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Inflation targeting puts Kiwis under the gun

Written By: - Date published: 2:34 pm, April 16th, 2008 - 31 comments
Categories: economy, International - Tags: ,

dollar.jpgAs you know, petrol and food prices are up. These are international prices spiralling up due to growing demand and limited or falling supply. When demand exceeds supply prices rise.

Now, when food and petrol goes up, that’s inflation. In fact it’s most of the current inflation: out of 3.4%, 0.9% is from petrol and 0.9% from food. The Reserve Bank has a target for inflation of 1-3% over the medium term. When it sees inflation rising it puts up interest rates to get inflation down in the target range. This ‘inflation targeting‘ is meant to work by encouraging people to save, not borrow, and take money out of people’s pockets through higher mortgage rates (giving that money to the owners of foreign banks). This takes money out of circulation, reducing consumer demand to match supply. Bye, bye inflation. In theory.

Problem is, the demand for food and the demand for petrol is not going to drop we need just as much no matter what the price. Even if demand did drop a little in New Zealand, the price would keep rising because the market is international. So, our incomes are tightened by the rising prices. Then the Reserve Bank makes it worse by lifting interest rates. That has no effect on inflation, so the Reserve Bank lifts rates again and keeps them up.

The only way to bring overall inflation down is to cripple other spending by forcing us to put more and more money into food, petrol, and housing. But doing that means no-one wants to buy anything, strangling the rest of the economy, and all the while inflation stays up because it’s international. It’s a stupid situation: the Reserve Bank’s inflation targeting punishes Kiwis and the New Zealand economy but can’t fix the underlying causes of inflation.

What’s the solution? Fix inflation targeting. New Zealand was the first country in the world to adopt the practice, during the rightwing economic revolution, and we remain the only country in the world that only considers inflation, not things like growth and jobs, when setting interest rates and looks at all inflation, not just the domestic stuff that interest rates can actually affect. We need to join Australia, the UK, Canada, the US etc by looking at the economy overall and discounting international inflation when setting interest rates.

Where can we look to leadership on this issue? Not National and not Labour. The Greens and New Zealand First have led the way in calling for reform of how we manage interest rates. It’s high time Labour joined them.

31 comments on “Inflation targeting puts Kiwis under the gun”

  1. At the moment don’t we have ‘stagflation’ due to: our GDP growth falling for the last 8 years and inflation rising due to rapidly rising global resource demand ?

  2. Um, Maw – we don’t have slow growth and we don’t have high overall inflation. As these are the two indicators of stagflation I think you may need to reconsider your thesis.

  3. Matthew Pilott 3

    mawgxxxxiv, no – that’s only with an actual economic contraction. At present, we might see a ‘technical recession’, as was the term used, a slight cntraction for two consecutive quarters. Apart from that, our economy has enjoyed one of the best growth periods ever – not what you’d call stagnant.

    Imagine a country with GDP growth figures of, say, 9% last year, 10% the year before, 10.5% the year before. The rate at which its economy is growing is decreasing, but nonetheless the economy is expanding. That isn’t stagflation.

  4. insider 4

    The question that comes up then around growth is, would we have had the same growth if we had not had a focus on inflation?

  5. That is a very good question indeed. I think yes. In fact I suspect that if the reins had been let out a bit there may have been greater room for businesses to borrow for capital investment and less high-dollar pressure on exporters.

  6. Steve Pierson 6

    The thing is, the economy is like an engine, and inflation is like the temperature gauge. Yes, it’s something you want to keep an eye on, you don’t want it getting to the red zone, but it shouldn’t be the only consideration when you decide how hard to press on the accelerator.

  7. Matthew Pilott 7

    insider – perhaps we’d have had the same growth – but it wouldn’t be worth as much, in today’s terms. Any counterpoints out there – i.e. that higher inflation curtails growth (talking about, say 4-5% as opposed to 1-3%, not a mugabesque 100,000%)? I couldn’t say off the top of my head.

  8. Steve Pierson 8

    opinion differs on when inflation begins to hurt growth. this paper says 8% http://econpapers.repec.org/paper/clmclmeco/2000-22.htm , the general economic thought has been that its not bad until 20% plus.

    The difference between, say, 2% and 4% is insignificant as far I’m aware. And that makes sense, the numbers are puny, the ‘menu costs’ are small, and the rate of change isn’t too fast to really put sticky prices out of wack with more fluid ones.

    What really matters is stability. As long as the rate of change (and, so, the real rate fo return investors can expect) remains predicitable people will feel confident investing.

