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National Party economics: make $2 billion, spend 5

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, June 29th, 2013 - 89 comments
Categories: accountability, assets, bill english, debt / deficit, economy, john key, national - Tags:

Today, R0b asked a question that many people have been posing: just how many times does the National Government think it can spend the “profits” it’s “made” by selling off viable money-making New Zealand assets?

So I had a wee dig. Bear in mind, I’m not an economist; I’m just a citizen trying to find out where her money’s being spent.

On the other hand, I help run a household, so apparently this makes me just as qualified as the next person to determine whether the Nats are good economic managers.

Let’s start with the income. 2012 Treasury forecasts suggested a price of $6 billion for selling off 49% of Mighty River Power, Meridian, Genesis Energy and Solid Energy, and part of the publicly-owned chunk of Air New Zealand.

The proceeds of these sales go towards the “Future Investment Fund” – which isn’t really a fund, more a guideline.

Now that’s just a Treasury forecast, so put what faith in that that you wish.

What we have in hand is $1.7 billion from the sale of Mighty River Power. (And this was at the low end of the initial $1.6-1.9b estimate of its value, so let’s add that fact to any niggles we feel about Treasury’s forecasts while we’re at it.)

Somewhere along the line this has become $2.1 billion added to the Future Investment Fund.

Now, to the spending.

National has committed from the Future Investment Fund:

Phew, that’s a mighty list of stuff!

A mighty list of stuff costing $5.26 billion dollars. Out of $6 billion dollars we don’t even have yet.

And that’s ignoring the Government’s earlier statements about reducing our debt by $6 billion. That’s ignoring the fact that the Future Investment Fund only funds capital expenditure, not operating expenditure.

That’s ignoring the millions in the cost of consultants and advertising already spent trying to hike up the price of Mighty River Power.

If we were a household, we’d be sticking a fancy new fridge on hire purchase while promising to put the Xbox on Trademe some time next month, honest, I reckon it’ll pull in $600, and doing nothing about the credit card debt we racked up taking the lads out for Friday night Jagerbombs. Oh, and that new fridge? Uses three times as much electricity, but we haven’t put aside any extra cash for the power bill.

Does this look like good economic management to you?

89 comments on “National Party economics: make $2 billion, spend 5”

  1. karol 1

    Looks like satisfactory figures to me, QoT.

    The Nats over-spenders are also probably already spending the money they think rate payers will get from the sale of the Ports of Auckland and other Auckland and Christchurch assets.

  2. Yes 2

    Ummm you have got this sooo wrong…you’re right you’re not an economist.. Look at the future income revenue budgets…they are included in the long term forecast.

    Before you even respond think about the is..where was labour going to fund 100,000 homes..greens QE was going to cost 3.5 B and now the dollar has dropped we just lost double based on this stupid monetary policy.

    Then wait for it Labour wanted to squander ACC reserves…hmmm that’s my taxpayers funds..

    Can you please write balanced reports

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      Can you please write in something resembling coherent thought?

    • QoT 2.2

      Look at the future income revenue budgets…they are included in the long term forecast.

      But Yes, my ladybrain is all befuddled! Future income revenue would seem to have fuck-all to do with asset sales, except insofar as they reduce future income.

      But as PB said, if you’d like to write a coherent comment which actually addresses the post in concrete terms I’m sure we’d all love to see it.

    • Colonial Viper 2.3

      Ummm you have got this sooo wrong…you’re right you’re not an economist.. Look at the future income revenue budgets…they are included in the long term forecast.

      Most trained economists don’t understand either money or debt. Their forecasts are also usually worth as much as an equivalent weight of toilet paper.

      What are you talking about?

  3. BM 3

    Maybe they’ll do a Russell and just print a pile of money?

    • QoT 3.1

      This has nothing to do with this post. Just like Yes, above, you are welcome to make comments which address the facts of the post. Any other derailing shit from you will be deleted.

    • tracey 3.2

      you mean like Mr Cameron (UK) and Mr Obama (USA)?

      You have to admit BM, that if this was the Labour Govt it would be called a lolly scramble or fuzzy economics. The two phrases greens and labour need to start throwing back at Nats around this nonsense.

      I recall when the asset sales were were schools and health (oh, the good old days… just 2 years ago actually).

  4. chris73 4

    National Party economics: make $2 billion, spend 5 should actually be National Party economics: make $2 billion, spend 5 and win re-election

    • Zorr 4.1

      “make $2 billion, spend 5 and win re-election while all the time complaining that any issues are due to the economic mismanagement of Clark and Cullen

      fify

      • chris73 4.1.1

        Problem?

        • QoT 4.1.1.1

          So let’s be clear, chris: you have no problem with National fiddling the books and lying about it as long as they win in 2014?

          Gosh, you’re a person of strong character.

          • chris73 4.1.1.1.1

            What you all need to understand is that what you say National are doing is what the right said Labour did when they were in power

            So while two wrongs may not make a right this will probably ensure National regains power (aided by Labours piss-weak management) which means we’ll have another three years of good, sound management before the left get a chance to undo all the good work

            So in this instance the end justifies the means, which I’m guessing is probably how a few labour supporters felt when Labour were upto their shenanigans (retrospective legislation anyone?)

            • QoT 4.1.1.1.1.1

              What I do love, chris, is how your argument literally boils down to:

              “Your side just hates it when my side does exactly what your side does, because you disagree with them, which means it’s ok when my side does it because I agree with them.”

              It also comforts me because I doubt someone with your level of critical thinking can so much as find his way to a polling booth every three years.

              • chris73

                Never fear, I always do my duty and perform my democratic right: two ticks National (unless Act ever sort themselves out)

        • muzza 4.1.1.2

          Nice of you to illustrate the mindset of those who, endorse the decline of this country.

          C73, if your posts are serious, you are foolish, if they are not serious, you are foolish!

          Must be a proud sensation, either way!

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.1.2.1

            +1

          • chris73 4.1.1.2.2

            Fortunately more people in this country agree with my views than yours (or hadn’t you noticed the rights in charge?) and it looks like its going to continue for another three years

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.1.2.2.1

              Yeah, about that, a couple of questions: which polling company got closest to the last two election results? What are their latest results?

              Doing sums 101?

              • chris73

                The worst result that can happen is National going in with WinstonFirst, Labour are doing such a good job of shooting themselves in the foot (again) that they won’t mount much of a challenge

                The media have already decided its a National win

                [QoT: If you are incapable of addressing the post directly, I must at least insist you stick to the topic of the comment you are responding to. This incessant jumping around is boring.]

  5. tc 5

    Nice one QOT I was wondering how many times over the Nats have spent asset sales proceeds they haven’t got yet also.

    Shows what a feckless under the thumb bunch the MSM are, yiuve laid out a golden rainbow of many many lines of questioning govt ministers should be getting Gerry McGuire styles ‘show us the money ‘ .

    Watch out for the old classification switch, where operational becomes capex and hey presto it can be funded by asset sales and distort some numbers to boot, a classic accounting technique to make loss turn into profit.

    A good graph would be time on the x axis and all these promises stacked along it, a line for declining income stream as assets get sold off and gov’t debt to show sheeple the ongoing con the banskta is perpetrating

  6. Gosman 6

    I’m not sure I see the point of this post other than QOT seems to have come out as a fiscal conservative. If so, then welcome to the dark side QOT. Good to see you care that Government spending should be kept in check.

    • QoT 6.1

      You’re absolutely right, Gosman, you haven’t seen the point of this post. Refrain from further trollish speculations about my political leanings or you’re out.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      The one big difference I see between the right and the left is that the right say that they’re concerned about government spending but always blow the budget and the left don’t but almost always stay within budget.

      • Yes 6.2.1

        You serious.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2.1.1

          Are you able to mount a reality based (ie: based on actual behaviour/outcomes when in government) rebuttal?

          Doubt it.

          • Yes 6.2.1.1.1

            Ok here’s a balance.. Micheal cullens hidden ACC blow out. When national gets in back in order..national decrease levies and Andrew little wanted to use it. Now I pay ACC for ACC matters..my fund.

            What about that great police IT program that spent 100M’s and had to be scrapped.

            Oh and didn’t Chris Hipkins sign off nova pay?

            Shall I carry on?

            • QoT 6.2.1.1.1.1

              And what the hell does any of this have to do with either my post or Draco’s comment?

              • Yes

                it was a reply to knucklehead

                • QoT

                  And it wasn’t relevant then, either. You were asked to “mount a reality based rebuttal” by OAK to DTB’s comment about the difference between right and left governments.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2.1.1.1.2

              If you carry on, will you mount a reality-based rebuttal to Draco’s comment, or will you just keep on blithering like a twit?

              PS: the ACC “blow-out” was a lie. Did Nick Smith dupe you? Either he did, or you’re a deceitful prick. Which is it?

              • Yes

                extract NZ herald

                Former ACC minister Maryan Street, who received her first official advice of the shortfall on August 14, said the Treasury was closely involved and Dr Cullen would have got a “heads-up” from officials.

                Ms Street provided the official papers to the Herald, including the August 14 report from ACC that detailed an estimated shortfall of over $900 million over the next three years. The figures were actually estimated out for five years, taking the shortfall to $1.5 billion.

                Ms Street said Treasury, ACC and the Department of Labour were all recommending that no decision be made until after the election.

                She said that, like her, Dr Cullen was relying on the early estimates, which were not “good figures” and he would have been waiting until she officially wrote to him on October 22 when the figures had been checked out properly.

