web analytics
The Standard

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?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Singing the Budget Blues
    Despite our 'rock star' economy over the past three years it has not increased Government income to the level expected and the Government has not been able to deliver its promised surplus. If income doesn't change, but priorities shift, then the… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Submit on Mill Rd
    Julie-Anne Genter, the Transport spokesperson of the Green Party has put out the following press release on the Mill Rd project that we have written about here, and here: Take 5 minutes and make a submission on Mill Road Auckland Transport is… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    20 hours ago
  • Budget Blues
    Twenty five dollars a week can’t be bad, can it? For families on the breadline, it’s surely better than nothing and every little helps. And when the total spend is $790 million, that’s not peanuts, is it? – even if… ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    21 hours ago
  • Punakaiki Fund and Snowball Effect
    22 May 2015 Punakaiki Fund will soon be presenting an offer through the Snowball Effect platform. We are pleased to announce that we have selected Snowball Effect to present our fund raising offer to members of the public. Equity crowdfunding… ...
    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    21 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    21 hours ago
  • Game review: Republique
    Score: 6/10 Republique is an episodic stealth game set in a dystopian society. You play a hacker who is aiding the escape of Hope, a young woman trapped in this world. Though the games attempt to deal with heavy themes… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    21 hours ago
  • Labour MPs are taking it to the Government in the House over their destruct...
    ...
    22 hours ago
  • The price of rotten cops IV
    Remember the Nelson Red Devils case? Back in 2012, drugs and firearms charges against 28 alleged gang members were thrown out because police abused the court process by forging a search warrant and an arrest warrant to build the credibility… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Best and worst New Zealand flag designs
    Dan Taipua, Dave Bell and Lucy Zee review some of the designs submitted for the for the new New Zealand flag. Check out the full gallery of designs here. ...
    22 hours ago
  • World News Brief, Friday May 22
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    23 hours ago
  • A hard rain is a’gonna fall.
    Although I am loathe to prognosticate on fluid situations and current events, I have been thinking about how the conflict in Iraq has been going. Although I do not believe that the Islamic State (IS) is anywhere close to being… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    23 hours ago
  • Got business out of town? Need a hire car?
    Whether you are heading of town for a conference or taking a break and need a hire car, your TEU Member Advantage program has you covered.  Use your member benefits to access either reduced car hire rates or excess on… ...
    23 hours ago
  • An abuse of the OIA
    In the wake of revelations that Prime Minister John Key had systematically and repeatedly bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted a cafe waitress, the New Zealand Herald published a piece exposing the victim. It seemed like retribution, and the involvement of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    1 day ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
    There’s often a lot of discussion around the future of transport – particularly in cities. We’ve talked many times before about how transport trends are changing, how we’re seeing people drive less and catch PT more, how changing preferences amongst younger people in… ...
    1 day ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
    The prohibition against torture is one of the cast-iron features of international law. You're not allowed to torture people, and you're not allowed to return or extradite people to a country where there are substantial grounds to believe they will… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    1 day ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    1 day ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    1 day ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 day ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    1 day ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    1 day ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    1 day ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    1 day ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    2 days ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    2 days ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    2 days ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    2 days ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    21 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    21 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    22 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 day ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    1 day ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    1 day ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere