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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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    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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