                [QoT: If you cannot provide a link this is worth fuck-all, you do realise.]

                  • You_Fool

                    from that link:
                    “A Treasury spokeswoman said the ACC shortfall was not included as it was not deemed to be under active consideration.”

                    So it was a change in expectations and no-one had decided which numbers were right, and were investigating when the PREFU was released – maybe not best that it wasn’t included, however that said, no evidence to say that once it was determined that Labour wouldn’t have dealt with it worse than National.

          • joe90 6.2.1.1.2

            What about that great police IT program that spent 100M’s and had to be scrapped.

            Oh, the one that IBM ditched in August 1999. Idiot.

            The Inquiry has had difficulty obtaining the relevant figures for the cost of the Contract. The following table based on the Project Director’s reports, shows forecast expenditure for those items to be supplied by IBM. The table does not show internal Police costs.

            http://www.justice.govt.nz/publications/global-publications/m/ministerial-inquiry-into-incis/historical-outline-of-incis

            • Yes 6.2.1.1.2.1

              agree – now that is a National blowout

              If you read my first line – now for some balance.

              There are lots of blowout projects by both governments – accusations was made that national always blow budgets.

              i never called you an idiot or anyone on here once a foul name – so please apologise

              • QoT

                “The Budget” is not the same as individual projects, most of which are big enough to cover multiple governments.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Exactly.

                  So, Yes, now your red herrings have been given a decent burial, do you give up and concede the point, or are you going to attempt that rebuttal?

                • Yes

                  Im going to finish commenting on this post QoT – I have read all your moderations – if you are going to write a post and then moderate everyones response then your posts are a waste of time.

                  You made a list of projects – nothing wrong with that – I just suggested you should list all the Labour/greens etc policies as well for a balanced report.

                  Moderate this response if you like but if you cant handle peoples responses don’t write posts.

                  • QoT

                    Except for all those comments I didn’t moderate, including – shocking, I know – one which completely disagreed with the post!

                    (Probably a leftwing sockpuppet, right?)

                    You and all the other commenters whom I have had to moderate keep wanting to pretend that you think your bullshit is relevant to the post. It’s not.

                    There is nothing relevant about projects which may or may not have blown their budgets under Labour, to a post about National’s ambitious/casual/bullshit commitment of funds raised by selling assets.

                    Please, do fuck off. You haven’t exactly made a contribution anyone will miss.

                  • You_Fool

                    I didn’t realise that an opinion piece had to be balanced? Esp one written on a left leaning blog and detailing personal opinion, esp when that opinion is based on fact…

  7. Rogue Trooper 7

    Well, from what I can gather, reading between the lines on Key and Brownlee’s foreheads is while Len has staked some of his mayoralty on not selling the Port shares, Key has hinted at that possibility. Gerry’s preference is NOT for further charges to the tax-payer for using state-owned assets -roads, tunnels and rail-lines- through additional regional taxes.
    The lovely Rachel sneaked in a suggestion that pressure by the Nats on Len to sell assets is an underhand shove against him FROM being re-elected mayor.

    Yep, they got their roading projects attached to that “loopy” CRL “that would do so very little”. hmm.

  8. Iron myself 8

    After years of lurking here, I can see why so many former proponents of government tax and spend to “fix” the economy have jumped on the rather poor meme “national are fiscally irresponsible”. I’ve seen CV, DTB et al change their latest slogan at a heartbeat to oppose anything that national do when it used to be exactly what they were clamouring for so many times now its not even funny. Just sad now. Like watching Rodney dangerfield stand up. Partisan and out of date. I bet if national raised the top tax rate one of regulars here will scream it will increase capital flight and scare away all the NZ Australian returnees. Without ever seeing the irony.

    [QoT: Like Gosman, you have deliberately missed the point of this post. No further warnings.]

    • muzza 8.1

      Iron myself, cheers for the giggle, appreciate it.

      Possibly giving you too much credit, but why not, its Sunday.

      If you’re trying to say that, it matters not who controls the purse strings, the outcomes are more or less the same trajectory, then you would be correct!

      Still doesn’t negate the validity, of pointing out the blindingly obvious hypocrisy of the MSM, and the political motivations.

      • Iron Myself 8.1.1

        The blinding hypocrisy of the MSM. Political arguments need a new Godwin’s law regarding the media. Both sides blame it vociferously. Which means on aggregate it is doing its job and being neutral. Critical where it needs to be critical based on fact and supportive if required using the same facts. ” It’s all the MSM’s fault” is the most pathetic argument. If the media call parties out for shit behaviour and policy, that’s because it’s probably deserved.

        That’s NZ anyway. You can say what you like about the herald, but it is far more balanced than the government funded radio outlets and their presenters unswerving allegiance to left wing values.

  9. infused 9

    [QoT: There is a very clear difference between accepting disagreement and tolerating trolling douchebags. Guess which side of the line you just chose to stand on?]

    • infused 9.1

      [QoT: The reason this comment was put in moderation is because you used the word “trolling”; I have no control over that process, more’s the pity. And I’m not going to apologise for labelling something as trolling when it serves no purpose but derailing or personally attacking a post author. I’m really not going to explain this again.]

      • infused 9.1.1

        You opened yourself up for attack by saying “Bear in mind, I’m not an economist”

        I mean “That’s ignoring the millions in the cost of consultants and advertising already spent trying to hike up the price of Mighty River Power.”

        Why are you even posting that if you aren’t going to list the figures? It’s just filler.

        Not taking in to account the household/trademe rubbish you have posted.

        You wonder why you’re not getting any decent replies?

        [QoT: Oh, I get it – you’ve completely missed the point! The point where this is just a top-of-my-head post based on half an hour’s googling. Where I do not pretend to have every single fact and figure – much less access to it. You’ll note a lot of the links are to media sources, because it’s very difficult to track down actual governmental documentation of a lot of this stuff.

        Which might have something to do with the fact that the whole point is to illustrate the casual relationship National’s promises have to do with reality.

        The “household/trademe rubbish” is there to highlight the bullshit idea, put about by rightwingers since the dawn of time, that government budgets work like household budgets.

        And I know why I’m not getting decent replies, sweetie. Because I’ve made a post chock-ful of facts and figures which dipshits like you don’t actually have a good response for.

        You are not welcome to comment further on this post.]

        • Gosman 9.1.1.1

          If that was your point it wasn’t very clear. Certainly I didn’t see many people commenting that picked up on that. AlsonI’m not sure many people are seriously making the case that Government is exactly like a household. I have seen some people make this case but noone doing any serious economic analysis.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1.1.1.1

            So, your defence to the accusation that your misunderstanding is a pretence is that you lack the cognitive ability to understand the post?

        • Gosman 9.1.1.2

          If that was your point it wasn’t very clear. Certainly I didn’t see many people commenting that picked up on that. I’m not sure many people are seriously making the case that Government is exactly like a household. I have seen some people make this case but noone doing any serious economic analysis.

          • felix 9.1.1.2.1

            It’s so weird how the only people who found the point unclear are the same people who set out daily and determinedly to deliberately disrupt and derail every thread on this site.

            So weird.

  10. Nordy 10

    I like your style QoT…pithy and to the point….

    A good post with real questions, unlike those we see asked by the MSM.

    It’s no wonder the Auckland rail link is scheduled for after the demise of this NACT govt – they have no idea about planning for the future. As has been stated succintly many times on TS, it is one of the defining features of right wing parties – it’s all about the short term, in other words, it’s about ‘me’.

  11. Wayne 11

    Well QoT, you seem to have ignored the fact that this expenditure takes place over a 10 year period. The money does not have to be in the bank right now. In any event 40+% of Meridian will be sold within 6 to 8 months.

    But actually the Left needs to work out where they stand on all of this (and this has been pointed out by most of the influential MSM commentators). You can’t blame National for not doing enough, then complain that when they do so, by asking where is the money, and by the way Phil Twyford complains that in any event it is not happening fast enough.

    What exactly is Labour’s message?

    • QoT 11.1

      Okay, but this raises a lot more questions:

      1) If they’re sticking to the initial plan for selling the power assets off over five years, how can they know right now where it’s best to spend $5.26 billion of it?

      2) But if they’re NOT sticking to that plan and are selling off Meridian quickly (coincidentally, pre-election) then they won’t get the “best price” for them and thus will have less money to spend on the things they’ve already committed to.

      3) I am not the Labour Party. This is not a Labour Party blog. The message of the Labour Party has fuck-all to do with my post.

      • Rogue Trooper 11.1.1

        having to wave a lot of nightstick policing this post Queen. (I regularly watch Wayne Mapp’s punditry on the box; wouldn’t bear it no mind, no how). Although, he and Susan Wood do make a lovely couple. “Middle New Zealand”, we despair.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.2

      I missed the part where QoT speaks for Labour.

      • weka 11.2.1

        More’s the pity though, they could do worse than having QoT as spokesperson :-)

        • QoT 11.2.1.1

          On the plus side: can speak in full, clear sentences. On the minus side: full, clear sentences usually involve unladylike cusswords.

  12. irascible 12

    Key is doing the big offer spend up combined with a concerted social media advertising campaign and MSM conspiracies based on what happened in Australia with Gillard can be manipulated to happen in NZ to soften the country up for an early election once the GCSB bill fails to get endorsement.
    The spending promises all come with hooks – mainly more asset sales and then the sale of the infra structure (PPP schemes) to enrich the right wing profit taking asset strippers Key enjoys gambolling with.

  13. Disraeli Gladstone 13

    I’m not if this has been covered in the heaps of comments, but this post isn’t entirely accurate. Mainly because while it’s true that National don’t have the alleged $6bn from asset sales (I doubt it’ll get that high), National also isn’t looking to spend $5bn right now. The spending is staggered. For instance, the CRL isn’t going to be funded until 2020 by the government. Therefore that $1.4bn isn’t being spent now; it’ll be spent once the full proceeds from the asset sales have been collected.

    If you want to make the point that National is trying to have its cake and eat it too by announcing big spending projects that are popular and trying to hide that they’re not coming into effect straight away, that’s a damn good point. But to say that the spending out versus the revenue in from asset sales isn’t quite right, because it does seem like the spending is being staggered to match the staggered asset sales.

    • QoT 13.1

      This is true to a point – but on the other hand, they are committing to spend money they don’t have yet.

      What if the sale of Meridian is a complete flop? What if it’s so bad they literally can’t put Genesis up for sale? Does anyone believe Solid Energy’s going to be a viable product any time soon? Then what happens to the $1 billion for education, or the $1 billion for health? Sure, they haven’t yet spelled out exactly how those figures are going to get broken up, but there’s still a specific scale of upgrades and renovations they’ve promised.

      And this ignores the fact that National may not be in power after 2014 – so if a Labour-led government stops further asset sales, do they also get the blame for leaving schools/hospitals/Christchurch in the lurch and “breaking” the promises of the previous administration? Even if you think National will win in 2014, they’re not going to stick around another two terms after that to see the CRL kick off.

      Yes, at the moment they’re staggering the actual spending to the assets sales. But they’re not staggering their promises.

      (And I would bet money which I already actually have in my pocket that the promises are just going to keep on coming.)

      • Wayne 13.1.1

        QoT, To a much greater extent that an individual or a family, Govt’s plan their spending track out to 10 years or beyond. It less about the timing of the announcement (which will be chosen for best political advantage), and more about the timing of the actual expenditure – but I am sure you know all of this.

        And of course, every Govt plans as if they are the govt beyond the next election.

        In any event what is your actual complaint. Every thing that has been announced has bipartisan support, though I guess the two sides of politics have different ways of funding them. For the Left, increased taxes for every sector (personal, corporate and CGT). For the Right, same taxes as at present, but asset sales to make up the shortfall in the LTA account.

        Commenters here seem to have lost sight of the fact that over the next 10 years the LTA account will generate $15 billion. Much of it is already committed, but a fair bit is always available for large capital projects, such as the existing electrification project.

        I imagine both sides would borrow for these long term projects, although the Right is also keener on tolling.

        And unlike you, I believe when Govts make promises of the magnitude they stick by them.

        And it is likely that CRL will start before 2020. There is a huge amount of work in design and planning and tendering which will take at 2 to 3 years before construction starts. So even on the Nats 2020 timeframe serious work will start around 2017. And of course, if the City can get early funding, it could be before then,. In any event the PM has signaled the timing can be bought forward. My bet – Mayor Len will get things started in his next term, i.e. 2016.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 13.1.1.1

          Yeah that all sounds very plausible. Does it mean six equals twelve?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 13.2

      Wow! A cogent counter-argument!

      DG, They’re going to spend $12bn ($6bn in debt reduction, and $6bn in spending, give or take).

      No matter how long you take to spend it, 6 ≠ 12.

      • Chris 13.2.1

        It can be reasonably argued that they are the same thing so 6 doesn’t need to equal 12.

        I think most here would agree that the list of expenditure that QoT has set out is pretty necessary and should occur regardless of asset sales. By using the money from asset sales they have effectively eliminated $6bn of debt that the government would have needed to take on to fund these projects.

        In other words if the government has a debt level of $100 they can now fund more projects for that $100. So the money from the asset sales will be used to repay debt thereby allowing futher expenditure to occur.

        Also, I’m not a fan of the argument that they shouldn’t be planning to use the asset sales money because they don’t have it yet. The same could be said for all future government revenues, so does that mean they should have no plans as they do not have the tax revenue yet?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 13.2.1.1

          “…would have needed to take on…”

          That’s a lovely assumption you’ve got there. Did you make it yourself?

          GDP is always higher under Labour led governments, because they run the economy better, and that increases the tax take (not to mention that the biggest beneficiaries of society pay more tax).

          So, no, there is nothing to say that borrowing is the only solution. The National Party always has to borrow, as a consequence of its fiscal incompetence, but other parties are not as handicapped.

          • Chris 13.2.1.1.1

            Fair enough, however the fact remains that National is currently in power so they will take on debt rather than hiking taxes. You can compare it to what Labour would have done but that is rather academic. The fact remains they will take on debt and the asset sales can be used to pay down debt and fund projects at the same time as I just explained.

            For the record I also think taxes should be higher rather than borrowing more, however that’s not really the point here.

  14. Yes 14

    QOt you moderated or commented on 20 of the 66 posts on here..talk about controlling. And you abused people who posted as well.

    [QoT: And now it’s 21 out of 76.

    To give it a different spin, I only moderated the comments of 6 individuals – including yourself – and many of these moderations only involved adding mod comments, not deleting or editing the text.

    It’s not my fault that you six all lack home-training, and to be frank, you, BM, chris73 and Gosman are hardly the posterboys for constructive, genuine commenters at The Standard.]

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 14.1

      Perhaps, like me, she has little tolerance for deceitful shills.

    • weka 14.2

      Yep, she’s got a trigger finger when it comes to tr*lling and derailing. I for one appreciate the tight moderation, because it means we don’t have endless sub-threads of drivel and abuse (from both sides I might add). Where someone has commented responding to the content of the actual post (as opposed to having a go at her politics, or making inflammatory remarks unrelated to the post content), she has engaged thoughtfully. It’s not hard to tell the difference. QoT has some rules about commenting on her posts, they’re not hard to learn.

      • QoT 14.2.1

        Thank you, weka. But unfortunately it seems that some people don’t find my rules all that clear, they just keep doing the same thing over and over and then complaining when it always delivers the identical results …

  15. quicksilver 15

    [QoT: Goodbye.]

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 15.1

      Yeah, because Disraeli Gladstone disagreed and got insulted and banned. So did Wayne. No, wait…

    • weka 15.2

      qs, you do realise that intentionally misrepresenting the rules, is against the rules.

  16. Jon L 16

    The difference between “left” and right, as I see it, is that the
    right blow the budget on helping themselves, and the left tend to blow it on trying to help the community.
    I know which way I’d rather it be blown…….

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    Today is a Member's Day. And the big question is what will the parties do in expectation of the shift in the balance of power when the Northland by-election results are finalised? Will they filibuster to prevent ballots or preserve… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 hour ago
  • Midweek lunch break
    Sit back and relax to these soothing, beautiful Wrestlemania 31 gifs. Best. Entrance. Ever. Dean. Fucking. Ambrose. Ronda. Fucking. Rousey. Super. Ladder. Plex. RKO. Outta. Nowhere. ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 hour ago
  • No spy, no fly
    A really disturbing report out of the US: The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 hour ago
  • Will the Govt’s new HomeStarter scheme make it easier to buy a house?
    The Government is defending a new subsidy scheme for low and middle income couple who build a new home, but the Labour Party says it will add to the housing crisis. New Zealanders on the hunt for their first home… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Invercargill to become New Zealand’s Capital City
    At a specially called press conference this morning, Prime Minister John Key announced that Invercargill was to become New Zealand's new capital. The news was unexpected as there had been no awareness that moving the capital was even being considered.Key… ...
    2 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
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    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    2 hours ago
  • Not in my backyard!
    As we have written before on Transportblog, we think that choice in housing and transport markets is really important. In particular, Aucklanders need to be able to choose not to live in apartments. Therefore we must act now to ban… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 hours ago
  • The Nashing Of Labour’s Teeth: Why Being Green Ain’t Getting An...
    Red In Tooth And Claw: Stuart Nash, winner of the provincial seat of Napier, clearly intends to build Labour's vote by savaging the Greens. IF THE GREENS want a glimpse of their future with Labour, then they should listen to… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Easter Traffic: NZ Transport advises drivers to plan now for a spot in holi...
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Transport Agency – Start planning now to book your spot in Easter traffic Mark Owen, NZ Transport Agency Regional Performance Manager, is reminding motorists that heavy traffic is expected during peak travel times over the… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    2 hours ago
  • Australia’s Foreign Minister Set To Visit Tonga – Prime Minister Akilis...
    MIL OSI –  Source: Tonga Government – Tonga’s Prime Minister looks forward to first visit of Australian Foreign Minister this week. Tongan Prime Minister, Akilisi-Pohiva. Image by Selwyn Manning. In a statement this morning, the Prime Minister and Minister… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    3 hours ago
  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping
    When I was a lad, we didn't have your fancy smartphones. We didn't have mobile phones at all, which meant there was much greater need for public payphones and they were consequently more numerous. The funny thing was, there was… ...
    3 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
    It is profoundly depressing to hear pundits and politicians talking about the prospects for economic growth with no reference to either equity or environmental constraints. In the case of New Zealand a “rock star” economy can apparently develop accompanied by… ...
    Hot TopicBy Bryan Walker
    3 hours ago
  • Asbestos needs a ban and a plan – petition presented
    Workers have today presented a petition signed by over a thousand New Zealanders calling on the Government to ban the importation of asbestos and develop a comprehensive plan for the removal of all existing asbestos in New Zealand.  Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    3 hours ago
  • US Dept of Defense Details Ongoing Coalition Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq
    MIL OSI – Source: United States Department of Defense – US Dept of Defense Details Ongoing Coalition Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve SOUTHWEST ASIA, March 31, 2015 – U.S. and coalition military forces… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    3 hours ago
  • US Dept of Defense Details Ongoing Coalition Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq
    MIL OSI – Source: United States Department of Defense – US Dept of Defense Details Ongoing Coalition Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve SOUTHWEST ASIA, March 31, 2015 – U.S. and coalition military forces… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    3 hours ago
  • April Fools Release: TAXPAYERS’ UNION TO PURSUE PUBLIC FUNDING
    MIL OSI – Source: Taxpayers Union – Press Release/Statement Headline: MR: TAXPAYERS’ UNION TO PURSUE PUBLIC FUNDING – April Fools Day Release 1 APRIL 2015 The Taxpayers’ Union has announced its intention to pursue taxpayer-funding to support its advocacy… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    3 hours ago
  • WWF says on US Climate Pledge a ‘Big Deal’
    MIL OSI – Source: World Wildlife Fund – WWF says on US Climate Pledge a ‘Big Deal’ World Wildlife Fund issued the following statement from Lou Leonard, Vice President, Climate Change in reaction to today’s formal submission of the US’ contribution to… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    4 hours ago
  • Ombudsman Releases Guide to changes to the Ombudsmen Act and official infor...
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Ombudsmans Office – Guide to changes to the Ombudsmen Act and official information legislation April 1, 2015 Some changes have been made to the Ombudsmen Act (OA) and official information legislation as part of an… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    4 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed – CTU
    MIL OSI – Source: Council Of Trade Unions – Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    4 hours ago
  • Commerce Commission to review regulated broadband non-price terms
    MIL OSI – Source: Commerce Commission – Commerce Commission to review regulated broadband non-price terms The Commerce Commission has today announced it will formally review the non-price terms of the Unbundled Bitstream Access (UBA) Standard Terms Determination (STD) under the Telecommunications Act.… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    4 hours ago
  • Genius from google
    PacMan on google maps. I'm guessing for today only. Complete genius. Sweet! Just click on the PacMan logo on the bottom left and you're off. The Courtenay Place end of Wellington is easier to play than the Parliament end.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    4 hours ago
  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences of mass surveillance
    Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability.That's the assessment of longtime Pacific journalist Jason Brown of the impact of the revelation that the GCSB has been conducting "full take" collection of communications in Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed
    Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind the support that other countries offer to new parents, the Council of Trade Unions said. Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    4 hours ago
  • QOTD: snark vs smarm
    From the epic On Smarm by Tom Scocca at Gawker: Snark is often conflated with cynicism, which is a troublesome misreading. Snark may speak in cynical terms about a cynical world, but it is not cynicism itself. It is a theory of… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    4 hours ago
  • Birkenhead Transport orders triple-articulated double decker bus
    Birkenhead Transport announced today that it is planning replace its entire fleet with a single triple-articulated double decker bus. The bus is 57m long and over 4m tall. The Walfisch 57 double decker triple-bendy bus. Owner, managing director and part… ...
    4 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: That summer feeling
    Improvements have been made, true contenders are emerging and Dominic Bowden only grows in power.   X Factor NZ judges Shelton Woolwright, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt. Photo: The X Factor NZ A good X… ...
    4 hours ago
  • MPs back animal testing ban
    From left, owner of Crumpet the Rabbit Greta-Mae McDowell, Green Party MP Mojo Mathers and #BeCrueltyFree campaigner Tara Jackson. MPs have unanimously supported a ban on animal testing in New Zealand for finished cosmetic products and their… ...
    5 hours ago
  • The other missing mode
    Here at TransportBlog, we often write about “missing modes“. Auckland is shamefully underprovided with alternatives to driving, and that’s the situation that led to us developing the Congestion Free Network. The CFN calls for investment in rail, bus and potentially… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    6 hours ago
  • Why are young people in Europe joining jihadist groups?
    by Kenan Malik First it was Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, three schoolgirls from Tower Hamlets who smuggled themselves to Syria during their half term holiday. Then it was ‘Jihadi John’, the IS executioner who was unmasked by… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    13 hours ago
  • Sea Level Rise is Spiking Sharply
    Global sea level is rising because of warming from the industrial greenhouse gas emissions we humans keep pumping into the atmosphere. The expansion of seawater as it warms, and the addition of meltwater from disintegrating land-based ice, enforce a relentless rise… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Remuera: Two Arrested After High-Speed Eagle Pursuit
    Source: New Zealand Police – Remuera: Two Arrested After High-Speed Police Pursuit Robbery suspects arrested following high speed drive Tuesday, 31 March 2015 – 7:58pm Auckland City Two men have been arrested in Remuera after driving at high speed and in… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    15 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the inadequate response to sexual violence prevention
    On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Judgment day for Planet Key (the song, that is)
    From Darren Watson's website:News@ 30 March, 2015read more ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    16 hours ago
  • Keith Rankin on Subsistence and the Benefit
    Analysis by Keith Rankin – First Published on Scoop.co.nz. Rural Northland poverty in the spotlight. Image courtesy of Localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz. YESTERDAY ON RADIO NEW ZEALAND’S MORNING REPORT “Te Manu Korihi for 30 March 2015“, Mana’s Hone Harawira discussed the matter… ...
    Evening ReportBy Selwyn Manning
    18 hours ago
  • A rape joke walks into a comedy festival
    Here’s a story about stand-up comedy that shouldn’t be shocking: Adrienne Truscott’s first full-length show involves an hour of jokes about rape culture, during which time you can see her genitals. Supplied In reality though, how rape is… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Introducing: Wurld Series
    Emerging local musicians are given two minutes to introduce one of their songs and say whatever they like about themselves and their music. Wurld Series. Name: Wurld Series (Luke, Jared and James). Age: 24, 25, 30. Hometown: Christchurch.… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Tonight on Evening Report – March 31 2015
    Tonight on Evening Report we lead with a video cross to Hanoi to gauge how delegates from South East Asia, meeting on nuclear disarmament in Vietnam, have responded to news New Zealand has been spying on its trading partners. This and… ...
    Evening ReportBy Selwyn Manning
    19 hours ago
  • On The Dial – Episode 17
    This week in On The Dial, the Northland by-election, we go behind the scenes of Parliament’s Hansard office, talk to comedian Adrienne Truscott, and, of course, look back at the Cricket world cup. The National Party is promising to take… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Research on the price of protest in West Papua released – PMC
    MIL OSI – Source: Pacific Media Centre – Analysis published with permission of PMC Headline: The price of protest in West Papua – Research Image: Demotix Tuesday, March 31, 2015 West Papua is a region… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    20 hours ago
  • Photo of the Day: 50 shades….
    The new suburbia; detached buildings so close you wonder why they bother and every mood from drab to dreary. At least you can no longer hear children play… now they’ve been banned. ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    20 hours ago
  • the win in winston
    Unintended consequences has been a concept on my mind recently - some thoughts on the recent by-election in Northland.The election of Winston Peters in Northland will have unintended negative consequences for the left I think. The left as a whole… ...
    21 hours ago
  • NZ Government launches tax modernisation programme
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Tax modernisation programme launched Revenue Minister Todd McClay today released the first two in a series of public consultations designed to modernise and simplify the tax system. “Taxes are an important part… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    21 hours ago
  • Discovering the roots of Lttle Phnx
    Wellington-based synthpop artist Lttle Phnx talks about finding a sound that's as unique as her story of growing up. Lucy Beeler aka Lttle Phnx. Photo: Alexander Robertson/The Wireless Lucy Beeler aka Lttle Phnx makes sweet, electro, synthpop from a… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Oh dairy me
    A couple of weeks ago, Nick Smith and the government decided to prolong the sham that is ECan until 2019. When announcing that there would be a “mixed government model”, he went on to say that democracy was “too risky”… ...
    Rebuilding ChristchurchBy rebuildingchristchurch
    22 hours ago
  • Freedom of information and tikanga
    Yesterday the Māori Affairs Committee reported back on the Hawke's Bay Regional Planning Committee Bill. The bill looks relatively uncontentious, establishing a joint Regional Planning Committee with Hawke's Bay iwi to decide on regional plans and policy statements under the… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • National’s Bulldozer Lurches Onwards
    The National Government barely paused after their humiliating by-election loss in Northland. In his normal cavalier and dismissive manner Key shrugged off the defeat, "so I got it wrong on that one, but that's the way it goes." He he… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Feeding the watchdog?
    The Officers of Parliament Committee reported back today on the annual appropriations for the Ombudsman, and have recommended a significant increase in funding. There's additional funding to help it cope with its duties under OPCAT and the United Nations Convention… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago

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  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    24 hours ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    1 day ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    5 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    6 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    6 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    7 days ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour looks to put the tea back into entitlements
    Labour is moving to restore the rights of Kiwis to take tea and rest breaks, Leader Andrew Little says. “Within months of the Government’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill becoming law we are already seeing some of our largest companies, including… ...
    1 week ago
  • Desperate money grab to keep Ruataniwha afloat
    The Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company’s decision to borrow $4 million to keep the Ruataniwha project afloat is a case of throwing ratepayer’s good money after bad, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri and Napier MP Stuart Nash.   “This bridging… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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