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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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    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • Unbelieveable
    This week we've seen the Prime Minister desperately trying to cover up his war plans by pretending that Obama's war-planning meeting was just a "regular" meeting of defence partners which we just happened to be attending. Over on Kiwipolitico Pablo...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Are the police using ANPR to target the disabled?
    The media this morning is full of stories of the paralysed man caught driving using a walking stick to reach the pedals. Its good that he's off the road, but there's one point in the story which raises questions:The driver...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Like a cult…
    When a party loses badly, the public expects a bit of sorrowful wailing and beating of breasts. To say “This is what we did wrong, and this is how we’ll fix it” is an important part of restoring trust with...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-10
  • Does Money make Money?
    ‘Rock star economist’ or ‘inequality messiah’ French economist Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty First Century has outsold every other book on the planet this year. The book is so popular because it floats the idea that money makes...
    Gareth’s World | 21-10
  • Cycling: the benefits of complete networks
    A group of New Zealand researchers recently published an excellent paper on the costs and benefits of investing in a complete cycle network and safe street design. Their paper, which is available online, found that: the benefits of all the...
    Transport Blog | 21-10
  • Life isn’t fair. But it should be.
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) I was not an angelic child. My mother...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Up here on Planet Key
    ...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • TDB Today: Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    In my post at The Daily Blog this week I take inspiration from the great Ian Dury, and reflect on the disconnect between political ambition and the state of the climate system as it continues to warm. It will be...
    Hot Topic | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    frogblog | 21-10
  • Tracking the performance of the 1 hour Xero model
    DISCLOSURE: I hold Xero shares.  Last year I built a very quick and dirty spreadsheet to analyse Xero, and wrote Valuing Xero – in one hour. The article was cross-posted to the NBR, where it attracted far more comments. More on those...
    Lance Wiggs | 21-10
  • Hard News: Media Take: The creeping politicisation of the OIA
    Brent Edwards' story last week on official advice to ministers on child poverty was interesting not only for its substance, but its circumstance.Edwards explained on Morning Report that he originally requested the first of the documents (some of them now nearly...
    Public Address | 21-10
  • Emails from the candidates
    As part of the NZ Labour leadership election, the candidates are able to email the party membership and sell themselves. Knowing how messy Labour’s membership list can be, I thought I’d reproduce the emails in case anyone wants to use...
    Progress report | 21-10
  • Gordon Campbell on Pharmac, Gough Whitlam and Sleater-Kinney
    Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about yesterday’s leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. According to Groser, ‘extreme’ positions are common...
    Gordon Campbell | 21-10
  • @akltransport – Please fill in a form
    Social media has become an important tool for many organisations in how they engage with their customers. It’s become a tool for both marketing and customer service, and there are a number of examples organisations who do it right. Some...
    Transport Blog | 21-10
  • Questions and Answers – October 22
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk Child PovertyGovernment Priorities and Policies 1. Hon ANNETTE KING (Acting Deputy Leader – Labour) to the Deputy Prime Minister : Will he make reducing child poverty a Better Public Service target given the...
    Its our future | 21-10
  • Alpaca Metropolitan – On The Left Special!
    ...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Video Against Poverty
    Schoolgirls in Kalimpong, West Bengal, India.  Photo / Julie Zhu This is week two of my givealittle.co.nz campaign Video Against Poverty and I'm more than 2/3 of the way to my goal of $2600.00.  This has been totally unexpected and is a really...
    Notes from the edge | 21-10
  • Why I’m Left
    I’m Left all the way down to my bones. My bone marrow is made up of lots of microscopic Karl Marx mustaches. It’s partly why I’m so curmudgeonly. When I was born I was brought home from the hospital to...
    Tangerina | 21-10
  • Gordon Campbell on Pharmac, Gough Whitlam and Sleater-Kinney
    Column – Gordon Campbell Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about yesterdays leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations.Gordon Campbell on Pharmac,...
    Its our future | 21-10
  • Don’t cough on me
    It used to be acceptable to go to work or travel with a cough or the flu. That’s been changing over the last 10-20 years, and people who cough and sniffle in public are increasingly treated like people who smoke in the...
    Lance Wiggs | 21-10
  • Some might just come by train.
        As a Waikato girl by birth, Aucklander by nature, and living in Hamilton by choice, I’ve long being a supporter a regular train gig chugging the willing and the weary between the hustle and pace of Auckland and...
    Politically Corrected | 21-10
  • Why I’m Left: happiness, solidarity and community
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) I’m Left all the way down to my...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Curiosity’s historic comet photo
    Photo Credit: Curiosity on Mars – NASA Rover Opportunity Views Comet Near Mars. According to NASA: NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured images of a comet passing much closer to Mars than any previous known comet flyby of Earth or Mars....
    Open Parachute | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Gough Whitlam: 1916 – 2014
    A Mighty Totara has Fallen: Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam paying his respects to the late NZ PM, Rt. Hon. Norman Kirk, during his Lying-in-State at Parliament Buildings, Wellington. Wednesday, 4th September, 1974. (Photo by John Miller.) A BIG MAN IN EVERY...
    Bowalley Road | 21-10
  • DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014
    Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin, Invercargill. Need a reason to march on 8 November? Check out Professor Jane Kelsey’s latest blog. Updates on what is on where: Auckland – speakers include...
    NZ – Not for sale | 21-10
  • The Security Council and free trade
    Last week, New Zealand won a seat on the United Nations Security Council. And over the weekend the New Zealand business community made it clear what they wanted from the position:A business director says New Zealand's new seat on the...
    No Right Turn | 21-10
  • World News Brief, Tuesday October 21
    Top of the AgendaU.S. Army Drops Weapons to Kurdish Forces...
    Pundit | 20-10
  • National’s failure on housing
    A year ago National passed the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013. In his speech introducing the bill, then-Housing Minister Nick Smith laid down some clear targets: It is an ambitious agreement, and sets out a plan to...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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