? I don’t favour it any longer because i believe we have reached the end of growth due to energy and resource constraints. I think fractional activities incredibly imprudent.

            • KJT 8.2.2.1.1.1

              Generating enough to simply pay off the debt amount in future, should be fine so long as the spending is sensible. Such as spending on poverty reduction, export substitution and sustainable energy.
              Spending which reduces our costs in future.

              What we cannot do is add interest.

              Even in my teens, when I was told about the “magic of compound interest”. I thought here is something which cannot be sustained.
              The wonder is that it has carried on for so long.

              Though you could argue that the frequent system crashes, (GFC’s) are part of the self correction. Inflation used to be, until it was artificially restricted.

              Compounding interest, of course, is an exponential function.
              Like all exponential rises it looks like a hockey stick, tending, eventually towards infinity.

              For everyone to get their “magical compound interest” on their investments the money supply has to expand at an exponential rate.
              Which is fine so long as, inflation equals the interest rates, (Your savings are worth the same amount of goods and services on realisation, as they did when you put them in the bank) or no-one expects to spend the increase in money supply on real goods and services.

              Infinite growth, which is a requirement for our present economic system to function, is not possible in a finite world.

              Something even the Greens find hard to grasp.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Though you could argue that the frequent system crashes, (GFC’s) are part of the self correction. Inflation used to be, until it was artificially restricted.

                Actually, inflation pretty much didn’t exist until the private banks got seriously into creating money ex nihilo over the last couple of centuries.

                For everyone to get their “magical compound interest” on their investments the money supply has to expand at an exponential rate.
                Which is fine so long as, inflation equals the interest rates,

                Nope, not even then. Because of the way that capitalism channels the bulk of the money to the few those few will have more return from interest than inflation is eating away at their accumulated money. Those few want to keep it that way which is why they pushed governments to restrict inflation. It’s interesting to note that the way that was chosen to restrict inflation also gives higher returns to money and, as we’ve seen, doesn’t really limit inflation in critical things such as housing.

                Infinite growth, which is a requirement for our present economic system to function, is not possible in a finite world.

                Something even the Greens find hard to grasp.

                Actually, they’ve known that since the 1970s and the first publishing of Limits to Growth. The problem is that the rest of the population, especially the RWNJs, don’t want to believe it.

          • Rob 8.2.2.1.2

            Yep Grey , there are certainly many winging business owners out there that are pretty good at blaming all their issues on poor staff, poor tools, poor circumstances etc. All they end up doing is putting there own capital at risk and the livelyhoods of their staff.

            The key difference I think simply between management and leadership is that management requires a microscope (ie lets view all activities and tasks to a micro level and be able to form fixed judgement on the outcomes of the analuysis), where as leadership requires a mirror (ie how are my expressions and behaviours and clarification of direction inspiring the team and people around me).

            Obviusoly there is arequirement for both , good business management requires you to have a solid grasp of the numbers and the detail. Good leadership requires excellent self awareness and knowldge of how your behaviours, commenets and direction lead a team successfully. Average businesses are often management driven, where as very good businesses couple good management with strong leadership.

            • greywarbler 8.2.2.1.2.1

              Rob
              Thinking of the difference between management and leadership. I’m thinking management is more following precepts, ensuring orderly provision of the company’s product, and can be done in a number of ways.

              My relative tells me that their team leader is often elsewhere, not where required, and this no doubt adds to the efficiencies and costs that balloon in hospital expenditure. And management has not devised a way of gathering knowledge and feedback from the doers of the work.

              Leadership is surely about direction which goes beyond checking on the zeitgeist and effectiveness of the organisation, it’s examining the whole dynamic of the company, looking to the future, what will be lost and is there business in being a specialist preserving it? How many customers would like to recover some of that lost benefit and at what cost? What is the future and what will need to be incorporated into the business without losing its spirit of loyalty, commitment and communication with the customer? What is the mission statement and whether it is being reflected in the attitudes of the staff to those they deal with?

              And in government, is the policy that has been made law being delivered in the manner intended? It can be skewed and twisted and squeezed into another than its intended shape by the policy deliverers, who are likely to be reflecting their managers’ ideas and approaches. And also affected by the difference between the high-minded ideas in the law, and the low-budget desire of people who just want to quiet a problem, not invest in a solution.

              The leader can see the tracks, or make new ones, and then has to turn and guide the managers along and influence the workers to transport the company well and profitably.