    Maybe matt nolan or phil or another econo-type will have somethign to add.

  9. Phil 9

    I’m indescribably flattered to have been mentioned in the same sentence as Matt – someone with a much greater capacity to eloquently explain economics than I do…

  10. Phil 10

    One thing that has not been mentioned thus far is the effect of the exhange rate. By raising interest rates, our dollar becomes more attractive to the internation community and the exchange rate rises, as ours has done.

    The impact this has is to reduce the cost of imported goods – a critical factor missing from all the bitching and moaning about petrol and food; without the current system in place, we would be facing much MUCH MUUUCCCCHHHH hugher prices for these items than we currently do.

  11. Phil 11

    In defence of the RB and inflation targeting generally;

    To say the RBNZ “only considers inflation, not things like growth and jobs” is simply not accurate.

    Inflation, GDP, jobs, the exchange rate, and a myriad of other indicators all impact upon each other in a free market economy, and the RB places a great deal of emphasis on understanding what it’s actions will do to them.

    DISCLAIMER; the views I have expressed on TheStandard.org are exclusively my own. They are not intended to be viewed as official policy or opinion of my employer, the RBNZ.

  12. While the term ‘stagflation’ was perhaps ‘provocative’ RBNZ figures show that growth has trended down from 6% in 2000 to 2% now. Statistics NZ numbers show that CPI inflation has trended up from 1.5% in 1999 to 3.5 % now. Both appear to have headed in the wrong direction under the current government.

  13. lprent 13

    They are not intended to be viewed as official policy or opinion of my employer, the RBNZ.

    I’ve been aware of that (it has shown on the e-mail you used).

    People can take it as policy that we guard the privacy of people on this blog. We’re quite painfully aware of the issue as is shown on our About page.

    BTW: Hopefully this will never become an issue, but I’ll get seriously annoyed if there is any personal abuse related to people’s occupations if they choose to disclose them.

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    Phil, what do you think about the situation in the US and how the fed is responding to it?

    I realise that’s a short question asking for a long answer, but what interests me specifically is the fact that the fed has slashed rates massively at a time when inflation is knocking quite loudly on the door.

    At the same time, the fed is bailing out financial institutions by buying up (or loaning against) shitty paper at face value.

    It seems to me that these actions are short term fixes aimed at staving off immediate crises in the form of bank failures and Wall St meltdowns. It seems that just as a big player shifts some dodgy debt that they had hiding on the Cayman’s on to the publically viewable books, the market panics, and the Fed either cuts a deal or chops the rate. And the market bounces as if something important has happened.

    I realise that the Fed has to do something and that large scale bank failures should if at all possible be avoided. I worry about the moral hazards being set up, whereby other banks are watching on and noting that if they just let their own piece of the shitpile get septic enough, the Fed will bail them out. I also worry that the bad debts that no one seems to know the size of are just going to be fixed by an unspoken but deliberate policy of inflating the dollar.

    I’ve got no training in economics, which probably shows. But the steep cuts in interest rates combined with the inflation fears don’t gell to someone who is more used to how the RBNZ operates.

  15. Interest rates are not the problem, merely the symptom. Therefore, we should attempt to address the problem, which are to name a few: grossly low-wages, unproductive and negative incentives in residential housing, relaxed attitudes over the recent term of credit facility – rather plastering over the visible symptoms.

    Other symptoms exist, equally or more important especially in the living standard and social sectors, which may not be not visible to folk of a certain flavour, which are also a result of these negative incentives – but they are failing to be addressed in the rush to deliver silver-bullet political solutions which again – address only the symptoms – and even then, only those that fit in the world view.

  16. Phil 16

    Thanks Lynn,
    Recently RB staff were reminded of the protocol’s around working for a gov’t department in an election year. I figured it was better to be safe rather than sorry if someone stumbles upon my comments later… =)

    Pascal,
    You’re right in so much as it’s a very short question with a very long answer!

    Without wanting to bore you to death with banking regulation, the new capital adequecy rules called “Basel-2″ should do an awful lot to clarify what can be transferred ‘off balance sheet’ (ie; sweet F.A.) which will hopefully go a long way to stopping this sort of accounting nonsense from happening again.

    As for getting out of the hole we’re currently in, the most likely scenario will involve slightly higher inflation around the planet as central banks inject more and more cash into financial markets to improve liquidity… which is really what the whole crisis is all about (as opposed to the underlying soundness of the global macro-financial community, which is pretty good).

