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Media response to Labour’s Monetary Policy Upgrade

Written By: - Date published: 2:32 pm, May 2nd, 2014 - 105 comments
Categories: david parker, Economy, Judith Collins, kiwisaver, labour, national - Tags:

parker2

The response to Labour’s Monetary Policy Upgrade released this week has been extraordinarily good.  I am certain that National’s minions have been beavering away looking for a slightly inelegantly phrased sentence or an addition mistake so that evidence of utter incompetence can be bundled up and shopped to tame media but so far nothing of the sort has happened. The best they have managed is Bill English in attack mode. As Vernon Small has said “[i]f Finance Minister Bill English’s first flailing attempt to attack Labour’s new monetary “tool” is any guide, the Opposition may be on to a winner.” Labour’s Tim Barnett has compiled a number of positive responses which has been circulated and this post relies on his list.  In a Dominion Post Editoral the policy was described as a “possible game-changer” and having “real heft”.  The editorial included the following comments:

Unlike its recent pronouncements on trucks in highway fast lanes, or the flagging national demand for wood, Labour’s ambitious new monetary policy has real heft. The idea is first to make KiwiSaver compulsory, with payment levels about 9 per cent of income. That’s not monetary policy per se, but it’s a good idea – our savings are chronically low, which pushes up our interest rates. Compulsory savings are also necessary for Labour’s next big idea – making KiwiSaver payment rates adjustable. Under the plan, the Reserve Bank could recommend increasing savings rates as a way of slowing the economy – or, conversely, lowering them to heat things up. If that sounds like a hole in the wallet, Labour says it won’t be. Finance spokesman David Parker says the tool will be used instead of interest rate hikes. So when the economy overcooks, people pay more into their retirement plans instead – in theory – of copping higher interest rates on their mortgages. If this works, there would be plenty of positives – higher national savings, healthier government balance sheets, lower interest rates, perhaps even some effect on the overvalued kiwi.

Brian Fallow in the Herald spoke glowingly of the policy.  He said:

Though billed as an “upgrade to the monetary policy framework”, what we got from Labour’s finance spokesman David Parker on Tuesday was a much broader economic policy than that would imply. It is subtle and complex, and therefore hard for people to appraise in the context of sound bites and partisan pushing and shoving. They could always read the document, uncatchily titled: “Improving Macroeconomic Stability”.

He then said this:

What is useful and innovative about the policy is that it creates a new tool for withdrawing some demand from the economy when it is heading (as it is now) into a period when willingness to spend is outstripping growth in the capacity to produce goods and services.

Even the writer of the New Zealand Herald Editorial on the subject expressed support.

The Labour Party has done well to come up with a constructive monetary policy for the coming election. Its proposal to make KiwiSaver compulsory and use its contribution rate as an alternative to interest rate rises is imaginative and reasonable. It is not a drastic departure from the monetary consensus that has maintained low inflation and underpinned the strength of the economy under successive National and Labour governments. Most importantly, Labour’s new policy would not undermine the independence of the Reserve Bank which would remain in complete charge of the currency and it would be entirely up to the bank whether at any time it wants to recommend an increase in KiwiSaver contributions instead of raising the official cash rate. Either device could take a little money out of circulation when inflation looms.

Bernard Hickey also approves.

It’s big and it’s hairy and it could change the way monetary policy is run. David Parker’s proposal for a Variable Savings Rate (VSR) certainly qualifies as the ‘big new tool’ he promoted it as over the weekend. It ties together Labour’s savings policy and its monetary policy in a way few expected. Parker is certainly hoping it is the tool that fixes the big, hairy problem for the economy, the over-valued exchange rate.

Even Paul Henry has expressed words of praise.

It’s a very cunning plan. You’ve got to admire the fact that this man has come up with something that at least is different and well and truly worth thinking about.

Of course there will be critics of the policy.  David Farrar has referred to BNZ Economist Tony Alexander who thinks that the policy will result in reduced interest rates which will increase the incentive to borrow money and therefore be counterproductive.  Well it would probably tend to reduce interest rates but if people are instead putting more money into savings than in paying interest increased borrowing will not necessarily occur.

The release has dominated policy debate for the week. When you combine the effects of this to Maurice Williamson’s deserved demise, Peter Dunne’s abysmal sacrificing of the ability to prevent the stockpiling of synthetic drugs for political advantage and the continued murkiness of Judith Collins’ Oravida dealings it has clearly been Labour’s week.  The best the right had was to try and manufacture a mini scandal about David Cunliffe’s grandfather’s medals.  This attempt well and truly backfired and left many questioning the utility of such behaviour.

Could it be that the tide is turning?

105 comments on “Media response to Labour’s Monetary Policy Upgrade”

  1. fisiani 1

    You obviously failed to actually closely read Tony Aleaxander’s more considered analysis of this compost heap announcement.
    I’d suggest that you do. It’s doozy.
    http://tonyalexander.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/WO-1-May-2014-.pdf

    • Chooky 1.1

      @ fisiani….well Tony Alexander would wouldnt he?…the BNZ is now an Australian owned Bank…the new Labour Monetary Policy means less money for Aussie Banks in interest hikes …less money going out of New Zealand…. and more money kept in NZ ‘ers retirement savings and in their pockets and in NZ ( it probably means also less NZers made bankrupt and bank repossessions for ordinary NZers unable to pay mortgage interest hikes)

      From wiki:

      …”Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) is one of New Zealand’s largest banks and has been operating continuously in the country since the first office was opened in Auckland in October 1861 followed shortly after by the first branch in Dunedin in December 1861.[1] The modern-day bank operates a variety of financial services covering retail, business and institutional banking and employs over 5000 people in New Zealand. In 1992 the bank was purchased by the National Australia Bank and is today operated as a subsidiary but retains local governance with a fully empowered New Zealand board of directors.[2]“

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      The banks don’t like it then… quelle surprise! Oh, and they have no idea how it will affect the economy:

      “First, it is completely experimental. We have no information on how consumer borrowing and spending or business pricing behaviour will change in response to a change in Kiwisaver contributions…”

      Oh I agree: it’s a doozy all right :lol:

    • mickysavage 1.3

      I did address Alexander’s article. I thought his conclusion that the policy would increase borrowing was rather odd.

      • Enough is Enough 1.3.1

        Well Micky lower interest rates means borrowing is more affordable. If it is more affordable it is likely to be more popular.

        There is nothing too odd about that.

        Furthermore if you have a bigger pot of gold in the form of a large kiwi saver account, a bank is more likely to look upon you in favourable terms with borrowing becoming easier.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1

          Yep, that’s the theory – doesn’t work in practice though as the massive hike in house prices proves. Interest rates went up and so did borrowing right along with them which pushed house prices up because that’s all that people were borrowing on with the easy credit from the banks. Credit made easy to get by the high interest.

    • Paul 1.4

      Glad to know you’re on the side of the banksters, fisi.
      Explains a hell of a lot.

  2. Skinny 2

    Hey Micky with all due respect, how about a little less back slapping and actually provide the much hyped Labour Army ( who will be out doing the foot work to get the low income vote out) with some solid details of how this block is going to benefit from voting for Labour.

    You know the details of how they will be looked after when they are forced into Kiwi Saver ( reduced current income) and the rent raises etc. I do expect an answer from you btw just passing on the message from some of these punters who have asked. While I’ve explained things away, an actual position from within the Labour Party PR/policy development group would be good.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Fair comment Skinny. I will give this more thought.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        Shouldn’t entirely be on your shoulders to do the job of the Leader’s office comms team.

        After all they are supposed to be the main provider for party comms that would assist the volunteers.

      • Skinny 2.1.2

        I would suggest through the LEC’s and feed on from there. I know the release is designed to get buy in from the business sector and middle bloc, which has been achieved successfully. Also the low income earners will be well and truly looked after. Just mindful of the switch off to voting effect if they get their back up, as sadly many are in the terrible position of only thinking about putting food on the family table, and having to get by week by week.

        • Ad 2.1.2.1

          The LEC’s get it from Head Office, who in turn get it from the Leader’s Office.

  3. Chooky 3

    +100 Great Post …this new Labour Monetary Policy is going to be a big winner…GO Labour !

    • srylands 3.1

      Except it is not monetary policy. It is a confused mix of a savings and monetary policy.

      The problem is that it is superficially appealing but the more you analyse it the uglier it looks. Just for starters – there isn’t the volume of funds in Kiwisaver to make it a viable monetary policy instrument. Interest rates affect $30 billion plus of NZD debt. Kiwisaver is a fraction of that. Secondly OCR goes up and down. Are you really going to put the Kiwisaver rate back DOWN after it has gone up? (You get your savings objective conflicting with the MP objective).

      Of course apart from simply not working, it overwhelmingly makes life easier for those on high incomes with mortgages. Those on low incomes without mortgages will just see it as equal to a pay cut. So what are you going to do? Carve them out? Which reduces the volumes as a MP instrument even further.

      It isn’t going to fly.

      I think the time has come for a compulsory national savings scheme. It is only a matter of time before the qualifying age for national super goes up to 70, so for those in their 20s and 30s now they better get saving. But Labour has munted the savings debate by mixing in monetary policy.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    What is useful and innovative about the policy is that it creates a new tool for withdrawing some demand from the economy when it is heading (as it is now) into a period when willingness to spend is outstripping growth

    So this is a dead giveaway. Fallow lives in the top half of the Two New Zealands; in the bottom half there is no spare money to spend let alone ‘outstrip growth’, and there hasn’t been for a very long time.

    And ultimately of course that is the problem with this Labour policy. It’s aimed at the top half of the Two New Zealands. That’s the half who actually get some benefit from the mediocre so-called growth which has been occurring.

    The policy announcement is a feast for policy wonks, economists and monetary experts, but IMO leaves the 3 million NZers out there who earn less than $45K per annum (including several hundred thousand unemployed and underemployed) going “WTF so now I’m going to have less money to spend at the supermarket”

    it would be entirely up to the bank whether at any time it wants to recommend an increase in KiwiSaver contributions instead of raising the official cash rate. Either device could take a little money out of circulation when inflation looms.

    Or the government could just increase a few targeted taxes to “take a little money out of circulation”. Or is that verboten?

    • Skinny 4.1

      +1 I do realise it is aimed at the middle bloc of voters and is appeased most of the business sector, however now they are happy enough how about a bit more information. Let us hope the conspicuous silence isn’t going to be met with the ‘trickle down effect.’

    • Chooky 4.2

      @CV…well ( speaking as a financial retard) imo it has to be accompanied by other policies of course!….what would you suggest for the bottom half?

      ….the bottom half do benefit in the LONG TERM ie retirement savings…and NZ as a whole benefits in the long term …..less hemorrhaging of NZ wealth overseas and in the long term more money available to be spent in social welfare and maintaining NZ sovereignty etc ..so we All benefit in the long term

      …but this is not much consolation for the bottom half who are struggling NOW and cant even afford to save, let alone acquire a mortgage….so interest rate hikes dont mean so much to them…except perhaps to keep their rent down.

      AWAITING policies for the Bottom half……..(eg. stop foreigners buying up NZ houses …so NZers can buy them at an affordable price….incentives/help for NZers to acquire their first house?)

      • Chooky 4.2.1

        Bomber Bradbury answers the questions on what Labour policies are needed to help the Bottom half :

        “What the left miss in their criticism of Labour’s monetary policy” -

        http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/05/02/what-the-left-miss-in-their-criticism-of-labours-momentary-policy/

        Thankyou Bomber…you wee gem!

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.2

        ….the bottom half do benefit in the LONG TERM ie retirement savings…and NZ as a whole benefits in the long term …..less hemorrhaging of NZ wealth overseas and in the long term more money available to be spent in social welfare and maintaining NZ sovereignty etc ..so we All benefit in the long term

        Long term retirement savings? What are you on about? You really think those KiwiSaver funds being put into the “markets” are still going to be worth anything after climate change and peak oil really bite hard? (And they are just starting to now).

        And most of our KiwiSaver funds are going to Wall St. I count that as being “overseas.”

        • Chooky 4.2.2.1

          @ CV….Ok so you don’t believe in KiwiSaver or saving for retirement?….I have heard this argument before but not by someone who was that interested in economics (actually by someone who thought he had been beamed up…lol)

          Ok…..so you are saying Labour is pulling a fasty? … but I thought you were a Labour supporter?

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.2

          You really think those KiwiSaver funds being put into the “markets” are still going to be worth anything after climate change and peak oil really bite hard?

          Even without those I fail to see any value in saving money because money is nothing. Far better to actually conserve our resources.

          • Chooky 4.2.2.2.1

            @DTB…we need money to conserve resources…otherwise we go bankrupt and all the rich investors from overseas buy up NZ…as Nact is letting them do at the moment

            • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.2.1.1

              Ah, no we don’t. In fact, under the present paradigm, saving money actually uses up more resources as more economic activity is used to a) accumulate the money in the first place and b) to pay the interest on the money after it’s been accumulated.

              Want to stop the overseas investors buying up NZ? Then ban foreign ownership. But even that won’t save any of our resources due to the paradigm of needing to dig it all up ASAP to pay the friggen interest.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                You didn’t address Chooky’s point DTB, if NZ doesn’t have enough money those who we’ve borrowed the money from will extract their pound of flesh by some other means.

                Isn’t it better that Labour are moving toward taking some control of this process back?

                Judging by the stats, by far the greatest use that ‘money’ is being used for is speculation – putting money into a savings bank no longer assures you that that is not what it is going to be used for – you know that, so what is this mention about ‘using resources up’ from you when talking about ‘savings’ ? Making ‘money on money’ – by house buying and speculation are the most likely effects of putting money into a bank. Resources or anything leading to job creation hardly factors into those with the most ‘money’ these days.

                Isn’t it good that Labour are attempting to address some of this speculation and take some control back?

                How have those who use resources unwisely managed to do so? By having huge amount of influence over government policies due to the wealth they accumulate from using resources unwisely.

                Isn’t it good that Labour plan to address inequality and work on breaking up the activities that have lead to the concentration of wealth that have lead to the fucked up state of capture that governments across the western world have achieved in the last few decades?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You didn’t address Chooky’s point DTB, if NZ doesn’t have enough money those who we’ve borrowed the money from will extract their pound of flesh by some other means.

                  Yeah I did.

                  Isn’t it better that Labour are moving toward taking some control of this process back?

                  But they’re really not.

                  Judging by the stats, by far the greatest use that ‘money’ is being used for is speculation – putting money into a savings bank no longer assures you that that is not what it is going to be used for – you know that, so what is this mention about ‘using resources up’ from you when talking about ‘savings’ ?

                  Not all of the money will be used for speculation. In fact, money put into a bank isn’t used at all except as a base to increase the money supply. That increased money supply is then used for both speculation and productive lending. Producing more inevitably uses up more resources.

                  Isn’t it good that Labour are attempting to address some of this speculation and take some control back?

                  So far, I haven’t seen them do anything about that. Sure, if their policy decreases our interest rates then we won’t see as much hot money coming in but I doubt if it’ll decrease them enough.

                  Isn’t it good that Labour plan to address inequality and work on breaking up the activities that have lead to the concentration of wealth that have lead to the fucked up state of capture that governments across the western world have achieved in the last few decades?

                  Haven’t seen any of that either.

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                    Not too impressed with this response DTB

                    You did not address the point that Chooky made and I repeated.

                    It is all very well to write ‘But they are really not’ yet this says absolutely nothing . Where is the support for your conclusions? I say they are by shifting the focus on how to respond to inflation by including other factors in that process.

                    When the amount of money being speculated in the world exceeds the ‘world GDP’ by, what is it up to now? Tenfold? – I think you’ll find that the money going through banks is very much part of that speculative world.

                    Your last two points: Just because you haven’t seen them doesn’t mean they are not there.

                    Conclusion: lol you sound more interested in seeming sure and correct than you are on elucidating how you are coming to the conclusions that you are, so that both you and I and anyone reading can gain a deeper understanding. Perhaps you are simply stuck in a critical mode and incapable of providing a positive assessment on anything?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Please understand that adding billions into KiwiSaver retirement funds merely fuels the capitalist activity of needing to find places to invest/exploit in order to obtain exponential growth (which is what getting a few percent return p.a. is, mathematically).

                      This demand for ever more investment return by shareholders, bondholders and pension fund participants is what is accelerating the destruction of our ecosystems and social systems. Would you like your monies to go into a new dairy farm (which used to be covered by Amazon rain forest), a pipeline company (helping to take oil from the Canadian tar sands over the border into the US), some blue chip corporate (who decides to fire 5,000 frontline workers globally in order to increase profitability to meet investor expectations) or perhaps into the world of commodity derivatives speculation (driving up the price of wheat, soy and rice for the 1B people in the world who can barely afford to eat already).

                      So where would you like NZer’s KiwiSaver funds to end up?

                      We are very nearly at the end of this road “invest, maximise your returns, grow a nest egg”, yet because most do not think what that actually entails in the physical world, so many on the Left think it is sensible to continue on. It’ as if we were still in the middle of the mid 20th century energy and resource rich age with plenty of global wealth and native populations left to plunder and exploit, that we think that we can keep pedal to the metal in the name of saving for our retirements like Norman Kirk thought we should do 50 years ago.

                      Game’s almost over and modern civilisation is on its last life.

                    • blue leopard

                      I’m not too worried about that, CV, the next nat government would come along and thieve the savings and give it to their rich mates anyway. (bit of a joke, kind of…)

                      Thanks for your considered reponse. There are alternatives to this profit/growth driven business model though and I do think that to shift toward these alternatives we need to have policies that loosens the ‘standard business practice’ mentality. We also need ways to turn the wealth disparity around – I.e dissolve the concentration of wealth. Until that happens those with concentrated wealth (& thus power) continue to influence policies unduly toward what you (& I) can see aren’t helpful.

                      I haven’t absorbed all Labour policies in detail, yet I have had a sense that the main ones that have come out are attempts to get the middle class (who ever they are) on board while quietly shifting some of the advantages away from the very top tier of wealthy people.

                      Noticing the rabid and hysterical reactions of most of the mainstream media to the slightest whiff of questioning the status quo, I think that if my above suspicions are correct – this is a very savvy way to proceed – a political party can’t get anything done while in Opposition (especially not Labour, who seem to take up all their time in Opposition squabbling amongst themselves and leaving it to the Greens to play the real role of Opposition) and a political party can’t come out and shout blue murder (backlash from media and big money too strong) – so it is better to proceed quietly shifting the roadblocks to the massive change required. In the long run, I think such an approach will cause a shift faster than putting it all on the table now.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You did not address the point that Chooky made and I repeated.

                      Yes I did. Right in this bit: Ah, no we don’t. As I keep saying, we can print the bloody money. That’s a really, really, important bit. It means, quite simply, that we don’t need stock piles of cash.

                      It is all very well to write ‘But they are really not’ yet this says absolutely nothing .

                      It says everything as they’re not taking control back – they’re leaving it in the hands of the Reserve Bank. Now, they’re giving the Reserve Bank an extra tool or two to help with inflation but they’re most definitely not taking control of the amount of NZ$ there are available and they’re leaving that in the hands of the private banks. It’s that latter that has the money growing exponentially.

                      When the amount of money being speculated in the world exceeds the ‘world GDP’ by, what is it up to now? Tenfold?

                      Quad last time I heard. Still, the only real solution to that is to destroy the money and the way to destroy it is through taxes – massive taxes. Saving it adds to the problem.

                      Conclusion: lol you sound more interested in seeming sure and correct than you are on elucidating how you are coming to the conclusions that you are, so that both you and I and anyone reading can gain a deeper understanding.

                      I’ve been saying these things on this board for a long time. I’m not going to go around repeating them every two comments.

        • blue leopard 4.2.2.3

          @ CV,

          I am in that ‘bottom half’ and I would always trust Labour to address the interests of this section of society in a manner light years advanced than National. I have seen and experienced that with my own eyes time and again each time there is a change in government-there is a substantial shift in culture.

          It is not solely about money either, you have to take into account what the poor bashing, protester bashing, arrogant and blatant disregard for democratic processes that the right wing conduct does to people. National have been taking away democratic processes and public involvement in democratic processes piece by piece behind the scenes and always do, Factor in the sense of insecurity that a right-wing government gives the struggling section of society – these types of conditions are always improved under a leftwing government no doubt about that.

          Does anyone ever stop to consider what the type of stuff that National conduct do to people’s morale?

          If this were National bringing in this type of policy – I would be a whole lot more concerned – because National are sell-outs and Labour and the left wing have a whole lot more nous than to sell out entirely to the wealthier classes – they may compromise but they do not sell-out in the manner National does. National think short-term – that is one of the reasons the left have been struggling – everyone wants a quick-fix. It doesn’t exist (o.k highly unlikely to exist) – not in the pretty fucked up state the world finances have gotten into and the concentration of finances and power and with the increasingly globally interconnected society. Improvement requires thought – and I really do think Labour are attempting to turn the boat around with this policy. Sure, I do have some doubts, yet I have absolute confidence what will continue to occur under a National-sellout government and I think those expressing grave doubts about this Labour policy need to give Labour a tad more credit for considering the lower-income earners. Because this government won’t and it must go.

          • Chooky 4.2.2.3.1

            +100 blue leopard..”I think those expressing grave doubts about this Labour policy need to give Labour a tad more credit for considering the lower-income earners. Because this government won’t and it must go.”

            …this is just one Labour Party policy …hopefully more will come out soon to protect those most vulnerable at the bottom of the socio- economic heap…eg incentives/aid to buy their own homes…and a ban on non NZers buying up scarce housing.

            • Colonial Viper 4.2.2.3.1.1

              BL/Chooky

              I’m not interested in a Labour Party which raises the retirement age on workers and the long term unemployed, or one which thinks that $400,000 to $500,000 homes passes as affordable housing.

              The Labour Party I want to see is one which will institute policies of full employment as well as full scale preparation for the hard landing that energy and resource depletion is going to deliver on our doorstep in the next 10-20 years.

              Does Labour tend to govern more responsibly and considerately than National? Sure, there’s no doubt about that. But not in every area, and also that’s not a high bar to set in of itself and only deserves a pass mark, not applause.

              • Colonial Viper

                Bump

              • Chooky

                @CV…agree with all those policies!…especially …”The Labour Party I want to see is one which will institute policies of full employment as well as full scale preparation for the hard landing that energy and resource depletion is going to deliver on our doorstep in the next 10-20 years.” ( you sound like a Greenie)

                Still cant see what is wrong with Labour’s new Monetary policy….especially if the KiwiSaver funds are invested back in New Zealand…still agree with Bomber Bradbury on this ( Australia has done well with this policy)

              • blue leopard

                @ CV

                Your reply is all well and good if those were the subjects you were actually talking about that I responded to – but they weren’t.

                This is the subject that I was responding to:

                “And ultimately of course that is the problem with this Labour policy. It’s aimed at the top half of the Two New Zealands. That’s the half who actually get some benefit from the mediocre so-called growth which has been occurring.

                The policy announcement is a feast for policy wonks, economists and monetary experts, but IMO leaves the 3 million NZers out there who earn less than $45K per annum (including several hundred thousand unemployed and underemployed) going “WTF so now I’m going to have less money to spend at the supermarket””

                And what I am saying is that on such a debatable point as the consequences of this policy – which could be numerous and are highly dependant on other policies as to what the effects are likely to be – you could give Labour a bit of credit for the likelihood that they will address possible adversities for the lower/no income earners. More so given that there are two other left-wing parties, at least one of which Labour are likely to have to depend on in order to form a government.

                Labour have announced an aim at targeting speculation to drive finance into productive investment, they have stated quite clearly that job conditions are hopeless and need improving and they have stated the aim of making steps toward a living wage.

                > i.e. If lots of people think in the way you are re this policy Labour won’t even get a ‘pass’. And do you think the stated ‘lower half’ of income earners will be better off under National’s policies settings? Like hell they will. <<

                I'm sure if the 'wonks' in treasury were reading your comments they would be clapping their little hands in delight – I doubt they are too keen on having to take other things into account when doing their little calculations. (Gee I hope those guys can multitask – might be hard for them to consider more than one thing at a time.)

                In summary, what part of this are you not hearing:

                “We believe this [policy] will help deliver secure and better paid jobs, less inequality and decent
                returns on our own capital.

                We will own more of our own country, and so have more control of our own destiny.

                We will also be better able to provide the social supports that New Zealanders know make
                our country strong and fair. These include universal access to high quality health care and
                education, and support for the elderly and the vulnerable. ” D.Parker’s policy announcement.

                My emphasis added.

                • Chooky

                  +100 blue leopard…particularly:

                  “this [policy] will help deliver secure and better paid jobs, less inequality and decent returns on our own capital.

                  “We will own more of our own country, and so have more control of our own destiny.

                  “We will also be better able to provide the social supports that New Zealanders know make our country strong and fair. These include universal access to high quality health care and education, and support for the elderly and the vulnerable. ” D.Parker’s policy announcement.”

                  Cant understand what CV is on about!…how could he disagree with this?

                  Looks like a game changer to me…the only ones who wont like it are the NACTS and overseas friends who are looking for rich pickings from a stressed economy

                  • blue leopard

                    @ Chooky,
                    I very much appreciate your positive and ‘can -do’ comments on this and other threads.

                    It really worries me that some left-wing people while attempting to be very clever and pre-empt problems with this policy (or other ‘challenges’ Labour might have), that all they will achieve is that of putting people off voting or ever believing that there is any chance for improvement in this country. I know that is not their intent – yet it is good to recognise the beneficial effects of some positive, confident messages – this is really important – and an aspect of humanity that you, Chooky, clearly understand.

                    Thanks Chooky and keep up the good work, it is most appreciated! :)

                    • Chooky

                      @ blue leopard …you are special…..Mutual admiration society!

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      :) :D :mrgreen:

                    • Colonial Viper

                      In summary, what part of this are you not hearing:

                      Labour believes that if you get the correct market driven monetary settings in place, then the economy and jobs will eventually come right for low and median income people.

                      THAT’S the problem I have with it. Globally, we have seen that monetary policy mixing around around in the absence of a comprehensive fiscal stimulus strategy is just useless.

                      So what would tell me that Labour is on the right track is if there were a comprehensive and significant FISCAL programme to actually make it happen for low and median income earners within 100 days of a Labour Government taking office.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ CV 2.51pm

                      No they don’t

                      ‘Our research and development tax credits encourage innovation, and our accelerated
                      depreciation encourages industry to invest in productivity enhancing plant and equipment.
                      Our policies push New Zealand’s economy from volume towards higher value products and
                      services, both in traditional commodities and new industries.

                      I know from my discussions with business leaders that it is already widely accepted that we
                      are promoting an integrated series of policies which will lift export performance.
                      Our well-considered solutions form a joined up roadmap to growth and prosperity.

                      But significant as these steps are, we do not believe they alone will be enough to lift our
                      export performance to overcome our current account deficit and get our net international
                      liabilities on a sustainable downward track…..’

                      …..Labour has concluded that the current trend is clear and undesirable, and that monetary policy is partially responsible.

                      [added bold for emphasis]

                      It is very clear from this excerpt from Parker’s speech that Labour see monetary policy as part of the problem, not the entire problem.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      @ CV
                      Labour believes that if you get the correct market driven monetary settings in place, then the economy and jobs will eventually come right for low and median income people.

                      No they don’t – It is very clear from Parker’s speech that Labour see monetary policy as part of the problem, not the entire problem.

                      [My first response was put in moderation. I quoted the relevant part of Parker's speech, possibly because this was quite a large copy and paste is why the comment is in moderation - so I've taken out the quote and that will appear in time]

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Owning our entire country is easy – ban foreign ownership.

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                    Yes, great idea DTB, there would be no consequences toward taking such a direct approach, I mean, a good test would be to note what reactions occurred to the mild yet clear indications of an of anti-neoliberal stance Cunliffe took in the Labour leadership contest. This didn’t cause any reaction with the big-money owned media – there has been absoulutely no campaign to discredit Cunliffe and Labour – none whatsoever – nothing to fear about introducing things that threaten the most powerful peoples grip on power…nothing whatsoever…no delicacy required…

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Put it to a referendum – I’m sure that the same 70% who voted not to sell our assets would also vote to ban foreign ownership.