        • Ennui 8.2.2.2

          Rob, Managing the cashflow:we are lucky that the business has grown faster in sales with reasonable margins than costs have been incurred in delivery…over the years lump sums deposited have been used for working capital but they often get eroded and it can get very seat of the pant especially in terms of us paying suppliers. The key thing is that the balance of aged sales and opposed to aged payables remains positive, and we crunch delivery times to enable fixed costs to not erode the margins. Life would certainly be a lot easier if we had overdraft facilities (we now do) that we used, but for me that is also a bad discipline to rely upon.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.3

        Yes it is tough out there, which is why on this blog I criticise those who seem to think the money grows on trees and can just be spent into existence, or taxed out of companies to pay for whatever they wish to be funded.

        Money is always spent into existence and then taxed out afterwards. It’s the basic nature of fiat currency. It’s more a question of who you’re paying the tax to – the private banks or the government.

        • Ennui 8.2.3.1

          Draco, it depends on whether the tax is extraneous to the economy / environment / community that the individual or business is being taxed in. What I am getting at is that taxes are necessary to provide that environment / community, and as such should be paid as part of the total cost of doing business. When taxes are seized by banks for private gain, or by governments for private gain / distribution to their mates etc then (a la Edmund Burke) they should be strenuously opposed.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.2.3.1.1

            Which is why total transparency is needed in the creation, distribution and destruction of money. That latter bit is actually really important as people, especially banks and economists, think that money should last forever when it actually shouldn’t. Payment of taxes to the government should be recognised as removing money from the economy which is why the government should also be the only ones to create money.

    • Mike S 8.3

      So the GFC wasn’t really the cause of your business going backwards. The GFC merely highlighted the fact that your business needed changing. I find the term “forced to innovate” particularly interesting. It is a shame that so many of our businesses need to be forced to innovate rather than being innovators.

      You stated yourself that you’ve had to take on more debt, which is essentially how we measure economic growth. i.e more borrowing = higher GDP. Not sure if this is a good thing as it always leads to boom / bust cycles. However, that is the way our current economic system functions and an economy can only grow monetarily from more debt or increased exports..

      It’s great that you took the anti-austerity path though, as more private debt should mean less government borrowing, although as far as I’m aware, government borrowing isn’t slowing down? This would indicate that your business is the exception rather than the norm due to the fact that in order for an economy to grow, either the private sector or the government must borrow money. more private sector debt = less public sector debt and vice vers. If the private sector saves money instead of spending, then the government must spend money or the economy deflates. it’s one of the ridiculous things about our economic system that you can’t have less private and less public debt at the same time or the economy will crash. (Because all money is created as debt, less debt = less money in circulation = lower economic growth.) If government borrowing is steady or increasing that would indicate not much business growth in the private sector )at a very basic level), or, not many businesses like yours who are spending and growing their businesses and adding to the country’s economic growth.

      “last October we did starting wage salary increases of 4% .” – Does that mean that prior to last October there were no increases from 2008 to 2013? If not, then although the 4% increase is better than nothing, it still means that you are paying paying a lower starting rate than you paid prior to 2008. (in real terms)

  9. Poission 9

    Almost every housing initiative they have been involved in there involves very few affordable houses, and many of the large types of houses that return developers more money.

    One of the emerging trends in CHCH is the appearance of Ghost houses in new subdivisions.Unoccupied houses owned by offshore investors as passive investors.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/columnists/mike-yardley/9758984/Mike-Yardley-Rental-housing-still-in-crisis

    The other constraint on affordable housing is the ubiquitous use of building covenants in new housing developments,that stipulate minimum floor size and building materials (which by proxy dictates capital expenditure).

    This land use constraint precludes the relocation of reusable redzone housing stock at a substantial discount to a greensite rebuild.

    Policy initiatives need to address the use of building covenants.

    • Tracey 9.1

      Still wondering how to find out if broownlee is renting out any of his fendalton or Ilam properties and for how much.

  10. Ennui 10

    LPrent, Hyping does’nt help the economy…… just to be really contentious just look at the stock market, its all hype!!!!!!! (Hmmmmm! Whether the stock market helps the economy, well that’s open to conjecture).

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      The really poisonous neolib meme is that the financial gambling markets ARE the economy.

    • Mike S 10.2

      The stock market as it’s called, has nothing to do with the real economy of goods and services. It does however suck money from the real economy which is harmful, as do all the other financial markets. These ‘markets’ offer nothing whatsoever in terms of productive economic activity, they are simply a means for the elite to make money from money, whilst destroying the real economy.

  11. aerobubble 11

    English.
    We have incurred significant extra debt by spending in excess of our revenue to protect the most vulnerable families, to maintain living standards and to support the renewal of our second-largest city.

    Labour went the polls, like National promising tax cuts, but Key lied and increased GST.

    Labour then let National crucify them about govt debt being out of control under Labour.

    Labour even today lets National spew lies, for obviously the rise in GST hurts vulnerable families
    more! That the debt increase is largely due to lower tax for businesses and higher income earners.

    Remember Labour is a monopole thinker, it can’t accept dual narratives, that tax cuts stimulated the fast food sector as the public cut back on finer dining and fast food cut prices thanks to lower taxes and youth rates etc. Labour finds its impossible to attack lower taxes as harmful to the economy while also attacking National for raising debt and so the currency.

    Fairer taxes on the richest, progressive taxation, is still National policy, so why hasn’t Labour lied and attacked it for wanting to let the rich off taxes. Do all the snide underhanded lying that takes place routinely in the media about the majority of people in NZ who aren’t in the top 10%.

    Thats the problem, the chatter is hype to serve the richest (who strangely enough are realizing that people who kiss their hairy fat behinds aren’t actually doing them any favors, as the banking system wobbles thanks to thirty years of arse kissing excesses).

  12. geoff 12

    LPrent:
    I wonder how much of this hype is coming from the banks. Sales volumes are down since the reserve bank changed loan to value ratios (https://www.reinz.co.nz/shadomx/apps/fms/fmsdownload.cfm?file_uuid=C21A025B-C03C-8FFA-BE0F-B05619338669&siteName=reinz).

    Therefore there is less new mortgage business for the banks and therefore the only way for the banks to maintain their level of profitability is to increase interest rates, and the only way they can do that is by talking up the economy and putting pressure on the reserve bank to raise the official cash rate. Hence hype from a very powerful industry.

    Sound reasonable?

    • lprent 12.1

      It will. However what you’ll see is a non-monopolistic unstated increase in the effective interest rates..

      They don’t have to increase business if they can cooperate to increase nett profit.

  13. Interesting blogpost…

    • lprent 13.1

      Tax takes below spec on friday and then the RB inflation expectations lower than expected. Not symptoms of a economy getting hot.

      Problem is that National are so hung up on milk powder that, like previous resource commodity booms from Korean war era wool to their current obsession with mining. They all end. Then where will we be?

      BTW: Saw your one at TDB when I was hunting around for links.

  14. greywarbler 14

    About business and getting jobs.
    This about the wonderful developers behind the Life of Pi Rhythm and Hues. All about chasing the job from country to country as the film coys game the countries for the most tax breaks etc.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lcB9u-9mVE

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/behind-screen/revealing-rhythm-hues-life-pi-682526

  15. greywarbler 15

    Good line from an Australian social funder helping social entrepreneurs.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRHKMH0pJEQ

    http://www.philanthropy.org.nz/node/8771
    There will also be events for business donors in Auckland.
    Auckland: ‘Building Great Partnerships’, 9am to 4pm, Tuesday March 4th, Telecom Conference Centre, Telecom Place, Auckland. A full day event with a variety of speakers. PNZ members: $100.00, Non-members: $250.00

    Rotorua: ‘From Success to Significance’, 10.30am to 12.30pm, Wednesday March 5th, Rm 1, Civic Centre Building, 1061 Haupapa St, Rotorua. No entry fee.

    Wellington: Meeting of the Wellington Funders’ Network, 9.30am to 11.30am, Thursday March 6th, Willis Tower, Telecom Central, 42 – 52 Willis St, Wellington. No entry fee.

    We are also hosting events for new philanthropists in Hamilton, Tauranga and Christchurch.
    To register for an event or to request more information, please contact Yvonne: yvonne@philanthropy.org.nz.

    Audio from Thursday 27 February 2014
    From Success to Significance ( 20′ 36″ )
    19:12 The importance of supporting social entrepreneurs with Australian businessman now philanthropist Allan English.
    Radionz Thurs
    7:10 From Success to Significance

    Audio from Thursday 27 February 2014
    From Success to Significance ( 20′ 36″ )
    19:12 The importance of supporting social entrepreneurs with Australian businessman now philanthropist Allan English.

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    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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