  17. Dean 17

    Policy Parrot:

    “Other symptoms exist, equally or more important especially in the living standard and social sectors, which may not be not visible to folk of a certain flavour, which are also a result of these negative incentives – but they are failing to be addressed in the rush to deliver silver-bullet political solutions which again – address only the symptoms – and even then, only those that fit in the world view.”

    In your opinion does government spending have any effect on the inflation rate?

  18. Policy Parrot 18

    Dean: All expenditure has an effect on inflation – that’s a no brainer. However, leading on from your question – is the assertion, that if so, shouldn’t the government reduce spending to tackle inflation – in fact perhaps that is the cause of inflation.

    Which is completely fallacious. Government spending whilst not helping inflation is not the primary cause of it – once again – tackling causes rather than symptoms is the solution, for example – people would not have to spend so much on housing if prices were not artificially high. The asset value of residential housing doubled from 2001 to 2006. Extra spending to finance ever greater debt is the cause of this inflation.

  19. AncientGeek 19

    Steve: I lived, or rather tried to live, through the inflation of the late 70′s and 80′s. It would take a *lot* to convince me that it is anything other than massively corrosive. There is nothing quite as depressing as living with high inflation. At least with interest rates there are things you can do to avoid incurring interest liabilities.

    I think that the current guidelines are probably broadly correct. The effects of controlling inflation might hurt in the short-term, but they force the elements of the economy that are resistant to change to adjust faster (eg house prices). In the medium term that means that required changes are not protracted into long-term torture.

    With all that said, there is probably a case for the RB to run with a bit more temporary flexibility in their medium term objectives. We’re getting hit with a couple of external shocks at present. However looking at the RB’s operations I think thats the policy they’re following anyway.

    Where can we look to leadership on this issue? Not National and not Labour. The Greens and New Zealand First have led the way in calling for reform of how we manage interest rates. It’s high time Labour joined them.

    Yeah right. Hopefully they won’t. I’d prefer them to keep their powder dry for when we really need it.

  20. AncientGeek 20

    Talking about change. I’ve noticed sudden revival of people using motorcycles at work. This morning I heard an e-mail reported on Morning Report. Someone was shifting what they ate, to a cheaper and more healthy diet. Less dairy and meat and more fruit and vege’s.

    I’d expect to see a lot more of that happening. The current shocks happen to be in areas that the market signals operate quite well

  21. Dean 21

    Policy Parrot:

    “Dean: All expenditure has an effect on inflation – that’s a no brainer. However, leading on from your question – is the assertion, that if so, shouldn’t the government reduce spending to tackle inflation – in fact perhaps that is the cause of inflation.

    Which is completely fallacious. Government spending whilst not helping inflation is not the primary cause of it – once again – tackling causes rather than symptoms is the solution, for example – people would not have to spend so much on housing if prices were not artificially high. The asset value of residential housing doubled from 2001 to 2006. Extra spending to finance ever greater debt is the cause of this inflation”

    You know, I don’t think I’ve seen such a perfect example of doublethink in such a long time.

    Let’s recap. You’re saying that the government is spending money because of social inequities, and that the inflation government spending causes is somehow more just than the inflation caused by private investment.

    You’re also ignoring why so many people choose to invest in housing instead of saving. I wonder why?

    You’re saying inflation is largely the fault of private investors, even when we’ve seen a massive increase in government spending as a proportion of GDP.

    You do understand how supply and demand work, don’t you?

    Pull the other one Parrot. It’s got “Labour’s tax cuts are not inflationary but Nationals would be” written on it.

  22. Inflation has been caused by the doubling of the residential housing asset base, and the greater spending that is now required to retire debt. This phenomenon represents an increase in value in scale several factors greater than any influence that increased government spending has had.

    To say increased government spending has no affect on inflation would be incorrect. However, I agree with Michael Cullen – how capping or reducing increased government spending – which has been necessary to improve performance delivery of social services (there does need to be improvement in the service side of the public sector but this cannot be achieved by unduly limiting or slashing staff) – would have negligible effect on reducing inflation.

  23. Dean 23

    “However, I agree with Michael Cullen – how capping or reducing increased government spending – which has been necessary to improve performance delivery of social services (there does need to be improvement in the service side of the public sector but this cannot be achieved by unduly limiting or slashing staff) – would have negligible effect on reducing inflation.”

    Cullen also said that any tax cuts that National would deliver would be inflationary, yet his would not be.