          • just saying 4.2.2.3.2

            I am in that ‘bottom half’

            privileges you may enjoy, some of which you certainly do:

            Owning a house or significant equity in one.
            Having a job that you anticipate being able to keep and/or tradeable skills
            Literacy and other educational advantages
            What seems to be called ‘social capital’ but I tend to call ‘middle-class nous’
            Being male
            Being Pakeha
            Being heterosexual
            Social skills
            Having no major chronic illness or disability
            No signficant chronic illness or disability in your immediate family
            A stable family background
            Extended-family support
            Friends and other social support
            A partner and/or family of your own
            Other things I haven’t thought of.

            Thing is, it’s not just about income. It may well be that Labour governments have looked after your interests and you can be confident that they will continue to do so. However, there is a signifciant constituency that Labour has not looked after and seems to continue to be prepared to see as acceptable collateral damage.

            Does anyone ever stop to consider what the type of stuff that National conduct do to people’s morale?

            Have you stopped to think about what Labour has done to the morale of people who aren’t as lucky as you over the last 30 years, while in government and in opposition. Being slightly less violent than the alternative is part of the problem where no substantial change in the situation is ever on the agenda. As Russell Brand put it: Just another flavour of ‘we don’t give a fuck about you’.

            I think those expressing grave doubts about this Labour policy need to give Labour a tad more credit for considering the lower-income earners

            Sorry, I must have missed that, when did Labour consider lower income earners? Policy released so far seems to be based on the premise that caring for the smug middle class as well as the elite will create a “trickle down” for the poor. They know perfectly well that it never has and never will.

            • Colonial Viper 4.2.2.3.2.1

              Labour in government will be extending passport validity periods so you don’t have to renew your passport quite as often. It will make going away on regular overseas holidays easier and more hassle-free.

            • Chooky 4.2.2.3.2.2

              @just saying…”smug middle class”….i think not!

              …increasingly the middle class is struggling

              …and sometimes the workers on low incomes have it better, as in tertiary funding…eg my daughter who is an ‘A’ student has a $40,000 debt and is not going back to do postgrad honours even although invited to in two disciplines because she and we can not afford it ( the costs of postgrad degrees are now horrendous…way beyond the reach of most students from so- called middle class backgrounds…instead she is working in Australia)

              ….postgrad degrees are for the children of the rich thanks to Joyce and John Key NACT…or those who are very poor and on scholarships or grants

              her friend, whose solo Mother has a low income, has gone through university virtually debt free and is now doing honours….and good for her! and fantastic for her Mother who is very proud of her daughter!

              …so just saying the middle class in NZ is not thriving , has very few handouts, is getting increasingly squeezed….and has their back against the wall ….and you would be better off attacking the rich

              • blue leopard

                +1 Chooky

                …and perhaps it is better to talk about a ‘lower, middle class and an ‘upper’ middle class because Chooky may be describing the ‘lower’ part of the middle class….I don’t know the numbers… it seems lots of NZers are pretty comfortable and many are as Chooky describes…and all would be classified as middle class.

              • Draco T Bastard

                And that would be why education needs to be free and we need a UBI.

              • Colonial Viper

                …increasingly the middle class is struggling

                Ah yes, this would be the same well to do middle class who shrugged when thousands of factory staff and process workers were being laid off because of the high dollar and destruction of import tarriffs, but that wasn’t a big problem because that same high dollar kept petrol for the new SS cheap, made holidays to Asia a real bargain, and meant that electronic toys and smart phones could be upgraded every year.

                I see in the US that the American middle class has now fallen behind in income to the Canadians, and that US labour force participation has crashed to 30+ year lows.

              • just saying

                A tiny percentage of university students come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

                The government still pays for seventy percent of tuition fees for students, and many degrees make the fees a very worthwhile investment. I belive it costs a million dollars to train a doctor to specialist level. Which would be fine if there was any obligation for graduates to stay and use their skills for the people that largely paid for them.

                The real middle class is doing better than they have ever done. The lower middle class was always working class and that’s just becoming much more apparent now.

                Define “struggling” in regard to the middle class.

                The reason I’m talking about the middle class is because this is the minority that Labour represents slightly better than National, and targets its policies towards helping, as opposed to the majority that the Labour movement was established to represent.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Define “struggling” in regard to the middle class.

                  We can only afford to take the family on one overseas holiday this year because the kids private school fees have gone up.

                  • blue leopard

                    lol that is a pretty good definition!

                  • weka

                    That’s upper middle class. I largely agree with what you and js are saying about Labour, however I think it’s useful to understand the middle classes as something other than one amporphous lump.

                  • Chooky

                    @CV….i guess you will be voting Mana?!…certainly NOT Labour !

                    …because after all David Cunliffe has been repeatedly defined and accused of being ‘middle class’ by John Key’s NACT

                    ….and probably many other Labour MPs would fit into that pejorative definition of “struggling” middle class you have given

                • Chooky

                  @ just saying “The real middle class is doing better than they have ever done. The lower middle class was always working class and that’s just becoming much more apparent now.”

                  ….it might be interesting for you to attend a university graduation ceremony….recently I attended a B.Com grad ceremony ….about 90 percent were Asians ….where were the NZers?….tertiary education has become too expensive for many New Zealanders thanks to Joyce and John Keys Nact pay as you go or borrow as you go tertiary education policies

                  …..my daughter went to a large co-ed State Secondary School…..where there were kids from all backgrounds ( ….dentists….the very wealthy to the unemployed and very poor..) .it was a great education because it gave kids a feel for all the socio economic strata of New Zealand society and if they chose to try they could do well with the help of teachers and mentors ( or they could fool around, smoke and drink in the bushes and get up to mishief)….my daughter coached her friend( now doing honours ) throughout their secondary schooling…her friend was bright and very determined and saw my daughter as a role model….her own Mother a solo parent had left school at 15 but she supported her daughter going to university …however..Yet another friend of my daughters was a very clever boy who could have gone to university but his working class builder parents who had a good std of living never supported his staying at school….his getting a job was all they cared about….and their son was discouraged and put off university because of the fees and expense

                  i guess what i am saying is that there is blurry line between working and middle class in what was formerly egalitarian New Zealand ….and those who are most critical of the ‘middle class’ are in my experience often the very wealthy NACTS, with overseas interests and their friends, who have very dubious motives …and would sell NZ and their grandmother down the ( dirty) creek ….they are not interested in egalitarianism or equal opportunity or the socialist foundations New Zealand was built on…nor are they interested in the environment.

                  • just saying

                    I finished university three years ago. The majority of students were not of asian descent (though those doing health sciences were). I’m not sure about commerce students.

                    The overwhelming majority of students in my time (overall) were middle-class New Zealanders. A minority were from the elite and a tinier proportion were from working class backgrounds.

                    That blurry line will become much clearer in the next ten years, as most of the working-class who thought they had become middle-class end up back where they started from – up shit creek. And if they think Labour will help them, they should have been paying attention to how Labour has treated the bottom 20 percent for the last 30 years – crumbs from the table and a big kick if they don’t scrabble amongst themselves for them “nicely”.

                    …and those who are most critical of the ‘middle class’ are in my experience often the very wealthy NACTS… citation needed
                    I can’t imagine how they’d find the time out of beating up on the poor, quite frankly, but I’m interested to hear more.

                    • Chooky

                      @ just saying …i did say “in my experience”…so no citation available ….except from me…that should be obvious…

                      ….However I suggest you look very hard at history on where the middle class has been attacked…. and particularly the middle class intelligentsia who would oppose tyranny

                      1.) ….Iran under the Shah ( who was a puppet of the USA) the middle class was just about wiped out….tortured, exterminated ….and they were the very people fighting the multinationals and imperialism and wanted a democratic egalitarian society Western style

                      2.) …have you heard of the Cultural Revolution? ….where the middle class and intelligentsia were victimised and worse?…do you support this ?

                      3)…or what about Pol Pot?…he also victimised the middle class and the intelligentsia…how many were killed ?( hundreds of thousands, millions?)

                      4)….or what about Stalin?

                      Interesting that David Cunliffe has come under prolonged attack recently by NACT supporters for being ‘middle class’….how do you feel about this?!….do you agree with the attacks on him for being ‘middle class’?

                      I feel that trying to pit workers and the unemployed at the bottom of the heap against those fingered as ‘middle class’ and well educated…. who are fighting for a more egalitarian society is at best missing the point badly

                      ….at worst it is trying to split the Labour Party and it is playing into the hands of NACT….who have absolutely no interest in an egalitarian society or the ‘working class’ and unemployed at the bottom of the heap

                      ( Incidentally when I went to university it was FREE and there were many bright students from a ‘working class’ blue collar unskilled backgrounds…some I know got PhDs and others went on to head government departments…..this shows how far New Zealand education and society has deteriorated in the last few years and particularly under John Key and Joyce’s NACT )

            • blue leopard 4.2.2.3.2.3

              @ just saying,

              It was a good idea that from the outset you listed your suspicions on the privileges I might be enjoying. Out of the list of 14 I have 7 of these ‘privileges’ – and some of the other 7 are questionable as to whether I have them, or they have helped me due to the current state of NZ job market.

              It came across that you assume I am privileged and that is why I hold the views that I do, why I am asserting that Labour is more trustworthy than National. Is this correct?

              Perhaps I should have been more specific and said I fall into the ‘bottom quarter’ or less of the income bracket.

              Re your second point.

              You are aware that Brand is speaking in a country with a First Past the Post system?

              Do you think MMP changes anything? Does it allow for more chance to effect change or less?

              Do you think that if people voted for Greens or Mana in large numbers, this wouldn’t help improve things for this ‘lower half’ group we are discussing?

              On your last point, Labour have pretty clearly indicated that they are trying to move out of a corner that they and National have painted themselves into. Labour have stated they intend to achieve this through:

              >adding more factors for the Reserve Bank to consider when making their little calculations
              >directing the speculative culture of the wealthier NZers into productive enterprises and in this way make job creation [far] more likely.
              >improving job conditions and aiming at moving toward a living wage.

              Amongst other things.

              I think they are making a very good start and hope that they are given the chance to implement these aims because one thing is for certain, we are simply going to get the same old sell-out shite with National.

        • bevanjs 4.2.2.4

          Cripes – must be something odd in my coffee, I think I’ve largely just agreed with not just one CV contribution but two in a row. I certainly consider myself as from “the right” so that’s very odd.

          As a family on a single income of about $45k only a few years ago there was no way we could put even 2% into kiwisaver. No way it made sense, especially as CV points out, and in my own words the markets are just professional gamblers. Some silver bullet that!

          If people really wanted to stop the money flowing overseas we’d all chose individually to not have such big mortgages. We have the power right now, but we do love to keep up with them Joneses – if, of course someone, anyone, is available to facilitate our desires. Thanks foreign money, we apparently love you very much.

          • Colonial Viper 4.2.2.4.1

            Hey. IMO if NZ is ever to sort it’s shit out, ordinary Kiwis with left leaning ideas and those with right leaning ideas, will need to come together and agree on some basic and sensible ways ahead. The weird thing is, I do see this happening every day on a family, local and community level.

            • bevanjs 4.2.2.4.1.1

              would certainly be interesting if the old left/right nonsense got one heck of a shake up.

              • Chooky

                @bevanjs…well maybe some who seem to be on the left are actually on the right ?…who would know for sure……?

                …and left would be right and right would be left… = no rules and bloody good traffic snarl up

                ….anarchy…and confusion amongst the Labour Party masses

                ….might suit the NACTs very well

                • weka

                  Chook, your comments are now approaching the illegibility of phil’s. I’m finding that more and more I just skim them. All those dots and lack of conventional punctuation make for poorer communication. I like reading your comments, which is why I am saying something. Up to you of course.

                  • Chooky

                    weka …darls ( you fixated red-eyed sciency type birdie)

                    …you have just changed the subject …eh?

                    …deliberate or not ?….eh?

                    …spring up to the perch will you?

                    ….and stop grubbing around for science and punctuation in the bushes?…eh?

                    … Up to you of course!

                    ….now where is my philip ure and his vegan sausage?…eh?

                    …PS….feel free to skim on by…eh?

                    • weka

                      I will, thanks. Kind of disappointed that you are someone who would respond with that kind of passive aggressive dotty thing though :-(

                    • Chooky

                      @ weka…you are the one concerned with dots…and not “passive” aggressive …just aggressive and humorous ( dont be so sexist!…i dont do “passive”)

                      …suggest you lighten up old weka…and get a bit of humour into your life….a la philip ure…he could teach you a thing or two

                    • weka

                      even more passive aggressive :-(

            • Chooky 4.2.2.4.1.2

              @ CV…. “if NZ is ever to sort it’s shit out”

              …how about a few other countries sorting their gross over-population, human rights violations, sexism exploitation and pollution problems in their own countries …instead of fleeing to greener pastures like New Zealand and Tibet and spreading their problems here?….any advice for them from you?

    • srylands 4.3

      “Or the government could just increase a few targeted taxes to “take a little money out of circulation”. Or is that verboten?”

      You are confusing monetary and fiscal policy.

      • McFlock 4.3.1

        You did not address the point at all.

      • Colonial Viper 4.3.2

        You are confusing monetary and fiscal policy.

        You’re the one confused; tightening the money supply via increased taxes is a very straight forward exercise.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2.1

          And is more likely to work – especially when the taxes come down hard on the rich as they should do.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      Or the government could just increase a few targeted taxes to “take a little money out of circulation”. Or is that verboten?

      That’s pretty much verboten under the present economic paradigm – the paradigm that is, quite literally, sending us to hell.

    • Richard Christie 4.5

      but IMO leaves the 3 million NZers out there who earn less than $45K per annum (including several hundred thousand unemployed and underemployed) going “WTF so now I’m going to have less money to spend at the supermarket”

      When it all boils down this block will pay a similar burden as they are now.
      What currently happens when OCR and mortgage interest rates goes up? Do landlords absorb it? Nah, temporarily perhaps, but ultimately, it all gets passed down the line. We all have to be housed somewhere.

      I fail fail to see that this increases the burden on low incomes. What it aims to do and will probably achieve is keep the currency market under control and benefit the economy through that.

      • Colonial Viper 4.5.1

        I fail fail to see that this increases the burden on low incomes

        By forcing low income earners into KiwiSaver schemes at higher savings rates that they cannot control themselves, thereby taking away the cash in hand that they need for that weeks groceries or power bill.

  5. Tautoko Viper 5

    All that is needed now is for Labour to remove the age of eligibility for super from their election manifesto and instead call for a cross party working party after the election on this issue. The increased rise in age for super is the main stumbling block for many people I have spoken with who would otherwise vote Labour.

    • Chooky 5.1

      Tautoko Viper +100

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      At the moment it’s electoral suicide. The increased retirement age policy will cost Labour 3-4 seats in Parliament this election. In other words, most of any probable margin of victory over the NATs.

      I figure that John Key will start hammering Labour on this policy 4 weeks before election day, when the TV debates roll around, and consequently Labour voters will stay home in droves.

    • Anne 5.3

      +1000 Tautoko.

      David Parker reminds me of an old vinyl recording needle that has got stuck in a groove and can’t get out of it.

      I’m old enough to remember those vinyl players. Once as a TV audio operator many years ago, a needle got stuck in a groove while playing God Save The Queen at the end of a nights viewing. The technical supervisor of the day when making out his report described the event as follows:

      “The Queen had a hole in her”.

      Yep, he ended up on the mat for insubordination.

      And yes CV. Key and co. are waiting for the start of the official campiagn and away they will go… the Labour Party plans to deny you your absolute right to a superannuation at 65. You will be forced to work until you are nearly 70 etc. etc….

      The stupidity is breathtaking?

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.1

        It’s like seeing road spikes laid down dead ahead and pushing the accelerator down harder.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    David Farrar has referred to BNZ Economist Tony Alexander who thinks that the policy will result in reduced interest rates which will increase the incentive to borrow money and therefore be counterproductive.

    That’s a load of bollocks anyway. If that had worked we wouldn’t have had the massive house price rises over the last decade or so.

  7. Ad 7

    This week counts as Labour’s first media-positive week in about 6 weeks.

    Hopefully Mr Cunliffe’s upcoming interview with Campbell Live plays well. Otherwise they will have his wife to deal with, which will have them emptying their bowels in seconds.

  8. Jim in Tokyo 8

    I’d like to see a public fund become the default for all new Kiwisavers. By all means keep the private option for savers who think they can pick a winner, but I’d like to see a proper public option (a public service, not an ‘SOE’) become the default for all new entrants. It’s vital for Labour to sort this BEFORE going compulsory.

    The current scheme as introduced by Labour is shoveling windfall profits down the throats of already bloated entities like AMP, ANZ, ASB, Mercer and Fisher. ANZ in particular are citing Kiwisaver grown as a driver as they hoover up another $887 million this quarter alone.

    • Ad 8.1

      There is the Kiwibank option now.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Sorry to disappoint, but there is a 99% chance that KiwiBank has contracted a major private sector fund manager to manage those monies and merely takes a cut itself.

        I’d be interested if anyone has more specific information on this.

        The current scheme as introduced by Labour is shoveling windfall profits down the throats of already bloated entities like AMP, ANZ, ASB, Mercer and Fisher.

        I’m with you Jim. Making it mandatory to handover your working wages to the casino financial markets is a shite policy. Look at what happened to the value of 401Ks in the USA. Wall St thanks Labour for its policies.

        • Ad 8.1.1.1

          I had understood that upon buying the Gareth Morgan company that they had brought it fully in-house. Happy to be corrected.

          • Jim in Tokyo 8.1.1.1.1

            Kiwibank is a State Owned Enterprise. Its remit is to return a profit to its shareholder, which currently happens to be the NZ Government (actually it’s a subsidiary of another SOE, NZ Post).

            I’d much rather see Kiwibank become the default over ANZ et. al, as ‘profits’ would at least stay onshore and accrue to the NZ Government.

            But even better would be a proper public option without the neolib corporate trappings of the SOE structure. Just give us a zero-fee, passive indexed option. Or shadow the successful actively managed public ACC fund.

            Gekko types can still be free to pile into whatever active guru Gareth Morgan woo funds take their fancy, and we can all compare notes in 30 years.

            • Ad 8.1.1.1.1.1

              You are making two points. The first being that you don’t like the SOE setup.

              The second is that you want a public option for savings. Maybe the NZSuper Guardians could start up a side business to do it. But why even they would do it for free is beyond me.

              Re your first point, what a future Labour government might aim for is something in which public funds are required at minimum to work and invest together. But at maximum the ACC, NZSuper, public sector superannuation, and EQC funds are all pooled, and who also manage the remaining SOE shareholdings.

              This Temasek-like structure would be required to provide an aggregate return to the government for its capital, enabling the government to be certain about how much tax it needs to raise each year. It would also be required for example to fully pay for superannuation.

              That would also have the added bonus of reversing many of the structural reforms of the late 1908s and mid 1990s.

              You could also consider pooling in to that structure the income generated by Transpower that currently goes to EECA.

              The general point is to aggregate the existing assets and income generators, give them clear purpose, and enable them the freedom to grow.

              At the moment that’s what Christchurch and Dunedin Councils do, and if Auckland Council’s CCO reforms had any gumption they would try and do the same to alleviate their biggest income risk, which is transport: aggregate the income from all CCO sources, and from there figure out how much ratepayer income it needs.

              • Jim in Tokyo

                It seems like we are pretty much of the same mind here, but I want to be clear that my point is not that I ‘don’t like the SOE setup’.

                I’m rather responding to the suggestion that we don’t need a public super option because we have Kiwibank by pointing out that SOE ≠ public service.

                I think the SOE model can work well in some instances (I’d love to see NZ oil extracted by a state-owned enterprise for example) but it is a terrible option when public service outcomes are the primary goal. Just look at TVNZ for proof of that. Even worse when public interest goals clash with the profit imperative (Solid Energy).

                So you are right that the NZ Superfund is the logical and better comparison. Its viewed as wildly successful, but in fact over it’s life it has outperformed its benchmark passive index by about 1% PA.

                No one expects the NZ Super Guardians to work ‘for free’, but they draw modest remuneration and stick to their public service charter. The total cost as a percentage of funds invested is a fraction of what’s extracted by commercial fund managers.

                I’m in what I think is one of the cheaper superfunds in the country, a passive index, and my ‘managers’ still take .65% PA in fees. So a state administered passive fund would see me massively better off over 40 years.

                The Kiwibank managed options charge 1% pa, most of which (I’m speculating here) probably goes towards subsidizing cheaper mortgages so Kiwibank can grow its share in mega-profitable housing bubble. Another example of how SOE is not always synonymous with public service outcomes.

                Thank you for sketching out your ideas for restructuring NZ’s sovereign capital investments and aligning them with a common public goal, it’s an interesting and promising path to follow and along a similar path to the one I’m suggesting.

                But I’m not sure it is a prerequisite for fixing Kiwisaver.

            • dv 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Kiwbank sold their Kiwisaver to Mercer several years ago.

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    PSA | 25-07
  • Let’s Change the Way we Talk about Abortion
    By Michele A’Court, ALRANZ Member (originally written for the Christchurch Press, June 2014) Two weeks ago, the Greens reignited our conversation about abortion, describing our current legislation as “dishonest” and proposing that all terminations be decriminalised. Ok, “reignited” is a...
    ALRANZ | 25-07
  • Pallet-boarding on the tram tracks
    If New Zealand hadn’t ripped up its tram tracks in the 1950s, I’m almost certain that some risk-taking Kiwi would have invented this first: Czech artist Tomáš Moravec… cut down the dimensions of a standard, European wood pallet, or “Eur Pallet,”...
    Transport Blog | 25-07
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #30A
    Attack of the Chicago climate change maggots Climate change already having profound impacts on lakes in Europe Error discovered in Antarctic sea-ice record EU agrees to improve energy efficiency 30% by 2030 G20 should facilitate international cooperation on climate change...
    Skeptical Science | 25-07
  • Frankly speaking #2…
    .     . . = fs =Filed under: The Body Politic Tagged: Frankly speaking meme...
    Frankly Speaking | 25-07
  • Frankly speaking #2…
    .     . . = fs =Filed under: The Body Politic Tagged: Frankly speaking meme...
    Frankly Speaking | 25-07
  • Frankly speaking…
    .     . . = fs =Filed under: The Body Politic Tagged: Frankly speaking meme...
    Frankly Speaking | 25-07
  • Frankly speaking…
    .     . . = fs =Filed under: The Body Politic Tagged: Frankly speaking meme...
    Frankly Speaking | 25-07
  • Israel Murdering Babies, Children, and Their Parents … and the World Lets...
                              How can any decent human state blowing babies and children into pieces with missiles ‘is ok’ if there happens to be missiles hidden nearby? How can any...
    An average kiwi | 25-07
  • Manipulated Data and the Art of Deception
    The National led Government are desperate to present the good news stories to promote the success of the past six years of their governance. They have increased the budget and the numbers of their spin doctors to ensure that it...
    Local Bodies | 25-07
  • Has Brownlee actually broken any laws?
    So Gerry Brownlee was running late for a plane, sweet-talked some hapless airport security guard into letting him duck through an exit door to avoid the screening queue, and is now facing an investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority. He’s...
    Occasionally erudite | 25-07
  • Right Thinking: repeal section 172
    Leading authoritarian libertarian Dr Frank Shizenhausen returns with some common-sense thinking on regulation....
    Imperator Fish | 25-07
  • Dissonance
    The Greens revealed their campaign billboards today: images of environmental destruction and the slogan "Love New Zealand". I'm not sure it works. I get that they want to confront people with what they're against - but shouldn't they make it...
    No Right Turn | 25-07
  • NZ stinks, #LoveNZ!
    So the Greens have launched their art and their hashtags. Here is one of the visuals they are going with: Usually, I am a big fan of the Greens' design work. Their policy documents look exceptionally good. But here, I...
    Polity | 25-07
  • Inside the US “no-fly” list
    The Intercept has leaked and analysed the guidelines the US government uses to place people on its "no-fly" list. Its a long and detailed article (the Guardian has a shorter summary here) and it shows just how arbitrary and baseless...
    No Right Turn | 25-07
  • “Hideously inefficient” road spending in Australia
    For an interesting Friday afternoon read, here‘s an article from Australia which may ring true for New Zealand as well – especially given the possibility that National is considering an absolutely daft idea, creating a second road-only Waitemata Harbour crossing....
    Transport Blog | 25-07
  • Justice for rendition
    After the US launched its war on terror, Poland played host to a CIA "black site". Prisoners were kidnapped by the US, rendered to Poland, and tortured there. Now, the ECHR has found the Polish government guilty of unlawful detention...
    No Right Turn | 25-07
  • #ClimateVoter Question Time
    Since launching on the 22nd June Climate Voter has been asking a ‘Question of the Week’ to see what action political parties will take on various climate related issues. This is to let voters decide which policies they want to...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 25-07
  • Coleman lied about Dotcom
    Last week, in response to the revelation that the SIS had initially recommended that Kim Dotcom not be granted residency due to an FBI investigation, then-Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman denied all knowledge. He hadn't been told, he said. He "had...
    No Right Turn | 24-07
  • Aunty Helen copped it so why not Borrows?
    We've all heard the claims before, that the media in New Zealand is biased in favour of the ring wing. There are numerous arguments for and against this assertion and to be fair, it's not OK to tar every journalist...
    The Jackal | 24-07
  • Awful
    This publication is entirely awful. It documents a meandering, process-laden legal conference call that lasted 30 interminable minutes. Sample dialogue: THE COURT: I have not been able to read the motion because I have just called you immediately. So please...
    Polity | 24-07
  • World News Brief, Friday July 25
    Top of the AgendaKerry Renews Push for Israel-Hamas Truce...
    Pundit | 24-07
  • Press Release: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy. “We...
    Gareth’s World | 24-07
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Why anyone does it in the first place
    Florian Habicht’s Pulp film is warm, funny, satisfying and true. And its first few minutes are just brilliantly, awesomely exuberant. They're why people buy records and go to gigs and obsess over bands, and why people play in bands in...
    Public Address | 24-07
  • Message to TV3 execs – Is this really acceptable?
    . . If there is one thing that Tania Billingsley has raised in this country, it is focusing the glare of public scrutiny  on New Zealand’s casually sexist and demeaning attitude toward women. Some refer to it as a “rape...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Message to TV3 execs – Is this really acceptable?
    . . If there is one thing that Tania Billingsley has raised in this country, it is focusing the glare of public scrutiny  on New Zealand’s casually sexist and demeaning attitude toward women. Some refer to it as a “rape...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Accelerating the Additional Harbour Crossing project?
    Yesterday was a busy day for transport news. Alongside Gerry Brownlee’s strange airport escapade, Labour Transport Spokesman Phil Twyford dropped a bit of a bombshell in relation to the possible acceleration of the Additional Waitemata Habour Crossing (AWHC) project as...
    Transport Blog | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking & the benefit of low expectations
    Labour has been bleating about Mike Hosking being used as moderator in a TVNZ election debate. There is even the unconvincing talk that Labour may boycott the debate if Hosking takes that role....
    Pundit | 24-07
  • Brownlee Should be Arrested like we Would be
    If you or I broke aviation security laws we would  be arrested. Why wasn’t Brownlee?  ...
    An average kiwi | 24-07
  • No time. No manners. No respect.
    H/T @nintendoug...
    The Jackal | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking as TVNZ’s moderator for political debates?! WTF?!
    . . I checked the calendar, and it’s not April 1st. An April Fool’s joke is the first reaction I had when I heard  that someone at  TVNZ had appointed Mike Hosking to be the moderator  for live, televised election-year...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking as TVNZ’s moderator for political debates?! WTF?!
    . . I checked the calendar, and it’s not April 1st. An April Fool’s joke is the first reaction I had when I heard  that someone at  TVNZ had appointed Mike Hosking to be the moderator  for live, televised election-year...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-07
  • National Standards are awesome: Parata
    Hello everyone! I am the Minister of Education and I am more stoked than an illegal Christchurch log-burner. How exciting is a day like today when we can release a vast amount of information to our good friends in the...
    My Thinks | 24-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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