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John Key: Business to blame?

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, September 24th, 2011 - 125 comments
Categories: business, john key - Tags:

John Key talking at the Champion Canterbury awards in Christchurch on Thursday night:

”We’re a $200 billion economy with 2.2 million fulltime jobs. In the end the thing that makes a difference is the business community – they’re the ones when confidence is high employs people and when it’s not they’re the ones that don’t and a lot of it is based on sentiment and if you don’t believe me go and have a look across the Tasman.”

Is he saying that if business had just kept the faith a bit more, the economy would be in better shape?

They’re the ones “that make a difference”. The government doesn’t need an economic plan; unemployment is because business has got a case of the jitters. If they just believed a bit more, everybody could be employed. It’s all based on sentiment don’t you know?

John Key knows. His years buying and selling currency means that of course he knows all about productive business*. And according to him, it’s all just a confidence trick.

*</sarcasm>

Although this post should be covered by the opinion section of electoral law and shouldn’t need authorisation, here’s mine anyway, just to be safe:
Authorised by Ben Clark, 54 Aramoana Ave, Devonport

125 comments on “John Key: Business to blame?”

  1. Carol 1

    “…they’re the ones when confidence is high employs people and when it’s not they’re the ones that don’t and a lot of it is based on sentiment and if you don’t believe me go and have a look across the Tasman.”

    Actually, I hear from some NZ businessmen who do business “across ther Tasman”, that business activity is more vibrant in NZ than in Oz at the moment. Aus business is apparently in a bit of a slump, albeit expecting that the Aussie mining industry will pull them out of the slump.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Australia is at the start of their downturn.

      China is on a precarious path economically at the moment, and if China catches a cold, Australia will get pneumonia.

      BTW Key’s presumption that sentiment and confidence are all that is required only holds in a world where resource and energy availability is cheap and high. Neither holds today, nor for the foreseeable future.

      • Kevin Welsh 1.1.1

        Three negative quarters in a row for Chinese manufacturing is not good. Be interesting to see what they do about it.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          China already knows the answer, the question is can they implement it successfully in time. China can see that tradititional export destinations like the US and the EU are failing and they need to become more independent from them. Any why would you continue to ship real goods overseas in exchange for a river of printed paper flowing back in return (Euros and USD)?

          In recent years China has been trying to make up for the demand volatility from these foreign markets by massive internal infrastructure spending (some good, some bad e.g. the empty cities, the high speed rail which falls apart).

          Basically they have to move from a manufacturing export based economy to one where services and internal consumption become far more important.

          If China had sense they would also use a chunk of their cash holdings to create a public health system and double investment in their creaky very minimal social welfare safety net system.

        • freedom 1.1.1.2

          Gee i don’t know, what would China do if things got tight? Maybe call in the Trillions of dollars it has staked the USA and many other western Nations ? Perhaps it would sell some the world’s largest stockpiles of Gold? Or simply and most likely, China would carry on as usual as it has for thousands and thousands of years, watching calmly, as the western world heaves and grunts through the self centered idioms of the greed machine.

          Short of an ELE, China will be just fine.

          • McFlock 1.1.1.2.1

            Meh. Someone needs to buy the gold, and if people default on their debt because you called it in, you still get nothing.

      • queenstfarmer 1.1.2

        if China catches a cold, Australia will get pneumonia

        What, you mean it won’t be all the Australian Government’s fault?

  2. vto 2

    I don’t even understand what he said. He should speak clearly.

  3. AAMC 3

    Business & Government, hand in hand…..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOyDR2b71ag&feature=player_embedded

    Based on business as usual, but as CV states it “only holds in a world where resource and energy availability is cheap and high. Neither holds today, nor for the foreseeable future.”

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    Wasnt Key the one who made his mark early by sacking everyone before turning out the lights and getting an offshore job !

    Seems like he lacked confidence in his people to turn things around…… and just be a more happy face himself

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    This is the thing John Key is not a business man by that I mean John Key would have never taken his own money or borrowed from a bank and created a business.

    John Keys world is an already manufactured one.It is a total different set of skills to start some thing from nothing. I have watched this phenomena many times people who have worked in positions in big corporates like Sharp and Large accounting firms who decide they are going to set up their own business.In almost every case they fail, the reason they just don’t have the skills despite being successful in their corporate roles, they are not prepared for the graft and day in day out grind.
    They get disheartened pretty quick as the realization hits home that not only are they not bringing home the bacon but they could be grinding away for years.

    If these same people had say Daddy Morgan backing them they would be fine but they don’t.
    John Key is the typical corporate kid he has been successful in that environment put him on struggle street and he would fail.
    .

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Totally agree CGE. Not only are they not prepared for the sheer hard work involved; they’ve completely missaprehended how any success they met in the big corporate world was not really the result of their own talent and efforts… but a consequence of the collective effectiveness of so many people all focussed into one organisation.

      Without that collective supporting them… they quickly fail.

      • KJT 5.1.1

        They think their over inflated salaries, courtesy of the “cult of management” reflects their real abilities.

        Just to illustrate. Ports of Auckland just got a new general manager. He promptly sacked and disestablished at least two managers jobs..
        They have saved over $500 thousand a year in salaries and productivity has risen by almost a third.

    • queenstfarmer 5.2

      put him on struggle street and he would fail

      He was. He didn’t.

      • Craig Glen Eden 5.2.1

        When ?

        • queenstfarmer 5.2.1.1

          He was raised in a state house by a solo immigrant mum. That hardly makes him a “typical corporate kid” as you claim.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1

            In a society that had decent social welfare – hardly struggle street.

          • prism 5.2.1.1.2

            @qstreet Where did Mrs Key immigrate from? And why – was it because NZ is regarded as a benign place for women alone bringing up children?

          • Craig Glen Eden 5.2.1.1.3

            So what, the state gave his mother a house to live my mother worked full time for hers and bought up two kids. Key is a corporate kid because thats the environment he was raised in career wise. He wouldn’t make it on his own he is to soft, this is the guy who gets the hired help to arm wrestle for his entertainment.

          • Vicky32 5.2.1.1.4

            She was a widow (hence, in the eyes of those around her, very respectable) and living in a State House wasn’t then what it is now. My Mum was on a widow’s benefit with her two youngest, and many of of our neighbours lived in state houses at the same time as Key and neither of these things was at all a big deal!In fact, there were other widows with children in our street in the 60s, and no one considered them “solo Mums” at the time!

            • Vicky32 5.2.1.1.4.1

              I’ve just Wikipedia’ed John Key, and learned that his father didn’t die until he was 6 years old, and that then his mother brought him up with two sisters in a state house. Not “struggle street” at all, really! Across the road from us when we were children at the same time – 1967 onwards, lived the woman my parents called “The Widow Bain”, a young woman with four sons.
              I know from my mother’s later experience, that a widow’s benefit with 2 or more children, was liveable. In fact my Mum resisted going on to National Super (she’d been an ‘elderly mother’ in medical terms) because among other things the widow’s benefit was more generous! (It took children into account.)
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Key

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 5.2.2

        Didn’t Merrill Lynch go bankrupt?
        In what way was that a successful enterprise.

        • queenstfarmer 5.2.2.1

          Um, in that it didn’t go bankrupt. You may be thinking of Lehman Brothers.

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox 5.2.2.1.1

            Bank of America bought them out of their debts, as part of ther TARP deal- what else would you call it?

            • queenstfarmer 5.2.2.1.1.1

              A trade sale is the usual term – BoA bought them for US$50 billion, and it is still in business today.

              I love it that you first incorrectly claim (or suggest) that ML went bankrupt, and are now trying to redefine bankruptcy just so you have something to attack John Key with! Priceless!

              • Colonial Viper

                qstf is probably right on this count; Merill Lynch is doing fairly well by all reports.

                It’s BoA’s other activities, including their forced acquisition of Countrywide, which is going to destroy them.

                BoA has no reserves, and if it were forced to mark its ‘assets’ to actual market value, it would go under like the Titanic.

                • No actually Qtfr is not right.

                  BoA was bullied into buying Merrill Lynch by the then secretary of treasury and Goldman Sachs man Hank Paulson just like he bullied congress into giving the banks 700 billion while actually printing 16.1 trillion in give aways to his masters and now BoA is one of the five to big to fail actually failing big time with $ 53 trillion in worthless Derivatives on their books related to Europe’s collapse.

                  Greece is going to default and the European banks are going to claim their hedges with their American counterparts and that is the end of that. So not only was Merrill Lynch insolvent at the time BoA had to buy it BoA itself and 4 other banks are now on the precipice of total and unavoidable collapse.

                  All due not because of  some accidental bad loans but because of the scams they build on an unsustainable and fraudulent system which made a few individuals (And trust me John Key is just a food soldier with a food soldier income compared to the real winners here) obscenely rich while bankrupting the entire global economy.

                  Did John key know about this? Well, he was a member of the foreign exchange committee assisting the Federal Reserve of New York, a position he had taken over of his boss Stephen Belotti who shared this position with Robert Rubin who was instrumental in the repeal of the Glass Steagall act in 1999 making all this mayhem possible. John Key at the time was the head for Forex and European head for bonds and derivatives for Merill Lynch? He was right there right in the  epicenter when all this went down.

                  John Key met with Tomothy Geithner and Ben Bernanke in July. Geithner is the current secretary of Treasury and a former president of the New York Fed. He is also the protege of Larry Summers and Robert Rubin keeping Johnny boy in the loop so to speak.

                  So what do you reckon?

              • Zaphod Beeblebrox

                Can’t comment on JK at ML- he did what he could to feed his family as most people do. He did what he was paid to do.

                Just not sure how you can define the activities of investment banks in the 90’s and 2000’s in terms of ‘success’. Think you will find the $50b paid for ML was part of another set of deals, involving TARP and the fed.

          • mik e 5.2.2.1.2

            lehman bros didn’t have enough clout, with its lobbiests. ML had insiders like Goldman sachs who had an insider as treasurer.So they instantly removed the competition.

      • Puddleglum 5.2.3

        Qsf, I think you’re missing the point of the above criticisms of Key.

        He got out of ‘struggle street’ by hitching his wagon to the corporate world in a calculated fashion. (e.g., He chose accountancy as his major because he heard that accountants were the ones who dominated boards of directors.)

        Hi case is a shining example of someone getting out of struggle street by not creating a productive enterprise but by attaching himself to (and positioning himself within) an already created structure that gave disproportionate rewards to people in a certain place in the mega-machine.

        No innovation, just a keen eye for the cog that got the most oil. 

  6. Deadly_NZ 6

    Thats odd because this is what he said earlier. Not that he knows what he’s talking about. Or is he talking about just selling us to the Chinese..

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/5674399/New-Zealand-will-survive-with-Asias-help

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    An industrially productive economy is primarily concerned with converting natural resources into waste. Sometimes the waste gets diposed of very quickly, as in the case of peishable food packaging; sometimes the waste hangs around for many years and converts yet more natural resources into waste, as in the case of a motor vehicle.

    A service economy is primarily concerned with moving people and waste from one place to another, using rapidly depleting finite resources.

    In recent decades the conversion of resources intio waste has become increasingly donminated by large corporations, which have become so powerful they now write most of the rules, either directly or via ‘donations’ to political parties.

    According to orthodox economic theory, the faster an economy converts natural resources into waste the better off we all are (even if we render the planet we live on uninhabitable for our progeny in the long term).

    This insane system will continue to operate until:

    a) the resources necessary to run the system are no longer available ( We are rapidly reaching that point.)

    or

    b) people wake up to the fact that everything ‘official’ is insane and Orwellian, and is founded on fabrications and lies. (Judging by the nonsense that is posted on this forum by some people and by what is going on in society, there is little evidence that people are bothering to become informed or are waking up.)

    Clearly, those who benefit most [in the short term] from the present bizarre set of economic and social arrangements will continue to lie to the general public in order to maintian the ‘trickle up effect’ which provides them with their totally unwarranted benefits….. John Key being a prime example (along with all his cronies).

    Therefore, we are now seeing billboards all around town telling us to vote for these cretins because they are ‘building a brighter future’ (the same old trick of neuro-linguistic programming that has worked so well in the past).

    Unfortunately, the uninformed masses who don’t think for themselves or can’t think for themselves will vote for these cretins (or other cretins with similar ideas).

    • KJT 7.1

      I think its more because we treat 00’s on a computer as if they were real resources.

      Until it gets to the stage where the 0’s becomes too large a part of the economy and they have to fall back on taking from the real producers to sustain the ponzi scheme. Then! it becomes obvious that the amount of real resources, that can be sustainably utilised, do not match the number of 0’s.

      • Oscar 7.1.1

        The banks were the first industries in the world to realise the value of computers – It became super easy to put another 0 on the end of what they (didn’t) have in gold resources.

        If we had someone with balls as a Finance Minister prepared to call on the banks and ask them for their total resources in all cash/gold/stocks and bonds, and compared that to their debt exposure, the entire fractional reserve banking system would crumble overnight.

        The removal of the gold standard started the inevitable decline, hence why this world no longer relies on cash, indeed, it’s all debt and assets.

        Methinks we should adopt the ‘silver’ standard as a way to effectively halve the wealth overnight of the top 1% and I daresay that the cost of living would drop correspondingly.

        10 years ago, a 2L jug of beer cost 3.50$ where the minimum wage was 9$. Still left 5.50$ to spend on a pie to blow on while walking home.
        Now a 2L jug of beer doesn’t come cheaper than 12$ and the minimum wage is $13. What gives? Pies are about $3.50 too so a good 1.5 hours of work just to get some beer and a pie is fundamentally wrong.

        Sometimes I wonder if we actually did drop the minimum wage right down to $2 an hour, whether or not the multinationals would go, “uh oh, guess we can’t make people work for 52 weeks just to afford an ADIDAS top. Perhaps 10 weeks is more realistic” /sarc.

  8. Adrian 8

    I’ve just come from town where I was speaking to 20-something nephews and nieces and they are pissed off. They got jobs, burger flipping etc, ( theres nothing else out there), but a fuulltime promise very quickly turns into a dimminished hours partimer. These kids (and adults I also know of ) are officially employed but are in fact under-employed. Why? Because it’s cheaper and easier to get rid of them? But how can it be, more workers doing less hours must surely mean there is more paperwork, ACC, Tax etc? There is a real growing anger amongst the young about being pissed around with. I know of kids being made bankrupt because of stand downs after part time work dries up means there is a 13 week stand down and so they never get a benny and they can’t pay rent ( or continue to pay rent under a contract ) hence being sued for hundreds of rent they will never be able to pay. One 20 year old only owes $1200, made up of rent and a training course that the authorities reneged on and so faces a bankruptcy hearing. For $1200 fucking dollars!

    • millsy 8.1

      I for the life of me dont see the point of the 13 weeks stand down period. It seems to me to be punishement for something that really wasant ones fault.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Labour should have sliced that stand down period right back. Maybe to zero.

      • KJT 8.1.2

        Makes employees more willing to tolerate exploitation and sadism from the boss.

        Also the reason why benefits have been cut since the 80’s.

        • Oscar 8.1.2.1

          Stand down period is between 14 – 16 weeks depending on who you talk to at WINZ – even they don’t know the real period.

          As my partner said “might as well be dead if you lose your job”

          • RedLogix 8.1.2.1.1

            Yup.. one of our tenants is in their stand-down period now. No cash, no rent.

            No point in trying to evict them cos they can’t get another place, so I get to pay the mortgage out of my own pocket. Afterwards I’ll get no thanks, they’ll never be able to afford the back rent and it’ll all end in tears just the same. But if I don’t pursue it and the others find out they’ll all try it on … bugger it’s so damned bleak and predicatable.

      • prism 8.1.3

        @millsy It is all part of a deep seated belief that people wanting benefits are not prepared to look to their own resources and are turning to the government for a handout when they could organise something for themselves and stand proud, individual, manage their own lives, never ask for help from anyone, make their own way in the world without props etc. etc. All convenient propaganda and slogans as an excuse for creating a fragile and unbalanced trading economy that favours the wealthy.

    • KJT 8.2

      McD’s gets a subsidy for “training” unemployed for three months. After that the incentive is there to encourage staff to leave, by reducing their hours, so they can take on another subsidised “trainee”.

      Most McD’s permanent staff locally are only guaranteed 12 hours a week, but are expected to be available at short notice. Because of the irregular hours, their staff, especially young women, have to be subsidised by their parents to get to work.

      Far too many other employers are getting away with the same crap.

      A teenager who was illegally dismissed from another job, not McD’s is currently living with us as he has no money until the stand down is completed. Also. WINZ will not even talk to him without photo ID. Which costs at least $120 to get. Pub card. Which requires a birth cert and a passport photo. He doesn’t want us to pursue the illegal dismissal because we live in a small town and he is finding it hard enough to find another job as it is.

      Don’t even get me started on the farmers and orchards who like to employ immigrants, because they can be treated as virtual slaves until they get residency.

      Or the business owners who bleat to immigration they cannot get New Zealanders. When the reality is they do not want to pay or train people.

      How are people going to support new business when they are not even paid enough for food, housing and transport.

      Why should wage earners and small business owners, who are working their guts out, be making only enough to survive.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        Why should wage earners and small business owners, who are working their guts out, be making only enough to survive.

        That’s typical capitalism – pay the workers as little as possible so as to boost the amount the capitalists can put into their pockets.

      • oftenpuzzled 8.2.2

        Thanks for comment these issues need far more publicity then they are presently getting, we are not hearing about them thru media, mind you most media is controlled by Fairfax any how and they couldn’t care less. How do we get this info into the public domain to wake people out of their closed state of mind?

      • Descendant Of Smith 8.2.3

        I ran into a guy yesterday who had been sitting out his 13 week stand-down that he believed he must get for losing his job due to being laid off as there was no work.

        This of course is not correct and I’ve encouraged him to go and apply on Monday. He’s not convinced though cause he’d rather believe what all his mates tell him.

        With the work that is done by my wife in the disability sector it gets most frustrating when incorrect information is provided, particularly as many of her clients have intellectual disabilities and get very stressed and worried, so every now and then I put my old advocacy hat back on and help her out with information.

        I’ve on the odd occasion done the same here as well. It’s a serious problem IMHO that bad advice and wrong mythology perpetuates cause it causes real people unnecessary hardship. The other favourite is that you have to spend all your money first. I’ve seen people spend their $50,000 redundancy pay and not apply cause they believed some idiot union delegate who told them that.

        For what it’s worth my bits of advice are as follows:

        1. Here’s the policy link to stand-downs for leaving your job.

        http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/manuals-and-procedures/income_support/main_benefits/unemployment_benefit/unemployment_benefit-263.htm

        2. WINZ must take into account both the employers and the employees reason for dismissal BEFORE making a decision. You can not be imposed a stand-down if the reason you left was “good and sufficient”.

        3. They can’t give you a stand-down unless you actually apply and this decision must be put in writing and you can appeal it. Never accept someone simply telling you you can’t get benefit for 13 weeks because you lost your job. Always apply.

        4. If a stand-down for voluntary unemployment is applied you must be offered a re-compliance activity. If they can’t offer you one then organise your own e.g. doing charity work and get them agree to it.

        The compliance activity certainly means you can get a benefit and have money to live off.

        Also it’s common to confuse stand-down period which is normally one week with entitlement date which doesn’t occur until you stop being paid e.g. you may finish work today but you get 30 days holiday pay so your entitlement date is 31 days in the future. Most people tend to think how long do I have to wait as the stand-down period which while colloquially logical is not quite correct.

        Anyway I tend to use the MAP links when giving advice as they are the policy that staff have to follow – pamphlets etc don’t give the same level of detail.

        Hope this helps.

        • Descendant Of Smith 8.2.3.1

          Just reading the policy again if you are/ become unwell you can also go on Sickness Benefit. The voluntary unemployment stand-downs don’t apply there – at least not as yet.

        • Vicky32 8.2.3.2

          2. WINZ must take into account both the employers and the employees reason for dismissal BEFORE making a decision. You can not be imposed a stand-down if the reason you left was “good and sufficient”.
          3. They can’t give you a stand-down unless you actually apply and this decision must be put in writing and you can appeal it. Never accept someone simply telling you you can’t get benefit for 13 weeks because you lost your job. Always apply.
          4. If a stand-down for voluntary unemployment is applied you must be offered a re-compliance activity. If they can’t offer you one then organise your own e.g. doing charity work and get them agree to it.

          Wow, valuable information DoS! I hadn’t known any of that… :)

      • prism 8.2.4

        @KJT Case histories like this would be compiled as evidence of the real sort of NZ we are living in though some people manage to avoid the rough side themselves, and ignore the reality for others who actually can not be blamed for their own circumstances, though that would be the wish of the comfortable.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      But how can it be, more workers doing less hours must surely mean there is more paperwork, ACC, Tax etc?

      That’s what computers are for. All these people complaining about “red tape” are scaremongers and nothing more.

      There is a real growing anger amongst the young about being pissed around with.

      Good. The rest of need to as well. We’ve let the capitalists have their way for far too long and it’s costing us far too much.

    • prism 8.4

      @Adrian I think this story needs to be told in capitals.

  9. KJT 9

    Hasn’t anybody noticed yet.
    Whenever a more Neo-liberal Government is in power, business gets the jitters.

    It happened in 1987, the 1990’s and 2009.

    That is because real business people, not corporate hacks and gamblers in existing assets, know a low wage economy cannot support real business.

  10. Well, he is right of course! As long as we believe the bankster’s crap they’ll get richer and the rest will get poorer.
    Here is the excellent Max Keiser with the magnificent Stacy Herbert: Financial war and the bankster’s scams explained
     

  11. Bored 11

    Fucking Key, the gambler from the trading floor using other peoples money, not his own, placing bets..what a wanker to tell people who have to set profit and loss for their business, do actual sales, actually deliver etc that it is a matter of confidence. What a scumbag.

  12. Thomas 12

    Ben Clark: What are you complaining about? Pray tell us, what drives the economy if it isn’t confidence?

    Don’t underestimate the value of confidence. Heck, money is just paper without confidence in its value.

    Businesses won’t hire if they expect the economy to tank next year. Employing someone is a long-term commitment. But if they expect business to be steady they will invest in hiring someone. That’s why confidence matters.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Don’t underestimate the value of confidence. Heck, money is just paper without confidence in its value.

      You’ve hit the nail on the head there.

      Fiat money is intrinsically worthless.

      And when people see the Fed, the Swiss National Bank, the Chinese, the ECB printing the shit at full steam ahead while they go along with the bankrupting of sovereign nations like Greece/Ireland/Spain/Italy (with France being next on the list), how are people supposed to have any ‘confidence’?

      • Thomas 12.1.1

        CV: You somehow managed to hit the hand you were holding the hammer with. I think you should lead the way: Go to your bank. Withdraw your savings. Set them on fire.

        Economics is a social science. The drivers of the economy are people and their beliefs and actions. Economic predictions can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you predict that the economy will collapse, people will “hunker down”, stop spending as much, and avoid risk; consequently, businesses lose income, investment slows down, and the economy slows down.

        The recession wasn’t caused by a natural disaster. It wasn’t caused by resources running out. It wasn’t caused by a war. And it wasn’t caused by political action. The major cause was a domino effect in people’s beliefs.

        If people lose confidence in a currency (fiat or gold), it collapses. If people lose confidence in a company, its share price drops. If people lose confidence in their job security, they buy less. If people lose confidence in a bank, a bank run ensues. If people lose confidence in the economy, they won’t create jobs.

        I’m glad that John Key understands this. For those that don’t understand this, the ups and downs of the economy will be an eternal mystery.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1

          Thomas appears to believe that the economy = the financial markets = psychology.

          Well you are full of it like the rest of the neoliberal economic banksters who have been gaming the system for the benefit of the top 1%, leaving the other 99% as debt serfs and wage slaves.

          • Thomas 12.1.1.1.1

            And CV thinks the economy is a conspiracy that has absolutely nothing to do with people and their actions.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Conspiracies imply secrecy.

              But the shunting of GDP growth into corporate profits and shareholder dividends, and away from employment and wages, has been obvious for all to see.

        • Puddleglum 12.1.1.2

          Thomas, apart from aspects of some branches of theorising (e.g., economic psychology, evolutionary economics) economics is neither a behavioural nor social science.

          In fact, strictly speaking economics is empiricist (not empirical) in ideological orientation and its ‘theory’ amounts to a logical model (rather than a psychological or sociological – i.e., scientific – model) of human action (see Hayek, von Mises, etc. and Popper’s clear explanation of the logical character of the economic model of his friend Hayek). 

          The view that beliefs and preferences drive behaviour is now well and truly outdated in the cognitive sciences. Cognitive mechansims are seen to be developmentally produced and a lot of theorising, currently, emphasises the evolved and embodied nature of cognition as well as its susceptibility to social situations. 

          Certain conditions ‘drive’ the forms of cognition supposedly ‘held’ by individuals.

          Connecting all of this to the focus of the post, the insightful question is not “how do individuals’ confidence and beliefs drive the economy?” but, instead, “what sorts of economic arrangements and circumstances include expressions of more or less confidence, and beliefs A, B and C rather than D, E and F by individuals?” 

          This is clearly well over Key’s head. Simplistic – and largely tautological – nonsense about ‘beliefs’ and ‘confidence’ nicely excuses any serious thinking about the processes involved. 

        • mik e 12.1.1.3

          Thomas what your saying is capitalism is one big confidence trick.Which the tax payer bails out every time it runs out of steam [Tanks], communism you would call that I suppose.

      • Thomas 12.1.2

        As for printing money, a crude explanation is as follows.

        If people have confidence in money, then ‘printing money’ increases confidence. So printing money can help mitigate a recession.

        In a recession, people are unwilling to spend money. Everyone tries to hoard money, which makes money scarce. This is a chain reaction. The more scarce money gets, the more people try to hoard it, the more scarce it gets, etc. That chain reaction was one of the main drivers of the great depression.

        Printing money tries to break the cycle by making money less scarce.

        But you can only push this technique so far. Eventually people lose too much confidence in money, they don’t save, and the economy ‘overheats’.

        The purpose of monetary policy is to strike the right balance. NZ monetary policy is excellent—world-leading in fact.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.2.1

          More nonsense from Thomas.

          Who has conveniently forgotten to mention that the new money that the Fed has printed has gone solely to one tiny group in the economy: the tight group of banksters who are the Fed’s Primary Dealers.

          Put it another way – the banks got the money, leveraged off that printed money to make huge bets against the economy, and have now left the rest of us in a situation worse than that of 2007/2008.

          You have no idea lameass.

        • Bored 12.1.2.2

          Hello Thomas, you must be the latest newbie on this site to recommend a BAU approach that backs blindfolded bravely into the future, blithely ignoring the cliff you refuse to see. Enjoy the drop.

          A minor recommendation is that you prepare for a future where the paradigms you obviously hold dear are rendered obsolescent by any number of factors you seem ignorant of, such as peak bloody everything, and international total insolvency.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 12.1.2.3

          World Leading implies creative, original and prescient. I’m struggling to see how anything the RBNZ does could have those descriptions.

          Remember these were the guys who raised interest rates last year in anticipation of the CC Rebuild/RWC boom we were going to get this year.

          Following the failed IMF prescriptions really shows how poorly we are served.

        • Liberal Realist 12.1.2.4

          @ Thomas

          “That chain reaction was one of the main drivers of the great depression.”

          Call and margin loans were the major causes of the great depression, it had little to do with investor confidence.

          During the Crash of 1929 preceding the Great Depression, margin requirements were only 10%. Brokerage firms, in other words, would lend $9 for every $1 an investor had deposited. When the market fell, brokers called in these loans, which could not be paid back.

          • Colonial Viper 12.1.2.4.1

            During the Crash of 1929 preceding the Great Depression, margin requirements were only 10%. Brokerage firms, in other words, would lend $9 for every $1 an investor had deposited. When the market fell, brokers called in these loans, which could not be paid back.

            In other words, market participants were often leveraged 9:1 prior to the Great Depression. For every dollar the stock market dropped in 1929, those players lost $9. And so it turned into a blood bath.

            Guess what. The largest banks in the world are now leveraged at between 25:1 and 40:1.

            They’re royally fucked. And for the last 3 years, all they and their government cronies have been trying to do is to impoverish entire countries, trying to make tax payers pay for bank losses caused by their insane levels of leverage.

            • Liberal Realist 12.1.2.4.1.1

              CV quite correct.

              The fractional reserve banking system and lax or non existent regulation of the financial system created conditions that have allowed the largest transfer of public wealth into private hands in human history.

              Private (toxic) debt driven from complex derivatives such as ‘options’ all of a sudden become public liability whilst the banksters continue to collect huge bonuses paid for with public money.

              Now we have a situation where the sovereign debt burden is being placed firmly on the shoulders of the tax payer in the form of reduced living standards (austerity), all while the gears of the global ponzi scheme continue to turn.

              • Bored

                When it all colllapses the digits in databases and the slips of promisary paper will be worthless: if you cant pay the heavies because you have nothing tradable to give them, they wont enforce obligations with their fists….so the “rich” will be one with us (the “poor”). What a mess.

    • Thomas 12.2

      I’m still waiting for Ben Clark (or anyone else) to explain what, if not business confidence, makes a difference to job creation. Perhaps someone can postulate an alternate explanation for the phenomenon of a “jobless recovery”.

      This post doesn’t actually rebut John Key’s statement; it’s just a bunch of hot air.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1

        And I’m still waiting for someone to explain why we’re being held to ransom by the banksters. We have the resources that would allow us to ensure that everyone can have a good living standard but, for some reason, we let the banksters and the capitalists control those resources for their benefit rather than us controlling them for everyone’s benefit.

        • Thomas 12.2.1.1

          Presumably you keep your money in a bank. If so, you should ask yourself the question. Why did you willingly give your money to the bankers?

          • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1.1.1

            Was it willingly or was it because I had no choice? It’s impossible to operate in our society now without a bank account.

            Besides – I was talking about resources, not money.

            • Thomas 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Money and resources are interchangeable—you can sell resources for money and buy them for money.

              And I don’t buy the argument that you are ‘forced’ to use a bank. You can at least minimise your bank usage. Keep your savings in a vault at home or invested in something else. Just use your bank when you really need to.

              Well? What’s stopping you?

              • Colonial Viper

                Money and resources are interchangeable—you can sell resources for money and buy them for money.

                No you idiot, money and resources are not “interchangeable”, they are exchangeable.

                Just try stuffing your Porshche petrol tank with dollar notes and see how “interchangeable” with petrol that money is.

              • Draco T Bastard

                And I don’t buy the argument that you are ‘forced’ to use a bank.

                I’ll tell you some of what will happen if you try it:

                1.) Your employer will refuse to pay in cash (This applies to WINZ as well – you must have a bank account to receive any government assistance that you’re entitled to)
                2.) When shopping around for the best deals you will find that you can’t access most of them (this doesn’t seem important but do remember that we’re supposed to be this maximising entity getting the best deals rather than paying the most)
                3.) When you go on holiday you better make sure that you carry enough to cover unexpected breakdowns etc – and when you get robbed be prepared to hitch home (be difficult from overseas).

                Sure, in theory you can do without a bank account – in reality though, na, you can’t.

                And minimising bank usage isn’t the same as not being forced to have a bank account.

          • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1.2

            Time to nationalise the utility aspects of banking, and for governments to take back control of the supply of money into the economy.

            • Zaphod Beeblebrox 12.2.1.1.2.1

              In NZ this is inevitable. The government will be taking over re-insurance in NZ (despite Brownlee’s denials) and I’m pretty sure they will be needing to counter the withdrawal of the big 4 Aussie banks when NZ is deemed too risky to lend to.

              Then again creating own money and not buying it off the Europeans and US banks- would taht be such a bad thing?

            • Liberal Realist 12.2.1.1.2.2

              Time to nationalise the reserve bank and take back control of our money supply.

      • AAMC 12.2.2

        ‘Perhaps someone can postulate an alternate explanation for the phenomenon of a “jobless recovery”.’

        Greed!

        Another crucial factor in the “jobless recovery” is globalisation. The jobs go to the cheapest supplier, China, Thailand, Cambodia, not America, Britian, NZ et al.

        You can not seriously contend that the recession is the byproduct of a “domino effect of people’s beliefs”, in 2007 people had endless confidence in seemingly endless and cheap debt, they bought big TV’s and houses they couldn’t afford. And all the while the financial industry was inventing new ways to make money insuring against default.

        The drop in confidence was the result of the ponzi scheme falling over, the artificial bubble bursting.

        Your dreaming Thomas!

        Prosperity without growth.
        http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/data/files/publications/prosperity_without_growth_report.pdf

        • Colonial Viper 12.2.2.1

          Maybe Thomas thinks that if you can medicate enough people with antidepressants and ‘uppers’ that the economy will start booming once again.

          Lets be clear – the kind of growth we have left in our current economic arrangements only helps the top 1% of people.

          Corporations now find it far more profitable NOT to hire staff, and NOT to expand operations in western countries.

          After all, why would you expand into countries where the middle class and their discretionary spending power was collapsing?

          The growing wealthy middle class is located in China and India. That is where multinationals (who after all by definition have no loyalty to any one country) are focussing now.

        • Thomas 12.2.2.2

          AAMC: So let’s indulge in your fantasy world:

          The capitalist overlords are greedy. They want more. So they hire more slaves to work for them. And that’s why there are so few jobs… oh wait.

          It is in no one’s interest to have high unemployment.

          Sure there is a first domino. But the size of the recession is out of proportion with the crisis in 2007. The key amplifier is panic.

          You’re dreaming!

          • Colonial Viper 12.2.2.2.1

            It is in no one’s interest to have high unemployment.

            Yes it is. Corporations restructure and layoff staff to boost earnings, and usually shareholders respond by boosting share prices.

            So your statement is plain ignorant.

          • AAMC 12.2.2.2.2

            I’ll concede that of coarse confidence plays an important part in the equation, but you are the one who’s dreaming if you won’t concede that the constant drive for further efficiency and larger short term profit doesn’t play an equal or greater part of the cause of unemployment. Which decreases demand.

            “The capitalist overlords are greedy. They want more. So they hire more slaves to work for them. And that’s why there are so few jobs… oh wait.” There are lots of slaves in Asia, who are really cheap, so we can increase our pile of gold if we make our local workforce redundant.

            Western jobs now reside in Asia! And the kicker, as we (all WASP nations) have demonized Government and underfunded institutions, China and India have been educating millions, and so we now compete with them not only for unskilled but also for skilled jobs.

            A reminder of where this crisis began…
            http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/meltdown/2011/09/2011914105518615434.html

      • prism 12.2.3

        @Thomas It is sad to hear of someone throwing himself out of a sixth floor window in Seoul. The head of a a bank or large institution had just discovered that confidence alone is insufficient to run a business on and when his confidence left him, there was nothing substantial behind him to face reality with.

      • mik e 12.2.4

        Thomas your name must be Rumpelstiltskin.for the last 20 to 30 years the giant multinational corporations have exported the jobs to the cheapest places to manufacture. They are not coming back.Unless you expect everyone to work for 50cents an hour in sweatshops.Buying locally made might be a good start I buy as much as possible locally from banking to clothing, Earth Sea and Sky makes top of thew line outdoor and casual wear thats about half the price of its competitors.

    • AAMC 12.3

      “Pray tell us, what drives the economy if it isn’t confidence?”

      Demand! No jobs, no earnings, no demand = no confidence. The pursuit of efficiency and short term profit result in unemployment, unemployment reduces demand, a lack if demand reduces confidence and round and round we go.

      But we need prosperity without growth, otherwise we have great business confidence, and my kids end up with no planet.

      • Thomas 12.3.1

        And what drives demand?

        If you think you will lose your job later this year, you won’t buy as much. If you think you’ll get a promotion later this year, you’ll buy more.

        Confidence drives demand.

        • AAMC 12.3.1.1

          Confidence is a factor in demand.

          As is income, affordable food that hasn’t been inflated by commodities markets and affordable housing.

          • Thomas 12.3.1.1.1

            Excellent, you accept that confidence is a factor.

            Of course it isn’t the only factor. But remember, the recession is about demand shrinking by a few percent. So, even if confidence is only a minor factor, that is enough to make a big difference.

            • Colonial Viper 12.3.1.1.1.1

              The problem is that Key doesn’t get that its only a minor factor, and these days very secondary.

              The concentration of wealth amongst a very few, hyper-financialisation of the real economy and offshoring of decent paying jobs is what has been driving confidence downwards amongst everyone who is not in the top 1%.

            • AAMC 12.3.1.1.1.2

              I accept that confidence is perhaps an amplification and a symptom of a much more complex problem.

              But lets indulge YOUR fantasy. Lets say for a moment confidence is THE main factor. What has been destroying peoples confidence? The current economic narrative revolves around debt, default and Austerity. This is a meme that National has capitalized on – despite our relatively low public debt to GDP ratio in comparison to the PIGS or the US – and used to justify it’s borrowing and it’s cuts.

              Do you then acknowledge Thomas, that John Key and the National party and the narrative they’ve propagated are responsible for the drop in confidence?

            • Puddleglum 12.3.1.1.1.3

              Thomas, you’re not talking about confidence – you’re talking about predictions. If confidence were the driver of the recession then we could just run ‘motivational’ workshops and the recession would come to an end.

              What you are referring to is the general principle of adaptive responses based on the reduction of uncertainty, negotiation of risk, etc.. That’s not confidence, that’s a rough and ready attempt at an adaptive way of proceeding.

              Key’s comment made it sound as if the main issue was that people were ‘accentuating the negative’ (to reverse paraphrase that vacuous song that was once used by Saatchi and Saatchi – during the 80s or 90s?? – to get us all believing that everything was hunky dory when it wasn’t). It’s as if he believes that people just need to smile and wave like him and then everything will be ‘a okay’.

              That sentiment is ridiculous and assumes wishes make reality. It always amazes me when people say things like “perception is everything”. No it isn’t. Perception – if it’s worth its evolutionary salt – has to result in adaptive responses to reality.

              To think otherwise and, like you, claim that ‘confidence’ is what it’s all about is nothing but magical thinking.

        • AAMC 12.3.1.2

          Which doesn’t of coarse touch on the idea of peak demand, or a slowing of demand as a byproduct of western consumers filling their houses with new TV’s and computers and cars and phones and couches and so on an so forth, with all of that cheap debt that was around, and now the just don’t feel they need much more, the TV’s pretty good, do you really need anything bigger than 42inch, and it’s locked into a 48 mth interest free loan anyway, the couches have got a good few years left in them, iPhone still works for the moment, got a new computer 2 years ago, microwave still works…..

        • Colonial Viper 12.3.1.3

          Thomas hasn’t made it into a world where deleveraging is the first priority for many.

          When people are getting promotions, pay increases or companies making profits now, they are not spending more, they are deleveraging instead.

          There is at least 5-10 years of this to go, and by that time the world will be in severe energy depletion.

    • AAMC 12.4

      ‘Manifesto of the appalled economists’ for Thomas.

      “The neoliberal paradigm is still the only one that is acknowledged as legitimate, despite its obvious failures. Based on the assumption of efficient capital markets, it advocates reducing government spending, privatizing public services, flexibilising the labour market, liberalizing trade, financial services and capital markets, increase competition at all times and in all places…

      As economists, we are appalled to see that these policies are still on the agenda, and that their theoretical foundations are not reconsidered. The arguments which have been used during thirty years in order to guide European economic policy choices have been undermined by the facts. The crisis has laid bare the dogmatic and unfounded nature of the alleged “obvious facts” repeated ad nauseam by policy makers and their advisers. Whether it is the efficiency and rationality of financial markets, or the need to cut spending to reduce debt or to strengthen the “stability pact”, these “obvious facts” have to be examined, and the plurality of choices of economic policies must be shown. Other choices are possible and desirable, provided that the financial industry’s noose on public policies is loosened.”

      http://www.atterres.org/?q=node/13&page=2

  13. Richard 13

    Confidence is the reason gold prices went up and has now dipped.. people ‘believe gold has a value’

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      No.

      • Thomas 13.1.1

        Yes. Gold is almost as worthless as fiat money. It can’t feed you; it can’t house you; it can’t warm you; it can’t do anything other than be shiny and hard to get. All that we ever do with gold is leave it sitting in a vault somewhere or wear it because it is shiny.

    • prism 13.2

      @Richard
      Confidence is the reason gold prices went up and has now dipped.. people ‘believe gold has a value’

      Lack of confidence is why gold prices went up. Gold represents a certain reality that pieces of paper or dark coloured symbols on a screen do not.

      Trust is what makes a society operate successfully. That is the word to use, trust; in the system, in that it will work as supposed, that the people who handle the credits that people build up from their efforts will act with probity, that those people will pay their legitimate taxes which support the properly functioning and fair system, and that the inevitable proportion of failures to meet standards will be small enough so the system can cope and absorb them. There is lack of trust now, and so gold has shot up in value but like housing it is solid, it can be handled, it has world wide recognition, it is sufficiently rare so the market doesn’t get flooded, and it can’t be replaced by other products to the same quality.

  14. Any jobs in Christchurch John Boy Pee said the soon to be laid off meat worker?

    What a sad country run by criminals!

    • mik e 14.1

      Oceana gold is looking at hiring 200 more workers at Macraes and Reefton.D4j. Excellent pay rates would suit freezing worker.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    Well, the IMF thinks that confidence is important for economic stability.

    It makes obvious sense. If people are confident about their economic future, they are more likely to spend and invest. If they lack confidence, then they are more likely to hold on to what they have for a rainy day.

    • AAMC 15.1

      And what gives them confidence…. A job?

      Also, the liquidity in Western markets has been a result of Asian economies losing confidence in the free Market, saving, and lending the money to us.

      Who is currently shitting themselves the most?

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 15.2

      Partly. Stable, employment, health care, superanuation and having somewhere to live all help as well.

    • Puddleglum 15.3

      tsmithfield, it’s disappointing that you’re rushing – like Thomas – to excuse Key’s vacuous nonsense. I’m getting really irritated by all this talk of ‘confidence’.

      The inference that is meant – rhetorically – to be taken by foregrounding the notion of ‘confidence’ is that nothing structural, systemic or institutional is amiss. It’s just that everyone’s got some irrational colly-wobbles.

      Apart from being unbelievably patronising to the economic actors to whom – according to right wing neoclassical economics – we should supposedly hand over all economic decision making (via markets), it also ignores what causes the behaviour that is here being called (lack of) ‘confidence’. Generally, those causes are the immediate conditions that people are experiencing.

      Promoting this idea that it’s all about ‘confidence’ is simply a way of avoiding sheeting home the responsibility for what is happening to where it belongs – to the structure of the system and to particular historical efforts to remove financial regulations and the like (and, frankly, that the IMF ‘agrees’ is more a testament to their rhetorical and ideological role in the economic system than evidence that the discourse about ‘confidence’ amounts to sensible commentary). 

  16. Afewknowthetruth 16

    Thomas.

    You seem to have missed the crucial point yet again.

    Industrial economies run on cheap resources and cheap energy -primarily oil, with natural gas, coal and electricity (dervied from various sources, including fossil fuels) contributing.

    Once the point of maximum global extraction of cheap energy has been passed (2005/6) the system starts to implode, just as we have been witnessing since the end of 2007. No amount of ‘confidence building’ by ‘idiot’ politicans will alter irrefutable geological facts.

    The fact is, at the moment we have ignorant clowns who refuse to accept reality (or saboteurs) as leaders.

    There is a fair chance we will have ignorant clowns (or saboteurs) as leaders after the coming election.

    Silver has been mentioend as the foundation for a new monetary system. Chris Martenson notes in Crash Course that there was virtually NO INFLATION over a period of 120 years when silver was used as the basis of money in the American colonies. That was BEFORE the money-lenders imposed their fractional reserve Ponzi scheme on society, of course.

    • AAMC 16.1

      Of coarse you’re right AFKTT, but crucially, he’s misguided within his own paradigm as well as yours.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      A fiat currency can work – just so long as the banksters aren’t allowed to print money without restraint through the Fractional Reserve banking system as they do now. In fact, the only entity that should be allowed to print money is the government.

    • Thomas 16.3

      Afew: Energy production has not decreased; it continues to increase. That is a basic fact. So that is not the cause of the recession.

      Take your half-baked conspiracy theory elsewhere. Until energy production actually decreases, no one could, would, or should take you seriously.

      • Colonial Viper 16.3.1

        Afew: Energy production has not decreased; it continues to increase. That is a basic fact. So that is not the cause of the recession.

        Ahem.

        Please look at net oil available for export production figures (the so-called export-land model), not gross figures.

        It seems you are wrong, again.

        • prism 16.3.1.1

          Tennis anyone? It is nice of the RW persuasion to have one of their cohort stepping up to the net and trying out their racket styles in the weekends against the LW persuasion team.
          Thomas, keep going won’t you, you are offering great opportunities for debate, argument and retaliation, or if you can’t, send in an equal substitute.

      • Afewknowthetruth 16.3.2

        In November 2010 the International Energy Agency admitted that conventional oil had peaked.

        http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2010-11-11/iea-acknowledges-peak-oil

        The IEA, being a business as usual organisation, attempts to get round this inconvenient truth by declaring that unconventional oil and yet-to-be-discovered oil will miraculously maintain present arrangements far into the future, ignoring that the peak in discovery was around 1964 and that any oil discovered will be of low EROEI..

        http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse/chapter-17a-peak-oil

        Bearing in mind that the system is already being propped up by energy sources that have a miserable EROEI (corn ethanol, tar sands etc.) and the extreme difficuly oil companies are now experiencing with unconventional oil (Deepwater Horizon being a prime example of a poor EROEI), and the peaking of high quaility coal in mant regions

        http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/c1147/historical.html

        the question is how fast will we fall down the energy descent curve?

        The other important question is, is it worthwhile debating the crucial issues of our times with arrogant, uninformed boneheads such as yourself?

      • mik e 16.3.3

        The countries that have exported their jobs are living on ponzi money.And are not creating wealth but are merely consumers and service workers.

  17. Craig Glen Eden 17

    Right so if Confidence is the Key issue for business as Key and his little mindless followres seem to believe how does business confidence have any effect on our greatest exporter success Fonterra.

  18. randal 18

    according to National they are the party of business and John Keys is the man to make it all go boom. Well he is justa damp squib and he must stand in line like the rest of them and wait for the upturn. without getting to tricky or using esoteric political arguments the job at hand is to stop him and his cronies selling the states assets for their private gain down the track.

    • mik e 18.1

      The national party is run by failed businessmen and confidence tricksters .Thats why key is telling the truth for once, even his tricky spin can’t get the economy going but he is a good enough confidence trickster to get half of New Zealand to support him.Con artist KEY

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    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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