    Or perhaps I’m wrong. Could you explain to me why tax cuts delivered by Labour are not inflationary, whereas tax cuts by National would be? I am all ears.

    Somehow, I don’t think you’re listening to the right advice when it comes to understanding the causes of inflation.

  24. r0b 24

    Cullen also said that any tax cuts that National would deliver would be inflationary, yet his would not be.

    Could we have the original source for that quote please Dean?

  25. Dean 25

    “Could we have the original source for that quote please Dean?”

    You have GOT to be joking. Surely. Are you honestly telling me you’ve never heard Cullen say either of these things?

    I’ll give you some links tomorrow.

  26. r0b 26

    I’ll give you some links tomorrow.

    That would be grand.

  27. What we have is an unprecedented economic collapse of the entire financial system as the result of irresponsible injections of fiat money into the system by the Federal reserve of New York in order to save the bankers elite after 20 years of bubble building and deregulation. If you really want to know more about the money system than watch these two films: The Money Masters http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/interesting-videos/documentaries/the-money-masters/
    Money as debt
    http://crazyrichguy.wordpress.com/what-is-money/
    and read 5 articles starting with this one:
    http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/the-financial-tsunami-the-preeminent-role-of-new-york-banks-and-wall-street-investment-banks/the-financial-tsunami-sub-prime-mortgage-debt-is-but-the-tip-of-the-iceberg/
    Then remember that John Key was only one of 4 advisors to the Federal Reserve from 1999 until March 2001 when he was Global Head of the Forex department of Merrill Lynch. A position that is upon invitation only, and which brought him very much to New York and Wall street.
    This was at the time when the federal reserve won the price after years of lobbying: the repeal of the Glass-Steagall_Act in 1999 which allowed the banks to go on an all out robbing spree. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass-Steagall_Act.
    And then I suggest you get a Kings seed catalogue and order your seeds, dig up your gardens and start growing you own food because if John Key gets elected that is what you will have to do in order to get food. No let me correct that, you will have to do that any way because the international bankers elite has f*cked up the system all ready, him being elected and them being able to rob this country of it’s resources would merely be a little icing on a cake on their already bloated table.
    By the way, why was John Key meeting with his old bosses in October 2007 for a breakfast in an office of Merrill Lynch in London? Well, if you have watched the films and read the articles you will know. On that level it’s: Once a banker always a banker.

  28. Sounds like you guys have been having a robust discussion of inflation targeting. I just recently wrote about it after seeing Kiwiblog and Kiwiblogblog talk about it:

    http://tvhe.co.nz/2008/04/16/why-does-the-target-rate-matter/

    “opinion differs on when inflation begins to hurt growth. this paper says 8%”

    One important thing to remember here is that this paper measures the cost of inflation now on growth. But I don’t think it takes into account inflation’s impact on inflation expectations, which then negatively impacts on future growth and welfare.

    This is why the Reserve Bank has changed its mandate to medium term inflation – as it is worried about what people expect inflation to be (as if people expect high inflation wage and price demands will be high to compensate, causing the inflation).

    Furthermore, although the RBNZ does not explicitly target output, it uses an output gap model and a fair amount of adaptive expectations stuff for determining where inflation will go. What this means is that, if economic growth starts falling sharply, they expect inflationary pressures to fall and so will be more likely to cut rates. In a sense this model does incorporate some type of “implicit” target rate of growth – what they call the natural growth rate.

  29. Steve Pierson 29

    I know some people have had a problem with us coming down heavy on abusive commentators and trolls, and I’ve personally been quite hesitant about it. But I just want to say this is a great thread full of intelligent comment and that wouldn’t be possible if we had dad4justice intervening about ‘lickspittle labour’ every five minutes and the Michele Cabiling types hurling abuse and homophobia.

    cheers, you fellas and fellaesses

  30. Fred 30

    Steve, good post.

  31. r0b 31

    I’ll give you some links tomorrow.

    How you doing there Dean? Any luck?

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    The Political Anorak News is full of the $5,000-a-plate fundraiser for the Maori Party hosted by John Key at the Northern Club in Auckland. A few thoughts: Nothing illegal about this at all, or really anything immoral either. Key wants...
    Polity | 14-04
  • The cost of small transport projects
    Every year the 21 local boards each get a share of $10 million to spend on transport projects in their area. The money is split up based on the population (except for Waiheke and Gt Barrier). The amount that each...
    Transport Blog | 14-04
  • I went to the Northern Club once. Really classy toilets.
    Via the Dom-Post: Prime Minister John Key says there is nothing unethical or inappropriate about charging guests at a Maori Party dinner $5000 a head to sit with him for part of the evening It has been reported that 15...
    DimPost | 14-04
  • I went to the Northern Club once. Really classy toilets.
    Via the Dom-Post: Prime Minister John Key says there is nothing unethical or inappropriate about charging guests at a Maori Party dinner $5000 a head to sit with him for part of the evening It has been reported that 15...
    DimPost | 14-04
  • Trading through a more complex global economy
    Australia signed a trade deal with Japan last week. Does that help or hinder New Zealand’s trade ambitions and prospects? There are four parts to New Zealand’s trade strategy, broadly followed since Trade Minister Tim Groser enunciated them when an...
    Colin James | 14-04
  • In search of found time
    Originally published at Overland Three different projects dealing with presence, absence and the passage of time. The first one is straight photography: no tricks. Irina Werning’s Back to the Future features adults posing as their childhood selves in replicas of...
    Bat bean beam | 14-04
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless talley
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless talley So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 14-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Phillipstown will get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour government will allow Phillipstown School to stay open, with a review after two years, Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Megan Woods says. “Hekia Parata has failed the Phillipstown community with today’s decision to close the school. “It is disgraceful...
    Labour | 08-04
  • State Housing waiting lists go through the roof
    The waiting list for State Houses has risen by over a thousand in the past three months, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Low income people are feeling the sharp end of National’s housing crisis. A shortage of affordable houses...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Hekia Parata fails to answer basic questions
    Education Minister Hekia Parata’s inability to answer even the most basic questions about her proposed new Executive Principal roles will have alarm bells ringing in school communities all around the country, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools are already concerned...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Guy gets it wrong by any measure
    The Ministry for Primary Industries being forced to reprint rulers designed to help recreational fishers measure their snapper catch is right up there on the incompetence scale, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI is having to spend another $8000...
    Labour | 08-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in recei...
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in receivership News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have been driven to the wall by a...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland
    Press Release: Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Maori Party $5000 per ticket John Key Fundraiser at sexist Northe...
    So MANA can’t contemplate an alliance with Kim Dotcom because he is wealthy and MANA is not and that’s a terrible hypocrisy. Shock. Horror. So what is one to make of the Maori Party holding a $5000 per ticket closed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • David vs Goliath – Key’s housing affordability TV debate challenge
    John Key allowed his frustration to get the better of him at yesterdays press conference when he responded to a question on housing affordability by shooting back that he would debate David Cunliffe on the issue. Cunliffe has accepted. The...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Deborah Manning joins Team Cunliffe
    Deborah Manning is a very good friend of mine and seeing her join Team Cunliffe in Wellington is just another example on top of Matt Mcarten and Clint Smith’s appointments that Cunliffe is serious about putting together the best strategic...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?
    If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000
    A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Key to Snowden
    Comparing Key to Snowden...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Latest Banksy
    Latest Banksy...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Valuing Teachers
    Valuing Teachers...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth
    Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • TPPA is corporate thuggery
    TPPA is corporate thuggery...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Why we need feminism
    Why we need feminism...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Method In His Madness: Why did Russel Norman make Labour an offer it couldn...
    THE LINE FROM LABOUR is that the Greens made them an offer they couldn’t accept. Delivered in the condescending, world-weary tone one usually associates with a headmaster reprimanding one of the dimmer boys from the Lower-Fifth, the suggestion, clearly, is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • iPredict has possible MANA-Internet Party alliance at 3 seats
    Latest iPredict scores has MANA at 1.1% and the Internet Party at 1.5% – combined that’s 2.6%, the party list percentages would roughly be… 2 seats (i.e. electorate and one list): (1.2%) 3 seats: (2%) 4 seats: (2.8%) 5 seats:...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adam Bennett and his wonky Tai Tokerau logic
    Adam Bennett, the NZ Herald’s political reporter, has published a column with some wonky Tai Tokerau logic… Unless the Mana Internet alliance pulls off the unlikely feat of reaching the 5 per cent mark on election night, all of this...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley performing for MANA fundraiser
    Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed by an...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Businessman who is taking Blogger to court for defamation attacked
    The NBR are reporting (paywalled) that Matt Blomfield, the businessman taking Cameron Slater to court for defamation, has had been attacked last night with shots fired at his home. How vicious and nasty. Thoughts are with Matt and his family....
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger